I would never equip them with halberds. They lose out alot on their save and since you cant replace them thatÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â´s a bad thing indeed. I rather just put a war banner on them instead of the halberds. S4 with KB works rather well after all.
Unless your opponent insists on WYSIWYG, you should ba able to agree on how they are equipped. I also agree with the War Banneror Banner of the Barrows, as the extra kills from the better hits will likely be better than the +1.
i dont see whats wrong with Grave guard with halberds, strength really makes the difference, i think maybe having 17 + warbanner + a vampire thrall with cured book could be devastating, i would say used banner of the barrows but lets face it, your gona have that on your black knights. I think the thrall would be better is it was Lahmia and having quick blood. You deply them 6 wide to maximize attacks and your laughing, i guess if your worring about shooting then you could take banner of doom.
Maybe im looking at this wrong being a chaos player but i know halberds are great on models with strength 4, its just enough punch to break through 4+ armour save.
I would always go for a tough block of 20 grave guards with full command group and a magic banner: either banner of the barrows or the war banner. Equipped with hand weapons and shields. Avoid being flanked as it will ruin your rank bonus and armour save. But the unit is quite expensive so it may be hard to fit into 1000 pts army.
Basing on my experience, GG with shields and full ranks are really tough against other infantry, and they break cavalry, even chaos, due to CR. Killing blow is deadly, and I once broke chosen chaos knights of tzeentch in 2nd turn, who had charged me, but then I had the cursed book nearby. What GG cannot handle, are trolls, minotaurs, dragon ogres, treeman and the like. Now, I think the new swordmasters might be a match for them but they should handle new dragon princes.
Heavy shooting is a bane of our kind anyway, of course the units that cannot be replenished suffer more, but in my personal experience the enemy almost never shot at GG. Why, I think he had other, more juicy targets. First, the unit with general or another with BSB, then BC if I had one, then the fell bats and wolves (who were hunting for war machines). I'd say GG should not be afraid of S3 shooting.
The main drawback of GG is their slow movement, and the need for 5 in rank to keep the maximum bonus in 7th ed. The other is that it takes up one precious Special slot. This is a unit that should hold the centre of battlelines, but must be protected against being flanked. If you play infantry, they are a good breaking unit, which does not need characters to win combats, but if you play cavalry, a strong unit of BK is better. To some degree, mixing is possible, and for me worked one BK unit with characters plus one GG unit. My idea for this combination was simple: anvil for GG and hammer for BK.