"What is a knight without his steed? But what is the steed without his knight? Knight and steed, noble and peasant; on such relationship is Bretonnia built."
- —King Louen Leoncoeur
Bretonnia is the second largest and most powerful nation of men in the Old World, after The Empire. They are less technologically advanced than their neighbours, but are sheltered and protected by their geography. Bretonnian society has a strict division between the nobles and knights, and the lowly peasants who often live in squalor. The race is strongly based on arthurian legends and medieval France. Their armies consist of more numerous, cheaper peasant units fighting alongside a variety of powerful knights.
How they play
A summary of Bretonnia gameplay:
- Units: Strong knight cavalry, backed up by cheap peasant infantry. Plenty of flying units.
- Regiments of Renown: These are unique, more elite versions of regular Bretonnia units.
- Chivalry: Noble actions provide faction-wide bonuses, while acting unchivalrously incurs penalties.
- The Green Knight: A unique hero unit that becomes available to summon after reaching certain thresholds of chivalry.
- Peasant Economy: Peasants both work the land, and also fight in armies. Recruiting too many peasant units hampers your economy.
- Lance Formation: This special formation, unique to Bretonnia, allows their cavalry to pierce through enemy lines.
|“||We have prayed to the Lady, she has given us her Blessing. Ready your lances and charge!||„|
Bretonnia is the third largest nation of men after Cathay and the Empire. It is a feudal society protected by hosts of knights, considered by many to be the most powerful heavy cavalry in the Old World. Bretonnia also has an underclass of oppressed peasant serfs, who are recruited as archers and spearmen-at-arms who act as a more expendable meatshield for elite knights.It is located to the west of Sigmar’s lands, separated from them by the southern and northern Grey Mountains. The nations trade via several critical mountain passes and on the whole relations remain cordial, although they have gone to war many times in their turbulent history. Bretonnia is a feudal society, split between the savagely poor majority and the rich nobles with their gallant Knights standing above the filthy rabble. In theory, the Knights of Bretonnia - the flower of its military - have a code of chivalry that forms an unbreakable duty to protect its citizens. In practice, Knights are often selfish, greedy, political creatures, more interested in procuring the shiniest armour and attending tournaments than safeguarding the basic needs of the smallfolk.
However, when the Knights of Bretonnia do go to war they are undeniably proficient. They are considered the most powerful heavy cavalry in the Old World by many, although no doubt the Knightly Orders of the Empire would contest this. Armies of Bretonnia contain Knights of various stages and statuses. The Knights of the Realm are the most numerous, but there are the more exotic Pegasus Knights, as well as many others who have received visions from the Lady, the Goddess of Bretonnia, to seek her out. Finally, there are the Grail Knights, those who have found the Lady and supped from her mythical Grail to become something more than mortal. For them, earthly desires such as wealth and political aspirations no longer matter. All they care about is the chivalric code, in the truest sense of the word.
However, a Bretonnian army rarely consists of Knights alone - squires and men-at-arms form ranks of solid, if unremarkable, foot troops and peasant levies are provided to soak up damage from unchivalrous cannons and other ranged devices. Although the Knights are only too happy for their own side to field large trebuchets, they would never dirty their own hands in such cowardly ways. And so it is the Knights of Bretonnia march forth with lances dipped, and a prayer to the Lady on their lips!
The Bretonnian factions are normal, non-horde factions that control settlements and provinces.
- Couronne, led by King Louen Leoncoeur.
- Bordeleaux, led by Alberic de Bordeleaux.
- Carcassonne, led by Fay Enchantress.
- Chevaliers de Lyonesse, led by Repanse de Lyonesse.
In the campaign, many minor AI factions are grouped together under Bretonnia (Bretonnian Kingdoms in Total War: Warhammer I).
Total War: Warhammer
Factions introduced in The Old World campaign:
Factions exclusive to The Season of Revelation campaign:
Total War: Warhammer II
Factions introduced in The Eye of the Vortex campaign:
The Bretonnian unit roster is focused mostly on heavy cavalry, and this is where their killing power comes from. Many of their traditional shock cavalry units have a Bonus vs. Large making them come out on top of most cavalry engagements. They also have heavy cavalry capable of holding their own in extended melee engagements with infantry. However it would be a mistake to ignore Peasant Bowmen or Spearmen-at-Arms who provide an important shield for valuable units of Knights of the Realm and Grail Knights. Bretonnia also has many powerful flying units such as Pegasus Knights, and even some monstrous units such as Hippogryph Knights. King Louen Leoncoeur himself has the valuable regeneration ability.
Bretonnian spellcasters have access to three lores of magic:
Regiments of Renown
The Bretonnian factions have several Regiments of Renown available. These are elite, unique versions of standard Bretonnia units. They were added for free in the Foundation Update. Players must sign up for / log into Total War Access, to get the regiments of renown for free.
In the Campaign
Vows and Troths
The Peasant Economy of Bretonnia puts a limit on how many peasant units can be recruited into armies. Going over this limit will incur penalties. Occupying new settlements increases the limit.
Chivalry is a campaign mechanic whereby certain actions increase chivalry and provide faction-wide bonuses in tiers. If chivalry drops too low, it will incur penalties instead. Chivalry is tied to Bretonnia's victory conditions.
The Green Knight
He is also available in multiplayer and custom battles.
Lance Formation is a unit ability on certain Bretonnian cavalry which confers bonuses and allows them to pierce enemy lines. They are the only race who can change formation like this.
Note: Raiding as a Bretonnian faction reduces your Chivalry and can even result in negative traits for your Lord.
Bretonnian climate preferences for settlements:
- Habitable: Temperate, Savannah, Desert
- Unpleasant: Mountain, Magical Forest, Jungle, Temperate Island
- Uninhabitable: Wasteland, Frozen, Ocean, Chaotic Wasteland
Regional occupation (Only in Total War: Warhammer I)
Under the regional occupation system of Total War: Warhammer, Bretonnia can only occupy temperate lowland provinces. They cannot occupy mountains/badlands areas which are restricted to the Greenskin Tribes and Dwarf Realms. Nor can they occupy the Norscan peninsula.
Dilemmas and Events
- Ultimate Campaign Victory (Old World Campaign)
- Attain 1,000 Chivalry
- Complete the final Errantry War battle
- Ultimate Campaign Victory (Mortal Empires Campaign)
- Attain 2,000 chivalry
- Complete the final Errantry War battle
How to access Bretonnia
Bretonnia can be downloaded for free from Steam here.
- Bretonnia has a highly defensible position. To the east they are sheltered by the Grey Mountains, which can only be crossed through two narrow passes. Kislev and The Empire factions tend to bear the brunt of Chaos Invasions originating from the Chaos Wastes in the far northeast. They are also far away from most Greenskins factions. The south is more dangerous with Clan Skryre, Pirates of Sartosa and Khazrak's Beastmen hordes. Also, within Bretonnia in the province of Lyonesse lies the undead Mousillon faction which can cause problems if left unchecked.
- Bretonnia has a unique race mechanic that limits the amount of peasant units they can have without economic repercussions. Lords with Vows can take large quantities of knights to avoid the economic repercussions of peasant units.
- Farms are a primary source of income and units. Farms allow the recruitment of peasant archers and increases the amount of peasant units that can be recruited faction wide.
- Bretonnian factions (Couronne, Bordeleaux, Lyonesse and Carcassonne) have technologies providing large bonuses to relationships, making it easier to confederate. There are also technologies to provide bonuses against enemy factions at the cost of diplomatic relations.
- In battle, you may never rely on your infantry to win, even if you can have your front line hold for several minutes and deal some damage with peasant bowmen. So you'll have to try out several tactics in order to maximize your cavalry damages. Below are some examples of effective strategies:
- Divide and Conquer : Sometimes you will face numerous army or several army. A way to win is to split your entire cavalery to go on the lower troops of your opponent and directly aggress the arriving renforcements : Against lower moral armies, you could put them in a mass retreats as soon as they arrive in the battlefield and win impossible battles. In the same times, make a lines with your peasants and some strong heroes to maintain the other parts of armies , until you cavalry come back and finish the battle. In the case you cannot attack directly renforcement , you can force the opponent army to divide with cavalry move around the enemy army, to force them to split against between your cavalry and your line. Just retreat your line to extends the split, and focus with your cavalry to kill the best units of the enemy army.
- Hammer and Anvil: Classic strategy for strong cavalry . Your line is the anvil to lower and lock enemy line, and your cavalry hammer them from behind to break moral and groups , and destroy enemy skirmisher. Warning : your line is not gonna hold a long time against line breakers such as chaos, norsca, or late game orc armies, it could break before your cavalry kill skirmisher and opponent cavalry. You will have to doze well how many cavalry to kill back lines and how many to hammer enemy line. Also, Paladin heroes can make a good anvil instead of infantry units; a line of 4 Paladins may hold much longer than the infantry will. As it appears to be the main Bretonnian tactics, do not be blocked in this fashion as it is not a all-the-time-win tactics, and maybe the most difficult one to apply.
- Charge frontline : Dispose your army in a checkerboard fashion , with cavalry and infantry. You will need several unit of trebuchet and peasant bowmen for this tactics in backline. Your front cavalry need to be melee cavalry. The goal of this strategy is to utilize the excellent range of Bretonnian skirmishers and the high quality of Bretonnian melee cavalry. When your enemy comes within range of your trebuchets, just send a frontal charge with all your cavalry directly on enemy line. Keep your cavalry in combat for five to ten seconds, and then fall back to your line. This will break up the front line, which will take several seconds to reform, and will give your trebuchets more time to fire on the enemy. In addition their flank will advance or split from the main line, allowing opportunities for your anti-large cavalry to engage them. Restart the charge when the enemy line enter bowmen range, so you skirmisher will maximize their damage. when their frontline enter in contact with yours, they will be very diminuted. The checherboard formation will allow your cavalry to disengage and reform in backline. Another effects, the enemy will often send anti large infantry in the middle of their line to counter, as it often is on the flanks to support their cavalry. So your antilarge cavalry will often be free to destroy any flanks without be annoyed with antilarge infantry. This strategy will ask a strong contribution to your cavalry , be careful if you have to make another battle behind.
- Into the breach : A strong strategy with Bretonnia is the breach. put you cavalry inthe center backline of your troops. Before the contact, split your line in two in order to create a breach in the opponent line, and charge throught will your entire cavalry, then focus dangerous units and skirmisher. The breach need less time to exploit than hammer and anvil , but it is more dangerous as the enemy flank will not be beaten first.
The Fay Enchantress Cheese
This is a proposed strategy written by a Total War: Warhammer Gamepedia editor and should only be seen as a tip on how to play or overcome obstacles.
Try to confederate with all the Bretonnian factions except for Carcassonne as defeating the Fay Enchantress in battle with give your lord an increase to replenishment rate. Therefore when Carcassonne is the only Bretonnian faction left except for you, you should invade and defeat the Fay Enchantress with all your lords, giving them the trait. Then confederate with Carcassonne so you can gain access to the Fay Enchantress as a legendary lord. It's a bit cheesy but it can help you out.
- Bretonnia was based on King Arthur and mediaeval France.
- Couronne used to have the generic name "Bretonnia" until it was changed in the Potion of Speed Update for Total War: Warhammer II.
- Cylostra Direfin and her damned knights are from Bretonnia.
- Rodrik L'Anguille, a hunter in Markus Wulfhart's expedition, is from Bretonnia.
- Bretonnia used to only be playable in custom battles and multiplayer, not in the campaign, until they were released as a free playable race in the Bretonnia Update.
- The previously named update also added many new units to Bretonnia's roster, including some units created by CA which did not appear in the tabletop game.
- During a Chaos Invasion, the AI Bretonnian Kingdoms factions gain the Shield of Civilization trait.
- Despite having an entirely different culture in lore, in Total War: Warhammer 2 Araby is replaced by the Bretonnian crusader factions.
How to play Bretonnia in the Campaign
How to play Bretonnia in Battle
How to play Bretonnian Lords & Heroes