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,