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An experienced gamer in my club has recently finished a 2250pt Bretonian army. I haven't played it yet, but I've been thinking a lot about that fight and I don't know if I could win it. I want to march-block/charge bait the guy to set up favorable charges/flank charges. However, he is an experienced and canny player. Here's how I imagine it going down:
Mounted Yeomen/Pegasus Knights/Peasent bowmen destroy my dark riders and harpies. Nasty character equipped units of knights outrange and destroy my infantry/heavy cav pretty much with impunity. Peasents mop up anything that survives the charge.
At this point I'm pretty much left hoping that magic/ RBT do enough damage to his knight blocks to let me win fights through static CR. Which isn't outside the realm of possibility, but it seems like an outside chance with the Bret ward saves and magic resistance.
His army is pretty well balanced and complete. Mine is only 1000 points so far. I have enough models for 2 units of 25 spears, 1 unit 25 corsairs, 6 harpies, 6 Dark Riders, 9 Cold One Knights, 1 sorceress, 1 hydra, up to 3 RBT. I have a 1000 pt Army posted.
I'm hoping for advice both on beating canny bret players, and how to structure my army to make this possible. I'm thinking maybe I need to get 3-4 units of dark riders, most without RxB, and overwhelm him with marchblocking and flanking actions. Tactics then go: destroy mounted yeomen/peasents with harpies and fast cav, try and hold up knights and pegasus knights with marchblocking/charge-baiting, set up opportunistic charges. Whaddya think?
Thanks in advance!
Yeah... bretts are a tough nut to crack really. I had a game just two days against them. Couldn't have gone worse. The board looked great at first. I was threatening all his war machines, forced one of his large units into some woods, and had his grail knights in a position where no matter what they did, they would take my general's chariot in the flank. At the bottom of turn 2, his grail knights had been crushed under my general, I'd caused 3 terror tests, one of which forced a large unit of KoTR into another forest. His general/unit were in a position where they could either be charged in the rear by a hydra, or take a charge in the front from a fully ranked unit of spears. One unit of grails down, 2 brett units so far inside of trees that they're out of action, and the bulk of the rest of the army stuck in a myriad of traps.
However, when it came to combat, I just could not destroy them. A fully ranked up unit of 25 spears *charged* one of his KoTR units, lost combat, and broke. I landed 15 executioners into the flank of a questing knight unit, along with a peg-noble. My generals chariot had collided into yet another knight block. These situations bring about certain death for almost all cavalry out there, but not bretts. My units were just plain bouncing off of him. Some of this is due to rolling, but when executioners need to get passed a 4+ armor save, and a 5+ ward save just to inflict a wound... it's really hard to rank up kills. And yet here I was, bouncing off of the flank of knight units. It was horribly frustrating.
Really, the best way to deal with brets, is to take a Dragon. One thing that Brettonians really struggle with is huge tough monsters. A highborn on dragon can cause all sorts of trouble for your opponent, who lacks a reliable means to kill it via shooting. With the ability to fly, you can easily stay out of charge arcs.
Leave the witch elves and RxBs at home. They won't be of any use. You need fast maneuverable units. Take shades and harpies, and force your opponent off course, or into terrain. Cause as many terror tests as possible. If he flees for any reason, that damned blessing is lost. Deny him the charge at every opportunity. Chariots and hydras are wonderful for this. If he's only got his S3 in subsequent rounds, he will likely not inflict any wounds on a T5 model. Take the blade of ruin. Knock out those armor saves without triggering the 5+ doom save.
Watch out for pegasus knights. Include a noble on a dark peg who's goal in life will be specifically to hunt these beasts down. Charge in, and declare a challenge. Ideally, you can beat their unit champion to pieces, (he can't refuse the challenge), and avoid attacks back. If this fails, simply shoot them with RBT fire. They're too large to get the skirmisher bonus against shooting, and will fall pretty quickly.
Bretts are definitely a tough army to beat. Take advantage of all the little tricks the Dark Elves do so well. Throw small expendable units right into his face, and force him to charge. Flee, let him run you down and move forward a full 16 inches into a trap. Pull all the sneaky Druchii things you can.
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Magic heavy, RBT heavy, and a dragon will be best. take large blocks of spearmen for the meat grinder. Consider not even taking shields since your armor save will be negated on a charge, and that's all you want them to be capable of absorbing. Then swarm the crap out of the knights to route em.
I'd probably take 2 units of dark riders to counter his yeomen or take out the stonethrower. RxB's probably not worth the points on them.
Executioners, chariots, and the dragon are your game winners aside from dodgy magic rolls/resists. Dark lore can be amazingly effective if you can land Dominion on a knight unit in proper time.
bolt throwers are an obvious must since you can pound a lance formation with a couple shots into the front. A hydra might work out, but personally I would put more faith into mass RBT on Bretts.
You could be really nasty and take four RBTs^_^
I think a BSB is a must, if you only lose a combat by a couple of points then a re-roll for the break test could be invaluable. I think one of the keys to beating brets is to hold their charges, because in subsequent rounds they lose the strength bonus and the extra lance formation attacks
You could always just play undead.... :p
Seriously. Bretts have a terrible terrible time against all things slow, smelly and unbreakable...
Basically, you get a wall of skeleton.... march it 8" up so that either he charges this turn, or tries to fall back.... Thats not even counting awesome magic and annoying bound spells....
Basically... if you had unbreakable disposable units, you could use them.
Or you could just take mengels manflayers.... man I love those guys.....
They would run around with impunity.... wizard(ess) hunt, easily take out the yeomen and the peasant archers (lovely lovely multi shot poison) and flank and rear charge the knights.... (Basically losing combat... but killing easily with multi poisoned great weapons, and with a standard and a rear charge... the knights could be held up in combat...)
Mengels Manflayers are always an awesome unit to take when you rely on outflanking... basically... they kill lightly armoured things with impunity (I'd like to see peasant bowmen TRY to hit them, with -3 basic to hit) and mop up small units for bonus victory points....
If you need to guard your flanks (ie: You don't have vampire led Black Knights) guard them by deploying your usual units, and some of those twisted skin wearing guys, to give you a large edge...
Basically, don't engage until you've wiped out all but his knight blocks... take out his damsels... and then flank with dark riders, with a rear charge by Mengels Manflayers, while your main units threaten his front...
Skirmishing scouts: guaranteed to march block, and piss off your opponent every time.
minimalism is the key.
Unfortunately, it's usually the bretonnian player who decided whether to engage or not ^_^Basically, don't engage until you've wiped out all but his knight blocks... take out his damsels...
Taking out damsels could be tricky as they can be kept inside the lance formation.
How many characters have the grail vow is the real question. Because that negates terror pretty well. Hydras are fun against brets. I find you just have to use scenery more heavily. get them to curse your army for cowardice then hit them hard in the flanks.
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i always found that rank and file spearmen etc just got mashed by charges so have really cheap units of ten and get a noble/highborn on a manticore. also executioners are very handy to cut through their armour. sacrifice your spear men and sneak the manticore round the side and repeatedly flank charge units of knights.