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Is this a good idea on a unit of spearmen containing a BSB and Level 4 Archmage?
Or would it be better served on a unit of Silverhelms containing a level 2 mage, BSB and Noble?
I prefer it on a big unit of dragon princes WIth a BSB and Tyrion
However, this totally depends on teh size of the units you're considering. If the silver helms are 10 strong including the characters then probably not. If there's more then yes. Spearmen - I'd only use it on a big horde. You have to think about how many points the banner is, so it has to be a big expensive juicy target that you can't afford to lose to warrant the protection.
'War does not determine who is right, only who is left'
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Ah OK, the Silverhelms would be 10 big, 7 helms and 3 characters
The spearmen would be 25 big including archmage and BSB
Thought I could be useful protecting the archmage or even getting the silverhelms into battle
That banner affects all magic, so that means no Regrowth, no buffs, no lore attributes, nothing. Initially I put it onto a Phoenix Guard block escorting Teclis. It wasn't horrible, but the only times that I lost the unit were situations where a timely Regrowth or Flesh to Stone would have carried the round.
If we could rely on NOT having Aug-casts in our list, and winning combats without them, then I would say that the banner had a great place in our army. But unfortunately, Augmenting our own units is probably even more important than Hexing or Damaging the enemy.
If we had a unit that could operate outside the range of our main Augment casters (like Dragon Princes or Silver Helms) then it would be good to have as a bit of a stop-gap. But the only way that we can take the banner is to take a BSB, and putting the BSB outside the main battle line is just foolish.
I normally skip over the banner and use the points to buy more models.