Bretonnian Teams in Blood Bowl: Design Decisions
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Over the years there has been so much heated debate about how to design a Bretonnian team, that I can safely say, that every different angle has been argued from both sides. There is simply no way to create a Bretonnian team, which will please everyone - so what I can do here is simply to shed some light on why the team looks the way it does.

Every Blood Bowl team should have a niche, a design goal, which makes it unique. The Bretonnian team is intended to be a running team, but the Bretonnian team is neither strong, nor particularly durable, so it will be at a disadvantage if the coach decides to play a 15 turn 2-1 grind style - the preferred style of bashy running teams. Instead, Bretonnian teams often have to rely on a more daring offense, as well as an aggressive defense, bolstered by the versatility of the Blitzers and the unique skills of the commoners.

General Design Principles

  1. These are athletes, not soldiers: A Bretonnian team has to reflect the fluff of the Bretonnian nation - not the Bretonnian army. These are professional Blood Bowl players rather than military personnel stumbling onto a Blood Bowl pitch in full plate armor. Therefore porting unit types from the warhammer army straight to Blood Bowl makes absolutely no sense to me. Peasant archers do not make obvious throwers in Blood Bowl, and grail knights would never play Blood Bowl. This is how Blood Bowl would be played, if it was played by errant young aristocrats.

  2. Bretonnia is a harsh feudal hierarchy: So what is the fluff of the Bretonnian nation then? Well, it's a harsh feudal society with an arrogant nobility at the top and desperate downtrodden peasants at the bottom - not a nice Arthurian place. Just check out these quotes from GW's Bretonnia website: "On paper, their wage is quite generous, far exceeding anything a peasant could otherwise legally earn, but what the militiamen actually receive is but a mere fraction of this total – if indeed they receive anything at all. Every conceivable expense is deducted from this salary, from their food and accommodation through to each and every equipment loss and breakage – some miserly lords will even levy a charge for any funeral expenses incurred!"
    "All men-at-arms dream of one day becoming a yeoman, possibly because of the folk stories that tell of yeomen being raised to knighthood after performing a great service or some brave deed. The truth is that it is almost unheard of for a peasant to be elevated in this way - the nobility have no wish to sully their ranks with low-born commoners."

  3. No weird stuff: Special rules are a turn off. If special rules were required to make the team feel "Bretonnian", then the team would need to be redesigned. Same goes for homemade new skills. Finally, proxy skills are a turn off as well. Horns might be a good way to simulate a knight's charge, and No Hands might be a neat way to keep the peasant linemen away from the ball - but it's just gonna make coaches seeing the team go "What?".

Specific Statlines

  1. Linemen: The linemen of the team are peasant levy from Bretonnia's many all-peasant clubs. They're trained athletes (in the broadest sense of the word), but their equipment is shoddy, and they're neither allowed to train with the higher-ups, nor with the ball! Their stats are akin to that of a thrall, but they have AG2 to reflect their lack of proper training - and were compensated with Fend, to show that while they may not be good at avoid a beating, they're quite experienced at limping away from one.

    You might ask why the Bretonnian nobles don't use better linemen? My answer is part fluff, part balance: a) It helps emphasizes the feudal element in the team, and there are simply some tasks that the arrogant Bretonnian nobles wouldn't stoop to waste time or manpower doing. b) From a balance point of view, that's just the way Blood Bowl works: Why do Undead use skeleton linemen instead of wights, and why do human teams use linemen instead of blitzers? They just do.
  2. Yeomen: Yeomen are supposed to be decent positionals, but no more than that. Their lieges certainly wouldn't want them to steal all the glory. So they're vanilla 6338 - with a skill. In the past, we had 2 kinds: A bashy kind and a throwing kind, but the division wasn't all that well recieved, and especially the throwers were unpopular with critics. Some felt that since Bretonnian nobility don't fire missile weapons, then they shouldn't be good at throwing either. Others felt that it would weaken the team's focus on running. And still others just didn't like that every Bretonnian team would have a yeoman as it's Leader.

    In the end, we merged the 2, and chose a skill and a skill-access, that would let them serve their lieges in several ways. Wrestle helps them clear the way for their masters, and access to S-skills lets them pick the number one support skill Guard, but also the ball oriented Strong Arm.
  3. Blitzers: Blitzers are the Bretonnian nobility - the knights if you will - and they're what the team is all about. I know some consider it controversial that these are not bone crunching, plate-mail clad warriors - but I wanted their stats to within normal human limits, while reflecting how a dashing nobleman would play. Four crowd pleasing quarterbacks each capable of scoring the winner, rather than focused on the menial task of killing. The Bretonnian blitzer is ever eager to dazzle the ladies with his capable hands, while Dauntless and Block ensures that he is no pushover in single combat.