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I played WFB way back in 4th/5th Edition, I've had the sudden urge to get back into the game so I've been throwing some ideas around in my head. I'd like to get some feedback.
The Bretonnians have been alluring to me because of their sense of chivalry, honor and their (more so than most armies) moral goodness. But the flip side is that I also enjoy the Vampire Counts, it must be the Ray Harryhausen movies I watched as a child.
So here is my idea of trying to combine both sensibilities into a single army.
A Bretonnian Duke, on his quest for the grail, is lured by an image of the Lady of Lake and the true grail. He is told to drink from it. He finds that there is blood in the chalice after drinking and the Lady of the Lake image he was visited by was a clever Lahmian vampire in disguise. He is now a dark servant and he transforms his lands into a realm of undeath. His peasantry, knights, damsels, all have been turned. Those that are alive toil in filth and disease only to fuel his war machine.
Here is where my favorite aspect of Bretonnia comes in. The Duke, by some vague set of circumstances, rebels against the vampire lords and seeks to redeem himself and his people and let their souls rest in peace.
I'm a fan of converting so this army should be a joy. The graveguard should be quite a challenge to find a fitting Bretonnian model base, and finding a reason for ghouls, bats, etc... in this fluff.
This is only a bag of ideas at the moment but I would welcome any comments, questions, or tips to make it a little more well rounded.
Sounds awesome. I don't like this modern trend for "good" vampires, or even ones who are remorseful, but GW has let Genevieve and Abhorash through, and they've both been trying to fight off the curse. I've always seen vampires as being beastial- Vampirism is by it's very nature fueled by an utter lack of respect for moral grounding.
My own army has a Battle Standard Bearer who was once a loyal vassal of my general before his master fell to vampirism. Through a trick, the BSB was also turned to a vampire by his former master, and now he tries to warn other knights from the same fate. However, he still fights for his master, still drinks blood, and still participates wholeheartedly in affairs around the castle.
I would definitely flesh out the reason he turns against his vampiric masters. If he wants to let his armies rest in peace, he could become something akin to a BloodDragon and just retire to seclusion, waging a private war in secret against the vampires. This doesn't make for an army though, so you'll need an excuse for him to embrace his necessary evil and fight on against what are surely impossible odds.
My army uses Bretonian models as well. My skeletons are just bare-bones (literally) skeletons, from the boxed kits. My GraveGuard are actual Men-at-arms with skeleton heads and armed with Polearms that I count as Great Weapons. The hands are the same size as skeletons, so you can easily paint them bone. The new skelton heads are perfect, although I worked out a deal and bought a ton of the older sets with 20models and used those.
Felbats for me are actually "Black Pegasus Knights", since the models have 2 wounds and multiple attacks. It looks cool. Batswarms are batswarms- the guy is a vampire and bats live almost anywhere.
Ghouls are survivors of his deadly plan- they've wasted away in starvation and this horrible filth, and now he feels that their only salvation would be in death. But rather than round them up and slaughter them, he puts them to use in his army. Think of characters like the Goblins from Lord of the Rings. They're just a tool, barely fed and overworked, and it shows in their twisted features.