I’ve been painting sod all lately, so its high time to get back in the saddle. And what better way to get back in the saddle than painting some horse dudes?

I’ve had a few dark age Bretons painted up for a while, but except for playing a few games of Lion Rampant I’ve not done much with them. Lion Rampant hasn’t really caught on at my club, but there’s now a bit of interest in Saga, so these will do nicely.

I have been slowly building up this collection into a big army that I can play proper big battles with, and Saga sort of pushed towards more cavalry than Lion Rampant did. So I’ve painted another dozen or so cavalry, with more on the way.

Bretons in Saga 2

In the original Saga the Bretons were their own faction with their own battle board and tactics. In the new version they’ve been downgraded to a variant of the Norman list with different equipment options. I’m not a big fan of that, all the information we have about Bretons warfare stresses how they fought differently from their neighbours. I suspect the reason they’ve been lumped in with the Normans is because William the Conqueror famously fielded Breton allies in his army at the Battle of Hastings. In reality though Bretons were more likely to fight against the Normans than with them. William led campaigns against Brittany either side of his invasion of England (1064-65 and in 1076 where he suffered a rare defeat), and they’d been regularly dusting each other up for at least a couple of centuries before that. It’s fair to say the Normans found the Bretons next door to be a pain in the arse, and culturally they were worlds apart.

Either way the army composition rules for Bretons limit you to javelins for your Hearthguard and Levies, with Soldiers having the option of being mounted with javelins or dismounted with hand weapons. That makes them into a version of Normans that’s slightly less durable in melee and doesn’t have bows or crossbows for their foot. But you do get to biff javelins at people when you move. And with options like “Envelopment” on the battle board, you’ll be moving a lot!

At the moment this lot will do for a 5pt Saga warband like:

  • Warlord
  • 8 Machtierns (Hearthguard)
  • 24 Soldiers

Those soldiers can split up into a couple of mounted units and some foot (say, two units of 7 horse and one of 10 foot).

I’ve also painted up this leader, who will be acting as the Warlord in Saga or a general for War & Conquest.