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|0-2||Squires||70,000||6||3||3||8||Kick-Off Return, Sure Hands||G||ASP|
|0-2||Realm Knights (Blockers)||90,000||6||3||3||9||Dauntless, Stand Firm||GS||AP|
|0-4||Questing Knights (Blitzer)||110,000||7||3||3||8||Block, Catch, Dauntless||GS||AP|
Paravon Penetrators, first mentioned in White Dwarf 101
Blood Bowl has been played in Bretonnia ever since the sports inception. Though only very recently have they started venturing out side of their kingdom; playing the sport while travelling the world as most nomadic teams do.
Originally, Bretonnian teams were typically made up of the greatest five Knights of the Realm and lowly peasants were forced to make up the numbers. The peasants role was essentially as fodder, the Knights would not entertain giving them the ball and the peasants would never share in the spoils of victory. At first these teams would compete in regional competitions, each of the sixteen Bretonnian Realms would put forth a team and compete for the honour of their Realm.
The Knights of the Realms had no concern for anything out side of their own lands, though they did not grow idle. They lived by a strict chivalric code and trained hard for the yearly tournaments.
Unbeknownst to them was how Blood Bowls popularity grew throughout the world. This all changed one fateful day. A Questing Knight named Jules De Bergerac was searching for the Holy Grail and a vision of Lady of the Lake appeared before him in all her spender. She gave De Bergerac instructions to take back to Bretonnia: He was to instruct all the realms to send forth their teams out in to The World to retrieve the Holy Grail - The Blood Bowl trophy. She showed the Knight a vision of the cup and demanded that Bretonnia retrieve this cup for her, with courage, honour and a steadfast approach. Only upon retrieving this cup would she ever reveal herself to her subjects again. She gave Jules an enchanted golden Blood Bowl ball as proof of their meeting and then vanished.
Jules De Bergerac returned to Bretonnia and seeked an audience with the king so that he could recount his tale. He knelt before the King Michel 'Le Roi' Sanctimoni and presented the golden ball before him. The king looked in to the ball and saw a brief vision of the Lady. He immediately ordered that the greatest Knights of the sixteen realms be brought to him so that Jules De Bergerac's tale could be told. The lords of the realms came to court and heard of the vision and the Ladies instruction. The King wasted no time and decreed the end of the Realm Tournaments and the sixteen realms became united under one banner.
Only the greatest Knights from each realm would join the Questing Knights in the hunt for the grail. The Realm Knights instructed the peasants of their lands to join them in the quest for eternal glory, and brought with them their personal squires. The Knights of the Realm and Questing Knights all swore an oath of chivalry and honour before the King and then set off on their quest.
To carry out the quest of the Lady of the Lake
To defend your team mates and never leave a man behind
To display honour and courage
To never stop until the foe is defeated
To never strike a man when he is down
To never back down from a challenge
To fight the enemies of virtue and order.
The first team went off in to the World, the now famous 'Paravon Penetrators'. They found their first game in Altdorf against a human team of the Empire. The two teams assembled on the pitch and before the whistle blew for kick off a moment that will live on in the minds of Bretonnian people ensued. The Realm Knights put their fists in to the air and declared - 'For the honour of the realm', the Questing Knights followed with - 'For Glory'. Both sets of knights looked at each other and grinned and said in unison 'And for the Lady'. Ever since that day before every Bretonnian game the players and fans alike join in harmony to chant - 'For the honour of the realm, for glory and for the Lady'
Now all teams are trained in honour of the first great Bretonnian team - Paravon Penetrators. Each team would have two dedicated squires, two Realm Knights and most importantly of all four Questing Knights who have dedicated their lives to winning the Holy Grail - The Blood Bowl Trophy.
When designing the Bretonnian Roster I wanted it to fit a number of key points. I wanted it to fit with the Knights and Peasants themes of the 'Knights team' in Blood Bowl 1st edition. I also wanted it to fit in background of Bretonnia which is very detailed in Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Finally I wanted it to fit with the themes and ideas that were explored during Blood Bowl 4th edition. Although this roster was not well received because it had some strange design decisions, it also contained some good ideas in amongst the boring or bad ones.
First of all we used Plasmoid's roster in Secret League, but after a year of playing I did not like it for a number of reasons. The first of these were the peasants. I liked the stat line he chose of 6327 as this expressed how useless and pathetic they are and also how they should have nothing to do with the ball. The only difference is in Plamoid's roster the peasants had Fend. This always felt extremely tacked on to me. Fend is a skill comparable to Parry, something that only a very skilled players/warrior would know how to do, not a cowardly peasant. For me peasants should be the very worst human sized, living player in the game and there solely for fodder. They should have little to no interaction with the ball, they should serve purely as an annoyance, playing only for scraps of money and food they get from their lords.
The 2nd change is the removal of the Wrestling Yeoman from Plasmoids roster in which he gave S access. I firstly disagree with this skill access, it seems wrong that yeoman have S access. It also seemed wrong to be that they started with Wrestle. Offering them more protection than they should really have. The team was also too heavy in Block and Wrestle. Having 8 on a starting roster means there is almost no risk involved in blocking. Finally I also did not like the name very much so changed this as well. I renamed the player using the name started in Blood Bowl 4th edition which was Squire. In 4th edition this player was split in to Throwers and Catcher Squires, basically the same as Humans throwers and Catchers which meant the team lacked a bit of character of its own. I also did not think Squires being adept at throwing and catching felt right, and was one of the many criticisms of that roster at the time. That said there were Squire star players who's name appears in Blood Bowl canon and who were playable too. So using Squire as the positional name makes a lot more sense. I felt that as a squires role is looking after things for their lords, or knights - it would be fitting if their sole role in the team would be to react to the Kick Off, fetch the ball off the muddy pitch and place it in the hands of their superior, the Knights. So Kick Off Return, and Sure Hands covered this perfectly. The stat line was just that of a standard human lineman, equipped to a reasonable standard.
The Knights I left as Plasmoid had created them. I felt he did capture the feeling of arrogant glory seeking Knights. I did change the skill access for them though to G and S. For some bizarre reason his Knights had P access which I did not think fitting as passing the ball to anyone else for me goes against their nature. They should want the glory to themselves. The Plasmoid roster also had A access on the Knights. This again felt totally incorrect. The knights always have S access, this has been consistent from the 1st edition of Blood Bowl right through to the 2016 edition. Knights are Blitzers, and as the Blood Bowl background recounts numerous times it is the Blitzers that take all the glory. Aside from the skill access the only other thing I changed was their name. I changed it from Knight or Blitzer (depending on which roster you look at) to Questing Knight. I felt this was both more descriptive as it showed these are the Knights Questing for the Grail (The Blood Bowl Trophy), it showed these Knights were the focus of the team, the glory seekers. It also tied in with the 4th edition Blood Bowl names and again there is a Questing Knight Star Player. So using this player name just makes more sense when looking at it from all angles.
Finally I added an additional Blocker positional. In 4th edition there was a Blocker Knight, and in the Knights and peasants team of 1st edition the Knights looked like Blockers. Also having more than 1 type of Knight in the roster is very fitting for a Bretonnian roster, as this is essentially what they are all about. I decided to use the name Realm Knight for this player for a number of reason, though Blocker can be used if you prefer. The reason I went with Realm Knights is the Blitzers are the flashy glory seekers and the stars of the team, where as the Realm Knights are experienced Knights that have competed before. They are lords wearing the blessed heavy armour. They fight in the name of their Lady. They run the team and make it tick forcing the peasants of their realm to compete. They are a little slower than the questing knights as they are generally older but also because they are decked out in the finest armour of the realm. Stand Firm and Dauntless both felt like very fitting skills for a Blocker positional. I didn't want more Block as Blockers generally don't have this skill and the team has enough already. Stand Firm felt very noble and honourable, and Dauntless helps show they are a match for any foe, fear nothing and again shows that they will take on any task for their Lady.
Season 2 Changes
In season 1 we used Plasmoids Bretonnian Roster, which had a win percentage of 60% in 400 games. Which for me is too good. They shouldnt surpass humans in my opnion. You can find that roster here. We tried using this roster for a year, albeit an earlier draft in which the Blitzers/Knights had GS access instead of GAP. We did not make these changes as we felt the Knight/Blitzer felt very wrong having both A access and P access. These are not very knightly qualities. Knights should be Blitzers and Blockers as they have always been in Blood Bowl since 1st edition. It was a roster I never liked, as I felt it had too many core skills at rookie level, that the peasants were far too good for what should be the worst players in the game, and that the team was missing blockers. But I thought we should try out as it had a lot of exposure already.
After a year of using the Plasmoid Bret roster I ultimately decided to use the Bretonnian roster we originally designed for this league as it felt more knightly, more fitting with Bretonnian fluff, and also more fitting with how Bretonnia have been portrayed in Blood Bowl over the years. Once I removed Plasmoids roster I also removed his background and rationale and wrote my own.
No changes made after another year and then some has gone by, the team has played a further 454 games with a win percentage of 46.7% which is at the low end of Tier1 to Tier 1.5. I am much more comfortable with this race performing at this level than the previous used Plasmoid roster which consistently performed too well for comfort. The team is now locked in.
Player Pics are drawn by Knut_Rockie and Doomspider, and coloured by Garion
Team design, rationale and background by Garion
Player icons by Cowhead, Mach and Autoaxpert