Ibushi here to talk about the Corsair Void Dreamer, a consummate mind troll with the potential to explode his own head, send a Wraithknight across the table turn 1, or just summon Daemons like a good 6th Edition Eldar. To see what other Corsair Tactics there are, check out the Tactics Corner.
Iriqis wrapped his robe more tightly, a futile gesture at protecting himself form the unfathomable perils of the endless Void. Focusing his mind, he brought the presence of the Warp into flickering contact with the fabric of reality, a space in front of Baron Heshkis beginning to pool and distort and the rend was made.
The Voidstorm led by Heshkis had conducted many such missions. Shouldering dissonance breach charges and drawing their many pistols, they stepped into the Warp tunnel, minds entering a state of careful meditation to avoid predation. Iriqis followed them, carving a short path in Warptime before rending back into reality again, the Corsairs tumbling forth into the bowels of the Imperial frigate, undetected and poised to strike.
Void Dreamers bring an interesting statline and wargear, the child of an Exarch and a Spiritseer, with decent 2 wounds, WS/BS 5 and 2 Attacks, Mastery Levery 1, and a Witch staff and brace of pistols for a half century of points. Pretty reasonable, and not bad in a fight with 3x Fleshbane attacks, or 5 on the charge with Rage. But let’s be honest, you’re not bringing this guy for his brawn, it’s for the wacky Aethermancy powers he has unique access to (and is required to select at least one power from), so let’s dive right into those:
- Primaris: Path Ward (2) – target Corsairs Faction unit always gets maximum distance for any movement, e.g. 6” for run, 12” for Reckless Abandon, 12” for charging, 12” for jetbike thrust etc.
This is an amazing Primaris, but at WC2 you only want to cast it exactly when you need it – we will get to the risks of Corsair Wild Psyker Perils shortly. Most interestingly, this power has no range or LOS stipulations, so you can cast it on any Corsair unit on the table?… nifty.
- Warp Blink (1): 6” power (type not specified…) which moves target unit 2D6” in a direction of your choosing. Pretty cool, especially for WC1, and can be used on either friendly or enemy units.
- Dispersion Field (1): Friendly Corsairs unit within 12” gains 4+ cover. Great if you can also get Stealth or Shrouded.
- Webway Rift (1): 12” s3 ap6 Heavy 1, Large Blast, Poison (3+) attack. Terrible shooting power for the most part, but can be used to trigger the Rum Slingshot, which is a lot of fun.
- Webway Breach (2): Friendly Corsairs unit within 12” goes back into Ongoing Reserves. Can’t be used on a unit locked in combat though. Doesn’t jump off the page really.
- Warp Tunnel (2): Dreamer’s unit (ITC FAQ: must be Corsairs Faction unit), or non-Vehicle Corsairs unit within 6”, immediately redeploys using no-scatter Deep Strike anywhere on the table. For each 6” traveled, roll a D6 – for each 1 rolled, the unit takes a wound with armour saves allowed. Once deployed, the unit may shoot and assault as normal. GROSS.
- Webway Maze (3): Enemy unit within 12” is sent back into Ongoing Reserves. This includes Gargantuan Creatures and vehicles, but not Superheavy Vehicles. Really cool gimmick power. Corsairs/Eldar/DE/Harlequins get +1 Deny the Witch against this power, a nice fluffy perk.
Let some of those combinations you are immediately dreaming of sink in for a bit (Warp Tunneling Harlequins, Incubi, Howling Banshees; Webway Mazing a Thunderwolf Star, or maybe even the Green Tide! So many options!), and meanwhile we will look at the Wild Psyker Perils Chart, which only Corsair psykers use, and they must use it:
- 1 – Devoured: Model turns into a Daemon of Slaanesh (5++, Rending, etc.) controlled by your opponent, and if in a unit is immediately locked in combat.
- 2-3 – Soul-Wracked: Psyker and unit counts as Pinned, opponent may select a new target for the power (anyone), or can simply make the power fail.
- 4-5 – Warp Terrors: All friendly Corsairs within 6” must take a Morale test on 3D6, using the two highest dice.
- 6 – Eye of She Who Thirsts: All future psychic tests will Perils on any double, not just double 6s. If this result has already been rolled, re-roll the Perils result.
Wow this Perils chart will ruin your day fast. Every psychic test with Corsairs is a huge gamble. Looking at some of those powers, the gamble often will pay off and be potentially game-changing, but when it doesn’t, it can really, really cost you, even costing you the whole game.
Example 1: Warp Blinking Wraithknight, going for a key charge, maybe even turn 1. Dreamer suffers Perils and is Soul-Wracked… the opponent instead nominates the Void Dreamer’s unit (the Corsair player still rolls the 2D6″ and chooses how the unit is moved, but annoying to get forced to move unexpectedly).
Example 2: Dreamer goes for the Warp Tunnel, hoping to teleport across the map with a murder of Malevolents and assault into stationary vehicles with meltabombs… Oh noes, your Dreamer is Devoured and now the Malevolents are stuck in your DZ slapping a Slaaneshi Daemon.
Whoops! Eldar Daemonic puberty at 1,000x Speed!
On the one hand, the Void Dreamer has tons of potential, and can completely change a game with one key power. You can also charge him up to Mastery Level 3 to get some solid charges, and give yourself a good 50/50 chance of getting the power you want.
On the other hand, in a 5-6 game event, this guy is way more of a liability than an asset, as he is so undependable at multiple junctures. Added to this is the fact that he critically cannot take a jetbike, only a Corsair Jetpack, this severely limits his options. A jetbiking suicide Dreamer would be fantastic, but with just a jetpack he’s not much to sneeze at.
So what do we do with the Void Dreamer? There are basically three ways to run him: as the Allied support character, the centerpiece psyker, or as the pickle for the Corsair burger.
Before the ITC FAQ to restrict Warp Tunnel to Corsair units only, this guy was the penultimate Allied support character, added to a maxed out Cast of Players with Prince, Farseers, and the works. Charging out of a Bunker turn 1 to take advantage of Repel the Enemy, then Warp Tunneling to the other side of the field to assault the key elements of the enemy army at top of turn 1… yes I’ve done it and this was hilarious for a couple of games, but it is also completely ridiculous and I’m glad it’s not an option under ITC. If you do want to give it a roll with your friends, pick up a fully kitted Dreamer with jetpack, Shadowfield, Void Sabre, and ML3 for a spendy 150pts or so, and jam him into whatever Eldar concoction you have. The bunker helps a lot, and if you don’t get Warp Tunnel you can use the Escape Hatch to deploy fairly far up the field as a plan B. One nasty way to do it is in a unit of 10 Fire Dragons for the shooting power, then rely on a truckload of Phoenix Lords, Corsairs, and Farseers for the choppy action. Thanks to the Corsair shimmershield you can spread a 5++ to the whole unit, which really helps some Eldar characters.
Scaling back from this game-breaking Eldar assault combo, the next option is the Void Dreamer as a centerpiece psyker to the Corsairs, trying to play the same role as a maxed out psyker but with less startling minions. In this case the main complement is a band of Malevolents with melta bombs, led by a Dreamer and Prince, which with Warp Blink or Warp Tunnel will get a fair bit of work done, or at least majorly screw around with the opponent. Alternative complements are a 20-man band of Reavers to be a Reckless Abandon troll, or a big unit of jetbikes with 3x Felarchs toting venom blades or the like. (Yes, Corsair jetbikes can take 3 sergeant upgrades per unit, good one FW!)
The more points efficient option in my experience is to take the cheapest possible Void Dreamer, with just a jetpack and shimmershield to give his whole unit a 5++. This still puts him on par with a Spiritseer for points, and only Mastery Level 1, but given how disruptive Aethermancy can be, you can use just the threat of his powers to play a role in the game, and this is where he really shines. Just knowing that you COULD warp tunnel across and lay down the pain is a huge threat, or the fact that if the enemy gets too close, their HQ unit COULD get sent back into Ongoing Reserves, it’s a lot of fun mind games. At the practical end of the spectrum, I use his powers 0-1 times per game, usually Path Ward just to ensure a key charge, and the main thing about Path Ward is that the Dreamer could be hiding in one corner of the board then cast Path Ward on his favourite Prince over in the other corner. Very tricky stuff. Other than that, the Perils chart and high warp charge cost of Aethermancy powers, make the Dreamer too unreliable to build an army around.
Runner up powers that actually see a good amount of use in my games are Warp Blink, Webway Breach, and, surprise surprise, Webway Rift.
Warp Blink is especially useful for shifting scoring units off objectives instead of wasting precious firepower killing them… Drop Pods anyone? Corsairs have to every possible short-cut available to them, and this is a good one. Accelerating your own units 2D6″ at WC1 is an easy sell, too.
Webway Breach is also a very nasty trick to pull, which only works if Corsairs have the bottom of the turn: deploy a big blob of Malevolents with attached Void Dreamer, and one other unit. So long as the other unit has one model left after the opponent’s turn 1, on Corsair turn 1 you can pop the Malevolents back into Reserves, only to drop them into the enemy backfield turn 2 – this will really, really screw up some armies, particularly if they over-extend in the first two turns. The other use for it is to slap jetbike units off the table around turn 3-4, ensuring that they will return unmolested for late game scoring. Just be warned that you won’t make any friends using this power!
Lastly, while a sucky witchfire, Webway Rift is actually really useful for allowing the Dreamer to double up on Reckless Abandon: Move forwards, shoot Webway Rift left and slingshot forwards again, then shoot shuriken right and slingshot forwards a second time, then assault into unsuspecting target unit, bam! If you do have ML2 or higher, you can combine with Path Ward to give yourself 6”+12”+12”+12” of movement in one turn – that’s Corsairs folks.
Cue 10 Malevolents with Prince and melta bombs.
Given that the Dreamer can only take a jetpack, and that his Perils chart causes all kinds of unfortunate Morale or Daemon incidents, the optimal companions for him are easily Corsair Malevolents. Purple psycho pirates benefit most from getting to grips with the correct targets, bring melta bombs, are Fearless, and if worst comes to worst, they will slap down a Devoured Dreamer pretty quick in assault.
If the Prince was not a required selection for Corsairs, an Allied Detachment with just a Void Dreamer and jetbikes would be a fantastic addition to many Eldar faction armies, but given that you can only take the Dreamer after taking the Prince, it just gets too expensive too fast.
Speaking of Princes, a final option is to take the Wielder of Profane Powers path, which allows Corsair psykers in the same detachment access to Malefic Daemonology. This is a very real option, but the best way to conduct summons is to pick up 45-60pt Barons either on foot or on jetbikes with ML1 to zip around. Given that the Void Dreamer has to spend a mastery level on Aethermancy either way, he’s better left for focusing on Aethermancy.
Corsairs summoning Daemons is actually a lot of fun and potentially useful, but prepare for all of your psykers to explode themselves pretty quickly. One game my Baron with Possession pulled a nasty Outflank maneuver to bring a Greater Daemon into the enemy backfield… two turns and two failed psychic tests later, instead of a Greater Daemon for the Corsairs, my opponent was running the Devoured Baron around rending out Corsair jetbikes. Not exactly a success story.
Void Dreamers and Aethermancy are a ton of fun, they bring heaps of flavour to Corsairs and can generate some truly hilarious moments on the tabletop. Know what to expect if you encounter one, and if you play any faction of Eldar then definitely build characterful pirate psyker to use as an ally in fun games. At the top tables, don’t rely on this guy more than you have to, he is more likely to fill his pants than win games.
As the Voidstorms prepared shadowwave grenades and Irqis began to close the warp tunnel, cackling, leering visages with groping claws and serpentine tongues began to pour into the corners of his mind. Even as Heshkis started moving up the corridor towards their target, Irqis let out a blood-curdling scream of utter terror, as the creatures he had so often seen in his mind’s eye suddenly became reality, reopening the warp tunnel to claim his soul. He could feel foul creatures reaching into his eyes, taking hold of his flesh, overwhelming his ability to focus and fight out the minions of the Devourer.
Before the Voidstorm band could react, the Void Dreamer’s flesh began to writhe, surging with unnatural movements and starting to bulge and tremble. Irqis, still screeching, started trying to claw out his own eyes, rivulets of blood coursing down his face. With a snap, a new creature looked up, elongated, claw-like hands grasping, slack-jawed and desirous gaze falling upon the Voidstorm band – what was once Irqis the Void Dreamer was now something far more terrible.
The whole transformation had only taken a few seconds, enough for Heshkis to draw his Void Sabre and leap forward. In one cleaving blow, he split the creature from head to toe, squirming entrails and disgusting warp creatures scuttling from the corpse into the shadows.
You can also pick up some cheap models in our Second Hand Shop. Some of these gems are quite rare, sometimes they’re fully painted!