My rule is that Followers have to be individuals, and likely you have to pay for them. If you can't name them, they're a "unit" or something. Note that you could have the leader as a follower, and he or you could then have the "unit" as another relationship. There are any number of combinations. But as long as they will never act as individuals, they're not followers in my game.
The neat thing to do, IMO, is to "break off" some followers from the unit over time. I allow purchases mid-game, so this could be done on the fly. Need someone to suddenly appear from the unit and go take care of delaying the caravan down the road? Then you just pay your HP, and suddenly you get "Ragnar" with "Runs Fast" coming forth to take on that duty.
Who knows, he could turn into the character's best friend eventually.
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