Thursday, June 24, 2010
Bretonnians and 8th edition: First impressions pre-FAQ
Yay 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy is upon us! Maybe it's time to brush off the old Bretonnian army I have sitting around. Only had a brief look at the rules plus what everyone else on the internet has had to say about the new rules and I haven't played a game yet so my analysis of the Bretonnians is definately not in depth at all.
At first glance it seems the Bretonnians got a little weaker because everyone else got a slight boost. By that I mean infantry blocks are a little better now. With second rank getting attacks back (third rank also if you are horde and then another rank if you have spears) plus the block is stubborn if you have more total ranks than any other unit, it's going to make breaking a unit on the charge really hard for a knightly lance. Add to that all combat is done in initiative order (Bretonnian core knights are I3 while their special knights have great weapons) our charges just aren't as devastating as they used to be (at least on paper).
On the plus side though, our magic lores got a huge boost (life and beasts) and with army comp going back to percentages we have cheap enough heroes that we could feasibly put a hero or lord in each lance. In a standard 2000 point game you could field two basic lords and I think 2-4 paladins/damsels (assuming the battle standard bearer doesn't count towards the 25% limit). With 5-6 lances of knights, each lance could have a character who makes it better.
Our archers got a big boost with the 2nd rank fire and volley fire. We have very cheap BS3 longbows who do a decent job of removing rank bonuses from infantry and that rule just makes them all the better. Also with percentages we can field more than 2 trebuchets who no longer need to guess to hit things. More ways to reduce rank bonuses is always great.
Great weapons on mounts giving +2S makes the Questing knights better but not being able to strike first on the charge means they are a little more vulnerable. Still they are the best thing Bretonnians have for pro-longed combats.
Removing rank bonuses now requires at least one rank. The lance formation is a little better now as the Bretonnians only need 6 knights to make 2 ranks while other cavalry needs 10. Bretonnians will have the best flank charge unit in terms of points/effectiveness.
My current Bretonnian army is built around the multiple small unit strategy (MSU strategy). Basically I have 5-6 lances of 6 knights moving about until I can get a combined charge into something important. Usually this will mean 1 or 2 lances in the front, and another in the flank. This would break almost anything as I would win by a huge amount. Now I'm not so sure, mostly because I think most infantry will have more ranks than my knights so would be stubborn. I suppose it just means I will have to be more patient and wait until the enemy has lost enough models that the stubborn bonus will vanish after casualties are removed.
I'll have to try and get a few games in and take a closer look at the rulebook.
I don't plan on buying the book though as it is way too expensive. I could probably buy the starter box for the same price so I'm going to wait for that.