Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bretonnia for Eighth Edition

[Note to Google-searching readers: This does not contain any tactical, strategic, list building, or gaming related advice or discussion of any sort. Sorry if you are looking for help in those departments, it's not to be found here. Cheers! - Papa JJ, 12/17/2010]

With the new edition of Warhammer just a few weeks away from it's official release, I've been thinking a lot lately about starting a new army. For the past year or so I have been interested in getting back into the game and made a few faltering starts on different armies. None of them excited me all that much and it seemed as though I lacked the enthusiasm needed to see any of them to completion. I've enjoyed playing Warhammer for a very long time and it was kind of frustrating to just drift away from it without finding anything that would again capture my imagination. There are plenty of other games to play but not being active in such a classic as Warhammer Fantasy felt like it left a void in my hobby.

Hope was restored to me when I heard news of the impending arrival of an updated Warhammer. I think it's a great time for the game to get a new breath of life and with that I've found my interest in it revitalized as well. It's nice to be excited about Warhammer again. I haven't paid a lot of attention to the leaked details regarding all the changes introduced but it definitely sounds like eighth edition represents a significant overhaul of how the game works. This seems, therefore, like as good a time as any to start up with a new army so that I can learn both my chosen force and the game itself together.

To that end I have carefully reviewed my options and thought deeply about what type of army I would like to play. At long last I have chosen to walk the path of honor and valor, hereby pledging my fealty to the realm of Bretonnia. I put together a unit of Bretonnian knights years ago when they were included in the starter set with Lizardmen but was too intimidated by the prospect of heraldry that I never painted them. Otherwise I have no experience with the fnacy lads. I've always admired the look of a fully painted Bretonnian army and the quasi-medieval style of its range of miniatures. After Adepticon I was all fired up to do a Hundred Years War army for Warhammer Ancient Battles but my interest in this was quashed once I saw how expensive it would be. I think a Bretonnian army will be a nice alternative and also a more pragmatic one considering the slim likelihood of me finding someone who wants to play WAB.

I have no real expectations for this army other than for it to serve as a vehicle for learning the new edition of Warhammer. In a spirit of optimism I anticipate working on all of the requisite heraldry and barding will really challenge my painting abilities, hopefully pushing me to get better by trying new things. And even if they're not terribly effective units I still envision having some big blocks of peasant infantry which should offer a good change of pace from painting their mounted social betters. Right, then. It may not be much of a plan, but I think it's enough to get me started. I am looking forward to a summer of lances and longbows.


  1. I feel your pain on heraldry. I have some Brets that I never got around to for much the same reason. Good luck with your second attempt!

  2. Thanks, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will all turn out okay. At the very least it will be a colorful army. Already though I'm having a hard time deciding what type of scheme I should use for my general, and if I should then carry over that to the rest of the army. I don't want to rush it, I've got plenty else to keep me busy.

  3. JJ- I have a decent sized Bretonnian force. One of the things that I decided on at the beginning was not to do indiv. heraldry on my units- for fear of the army looking like an explosion at the skittles factory!
    Every unit has the same color scheme to them, representing a regional leader (duke or something)'s colors. Each unit is different. KoTR got bright colors, KE got dull browns and black, GK's will get 'metal' colors, and the QK will need something special. The result so far has come out nice. There is coherency within the units and army that looks good.

    Just my thoughts!

  4. Oh yeah, I think you told me that not long ago and I still completely forgot you had Bretonnians. I need to start paying attention to you. ; )

    I was thinking about picking one primary household and then doing lots of variations of the same basic heraldic scheme with maybe a few odd balls thrown in to break it up a bit. My concern with that is approach is that it might start to feel more like an Empire scheme. If I ever get around to updating my Empire army then it might be nice to have them really distinct from each other. Also I like the idea of having that sort of classic medievalish, high-fantasy look. When I was going to work on HYW stuff for WAB my plan was to represent as many historical individuals as I could, so doing a fantasy version with Bretonnians that requires essentially no research actually seems simpler.

    I'd love to see some photos of your Bretonnians to have examples of the more unified scheme that you described. That sounds pretty cool. Hey, maybe that would be a good thing to throw up on your blog.... Sorry, I'm too tired for subtlety.

  5. One idea might be a family alliance army. As families combined, so did heraldry, leading to half/quartered type heraldry.

    End up with seven schemes/symbols if do quartered:

    Or could just do three, with A, B, and A/B.

  6. That looks like a great way to allow for variety while still maintaining some coherency throughout the collection. I think I probably will do something like that, thanks again for all the help!