Princes of the Void: Eldar Corsair Shenanigans


Guest contributor Ibushi brings us an article on the Eldar Corsairs. Check the Tactics Corner for more!

The gossamer edge of dawn was just touching the sky above Kaldon IV’s forest canopy when Sergeant Dagrin looked up from his steaming Recaf to stare at the panoply of stars under the mighty Emperor’s dominion. As if in response to his longing gaze, to his fatigued mind it seemed like the stars were beginning to dance and swirl, etching out a spiraling pattern in the glorious sky. The lights began to brighten, flaming tails streaking out behind them, and in an instant the moment was broken – snapping out of his reverie, Dagrin jerked his gaze back down to earth to sound the alarm, punching the sentry console beside him. Before he could move any further, a shrieking let out from the shadows, and Dagrin’s torso was rent into a thousand pieces in a storm of monomolecular blades. A winged figure landed where the sentry once stood, bounding on towards the Inquisitor’s bunker.

Hearing the clarion call, the defence forces began emerging from their hab-units, clutching helmets and lasguns, when suddenly the air was filled with blinding flashes from every direction.  With a whirring, rushing noise, the enemy landed as if from nowhere, pointed red helmets with cold blue eyes, shrieking pistols in each hand, leaping on blurred wings from building to building, leaving shredded armour and entrails in their wake. 

Charging from the bunker, Lebannen let out a roar, power fist engaged and ready to slay the Xenos scum – a tall, robed figure strode out to meet him, sheathing his pistols, a grin on his scarred face. Pacing to the right and staring down the Inquisitor, the figure stretched his arms out wide, daring the Emperor’s agent to strike….



Eldar hit fast and they hit hard – Eldar Corsairs are the oiled up, chick-wrestling Frat party version of Eldar, and there are some things you need to know before the cops shut this party down.

Zyekian did a fantastic review series on the new space pirate rules from earlier this year, check it out if you need a refresher. Think Eldar without Farseers, Wraith units, or Aspect Warriors, then loaded up with some swashbuckling special rules and wargear.


Reckless Abandon

“Corsair bands prosecute war with wild abandon, closing with the enemy to unleash a fusillade of devastating weapons fire and scathing insults, before flitting away once again”

(IA11 Doom of Mymeara v2, p.154)

The rum guzzling version of Battle Focus, this army-wide special rule cooked up by Forgeworld is balanced on paper and absurd in practice, perfect for a band of space pirates.

First off, where CWE scatbikes cannot Battle Focus, Corsair jetbikes are allowed to Reckless slide 6+D6” after shooting at a unit within 12”, followed by their regular 2D6” jetbike slide in the assault phase. This makes Corsair jetbikes way better at getting out of dodge, covering up to 36” per turn, the majority of which is after shooting.


These same Jetbikes come stock with Outflank, meaning that Corsair jetbikes turn up on your 6 and play the kiting game like no other, for a paltry +3pts over regular scatbikes. The way these jetbikes move in from your back table corner 12”, blast apart units from behind, then reposition 9-24” will really catch you off-guard.

Secondly, Reckless is not a Run move and so Corsairs can still assault after pulling off this move – this is a huge boon to the Corsairs and will majorly screw up plans. In a general sense, this allows Corsairs to mitigate Overwatch by cramming more bodies into charge range, or by setting up multiple assaults by using Reckless to string out towards a secondary target unit. Both useful tricks but not game-breaking – Eldar jetbikers are not prime assault units, even Corsairs with initiative 5 and up to 5x s3 attacks on the charge.

The “Rum Slingshot”

Where Reckless becomes like cheating is when you combine it with the Corsair Prince and his optional special rule Reaper of the Outer Dark – this gives the Prince Rampage, and any Corsairs Faction unit may also take Rage for free. The secret sauce is that all such units must assault enemy units within 8”.


Some Raging jetbikes is a nice perk and everything, but the real candidate for the rage juice is the Prince himself: For 135pts the typical Rage Prince is packing a Shadowfield for a 2++, a Void Sabre for s5 ap3 Rending, and the ability to move like a greased up eel on his sweet fleet jetbike. With Rage and Rampage that’s up to 9 attacks at s5 ap3 on the charge, hitting at WS and Initiative 6, and with rending for chewing through those inevitable Centurions. What really brings this terror to life though, is the ability to slingshot around the battlefield, picking and choosing optimal targets like a true void bully, avoiding tarpits or units that would break the Prince’s neck.


Now let’s look at the Rum Slingshot maneuvre: Rage Prince shoots at unit (A) 12” away, then uses Reckless to move sideways 7-12” and set up a slingshot charge on unit (B) that was previously out of range and LOS, bearing in mind he is a jetbike unit with Fleet to re-roll charge range and ignore terrain penalties. Gross. Rinse & repeat; Corsair Prince starts to wave his junk around like a wrecking ball, taking out a unit per turn. Another layer of dirty is when you match the Prince up with a unit of scatbikes and just eliminate the targeted unit in your shooting phase – now there is no target unit to be ‘further’ from, so you can Reckless straight over those twitching cadavers and potentially take out multiple units per turn.

With this move the Corsair Prince goes from a middling assault character to a freaky Mon-Keigh-murder machine, covering huge distances and jumping right around screening units or potential assault threats, getting up field fast to take out unsuspecting support units and popping cherries all over the board.


Now the drawback to the Corsair Prince is that he is required to be Warlord, and given that he is a Pirate lord that likes to get his blade dirty this seems fair. For all the antics in the world, losing Warlord often spells a loss for the Corsairs though, and this is where the 3-detachment format really shines. Doubling or tripling up on Corsair detachments brings a host of benefits to the space pirates, one of which is 1-2 fully expendable Rage Princes to cause as much grief as possible. This can look something like this:

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Corsairs
#   Corsair Fleet Raiding Company:  
1 “Good” Prince Void Sabre, Jetbike, Shadowfield, Rage, Warlord 135
    Sky Burners Coterie:  
1 Void Dreamer Jetpack, shimmershield, Rage 70
10 Malevolents Jetpacks, 2x melta bomb, Rage 210
3 Scatdancers Scatter lasers, pistols, Rage 90
3 Scatdancers Scatter lasers, pistols, Rage 90
3 Scatdancers Scatter lasers, pistols, Rage 90
1 Hornet Pulse lasers 80
1 Phoenix   205
1 Warp Hunter Void burners 190
    Hate Bringers Coterie:  
1 Hate Baron Pistols 30
5 Ghostwalkers Pistols 60
    Corsairs Combined Arms Detachment  
1 “Bad” Prince Void Sabre, Jetbike, Shadowfield, Rage 135
3 Splinterdancers Splinter cannons, pistols, Rage 75
3 Splinterdancers Splinter cannons, pistols, Rage 75
1 Void Shield G. 2x shields 75
    Corsair Fleet Raiding Company  
1 “Ugly” Prince Void Sabre, Jetbike, Shadowfield, Rage 135
    Hate Bringers Coterie:  
1 Hate Baron Pistols, jetbike, Rage 45
3 Cloud Dancers Pistols, Rage 60

[Ibushi Croneworld Corsair Fleet Raiding Party group shot TBD]

We’ll be back again next time to look at this list in more detail, with further Eldar Corsair shenanigans. In the meantime, be glad that we voted to disallow Reckless Abandon from activating after Overwatch, and keep your shuriken sharp and blind grenades handy.


Lebannen brought up his pistol, sending bolts of superheated plasma towards his foe, but each was stopped by a rippling shadow mere inches from the target. Unfazed, Lebannen charged in with fist ready to deliver the Imperium’s justice. Suddenly the figure spun forth, kicking Lebannen to the ground and pinning the Inquisitor’s head with his knee. Before Lebannen could move, the Corsair Prince forced a grenade into the man’s mouth, then leapt into the air on blurs of crimson.

“Mon Keigh, trying to hide in the woods like your monkey ancestors.
The Princess sends her thanks for your thoughts.”

As the Corsair rose into the air, the blazing trails of fire above converged, scythed silhouettes of Eldar flyers and skimmer vehicles emerging from the flames. The next moment the pirates were gone, the bunker imploding into itself and torn apart by unleashed Warp energies, the entire outpost wracked by missiles and pulse blasts.

Inquisitor Lebannen tried to scream in rage, but the tanglefield grenade in his mouth triggered a gravity pulse, bringing his chipped teeth crashing together, popping his eyeballs, and collapsing his prefrontal cortex, leaving him a mewling wreck amongst the shattered remains of a striving Empire.



About Reecius

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16 Responses to “Princes of the Void: Eldar Corsair Shenanigans”

  1. Colin Sherlow October 11, 2016 7:10 am #

    Great article Ibushi

    • Colin Sherlow October 11, 2016 7:42 am #

      I would also love to see one (or more) of your written battle reports on FLG. They are great reads.

      Yeah I have been loving the rage prince. He is so useful and fun to play with.
      I really like him and the mask of secrets prince if I am taking a bunch the shrieks in the army.

      • Ibushi October 11, 2016 12:42 pm #

        Thanks for the comments, yeah man Relic Prince with Mask of Secrets is a top-3 choice, but you have to be rocking the allies for that one to make it rain. Still, incredible option.

        Happy to work on some batreps, you should come over and throw down the gauntlet against the Corsairs, but you might to take a shot of Rum for every model my Prince kills in combat…

  2. Blight October 11, 2016 7:30 am #

    Doesn’t this whole article rely on something you can’t do?
    He’s talking about shooting one unit, running away using their special rule, and then assaulting a second unit. You can’t do that. Once you shoot at a unit it has to be your primary assault target. Also their rule says you cannot get closer to the unit you shot so it cannot help to assault them. Am I crazy?

    • Colin Sherlow October 11, 2016 8:51 am #

      It is apart of the rage princes special rule.

      They have to declare an assault on an enemy unit within 8″ even if it is a different unit.

    • Happy_Inquisitor October 11, 2016 10:51 am #

      You are not crazy, just mistaken in this case. Because it is a weird edge case.

      The corsairs with rage are the exception to the normal rules on who you can assault. So long as they can get outside charge range of the unit they shot (usually not hard) and inside 8″ range of another unit then not only can they charge that second unit but they must.

      Other than the prince himself they are mostly mediocre in combat so its not as scary as it might look – it is going to be disconcerting the first time you face it though. Also you cannot stack princes into a killer unit because they are one per detachment and different detachments of corsairs do not get on well at all – they have a proper piratical distrust of other detachments. They are BB with other Eldar detachments (Craftworld, DE or Harlequins) but not with other Corsair detachments. If you stack other Eldar into the unit all the weird special rules stop working – they are specifically worded to do so.

      • Ibushi October 11, 2016 12:29 pm #

        Good comments, thanks for the feedback, Happy nailed it as ever, it is a rule-specific and really Prince-specific bonus, but to answer Blight’s question YES it feels like the other guy is cheating when you first encounter it, however YES it is legal.

        Also yes the Corsair detachments are all Desperate Allies with one another which is one of my favourite rules to be honest. Even then, seeing as the majority of them Outflank/Reserves, you can very easily mitigate the tests by deploying separately. One of my Princes has frozen up in games maybe twice.

        Lastly, yes it is very important that this rule will only work on unit with 100% Corsairs juiced up with Rage Rum — it does not combine with Harlies/Eldar/DE in any way, shape or form. Initially a lot of people looked to Corsairs as classic Ally material, but actually I think they benefit most when run on their own, or with a pinch of CWE allies maybe.

        • Massaen October 11, 2016 9:18 pm #

          I agree – they definitely work best as a stand alone force. All the things you want from eldar or dark eldar are just to costly in terms of tax units to get them. A formation would be ok but every list I write I just find the corsairs don’t want to give up points in the list to get the formation in.

          To be honest I now need to try out the multi prince army!

  3. Blue October 11, 2016 9:08 am #

    I would love to see some more lists, drop in some Harlies or Eldar…. And some battle reports, this army is really intriguing.

    I thought you could only run one prince ever?

    • Colin Sherlow October 11, 2016 9:09 am #

      It is one prince in a detachment.

  4. Jeff Poole October 11, 2016 12:13 pm #

    Just to clarify something in the original post, the ITC voted to ban Eldar Corsair //Jetbikes// from using Reckless Abandon after firing overwatch. This restriction does not apply to other Eldar Corsair units who may fire overwatch.

    The ITC FAQ reflects as much: “Eldar Corsair Jetbikes may not use their Reckless Abandon special rule as a part of Overwatch.”

    • Ibushi October 11, 2016 12:35 pm #

      Wow thats amazing, never realized jetpack units could still do the booty wiggle after Overwatch.

      Thank you sir, that just made my day

      • Jeff Poole October 11, 2016 1:17 pm #

        NP. I run 4-5 units with 2 meltas and jetpacks and they do work.

    • Colin Sherlow October 11, 2016 1:29 pm #


      Thanks for letting us know.
      Appreciate it.

      • Colin Sherlow October 11, 2016 1:39 pm #

        This makes me even happier about my ghostwalters.

        Definitely have to give malevolents a try

  5. Cavalier October 12, 2016 2:48 am #

    Nice article Ibushi. Really streamlined presentation of Corsair mechanics, and how they sort of chain together. As someone whose planning on making the jump from CWE to Corsair (especially considering I have a Corsair army ready to go) its articles like this that analyze certain mechanics and how they work in different scenarios that really do it for me. Great stuff bud. Keep it up!

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