My white whale. My beloved signature army. My brave sons and
daughters of the Lady. In a moment when Warhammer Fantasy has gone
completely to pot and I have to work to remind myself why I want to
be in this hobby, of course I was going to turn to Bretonnia.
were my first Fantasy army: brave knights, grubby peasants, wise
sorceresses, flying knights on pegasi, trebuchets hurling bits of
church at the enemy and every knight (in the hands of a better
painter than I) a work of art in its own right. Now, twelve years
later, is my chance to do right by this army and make the noble host
I always dreamed of fielding: each knight with his own heraldry and
individual colours on the horses, peasants' heraldry painted to match
the character model they owe fealty to. Honestly, the way things are
going, this is probably going to be my last chance at this.
about the only thing I don't like about Bretonnia is the rather
outdated Army Book. Its the oldest one left, dating back to the 6th
edition. It isn't that its unplayable, just that times have changed.
Several items and abilities simply don't work in the 8th
edition, the command upgrade prices are ludicrous and largely negate
the benefit of the knightly units getting free champions. And, of
course, there's the fact it was a typically bare bones 6th
ed. book: four character classes, four core choices, four special
choices and two rare choices. This was exactly how a lot of the
smaller armies worked in those days: creating a stable basis on which
later editions would build.
Bretonnia's case, later editions never came and now they never will.
never underestimate the dedication of fans. Matthias Eliasson, whose
Warhammer Armies Project I've praised before, put together an
expanded 8th edition version of the Bretonnia Army Book,
our subject for today. Its huge, its free and it looks pretty
well-balanced at first glance. I've already taken temperatures with
my gaming group and we're looking forward to field testing it.
The lance formation stays as is but it gets the
Devastating Charge special rule. The knights are slightly more
expensive overall to represent this but the price hike is pretty low
given how the years have changed them from being dirt cheap cavalry
to merely averagely priced cavalry.
Knightly champions are still free and most musician and
standard bearer upgrades are the standard ten points.
Every knightly unit has an option for one unit of that
type to carry a magic standard.
Damsels and Prophetesses now have access to the Lore of
Light as well as the specially-written Lore of the Lady in addition
to the previously available Lores of Life, Beasts and Heavens (and,
yes, Damsels get Heavens now, as well).
Men-At-Arms are now “proper soldiers” with WS 3.
They still have low leadership to show they aren't the equal of
Imperial State Troops. Their former”useless arrow fodder” duties
are taken up by a new Peasant Levy unit we'll discuss later. Best of
all, the pole-arms that were previously just a halberd under an
assumed identity can now be used as a halberd or a spear, decided at
the beginning of each close combat phase.
Pegasus Knights now have barding! This is a massive and
longstanding complaint of mine answered. They still have only two
wounds (most monstrous cavalry has three) but they're also five
The Virtues have been rewritten and re-priced where
neceessary, as have the Vows. Questing Knights now re-roll only Fear
and Terror tests but also ignore Always Strikes Last when using their
great weapons. Grail Knights and characters with the Grail Vow gain
And then there's all the new stuff:
Of the three new character classes, it's the Priestess
of Shallya that interests me most. She's essentially a healer version
of the Empire Warrior Priest with a series of Bound Spell blessing
she can confer on units. I rather like that the two blessings that
effect the Priestess's unit don't effect her,its a nice
representation of self-sacrifice.
The Templar Crusader is an experienced knight who gives
buffs to any unit he joins: a mounted unit re-rolls 1s on their
charge distance whilst a foot unit gains the Hatred special rule.
Yeoman Serjeant is something I'm not entirely convinced
by. Why? Because he's actually good at things. He has WS, BS and
Strength 4. He's on par with knights in a lot of ways. A useful cheap
character to be sure but perhaps rather more useful than a Bretonnian
peasant, even a relatively “upper class”one, should be. I don't
know, I'll probably give him a ho someday but there are so many more
tasty options to play around with.
Peasant Levy. Skill stats of 2, armed with “Farm
Tools” that give them +1 Strength but also require two hands and
always strike last. They test for Leadership on 3D6 and pick the
highest result of 2 dice because they are just that crap. Sounds like
a fun unit and, yes, I really mean that, you won't find me shying
away from fun random crap, oh no.
Truffle Hounds. Oh, how I look forward to using Truffle
Hounds. Right now Matt is fielding Orcs & Goblins and, oh, how we
love those crazy Fanatics as they hew through our armies like a hot
knife through infantry. These are by now means as devastating but
they work in a reasonably similar way: concealed in peasant units
they charge the first enemy unit to come within 8”. If they make
the charge they inflict D3+1 Str 3 hits and are then removed from
play, if not they then make another charge against the closest enemy
unit in the next turn until it hits something. Nowhere near as
devastating as Fanatics but a hell of lot more reliable an no risk to
Foot Knights are exactly what it says on the tin: elite
armoured infantry fulfilling that Greatswords / Tomb Guard / Grave
Guard role of anchoring the battle line. They've the Knights' Vow but
an impressive array of weapons options, being able to choose between
hand weapon and shield, morning stars, great weapons and halberds.
Herrimaults are absolutely, one hundred percently Robin
Hood and his Merry Men (or, if you're of my generation, Maid Marian
and her Merry Men). Rules wise: Skirmishing, Scouting bowmen with a
champion who has knight stats. I really want to make some of these
guys and put my Virtue of Empathy Grail Knight character with them.
Hippogryph Knights are as awesome and monstrous as they
sound. Hugely expensive at 75 points but you get what you pay for:
Fear-causing, flyers, Stomp attacks, Str 5 and 3 Wounds, plus the
Knight has Str 4 basic. They do, however, inherit the old issue
Pegasus Knights used to have that they don't have barding even though
it's sculpted on the model!
Spirits of the Fey are fun: mini-Green Knights
represented as Ethereal, Fear-causing swarms, plus if they're at
least partially within a forest or water feature they regain D3
wounds lost earlier in the battle at the end of each close combat
The Sacrosantum of the Lady is a Bretonnian version of
the Chaos War Shrine, essentially. Its a chariot with a Damsel and
relics on it that every turn confers an automatic (not a bound spell,
not random) benefit to the army around it. At 125 points, you
certainly can't complain on value for money.
Now just to work out how to model some of this stuff.