It appears that when using a Magic Weapon that is phrased as “The bearer has x”, the character with that weapon receives the bonus for that weapon regardless of whether they are using it or not.
This is interesting for Bretonnians in that if a Bret character is in possession of a mundane lance, they use that lance during the turn that they charge, not the magic weapon.
If armed with a magic weapon with the rule written as “The bearer has” he can stack the bonus from that weapon with the +2 strength for the Lance.
In effect, a Bretonnian Lord with a Lance, The Sword of Anti Heroes, and a Potion of Foolhardiness, were to charge a unit with 3 characters, while using his lance, he would have 8 str9 attacks.
For the record, these are the sources used to understand this discussion, exactly as they appear.
Page 60 of the Bretonnian Army Book it reads:
Bretonnian characters equipped with a normal lance and a magic weapon will always use their lance when charging and then use the magic weapon in the second and subsequent turns of a close combat. A character armed with a magic lance will always use it (including in subsequent combat rounds).
I also noticed on page 173 of the brb.
“Magic weapons are artefacts of bloodshed, pure and simple – they grant the wielder extra abilities or an increased characteristic profile so that he might better slay his enemies.”
Sounds like when the weapon reads “the bearer” it is a stat boost, not a bonus on the individual attacks made.
Pg. 4 of the BRB FAQ
When does a weapon that gives a bonus to a characteristic give that bonus?
Most weapons, including magic weapons, state when the bonus is given. For example, a model with the Fencer’s Blades will always have Weapon Skill 10 whilst a model with a great weapon will only have +2 Strength when striking an enemy in close combat. When a weapon does not say when the characterisitc bonus apllies, then it only applies when striking, or being struck in close combat.
The Fencer’s Blades read as “Paired weapons. The bearer has Weapon Skill 10.”
The entry for the Sword of Might.
Close combat attacks made with this sword are resolved at +1 Strength.
The entry for the Sword of Anti-Heroes in the back of the brb, it reads as follows:
The bearer has +1 Str and +1 Atk for every enemy character in base contact with him or his unit. These bonuses are calculated at the start of each round of close combat and lasts until its end.
Notice the difference between them? The Sword of Anti Heroes is written just like the Fencer’s Blades. “The bearer has x”.
Some of the weapons are written as “the wielder”. I would argue that those weapons only provide the user with the magic bonus when actually “wielded”.