Personally, I would have liked to see them beeing developed beyond the disproportionate militia/feudal knights/catapult trio.
For example, the beginning of professional troops under the king with better quality men-at-arms units, with more variations : using pikes, crossbows and bows inspired from their imperial neighbors. Kinda like the Hundred Years War Francs-archers, who were the first regular troops in the late medieval France.
Or a larger variety of artillery based on real Life medieval engines of war, ranking from the humble pierrière , which is the equivalent to the meager Warhammer trébuchet, to the MASSIVE real Life Trébuchet and the Couillard (an even bigger Trébucher with two hutches/purses, the"balls" (hence its name which mean "ballsy" in french), instead of one, serving as a counterweight.
Don't get me wrong, the knights would still be THE main force of the Bretonnians. But they could have been more developed after decades of contact with other civilizations.
Agree completely... Louen is a combination Arthur and Louis the 9th... It would have been amazing to see some modernization (relatively speaking)...
He corresponds with Karl Franz regularly, and Louen is not a stupid man.
Louen appears more like Arthur and Philip II and IV rather than Louis IX to me. Because he he is more focused on reinforcing the kingdom of Bretonnia under his rule and defending it against the Norse and chaotic invaders rather than launching outer-sea crusades and flogging himself out of pure devotion.
And indeed, it would have been logical to make Bretonnia evolve at least a wee bit. After all, ideas travelled with the leaders' corresponding to each-other and providing each-other with intellectuals, artists and gifts.
I hate having the impression of using a backwater army when I play Bretonnia, especially compared to the Empire. Then again, the AI Empire can't even stand against a horde of walking corpses. And guess who has to help them out ?
Aren't Errantry wars a big part of Louen's rule? He keeps having to find land for new Knights of the Realm to "protect"? Hence my Louis 9th comparison... But I do see your Philllip II parallel.
Errantry could be considered as Crusades on a smaller scale, but they were mainly motivated by the need of cultivable land, for economy. Plus, all the enemies Louen has to fight are at the very doors of his kingdom while the Holy Land was far from France. Last but not least, Louen's action do not match with Louis IX's.
Louis IX declared Crusades purely out of religious zeal. Out of all the Kings of France, he was the most devoted to the Faith. But he also wanted to emulate his grandfather Philip II August, who had worn the Cross briefly along with Richard I Coeur de Lion, king of England, his cousin and vassal. Knowing Richard's life of crusading and fighting, his bold character and his iconic nickname, plus the fact that he is an iconic king for the English, it is obvious that he was an inspiration for Louen Leoncoeur, Lion-Coeur, Coeur de Lion.
But Louis IX's most striking actions were :
- First, the buying of the Relic of Christ's Passion to his cousin Baudouin II de Courtenay, last latin emperor of Constantinople.
- Then the building of the Sainte Chapelle, where the Relics would be preserved.
These two actions weren't just an insurance of success for his crusades, both the Relics and the Chapelle held a far bigger importance than that.
The Relics of the Passion were the symbols of the New Alliance between God and Humanity through the Passion of Christ. Just like the Tablets of Stones given to Moses and contained within the Ark of the Covenant were the symbol of the Old Alliance between God and Humanity/the Chosen People/Hebrews/Jews.
And the Saitne Chapelle, the holy place were the symbols of the Alliance with God were conversed, was the christian equivalent both to the Ark, with its form reminiscent of a Reliquary, and the Temple of Salomon in ancient Jerusalem.
Louis IX's big project during his rule was to make Paris, which was the largest city of 13th century Europe, and one of the richest, into the new Jerusalem. And he wanted to include himself in the legacy of Jesus Christ and the Kings of the Old Testament. Further proof of his intentions : the vitrails of the Sainte Chapelle are a complete illustrated Bible, from Genesis to the Apocalypse.
On a darker side, Louis IX needed to spiritually clean Paris in order to make it worthy of being the new Jerusalem. Thus he imposed marks, residences and other unfair treatments to the Jews and the prostitutes who, according to some clergymen, made Paris into a new Babylon by their unchecked proliferation.
Perhaps this could relate toLouen Leoncoeur's measures against Chaos cults biuuuuut I'm not sure GW would have made this choice.
Louis IX is, in summary, a bit too much of a psychologically "Borderline" historical figure for a lawful good character.
I've visited St. Chappelle... It's stunning, especially in the sun.
Louen's Errantry into Araby and the Badlands was pretty far from Bretonnia proper, non?
Granted, Sultan Jafar invaded the southlands first... But as far as I'm aware, he never reached even Carcassone.
The question comes to whether Louen is actually as zealous as you'd expect a Grail Knight to be or not.
There is no word in french, english or any other human language to qualify the level of beauty and magnificence of this monument indeed. Personally, I’d wish being able to plan and build a similar place of worship, tho I’d consecrate it to the Aesir and Vanir depicted as gothic statues similar to the Apostles of the interior pillars.
The Errantry War in the Badland does not answer a purely spiritual purpose similar to the Crusades. The spiritual purpose of the main Crusades was the conquest and defence of the "Holy Land" and the city of Jersualem against the Saracens. And the Baltic Crusade's original purpose was the imposed conversion and submition of the pagan tribes.
The Bretonnians don't have a foreign Holy Land or a faraway Holy City to (re)conquer. Bretonnia itself has already its holy value and holy sites which the king and knights must defend on a daily basis against local threats : Greenskins from the Massif Orcal and Grey Mountains, herds of Beastmen from the Arden Forest, Undead armies of Mousillon and Castle Drachenfels, Norse raiders and Chaos Warriors from the Sea of Claws...
Nor do they seek to impose their religion to their enemies.
The Bretonnians in the Badlands just seek glory in combat, the decimation of the Greenskins to avoid a massive WAAAGH! to form and threaten their own land, and also the possibility of conquering new lands for their knights to rule.
Also, in order to replicate a Crusade, you need a spiritual authority similar to the catholic Pope declaring it. The only warhammer equivalent is the Grand Theogonist, leader of the imperial cult of Sigmar. The Bretonnians don't have a supreme spiritual leader : the Fay Enchantress only appears to worthy knights to give them the Grail, the King is more of a political and military man, and they have no organized clergy.
As for the Bretonnians coming to kick some arabian @$$ while they did not touch their land was for three reasons.
First, the Arabians were a dangerous power near their borders. But they were also vulnerable as they just freshly conquered Estalia and were solely preoccupied with its remaining forces. So the best defence was to attack.
Also, the Imperials were on their way to kick the Arabians. So the Bretonnians had to support their allies.
Last but not least, and we know it all, the Bretonnians and the Imperials considered Jaffar a Chaos sorcerer at the service of Tzeentch. Tzeentchian sorcerers had inflitrated the arabian mages circles, and Jaffar was rumored to have the ability of summoning and mastering Daemons. And that is a good enough reason even for the least zealous knight to wage war against Araby.
In terms of historical inspirations, the liberation of Estalia by the bretonnian and imperial knights still appears as the accelerated version of the Reconquista by the Christians of the iberic peninsula against the Arabs and Moors.
But the second part, with the assault on Araby, the Battle of Al-Haikk etc… is more of a Crusade itself, tho without the « Holy Land »-« Jerusalem » yada yada. Closer to the 16th century Holy Wars in western Mediterranean, Malte and North Africa between the Ottoman Empire, the Berbers, the Order of St Jean and the Holy Empire, mainly due to the enormous implication of the imperial knightly orders. But the medieval Crusades are also a bit referenced here with the defections of arabian city-States to fight against their overlord, the founding of the city called « Antioc(h) », and the strong presence and fervor of the bretonnian knights. In the Crusades of our own universe, the frankish/french knights were the most present, to the point were all the western Europeans present in the Holy Land were called « Franks ».
I know I go very deeply for a simple comment, but I am a big History fan and wanted to examinate the inspirations of Warhammer Fantasy’s crusade on Araby closer and further. All in all, the GM team made a mix of all Crusades in our History and poured them into one war which is an informal Crusade.
Now, to answer the question about Louen, I think that, like most kings in History, he is a balance.
On one hand, he is a devout believer to the patron Diety of his kingdom, as his crown is due to him by divine right and he must be an example of virtue and faith towards his people. This same faith requires to defeat the impious enemies who soil the sacred grounds of the Lady’s land, so it is no surprise to see him showing zeal in fighting Chaos Warriors and beasts, Green-Skins etc…
But on the other hand, he is also reasonable enough to rule his kingdom wisely, compose with the other nobles, tolerate other human Gods’ cults as long as they stay tame, such as the worship of Manann in the port city of Bordeleaux. This same reason, temperance and even a partly open mind allows Louen Cœur de Lion to negociate successfully with other powerful neighbors with different, and polytheistic, religions, such as the Empire and the Wood Elves of Athel Loren. An ordinary knight of the Quest would, at least, turn a scornful or suspicious eye towards any diety cult that is not the Lady. Louen is a reasonable and respectful individual who doesn’t judge all others for their Gods (as long as they are not chaotic) and probably even admire their fervour at fighting Chaos.
"I give my body, heart and soul, to the Lady whom I seek.
No plea for help shall find me wanting.
No obstacle will stand before me.
No evil will taint the lands bequeathed unto me.
When the clarion call is sounded,
I will ride out and fight in the name of Liege and Lady.
That which is sacrament, I shall preserve.
That which is sublime, I will protect.
That which threatens, I will destroy,
for my holy wrath will know no bounds.
Honour is all. Chivalry is all.
Rejoice, for we, the Knights of Bretonnia... will be your shield."
Hopefully the Bretonnians will finally get the proper update they deserve in this game.