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Battle Standard Bearer

Voltaire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
2,763
#1
Greetings all!

When it comes to other armies, the BsB can seem like a no brainer choice. For example, the High Elves have so many good expensive banners that not taking a BSB is a bit silly. Vampire Counts, however, seem to need to use their other hero slot to function properly instead of using a Battle Standard bearer with a banner.

Is there ever a place for a BSB? If so, is there any more place again for one with an actual magical banner?
 

The Dead of Night

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
1,084
#2
Well you don't have to take a magical banner. I know with Dwarfs it's actually highly encouraged to take the bsb just for the reroll and to equip the thane carrying it with magical armour and weapon.

So the first question is: Is the effect of the bsb itself worth it?

You might only be dropping a shield from your hero. So what is more important? 1 less casualty from CR on all units within 12" or having +1 AS on your hero?

Of course the banner costs more than the shield too. But I think that is the first question to be asked.

I'll let other people discuss the various magical banners, but I will say that any banner of 50pts or less can be put on a wight unit so only the more expensive banners should be put on the BSB imo.
 

Danceman

The Devil in Pale Moonlight
True Blood
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,461
#3
Depends really.

One combination I would consider very useful is the BSB + war banner. A nice fat CR booster right there, the bsb itself might be more vulnerable but as said, a huge CR boost. Dont see much point in any other banner really.

Havent tried to with VC yet though, considered it but never tried.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2007
Messages
688
#4
Extending on Danceman's idea, whack a carstein vamp with walking death in the unit and you are laughing - 3 positive combat resolution without even looking at ranks/outnumber/kills/whatever.

The main unit to have a bsb in is perhaps a unit of black knights. This is where the extra knight saved from crumbling would pay for the banner right then and there. However, this is very ineffective. If your Black Knights start to be on the loosing side of combat, bsb or no bsb, the unit is in trouble. Besides, who the hell takes anything but the Banner of the Barrows with Black Knights anyway? ;)
 

Danceman

The Devil in Pale Moonlight
True Blood
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,461
#5
Extending on Danceman's idea, whack a carstein vamp with walking death in the unit and you are laughing - 3 positive combat resolution without even looking at ranks/outnumber/kills/whatever.
Nice touch, having only played strigoi, Necrarch and BDs to any real extent I didnt think about this.

The main unit to have a bsb in is perhaps a unit of black knights. This is where the extra knight saved from crumbling would pay for the banner right then and there. However, this is very ineffective. If your Black Knights start to be on the loosing side of combat, bsb or no bsb, the unit is in trouble. Besides, who the hell takes anything but the Banner of the Barrows with Black Knights anyway? ;)
Not to mention when they sometimes whiff their attacks, one more CR could just give the nudge in for an autobreak.
Added with a Carstein vampire with Walking death and we´ve got a nice "uberunit" that doesnt reach astronomic cost.

For this I´d suggest a big unit and rather than banner of barrows I´d go with banner of doom and let the vampire do the real killing.

Cheers
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
10
#6
This is probably painfully obvious, but I figure its worth mentioning. For the same reasons listed as the black knights, spirit hosts work well in conjunction with the BSB assuming you can keep them in range. Its nice not having to spend an IoN healing them each turn when you're (hopefully) tying something nasty up and only losing combat due to outnumber. I like to work my BK + BSB and hosts in tandem if I'm not using them to screen. Hence it causes me to think a little more about deployment as in the situation I just described.

-W
 

Mutter

Skeleton
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
60
#7
Two words: banshee & BSB ...

Dragon ogres laove those two, kroxigor, stegadons, spawn, giants, chariots ... just so many things you can 'stick' with the madame when the BSB is around. Never leave home without one when you have one or two madames in your list ...

Cheers, Mutter
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
770
#8
Mutter said:
Two words: banshee & BSB ...

Dragon ogres laove those two, kroxigor, stegadons, spawn, giants, chariots ... just so many things you can 'stick' with the madame when the BSB is around. Never leave home without one when you have one or two madames in your list ...

Cheers, Mutter
Three words: Two banshees & BSB

Absolutely amazing combo that can really screw Elite units...
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
136
#10
2 Banshees are always illegal over here, not a single tournament where you have been allowed to field 2 rare units of same type I can remember of...

Lahmia BSB is STRONG!!!!

Sword of Battle, Innocence Lost, Battle Standard Bearer = Killer Combo

If something charge, she kill rank&file + provide 1 more CR = better at killing rank&file units than any other vampire thrall:;)
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#11
Except of course Blood Dragons or von Carsteins with Lances or Great Weapons when they charge, might be better than Strigoi though ;)
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
770
#12
Nikolaj-Knude said:
2 Banshees are always illegal over here, not a single tournament where you have been allowed to field 2 rare units of same type I can remember of...
Wow that is tight, glad I dont play in your tournies...
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
136
#13
FatOlaf said:
Nikolaj-Knude said:
2 Banshees are always illegal over here, not a single tournament where you have been allowed to field 2 rare units of same type I can remember of...
Wow that is tight, glad I dont play in your tournies...

We are competive over here, people tend to maximise their armies, thus the need for strict restrictions.
 

Mutter

Skeleton
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
60
#14
EvC said:
Only worth doing if you know your opponent isn't mostly ItP, however...
Not quite true - for 'sticking', it matters not if your opponent is ItP ... for the big monsters, dragon riders without a magic weapon, etc., screaming is only the bonus - sticking them is the main goal ...

Cheers, Mutter
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#15
I did once write an entire topic on uses for Banshees when the enemy army is ItP, so yes I do know that, but it's still not so good to have a Banshee in this situation, that's nearly 10% of your entire points tied up as well!
 

Skaramak von Carstein

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
1,636
#16
The Inspector said:
Extending on Danceman's idea, whack a carstein vamp with walking death in the unit and you are laughing - 3 positive combat resolution without even looking at ranks/outnumber/kills/whatever.
And this becomes +4 if the unit has a standard of its own. :cool:

Add 3 ranks, outnumbering and you are going ni with a +8, giving a likely auto-break.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2007
Messages
188
#17
I think a thrall BSB is a good hero choice and I often field one. I admit though I never equipped him with a magic banner. Under 7th ed the BSB is better, since the BS and unit standard CR bonus stack. I tend to give the BSB additional protection, the flayed hauberk, because I think 3+ save is not enough when I know he'll be engaged in close combat for most of the time. Remember he mustn't be given any magic items or vampire powers when already carrying a magic banner.

Regarding the use of banshees, I often fielded them (1 or 2) but not under 7th ed. rules. The loss of proximity adds to the banshees' vulnerabilty to magic missiles, that are often too hard to be stopped. IMHO banshees should be fielded only with armies relying on magic, since they have greater magic defence. I often found the wail of banshees overestimated and the BSB being hard pressed to stay within 12" of the banshee while he was going with a BK unit. I think spirit hosts are better to just stop enemy units (preferably on a flank) because they have more ethereal wounds and also have a chance to score a wound on the enemy. Is it not worth to try a single base (4 W) worth 65 pts against a banshee (2 W) worth 90 pts? Remember here that the banshee gets charged in the skirmisher way, and if I'm not wrong, she gets aligned to the direction of enemy charge, not the enemy to her (and this is just otherwise with a spirit host base). Unless your BSB is roaming free on the battlefield, your banshee is going to have a hard time picking potential charge targets.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
Messages
574
#18
I normally have a Wight Lord BSB in 1000 pts, with the Flayed Hauberk or possibly Tomb Blade. He does wonders for my necrobunker, adding his impressive Ld 9 to my poor Skellies, and keeping the whole bunker alive (BsB, Challenge champions and heroes if I have the Hauberk, or just chop things down if I have the Tomb Blade). Besides, Thralls feel so.. Flimsy. I mean, we're highly martial and armourd skeletons, we need a big evil skeleton commander.
 

N.I.B

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
Messages
2,370
#19
Veland brings up many good points. In the early days of 6th ed when Blood Dragons ruled the tournaments, VC BSB's were gold. Nowadays when it's a real gamble to bring any kind of ethereals to tournaments (Wood Elves, Daemonic Legion, magic weapons instead of nerfed great weapons, ITP armies everywhere, etc etc) the synergy effects of having a BSB has decreased a lot. The change of the targeting rules didn't help either.

With that said - Blood Dragon thrall, BSB, Flayed Hauberk and Sword of Might. On foot. Perhaps the best Warhammer hero there is, point for point. His von Carstein counterpart is almost as good. He's hard hitting (makes a mess out of Dryads) hard to wound, and pretty mobile.

Lvl 4 necro lord, lvl 2 and the BSB above, and his Cursed Book brother, is a really strong character line.

As I'm no fan of foot slogging Blood Dragons, I only use a mounted BSB in a BD list with two large units of Black Knights.
 

Falahk

Grave Guard
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
288
#20
Veland@ now thats an intresting point, i have never considered to play a singel spirit host like an eagle

N.B.I@ that mentioned thrall would be even better of on a steed with sword of battle/heart piercing or sword of might/red fury(or possibly even cursed book), freeing up thos 30 points for more killing power is worth the slightly lower 3+ save IMO(since dead enemies are sort of bad at striking back).....the flayed hauberk is only really good on a wolf thrall since you will at times run him as a lonely hunter, while the bsb is more effective(for a balanced army) standing in a big skelleton block in the middle of your army

as for banshees, i have given up on them since they are basicly useless against half of the armies you will face on a tourny, and usaly easy victory points against any thing remotly capable in the magic phase.......also my banshee was so impressive that it killed mighty 5 way watchers in 7 games against different opponents with its screem

as for BSB's i would always take one if i can spare the hero chose(something i usaly find hard with my balanced carstines), and he usaly goes with something that improves hittyness or cursed book
 

Kaz

Zombie
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Messages
10
#21
Falahk, you have completely misunderstood the point of that BSB. The point is to NOT stick inside units, but to run around outside and act as independant 12" charging support unit with 360 degrees LoS

Rolls out three WS8 S6 attacks, has +1 CR, and you need to make him lose by 2+ for it to actually matter. Replacing the flayed hauberk with a nightmare would make the character significantly worse, as it would lose him the 360 degrees LoS.

To be honest, I have only used the BSB once, in a normal VC ary (not centered around a master necromancer) there is almost always better options
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
160
#22
I've used ocasionally the following combo:

Thrall, BSB, lupine form, flayed hauberk.

As far as I know it is legal (I guess he bites and drags the banner when he becomes a wolf). His target are the weak support enemy units (flyers, skinks, detachments, light cavarly without banners...). He uses his banner to avoid being hit as a result of CR, and can wipe them in one or two turns, since he does not get many wounds in combat and has +1CR for the standart, not counting the BSB special rule.

Normally I put him in a skelly or zombie unit near the flank, and after turn 2 he takes off, using his movement 18" to go and get his targets. Once he has wiped out the enemy suports he can charge the main enemy units in the flank (although not removing the rank modifier) to help with his wounds and BSB, but only if the enemy unit is already engaged (and many times he does not charge and just sits around waiting for fleeing units).
 

Tal Rasha

Grave Guard
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
208
#23
The BSB is even MORE valuable than it is to other armies, due to the whole crumbling thing. Now that there are some very decent banners out there, too, I think not taking a BSB with a magic banner is almost silly. The combos you can pull off are great! As was pointed out, BSB + war banner + walking death, or BSB + Drakenhof banner + either unit of knights = unstoppable juggernaut. There are so many fun combos.
 
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