When GW revamps the last 6th edition book, here’s what I expect to see.
Much like the recent Wood Elf release, fans of the Bretonnian army have been waiting all through 7th and 8th editions for a new book. In fact, it has been over 10 years since the publication of the 6th edition army book or any new models. Players of The Empire have been running harder-hitting, more devastating cavalry buses than the so-called Knight Army for some time now, so what can we expect to see in the new book to rekindle this aging force?
Lining up with the rest of the 8th edition books, we should expect to see many of the magic items dropped from the book, leaving probably around ten items (including the ubiquitous BSB-only banners that no-one ever seems to take). My predictions for some of what will be kept or changed:
- Heartwood Lance – allowing re-rolls to wound is a solid ability and an affordable points cost for Hero and Lord level characters alike
- Gromril Great Helm – and on the flip side, being able to get and re-roll a 1+ armor save is pretty much a no-brainer
- Banner of the Lady – I expect this could change somewhat, but it’s likely to remain 100 points of something that stays on the shelf. Who in their right mind takes a naked BSB?
Vows and virtues could go one of two ways. Either they’ll be eliminated / absorbed in the same way as the Wood Elf Kindreds and Spites were or they’ll be adjusted a bit and mostly left the same. I suspect that vows will become something that apply only to units, and that there will be some alternate Lord or Hero choices that come with that vow, rather than it being an optional upgrade for a generic Lord. I would love them to keep the virtues as I think it really fits the fluff of the Bretonnian army and allows for list creativity, but I don’t have high hopes given what happened with Wood Elf Spites (they were eliminated entirely, with a fluffy vestige being attached to a single special character).
I could also see them eliminating the need to pray in order to get the Blessing of the Lady – a ward save that disappears when you flee is not exactly game breaking, whereas predictably foregoing the first turn is a significant disadvantage. Wizards will likely get access to more lores, or at the very least lift the restrictions on the Damsels so that they can take the same lores as the Prophetesses. Lore of Light makes a lot of sense due to the ongoing battles against the Vampire Counts, and Lore of Metal is not out of the question. This is a good all round lore that would the Bretonnian army deal with high armor, as well as providing some good buffs for their combat units.
Units and Miniatures
And then what we’re all hoping for is new units and new models. The Field Trebuchet has been off the GW site for so long that they are bound to release a new plastic kit, likely a dual kit with another war machine (although given their lack of black powder, this would probably need to be unique to the Bretonnians, maybe even an updated Grail Reliquae). If the release is as small as the Wood Elf one (4 kits total, one of which being a special character), that would leave two more dual kits–probably one mounted and maybe one on foot–and a new special character in a clam pack.
|Pegasus Knights on the assault|
The new character would probably be a mounted Lord, someone who would work well with the new mounted kit. I expect that restrictions on number of units will be lifted, so Pegasus Knights will be able to come in larger units and there will be more of them per unit–might this mean that they are one half of the dual kit (in Special) with a Rare choice of some flying heavy cavalry on Griffons? Please let it be so! Giving the Bretonnians a special rule to allow their Pegasus characters to join units would likewise be a great leg up.
If the other kit was a foot choice, I would love to see more weapon choices for men-at-arms, and the ability to take heavy infantry, or some unique special weapons (pikes for instance) to separate the Brets more fully from their Old World neighbors to the north. However it’s more likely this will be another mounted kit as they’ve still to release a plastic Mounted Yeomen kit. I could see the other unit of this sure-to-be-dual kit being mounted squires or similar, but would be cool and fluffy to see some kind of anti-Vampire / monster unit?
What about you–what would you like to see changed or added to Bretonnians? And when the book comes out, don’t forget to download the Dimensional Cascade podcast review!
Many thanks to Ming Lee for allowing me to use photos of his fantastic Verdant Guard Bretonnians.