September 4, 2014

New army project: Bretonnians

I've pretty much talked myself into this as my next army project.  I've always liked the idea behind the Bretonnian army and thought it would be a great project to start.  But I resisted doing so for a long while mainly because I didn't think my painting/modelling ability was up to the task.  Bretonnians are an army that you really need to work on if you want to make them pop and I want to.  Yes the new book didn't come out in July 2014 as was suggested and things have gone really quiet in relation to them and WHFB in general, until Nagash hit us of course.  There have also been suggestions that they may be merged into Empire, so will never get a new book but will simply disappear - hope not.

But I seriously want to start Bretonnians and here's why?
- There is a huge range of alternative miniatures available allowing you to customise your army look,
- They are completely different to my 3 current armies (Ogres, High Elves & Dwarfs)
- The fluff is cool and has strong links to Medieval history of which I am a fan; have strong memories of listening to the music from the Laurence Olivier version of Henry V when the French charge at Agincourt and watching the movie with my Dad.
- Their historical links strengthen even more your ability to customise your armies look.
- I believe I can do the army justice painting/modelling wise

There are risks involved namely (a) cost and (b) what happens if GW kills them off, I don't believe they will but GW has never been known for rational thought.

So here's the plan

  1. Get hold of a copy of the book and read read read
  2. Sort out 3 lists to guide initial purchases 1200pts, 2000pts and ultimately 2400pts.
  3. Identify suitable miniatures other than GW
  4. Plan an army theme and colour scheme (not Teutonic as I've seen it at CTA)
  5. Buy and paint.
I've never really started an army from scratch with a full on plan before even with Ogres I got them and then randomly started painting them so this army will be different.  I will plan out everything first and then buy stuff.  No rush at all so thinking 12 months before I will have a 2400pt force to use.

In the interim I have been looking at alternative miniatures and have found a lot, some of which I wanted to buy regardless just for the hell of it. 

Conquest Games Norman Cavalry
Fireforge Games Mounted Sergeants
Fireforge Games Templar Knights
Fireforge Games Teutonic Knights
Fireforge Games Infantry
Perry Miniatures Hundred Years War Knights
For comparison purposes the final images show side by side images of the main alternatives to standard GW Bretonnians

Perry Miniatures Norman, Fireforge Sergeant, GW Bretonnian, Fireforge Templar, Conquest Games Norman
Fireforge Games Teutonic Knight on left - GW Bretonnian on right
And finally because this idea really attracted me was to depart from the standard Medieval theme and build a Bretonnian army using Roman miniatures, only drawback is the lack of variation in cavalry unless you mix periods with Imperial and late Eastern Empire Cataphracts that and use a lot of Green stuff.

Stay tuned


Dave A said...

Hi, you really might want to read at least The End Times-The return of Nagash e-book from the black library first. It's a great read & GW may or may not be heading towards removing them entirely but there is definately some big changes to the region and the characters even just from this first campaign set and it looks like there will be more to follow as they move the timeline along.

Rex Foote said...

I am sure you can do the army justice, after seeing what your 3 other WHFB armies look like i am sure this one will be even better

Neil said...

Have you got the 5th edition Bret book? Its got a lot of useful background fluff and heraldry info that might spark some ideas as well. Its even got a knight profile at the back to plan out your designs. I could lend you mine if you haven't got a copy.


Scott Bowman said...

I'd like to see what you do with this John... although I no longer play WFB its an army that rings my bell a bit... I love the romance of the chivalric period and its mythic tie and influence of stuff like King Arthur and knights of the Roundtable, Camelot etc and of course Jon Boormans 'Excaliber' - classic movie!

However, I think with their uncertain future in the game I may be inclined to hold off till you know for definite they're not about to get canned... unless you'd be happy still playing "Oldhammer"?

Mark Stanton said...

Sounds good John, like your ideas of using the Fireforge models for the Brettonnians.
If you ever decide to get into playing Saga game at all you could always use them as a Crusader faction or Normans for that matter

The roman idea is also very good.

John Murrie said...

@ Dave A - I had heard that Bretonnia was mentioned in the Nagash books. I plan on getting them over the Xmas period as a little present.

@ Neil - I have the army book from 2003 which I think is 5th Ed as well as a fan produced version updated with more fluff for 8th Ed (from the

@ Rex - chur mate thank you

@ Scott - I'll hold off for a little bit as I still have lots of other projects to finish. Nagash books are next major purpose

@ Mark - From research online the Fireforge models look very good. The different types neatly fit into the Errant (Sergeant), Questing (Templar) and Grail Knight (Teutonic) groups as well.

The Kiwi said...

Do it!
1. It will be freaking AWESOME!
2. Do it Historical style and BANG! You just made an Historical style army! Booyah!
3. Purchase the 'Lion Rampant' rules...because it rules!
4. Cross compatibility...Normans are a great Saga warband. You can also use them as early crusaders in part 2 'Crescent and Cross' :)
4. See reason 1.

Looking at those comparison images I can see why GW is considered 30mm and noy 28mm by many gamers.


Dave A said...

I should mention I don't have the campaign books just the story book, not sure how much of the story is in the campaign books or vice versa. The story is very much told from the undead perspective (as you would expect) and it covers a lot of juicy things going on in the world but not always as much as you would like, not sure if there is more info on the wider world in the campaign set or if they will all be fleshed out in later campaign packs/books.

Neil said...

The 2003 book is the current book.
I mean the one before it. I'll bring it along at Cracks Call to show you.

Paul Waechter said...

I have some of the Conquest plastic Normans. They are great models for the price, and you get a decent amount of options for shields, weapons and poses in the box to customise your army. As others have said, these figures will not be tied to just one rule set.

John Murrie said...

That would be fantastic thanks Neil

John Murrie said...

That's good to know thanks Paul