View Full Version : Why a balanced Bret army?

31-05-2008, 00:53
I might get flamed for this, but I have a thought I want to put out. I am sincerely looking for insights on this.

I am considering getting a Bret army. I have 5 painted armies so far (Goblin, HE, WE, VC, Empire) and I have been playing WFB for about a decade.

My first few speculative Bret lists were mobile ones... heavy on knights and peagsues, mounted yeoman, lord on terror chicken, etc. I dreamed of all that heraldry in blocks and having the advantage of speed, allowing me to control the battle.

But then I started thinking that I need to be more balanced. So I tried making lists that included the rest of the army, specifically peasents. But the more I tried, the more I realized that a balanced Bret list is a bit redundant to my Empire army.

Empire has similar infantry, but more options and they can have detachments. Empire has better fast cav via pistoleers. Empire has more ranged options. Empire has more war machine options. Empire has better anvil units (flagellents > grail pesants). Empire can choose any magic lore, Bret gets just 3. Empire has engineers, their gadgets, and a steam tank. You get my point. Empire can get heavy cav too, with a better armor save, although still not as good as Bret. They even both have very similar monstrous mounts.

Now Bret is good at what they do. Trebuchet is a damn fine war machine. And the men-at-arms are a great deal, points-wise. And it is cool that the archers have the defensive stakes. And that the damsels can ride protected in a lance formation. And the Lady's ward save.

But these are all just gimicks to me. It seems like the Bret list is just an empire list that was cut in half, then given little gimmicks here and there to spice it up. The obvious exception are the knights and pegasus knights, which rock and make Bret unique and awesome. Also, the theme, models and color of a fully painted Bret army is awesome. Most people would agree, better then Empire, if both armies were painted by someone of hte same skill.

So that brings us back to my original question.

People suggest making a "balanced" Bret list instead of a knight/pegasus heavy one, but it seems to me that is just a weak Empire list. If I did get a Bret army, it would focus on what makes Bret's unique and what they do best, knights and pegasuses.

Can someone explain to me why I would want a balanced Bret army, since I already own an empire army? I am not looking for flames. I am trying to get more opinions before I buy the army.

31-05-2008, 01:17
Balanced brets have some awesome rules. Great leadership, no penalty for your standards, cheap troops (goblins without animosity basically), panic benefit from your knights immunity, cheap ranged flamings attacks which are even more important these days,etc..

Mounted yeomen have versatile equipment, and are the unit that benefits from the peasants duty the most, since you can position knights to provide leadership when they need to rally. Give them shields, a standard and musician and they'll out-duel most other fast cavalry.

Grail relinquae provides a nice anchor for your line, and trebuchets round out the list.

Support with a bunch of small units of knights and you have as solid of a list as can be.

Heretic Burner
31-05-2008, 02:17
Can someone explain to me why I would want a balanced Bret army, since I already own an empire army? I am not looking for flames. I am trying to get more opinions before I buy the army.

Yes Brets do knights very, very well. All types of knights, even flying knights. After examining your army list you've discovered this fact. Indeed they do knights so well that they're one of the most successful armies in the game - strong enough to vastly outperform Empire.

Which is the very reason why a balanced Bret army might be what you are looking for. Yes you can win with knights. Win probably very easily. Squash most opponents. Then what?

You know certain Bret units are stronger than others. I know certain Bret units are stronger than others. So why use less effective units? Because other armies don't have those really strong options.

So yes, going against a "balanced" army you will be more effective. You'll likely win more. But you likely won't have very many even games coming down to the last roll of the dice...you know, those really good nail biter games that both players enjoy.

That's why you might consider a more "balanced" army.

31-05-2008, 02:23
Why balanced(mostly peasants) brets?
Some people actually like to take lists that dont contain blackpowder weaponry.

R Man
31-05-2008, 03:12
But these are all just gimicks to me. It seems like the Bret list is just an empire list that was cut in half, then given little gimmicks here and there to spice it up.

The Bretonnians and Empire are both Human. The Similarties mostly stop there. They play very differently with different lists, imagery, playstyles ideologies etc.

Bretonnian Infantry units are good, but hampered by lack of support. Bowmen and the trebuchet are good shooters, but it would be good to have some cheap scouts to slow the enemy down and to help them out a little. M@A are great if a knight is next door but if they are down the field M@A suffer.

So while in essence a balanced Bretonnian army is very good on paper the reliance on knights and the blessing make Bretonnians predictable and it can be difficult to use these units to their full potential.

31-05-2008, 16:24
If you use the blocks of men at arms to grab the enemy infantry formations (by charging or being charged) and flank charge with the cavalry....

Bretonnian Lord
31-05-2008, 16:40
Personally, I agree with you: Knights are what got me into the army, and how I like to play my Bretonnians.

However, Peasants are also great fun to use, and their models are great! Men-at-Arms, when provided with Knightly LD, are cheap blocks of combat resolution and can make decent tarpits. Don't expect them to win combats on their own, but they're a good way of distracting enemy units and putting more bodies onto the field.

Peasant Bowmen are amazing. I never leave home without them. While Men-at-Arms may find it difficult to keep up with charging knights, Bowmen are always able to support the army. 6 points each makes Bowmen some of the most effective archers in the game for their points cost. And skirmishing bowmen are excellent (Don't forget, only one per army though).

Grail Reliquaes are simply awesome. Stubborn LD 8 and a 4+/6++ save makes them a fantastic tarpit unit. Use these guys to hold the center of a battle line, or hold up enemies that would give Knights trouble (such as stubborn, str 6 White Lions whose main strength would be wasted on the Grail Reliquae).

Mounted Yeoman are basically mobile Men-at-Arms who are capable of adding their weight into a combat where the Knights are struggling. Using their fast cavalry rule they can easily reach an enemy's rear or flank and cause some havoc. They're fragile for their points cost though, so protect them from missile fire or enemies that strike first.

And finally, the Trebuchet. As you said, a damn fine war machine. I often take two in my 2,000 pts list. Sometimes they scatter, sometimes they misfire, but when you get a direct hit on an enemy unit, there's no better feeling. Target blocks of your enemy's most expensive troops with good armor saves: Chaos Knights, Dragon Princess, Vampires: with one well placed shot a trebuchet can take out half a unit and earn nearly twice its points cost.

A "balanced" Bretonnian list adds some character and variety to an army. Although if you want to take all Knights, that's completely fine too- it's what Bretonnians were made for! I disagree with some people that an all knight list is cheesy: its tactics are highly predictable and it doesn't take a genius to exploit this flaw. Bait-and-switch tactics, terror/fear, stubborn and unbreakable units, combined infantry and fast cavalry hammers, and powerful magic/shooting are all banes of the traditional Bretonnian all-cavalry force. Taking peasants helps negate some of these disadvantages and will often throw your opponent off guard.