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View Full Version : Bretonnia - To ignore what we thought 8th edition meant for us



Wesser
26-08-2011, 22:00
For a couple of battles now I've been experimenting with a new approach to my bretonnians that for me (I realise that people may rightfully claim that other setups work better for them) has turned a string of defeats into a series of victories.

That by simply giving a damn about what 8th edition thought to neuter us with.

Let me recap some basic assumptions:

Lvl 4 wizard required

Trebuchets are a must

Archers are fantastic value

Knight units should be 12, preferably 15 man strong

You need big unit men-at-arms to help negate steadfast

And often youll want your general to be a combat monster with virtie of knightly temper or heroism with appropriate gear.


First and most important I've found that instead of a 12-knights unit, 2 6-knights units at the same price are superior, as:

- Bretonnia gets tarpitted. Even making it in with 12 knights alive are just about never able to outrank the enemy even after combat. And in those few cases its probably because you fought chaos warriors or other elites where it aint steadfast, but actually winning thats the trouble. Knightly rank bonus...blows.

- The bigger unit loses an awful number of attacks in subsequent turns. The 6-man unit contributes exactly as many attacks as the 12-man, so you basically have 6 knights just awarding 2 measly points of CR in the 12-man unit.

- The 6-mans are far less vulnerable at the flanks. Not only can the two units support each other, getting around their flanks are much harder, simply as there are much less flank to see.

- The 6-mans are very poor targets. Everyone says that magic or warmachines dominate the game, but lvl 4 wizards and warmachine defense become a lot less necessary if you deny your enemy good targets for them. The threat of Purple sun/dwellers/pit etc. cast on your 15-man unit is terrible, but unimportant against the 6-man.

The small round template can cover up to 9 knights and more for the large template. No matter the weapon, the 6-man can take a maximum of 6 hits. suddenly dwellers/pit kills a mere 3 knights instead of 7-8. In a game the other day my Skaven opponent threw his power dice away rather than cast Plague for 3 turns simply because it wasnt worth it. The lack of good targets will often mean that you can downgrade that lvl 4 to a lvl 2.

- Men-at-arms remain hopeless. Even with prayer icon giving them the blessing they still cant fight. I know some people have had success with them as hordes, but unless the stars align and i get wyssan's wildfrom cast on them, all they do is serve as easy CR. They cant fight anything that aint skavenslaves or goblins, and as for using them to break steadfast? On several occasions they tend to provide so many easy kills for the enemy unit that my knights struggle to win the combat at all!

Ofc you'll now say that I should 1) charge a flank so they dont get hit so much, 2) just clip the enemy unit so that only a minimal numbers of models fight for example. Valid points. But 40 men deployed 8 ranks deep weighs in at more than 200 pts for a unit that really cant fight on its own, and only work for breaking steadfast if the stars align perfectly.


My last army ran:

30 archers
7 6-man lances of various knights (not questings knight, the suckers)
2 Paladins (one a BsB) on pegasi
3 Peg knights
2 15-man Maa (basically used like empire detachments as throwaways or the occasional flank charge)
1 lvl 2
1 General on warhorse

This army:
-Takes minimal damage in shooting/magic phases
- Are less vulnerable on the flanks
- Less vulnerable to break tests (if you got 2 units fighting then there's double the chance one will pass its test, meaning that the fleeing one wont be run down and destroyed)
- Have lots more attacks in subsequent rounds as 2 6-mans = 12 knight attacks + 6 horses, while 1 12-man unit = 6 knights + 3 horses.
-Less vulnerable to the all-your-eggs-in-one-basket syndrome


There you have it. Im ignoring all of our troubles with enemy shooting, magic and steadfast and instead packs more knights in more units, giving me more attacks to wear down the enemy, more units to outflank the enemy with, no juicy targets for him to hit.

Feel free to shoot down my strategy with thoughts about panic tests, 15-man units and Maa that works etc. I'm shelving my 15-man movement trays for the moment at least.

Any thoughts?

Woodsman
26-08-2011, 22:14
Yeah I've had success with similar ideas maxing out errants (*6) and a couple of units of *9.

I think both approaches can work - drop a Treb stone on something and then 15 knights will out rank most things - it depends on playstyle etc.

I don't play in a terribly competitive environment.

TheMadMarquis
26-08-2011, 22:30
I've tried a list similar to this, at 2400pts, with a bit of success. I did have a L4, though. I think it works in part because the 8th edition meta is such that people don't bother protecting their flanks as they did in 7th - ie, it works precisely because it's the sort of thing that generally doesn't work anymore. Getting more than one flank or rear charge to prevent them from turning to face you in combat reform is the key strategy, and when you pull that off it can be devastating.

The problem comes against enemies who are capable of fielding basically nothing but rock-hard massed infantry units or monsters - all three Chaos armies, Lizardmen - and in particular lists built around buffing those units with magic. Your 6 Knights will only kill around 1 Warrior of Chaos per turn after the charge. Combats against big infantry blocks with 6-man lances will only ever end in either still being engaged at the end of turn 6, death through attrition, or the enemy taking advantage of your weak magic defences to Mindrazor you into annihilation.


- The bigger unit loses an awful number of attacks in subsequent turns. The 6-man unit contributes exactly as many attacks as the 12-man, so you basically have 6 knights just awarding 2 measly points of CR in the 12-man unit.
Well, you can always combat reform to get more attacks in. At any rate, the lads at the back get their attacks in eventually, after the first 6 are wiped out - same number of total attacks, just spread over more turns.

Wesser
26-08-2011, 22:38
I've tried a list similar to this, at 2400pts, with a bit of success. I did have a L4, though. I think it works in part because the 8th edition meta is such that people don't bother protecting their flanks as they did in 7th - ie, it works precisely because it's the sort of thing that generally doesn't work anymore. Getting more than one flank or rear charge to prevent them from turning to face you in combat reform is the key strategy, and when you pull that off it can be devastating.

The problem comes against enemies who are capable of fielding basically nothing but rock-hard massed infantry units or monsters - all three Chaos armies, Lizardmen - and in particular lists built around buffing those units with magic. Your 6 Knights will only kill around 1 Warrior of Chaos per turn after the charge. Combats against big infantry blocks with 6-man lances will only ever end in either still being engaged at the end of turn 6, death through attrition, or the enemy taking advantage of your weak magic defences to Mindrazor you into annihilation.


Well, you can always combat reform to get more attacks in. At any rate, the lads at the back get their attacks in eventually, after the first 6 are wiped out - same number of total attacks, just spread over more turns.

Mindrazor will wipe out your knights. Often no matter how many you got. A 6 man unit at least only loses 6 members.

Remember too that for the cost of 1 big unit have 2 smaller which over several turns contributes more attacks. Yes I'll have attrition fight the enemy until he's almost destroyed, but I'll have more attacks to do it with and for all the reason above i will less vulnerable to flanking and magical shenanigans

TheMadMarquis
26-08-2011, 22:52
That's a good point on the likes of Mindrazor, but I'm assuming that what you're going for here is multiple engagements on single enemy units - so in fact, you'll lose the same number of knights, just across the two units engaged rather than one.

In the long run, smaller units don't contribute more attacks because they have double the frontage and die faster.

Say you're fighting an enemy who kills two knights a turn, and engaging him with two units of 6. They will make a total of 24 attacks (not counting horsies) before being annihilated, three turns later. A single unit of 12 will also make 24 attacks, but will do so across the six rounds of combat it takes to wipe them out, giving you more of a chance to bring support in. Of course, you're right about less vulnerable flanks and other advantages, which is why like Woodsman above I like to mix 6 and 9 man units, with M@A support.

Wesser
26-08-2011, 23:03
That's a good point on the likes of Mindrazor, but I'm assuming that what you're going for here is multiple engagements on single enemy units - so in fact, you'll lose the same number of knights, just across the two units engaged rather than one.

In the long run, smaller units don't contribute more attacks because they have double the frontage and die faster.

Say you're fighting an enemy who kills two knights a turn, and engaging him with two units of 6. They will make a total of 24 attacks (not counting horsies) before being annihilated, three turns later. A single unit of 12 will also make 24 attacks, but will do so across the six rounds of combat it takes to wipe them out, giving you more of a chance to bring support in. Of course, you're right about less vulnerable flanks and other advantages, which is why like Woodsman above I like to mix 6 and 9 man units, with M@A support.

Yea, but since Im now fielding 2 units, one of them might be in the flank for instance or forced to counter that flank threat.

But thats neither here nor there and a few 9-man units might be a good buy too... Im just not sure what support MAA are good for other than carry "Kill Me"-signs...

TheMadMarquis
26-08-2011, 23:09
Carrying "kill me" signs is in itself a form of support, for a cheap unit that doesn't cause panic. Remember that every time your men-at-arms get pureed in the front of a horde of Witch Elves while your knights come round the side, the Lady smiles.

Wesser
26-08-2011, 23:13
Cheap? I find them hellishly expensive. In fact... point for point I struggle to find a more overcosted unit in warhammer with the possible exception of waywatchers

Besides in a combat where your knights kill 7 witch elves, who then purees 12 or so men-at-arms there comes a shortfall in CR

TheMadMarquis
27-08-2011, 00:04
Which is why you like to be steadfast with 3 ranks of knights :)

Unless you're facing 37+ Witch Elves, or they've been Mindrazored, in which case you're in trouble, but you probably would be anyway...

I'm not saying your strategy can't work at all, by the way. In fact, I hope you keep trying it. One of the reasons the current cookie-cutter Bret army works reasonably well is, after all, that there's so much collective experience behind it.

russellmoo
27-08-2011, 04:37
The point of the large knight bus is points denial- you win by keeping pts from your enemy and just picking off his small vulnerable units, then bravely running away from the huge hordes, or getting stuck in and getting that +4 toughness buff so that your unit doesn't die-

I've found a large unit of M@A, with the prayer icon to be a very good tarpit- (I don't think anyone expects them to ever win combat)

I do agree that- 1) Bret's don't need a lvl 4, 2)they don't need a treb, and 3)More lances generally will serve you better than fewer, but a 6 man knight unit isn't good for much- I think ideally Bret players should run about 4 or more lances with between 8 to as many as 12 knights in each- this strikes the right balance, the huge 15 knight lances tend to be a little hard to use, and easily flanked-

The problem with a lance of 6 is that against a lot of opponents you will not get the benefit of a rank at all- since you are striking at I3, or the player might shoot you- so I think 6 is too small, but 8 seems to me to be quite useful.

Woodsman
27-08-2011, 11:14
Another advantage of more 9man units is that if one fails in a multi-charge you haven't lost too much and the one which makes it might still do something. Nothing like having a 15man train fail it's charge and sit there sheepishly. I think nine is best, one or two of six to throw around and then maybe one of 12 to hit hard/take one for the team.

popisdead
01-09-2011, 21:06
MSU isn't dead, you just have to be good at the game. Loosing 6 knights is what 150 points? Loosing a unit of 15 hurts a lot more.

Malorian
01-09-2011, 21:32
MSU isn't dead, you just have to be good at the game. Loosing 6 knights is what 150 points? Loosing a unit of 15 hurts a lot more.

MSU isn't dead... IF you play 'keep away' style wood elves...


Brets of all build have a hard time against skaven, but at least units of 15 have to kill less before you can take steadfast away.

These big blocks also actually have a chance of beating elit blocks.


On one side you have the dreaded horde of 40 black orcs (480) and on the other you have a unit of 15 knights of the realm (360)

The knights charge and kill 5.5 black orcs. Due to the frontage only 9 black orcs fight back with their great weapons and kill 2.1. Black orcs lose and are not steadfast on a rerollable 4.4.

Now rewind and take them on with 3 units of 6 knights (432).

The knights charge and kill 8.7 BUT the orcs now have all 30 orcs able to hit back and kill 6.9. Orcs lose but are steadfast and ,thanks to the orcs most likely passing their rerollable LD 9 test, the mini units of knights are SCREWED in the next round of combat.

Hmmm... I wonder what is better to take...