Warhammer 40,000/6th Edition Tactics/Eldar Corsairs
Why Play Corsairs
- Jet packs everywhere
- BS4 for everyone
- Walkers in troops
- Everyone could deep strike
- Tons of shuriken cannons
- It’s space elf ninja pirates!
In short Eldar Corsairs are like Eldar and Dark Eldar mixed and squared up: faster, deadlier, but lower in number and even more paper-thin. Playing Corsairs you would get the most powerful alpha-strike IN WHOLE GAME as well as a lot of jump-shoot-jump and deep strike dickery to fuck your opponent shit up ASAP. On the other hand, if you fail do shot him right away or hide behind some solid cover your guys would drop like a flies to ANYTHING your opponent could point at them. If you like glass-cannon type of armies, which are able to blast anything to pieces in one volley of fire and avoid payback if used properly, but collapse into pieces after one mistake, Corsairs are your army.
The army list can be found in Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara.
- Corsair Prince: Space elf ninja pirate pimp master. He’s like a bastard son of Archon and Autarch. A bit overpriced versatile choice which can do decent in close combat or shooting with appropriate upgrades, but his main strengths is ability to deep strike up to three units and bring down
orbitalvoid strike, which could be S9 AP2 lance pieplate of pure destruction, gigantic S4 AP5 pining D6+6" blast or one turn of nightfighting.
- Corsair Blade Sworn Retinue: cheap meatshield retinue for close-combat oriented Princes, with tough armor, lot of attacks, but unimpressive wargear options. They actually can tear vehicles apart, if equipped with haywire/melta grenades and/or fusion pistols, but don’t suppose to make miracles with them.
- Corsair Void Dreamer: Corsair Farseer, but (usually) nowhere near as good. With neural shredder (S8 AP1 flamer pistol, which roll to wound against Ld, most Ld is around 7/8 so wound on 3/4+, useless on Orks due to Mob Rule.), jet pack and
rapetasticfairly shit psy-powers he could bring some nastymoderate dakka for fairly low price. Oh, and he can get webway portal for extra dickish reserve tricks.
- Corsair Voidstorm Squad: Corsair veterans. Most notably for up to 3 meltaguns on jet pack body, and ability to take melta bombs or haywire grenades – so any enemy vehicle in their charge range is already dead, just don’t know it (though, Swooping Hawks could do haywire grenading much better, swooping hawks don't have melta guns so can't focus on vehicles as reliably). Don’t be fooled by their melee-oriented wargear – they are not dedicated HtH fighters – don’t even think to charge ork boys or hormagaunts with them.
- Harlequin Troupe: See eldar or dark eldar tactics.
- Eldar Craftworld Outcasts: These are Eldar codex fast attack, elites choices or Rangers/Pathfinders. See eldar tactics for details. The ONLY reason you should do this is for either Venom/Falcon dedicated transports or Prince's Deep Strike, take Eldar Allies for anything else.
- Rangers - You already have enough Dakka and these guys are mainly useful for holding objectives; which they can't do as elites.
- Fire dragons – Its Fire Dragons – Good old meltabane of any vehicle or TEQ you remember from eldar codex, but unlike eldar codex Fire Dragons, these ones can take Venom as dedicated transport, deep strike with Prince sky raiders rule or pop out from Void Dreamer webway portal. It’s a good news for the unit which need to be as close to enemy as possible. These guys are an excellent source of anti Nobz/Paladins (since you can't take Fire Prisms).
- Howling Banshees – Your good old screaming psycho-feminists with power weapon. Good at butchering MEQ’s and nothing else. Even better with Venoms, which are assault vehicles.
- Striking Scorpions – This guys are designed to slaughter tarpits, and while they still can do this in corsair army, you don’t really need them with the amount of dakka your troops deliver.
- Shadow Specters – Your army already has a lot of medium-ranged shooty jet pack infantry, but like dakka there is no such thing as too much jet infantry. Take these guys and blast MEQ’s to oblivion or evaporate tanks with ghostlight shots. Just remember, that they are MASSIVELY expensive and draw a lot of fire – ALWAYS hide them behind cover or they die pointlessly.
- Shining Spears – You’re playing corsairs, your own jetbikes are better, cheaper, and don’t take oh so precious elite slots. Pass.
- Swooping Hawks – Your fast and decently armored haywire grenades. Grenade pack/Skyleap bombing could be good, and eldar flashlights aren't terrible in shredding light infantry, but nothing says fuck you like a cheap squad of 5-6 Hawks, wrecking Land Raider in one charge, or 10-Hawk squad, tearing apart entire Leman Russ tank squadron as haywire is the new HP shredding king in 6th ed.
- Warp Spiders – Spiders themselves are awesome with their high mobility, tough armor and brutal guns, but in corsair army almost anyone could spam S6 shots with much higher range. Only reason you should take Spiders is their exarch with powerblades and withdraw power, who work surprisingly good in challenges.
- Wraithguard – HOLY FUCKING SHIT DO IT! Deep striking a unit of 10 Wraithguard behind enemy lines is the ultimate rage inducer. They are your ONLY source of S10 to deal with bikers and Ogryns.
- Wraithblades - The main drawback of Wraithblades in vanilla codex is that they are slow, but here they can deep strike, pop out of webway portal or even hijack dark eldar kabalite Raider. Enjoy your eldary assault terminators.
- Vyper squadron – No. Just no. You have Hornets.
- Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors: Why would you do this, instead of taking DE allies?
- There is one redeeming point in taking warriors - they can take Dark Eldar transports. While double-cannon Venom is good for shredding infantry, you really should consider Raider. Your Scorpions, Banshees and Wraithblades would be happy to ride on big assault transport.
- Eldar Corsair Squad: Two shuriken cannons or eldar missile launchers. On deep striking jet pack bodies. With BS4. It's gonna be Christmas. Additionally you can also get two fusion guns, if you feel your army have not enough vehicle-raping power, or two flamers in case you need powerful overwatch shots to prevent charges. Although the rest of the squad is armed with
flashlightslasblasters and have poor 5+ armor, jet packs would boost their survivability a lot. In case you really want to charge someone (like fire warriors, guardsmen or gretchins – everyone else would rip you apart), they even have plasma grenades. Alternatively you could keep them in start count of five without jet packs and heavy weapon, to take the awesome armored gunhouse Corsair Falcon is. There is no sense in middle points in between - either you go full squad jet pack bristling with guns, or stock guys as scoring upgrade for the Falcon.
- Corsair Wasp Assault Walker Squadron: 25pts more than regular War Walkers. With jet packs. And BS4. Taken as troops. Can Deep Strike. If there is a reason not to take them, I don’t know it. Give them scatter lasers and deep strike to get that beautiful Leman Russ's rear armour (bit of maths: 3 Wasps with scatter lasers = 24 shots, 3+ to hit means on average 16 hits, rear armour of standard Leman Russ is 10 so 4+ needed to glance, 8 glances on average, if there is a full squadron that leaves 2 Tanks down and 1 on it's last hull point, in 1 turn of shooting, combine with guide or prescience from allied Farseer for more cheese). Just remember they are still AV10
open-topped2HP, and being tall its hard for them to fully hide behind BLoS, especially since 6-th ed randomized thrust move.
- Worth noting is that you can't have more of these than Corsair squads so you are essentially limited to 3 per FOC.
- Corsair Jetbike Squadron: Tougher, faster and much more expensive version of regular corsairs. They can bring up to 3 shuriken cannons, and draw a lot of fire – not even T4 and 3+/5+ saves would make them survive in the open – its good they have scout rule and the eldar jetbike jump-shoot-jump move to hide behind the walls or tanks.
- Corsair Falcon: It’s your standard eldar Falcon, only with BS4 and
10-men6 elf (read the FAQ) transport capacity, and it don’t take heavy support slot. Awesome. BS4 makes the bright lance awesome on this guy, you can never have too much S8 AP2. Taking 2 Princes with Bladesworn and 4 squads of 5 corsairs, mounting them all in Falcons and deep striking is a rapetrain with no brakes. Combine with 2 Squads of Wasp Walkers for more deep strike and some units to start on the map (since no more than 1/2 of your units can start in reserve).
- Corsair Venom: I love Venoms. You love Venoms. We all love Venoms. Corsair ones lack inbuilt flickerfields, but its OK, due to constant 5+ jink save, and shuriken cannon with twin catapults deals much less anti-infantry dakka then dark eldar set of two splinter cannons, but can threaten vehicles. Also, with all that deep strike and jet pack goodness corsairs don’t really need extra mobility of Venom. Though, fast open-topped transport work in great synergy with Outcasts. The most rage inducing elves to put in this thing are Fire Dragons, however their short range and the fragility of the Venom can let you down.
- Corsair Hornet Squadron: AV11 fast scouting skimmers with two standard eldar guns. Vipers wish to be so awesome. Take them, zoom around and torrent death and destruction from their cannons. Pulse lasers = 125pts for 4!! S8 AP2 shots or Scatter Lasers for 8 S6 AP6 shots at 85pts. Pulse lasers are rapetastic against wound allocation abusers, Missile Launcher will ruin every 4+sv unit's Christmas, Starcannons are meh, Bright lances will knock down most vehicles reliably, Shuriken Cannons/Scatter lasers own Blob units and even some Monstrous Creatures. Seriously, an entire unit of these will kill ANYTHING you point them at, combined with the ability to outflank taking 3 will cause immense butthurt. Just don't forget, that full Hornet squadron with good guns would cost you arm and leg at both points and pounds, so use them wise and carefully.
- Nightwing Interceptor: Pure undiluted destruction, Evade + Shrouded + Agile for a 2+ Cover save, BS4, 2 Shuriken Cannons and 2 Bright Lances, Supersonic and Vector Dancer make for pure terror in the hearts of your opponents. Arguably the best air superiority fighter, hell even best flyer, in 40K. Though, it's AV10 2HP, so the first time you roll one to save could be the last.
- Corsair Night Spinner: Big scary anti-infanty artillery tank. Much like Eldar codex one, but in Fast attack slot. At first glance it looks good, but Corsair fast attack is arguably better then heavy support – you need more Hornets and Nightwings. If you really want impressive infantry stopping power of Night Spinner, it’s most times better to take it in Eldar allied detachment.
Currently Corsairs suffer from complete and utter lack of ANY worthy HS choice.
- Corsair Phoenix Bomber: Like Nightwing, this flyer also comes with shrouded and vector dancer, plus strafing run for BS fucking FIVE against ground targets. It can torrent absurd amount of anti-infantry dakka, but it’s also terribly overpriced, almost reaching Land Raider’s price tag in points. There is one thing Phoenix actually can do good: killing MEQ’s in the open - consider it a flying Dark Reaper squad. Though, marines rarely found out of cover without METAL BOXES (THE COWARDS! THE FOOLS!), you're playing corsairs, which means a lot of Rhino-killing firepower anywhere you want.
- Corsair Warp Hunter: Big
scary>short-ranged tank with D-cannon, which could shoot big scarypie plates or hellhound-like 6"-templates. In both modes its AP3, has lousy S7 and Distortion, getting auto-penetration at 6, which means this thing could rape almost anything in it’s mediocre range. It could. Not any more, I guess. Used to be The best heavy support choice in your army. With it's lousy small blasts, S7 and Ap3 it now does what a reaper exarch does. Kille MEQ, nothing interesting, I guess.
Ah, yes, aside from gun nerf FW made it more expensive. To hell with them.
- Corsair Fire Storm: Anti-air tank. It’s basically Falcon with twin-linked 6-shot R60 skyfire/interceptor scatter laser. Though, its not a Hydra flak tank – you cannot just point flyer and remove it, but Firestorm still get shit done, if you use its superior mobility and armor wise. Still, its the worst Heavy Support choice you have,
unless you face tyranoblob or orkblobPhoenix Bomber and Warp Hunter are BOTH better than this for dealing with Blobs.
Building your Army
The best thing about this army is most of the infantry can be converted out of any regular Eldar/Deldar troops with greenstuff, patience and a steady hand. The worst thing is that most of the vehicles are Forge World (beautiful, but expensive).
As with Craftworld Eldar careful consideration should be taken when choosing your army however they do have more flexible choices over their craftworld brethren. The first thing you should notice is BS4 everywhere, this is a godsend when compared to the measly BS3 on many codices out there. Falcons are Corsair dedicated transports, put EVERYTHING in Falcons.
Now, lets look at the army:
- Corsair prince is my personal favorite here, the void strikes and Deep Strike ability make for very interesting tactical choices, however in the new edition you are only allowed 50% of your army in reserve. Take 2, give them a Blade Sworn bodyguard and put in Falcons.
- Elite, Painfully limited in this Codex.
- First, squad of 10 Wraithguard
with a Warlockand deep strike using Prince's ability. Drink opponent's tears.
- Second, Harlequins love Venoms (it was originally a harlequin vehicle) but you can only fit a small squad in one, Shadowseer's powers work VERY well with Darkfire Skyburst (Prince's void strike).
- Third, Small squad of 5 Voidstorm with fusion guns and haywire grenades automatically get to deep strike (all Jet and Jump infantry do in 6th Ed) will annihilate vehicles.
- First, squad of 10 Wraithguard
- I go for 3 squads of Corsairs in Falcons and 3 Squadrons of Wasp Walkers with Scatter Lasers. But others go for 2 of each and 2 Jetbike Squads.
- Fast Attack
- Hornets are beautifully effective as are Nightwings, Hornets hit harder but Nightwings are harder to kill. 1 Squad of 3 Hornets and 2 Nightwings can't go wrong. Just wait for FW to update these babies.
- Heavy Support
- Warp Hunters and Firestorms provide much needed firepower, Firestorm is better at killing light vehicles while Warp Hunter is better at killing infantry. Still waiting for an update. Holofields and shit, you know.
- A good idea is also to get eldar as allies and get eldrad/or Irillyth, add dem S9 AP1 Lance fire prisms, and a Void Dragon Phoenix. and Bingo instant salsa.