Even Super Villains need advice. Ask an expert, Ask a Super Villain…
Today’s letter was again posted as a comment the initial Ask a Super Villain post on this blog:
As a Super Villain of some renown I know everything there is about being a super villain, and I’m here to help you with advice…
… unfortunately, my busy schedule as an evil mastermind doesn’t allow me time to hire henchmen any more and so I leave that task to my Human Resources department. As such, that means that although I know everything about being a Super Villain, I cannot help with this particular problem, because I’m not up to date with the current job market and tricks. However, as I have a HR department, I figure why not ask them since they never seem to do anything. I mean, I keep asking them to find high quality people, but they never seem to bring many any new candidates.
Dear [Redacted] @ [Redacted] Exploration, As head of the Personnel Department here, you letter was forwarded to me from the Head of the Human Resources Department (while in many organisations, these are the same thing, in an evil organisation Human Resources finds humans to be used as resources for experiments and live human drug & disease trials, spare limbs and organs, fresh meat for pets and the minion cafeteria and call centre work. This does form some confusion in many organisations, which is probably why we haven't had a request for the hiring of new henchmen for some time and the best quality candidates seem to keep disappearing. But enough of internal problems, and to answer your question. Obviously, I'd need to know specifics of the "event" in question, but understandably a popular and high-traffic blog like this one pretends it is isn't the place to share such details, so I have to go with generalities. It goes without saying that you're using the Super Villain Classifieds or henchmen employment services like Expendable Hire. Don't. They're low quality entry level candidates. I mean, sure, visit Super Villain Classifieds if you want a laugh. I've been told that there's really quite funny, but when it comes to hiring henchmen avoid them at all costs. If you have a long period to get henchmen data mining school's permanent records is the best way to find potential henchmen, as it records which students reject authority and have no career prospects due to employers judging them on said record and are less likely to be missed. Then you can train them up in your own specialised training school. If you have an longer period to get henchmen I'd recommend finding the perfect candidate and clone them. This, of course, takes longer as you have to grow them at a natural rate or they grow old too fast and you're stuck with an exploding superannuation bill. Then you can train them up in your own specialised training school.
If you have an even longer period to get henchmen subtly manipulating the development of primitive humanoids into a species of loyal warriors who obey only you is the best way to go. This however, is a very long term plan that requires immortality or near immortality, a lot of patiences and probably needed to be started about 30,000 years ago. The advantage is you don't need to have your own specialised training school. Your mention in your letter of an upcoming event suggests you don't have a lot of time, so you'll have to take the quick and easy approach. Headhunting. The art of finding the best people in other evil organisations and sending a "headhunter" to cut of their boss's head so they need to find new employment. Most people will recommend sending in a team of headhunters all at once but this is an amateur mistake. As you correctly point out, the main problem with henchmen is their constant failure to shoot straight and to not use weight of numbers to overpower a single opponent. Instead send a single headhunter, and if he succeeds they obviously weren't worth hiring anyway. If your headhunter is killed it is a good sign and you should send in a pair (and so on, incrementing the number of team members each time.) This gives you a rating of henchmen from the organisation - the larger the team you send the better the talent in that organisation. I've often had five or six heads of the heads of rival organisations on my desk before I've found candidates of a level the head of my organisation required. This requires you to already have access to a large number of expendable headhunters which the first time super villain often doesn't have. The only suggestion I have in that case is a large number of low quality henchmen. They may not be able to hit a moving target, but the law of large numbers says that one has to hit eventually, right? That doesn't fix the single-combat problem, but a large number of henchmen does mean that the interloper has to fight more people one at a time. This is a two fold benefit as if the numbers are large enough exhaustion will set in and your freshly rested henchmen have a greater and greater chance of winning as the fight goes on and if even that fails it gives you a much longer period being initial discovery of the interloper and his/her/its eventual reaching their goal, leaving you time to escape, set up the perfect deathtrap that doesn't require monitoring and you can assume did its job perfectly, hide your plans or the the magic relic, fire the super weapon or kill the man/woman/misc that the interloper is trying to save. An important thing to remember with a large number of low quality henchmen is to use their faults to your advantage. Make sure the fine print in their employment contract includes the following exemptions to full payment of wages or survivor benefits 1. The employer accepts no liability for any shooting of a henchman by another henchman when the hero ducks causing the henchmen to shoot each other. Any henchman shooting another henchmen is such a situation will be penalised a day wages. Any henchmen shot in that situation will not be entitled to death benefits or medical coverage and should consider suing the other henchmen or their surviving family. This includes situations where the hero uses a gun a henchman is still holding to shot the henchman or other henchmen or uses the gun taken from the body of an unconscious henchman. 2. Any henchman found to have been around while another henchman is engaged in combat with an enemy opponent and does not participate in the combat until after the first henchman is defeated is considered to be taking an "unsanctioned break" and will be penalised accordingly. Any henchmen found to have been rendered unconscious for any reason will also be penalised for taking an "unsanctioned break" and likewise penalised. Any unsanctioned break, including death, lasting longer than 10 minutes without prior notice to management will result in immediate dismissal and a loss of all entitlements and benefits. Hope that helps. Have fun with your upcoming event.
Well, you don’t get killed in a dramatic final showdown, please write back telling us how your event went.