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Ive played vampire counts for a while and i was getting tired of all the magic and variety in the army so i wanted to go with something more historic and living. The best possible choice was the Brets mostly because they lok fairly historicaly accurate and they dont have poofy uniforms like the empire, why GW did this i dont know you would have to be an idiot to wear something like that in a melee. I also thought i might be destined to play them as my last name, Ritter is German for Knight. Another thing i really liked was the new men-at-arms which are excellent representations of the medieval foot soldier who had little access to armor and was usually seen wearing studded leather armor, fabric with metal plates sewn in, etc.
Anyways to the point, I wanted to make a list that was accurate to armies of the middle ages with a majority of lightly armored foot soldiers, Longbowmen, heavy calvalry, etc. Problem is, GW decided to slap the new men-at-arms with less the likable stats. Luckily with the peasants duty Ld shouldnt be too big a trouble as long as i have knights. I just didnt like the idea of their being more knights than foot troops which is rediculous considering even the fantasy background. I was thinking taking loads of Men-at-arms and bowmen with a couple decent sized units of knights of the realm and fill up my character slots with a lord and paladins with virtue of empathy to follow the troops to help and make sure they dont run.
I realise this would be a tough army to play but i think i would enjoy it more. I was also tempted to take trebuchets even though that is also rediculous to have a siege weapon used on the field expecialy one as siege oriented as a trebuchet.
I like the way you think. I thought many of the same things when I picked the Brets. In fact I liked the idea of a nearly realistic army taking on the more fantasy driven ones. As to the idea of a heavy peasent army, it does work, but not suprisingly some armies it will do better agaisnt and others it will not. Play the brets from the standpoint of opponent to opponent. A themed army is fine but dont completely rule out using pegasus knights just because there werent any. Belive me your better off collecting higher quality display pieces not restricted to just GW's line then trying to handicap yourself in that way. Bloodthirsters dont give a damn about historical accuracy =P ! Have fun though, I wouldnt play anything else.
It sounds like a good idea, thats why i picked bretonnians to i made abit of a rule for my army. Its to have 1 unit of 16/20 peasents per unit of knights, i have 3 unit knights and 2 units of peasents so far, I make my army look big to.
Also on another note, if you really like that kind of theme i would suggest you play warhammer ancients, its all mediviel armies and more realistic game wise.