I'll cover every single thing I can think of that will help you achieve world domination as Bretonnia.
How to Play Bretonnia in Campaign
When playing as Bretonnia you have the choice of 3 factions and while they are all very similar and share end goals, there are some differences that you should know about before deciding who to pick.
For the purposes of the guide I played as Bretonnia as they are (obviously) the original Bretonnian faction added in Warhammer 1.
They start at Couronne and are initially at war with Marienburg who are on their east border. The first army you fight is evenly matched as far as the balance of power goes but if you fight it manually you should be able to win pretty easily as long as you use your units well.
While expanding into their territory I had an event that caused me to suffer huge public order (its called control for some reason) penalties until I fought a battle against some Greenskins. Unfortunately the only nearby orcs had a full stack or 2 and they were right by a settlement so I had to spend time recruiting more units to fight them rather than continuing my expansion into Marienburg. I eventually got an army large enough and took them out and razed the settlement to gain a little early game chivalry.
After this I continued with a couple of attacks into Marienburg territory before Norsca decided it was time to come down from the north to ruin my fun. Now this would normally be no problem as I could just recruit a new army in my capital province and protect it just like that. Unfortunately Bretonnia has a mechanic that makes them far from normal and I would argue a little further away from good. The peasant economy mechanic basically means that you have a certain number of non-elite units that you can recruit to your armies before you starts to draft in random peasants off the street. Once you go above this number you start to make a lot less money from farms and industry. This would be just fine if it were not for the fact that the only real way to make a lot of money early on is by using farms or industry. All of this forces you to choose to either have a load of units and heavy deficits or tiny armies and lots of money. Of course in the early game you need as much money as you can so you have to make do with what you have.
Anyway because of this I had to make my peace with Marienburg and move Louen back to fight off the Norsca coming from the north which was easy enough but it had one teeny problem. All of Norca’s settlements are in the frozen north where it is very very difficult for me to survive to battle let alone occupy. That meant that I had to basically fight them off then extort as much money as I could from them in a peace treaty.
So now I had fought off both attackers I was left with no enemies and not much to do for many turns until I started to become friends with the other Bretonnian realms. I sent out treaties and trade agreements to them all as soon as I could and soon we had our little alliance and I decided to give them help with their enemies so I had something to do. Mousillon was a good first target as it was nearby and my AI allies seemed to be struggling a little.
It was around this time that I noticed something on the research tree as I was searching for good projects. The option to confederate for Bretonnians doesn't come from making them all like you, it comes from research task which, when completed, give you the option to confederate for either gold or chivalry. Since chivalry is part of the win conditions I opted to go for gold which I’d been hoarding since I had basically no wars. For only 5000 gold I could confederate each of the factions and it only went up in price for the final 2 factions and by that point I was rolling in it.
Its interesting to note that in the process of confederating all of these factions I managed to get a hold of Gotrek and Felix early so if you want to see what happened with that then there’ll be a link in the card now!
So at this point the campaign is going rather smoothly, if a little slow and boring for my taste. I took out Mousillon and had confederated basically all of the sub-factions so could now go after anyone I wanted. One of my remaining allies had a war with a Wood Elf Faction to I decided to clean that up for them which took far too long due to the woodelves just sitting in their settlement which takes quite a few turns to get to through attrition filled magical forest. Eventually I got them and turned my attention further south to the Pirates and Rats down there.
The Pirates of Sartosa were the easier target but to get to them I had to get past Ikit Claw which is much, much easier said than done. Every single time I tried to advance towards him on land he’d ambush my armies with 3 stacks which basically gave me 0 chance at getting out with anything alive. I tried over and over to get across to him but every time I was met with overwhelming ambushes that I could do nothing to avoid. Eventually I took the Sea route to get to him and he didn't seem to understand how to deal with that so abandoned his settlement and retreated to his capital allowing me to take it easily. After this you’d think I could move in and finish him but ohhh no. The Skaven are never that simple. Somehow he got a plague off inside the settlement I had literally just take and gave 3 of my armies unruly amounts of attrition meaning I had to sit around waiting for it to wear off so I could replenish and take him out for good. This took what felt like forever but eventually I was able to surround his capital with 4 armies and wipe him out for good.
I now had a clear way to get in to attack the pirates of Sartosa who were much weaker despite having more settlements because the AI doesn't play by the same rules as us mortals. Anyway I sent my armies further south to take the land and at this point the Barrow Legion decided it would be a good idea to declare war on me even though (as usual) they hadn't expanded out of their little hidey hole all game. So I took one of my armies and force marched it the entire way up the map to take him out and he didn't even attempt to attack my undefended settlements the entire way there. Well played Heinrich, well played.
Once I’d done this and taken out Sartosa I achieved the short victory conditions and I didn't really want to play any more so I ended it there.
Overall the campaign wasn't too difficult aside from the occasional rage inducing rat ambushes but this was certainly the case where being laid back was more boring than fun and making me feel like a god. I didn't play the other 2 factions but from what I can tell they would basically play out the same but with different starts and initial wars.
Bordeleaux start at Bordeleaux and have their initial war with Mousillon and Carcassonne start at Carcassonne and initially are at war with the Dreadfleet. Neither of these options are particularly good for expansion in the early game so its probably worth finding someone to declare war on to get yourself some land before it’s too late, or at least get some money so you can start confederating.
The expansion options are basically the same for every faction. You can head south like I did to take out the Rats and pirates, east if you want to go for woodelves but I cant say the regions you’ll get are particularly worth it. Alternatively if you wanted, you could have a mega war with the Empire and try and take they’re huge amounts of land in the North east but I don't know how much luck you’d have with that as the Empire roster is vastly better than your as you’ll find out in the next part.
Its also worth noting that the climate preferences are the same for all 3 factions. Temperate, savannah and desert are habitable. Mountain, magical forest, jungle and temperate island are unpleasant. And wasteland, frozen, ocean and chaos wasteland are uninhabitable.
Aside from the farm mechanic I talked about earlier, Bretonnia also have a number of unique features that are worth understanding before giving them a try. Vows are basically mini quests that all of your lords have to complete to be able to command certain units. They can still have these units in their armies but they will be hideously expensive to maintain so it’s essential you get them completed ASAP.
Chivalry is basically a currency that you build up over the course of the campaign. You get it for winning battles, taking or razing settlements and some lords and heroes can even get you some per turn. It can be used to spend on buildings such as the Brothel or to allow you to sack a settlement but I found it was best to let it build up so that you get the bonuses for each tier. Its also worth noting that to finish the campaign you need to save up near 2000 of the stuff so it’s definitely worth saving it up if you can. If you ever go down to the lowest tier of chivalry it can also cause some pretty serious debuffs to the faction so you want to avoid that if at all possible.
The final thing that chivalry can get you is the Green Knight. He’s a unique hero that can be summoned each time you advance up a tier and can be extremely useful in battle as we’ll see in the Lords & Heroes section.
Aside from confederations, the research tree can also be used to get you bonuses in nearly every aspect of your campaign. You can get bonuses for fighting against certain factions, improve your relations with ‘good’ factions, improve your economy and of course get some improvements for you units in battle but mostly this will be focused on your cav.
Finally we come to the commandments. Levy Tithes grants +5% tax rate. The peasants duty grants +15 growth. Extensive patrols grants -10% recruitment cost and +1 local recruitment capacity. Realm of chivalry grants -10% construction cost for all buildings and +10% research rate. And finally Venerate the lady grants +10 control and +2 untainted in the local province.
Army Roster and Battle Guide
In battle Bretonnia focuses on cavalry above all else. They have the largest selection of mounted units so far and over the campaign you really do end up using almost all of them. As I mentioned in the campaign section the vows for each lord are going to affect which units you can bring into battle but we’re going to ignore that for this part and focus on how they perform in battle regardless of upkeep.
Due to the large selection of cav there is basically a unit for any situation you can think of. Has the enemy brought a load of monsters that would massacre your front lines? Bring some anti large. Have they brought overwhelming numbers of infantry? Bring some anti infantry. Have them gone for air superiority? Just throw some Pegasus and Hippogryphs at them. On top of that, all land-based melee cav have access to the lance formation meaning they get a bunch of bonuses that will make them much better at taking out enemies with devastating charges.
Unfortunately, this massive focus on cav means that the other units of the roster tend to get left in the dust. The melee roster for example is very mediocre with even the most elite units having inferior stats to units of the same type from different races. There is also a lack of elite anti large infantry as the Polearms tend to have awful leadership.
The ranged units also don’t get much love both for artillery and infantry. There are a combined 5 units and then a single ranged cav unit so its safe to say we’re gonna see some spam.
And a final thing to note is that, for the most part, the roster tends to have pretty poor leadership and it’s not uncommon for units to rout within the first few minutes of combat if they aren’t immediately winning.
Now onto the roster.
Kicking off for the Bretonnian infantry are the peasant mob and they are, without a doubt, some of the weakest units in the game. They’re like zombies but worse because they retreat rather than stand and crumble to dust. But they were never meant to be the damage dealers. As you can tell from their card, they’re a meat shield that’s meant to go on ahead of your main lines to protect them from ranged fire or early charges. If they ever manage to reach the enemy and engage in melee then don’t expect them to rack up any kills before they rout from their awful leadership and always have your more elite units moving in to maintain the pressure. Don’t worry though. Due to their expendable trait, seeing them retreat or get slaughtered wont effect your other units since they happen to be expendable. I didn’t really see a need for these guys once I unlocked shields but if you’re desperate for some numbers then they’re cheap and do their job well enough. I’d say about 4 units in a very early game army would work just fine.
Men at arms are the next step up from Peasant Mobs. They’re essentially what you’d get if you gave your peasant mob some weapons and armour and very mild combat training. They’re still expendable and have poor leadership but they can actually make it to combat as long as they aren’t focused and, while they won’t rack up huge numbers of kills, they are actually ok at keeping enemies busy long enough for your cav to get into position. Again, since they’re expendable when they do eventually route or die it won’t affect your other units’ leadership which is a little morbid when you think about it but we’re just gonna glaze over that. They come in 2 variations: with and without shields. I’d always go for shields as soon as you can, due to the added missile resistance and melee defence, and I bring 2-4 of them in my mid game armies so that I have a solid number to hold the line while other units to the damage.
Spearmen at arms are essentially the same but with one key difference. They got spears instead of swords, who’d have thunk it. Having spears give them anti-large and charge defence against large and as usual this comes at the cost of some minor stat differences. They’re still expendable and have poor leadership though so don’t expect them to stick around long but when they do leave your other units will be unaffected. Again, these guys come in 2 variations: with and without shields and as usual shields are always worth taking for the added defence in melee at from range. I like to take 2 of these guys with me in the early-mid game to protect my flanks from any charges and to focus any large units in the front lines. As with men at arms, these guys aren’t going to rack up large numbers of kills so are best used to delay the enemy to give your cav units chance to get around enemy backs and break them with charges.
Polearm Men at Arms are basically the next step up from Spearmen and they obviously swap the spears for polearms. They’re still anti large and now deal armour piercing damage so are actually mildly ok at taking on some mid game large units. They also have charge defence against large so are great for keeping your flanks safe from enemy charges without too much trouble. Unfortunately, they’re still quite weak in terms of leadership so they tend to rout if not properly supported by more elite units but since they’re expendable it still wont affect nearby units when they do. They also lack any ranged defence since they have no option for shields so you have to be careful not to let them take too much ranged fire before the melee lines clash. I recommend taking 2 of them to replace your spearmen and I tend to keep them until the end game as there really isn’t any other anti-large infantry to choose from. They’re best used on the flanks of the front lines so they can protect from charges and focus down any large targets but, as usual, they do need to be supported by your cav to be really effective.
Finally, we have some guys who are actually more trained than random peasants. Battle Pilgrims are the solid front line of the mid-late game and they come with the best feature we’ve seen yet. Leadership over 60! Aside from that they’re also shielded so can take quite a bit of punishment from range before they start to suffer. They also have the frenzy ability meaning that they’re much more effective at high leadership. This means its important to get them into combat as soon as you can to avoid missing out on this bonus. I take 2 of them to replace half of my men at arms and they’re best used in the thick of combat to hold the line to allow your cav to get behind and pick apart the enemy from there. Unlike men at arms, these guys can actually get quite a few kills as long as you pick their targets well and keep their leadership high with lord and hero support.
Footsquires are the last of our main infantry units. They’re the Greatswords of the Bretonnian roster and as such have anti-infantry and armour piercing damage. They won’t be able to go toe to toe with most other elite infantry but they can do exceptionally well against large numbers of lesser infantry. They’re damage dealers so want to spend as much time in sustained melee as you can to ensure they rack up as many kills as possible. Unfortunately they don’t have access to any shields so can be taken apart by sustained ranged pressure so be sure to keep them safe for as long as you can so that they’re spending their health where it counts. I take 2 of these guys with me into the end game to replace my other 2 men at arms and I use them in the thick of melee against whatever elite infantry the enemy might bring and of course support them with my cav.
Our final melee infantry unit is actually for support. The Grail Reliquae is the corpse of a Saintly knight being carried around by a couple of very devoted followers of the lady and they’re actually more use than it would seem. They have a magical aura that provides 12 leadership and immunity to psychology to allies in a 55 metre radius which is great for keeping your more cowardly troops in battle for that little bit longer. They also have frenzy so can do some decent enough damage when they’re at high leadership but they aren't killing machines so don't expect them to carry your army. They’re particularly useful in the early game when all of your front line has poor leadership as they get them to stick around allowing your cav to clean up before they reach your ranged units. I took 2 of them with me to the near end game when I swapped them out to have more cavalry to make up for the added chance of retreat. I keep them in the midst of my front lines so that they can affect as many units as possible and prevent retreats. It also helps that they are pretty fast so can be sent where you need the buffs even if its quite a ways off.
Kicking off and closing for the ranged infantry are Peasant Bowmen. These are another of the units that we get by pulling peasants of the street and sending them to fight with a bow and arrow. They have pretty good range but lack accuracy so you want to be careful to aim for targets that aren’t near your other units when possible to minimise friendly fire. They also suffer from very poor leadership so you need to make sure they’re protected from melee attacks or they’ll break almost immediately but since they are expendable, if it does happen, they it won’t be too detrimental to your men. The come in 3 variations: standard, Fire and Pox Arrows. Fire arrows obviously make their attacks do fire damage which is effective against undead and big clumps unarmoured infantry but tend to struggle against anything else. Pox Arrows are poisonous so effect any enemies hit with the poison debuff which makes them much less effective in melee which is obviously a good thing for your melee units. They’re all used in essentially the same way. Place them up front to begin with so that you can get some shots off early, then move them back once the melee charge gets too close. They can fire over heads but it’s better to get them a good angle so you can minimise friendly fire especially if you’re aiming for the front lines. I start off with 2-4 Standard bowmen, then, once I unlock fire and pox, I switch to 2 of each so I have some variety to my damage.
Now we get to the largest category by far, Cavalry. First off for the melee cav are the Mounted Yeomen. They’re very fast and come with vanguard deployment so can get to where you need them on the battlefield right out the gate with little chance of being caught. They also have shields so have some resistance to ranged damage but don't leave them under sustained fire as they wont last long due to poor leadership and armour. Since they’re the first cav unit you unlock I took 2-4 of them and used them to get around enemy flanks and do what cav does best. Target any ranged units before coming back to shatter the melee lines with rear charges. Its best to use them in cycle charges against anything even mildly elite as they wont do particularly well in sustained melee.
Unlocked at the same time are the single ranged cav unit that Bretonnia has. The Mounted Yeomen Archers. They also come with vanguard deployment and are very fast but lack the shields of standard yeomen meaning they’re more vulnerable to ranged fire. Its useful to deploy these guys as close to the enemy lines as possible so that you can get some shots off right out of the gate before they even reach your front lines before retreating back to safety as melee approaches. Once lines are established then they can make they’re way around to shoot into enemy backs. Its also worth focusing weaker and less armoured units as they don't really do anything amazing in terms of damage. I take 2 of them in the early game so that as they are useful at taking out much weaker enemy units but once I get to the mid game, they just become ineffective against enemy armour so I swapped them for more elite cav.
Knights errant are up next and they’re a step up from yeomen but still pretty basic. They keep the shields but this time they also get armour so are that little bit more resistant to damage of all types. They’re also an anti-infantry unit so are great at taking out enemy infantry units with devastating charges. Since they bring lances, they’re much better suited at cycle charges over sustained melee combat and will not last long if left in a mess of enemy units. I like to bring 2 of these guys to replace my mounted yeomen as soon as they’re unlocked as they’re just more useful in every way. As with all cav you want to focus them on ranged units to begin with before targeting the backs of melee lines until they break. It can also be worth sending them to run down broken units until they shatter to ensure they don't come running back, especially if its something more elite.
Knights of the Realm are our first anti-large cav unit. they’re armoured and shielded so can take a decent amount of punishment but its again not a good idea to leave them in melee any longer than you need to. As I said before they’re anti-large so get a bonus in damage when sent against anything bigger than a man. This doesn't mean that they're useless against infantry as they actually have a better charge bonus than knight errant so will break melee lines even faster. I take 2 of them alongside my knights errant in the early-mid game to have some variety to my roster and in battle, I first focus them on anything large the enemy has brought before sending them back to help mop up anything that’s left and of course its always worth running down broken units if you can to ensure they don't cause you any more trouble.
Questing knights are our first sword cavalry and are of course an anti-infantry unit. They’re armoured but not shielded so can be vulnerable to ranged fire if the enemy decides to focus them down but if you keep them on the move you should be OK. They deal armour piercing damage with a bonus vs infantry so are great for sending in to sandwich enemy melee troops between them and your front line. I take 2 of them with me and replace my Knight errant as they fill the role so much better and require less micro which is always a win in my book. Obviously its useful to get charges off into ranged units as well as the backs of melee but you can get away with leaving them in some light sustained melee as long as it isn't against anything too elite, and of course, as with all cav, charging down retreating units is always a good idea.
Grail knights are up next and these guys are literally living saints. They’re armoured and shielded and can take quite a lot of punishment from both range and in melee but since they’re a shock cav unit, they shouldn't be sat still to take much for long. Their lances give them a fantastic charge bonus as well as a bonus against large so they can break both infantry and large units with very few charges. Of course this comes at the cost of being a bit vulnerable in melee so its best to keep them on the move as much as you can. As I said before these guys are living saints which means that they have perfect vigour, great leadership and magical attacks. I take 2 of them with me as soon as they’re unlocked and they come with me almost until the end game. they’re of course best used to focus down any elite larger units with devastating charges to make them break and if they run out of those targets, then they’re just as exceptional at taking out infantry.
Grail Guardians are very similar but they swap the lances for swords which gives them a bonus vs infantry. They're still armoured and shielded so can take a whole lot of punishment in melee before they really start to feel it. Bringing swords gives them the anti infantry bonus as I said before but it also makes their charge a lot less impactful whilst making them much better in sustained melee combat. These guys are also living saints so get the vigour, leadership and magical attacks that comes with that. I take 2 of them with me and keep them to the end game as they’re just amazing at pinning melee units in a sandwich that they just cannot escape from. They are of course worth using to charge when you can but don't be afraid to leave them in melee with almost any units as they can do some serious work with little micro from you which is always a win.
Pegasus knights are the first of our flying cavalry units. they’re armoured and shielded so can take quite a lot of punishment from both range and in melee before they start to feel it. they’re extremely fast and can obviously fly so will be very difficult for enemies to hit from range as long as you keep them on the move. This manoeuvrability is also fantastic for getting them around enemy backs at targeting exposed troops that would otherwise be safe from ground charges. They also have vanguard deployment so can start right up in front of the enemy to get around their backs right out of the gate. These guys also come with a bonus against large and a pretty substantial charge bonus so are great for going after enemy cav before they can attack your flanks. I take 2 of them and as much as it pains me, I replace my grail knights as the added speed and versatility makes up for the lesser charge bonus. Theirs is nothing to scoff at however so its definitely worth cycling to get the most out of them. Since they are so fast, they can cross the battlefield in a matter of moments once they’re in the air so don't be afraid to send them from one end to the other if it needs support. The speed also makes them great at running down retreating units so if you have no better targets be sure to do this.
Royal Pegasus knights are very similar but they’re now Living saints so get a bunch of bonuses that come with that. They obviously get the perfect vigour and magical attacks but there’s no leadership buff this time. Overall they tend to do pretty much the same as regular Pegasus knights but a little bit better in all categories. They have a better charge bonus as well as better melee stats so can get some pretty great charges off as well as some light sustained melee. I of course take 2 of these guys to replace regular Pegasus knights and I use them in basically the same ways as I said last time so I see no need to repeat that.
Finally we come to Royal Hippogryph Knights. These guys are monsters and are one of the few units that I actually really like from Bretonnia. they’re armoured and deal armour piercing damage so can go toe to toe with some seriously scary infantry and come out on top. They also cause terror so have a chance to rout enemy units the moment they hit the battlefield. They don't have the best charge bonus but can still knock units about when they clash and do some great damage in that initial melee. I take 2 of these guys with me into the end game as soon as I get them unlocked as you’ll struggle to find anything that does their job better in the roster. In battle they’re great at targeting any melee units that your front line is having trouble with and making sure the tide quickly turns. Since they’re flying they’re incredibly fast and can cross the battlefield in moments if you need them to so don't be afraid to have them all over the place putting in work.
Finally we come to our final unit. The one and only artillery unit of the Bretonnian roster, the Field Trebuchet. It fires armour piercing missiles that can do some serious damage to enemy infantry of all tiers if left unchecked. You do have to be careful not to hit your own men though as once the melee lines are established it can be very easy to get some splash damage if you’re trying to fire over the top. They come in 2 varieties: normal and blessed. Bringing the blessed version causes the missiles to be.. well blessed. This means that they do more damage and its magical so can cut through resistance and armour with ease. It also means that the missiles explosions cannot damage your own men meaning that you can fire into the front lines as much as you want with much less risk to your own troops which is insanely useful. I take 2 in my armies and replace the standards with blessed ones as soon as I can as they’re so much better for the tiny increase in cost. I of course keep them right in my back lines and target any particularly tough units that enemies might bring to make my cav and melees job even easier.
As usual I’ll call out each of the regiments of renown and what they’re differences are from the base unit.
- The Holy Wardens of La Maisontaal are Battle Pilgrims. They gain bonuses to leadership, melee attack & defence, weapon strength and charge bonus as well as gaining magical and fire attacks at the cost of losing their shields.
- The Beastslayers of Bastonne are Foot Squires unit. They gain armour, leadership, melee attack & defence, weapon strength and charge bonus. They also become anti large rather than anti-infantry and get charge defence to go with it.
- The Defenders of Fleur-de-lis are a Knight Errant unit they gain bonuses to leadership and melee attack & defence as well as the frenzy trait.
- The Knights of the Lionhearted are a Knights of the Realm unit and gain bonuses to leadership and melee attack & defence. They also get magical attacks, can cause fear and encourage nearby ally units to increase their leadership.
- The Companions of Quenelles are a Questing Knights unit and gain bonuses to leadership and melee attack & defence. They also gain a resistance to fire as well as the blessing of the lady.
- Finally the Wardens of Montfort are a Mounted Yeomen Archers units and they gain bonuses to leadership, melee attack & defence, charge bonus and missile damage as well as poison attacks.
Now we come to my ideal end game composition for the campaign. I have 2 Polearms, 2 battle pilgrims and 2 Footsquires so that I have variety to my front line damage and can send each unit to focus which targets are best for them. I take 2 fire archers and 2 pox archers so that I have variety to the damage I’m putting out and can focus them on different units where needed. I bring 2 grail guardians to assist my front lines in some sustained melee, 2 royal Pegasus knights to chase down any cav or large units the enemy might bring and 2 royal hippogryph knights to go against whatever is left over. I bring 2 blessed field trebuchets to pick apart the enemy from afar and focus down any tough units to make my melee lines job easier. Finally I bring Melee lords and a wizard so that I have damage of every kind being done. The wizard I take depends on my needs but for this example I used heavens as it has the best damaging spells.
How to Use the Bretonnian Lords and Heroes
The 3 factions of Bretonnia have 3 lords to go with them. Each lord controls their own faction and who you choose can have some serious effects on how they perform in campaign as well as battle.
Overall I’d say the lords of Bretonnia are pretty average. They don’t have huge effects on the outcomes of your battles but they’re pretty good at what they do when they’re supporting other units. They have a decent range of spellcasters that cover most of the major spell types so you have options no matter what your preference. Most lords and heroes also have the option of a flying mount so are very useful for getting them where you need them even if that place is on the totally opposite end of the battlefield. The flying mounts are also very useful for spellcaster lords as it allows them to place their spells exactly where you need them without the risk of being caught out of position.
There is also a lack of ranged lords and heroes meaning that they will always be in melee and in danger especially your non legendary lords. They do however have the fantastic multi role paladins who can be both assassins in campaign and tanks in battle depending on how you build them
Now lets get into the lords.
First up is King Louen Leoncoeur and he commands the Bretonnia faction. Choosing him will grant the faction +10% move range for all characters and +50% leadership aura size for all attacking lords. He also generates 10 chivalry and starts with all the vows unlocked so you don’t have to worry about what you recruit. His army also gets +8 melee attack and +12 leadership when fighting Chaos, vampires or greenskins. His starting army gains Pegasus Knights, a field trebuchet and some Knights of the Realm.
In battle he has the choice of 4 mounts: a Barded Warhorse, a Royal Pegasus, a Hippogryph or Beaquis. He has the abilities Blessing of the Lady, The Lady’s Champion, Beloved Son of Bretonnia, Foe Seeker, Stand your ground and the Lion’s Shield. He’s armoured and shielded as well as being a melee expert so is great at taking on other lords or helping out your front lines where needed.
Levelling Louen is pretty straight forward. As always, we go route marcher then to the red tree with a focus on cavalry units as they do carry the armies. Army of the King gets toy some decent replenishment and basic training is good for the vigour reduction. Crown of Bretonnia gets some good leadership bonuses for your army and the Fount of honour tree is great for improving diplomatic relations and chivalry. Mount are more important than usual due to the cavalry focus so are always worth picking up when you can.
He has access to 1 mission. The Sword of Couronne gives you a head on assault against a moderately large Greenskin force in some forest. They get some mild reinforcements but they will be pretty easy to take out since you will have so much cav. I went in with my end game comp and it was pretty straight-forward but you could do this with a mid-game army without too much trouble. The weapon you get is excellent for campaign as well as battle and comes with a nice hex for when Louen is in the middle of melee.
There are also 2 wars of errantry. These are victory conditions and are available for all of the legendary lords so I’ll just mention them once. First up is chaos. It starts you out against 2 armies of chaos with a small allied Bretonnian force to assist you. This battle requires a lot of mirco as you have to send you cav all over the map to take out the different advancing armies. Once you take out the initial 2 armies, both sides get reinforcements so its definitely best to pace your army and not exhaust all your units immediately. Overall, it’s a pretty tough mission but it is one of the victory conditions so it shouldn’t be a cake walk.
The second errantry war takes place in the Badlands. This one is much easier as you can easily surround the hilltop force while your ally holds the front lines. Once you do take the hill however, there is a much larger orc force that you must take out to win. This can be very challenging but if you let them come to you then you should be good as long as you work the micro well.
Next up is Fay Echantress who’s in charge of Carcassonne. Choosing her grants the faction +5 available peasants and +15% casualty replenishment rate. She also generates 10 chivalry and has greatly reduced upkeep for grail guardians and her starting army gains Battle Pilgrims, Grail Guardians and a Blessed Field Trebuchet.
In battle she only has one mount choice: Silvaron. She has the abilities Blessing of the Lady, Life Bloom, Mist of the Lady, Arcane Conduit and Favour of the Fay. She has access to the Lore of Life and is primarily used as a spellcaster in battle as she isn’t really a fighter. But, if you do send her in, she can cause fear so will help to break the enemies while she’s there.
Levelling her is quite similar to Louen to begin with. Route marcher and red tree first as well as basic training for the whole army bonuses. Her Beacon of Devotion tree also has some good faction bonuses and she has decent spells for regeneration and some halfway decent damage. Her mount isn’t essential so can be picked up when you feel like it to give her more mobility.
She has access to only 1 mission, the Chalice of Potions. It’s a head on assault of a chaos force and should be fairly easy if you go into it with an end game comp. they do get some reinforcements but as long as you manage your cav well you should be just fine. It grants you a usable item in battle that will do some excellent damage to large blobs of enemies.
Our final Legendary Lord is Alberic de Bordeleaux who’s in command of the Borderleux faction. Choosing him will grant the faction +25% income from trade and +2 recruit rank and -1 recruit time for Bretonnian Knight units. Alberic himself starts with the Knights Vow already unlocked and generates 10 chivalry as well as increasing melee defence for knights of the realm in his army. His starting army gains Foot Squires, Knights of the Realm and Knights Errantry.
In battle he has the choice of 3 mounts: a barded warhorse, a Royal Pegasus or Tempete. He has the abilities Spirit of the Tempest, Foe Seeker, rally and Heroic Killing blow. He’s armoured and shielded as well as being anti-large so is great for sending in against any large or huge units the enemies might bring as well as supporting your other units against an elite cav.
Levelling him again starts fairly similar with route marcher and then the red tree. Lead from the front line is great for battle and campaign and as usual basic training is always useful. Aspiring knights and champions of bordeleaux is good for buffing certain units and mounts are always good to up his impact in battle.
He also only has 1 mission available to him. The Trident of Manann. This one is really quite easy as it’s a straightforward assault of a mixed empire force. They get no reinforcements so its quite simple to surround them with your cav and break them within the first 10 minutes of the battle. The item you get buffs the lord and his army as well as granting a wind spell.
The first of the non-legendary lords if the humble Bretonnian Lord. He has the abilities Foe Seeker, Deadly Onslaught and Stand your Ground and has 3 mounting options: a barded warhorse, a royal Pegasus or a Hippogryph. He’s also armoured and shielded so can take quite a lot of punishment in battle and keep pressing forward. In battle he’s best used in the midst of your front lines to help your units with any particularly tough enemies. He can also be used for some light duelling as long as his target isn’t too overly strong and he doesn’t get surrounded.
Levelling him is very straightforward. Route marcher and red tree as usual come first and basic training is always useful. Immortality is a great idea as soon as you can and of course any mounts are always useful.
The Prophetesses are the magical lords of Bretonnia and they are all basically the exact same aside from their spells and a single ability so I’ll cover them as one then call out when something is different. They all have the abilities Aura of the Lady and Arcane conduit as well as the same choice of 3 mounts: a warhorse, barded warhorse or a royal Pegasus. The Life Prophetess has the ability Life bloom and has access to the lore of life. The Beasts Prophetess has the ability Wild heart and access to the Lore of Beasts. And the Heavens Prophetess has the ability Roiling Skies and access to the Lore of Heavens. Obviously since these guys are spellcasters you don’t want them in the front lines as they wont last long against anything even mildly elite. You want to be keeping them on the backlines supporting your units with their spells.
When levelling them you follow the usual route marcher and red tree as well as basic training, but then its worth going into the spells to make your lords more useful in battle as opposed to stationary leadership buffs. Of course, immortality is always a good idea but mounts can take a back seat this time as they will see much less actual combat.
Now we come to the heroes. Bretonnia only have the one Legendary Hero, The Green Knight. As I mentioned in the campaign section you can summon him every time you go up a tier of chivalry and his only use in the campaign is being embedded in armies so he cant be used to assassinate or train units, he’s purely for combat. He’s also immune to being assassinated or wounded but he does expire after 25 turns and requires a re-summon.
In battle he’s an armour piercing melee expert so can do well against basically anything as long as he doesn’t get overwhelmed. He’s also ethereal so can resist a huge amount of damage from all non-magical sources. On top of that he causes terror so can cause massive routs against lower leadership enemies which can really turn the tide of battle if you press the attack. Finally he has vanguard deployment and is unbreakable so can come from anywhere you want on the battlefield and will stick around until the end.
He comes with a default mount that I think is a barded warhorse so he can get around the battlefield pretty quickly and has a pretty nasty charge. He has the abilities Dolorous Blade, the Blessing of the Lady and Sacred Guardian and since he’s a summon he has no skills available.
As with the Prophetesses, the Damsels have the choice of the same 3 lores of magic and are essentially the same in every other department. They all can steal tech, wound enemies and block armies in the campaign and also provide scouting when embedded in an army. They also have the same choice of mounts between the warhorse, and the unicorn. And they all have the ability aura of the lady. The Damsel of Life has the ability Life bloom and access to the lore of life. The damsel of heavens has the ability roiling skies and access to the lore of heavens. And the damsel of beasts has the ability wild heart and access to the lore of beasts.
The level basically the same. Focus on unlocking their spells as quickly as you can so that they can help your army more in battle and earn their upkeep. Its always worth getting scouting so that you can get your hands on all sorts of useful items for your lords and heroes. Any mounts are good choices as they let them get to where you need them faster to make sure your spells are coming in when it counts. And finally, any of the top row of skills are decent for making them a little more resistant to certain types of damage. Oh, and never forget about immortality as its essential for keeping your progress.
Paladins are our final heroes of Bretonnia and they really are a multi class. In campaign they can assault garrisons, assassinate characters and assault units and when embedded in an army they provide training. This makes them into an assassin character on the campaign map but in battle they’re more fitting to the role of Tanks. They’re armoured and shielded so can take huge amounts of punishment and barely feel it thanks to their tiny hitbox. They also deal bonus damage to large targets so are useful for sending after any large or mounted lords. Speaking of mounts, they have the choice of a barded warhorse or a royal Pegasus and both are great options for making more of an impact in battle. They also have the abilities Guardian, Foe Seeker and Deadly Onslaught.
Levelling these guys is pretty straightforward but you can obviously go for one of 2 builds. The battle build has you focusing training when you can but going down the yellow and top tree most of the time to make the hero much more formidable in battle. If you’re going for the assassin build then you want to focus totally on the blue tree to make him more successful in missions and for both of these you always want to pick up immortality when you can to ensure you don’t lose all your hard work.