Later Breton 851 to 1100 A.D.

The Bretons began as British refugees of Germanic invasions of what was to become England. These Late Roman successors settled in Brittany and began as a combined arms force of heavy cavalry, light cavalry and assorted lightly equipped cavalry with large and varied allied contingents. This list begins in 851 AD, the year the Franks recognized the unified Kingdom of Brittany for the first time.

About 800 AD, due in no small part to increased Frankish pressure, the Breton elite cavalry steadily increased its armament, but continued with the archaic heavy cavalry use of spears and javelins, thrust or thrown overhand, in the face of enemies who brought their charge home with crouched lance in an irresistible onrush of armored horsemen. Even with the antiquated tactics, or perhaps because of them, Breton cavalry maintained a reputation for skilled cavalrymen with a degree of control, in the form of calculated attacks, reigning-in attacks before they got out of control, and, on a number of occasions, the use of feigned flight, a tactic usually reserved for the Asiatic Hordes of the steppes.

This list represents the Bretons as they gradually and grudgingly made the conversion to the Frankish, and more appropriately termed, Norman style. The period closes with the completion of the conquest of Brittany in the late 11th Century when most Breton cavalry finally adopted the ‘classic' European heavy cavalry tactics, and lost most of what had made them distinctly "Breton."

Era: Triumph of Cavalry   Later Breton 851 to 1100 A.D. CR: H: 4 L: 4   BP: 2 Init: 5
Number Type   Description Key FV PROT Weapon Cost
2 HC Breton Nobles Key 5(0)0 +1 Spears 12
2 HC Lesser Breton Nobles Key 4(0)0 +1 Spears 10
2 LC Bretons Key 2(0)0 +1 Javelins 7
1 SI Bretons   3(1)2 +2 Javelins 2
3 HC Breton Nobles Key 5(0)0 +1 Spears 12
6 HC Lesser Breton Nobles Key 4(0)0 +1 Spears 10
2 LC Bretons Key 2(0)0 +1 Javelins 7
4 FT Breton Peasants Key 4(0)0 +1 Various 4
2 LI Bretons   4(1)2 +1 Javelins 7
3 SI Bretons   3(1)2 +2 Javelins 2
2 SI Bretons   2(1)1 +2 Bows 2
1 FT Viking Huscarls Key 7(1)2 +2 Various 12
4 FT Viking Bondi Key 5(1)2 +1 Various 7
1 SI Vikings   2(1)1 +2 Bows 2
2 HC(d) Franks Key 5(0)0 +1 Lances 11
2 HC(d) Franks Key 4(0)0 +1 Lances 9
4 HC(d) Normans Key 5(0)0 +1 Lances 11
2 FT Normans Key 5(1)1 +1 Various 6
1 SI Normans   2(1)1 +2 X-bows 2
2 SI Normans   2(1)1 +2 Bows 2


Core: 1 GR

Bonus: (Max: 3 ) 3 GR, 2 SH, 1W


Core: 97 Bonus: 291

Breton HC may not dismount. Breton HC is not subject to Obligatory Charge.

A Breton Player may spend up to one-half of his total bonus points on allied/mercenary contingents. At least one-half of the available bonus points must be spent on Bretons and terrain.

For the purpose of gaining an extra light division, a Breton player must purchase all native Breton light types only. Allies and mercenaries are not included in this requirement.

Any or all Vikings may be purchased. If any Vikings are purchased, then no Franks or Normans may be purchased. Vikings may form shieldwall.

If any Franks are purchased, then all must be purchased. If Franks are purchased, then they must be placed in their own separate heavy division. All Franks are subject to Obligatory Charge. Franks may not be used with Vikings or Normans.

Any or all Normans may be purchased. If any Normans are purchased, then no Franks or Vikings may be. All Norman HC are subject to Obligatory Charge.


(1.) The Bretons maintained a degree of control unique in their part of the world. A degree of control and even feigned flight that were out of sync with most of the hard-charging cavalry styles of most of their neighbors. For this reason, no Breton HC is forced to Obligatory Charge.

(2.) The Bretons continued to fight almost continually mounted. For this reason, they may not dismount.

(3.) Bretons rarely used native ‘heavy' infantry. Heavy infantry as such were usually peasants impressed into service when the need arose.

(4.) Breton LC continued to be the most common mercenary export from the region. Breton LC could be found serving in the armies of Carolingians, Normans, Spanish, Later Franks and French among others. Four total LC are proposed. Considering that Carolingians are allowed 4 and Spanish are allowed 5, 4 does not seem out of bounds. Most rules sets call for significantly higher numbers of LC.

List Author: Blue Duck