View Full Version : Countering gunline or bowline armies with Bretonnians

Da Imp
28-07-2005, 15:19
I am curious what ideas you have on how to counter gunline or bowline armies. Specifically using Bretonnians, are there certain tactics or army compositions that would be advised? I have had specific problems against High Elves (with basically all shooting troops and 4 mages - magic is another issue!) and Empire with hordes of pistols and a couple of HTH units to mop up the battered knights as they finaly reach the gunline.

To my mind there are 3 approaches to taking on a gunline.
1. Charge ahead full speed and hope your ward and armor saves protect you, get into combat in turn 2.
2. Try manouver using the scenery to cover as many troops as you can then get charges in on the gunline.
3. use cannon fodder (skirmishing archers or small units of men at arms) to screen my knights before getting the charges in.

The type of army list I typically use is as follows (very roughly and not geared to take on a gun line but a ballanced force list):

Lord on Pegasus
lvl 2 damsel (2 dispel scrolls) mounted in a unit of 8 Grail Knights (full com)
lvl 1 damsel (2 dispel scrolls)
1 BSB in a unit of 8 Knights of the Realm (musician)
1 Paladin in a unit of 8 Knights of the Realm (full com)
Grail Reliquae with 18 Battle Pilgrims
3 Pegasus Knights
12 peasant archers
12 peasant archers
5 Mounted Yeomen

thats about the normal list, I may add skirmishing archers, put the lord on a horse and in a unit and a few other small changes but by and large that is my default list.

So what would be the best tactics to adopt in taking on a gunline and what specific army list changes would be useful?

I am curious how adding a lvl4 prophetess in place of the lord on pegasus would help. Is a trebuchet worth taking? Errant Knights? or drop the archers entirely and take another unit of knights? I am generally loathe to field an army without peasants as this is in my mind completely against the fluff and smells bad...

28-07-2005, 16:06
need more knights thats your problem. You've got too much of the weak cheap low leadership stuff you need to strike fast and hard with this army. Plus you don't need that many bows.

28-07-2005, 16:16
Yup, more units of knights. And perhaps something to put pressure on the opponent e.g. a slightly bigger unit of pegasi. The opponent can waste 2 round shooting it to bits... by that time the knights are on him (or half way through him :evilgrin: )

Also, how's that lord on the pegasus working for you? My experience (with Sir Valiant and Sack of Bones as per my battle report) is that it's a bit of a waste. The pegasus always gets shot to bits and you have one angry lord sloggering around on foot :skull: Make the model a champ in the pegasi unit (4 in stead of 3)and have a mounted general with you main knight assult unit. (Right where the general should be, in front of the grails, valliantly leading the charge! :p )

Good luck and good replies!

29-07-2005, 11:07
Drop all the peasants bar one unit of skirmishing bowmen. Deploy these as a screen directly in front of your knights. After their first turn reform them out of your way. Run at the enemy full pelt. He should not get more than two turns of shooting at you. In your second turn charge, and watch the carnage. It should be like a hammer hitting glass.

Drop the damsel to Lv1, trade in a scroll for the chalice of malfleur. Take the virtue of noble disdain for one of your paladins. Put your lord on a horse. Give your BSB the warbanner and virtue of duty. Charge the pegasi at the scariest warmachine on the field. GET MORE KNIGHTS. If you insist on having the points sink that is grail knights (personally I'd drop them and get some errants) give them the banner of defence.

Most of all remember to make your opponent take those vital panic checks, that is THE way for Brets to beat gunlines. Break the guns and panic the rest.

30-07-2005, 11:03
I agree more knights..
and you should have no problem vs gunline..
also, i know that skirmishers block los, but i dont think they will vs your knights, being
larger than mansize targets.. can only screen units on foot with skirmishers.
If your the kind of player who likes to field units that YOU like, over effectiveness(like me)
eg. grail relique.. then take bigger foot units..
or increase the size of the ones u have atm..
imo grail relique+men at arms are sweet models.
also I think your are not presenting your opponent with enough threats..
from what I see the HE player can just shoot up the grail knights, then the
other units can potentially be beaten in combat by just spearelves.

30-07-2005, 12:29
If you prefer the direct approach you will need a lot more knights and more units.

Using the Grail Knights against archers and other missile troops is just overkill. If you can afford the monetary cost, swap out the eight Grail Knights with three small units of five to six Knights Errant.

In close combat with Strength 3 missile infantry, the 2+ armour save should help you overcome the rather average combat potential of the Knight Errant.

Finally, the Trebuchet is a 90 points attention magnet. Get one. Or two.


Da Imp
01-08-2005, 10:55
Dropping the grail knights and adding units of errant knights is the route which I thought would be the most viable. I am lothe to go all knights as I feel it is completely against the fluff so I will keep peasants in the army. So the Grail relique will stay as most probably will the 2 units of bowmen. I will be adding a trebuchet as well - only 1 as I don't have a 2nd model.
Adding more potential threats to the army does seem to be the best counter to a gun line. Even a small unit of 6 errant knights should be strong enough to run down most of the empire gunline. All it takes is one unit of knights to get in behind his lines and chaos will ensue. So this is certainly an occasion where less powerful but more numerous troops are called for.
As for magic, I will go light, level 1 damsel 1 scroll and the chalice of malfleur. Basically defensive to keep what I suspect will be 2 level 2 mages at bay for 2/3 turns till my knights hit his lines.
I have a game on wednesday versus an Empire gunline, so lets see how things go :)

02-08-2005, 16:06
Yes, please let us know what the outcome is.

Da Imp
17-08-2005, 07:22
Well to get back to you....

The game was a draw. I suffered some pretty bad luck in the game though - like my lvl 2 damsel being hit and killed by a cannon ball on turn 1 (she was in the unit of grail knights and failed both her look out sir and ward saves). But after that the shooting did very little damage. I came up short in the hand to ahnd phase where 2 units of errant knights charged a unit of greatswords and managed a single wound -caused naturally by a horse...lol. they lost combat and broke... causing another unit of errant knights to panic as well...sigh...

still, the Lord and the Pegasus knights took out the gunline, and the Mounted Yeomen were the heroes of the day, holding up an entire flank on their own, taking out a cannon and a unit of handgunners. A little more luck and I am sure I would have won the game convincingly. Presenting a gun line with more tatgets than he can handle is the way to go.

Da Imp
17-08-2005, 07:53
Oh, and the Trebuchet only lasted 2 turns but it did result in the Knights of the White Wolf being drawn out of combat for the rest of the battle. They charged it and destoyed it on turn 2, overran off the board then spent the rest of the game looking to get back into the battle. Plus the trebuchet scored a direct hit on a hellblaster destroying the crew and taking it out of the game, so it was a useful piece.

17-08-2005, 18:49
I agree more knights..
and you should have no problem vs gunline..
also, i know that skirmishers block los, but i dont think they will vs your knights, being
larger than mansize targets.. can only screen units on foot with skirmishers.

Just so you know, this is completely false.

Large Targets cannot be screened by anything other than a large target. Certain Swarms are designated as too small to screen.

Other than that, ANYTHING can screen ANYTHING. Gnoblars can screen Ogres.

19-08-2005, 16:15
NOp. I Believe it has been ruled that regular human size don't screen knights on mounts. I just don't know where, maybe someone could help with this. Maybe on the Chronicles?

20-08-2005, 15:38
I seriously doubt that nonnus, and would strongly advise you against enforcing this rule in any game you play before you can find the reference.

20-08-2005, 16:49
I'm not sure about the rule thing - I think the thing Nonnus might be talking about is that enemy archers can still fire at a mounted character even if he/she/it is within 6" of a friendly infantry unit.