View Full Version : Peasants, are the worth their points??

14-05-2009, 21:47
Hi everyone.
Does anyone use Peasants?
I use Peasants Bowmen because they are the best 6pts in the game. BS3 with longbows is just mint and skirmisher Peasants Bowmen for 7pts just = win.

However i have never used Men-at-Arms and i was wondering does anyone else use them and if so why and how :D

14-05-2009, 21:56
Men-at-Arms are decent for their point cost, and the ability to get them to S4 isn't bad at all. That being said, their roles are narrow, and I usually just use them to capture table quarters (or at least contest them).

Da GoBBo
14-05-2009, 22:09
I use Peasants Bowmen because they are the best 6pts in the game

I still know that's the 6-point shield orc :cool:

A friend of mine uses peasants and bowmen and scouts and trebuchet, but that's mainly because he likes the models and doesn't really like to go allout on cavalry. Using peasants also adds some more strategic thinking to the army I think so if you like that, do it. Peasants can be quiet nasty. They are just cheap but can get wardsaves if you put a damsel with them. They can use knight leadership. They don't cause panic in knight units. As to how to use them ... have em guard a flank? Use them as an anvil. To be honest I don't see them do anything in a cav army. Solution, don't play a cav army but a peasant army with very good cav?

14-05-2009, 22:40
You pretty much have answered your own question. Peasent bowmen can stay on a hill in your deployment zone softening up units/driving off small units, skirmishers can offer clsoe support, both are very good for their points. men at arms really are a ncihe role their too slow to support your knights and will probably just give away CR if they maanged to support knights anyways. However they can contest table quarters/ drive off fast cav/ light units menacing your artillery.

15-05-2009, 11:22
Depends, haven't played Bretts in a while.

Great models.
Banners = no VP.
Leadership of any nearby knights.
Can be used effectively but require quite a bit of thought compared to the average 'boneheaded point and click'.

Awilla The Hun uses exclusively peasants I believe (obligatory KotR excepted!) and enjoys himself, have a look in the batreps section!

15-05-2009, 12:57
I've seen peasents used to good effect in a few games, but you really have to plan on them as a Bret player. They're cheap, yeild no VP's for their banners, and aren't overly terrible against other infantry in the game. The biggest problem is combining them with the knights (Brets main strength, obviously) and managing their leadership. In order to make them work, you have to build your army with the M@As in mind, otherwise they are better suited to just capturing/contesting quarters or helping to defend your trebuchets. Is it worth the investment at the cost of more combat-effective knights? Depends on how you want to play, really.

Personally, I love Men at Arms, though I don't play Bretonnia. I've always wanted to see more of them on the table, especially since their models are fantastic.

15-05-2009, 15:36
Peasants are a must for any Bret army. All cavalry armies are too inflexible for the variety of opponents you will face. Peasant Yeoman offer fast cavalry and shooting maybe even a flank charge. Field Trebuchet keeps the opponent from grouping his units in too close to each other for support.... unless he wants a rock dropped on them. Peasant Bowmen are great. Tons of shooting, cheap, braziers are okay, and they can really add to your deployable units total. In fact peasants will make your army significantly bigger giving you more options in the heat of battle. I would have at least 1/3 peasants in your army if possible. The Grail Reliquae is sweet. They are men-at-arms on crack with a ward save and hatred. Men-at-arms are okay but they really depend on static combat resolution. 25 strong M@A units are best for getting your points worth. At the end of the day you better have some peasants in your Bret army. It took me forever to get that. :(

15-05-2009, 21:37
I *love* peasants.

Bowmen? Brilliant for their points simply because of the longbow.

Men-at-arms? Decent when used in a big SCR block. Or as small 10 man baiting units.

Mounted Yeoman? Cheap fast cavalry, 'nuff said.

Grail Reliquae? ZOMG peasants with how many special rules! :O Seriously a great tarpit unit.

Trebuchet? Well. In my experience they just misfire.

Rolo Ramone
15-05-2009, 22:46
Men-at-arms are great. If you put them in a unit of 10, they can be a great baits. AND they can be a surprise for you opponent if you charge with the with S4. OR you can put them in a unit of 24 with a Damisel. She can use the Bearīs Anger and the Pray Icon of Quenelles. Usually your opponent wait for something less for the peaseants.

15-05-2009, 23:18
I use Men-At-Arms for protecting my knights flanks. I also sometimes send just the peasents in to get the enemy in combat and hold while my knights position themselves for a nice charge, yet...somehow I never win :'(

15-05-2009, 23:42
M@A in my experience are a great baiting and stalling unit. Oh and they cover line of sight. :) Any unit can be destroyed if not used properly but the M@A are supposed to eat it while your knights hog all the glory.

16-05-2009, 11:31
Cool thanks for all the help everyone :D

Awilla the Hun
16-05-2009, 13:48
"Awilla The Hun uses exclusively peasants I believe (obligatory KotR excepted!) and enjoys himself, have a look in the batreps section!" (Woodsman.)

Indeed I do, Comrade! (Coincidentally, it could do with a few comments. Over 700 views, and how many people talk about it?) Advert now over.

Effective? Maybe, I don't play fantasy very much. Funny? Always. By the way, one thing I have learned from my couple of games is to ALWAYS keep a character or some knights nearby. That way, you get wave on wave of troops with cheap cost, high strength when they get to attack (with WS2, you will need to kill what you attack-use halberds as much as possible), free banners, and good leadership. That, whilst not exactly devestating, is the Peasant way of war.

30-05-2009, 04:30
How's this for a starting peasant horde...?

-war banner
Virtue of Empathy
-he stays with peasants to keep them in line, put him in one of the men-at-arms units
85 pts.

-lance of artois
-armour of agilulf
-virtue of discipline
-converted from regular knight
139 pts.

7 Knights of the Realm
Full Command
-general goes here
-this is the hammer unit of the army
-war banner
217 pts.

20 Men-at-Arms
Full command
117 pts.

20 Men-at-arms
Full command
117 pts.

12 Men-at-Arms
Full Command
77 pts.

16 Peasant Bowmen
112 pts.

Field Trebuchet
90 pts.

954 pts.

Conclusion: So that's about 1000 pts. It's got SCR, shooting, and a great hammer unit. The great thing is that the above list is can be gathered in 3 simple parts...

1 Bretonnian Batallion (20 Men-at-Arms, 16 Bowmen, 8 Knights, and 1 Pegasus Knight)
2 Boxes of Men-at-Arms
1 Field Trebuchet
The above list

What do you think?

Lord Dan
30-05-2009, 05:29
Peasants can be very good if you use them correctly. First of all, I believe Men-at-arms are 1 point too expensive. This isn't a huge problem, but it's worth mentioning. They should always be given the free spear-swap, as halberds are...well, not worth taking. The size of the unit will dictate its purpose, which I'll outline below:

20-25 M@A
What to do
-Clean up crew: With a static combat resolution of 5, these guys aren't too bad at following up behind your knights and taking on whatever rallied or got missed.

-Line holder: A bunch of units coming up on your left, and you don't want your knights to be bothered yet? Awesome. Throw a unit over there with some knights nearby for a countercharge and a BSB as close as possible, and you have a decent "anvil" that can probably hold its own for a little while. Remember the point isn't to win the combat, it's to hold the enemy up, so you should have some kind of "follow up" plan formulated.

-Surrogate Corpses: I've had a LOT of peasants die in place of knights when it comes to 1-2 turn missile fire. The deployment phase is really important here, as you want to place your blocks between ground missile troops and your knights without blocking their movement. In addition, I should mention that the strategy for your knights doesn't necessarily have to be "full speed ahead!" every game. Once your line hits, the game will probably swing one way or another in a couple turns anyway. Take your time lining up whatever charges you want.

What not to do
-Support charge: A common mistake I see are Bret players who charge their M@A into combat to add some static combat resolution. Considering most knight units have a rank bonus of 2 and a standard, all you'd be adding is a potential +2 to the combat (assuming the knights didn't outnumber with 16-18US, and the M@A still have 4 complete ranks). What then happens is the enemy turns to your WS2 M@A and tears them apart, usually adding more combat resolution to the side of your opponent than yourself. Moral of the story? Knights support peasants, and peasants do NOT support knights.

-Table quarters holder: There are units better suited for this role, such as smaller units of M@A, archers, yeomen, and pegasus knights. You need to be aggressive with your big units of M@A, because that's what they're there for. An 150 point unit hiding on your edge of the table all game would have been better left at home.

-Rank breaker: Treat your M@A as you would a unit of goblins...as that's essentially what they are. You wouldn't charge them into a unit of chaos warriors unless that served some other purpose, such as holding them off (maybe) for a turn or directing them in some direction for a countercharge from your knights. Don't rely on them to handle a portion of the enemy army while your knights are working on another unless that really is part of your plan.

10 M@A
What to do
-Defend Everything: Warmachines, flanks, table quarters. These units are 50 points (I don't even bother with a musician. If they rout, chances are they lost enough men that they wouldn't be much use anymore anyway) and VERY expendable. In a 2250 game I run 2 blocks of 25 M@A and 3 blocks of 10. This is actually rather excessive, and I wouldn't recommend anything more than 1 big block and maybe 2 or 3 smaller ones unless you love peasants as much as I do. I've found them to be a very good deterrent for fast cavalry and skirmishing units (as 10 spears have a good chance of doing some damage to a charging unit of fast cav) which makes them ideal for running up unsupported flanks.

-Speed Bumps: Yes, it's shameful, but I admit I've sacrificed a lot of peasants just to get a better charge for my knights. Keep track of how many points you're exchanging, however, as it's silly to sacrifice 50 points worth of peasants only to guarantee a good charge on a 75 point unit.

-Pseudo detachments: I've only had this happen a couple of times, but I ran a unit of 10 (in a 3x3+1 formation) next to a unit of 25 and had some real success. A unit of HE spearmen charged the big block, won the combat, but they held. In my following turn the small block charged the flank, negated their ranks, and allowed me to win by combat resolution. I don't recommend 3x3 blocks unless the enemy has a lot of infantry, but it sure is fun when it works.

What not to do
-Charge: This is an exaggeration, as there are plenty of situations where charging would be beneficial. The point, however, is to remember that a 10-man unit of WS2 spearmen probably won't do much of anything against...well, anything. I ask that before you charge with them, ALWAYS think twice. Actually, think 3 or 4 times before you drop your dice in front of them to signify your charge.

-Execute them: I know a lot of the strategies I've mentioned have involved sacrificing your peasants, but the word "sacrifice" has the implied meaning of serving some greater purpose. If their deaths don't somehow advance the position of the rest of your army, there is no need for them to die.

30-05-2009, 11:14
The above can apply to any number of cannon fodder units; in many cases, the glamour of the Knights tends to eclipse the utility of the common herd.

30-05-2009, 11:28
Evil genius, you've done a few illegal things there i think. Your General has 50 points of magic, but then another 15pts of virtue. And you have 2 war banners.

By the way, why not just give your BSB a war horse. He can still go in peasant units, still use his leadership within 6". Its 4points more to get +2 armour save tbh. Also means you can give him virtue of Duty, in exchange for the warbanner, for the same effect.

And i'd say get more bowmen. 6pts for longbows at BS3 isn't bad at all

01-06-2009, 07:45
reading this makes me sad i sold my bretts xD what wonderful fluff they have!

16-06-2009, 14:52
Skirmishing Bowmen are a great unit for deterring any fast cavalry or skirmishers coming round the flank, and are a useful deterrent.

However i find men-at-arms units limited in their usage, generally speaking they are going to lag behind the rest of your army, and even if used to hold up units for a flank charge next turn, they are sub-par infantry and generally need help.

They do block line of sight but this isn't usually applicable as they probably wont be in front of your knights, they are OK for defending trebuchets but again are not hard to break anyway.

5 knights of the realm are roughly the same cost as 20/25 men-at-arms, and have the hitting power to really hurt flanks so often i choose them instead.

They can be good, but be prepared to change the usual straight charge tactics.

16-06-2009, 17:18
Here is my tourney army list. It is very successful, and the Peasants are a big part of it.

Characters - 406 (3)

Lord - Virtue of Confidence, Lance, Enchanted Shield, Barded Warhorse - 172
Paladin - Battle Standard, Virtue of Duty, Barded Warhorse - 104
Damsel - Dispel Scroll 2x, Horse - 130

Core - 1059 (102)

Knights of the Realm 11x - Full Command, Warbanner - 313
Knights Errant 11x - Full Command, Errantry Banner - 261
Men at Arms 25x - Standard, Musician - 140
Men at Arms 25x - Standard, Musician - 140
Bowmen 20x - Standard, Musician - 135
Bowmen 10x - Skirmish - 70

Special - 246 (15)

Mounted Yeomen 5x - Musician - 82
Mounted Yeomen 5x - Musician - 82
Mounted Yeomen 5x - Musician - 82

Rare - 538 (15)

Grail Knights 11x - Standard, Musician - 448
Trebuchet - 90

Total - 2249
PD - 3
DD - 3 (2 Scroll)
Models - 135

Lord Dan
16-06-2009, 18:14
How do your grail knights usually do? I haven't had much luck with them, especially in larger units.

16-06-2009, 19:43
I use a unit of 11+Damsel. I only have problems when facing Empire or Dwarf gunlines. Even against Skaven, I lost half the unit to shooting but the remaining 6 were good enough to route the clanrats. I always take lots of Mounted Yeomen, so they will block the handgunners for a turn. Cannons are just going to hurt.

17-06-2009, 03:59
I'm surprised we don't see more mounted yeomen with banners, since they're fast enough to support the knights and provide a banner without risking the extra VPs.

Lord Dan
17-06-2009, 05:06
I'm surprised we don't see more mounted yeomen with banners, since they're fast enough to support the knights and provide a banner without risking the extra VPs.

In many cases the knights already have their own banners, so it would be a moot point.

17-06-2009, 07:45
You can choose not to though. But it does make a difference in matching up against other light units. It's +1 CR with no risk for cheap.

Lord Dan
17-06-2009, 07:56
You can choose not to though. But it does make a difference in matching up against other light units. It's +1 CR with no risk for cheap.

At 14 points, I think most people see "extra Yeoman" before they even think about a standard.

18-06-2009, 02:29
This is a good peasant discussion. I am a firm believer in maintaining a 2-3 to 1 peasant to knight ratio just for fluff sake. I've been pretty happy with the result.

Bowmen usually help remove rank bonuses, kill fast cav, and give me something to do in the shooting phase. M@A with a paladin on foot (questing vow, gw, enchanted shield, empathy, and insignia of the quest) gives you a decent block unit. Battle pilgrims are a good place for a damsel to cast Lore of Beasts.

I've had mixed luck with yoemen. People don't like fast cav, especially in the presence of stong knights (threat of flank charges). For this reason, mine are usually the first unit to die from shooting and magic. I still run them and when they work, they can be a real boon.

I'm all for seeing more peasants. RAF and all-cav armies just don't appeal to me (and often times neither do their players).

Lord Dan
18-06-2009, 04:57
I don't think yeomen should be a special choice, and I don't think they should be 15 points a model.

18-06-2009, 07:13
The question would be in terms of fluff, how often would you find peasants bringing their own horses to the battlefield, or game mechanics, leaving that slot free for more elite units.

I think they have to be a special slot, since finding well-off peasants in Bretonnia would be seldom, and as fast cavalry they perform a function that an armoured knight couldn't do.

18-06-2009, 07:21
I don't think yeomen should be a special choice, and I don't think they should be 15 points a model.

Well, as Condotiere said, it's probably a fluff reason, but I believe it's also a balance reason. While there's little reason for the price now, the special choice is, well, a safeguard. If they were core and could be freely fielded, I can only imagine how much better the army would be, juust with that one change.

By the way, peasants suck, never take them, especially bowmen, they suck more than anything else that sucks, only take knights!!! (man do I hate these bowmen :p).