Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Corsair Army List Analysis

I was fortunate enough to get a copy of IA11 for Christmas and since then have been trying to get some games in with the new Corsair list.  I've managed to get 2 1850 games in and 1 Apoc game that doesn't really count.  Both 1850 games have been vs. blood angels and I have to say I really like how the army plays.  It is similar to a mech Eldar army but taken to an extreme.  Eldar are shooty, Corsairs are super shooty, Eldar are fragile, Corsairs deem of the day they can be a tough as Eldar.  Craftworld eldar can be fast, corsairs are always fast.  There are a few items that the corsairs really miss, namely quality psychic powers and defense.  Overall I think FW did a good job making an alternate list that is similar but different without making it over/underpowered.  The internal balance could use some tweaking but no codex is perfect.

Here are a few sentences about each unit.

 This is your HQ choice.  Based off an autarch he is missing the +1 to reserves which would be extremely helpful and his weapon selection is not nearly as good as the autarch.  However he does two things for you.  1) he can let you deep strike up to three units that normally can't deep strike (such as fire dragons).  This is useful but not great.  2) he has one of, if not the, best shooting attacks in the game.  It is an orbital bombardment that can take one of three forms.  It can be a S9, AP 2 lance.  Got a squad that just deep struck next to you or piled out of a vehicle you want dead, use this or if you need to kill a land raider, this is your weapon of choice or it can be a giant anti-horde template with a 6 +d6 inch blast.  The final option is to make it night fight until your next turn.  Not only is this a great ability but it has no restrictions on timing so this can be the last thing you do in your shooting phase.  I’d normally only take one but he his defiantly worth spamming.

The other options-
  The command squad has ability to be pseudo aspect warriors but without the farseer powers they are less effective and more expensive.  Look elsewhere.  The Void dreamer is closer to a warlock than a farseer but for the cost of a farseer. If he could take runes of warding I would take him but right now the only reason to take him would be if you wanted to take a webway portal.


  Guardians with options, is that allowed?  They cost an extra point compared to guardians but can operate in 5 man squads so the base cost for the unit is 45 points rather than 80 points and the BS4 is very useful as it means that you can purchase the one shot heavy weapons like the missile launcher.  Of course they can't move and shoot unless you buy them jet packs for 25 points but for a 10 man squad with 2 heavy weapons that isn't such a bad deal.  Likewise a 5 man squad in a Falcon or Vyper make pretty good scoring units.  I don't like the squad leader upgrade as he gets expensive quick.  I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has taken the full squad of 10 with 2 missiles, 2 fusion guns/flamers and jetpacks. 

  Hey look it is a BS4 falcon that cost a little extra and don't take up a force org chart.  The only difference between these and normal is that because of the BS increase it makes sense to give them missile launcher.  This allows them to pump out 3 S8 shots per turn if they move 6 or less.  And for 45 points they become a scoring unit!

  These aren't your typical Dark Eldar venoms.  They get craftworld weapons instead of dark eldar weapons and they can't take the second gun option either.  But they are BS4 so they are another good place for a missile launcher and can make that minute objective grab.  The only problem is that with a capacity of 5 it can’t hold an independent character

Corsair jetbikes-
  I'm always a fan of jetbikes, but these guys are great.   For three more points than craftworld bike, you get scout and BS4.  BS4 means that the underslung cannon is actually useful but scout is the really great thing about them.  Scouts lets you do two things.  1.  If you are forced into reserve (and typically if you don't go first you will be), it lets you outflank behind the enemies assault forces that are concentrating on getting to your juicy bits.  2. It let's you turboboost prior to turn 1, just in case the initiative gets stolen or if you deployed them at the halfway point on the board in a Dawn of War mission to force back the enemy.  With craftworlders I consider 2 three man squads ideal in a 1850 point army.  I would probably up it to 3 for corsairs.

Wasp War Walker-
  I know people think these are good, but I disagree.  They aren't bad, but they are too expensive and I can get more utility out of the other troops.  If I could take 9 troops instead of six, I would take a squad but with just 6 they just don't cut it for me.  I actually prefer the craftworld version due to price and weapon options.  I could see taking some if you are looking to spam missiles but that is about it.


The corsair harlequins are pretty standard.  Even though they are a foot unit, they are fast enough to keep up and their ability to hit and run really helps them fit with the rest of the army.  They provide the only consistent hth in the army.  One trick that I would be interested in trying is to take 5 man squads of them and put them in venoms.  They can only hold 5 but have a 21-27 inch threat radius which is pretty solid for a counter assault unit.

Eldar/Dark Eldar allies
These are sort of cool as they give you access to a lot of things you normally don't have access to.  The biggest options in my mind are fire dragons, warp spiders and wave serpents.  Deep stiking fire dragons are cool, if not that reliable (due to 6 inch melta range and scattering.  I've been playing with warp spiders and they have the speed to fit nicely with the army and finally wave serpents aren't generally available to corsairs so taking one (plus something like a unit of fire dragons) is ok.  On the Dark Eldar side, I would probably only take a unit to get access to a splinter weapons venom.

Corsair veterans-
  Too expensive for what they do, just like the retinue, they would be good in a craftworld army and may have a place in an Apoc game, but that is it.

Unfortunately I don't own any of these but if I did I would probably kit them out with pulse lasers.  For 125 point you get 4 S8 shots with 48 inch range.  A squadron would be interesting as well as I believe you could give 1 a holofield and play wound allocation type tricks with enemy shooting.  One of the reason I dislike the wasps so much is how much better these are.

It still isn't a fire prism but horde armies have an unnatural fear of it and if you and luck are best buds this is a great tank as it can do just about anything you need it to, it just doesn't do it reliably.  Definately not a bad choice but not a great one either.  I would take hornets or nightwings over the nightspinner if I had more of either.


Nightwing Fighter and Phoenix Bomber-
Both of these units provide some serious firepower and in Apoc. games they are amazing as flyers.  Unfortunately FW got lazy when they made the regular units and took away some key protections for them.  As regular skimmers the enemy no longer hits them on 6's only, can hit them in hth and doesn't have to reduce their range by 12 inches.  These are all bigger deals as both have short range 24" cannons but they aren't a huge deal.  The real problem is that they didn't give them spirit stones.  As flyers, they automatically reduce stunned to shaken but as skimmers they don't, so the stones are needed.  As it is once stunned, they are as good as dead as they lose their 4+ save.  Even so, they are still fun units that lay down serious firepower. 
Warp Hunter  I don't own one so I've never used it.  On paper it seems ok, not great.  I would usually take a nightspinner instead but if my fast attack were filled this is an acceptable choice.

Pretty unit but too expensive for the tabletop .  The only redeeming feature it has is that it is a non-dedicated transport.

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