View Full Version : A Guide To Banners

08-01-2007, 18:26
Banners are one of those things that people arenít decided on. Some prefer to take one, some prefer more troops. In many cases if I can afford one points wise-I would take it. Some troops are far better with banners than without. I will go through which armies I believe need a banner, when they are worth taking and briefly a few basics to using them.

Banners Are Important:
Why else would they be dependent on Heroes and cost a fair bit of points? The points put people off, but each fight that is within range of the banner gets to re-roll one dice. This can potentially save you losing a model/s if the opposition is superior in combat. If it is a Hero it may force them to use Might or if itís your Hero; save you using Might.

When to Take a Banner:
I can think of plenty of scenarios where having a banner ends up being useful, and few where it cannot. More specifically if you are an Elite, Cavalry or Horde army then I can see the banner being especially useful.
Elite Armies: Having a small amount of models means when you make combat you will want to win. Although you are likely to be superior in combat anyway, you will want to be certain you can make your superiority count. This will be reflected in the cost of the banner. The obvious downside is it means you have fewer models in an already small force, but it should even out when you make combat.
Horde Armies: Without a banner you arenít likely to win many combats, as your average fight value will be your downfall. No matter how many models mob the opponents, only the banner allows to chance to change that fight score. Usually with the cheapest banner, it will generally be worth at-least one banner. With having a lot of models the banner should again compliment them, rather than be a waste.
Cavalry Armies: Obviously here the charge is the most important phase of the game. This is the army Iíd expect to have more than one banner. As the charge is crucial the banner helps provide that smash into the ranks you really need. Generally being average points for the banner, at-least one is a must.
(Additional Army), Hero Forces: Forces entirely compromising of heroes may want a banner purely to save them Might and gives them a saving grace on a poor dice roll.

Tactics for Banners:
I will briefly give some tactics for banners.

Donít put it in vulnerable places: Many banner holders cannot increase their defence; they can be susceptible to the cavalry charge or to archers picking them off. I have found sticking them near the back, or in the middle of the force means they will be well placed to support any combat they are needed in, and are well protected should the line break.
Try not to split your force up: Banners lose their effectiveness if a force is split up or splintered. In some circumstance you have no control over splitting your force up, in which case take it where it would be most useful.
Keep the banner close: Nothing is worse than losing your banner bearer and having no-one to pick it up. Try to keep it close to someone who can pick it up, so you can have the banner maintain its effectiveness. The more combats in the banners range too the better, increasing its effectiveness.
Play it tactically: If you come to a scenario where your banner bearer is likely to lose a combat and you are likely to lose the banner, if it is your priority do this combat as one of the last. This way surrounding combats get its benefit until the very end.

Banners with Special Rules/Effects:
Certain banners (such as Banner of Arwen Evenstar and Royal Standard of Rohan) have special effects that make these particular banners even more valuable, as reflected in the models points/ banners points. These banners are to be used slightly different ways according to the banner. Remember though that as these banners have special effects that are very good; effort will be taken to dispose of them. I recommend guarding them a fair bit more.

Well thats another guide done, thanks for reading it everyone. Since I start back at university tomorrow this may well be my last for a few days. In plans I have a spectre guide. Until next time,

Over and Out,

09-01-2007, 23:13
The special rules for the Royal Standard of Rohan (extended range, free might points for heroes that have run out) makes it essential for both Rohan cavalry armies and Rohan hero armies.

There, now I feel helpful and clever :D

Great guide, btw.

Stormtrooper Clark
10-01-2007, 13:31
Very nice guide, bravo.

Now if only they released a Haradrim Raider Banner...

10-01-2007, 19:37
just convert a hardrim lancer into a banner, a paper one will do, just paint it to look like a haradrim banner

10-01-2007, 21:13
The sickest rohan army currently in existance is gamling with the royal standard of rohan and the rest spent on rohan outriders.
An all hero, all bow armed force with every model in range of Gamling gaining a free might point.

In a normal rohan army I wouldn't say that the royal standard of Rohan is essential as it is a heavy points investment. 110pts. However, it is a very useful item and can be used with devastating effect.

Also, any army that lacks spears can greatly benefit from a banner by making a shield wall formation. They even the odds against spear armed armies by shielding with their main line before hitting the enemy flanks hard. eg Rohan infantry using throwing spears in the centre before the cavalry smashes the flank or dwarven armies shielding in the centre with supporting archers and using the hard as nails khazad guard to flank the enemy.

10-01-2007, 21:19
Any feedback about my guide will be appreciated. Thanks everyone

10-01-2007, 21:27
A high elf shiedwall-formation (properly supported by E&E, never leave home without them!) benefits immensely from a banner. Higher F, 2A and a re-roll=priceless. It has saved my heroes many times over, and helped beating the evil. "Oh, I rolled 4 and you rolled 6, I'll re-roll another six here myself..." In a pure cavalry army banner indeed is valuable, but I wouldn't take more than one. With full cav, you'll bound to have less models than your enemy, and you'll need every fighting arm you can get in the fight. Standard bearer is weaker, so you are handycapping your men, while supporting them. Imrahil of course is a whole different story.

Another nice writeup, WH40KAj. :)

10-01-2007, 23:16
I agree good article

In the above high elf formation, if you anchor your flanks with terrain, the enemy basically gets funneled into a gap where your elite warriors with spears and a banner make short work of what they can bring to bear. Uruk-Hai I find are most suited for elf killing due to their superior strength being capable of breaking the armour open.
I like having one banner in any of my armies because at the very least it can accompany your hero and make maybe give you that one re-roll when you desperately need that six.
I used to be of the opinion that banners were worthless as you could get about three troops in their stead. Then I realised that a banner gives you a greater concentration of strength in the area where you need it most.

Chaplin Davius
15-01-2007, 09:18
I think Dwarves benafit from banners the most, just the sight of 20 or so Khazad Guard with a banner in the middle:evilgrin: will put off most armies from attacking them, then throw in Dain or Balin and just sit back and watch the enemy Die!

15-01-2007, 10:11
Here's a point of discussion: are banners to fragile?

For example my usual opponent doesn't field banners against me anymore, because he knows I love NazgŻl and Spectres (and the Shade, if he'll be any decent). The combination of these units means I can effectively keep banners out of the game, or even take them out at range, making them rather useless agianst me.

For my Wood Elves banners are essential, since I have absolutely no armour and completely depend on winning my fights to survive. However they are extremely expensive, and for regular Warriors you're better off with more models.

For heroes they are essential, and worth every penny. They effectively give Eladan and Elrohir 5 attacks each, which is madness.

Unfortunally a decent Evil player will still take out heroes easily with the right magic spells, banner or not.

Always take them for Rohan, that's an extremely elite army that needs to make every model count. Not because of points, but rather because of lack of space: you'll be fighting up to four times your number, if not points value, and your Riders can't rely on spear support, so they need the banners.

15-01-2007, 11:16
Here's a point of discussion: are banners to fragile?

For example my usual opponent doesn't field banners against me anymore, because he knows I love NazgŻl and Spectres (and the Shade, if he'll be any decent). The combination of these units means I can effectively keep banners out of the game, or even take them out at range, making them rather useless agianst me.

Shades are okay, with def 8 and 2 wounds, fight 1 though- their rule makes any good model in a fight in 6" -1 to their dice roll when rolling for seeing who wins a fight.

Nazgul and spectres are my thing too lol. I must admit i keep banners away with the spectre rule, they're not getting no bonus a thank you!

Over and Out,

15-01-2007, 15:20
-1 to who win-dice, w00t :o

yeah, when you know your enemy will target the banner from a range, keep about 3-4 models in between your banner and the enemy, in CC you'll be safer. Never forget to keep at least two models in b2b with the banner until CC, when in CC, one will be enough. I have shot down many a banner with volley fire against a careless player.

15-01-2007, 15:55
Shades have three wounds I think. Not sure though.
I think the guy's main problem was the use of underhand magic spells wreaking havoc with his banner bearers.
One prevention of compel carting your banner away is to surround the bearer with other models. A model may not move through a gap smaller than its base therefore the evil player cannot move your banner if he's got three good guys around him blocking his route, plus should the bearer die, these guys can pick up the flag.

15-01-2007, 18:41
Shade sounds interesting, although at a 100 points I hope he can do more than that. Where can I find more rumours about him?

-1 Fight sounds very handy against Good Heroes and elites like Elves, who rely heavily on rolling a 6 to win their fights.

On taking out banners, if you have enough caster/spectres, you can just move the blocking models away. That's why I always take at least two spectres anyway :D.

15-01-2007, 19:34
Ah but then you need to expend more spells/abilities to do so. Surrounding the model will not be an absolute solution if the opponent really goes all out but then he's put less effort into the other areas of your army. I'm really kean to start an angmar army at some point, filled with spectres, barrowights and wraiths.

Shades are pretty much 100pts, -1 to opposing combat rolls, defence 8, three wounds. Fight value 1 and 1 attack though so not a close quaters killing machine. I'd imagine that a good hero affected by a shade could still boost a dice roll to a six by expending might.

16-01-2007, 22:29
I'm really kean to start an angmar army at some point, filled with spectres, barrowights and wraiths.

The main problem is you aren't likely to have many models, and combat isn't easy to win in. I suggest a cave troll in there at the very least. I currently play a angmar list, bar the new angmar models ofcourse. I must say it is very fun to play but you really need some hitting power. Look for my spectre guide shortly after the arnor book is released.

Anything else you want to know about an angmar list let me know :)

Over and Out,

17-01-2007, 00:11
Look forward to it.
Do you know whether a model which has suffered the effects of a spectre and been moved by the evil player can be moved further by the magic spell compel?

17-01-2007, 10:21
Look forward to it.
Do you know whether a model which has suffered the effects of a spectre and been moved by the evil player can be moved further by the magic spell compel?

Well using RAW says the compel/command can move someone even if they had moved that turn and works against other compels/commands. So personally i'd say compel overrides the spectres rule of preventing movement, if you were playing me i'd have no problems with it. But as with anything unclear; explain it with our opponent beforehand to iron out problems.

17-01-2007, 11:08
I remember reading that you can Compel a model several times, so I'd say it can be combined with the Spectre ability, yes

Angmar does lack a bit in hitting power (no S4, which sucks against Minas Tirith)
Barrow Wights I'm not sure about, they have a handy power, but I figure Immobilise/Compel usually does the job. plus they can't benefit from Shamans, making them a bit risky when your force goes under 50 percent.

Trolls are cool, although I found they're actually rather fragile against Radagast: he can Immobilise them, at which point they get killed by average Warriors, and you can't cast against Radagast because of his cloak

I'm really curious about the Shade. 3 wounds at D8 means he can get in the tick of the fighting, making most of his rule. with a spear and banner in support he'll even hold his own in a fight, because of the penalty he implies

any word on his strength value? Hobbit, Orc or Uruk-like? and I do hope he has some heroic qualities (Might, Will, Faith, Courage...)

17-01-2007, 14:16
Without heroic stats he would be able to use ringwraiths courage and stay when the army is broken.Needed, while it can't benefit from shamans either. IIRC shade has 40mm base, so it couldn't be supported without cave troll with spear... But yes, with d8 w3 it should last a while in CC, I'd use it when a gap emerges in the line, to hold something up. S3 preferably.

Radagast is Rare, and when you get within 6" of him his cape is useless.

Imo if spectres rule says the model may not move, then it can't be compelled, as you basicly just move it for your opponent.("I'll move that one for you")

17-01-2007, 16:47
hm, I now realised the Shade will have the base and height of a Troll. still, he has the stats to survive the attention

I am expecting him to be a Hero: he's classed as such in Legions, but he's also too expensive otherwise

although with the big base: you put this guy in the centre of the fight, giving him an area of effect of about 9"

now put your Warriors around him. with all Good models receiving a -1 penalty, and your average Orc or Goblin becomes a lot more effective

8" radius, that's about 16 fights
not counting heroes, you're looking at 32 Orcs/Gobos vs say 32 MT Warriors (spear formations)

I did some test rolls, it was mainly interesting for the Orcs, since they only need to roll equal now to beat them
32 Orcs + Shade = 192 + 100 points = 192 points
32 MT Warriors = 288

basicly you're giving the Orcs + 1 Fight value

17-01-2007, 18:47
Well 100pts wouldn't necessarily be too expensive for a warrior bearing in mind the goblin drum. I'm pretty certain it's a hero if it says so in LoME.
I'm certain it's gonna have some really great effects with large armies but doubt it's worth taking in low point games. If it has a high courage then you have a nice stand fast beakon as well.

On the subject of spectres,
when you cast compel it's not just a case of the evil player getting the good player's turn. It's possible for the good model to move normally then be moved by compel, after which you could then move it by spectre. However, it's the specific phrase at the end of the spectre rule 'model may not move further that turn.' that questions whether you can spectre then compel.
Does a compeled move count as movement? If not it is possible to spectre then compel.

17-01-2007, 18:58
Shades are Courage 1! Dear God, don't use it for Stand Fast!

17-01-2007, 19:19
Courage 1

but it is actually a hero?
I guess you could always compel an enemy into it to stop it from testing, but still...

17-01-2007, 19:29
IIRC, all it's stats except Defence are 1. Shades are definitely Heroes.

17-01-2007, 19:44

does he have any might, will, faith?...

edit: and any more rumours on the flying daemon thing?

not trying to break the rules on rumours, but when Legions came out I had to wait another 3 months at my local store before I got my copy :(

17-01-2007, 19:51
Gulavar (Daemon guy) has Attacks and Courage equal to his current Wounds. He starts at 4 but regains one per turn as long as he kills at least one model. His Fight is good but Defence is only 5...

Shades have no Might and Fate but 3 Will I think. Don't have book to hand I'm afraid.

Burdhur the troll Chieftain is a Cave Troll with Courage 4, 3 Might, 1 Will, 1 Fate and a Shoot of 4+. Watch him snipe with rocks!

I also apologise to all for the derailment of this thread! Sorry!

17-01-2007, 21:02
Ah, it would be the shade who needs someone to stand fast for it then.

Burdhur rocks, I've had the pleasure of fielding him at my local store and it was a brillient battle.

To a certain extent shades are kinda like banners, they are there to let you win the surrounding combats albeit the do so in a different way to regular standards or drums. When I first read the stats for a shade I saw then being used as a bigger banner maybe standing next to an evil standard bearer. Combining your own standard with a shade would give a real edge in the combat phase.

17-01-2007, 21:38
Catferret, thanks a lot for the info, can't wait.

And like Gondorian mentioned, Shades are very much like banners, which kind of makes it right on topic, lol :).

I'm thinking Compel an enemy into him so he doesn't have to test, although
a) I'm not sure if that's legal (do you have to test everyone before you move anything?)
b) does the Compelled model need to take a Courage test?
c) Compel is cast on a 4+, if you fail you lose a 100 points model, and if you're forced to take break tests your Nazgul is usually getting low on Will anyway.

I too conciderd combining him with a banner: it basicly gives the Shade an extra attack, which is handy because than he still has a 5+ chance of winning any combat (2 dice, he wins automaticly on a 6).
And even if he loses the enemy will still have to pass courage tests to get models into contact with him in the first place, usually on an 8 which isn't good for them. So there's very little chance of him dying quickly.

Also this way the banner can stay as close to the fighting as possible, while still protected from enemy attention, without trapping anyone.
And there's little chance of the "living" shield being killed and the banner becomming engaged in combat.

18-01-2007, 11:15
Catferret, thanks a lot for the info, can't wait.

And like Gondorian mentioned, Shades are very much like banners

Dammit you all got there before me! Yeah I was going to write about shades and banners, infact i even have some tactics ready. But ofcourse, i'll make you wait till I get around to writing guides for angmar stuff, after my spectre review. That won't be until after release day (obviously) but keep your eyes peeled then guys.

Over and Out,

18-01-2007, 15:34
I'm not sure you really need to worry about using the shade in combat. The abilities he gives to surrounding warriors should be where his use comes in. I would personally beign by using the shade as some bait hoping that my opponent wastes a few arrows on him from range. Even if he picks up a wound I can then hide him behind some orcs and the enemy will have spent some arrows shooting at a high defense target.
When combat is joined I reckon my shade would be more vulnerable, lets face it if Aragorn gets him that's 100pts likely to go. So I'd tend to use him as a bodyguard for my normal standard as it is annoying when someone catches him offguard. Apart from that maybe use him to anchor one flank against low stength enemies.
The only thing he's got going for him in combat is his high defense so it will be hard for warriors to get him, easier for tough heroes.
Just my thoughts.

20-01-2007, 14:03
I do plan on sending the Shade into close combat: between Terror, his large base and survivability he'll tie up quite a few Warriors
but that's open for discussion ofcourse: like you said, Heroes form a serious threat to this guy. but than this the Angmar list, with some of the best anti-hero magicians in the game

but I've been thinking, basicly the Shade increases the hitting power of your average trooper. which is good, because Orcs and Goblins strugle with most Good Warriors, especially MT with their heavy armour

and I just traded some Marines for some extra Warg Riders, and I figure it'll work even better on them: it basicly makes them F4 S4 cavalry

20-01-2007, 14:47
I would add that, from experience, I tend to use banners in forces over a certain point value (350 Good/300 Evil). Otherwise I find a 10% force spend on a Banner just isn't effective - despite it looking pretty!

21-01-2007, 15:21
I think I see where you're coming from, your using the shade as a distraction to tie up more basic warriors either in combat or by freezing them with terror while at the same time using his ability to win with your main block of troops.
Sounds like a good plan overall provided there are some warriors at hand to stop the shade over commiting and getting mobbed.

21-01-2007, 16:13
yes, like you and others have said, I will need to watch for Gimli comming up out of nowhere and taking him out in one lucky go
but otherwise it'll be the optimal tactic, especially because so close to the battle line he'll affect the most models. and if the enemy sends Heroes out to attack him, they're also sending them closer to my magic casters, making him excellent bait :D

the bait thing is double true actually: once your army breaks he's a gonner anyway at Courage 1, so he'll actually be more useful dying to the enemy than running away

22-01-2007, 00:00
I'd completely forgotten that heroes don't benfit from each other's stand fast. This really does mean if the force breaks, the shade is gone. Now I completely agree with you. Put him as close in as you can to the enemy so they get distracted by him especially when you're a model away from breaking. Hell, even if he does draw the attention of Aragorn at that point, he's done well as it'll be one turn less of Aragorn killing something that won't run.

22-01-2007, 09:29
lol, exactly :D
and with his special rule and a banner nearby, this guy will still win any fight if he rolls a 6 on his two dice

although now that I think about it, he'll probably be unarmed :(

oh well, between Terror and his base size he shouldn't get more than two S3 hits per turn, he can take that