After the build up and running of the club demo game, I had a bit of inevitable hobby burnout. That’s not to say I didn’t do anything but I definitely didn’t have the urge to go near a brush for a while.
To get me back in the swing of things I went back to my favourite element of the hobby and dug out a load of miniatures, unboxed them and started to build the models. 50 Halberdiers, 10 Knights, 10 handgunners, 10 Crossbowmen, the new father and daughter witch hunters, gamesday vampire and 3 Kurnoth hunters later and I was feeling back in the swing of things, though I had suddenly added to the unpainted pile somewhat!
To rectify that, I dug out some totally different miniatures and painted up 22, 5th edition Bretonnian archers, that had sat unpainted since I got the original starter box on it’s release, in 1996. These were painted very quickly, almost to just the 3 colour tabletop minimum (ok probably 9). The bulk was also, done with contrast paints, which I am fast coming to love. I can’t say I enjoyed painting them, hence the fairly minimal effort, missing out doing some of the limited extra details on the models.
I did ensure that they matched the basic colours of the Knights of the Realm, that came in the box, and that I’d previously painted.
Just for my own reference, in case I have to paint others to match at a later date, paints used: Primed white. Contrasts: Black Templar, Iyanden yellow, Snakebite brown. Other paints, Warpstone glow, Warplock Bronze, Ironbreaker, Doombull brown, Cadian Fleshtone & Reikland flesh wash.
Standard archers in 8th ed aren’t overly great. They have 30″ str 3 bows. You’d normally field them in units of 10 and their main role would be to shoot up enemy chaff units (5 fast cav, wardogs etc.) that were gunning for your warmachines (Trebuchets) or looking to get in the way of your key units.
Bretonnian archers have a couple of advantages over other similar troops in other armies. For just 5pts you can give the unit flaming attacks. This allows them to be used to potentially strip regeneration off opposing units, allowing your Trebuchets to really cause some damage on those targets. As an aside, flaming attacks also causes fear in cav, warbeasts if they attack the unit in close combat. Not often useful but you can’t knock the secondary effect. They also come with free defensive stakes. In 8th that counts as a defended obstacle which has a number of bonuses.
It will give them soft cover (-1 to hit them with shooting).
If they are charged by anything, the opponent will get -1 to hit in the first round of combat.
If the model charging is a chariot, cavalry or monstrous cavalry, then they also have to take a dangerous terrain test.
As a further bonus, if you place the archers in front of one of your trebuchets, the defensive stakes will also help protect it vs cannon shots. If the cannon ball bounced through the obstacle, it goes no further (and the obstacle is removed as it is destroyed).
There is a potential pitfall to putting them in front of the Treb. If the archers fail a panic test or similar and flee through the Trebuchet (they do have a poor leadership), it is likely the Treb crew will also panic and it won’t be able to fire for a turn. I do think that this risk is outweighed by the benefits they provide and they are a cheap, great defensive unit, that you won’t regret taking.
Kurnoth Hunters (Treekin)
With my normal half a dozen part painted items on the board, I of course pushed most of these aside and instead went for the new shiny, in this instance, the Kurnoth hunters. This in part, is because I have a 5 way Triumph & Treachery game lined up in the new year with my D&D group and I was tempted to run 6 of these guys (as treekin). I already had 3 painted up and would normally use the 2 old marauder miniature metal treemen and Durthu model (love Trish’s sculpts) as the final 3. However that is quite a mismatch so i’d been itching for an excuse to pick up some more. Excuse made, I knocked these out pretty quickly mainly as, like the Bret’s, they have a limited colour scheme and frankly, they are great fun to paint! The one issue being that I hadn’t noted down how i’d painted the original 3, so the main colour isn’t quite the same.
Again for ref, the paints used were: Treekin: Gorthor brown, agrax washand golgfag brown drybrush. Fungus: Khorne red and wildrider red. Swords: Warpstone glow, Moot green. Branches: Xereus purple, screamer pink, emperors children.
Treekin aren’t the best monstrous infantry unit. They have good weapon skill (4), ok strength (again 4). Good toughness (5) and the standard 3 wounds and attacks normally found on this unit type. They get a 4+ save and a 6++ ward save. Their attacks are also magical, they cause fear, are immune to psychology and have the forest strider rule (basically ignore movement penalties in woods). That’s a lot of special rules. The 2 issues they have are:
- They are Flammable. So any flaming attacks that wound them (a prime example is the above Bretonnian archers flaming shots), cause 2 wounds each rather than 1. So if they are attacked by the right (or wrong?) enemy unit, they will fall rather fast.
- Strength 4 attacks aren’t actually that good. Sure they will lay into most core infantry but those infantry blocks will severely outnumber the treekin and will likely be steadfast so will have the numbers to whittle them down whilst not running away.
So how would I use them. They are definitely a prime target for buffing spells such as Wyssans, to give them Str5 and toughness 6. I also like pairing them with wardancers. The dancers ability to remove the opponents rank bonus, as well as providing additional attacks can help turn a combat.