Banner of the barrows warhammer fantasy battle 8th edition vampires count magic item
Banner of the barrows
A favourite from 7th edition warhammer fantasy battle returns for the forces of the vampire counts in 8th this is the banner of the barrows. This is a magic standard that grants grave guard, black knights, wight kings and Krell lord of undeath a bonus of +1 to hit in close combat. Note that this applies to black knights and wight kings only and does not affect their skeletal steeds.
Note there is no restriction from stopping a vampire battle standard or unit of blood knights having this banner, however as it only affects grave guard, black knights and wight kings it is entirely wasted if they are not present in the unit.
Pros and cons
Pros are it makes the grave guard or black knight unit carrying it much more deadly. They will most likely be hitting on rolls of 3+, if your opponent fails a fear test this will become 2+ combined with strength 6 from either lances or great weapons and this will see them hitting on 2+ as well as wounding on 2+. There are not many units in the warhammer world who will want to be on the receiving end of that!
Cons are that it only effects grave guard, black knights, wight kings and Krell lord of undeath so it does not carry across to any vampires in the unit. It is also expensive being an even bigger investment in what is most likely already an expensive unit to begin with. Also whilst +1 to hit is usually good there will be times when the dice are against you and it is of little or no benefit as the dice gods turn their faces from you.
The units that it effects also only generally have one attack so there is a chance the number of dice you are rolling is not as great as you wish and an enemy will numerous attacks will still be superior to your forces. The spell vanhel's danse macabre now grants re rolls to hit in combat so can be used as a substitute to this (or to enhance it even further).