Introduction: Les canton du Villiers-Chateau
In the north-western forests of the Border Princes, in the foothills of the Vaults lies the Bretonnian canton of Villiers-Chateau. The canton is on the Rue Hauters-Nain (Dwarf High Road) which connects Bretonnia to the Border Princes and thrives on trade and exports of hardwood timber, ore and Villiers-Chateau brandy-wine which is made from apples.
Villiers-Chateau was one of the first Bretonnian fortresses built in 1442 during the Errantry Wars. During 1443 the castle came under siege by the forces of Skargol Gutspilla following the sacking of Neubourg. A steady stream of refugees flowed into the canton pursued by the vanguard of the Orc horde. The valiant knights rode out to meet them and halted their advance. Although they butchered much of the advance force and sent them fleeing to their lines, many of the knight's warhorses were slain.
Retreating to the castle, the knights prepared for the attack. And it came. The Orc horde threw itself against the walls of the fortress but were repelled by the valiant knights. When the impetus of the attack eventually stalled, the Orcs besieged Villiers-Chateau for nearly two months. Packed with refugees and without sufficent warmounts to sally-forth against the besiegers, all the defenders could do was pray. As if by some miracle their prayers were answered.
As the winter frosts began to set in a chill wind blew down through the mountain pass, followed by a newly raised Errantry army and a small force from Karak Hirn.
Fierce battles ensued in the hills surrounding Villiers-Chateau. Finally, the siege was lifted and the Orc army routed as the first snows began to fall. The thankful citizens of Villiers-Chateau built the Chapel of Mercy and sent a respectful tribute to the Low-King of Karak Hirn.
Since then, the knights of Villiers-Chateau have maintained a tradition of fighting and training on foot along-side the Men-at-Arms, heavily armoured in platemail and wielding great axes and broadswords. Unlike most Bretonnian dominions, Villiers-Chateau maintains a professional force of veterans and mercenaries. Villiers-Chateau archers have put aside the traditional longbow for the Arbalest (crossbow) favoured by the region's soldiers for it's power to penetrate thick Orc hides.
Bretonnians in the Border Princes: Bretonnian-themed Empire Army List
The following is a Bretonnian themed army suitable for the Border Princes using The Empire Army Book.
Mostly it is a only a guide and does not explicitly change the Army Book.
Included at the bottom are 4 house rules for those who want to follow the theme.
•Templar Grand Master
•Arch Lector of Sigmar: may only be armed with sword (hand weapon) & shield or great sword, may not take a war altar.
Theme Fluff: The Grail Saints are famous Grail Knights who's deeds are legendary. They are the slayers of monsters and the bane of evil!
•Wizard Lord: may only choose spells from Life, Beast or Heavens lores, must take an Obsidian Amulet & may not take magic weapons or armour.
•Captain of the Empire: may not take pistol or handgun, the army must include a Sherriff upgraded to Battle Standard Bearer.
Theme Fluff: The Sherriffs of the realm are the Lord's captains and magisters. They are not strictly knights (but can be), so they are not strictly bound to the same customs of weapons and armour.
•Warrior Priest: may only be armed with sword (hand weapon) & shield or great sword.
Theme Fluff: The Grail Knights found in the Border Princes are the defenders of sacred sites along the Path of Bones or are the Lady's champions and protectors of her people.
DAMSEL / HEDGE WIZARD
•Battle Wizard: Damsel may only choose spells from Life or Beast lores, must take an Obsidian Trinket & may not take magic weapons or armour. Hedge Wizard does not have any restrictions on lores or magic items.
Theme Fluff: Hedge wizards are common in the old world and are found in abundance in the Border Princes and Tilea. Masters of many arcane arts, Hedge Wizards are as varied as they are mysterious.
KNIGHTS OF THE REALM
•Knightly Orders: may only be armed with lances & shields, the army must include at least one unit of Knights of the Realm.
Theme Fluff: In the cantons of the Border Princes young knights must first prove their swordsmanship and skill on foot before they are awarded their armour and spurs as Knights of the Realm.
Theme Fluff: The professional soldiers of the region are skilled with polearm and spear. In many cases they fight without shield for the freedom of movement this affords, but should they require it, they can carry the large paravise shield.
Theme Fluff: In a land frequently invaded by ravaging bands of Orcs and Beastmen, the Arbalest (crossbow) has proven invaluable in penetrating thick hides.
There is also an abundance of hard woods and ores required to manufacture the weapons, which provides a valuable industry.
ARCHERS / FORESTERS
Theme Fluff: The archers in the Border Princes have learned to make do with the simple bow as there is not such an abundance of quality, flexible timbers such as the yew or birch required to make the longbow. In the thickly wooded uplands, foresters and trackers abound and the hunting and trapping of game is a primary source of meat in a land ill-suited to grazing cattle.
•Greatswords: may be armed with great axes &/or great swords
•Inner Circle Knights: must be armed with great swords.
Theme Fluff: The mangonel is a lighter, simpler form of trebuchet which is easier and cheaper to build.
GRAIL BATTLE PILGRIMS
Theme Fluff: The pilgrims who travel the Way of Bones from the Cathedral of Carcassonne in Bretonnia to the shrine of Mont Saint Etienne in the Border Princes are the most fanatically dedicated of their ilk. They road runs along the borders of Athel Loren and through the mountains and is fraught with danger. The acolytes seek out hidden shrines and grottoes to imortalised Grail Saints and the sacred sites of the Blessed Lady. They carry stout threshing flails and have been known to willingly martyr themselves to follow in the footsteps of the Grail Saints.
THEME RULE: BRETONNIAN
The army may not include any of the following units: Emperor Karl Franz, Kurt Helborg, Grand Theogonist Volkmar, Balthazar Gelt, General of the Empire, Ludwig Swartzhelm, Luthor Huss, Master Engineer, Handgunners, Free Company, Pistoliers, Outriders, Great Cannon, Helblaster Volley Gun, Helstorm Rocket Battery, Steam Tank.
THEME RULE: MAGIC ITEMS
Magic items may only be chosen from the Warhammer 8th Edition Rulebook. They may not be taken from The Empire army book.
THEME RULE: FORESTERS
The army may not use the Detachments rule. However, there is no limit to the number of units of Archers which may be upgraded to Foresters (Huntsmen) and the upgrade only costs 1pt/model.
THEME RULE: COUNTRYMEN
If the army is fielded alongside a Bretonnian army (from the Bretonnian Army Book) the two armies may benefit from the Bound by Blood rule.