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View Full Version : Bretonnia to the rescue!



Ludaman
14-02-2013, 19:00
In the release schedule rumor thread, they've started talking about how bretonnia is not even in the pipeline do to them needing their own original ideas and units which make them more "warhammery".

For a while now I've had a different thought: A properly updated bretonnia with a slightly different image but no change to the fluff is exactly what fantasy needs to build interest and grow it's player base.

For years space marines have been GW's number one money maker. What are space marines really? Space knights! Full armor, ridiculously huge swords, knightly heraldry. Some of the most popular space marine forces are even more knight-influenced: Black Templars, dark angels, blood angels.

Well bretonnians are an all knight army, so why aren't they selling well? In my opinion it's that they picked too classical/historical an aesthetic: crusader style barding, tabards, heraldry etc.

So here's my suggestion: tweak the image. More plate, less cloth, think Logan thackery's armor in Guild Wars 2.
For barding do it in the same style as the new black knights: plate on top with cloth draping from it. Make the helms less blocky and over the top, more streamlined, more fantasy.

Add foot knights and knock the kit out of the park: heroic poses, crisp details, options for sword and shield kotr and two handed sword questing knights.

It's my feeling there's a huge potential here to lure 40kers to fantasy as well as attracting all of those young-wanna-be-hero types to this game. 40k has always had space marines, but it seems like there has never been a fantasy counterpart. Empire has men in tights and puffy pants, high elves have those ridiculous hats, dwarfs are well... Dwarfs, and wood elves are the obligatory legolas of the group, Warhammer fantasy needs its Heroic Ken-doll race of heroes. How bout Bretonnias?

What do you think warseerites? I know it would be a shame to lose the historical elements, but it sure beats having the ridiculously-huge-kit arms race continue. Bretonnia might end up with a hippogryph bigger than the slaughterbrute and a trebuchet that flings cottages if things continue as they have been... :)

Terrenord
14-02-2013, 19:04
Ultra marines on horses. Literally. Haha.

Tupinamba
14-02-2013, 19:16
Although I see your logic, I certainly hope they do NOT do it. The current Bretonnian aesthetic appeals a lot to me and I donīt like the tendency of "moar" and "warmachinelike" exagerated miniatures.

Also, I think that the major reason for Bretonnia not selling well is exactly the extremely old armybook and overall negligence of the faction, not so much the miniatures.

TheDungen
14-02-2013, 20:30
bretts sold well when their army book was new same as wood elfs, its as simple as that.

Morkael
14-02-2013, 21:52
Although I see your logic, I certainly hope they do NOT do it. The current Bretonnian aesthetic appeals a lot to me and I donīt like the tendency of "moar" and "warmachinelike" exagerated miniatures.

Also, I think that the major reason for Bretonnia not selling well is exactly the extremely old armybook and overall negligence of the faction, not so much the miniatures.

^ This.

I feel sorry for people waiting for a shiny hard cover book, but I'm sincerely glad they're nowhere near done. Although I really like some of the new kits (especialy Dark Eldar and some VC stuff), I find the most recent ones lacking. I just hope it was just a bad phase of uninspired sculpting, but I'd rather not take any chances. The farther Brets are, the better (IMO of course).

Murphys
14-02-2013, 22:44
^ This.

I feel sorry for people waiting for a shiny hard cover book, but I'm sincerely glad they're nowhere near done. Although I really like some of the new kits (especialy Dark Eldar and some VC stuff), I find the most recent ones lacking. I just hope it was just a bad phase of uninspired sculpting, but I'd rather not take any chances. The farther Brets are, the better (IMO of course).

Yeah well.. Not if they're forgotten.
I had someone ask me, where he could get the "sweet Empire alternative models" I was using... I felt really really really sad for Bretonnia.

Lord Inquisitor
14-02-2013, 22:49
In fairness, while the Empire have plenty of fantasy elements firmly entrenched in the background, the Brets feel more like a historical army with a few Arthurian fantasy elements tacked on. I can see a desire to make them more Warhammery, do it properly. The plastic cavalry other than the peg knights seem a little dated now.

Beastlord
14-02-2013, 23:02
I think it's a bit sad that warhammer has got so over the top that brets are now considered not warhammery enough, not fantasy enough.... They have plenty of fantasy elements.

SteveW
15-02-2013, 00:56
Brets as they are now are exactly what I think of when imagining a human fantasy army. If it were to go the way the Op wants, I'd probably cry and stop playing all together.

The cloth look is part of the fluff and no foot knights could ever fit in the fluff. What you are proposing is getting rid of my beloved Brets.

Voss
15-02-2013, 01:53
I think it's a bit sad that warhammer has got so over the top that brets are now considered not warhammery enough, not fantasy enough.... They have plenty of fantasy elements.

I've had variations of this discussion with various people about a lot of different stuff, not just warhammer, and the inevitable feeling I've been left with is the 'fantasy' of today is very different than the fantasy of 25 years ago (the stuff I was reading in my early teens, like Alexander, Tolkien, Howard and Leiber). If it doesn't explode into ever more absurd power ups, it is just normal and boring, and not fantasy anymore.

It is hard to argue against the idea that they need more of a gimmick if they want to sell to anyone but old grognards, because it comes up in movies, rpgs, novels, and pretty much everything else. I've seen people argue that, for example, all non-spellcasting classes should be removed from D&D because they are 'too mundane.' Just having a sword and armor makes someone a faceless minion, apparently, and disqualifies you from hero status.

Bead
15-02-2013, 02:26
I quite like the Bretonnian look. I stayed away from them because of their outdated book and what looks like to me, an inflexible play style.

Brother Haephestus
15-02-2013, 04:19
^^^ I would say this, and that the task of painting individualistic heraldry may put off a lot of potential players is what is probably Bretonnia's biggest problem. The lore is sweet, but the special characters are few, the army choices are perhaps too similar, and we also haven't been seeing Bretonnia being showcased in White Dwarf all that often. In fact, I can't recall off the top of my head the last time I saw them taken out for a spin.

Echunia
15-02-2013, 08:06
So here's my suggestion: tweak the image. More plate, less cloth, think Logan thackery's armor in Guild Wars 2.
For barding do it in the same style as the new black knights: plate on top with cloth draping from it. Make the helms less blocky and over the top, more streamlined, more fantasy.

Add foot knights and knock the kit out of the park: heroic poses, crisp details, options for sword and shield kotr and two handed sword questing knights.


The real problem with your suggestion is that what you have described is empire knights. The black knight barding looks like that of an empire horse, the more plate armour is an empire thing. Knights in plate on foot with phat swords, well greatswords do have puffy arms but it's close. I think this is the real problem with bretonnia, they can't really go down that route because it brings them too close to the empire aesthetic. The real problem is that Empire is a bit all over the place. It's hard for them to do anything new like another monstrous cav without it looking way to much like empire. Personally I think the cloth and crusader style armour is what sets them apart and makes them unique. I for one think the old plastics are really good, especially for being so old, they still look like they could've been released recently in my mind.

For new direction I personally think they have to throw parts of the fluff out the window if they want to get some monsters and stuff in. Get me a knight riding a big ass dragon and I'm happy ;-)

Morkael
15-02-2013, 08:19
I've had variations of this discussion with various people about a lot of different stuff, not just warhammer, and the inevitable feeling I've been left with is the 'fantasy' of today is very different than the fantasy of 25 years ago (the stuff I was reading in my early teens, like Alexander, Tolkien, Howard and Leiber). If it doesn't explode into ever more absurd power ups, it is just normal and boring, and not fantasy anymore.

It is hard to argue against the idea that they need more of a gimmick if they want to sell to anyone but old grognards, because it comes up in movies, rpgs, novels, and pretty much everything else. I've seen people argue that, for example, all non-spellcasting classes should be removed from D&D because they are 'too mundane.' Just having a sword and armor makes someone a faceless minion, apparently, and disqualifies you from hero status.

And yet, Game of Thrones was quite a success, and the fantasy elements are few and far between (for now at least). As has been said, Bretonnia already has fantasy elements. I think it's nice to have at least one army that's a bit more "low fantasy" than the others, that could set Bretonnia apart.

Kalandros
15-02-2013, 08:26
And yet, Game of Thrones was quite a success, and the fantasy elements are few and far between (for now at least). As has been said, Bretonnia already has fantasy elements. I think it's nice to have at least one army that's a bit more "low fantasy" than the others, that could set Bretonnia apart.

Game of Thrones books have a ton of fantasy elements its just the author has barely expanded on most of them - he might never sadly.

Morkael
15-02-2013, 08:32
Game of Thrones books have a ton of fantasy elements its just the author has barely expanded on most of them - he might never sadly.

Yes, I was talking about the TV series, my bad. Apart from dragons and a bit of magic, the series thus far has been close to low fantasy, and yet has been a success. What I was trying to say is you don't need a ton of over-the-top magical silliness to make a fantasy setting interesting; hence my take on Bretonnia.

defunct
15-02-2013, 08:50
I absolutely have to be a naysayer on this. The opening post is pretty much my personal nightmare. :D
But as tragic as it could be (from my POV), an undefined majority might like an aesthetic like that. Or maybe not. I have been under the impression that a classic crusader look is much loved as well.

So, I think the unpopularity that some people have observed is only because Bretonnia hasn't got any official model/rules support from GW in a long time, among other reasons mentioned above.



bretts sold well when their army book was new same as wood elfs, its as simple as that. Sooo... basically this. :)

Ja9nge
15-02-2013, 08:52
In my opinion there is not much I would change with Bretonnia (a few things maybe). Making hippogriff a viable option will practically add another choice to the army. For instance a barded hippogriff with armoursave, a virtue that gives 2+ ward against warmachines (for those pesky cannons)? reducing the points cost or improving battle pilgrims will also practically add another unit. Then just Add a huge cottage throwing trebuchet and some unicorn knights and voila... Bretonnians meet todays warhammer standards.

boli
15-02-2013, 08:56
I love the current look of Brets tbh

Bretonnians do not need an entire overhaul just a slight re-adjustment of playstyle; (e.g. an alternative to shoot, shoot, charge, and hope) I would love to see them expand on their men-at-arms and peasant core.

m1acca1551
15-02-2013, 10:21
Interesting points by the OP,

Making Brettonia they key race or the most iconic army in WFB does have it's merits but it has some massive drawbacks too, sure knights in shining armour strikes hime to little timmy who has just gotten over medievel lego but is it an army that screams fantasy?? No it's not.

The draw card to WFB is monsters, big one's small one's, dragons, ogres, giants that is what fantasy is about!

What looks more interesting when properly painted on the table, a unit of ranked up knights or a unit of minotaurs or hyrda? sure the knight unit is very impressive but it doesnt have that wow factor that GW look for when selling.

Then comes changing the fluff, Brettonia is already the most realistic of the WFB army ranges, to make it more so just won't work in the manner that your hoping. When the Brettonians do get a new book believe me when i say this, the lauch day will see GW stores over ran with people getting there hands on brettonia!

Banville
15-02-2013, 11:03
To the OP. No, just no.

Brets don't need much to bring them up to date. In fact lotes of iterations of Bret army lists are more than viable - Shooty, Horsey, Cheap Infantry blocks with regen. The lists go on!

As for Brets being forgotten I think there's a lot of people running around in circles crying that the sky is falling in when nothing could be further from the truth. Brets feature very heavily on the BRB as do they in the new VC book.

theJ
15-02-2013, 11:49
I find myself agreeing with the OP, actually.
Heroic knights have always been the heart and soul of Bretonnia. Rather than dilute it with silly monsters, it should be embraced.
Take the focus away from the horses and put it on those who ride them, I say. I want to see mighty bretonnian lords who can stand toe-to-toe with anything the dark gods can throw at them, I want fearless brotherhoods and unstoppable grail knights, mysterious fey and fair maidens... I want the heroic ideals the Bretonnians were originally formed around revisited, not the evil overlords abusing the utterly unlikable populace that we've ended up with.

MR. GRUMPY
15-02-2013, 11:59
When the Brettonians do get a new book believe me when i say this, the lauch day will see GW stores over ran with people getting there hands on brettonia!

Are you an oracle? If not I dont really believe you.

TheDungen
15-02-2013, 12:03
grail knight (and characters with grail wow) should be equals to their chaos and vampire counterparts, they are the mightiest champions the 'good' sides can put on the battlefield, but the world is still doomed cause there are more chaos knights and vampires than grail knights.

But aside from grail knight I believe that the bretonians should be human, meaning both good and evil.

N1AK
15-02-2013, 12:14
Games Workshop has shown no interest in just doing minor tweaks to armies they revisit in Fantasy. Clearly they think that centre-piece models etc are a successful strategy and it doesn't appear to be going anywhere. What I would add is that for all the incessant whining we get on here about the silly-hammer elements being added it's not like anyone is forced to take them. People can still field viable infantry based Empire armies if they want. Masses of Warriors blocks and knights isn't an issue. If someone else embraces the over the top units then what does it matter to anyone else.

Baluc
15-02-2013, 13:14
Games Workshop has shown no interest in just doing minor tweaks to armies they revisit in Fantasy. Clearly they think that centre-piece models etc are a successful strategy and it doesn't appear to be going anywhere. What I would add is that for all the incessant whining we get on here about the silly-hammer elements being added it's not like anyone is forced to take them. People can still field viable infantry based Empire armies if they want. Masses of Warriors blocks and knights isn't an issue. If someone else embraces the over the top units then what does it matter to anyone else.

The armies that are cleaning up the best presentation awards at events are usually armies with centrepiece models, so if GW is embracing the Centrepiece, its because we the community have shown them the way. Simple well painted armies of rank and file, maybe some characters just don't win as often because they don't catch the eye. GW sells models if those models don't catch the eye what does GW do for money? Think of the awesome plastic multi-part night goblins, how often do you see them? Personally rarely because people don't care about rank and file, its also why core isn't being redone, people have shown they will put up with meh core models to get access to the new hotness in special and rare.

Rakariel
15-02-2013, 13:25
Space Marines selling so well is not just because of the models or their looks, its the fluff thats behind it. Fantasy doenst have a centrepiece army like space marines around which everything else revolves.

MLP
15-02-2013, 13:26
As great as centrepiece models are, the bretonnians have always been anti monster as far as I can remember. I still can't accept Pegasus knights.

They should be the one race which can compete without the need of monsters, there's still plenty of ways to make awesome large models without monsters.

Maybe a bretonnian lord on foot which is standing triumphantly on top of a slain dragon!

I do like the OP in most respects, but they need to keep the bret look about them rather than go the same style as empire.

theJ
15-02-2013, 17:42
Space Marines selling so well is not just because of the models or their looks, its the fluff thats behind it. Fantasy doenst have a centrepiece army like space marines around which everything else revolves.

Gonna have to correct you on this one. While GW marketing usually centres around marines, the fluff really doesn't. The Imperium and the Warp are the two halves that make up the heart of 40K background. The marines are one of the Imperiums elite assets, and they've got a lot of cool stories, but the background does not actually revolve around them.
In many ways, I suspect GW intended the Empire to serve this role in fantasy - almost every battle takes place in the empire, be it chaos invasions, the walking dead or crazy ratmen, most fluff is explained from the perspective of imperials, most of the terrain is sculpted to look like imperial...
The problem being that the Empire just isn't as interesting as the Imperium, and its army not as inspiring as any of the Imperiums, be it the sisters, the marines, the assassins, the inquisitors, or even the guard.
The Bretonnians, however, are inspiring and heroic enough to be the "centrepiece", while still retaining the human element, which is apparently necessary*.
As an aside, you'll notice marines don't have much in the way of monsters either. They've got some exceptionally blocky(and also boring) tanks, none of which are particularly "monstrous". The closest they have is the Dreadnought, which, while kinda cool, is really tiny next to the behemoths deployed by the other factions. Much like the Bretonnians, what makes Space Marines "heroic" is that their army is actually about the marines themselves, not their vehicles or giant attack beasts.
I consider this a strength of the range, not a weakness.

*Never quite got why myself. I'd happily see Lizardmen or Dwarfs in the centre, but alas, the centrepiece must be human... :(

Hillbilly Carl
15-02-2013, 18:24
Why not combine the two redheaded stepchildren of Warhammer Fantasy and put out a combined Bretonnia/Wood Elf book? The two armies compliment each other really nicely with each providing units that fill the gaps in the other. Imagine using a block of treekin as the anvil for your knights' hammer or having cheap blocks of peasants adding combat resolution for your treeman. Obviously there would still be the option to run a pure wood elf or bretonnian or tree spirit army if that was your desire. I think it solves a lot of problems and gives GW options without drastically changing their established fluff.

Moon Knight
15-02-2013, 19:09
I'd like to see the powers of the grail knights enhanced and expanded. There could be a blessing of the Lady table much like the old Chaos gifts table. This expands on the fantasy element of Bretonnia without going over the top or ruining the fluff.

Ludaman
15-02-2013, 19:09
To those that have been complaining about my idea being too drastic: I'm not talking about any changes to the fluff whatsoever, just tweaks to the image. Here's an example
http://www.teamparadigm.net/uploads/post_images/Guardian.jpg

Basically just hero it up a smidge, and lets get some new blood back into the hobby. I don't think anyone can argue that the forces of evil are far more popular in fantasy than the forces of good. Lets bring some balance to the force, and in doing so lets breathe some life into the apparently dying game of fantasy battles :)

Kakapo42
15-02-2013, 20:21
Basically just hero it up a smidge, and lets get some new blood back into the hobby. I don't think anyone can argue that the forces of evil are far more popular in fantasy than the forces of good. Lets bring some balance to the force, and in doing so lets breathe some life into the apparently dying game of fantasy battles :)

Now, to be fair, I think that that could very well be due, in part at least, to the simple fact that evil is cool (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilIsCool).

As to the subject at hand, I don't think Bretonnia really needs that much of a revamp in it's image. It's relative obscurity mainly stems from other factors, and many of the models are just fine and heroic enough as it is. Incidentally, adding units of knights on foot WOULD require a fluff change, because it is considered a sign of extreme prestige to ride into battle, and hence very important to Bretonnian nobility. At least it is from what I gather.

I wonder, if there happened to all of a sudden be a big resurgence of the Arthurian mythos, likely from a book, TV series or film release (or a combination of the above), perhaps Bretonnia might see a rise in popularity as a result...

Ludaman
15-02-2013, 20:27
Granted evil is cool! I play vamps and dark elves as well.

As far as foot knights go, they are already in the fluff. Knights don't like fighting on foot, but they will if they have to. Special choice, jobs a good 'un

Xerkics
16-02-2013, 00:32
grail knight (and characters with grail wow) should be equals to their chaos and vampire counterparts, they are the mightiest champions the 'good' sides can put on the battlefield, but the world is still doomed cause there are more chaos knights and vampires than grail knights.

But aside from grail knight I believe that the bretonians should be human, meaning both good and evil.

Not this grail knight nonsense again please. I wanna see the Fearless HUMAN heroes from Arthurian legend overcoming evil against great odds through faith , valour and chivalry not bland beefcake supermen with glowing eyes whos achievement on the battlefield is essentially meaningless as theyd be stronger than most of the things they ll ever face . What you want to play is chaos warriors who sold their souls for their fat stats. So lets NOT turn Bretts into a copy of chaos warriors with just differently flavoured gifts.

The Emperor
16-02-2013, 01:18
I wanna see the Fearless HUMAN heroes from Arthurian legend overcoming evil against great odds through faith , valour and chivalry

Then you want a Bretonnian with the Knight's Virtue or the Questing Virtue.


not bland beefcake supermen with glowing eyes whos achievement on the battlefield is essentially meaningless as theyd be stronger than most of the things they ll ever face

Except that they ARE supermen. They live for centuries, their touch is anathema to the unclean, and they've been known to wield other powers. And how would their achievements be meaningless? They'd be rare and so would still face great odds, not to mention that they wouldn't be superior to Chaos Lords or Vampire Lords.


What you want to play is chaos warriors who sold their souls for their fat stats. So lets NOT turn Bretts into a copy of chaos warriors with just differently flavoured gifts.

How is it a copy when we're just talking Grail Knight heroes and the Grail Knights, and the rest of the army is regular knights, peasants, and men-at-arms? The fact remains that they ARE superhuman and their stats presently DON'T reflect that. Nor does it make sense for a Grail Knight to undergo the trials they do just to be nearly identical to an Empire Grand Master. Their stats SHOULD be greater for many reasons, and your claiming they shouldn't is in direct contradiction to all logic and reason.

SteveW
16-02-2013, 04:03
Grail knights should be like horrors and have a caster level per rank in a lore of Bretonia.

Gorbad Ironclaw
16-02-2013, 04:58
The problem Brets have is this. "Do you like knights? Yes? Cool, we got lots of those. What's that, you want other things too? Well, there is this Empire army over here then."

That is the core problem. They are good at doing one specific thing, but if you want something else or in addition to that you might as well just go with someone else. And its not like they are the only ones with cool knights either.

Moon Knight
16-02-2013, 06:59
I think that perhaps the biggest issue with the Bretonnian fluff is that it is not very expansive and the different stories that do exist are quite similar and don't offer a lot of variety.

dwarf_zepplin
16-02-2013, 08:03
Interesting points by the OP,
Making Brettonia they key race or the most iconic army in WFB does have it's merits but it has some massive drawbacks too, sure knights in shining armour strikes hime to little timmy who has just gotten over medievel lego but is it an army that screams fantasy?? No it's not.


I graduated straight from medieval lego to bretonnians. :D good times.