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Monday, 18 January 2010

How to build Bretonnians…on a budget!

By QuiGonJinn

Disclaimer: This guide was written from the perspective of the current market economy as based in Canada as of January, 2010. 


Whether you are a newbie to the world of miniature wargaming or a veteran of the hobby, there is always one thing synonymous that both persons have to deal with: the cost of the miniatures. Games Workshop has been slowly increasing costs of the hobby every few years, but a smart person can still plan their expenses accordingly. 

Now, someone will say, “$50 for 8 plastic horses and men?! Are you mad?” The answer is “Yes, I am mad. I am mad for my hobby!” Building, painting, and enjoying Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, or Lord of the Rings isn’t any more expensive than any other hobby out there. To get a decent gaming console and games and controllers will steadily increase over time, until you have spent well over $500 on the lot. And you might get a few months of enjoyment out of it before it is shelved and rarely looked at until the next game or system that should come along.

Well here, for you budding Bretonnian players, builders, and enthusiasts, I will provide you with a guide that will show you how you can make a fun and enjoyable army with that same $500 that you could have spent on the expensive game console, games, controllers, subscriptions, and the lot, into a miniature force that is yours to say “I built that!” Please note, that taxes were not calculated in the construction of this guide. If we want to cover all the possible taxes, your maximum spending on this hobby will vary by region.



Let’s begin with the assumption that you have your modelling supplies already. That is your paints, your glues, modelling files, your primer (everything you will need for model building and painting), or have access to these things. Furthermore, we will assume you have the Army Book. Otherwise you wouldn’t really be all that interested in Bretonnians, would you, unless you knew their stories and fluff, and how to build an army list.

If not, then we need to spend $50 obtaining those items. But where will we get these things? Firstly: not everything will come from Games Workshop!

From Games Workshop we will purchase the following paints:

1. Boltgun Metal

2. Badab Black Wash

3. Any 5 other colors that you want to use. Choose these well, as you will be using these colors a lot.

Total spent thus far: 7* $4.25 = $29.75

So that brings us from $50 to $21.25 to spend on other supplies. Now take that cash to your local dollar store(or discount hobby store), and see if they have modelling clippers, and craft knives. Spend $5 getting those items. The next thing we need is glue. I make use of Testors, and have found it to be of good use. Most modelling shops carry this glue for good price. $2.50. Paintbrushes are the last item to be obtained from the hobby store. Spend $8 buying these. The last supply trip you will make is to your local Home Depot, or hardware store, for a spray can of white primer for about $5.50. Now we have all the modelling supplies you will need. 

Now for the miniature purchases; you will need to purchase 3 Bretonnian Batallion Boxes. As well as 3 boxes of Regiments of Bretonnian Knights. $108 for the Batallion boxes at Games Workshop retail, and then another $42 for the Knights boxes, making an even $450.

This will obtain for you:

3 Pegasus Knights

60 Men at Arms

48 Bowmen

48 Knights.

From this we will build our force.

Now, you won’t necessarily do this all at once in one big epic purchase. The $500 can be spread out over a 12 month period. Rather than spending that $50 you normally would on video games, movie rentals, and movie tickets, popcorn, pop, every month, you can save it all for 3 months and then purchase a Batallion box and the Knights regiment and have the next 3 months to build and paint that lot before moving onto the second set and third set.


The Army:

But how shall we build the force? Afterall, we have 12 months, but a game plan is always a good thing to have!

Here is a rough list, with no magic items, nor special stuff that we can do with the Bretonnian list that I have put together to demonstrate for your reference. You can decide what you want to add to your force based on your personal preference.

One possible list will make a 2500 point army (The gap in the points can be filled by re-arranging units and adding magic items from the Bretonnia Army Book):

Lords and Heros
Lord, Barded Bretonnian Warhorse, Lance, Shield 140 points

Paladin, Barded Bretonnian Warhorse, Lance, Shield 80 pts

Paladin, Barded Bretonnian Warhorse, Lance, Shield 80 pts

Paladin, Barded Bretonnian Warhorse, Battle Standard 74 pts

Core Units

8 Knights Errant, Musician, Standard 181 pts

8 Knights Errant, Musician, Standard 181 pts

8 Knights of the Realm, Musician, Standard 216 pts

8 Knights of the Realm, Musician, Standard 216 pts

25 Men-At-Arms, Musician, Standard 140 pts

25 Men-At-Arms, Musician, Standard 140 pts

10 Men-At-Arms, Musician 55 pts

44 Bowmen, Skirmish, Musician, Villien, Braziers 295 pts

Special Units

3 Pegasus Knights, Musician 125 pts

6 Questing Knights 168 pts

Rare Units

6 Grail Knights 228 pts

Field Trebuchet 90 (optional) [The four extra bowmen that you have not used will double as the crew.

Subtotal: 2409 points.

The Lord/Heroes come from making use of 4 Knights to just build up and paint different from your regular Knights. 

The regular Core troops are built as per the box, with little real alterations. Paint them however you wish.

The Questing Knights will be made by keeping at least 6 of the sword arms you will get from the 6 Knight kits you will obtain. The 6 kits come with 2 apiece, so there is plenty for you to make use of. 

The Grail Knights will be painted differently and have the Grail image. Very simple, no?

The Field Trebuchet will be discussed in another guide I will write at a later date. A quick hint: it will be constructed from the massive amounts of sprue you will have after having constructed all these units. 

Now mind, the list is not optimal, nor very special, it is merely a guide to how one might build the army. You, as the budding hobbyist have free reign for how you want your force to look, play, and overall feel of the army while playing it in games of Warhammer.



Now, working in 4 month blocks where you save for 3 months and then buy a pair of boxes, you build and paint for the next 3 months while you wait for funds for the next set of boxes. Continue to build and paint until you have purchased everything and have finished everything. It can take a year to obtain everything, and another year to finish building and painting, but that will be $500 to $550 spent on 2 years of time, energy, and work, and in the end you will have something enjoyable to show for it.

I hope that this guide has been useful. For the Lady, for the King, for Bretonnia!

Last Updated ( Monday, 18 January 2010 )
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