IIRC you used to be able to do this by having enough characters and command models in the first rank. Eg with musician, standard bearer and champion, plus two characters, you could chose to put a third character in the second rank.
I don’t think this is possible any more but the new rules for what goes in the front rank gave me an aneurism.
Charakters and champions have first rank rule...and this overrides the first rank of musician and banner.
So in a cavalry unit...you would need a champion and be 1 wide to hide the mage....doesn´t make sense, because after killing the champion the mage would have to go in first rank. (if there are no other charakters).
The front rank rule is worded in a stupid way...and instead of just taking away this rule from musician and banner there was created an additional rule that counters front rank ....
It would have been enough to word it in this way:
All charakters and the unit champion have the front rank rule. They have to be deployed in the front of the unit, no model with front rank can be placed in rank behind any R&Fmodel of the unit.
The only effective way to hide a wizard in a unit is to run a bus 5-wide with an altar in it, a champion, and some other combat character (like an assassin) - and hope one of the assassin or champion don't die.
That said, oracle with Moraec's on a raptor in a DK unit has worked out pretty decently, without cowering.
Just because I'm on the Legal Team doesn't mean I know anything about rules or background in development, and if/when I do, I won't be posting about it. All opinions and speculation are my own - treat them as such.
Normally i would say no, but i've heard something about puting mages on the second rank, but i cannot find it in the rulebook.
I think only Kingdom of Equistain have a special rule to put their wizards in second rank.
Don't be afraid to make a Dread Elf Combat Oracle. Morec's Reaping and a Ward save are pretty good. I've run mine on foot in a unit of 30 dread judges. She does get targeted but the so it's risky but the judges tend to kill anything that try's to kill her.
vermins can buy an item to lose front rank on a charakter. and damsels have also the allowance to hide in knight units.
A dark elf oracle....no need to hide it. Buy the 4+AS, 4+Aegis safe item, add the DE weapon to give her 4 Attacks St.4 Ap3.
At least this is my mage setup in DE lists. I can keep out the guard unit and just put her into CC units. More points for other stuff no hiding mage. Perhaps not an option when you are super competitive, but it is a lot of fun to use the mage as a fighty character and not hide her all the game.