One of my newest acquisitions is Radagast the Brown. Of the wizards on the White Council, Radagast is the most tactical and least dangerous of the bunch, but the tactical advantage he provides benefits small armies greatly (especially those that rely on archery). In my armies, Radagast is the dedicated spell-caster of the Dwarves, for reasons you will see below.
Radagast the Brown: Quick Review of Rules
Radagast provides a benefit to an army during each phase of the game. To illustrate this, we'll look at each phase and see what benefits Radagast gives and assume he is working with the following army:
Dwarf Captain - 60 points
2 Dwarf Shield-bearers - 120 points
Radagast the Brown - 150 points
6 Dwarf Warriors (shields) - 54 points
7 Dwarf Rangers (throwing axes) - 70 points
10 Dwarf Warriors (Dwarf bows) - 90 points
7 Dwarf Rangers (two-handed axes) - 56 points
600 points, 34 units, 10 Dwarf bows + 7 throwing axes, 4 heroes
This army follows the rules for warbands identified in the new army books, though I would prefer to have more Dwarves and don't really like the warband set up. Still, we'll explore this not-great-case scenario for some insights into the benefits of this particular hero.
Move Phase: Your Move
Fight Phase: Mass Killing
Aura of Dismay, as has been discussed above, is a great spell for making sure that not all of your units are engaged in combat. If any of the enemy units fail their courage rolls, there could be holes in the enemy line with routes to reach these units. This gives the benefit of the fight to your Dwarf heroes, who are capable of crashing through the enemy lines. Your Shield-bearers especially can call free heroic combats to reach the battle of their leader (the Captain), allowing you to cut through units who have engaged your lines and get as close to their leader's fight as possible (helping in other ones). If you place your Captain in the center of your line, flanked by Dwarf Warriors with shields, and then flanked by your Shield-bearers, you've got a strong core for your army.
Radagast himself is Strength 4, Fight 5, and has a two-handed weapon. This means that you can have him fight alongside some of your warriors to give them a leg-up against their foes. It remains unclear from the new book as to whether Radagast has a hand weapon or not, but if he only has his staff, it would be good to have his assisting warriors using their hand weapons.
For most heroes, it's good if they can pay for themselves with the points-worth of kills they get during a game. Though some heroes don't usually have problems reaching these goals (Gimli and Balin being two excellent killers), spell-casters do have this problem. To assess Radagast's worth, then, you should look into how he helps your other units. If a Cave Troll is immobilized and later wounded (or killed), part of that is going to be due to Radagast's work in immobilizing him (especially since your heroes are only Fight 5). If the enemy is not able to charge your units because he fails courage tests, the fights you win (and the kills you score) should also give some credit to Radagast. If you take an objective because your foe was rooted on the spot? This should score in Radagast's favor too. You get the picture I think...
Radagast the Brown: Weaknesses in Use
Radagast is a great wizard and plays a very tactical role in this army. It is worth noting though, that he is far from invincible. Here's a few ways to deal with this hero.
Move Phase: Move Move Move!