If Bretonnian peasants become Dark Elf slaves, is that a promotion?

Yes, it has been a little while. Six days or something. And to be honest, not a lot has been achieved on the miniature painting front. Unfortunately real work keeps getting in the way. If I can just get it finished, then I can go back to painting Grail Knights.

Yesterday was Australia Day, so a public holiday for all! Brad, Jarryd and Craig came around for some battles. Australian indeed!

Myself and Brad ran our proposed tournament lists. While setting up for my first battle against Jarryd’s Warriors of Chaos, I noticed a slight oversight on my part. I had only purchased three Grail Knights! I usually like to run about 5, as they are fairly hard hitters. Oops!

The battle against Jarryd was interesting. He had taken an army that leaned towards Nurgle, making a bunch of units hard to hit, but causing -1 to my WS. He had a very different Chaos army than I had fought against previously. No War Shrine, lots of Warhounds and a couple of Spawns. The Warhounds were dispatched fairly easily, but the Spawn were neigh impossible for me to beat. I didn’t have trouble hitting them, but wounding them proved to be a challenge.

If I had managed to get a knight charge on one, that probably would have been fine. But Jarryd managed to consistently move his Spawns 11″ across the table for two turns, something I did not expect. The initial 11″ inches was fair enough, but to roll 11″ for times in a row for movement. Unheard of!

It was a very close battle, with both sides losing masses of troops. In the end, we came up with a draw, which was an acceptable outcome. The new Warriors of Chaos seem quite hard and versatile, especially with the selection of gifts and magic banners they can use to augment their lower numbers.


Next I fought Brad, who is currently running a ‘Dark Elf’ army. I say ‘Dark Elf’, because his army on the table was made up of not even half Dark Elf models, most being High Elf stand ins for troops he promised he was “sticking together”.

I deployed with the bulk of my army weighted towards the left flank. There were some woods on the right flank that created a funnel, and I figured that some archers and the Knight Errant should be able to hold that area, especially since I know Brad is always keen to avoid funnels. I probably should have committed some more troops to the left, though, like the Pegasus Knights and the three Grail Knights.


This is about half way through the battle. Those Bretonnians at the bottom of the picture… they are dead. The Dark Elves seemed to be cutting swathes through me, and I largely couldn’t do anything about it. Part of this was the large number of armour and ward saves I failed, but it wasn’t just that. I don’t think I had the right troops fighting the right Dark Elves, which isn’t surprising really, given that I have never faced the Dark Elves before.

The Hydra was causing havoc on my peasant troops who, because the generals unit had been sliced up by magic and run off, were cut off from any access to higher leadership. Charges made against the terror causing Hydra were largely useless as the troops broke and fled. Not good!


This is the end of the battle, where only both of the units of Peasant Archers are left alive, and the Grail Knights are fleeing for theirs. All other troops have been eliminated.

The men of the match have to be the Grail Knights who, even though there were only three of them, managed to hold out for a couple of turns against Executioners and Black Guard. In addition to this the three Pegasus Knights managed to kill the Witch Elf Hero with the Cauldron of Blood (before they themselves were wiped out), so there were small victories for the Bretonnians.

I think my army composition will have to change slightly, but I have a better handle on how the Dark Elves operate now. My Bretonnian army is quite large and while this worked well against the Warriors of Chaos it was less effective against the Dark Elves. My current thinking is to take out the second unit of Men-at-arms, as well as the Mounted Yoemen, and boost the Grail Knights up to 5. I might also bring the Peasant Archers down to 10, so I have two units of 10.

Brad seemed to think I needed a Lord character which, given the increased liklehood of terror causing units, seems like a good idea. The extra leadership could make all the difference. I think it might be worth bumping the Damsel up to a Level 2 mage. At the moment she is equipped with a Dispel Scroll and Icon of Quenelles, but I think it might be worth giving her a little more casting power. The only problem is that there is only one item in the Bretonnian Magic Items list that effects the Damsels casting, but it is useless now that the magic rules have changed.  Really now, the Damsel only has a chance of successfully casting if the opponent has next to no magic what-so-ever. Obviously this will be fixed, but as it stands, it is very crippling. The best the Bretonnians can hope for is a slightly robust defensive Magic Phase.

Really I need to run more knights, but there are a couple of problems with this. One, I don’t have enough knight models to do that. And two, I don’t really want to do that. But it is looking more and more like it will be a nessecity. I’m hoping that I can get a happy middle ground, push up the few unit I have so they are a little larger without doing away with all the peasant units.

I really think the tournament is going to be a test for my army.


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About matt

Freelance Graphic Designer, thinker, and Warhammer tragic.

2 responses to “If Bretonnian peasants become Dark Elf slaves, is that a promotion?”

  1. Doomy says :

    Some interesting insights there. You did definitely suffer from not knowing much about Dark Elves and I probably should have spent more time before the battle started going over things with you. Since we normally play closed lists though it would have been hard to figure out how much I should actually tell you.
    I think your army composition is actually pretty good. Magic wise I would suggest taking the level 1 or upgrading to 2 level 2’s. I don’t think you will find any use for something in between.
    A Lord for extra Ld would be good, but you might be able to reduce the effects of psychology by placing units like Grail knights between your other units to stop cascading panic etc. Errants would be handy on a flank where they can ignore psych on a charge and thus can be away from the General’s Ld.

    I think you made two mistakes in the game that cost you. The biggest was not charging your General’s unit into my Spearelves when you had the chance. I put the 5+ ward on them to dissuade you from charging and it worked. To be honest it was really just a bluff and with the CR your knight unit was packing I would have been owned.
    The other was using both knight units to charge the small unit of corsairs. This effectively kept one of those units out of the game for 2 turns and I didn’t have to worry about getting flanked until I had mopped up your centre.

    I’m going to put up a post looking for feedback on the Dark Elf army on the message board. I’d appreciate your thoughts when you get time.

  2. matt says :

    I pretty much accepted before had I wouldn’t know much about hte Dark Elf troops, and even if you had taken me through them, usually the best way to figure out who works well against who is just getting them into combat.

    I’m happy with the composition, but I does need those tweaks, like 5 Grail Knights and the Lvl 2 Damsel. I also have a Virtue on the Questing Knight Paladin that added D6 to is charge, that I basically never use. I might change that out for something else.

    The Icon of Quenelles might be worth keeping, actually. The Men-at-arms seemed to hold up well when using their hand weapons and shields plus the Ward Save, and if I arm them with Spears they might made a good defensive unit. Use them to take charges from enemy knights and such.

    I have to check the Icon of Quenelles’ use, though. As I read it, it gives the Blessing to the bearer and any unit the bearer is with, and so even if the Damsel leaves the unit or is killed, the Men-at-arms continue to keep the Blessing. Thats how it reads, but I keep thinking that might not be the intention, though. I’m going to hit some FAQs and see what it says.

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