View Full Version : Using a historical strategy, Bretonnia

30-03-2008, 01:56
Hey folks, I have a 2k pts battle coming up, where I will use a Bretonnian army vs lizards.

I am taking quite a lot of peasants, and I plan to use a defensive strategy. My list is basically:

A lord on barded horse

A paladin bsb

2 damsels

4 units of 10 longbows

2 units of 20 men @ arms

2 units of 5/6 knights errant

5 knights of the realm

2 units of 5 mounted yeomen

2 trebs

My deployment will be based on a medieval total war preset called "english", so I assume it is a historical longbow tactic.

[img=http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/3883/bretstratog2.th.jpg] (http://img156.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bretstratog2.jpg)

That is an approximation of my formation. I think it should work well, the trebs are protected but have a good field of vision, and hopefully the archers can hold with their defensive stakes for a turn if charged, then the knights or men at arms can hit the flanks. The other cavalry will be off chasing down skirmishers. The trebs will target his blocks, and the bowmen will shoot as long as they can. The cavalry in the middle also have the characters, the general and the bsb, so they should spread their bonuses nicely. They can also counter charge if something gets close that is sufficiently weakened.

30-03-2008, 12:05
Drop the 2 units of errrents for 1 unit of 9. Lace formations are VERY powerfull.

Bretonnian Lord
30-03-2008, 14:12
Beef up your knight units. A unit of fully ranked up Saurus is easily capable of holding down a charge from 6 knights, especially if your dice rolling is bad.

Longbows aren't too terribly effective against Lizardmen, as your peasants are hitting on 4s, wounding on 5s, and the lizards still get a scaly skin save. You'll be counting on the trebuchets to be doing most of the shooting damage.

Watch out for camo skinks, deploying behind your lines and taking out the trebuchets early on. Actually, watch out for skinks in general- they get a bucketload of poisoned shots that will tear men-at-arms and bowmen apart.

Scar veterans and Old Bloods are disgusting in close combat. If properly equipped they can carve through 2-3 knights per turn in combat. Find someway to negate their formidable combat potential, or hope you can beat them with combat resolution and run them down.

Can you tell us how you're planning on equipping the lord/heroes and what their role on the battlefield will be?

Lizardmen are hard as hell to rout, because of their cold blooded rule. Double charge units of Saurus infantry with lances of 9 Knights. If a knight unit ever gets bogged down in combat with Saurus, then those knights are pretty much dead. Basically, keep your knights mobile.

If you don't think the knights will be able to break the enemy on the charge, then don't charge (unless there's no other choice). Pick your fights. The rest of the army is pretty static with all of the shooting, so you're relying on knights to act as quick-response units to plug the holes in your lines.

Men-at-Arms will get torn apart in close combat by Saurus, and will eventually rout, even if a knight unit is within 6" providing LD. At most, the Men-at-Arms will delay the enemy for a turn before they can reach the bowmen and trebuchets.

30-03-2008, 15:45
You're going to have some problems in the magic phase if he plays a Slann. Other than that if I were playing my lizards against you I'd take a lot of fear causing units, you don't have much that can deal with them and the peasants LD isn't very high. The choices are Saurus Cavalry, Kroxigors, Salamanders and a Stegadon (Terror).

A JSoD Scar-Vet can really cause problems for you. An 18inch charge and 5 str7 attacks can chew up pretty much anything you have.

Your Trebuchets could really be effective but as Bretonnian Lord said watch out for Chameleon Skinks deploying behind your lines, taking out your trebs or march blocking. Maybe make one of your archer units skirmishers or keep a unit of the mounted yeoman back to deal with the skinks.

30-03-2008, 16:28
The problem of looking at historical '100 years war' type armies for bretonniens, is that;

1. English longbows were the 'battlefield tactical nuke' of their age, in WHFB bows are the 'pointed stick' of their age.

2. The English were fighting the French not prehistoric armoured lizards led by floating toads.

I would do what 'Bretonnian Lord' said :D

30-03-2008, 18:22
Do you know what you shall be facing? I play both armies and know that lizards are drastically different depending upon whether the Lord is a Slaan/Oldblood, and if the cores are primarily Saurus/Skinks.

31-03-2008, 11:04
Historical formation will not work in this case because the longbow is simply not as decisive in game as it was in real life. Therefore a formation based around its destructive power is goign to be at a big disadvantage.

01-04-2008, 07:25
Well, that's all good advice I am sure, but this is just a fun game, and I wanted to try the challenge of a defensive bretonnian army. I already put too many points into cavalry, and it's borderline non-defensive as it is.

As for characters, I have the army list on my laptop, so I can check for sure later, but I gave the lord that virtue (knightly temper?) that gives him extra attacks for each wound, and a magic armour that makes him WS 10. The BSB had a helm that lets him re-roll armour saves, and sword of might, that way he has decent strength and armour save (2+). I took a scroll caddy, and that item that lets you change one dice roll, but could cause a wound on the damsel. That's about it.

This will be the first time I play Brets, and I think the first time my friend plays lizards, so we are both kind of trying something new. I don't know if I would ever play Bretonnians, but if I did I would want a peasant based army, with limited cavalry support. I am essentially going to try to clear away his skirmishers, and slow him down to get as many treb shots as possible. If the archer kill a few men, take away a rank bonus or something, that's a bonus. I know the men at arms are made of straw, I would just use them to add ranks and numbers in a double charge with knights.

Thanks for all the advice in any case.

Commissar Vaughn
01-04-2008, 12:43
I have to second the opinion that the current Bretonnian list is not suited to a historical fight. Back in the days of 5th edition with proper Lance and Arrowhead formations, and slightly more reliable peasants you could just about get away with it for a laugh but now you'll really struggle. The bretonnians are moving away from their Arthuran/100years war roots!

I spose the bastion style of fighting might work. A few units of men at arms at the front, supported by small units archers (skirmishing if possible) above and behind them. These basically form a human castle wall....Make sure theres gaps in your line big enough for a small unit of knights to get thru, these gaps are your sally ports. Deploy the knights back and use them as a tactical reserve or "flying platoon" to meet the enemy charge head on. harrass them with archers, hold them with spears, counter charge, fall back....rinse and repeat.But try and keep your general and bsb covering as many of your peasants as possible. ld9 with a reroll might just keep them in the fight. Id suggest the banner of the lady of the lake for your bsb. To get passed that coldblooded LD you gotta beat em by a lot!

01-04-2008, 14:34
2. The English were fighting the French not prehistoric armoured lizards led by floating toads.


You weren't there. How do you know the French didn't have any giant floating toads?


01-04-2008, 15:41
That's preposterous, of course the French didn't have any giant floating toads, that's just silly...frogs on the other hand.

01-04-2008, 18:46

You weren't there. How do you know the French didn't have any giant floating toads?


It could explain their poor performance in for alot of the stages of the war. Imagine the scene, french lord shouts 'Send in the Toads!', leutenant 'But sir Zey are merde!!!', so on and so forth....

Toads walk and frogs hop, how can you tell the differance if it floats.

Commissar Vauhn may have the best 'likness' to a defensive 'English' battle line (I had to get some tactics in there, not just silliness!)

Bretonnian Lord
01-04-2008, 19:40
Remember that only one unit of Peasant Bowmen in the army can skirmish.

It'll be difficult to get simultaneous charges with Men-at-Arms and Knights: their movement values are so drastically different that the infantry usually can't keep up. Also, Men-at-Arms provide easy kills for combat resolution, which can undermine the casualties your knights inflict.

If you are dead set on using the "Hammer and anvil" tactic with Peasants and Knights, then it works well with your currently defensive list. Although, instead of having the Peasants engage in combat, I'd suggest in having them fleeing and then the Knights hit the flank to maximize combat effectiveness. Also, if the Lizardmen player goes heavy magic and takes a Slann, you'll be hard pressed to take the fight to him.

For the Lord, I'd recommend Virtue of Knightly Temper and Cuirass of Fortune. He hits pretty much everything in the Lizardmen army (including characters) on 3's, so the Armor of Agilulf that provides WS 10 is a waste of points. The Cuirass will at least allow you to re-roll failed wounds to inflict more damage.

Get a Grail Reliquae, with a nice unit of Battle Pilgrims. They can hold up enemy units for quite a long time, and take some hefty punishment. Great unit for slowing down the Lizards from reaching your battle lines, or trapping a high value target in place for Knights to exploit the rear or flank. I'd also suggest Pegasus Knights for flying around in a supporting role, or for hunting individual targets.

01-04-2008, 19:51
I may tweak the list later, but for the first battle I will play it with what I have above. I know what he has in his list for the most part.

A Slann with a fair size unit of temple guard
one unit of saurus
2 huge units of skinks, the max size (25 I think)
some kroxigors
3 salimanders
one or two skink shamans, but no fighty heroes

I know that he is planning to use his skinks as a screen, so hopefully my knights errant and mounted yeoman can push them aside, or at least move them so I can hit his blocks.

The way we agreed on the battle, it would be cheating for me to change my list now, because we had almost total transperancy.

Bretonnian Lord
02-04-2008, 01:18
Just a tip for your later battles against a Slann-

Take a Paladin on Pegasus with Virtue of Heroism. Slam a unit or two of Knights into the Temple Guard unit, and cause enough casualties to remove the back row of Temple Guard, leaving the Slann open.

Charge the Paladin in and have him get to work on the fat toad. :) There goes 500+ points (assuming it's a 2nd gen Slann) in one fell swoop!

02-04-2008, 06:08
I am not too scared of the slaan, he's a large target, so as soon as I clear those skinks away I can target him with every bow and trebuchet I have.

02-04-2008, 07:53
... Fear the magic... :) if he takes lore of life with a wizzard - slann.. and haves the Howler wind spell and Rain lord.. well.. your screwed. with the Howler wind you won't even be able to shoot at his wizzar mage and a raidus of 12 " around him... :) and Raind lord will make it hard to even hit something with your bowmen.

Bretonnian Lord
02-04-2008, 19:24
Not to mention Slann can take a magical plaque which I believe gives it and its unit a 2+ ward against shooting. Best bet is to Pit of Shades it (unfortunately not a viable tactic for Bretonnia), so we have to get in a killy character dispatch the frog.

02-04-2008, 20:06
Or hope for a miscast, haha.

03-04-2008, 17:06
The Slaan will most probably be immune to miscasts...

03-04-2008, 18:25
They can do that? Ouch.

03-04-2008, 21:26
Hey folks, I have a 2k pts battle coming up, where I will use a Bretonnian army vs lizards.

I am taking quite a lot of peasants, and I plan to use a defensive strategy. SNIP

If this is really the type of army you want, take Empire. The crossbow is closer in hitting power to what the longbow [theoritically] was, and the 'peasants' [state troops] can fight.

Volker the Mad Fiddler

03-04-2008, 23:23
I have an empire army, we are just having a battle for fun.

And by the way, haha, my empire army has lots of cavalry. ;)