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The Royal Standard of Strigos is much better than the Banner of the Barrows.
The royal standard of strigos makes all models in unit hate all enemies. This means that instead of wasting points by purchasing infinite hatred for one of my vampires, I can stick him in a unit of lets say grave guard, and he will benefit from the standard correct? The Banner of the Barrows clearly states that only grave guard, black knights, and wight kings recieve the bonus.
Lets say you have the standard with a unit of grave guard and are facing an enemy with ws 3. With the standard, you will hit your enemy on a 4+ and be able to re-roll and misses. Mathematically, you can't miss. The banner of the barrows however, would make you hit your opponent on 3s, so there would still be a 1 in 3 chance of missing your target.
Is there something I am missing here? Why would anyone take the banner of the barrows over the standard of strigos?
A wraith with an angels body, demon with a smile of gold. You soul sucker, I won't become like you. -Atreyu
Couple of reasons spring straight to mind, firstly your mathematics is slightly off, if you re-roll dice you can still score between one and three, so 4+ to hit with a re-roll is 3/4 hits or 75%, hitting on 3's gives you 66.6% hitting.
Secondly that is only when hitting on 4's, if I am fighting against something that I need 5's to hit then you would get 33.3% first set of dice and 33.3% of your second set of dice as hits with the Royal Standard of Strigos whereas with the barrows you get 50% as hits.
Then there is my personal favourite wight king build with the sword of kings, who with the banner hits almost everyone on a 3, and kills them on a 5 - with three attacks it looks pretty nailed on as a combo, but what if I have positioned my helm of commandement nearby, then I hit you on 2+ and kill you on 5+!
Essentially the barrows is better when combined with the helm, as it allows for hitting on 2+.
Also, the hatred means you must persue any foe that you break or wipe out, meaning a canny opponent can set you up for a flank charge.
Having said all that the fact that the hatred transfers to the mounts of anyone in the unit as well makes it pretty tasty on mounted units, 5 Blood knights would have 15 attacks at S7 with re-rolls to hit and 10 at S4 with re-rolls to hit!
Arms are an instrument of evil, No measure for thoughtful men until there fail all other choice but sad acceptance of it.
Sun-Tse : The art of war
The Strigoi Banner only gives rerolls for the first round of combat... so in that sense, the Barrows Banner is a bit better...particularly in conjunction with the Helm. However, the rerolls from the Strigoi Banner will also give you more chances to get Killing Blows, which is my favorite reason for taking it.
I use it with a cheapo unit of Black Knights. As long as they are able to get a charge in before taking shooting casualties, they do pretty well.
"Is Archon Braigh-Dee going to have to choke a Wych?
Courtesy of Wicky: D.C.S.S.E.P.C.I.C.B.
Strigos Banner is best left to a small unit of shock cavalry waiting on the flanks, perhaos without barding and with a Vargulf for company. You can speed through terrain and crash into an opponent fast and hard for a relatively cheap cost.
I however prefer the sturdy approach where I cna be flank charged by the enemy's command block and still survive and move in to ultimately kill them. However these are just play style differences, so the ultimate question is would you prefer to be able to hold and charge and also give one with a 'Good' chance of success or would you prefer to have a low chance of success when being charged, but have a 'High' chance of success when charging?
Barrows is my favorite, especially since it isn't always best to overrun/pursue when the enemy is destropyed/broken.
In conjunction with the helm the banner of the barrows is scary stuff. Remember also that hatred forces the unit to pursue. Also remember that if you feel you really need it VHD gives you ASF and re-roll to hit without having to pursue. I strongly support what the others have said about supporting Black Knights with Hatred. As it is likely they will pursue far enough to matter when they are forced to and they are generally included in an army to do shock damage on the charge.