Corsairs a-Raiding Part I

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Ibushi back again, this time with some space pirate action, a tale from our local food-raising tournament of the holiday season! Read on to see what tricks the pointy ears pulled, and how the pirates fared against some solid competition. Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner for more articles and battle reports!

Foodhammer is a 40-person GT in Vancouver BC, playing Maelstrom of War missions with 2,000 point armies, perfect for a pirate force looking to rack up points and play hard-to-get.Foodhammer has been running for many years, always with a very solid turnout and exceptionally high standard of painting, which makes it that much more enjoyable. The tournament raises proceeds and canned goods for the local food bank, and is a great event according to how many people show up each year.

This would be the third big event for the Corsairs, but also the third change in composition and points level. No duplicate detachments were allowed, and with the GW FAQ raising some questions about double/triple Prince lists the Kaizoku Corsairs did call on their Croneworld kin to fill up the last points (re-reading the Corsair Prince rules it looks like multi-Prince is still OK, but better to be cautious this time around)… In building this list the idea was to bring something interesting to play, good to look at, and powerful enough to tangle with the top tables, but not so gut-punchingly powerful to just laugh off the competition.

Primary: Corsair Fleet Raiding Detachment 

Command:

Void Dreamer: jetpack, shadowfield, witch staff, pistols, ML1, Rage

Sky Burners Coterie:

Corsair Prince: jetbike, Shadowfield, Void Sabre, pistols, Rampage, Rage, Warlord

5x Malevolents – jetpacks, 1x melta bomb, Rage

3x Cloud Dancers – 3x splinter cannons, pistols, Rage

5x Reavers – jetpacks, pistols, 2x fusion guns

6x Reavers– pistols & grenades

Falcon – bright lance

Hornet – 2x pulse lasers

Phoenix – phoenix missile launchers, pulse laser

Warp Hunter – void burners for Deep Strike

Eldar CAD –

Farseer – jetbike, singing spear

2x 3 Scatbikes

5x Rangers

2x 5 Warp Spiders w Exarch

Hemlock Wraithfighter

Void Shield Generator – 3x shields

This list represents an elite Eldar strikeforce, appearing from the shadows and descending from the heavens to cripple the enemy in a blaze of firepower. Scouting elements set up the attack – Rangers, Hornet, Falcon – assault units take the fight to the enemy – Malevolents, Warp Spiders, jetpack Reavers – while a core of mobile firepower units bring focused, accurate destruction to key targets – Jetbikes, Warp Hunter, Phoenix, Hemlock. The Prince, Void Dreamer, and Farseer support the jetbike and jetpack units, buffing Leadership and providing extra wounds and 2++ saves to keep them alive and active longer. Splitting the three characters across the three jetbike units helps mitigate the -1 Leadership caused by Malevolents in the early turns.

If it needs to, this army can let rip with a pretty brutal Alpha strike, starting everything except the Flyers on the board and just going full bore. Usually though it plays for more of a Beta strike, potentially hiding everything in Reserves, except the Malevolents with attached Prince and Void Dreamer hiding under the Void Shields, then arriving via Outflank, Deep Strike, and off the DZ board edge to position into safe spaces on the board (Corsairs only let you play with them if you are a safe person for alien psycho pirates), then taking out high priority targets with a plethora of Destroyer attacks. Warp Spiders and Malevolents are great at running interference, keeping things like assaulting Knights or Thunderwolves at bay for an extra turn or two, and letting the Warp Hunter do its dirty business.

Here is a picture of the Croneworld Koxinga Corsairs from a previous GT:

Enough prattle, on to the action!

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Game One vs. Renegades of Vraks

Renegades of Vraks CAD

Orndance Tyrant – Mark of Nurgle

Command squad (4)

Chimera – multilaser

4x 1 Thudd guns

2x 20 Plague Zombies

2x 1 Wyverns 

Daemons CAD

Plague Herald – Grimoire

10x Plaguebearers

3x Nurglings

2x Soulgrinder

Chaos Knight Errant – Mark of Khorne, Dirge caster

Hellforged Warpack:

Warpsmith

Helbrute – multimelta, Legacy of Ruin granting +1 invulnerable to Khorne daemons in 6”

2x Maulerfiend

Round 1 Maelstrom Mission:  The Spoils of War (can steal enemy objectives)

Deployment: Oldscool Table Quarters

Table was pretty clear, a fair amount of decrepit chaos trees, but nothing much in the way of line of sight blocking except a couple of smashed up Bastions.

Psychic powers: Farseer goes Divination and gets Perfect Timing and Precognition which are nice, Hemlock takes Psychic Shriek and Conceal/Reveal. Void Dreamer gets Warp Blink, which would be great fun to cast on the Knight if it comes to it, but not very reliable.

Eldar win the roll and choose to deploy and go for the Alpha strike, hopefully knocking down that Knight before it can juice up to a 2++ for the rest of the game. First things first, the VSG drops down in the far board corner, jetbikes fan out in front of it with the three characters attached. Malevolents and one unit of Warp Spiders string out up front as a skirmishing screen, the Warp Spiders outside the shield. Falcon with Reavers deploys on the left, just outside the shield, while the Hornet deploys on the right board edge, also just under the shield. One unit of Warp Spiders stay in Deep Strike Reserves along with the fusion Reavers and two flyers. Rangers think about infiltrating but then Outflank.

[The spiny Falcon model in the right corner is the Prince’s “Command Falcon” shield generator]

Renegades set up with a wall of walkers up front – the Chaos Knight is on point, 12” from the centre of the table, flanked on either side by the Maulerfiends and Soulgrinders, with the Helbrute and Chimera sitting behind. Next is a layer of plague zombies and plaguebearers, with thudd guns sprinkled throughout like little surprises. Wyverns are split up on each flank. Right at the back is the Ordanance Tyrant warlord, surrounded by 20 plague zombies. Nurglings opt to Deep Strike.

(This picture was before all the infantry were deployed)

Before the game starts, the Corsair Falcon uses Scout to zip 12” left behind a Bastion, lining up some side armour shots on the unsuspecting Chaos walkers. Likewise the Hornet scouts up on the right, outside the shield but sitting on an objective with some good side armour LOS.

Renegades roll to Seize, but fail. This could be big.

Turn 1

Corsairs shift a little to ensure clear LOS where possible, the Falcon foolishly flying up and perching on a ruined Bastion, immobilizing itself in the process. At least it has very good fire lanes and turret-mounted weapons…

First roll of the game – Falcon immobilizes itself… 

Psychic powers go off with Prescience on the Warp Hunter and Perfect Timing on some jetbikes. In the shooting phase, old Warpy generates 3 destroyer blasts and casts them at the Helbrute, looking to take out the Legacy buff and flip some barrage templates onto the side of the Knight there. After some sub-par scatters the Knight remains unscathed, but at least the Helbrute is destroyed for First Blood, along with a handful of plague zombies and some HP off the Chimera. Scatter lasers finish off the Chimera, then with some hot rolling and followed by atrocious Daemon saves a Maulerfiend is also struck down.

A solid blow by the Eldar, but will it be enough? If the Renegades can pop the shield, 24 barrage templates look to do a serious number on some jetbikers.

Renegades move up as expected, psychic phase is uneventful, then in shooting the two Soulgrinders opt to shoot into the VSG with their harvester cannons rather than take out the sitting duck Falcon. With 6 shots at bs3 and s7 the Grinders are able to rip through two shields, a bit above average, then the Chaos Knight easily blows away the last shield with the meltacannon, leaving the Corsairs feeling pretty exposed. Wyverns open up into the Farseer and scatbikes, pummeling them mercilessly until just the wounded Farseer remains, but the ancient warrior survives. Next the Thudd guns target Rage Prince and two units of bunched up jetbikes next to him, but after some horrid scatter rolls and 7 of 8 passed 3+ armour saves, only a single biker is obliterated. That could have been much, much worse. Meanwhile on the right flank a Maulerfiend moves 12” and runs to get behind a Bastion, largely out of LOS of the remaining scatbikes and poised for a turn 2 charge.

At this point Maelstrom is sitting at 2-2 plus First Blood.

Turn 2

Eldar are reeling from the barrage onslaught, but see their opening and push the advantage – the Corsair Phoenix deep strikes right behind the encroaching Maulerfiend, eyeing up that juicy exposed rear, while the Hemlock comes screaming on to threaten the Chaos Knight. Warp Spiders and Reavers stay off the table. 

Rangers outflank into the Renegade backfield, silly fools coming in on the wrong side.

Birds of prey line up the key Renegade targets…

Hornet continues advancing to the top right board corner onto an objective.

     Malevolents and Spiders push forward in their skirmishing line to delay the Knight’s advance

Psychic phase goes as usual, with Prescience and Perfect Timing powering up, followed by a nice Psychic Shriek from the Hemlock to take out a Thudd gun crew. In the shooting phase the Hemlock pulls a classic scatter fail, doing no damage, which is then followed by the Warp Hunter doing equally little thanks to only 2 shots and some successful Daemon saves. But the Phoenix makes up for it by easily obliterating the Maulerfiend in a deluge of shuriken and removing that threat from the board. (Caused something like 6 hull points thanks to bs5 and shooting into AV10.) Other shooting is shockingly ineffective, glancing a Wyvern once, clipping a few more plague zombies, and the Rangers ineffectively popping off their pistols on a suicide run, really not that great, but a single void shield is regenerated and the Corsairs use movement shenanigans to spread out and stay out of charge range.

Turn 2 for the Renegades and they are very much still in this game, drawing Clear the Skies and with some opportunities to steal objectives off the Eldar. Rather than assault the non-scoring Malevolents, the Chaos Knight moves sideways in a play on the flanking Hornet, while the plague zombies continue their forwards shuffle but are way out of range. Shooting sees the Soulgrinders focus their Harvester cannons on the Hemlock Wraithfighter, causing a penetrating hit and shaking it on the first volley, forcing it to jink on the second or risk being destroyed. The psychic pilot just manages to escape death with some jink rolls, 1HP remaining. On the right flank the Knight decides to discharge its meltacannon into the void shield, again bringing it down with ease and allowing the Renegade artillery to open up once more. Focusing on the Corsair Prince again, the murderous barrage of Wyvern and Thudd gun blasts stiches a pattern of death through the Corsair jetbikes, obliterating all of them and leaving the Warlord on his lonesome – the pithy coward then fails his Morale check and flees from the destruction, running 14” to stop just short of the table edge! What a punk! At least he tanked a fair amount of damage on the 2++ before it broke, and is still on the battlefield, just. The last few barrage weapons are actually out of range of the third jetbike unit, so focus down the Warp Spiders, killing them down to 1-2 models. Lastly the Knight tries for an 11” charge into the Hornet but fails, while in the backfield the Ordnance Tyrant and his plague zombie retinue charge and annihilate the Rangers. Fair play, a solid turn from the Renegades, but probably not enough to halt the Corsair onslaught.

Maelstrom is 5-4 to the Corsairs, but still very close.

Turn 3

Well the last turn was not quite as punishing as the Corsairs had hoped, let’s see if turn 3 will fare better. First off the Warp Spiders and fusion Reavers both arrive, Spiders landing behind the leftmost Soulgrinder and Reavers landing behind the rightmost one. We don’t like those Harvester cannons! Phoenix bomber vector dances around to line up some thudd guns, and the Hemlock moves for the opposite board edge with another gun crew in its sights. Warp Hunter pivots to target the Chaos Knight, Hornet stays put, and finally the Rage Prince does pass his Morale check and regroups with 1 wound left(out of range of the barrage this time though). Psyhic phase is the usual, Prescience and Perfect Timing, then the Hemlock goes for a Shriek but doesn’t roll high enough to kill anything. In the shooting phase the Hemlock jets off the board, not willing to give up a Slay the Flyer VP, while the Phoenix annihilates a Thudd gun. Reavers open up on their Soulgrinder and fail to do any damage thanks to Daemon saves, but they then use Reckless Abandon to jump 9” in-between Renegade units to steal an objective with Objective Secured – win! Warp Spiders open up on their Soulgrinder, killing it with some help from the Falcon, then repositioning with Battle Focus and jetpack thrust moves to also claim the objective the Grinder was sitting on. On the right flank the Warp Hunter, scatbikes and Hornet empty their energy feeds into the Chaos walkers but for no significant result. Not taking out both Soulgrinders was unfortunate, but on the Malestrom front this turn was a real coup, racking up 5 points. Lastly, a single void shield gets regenerated once more.

On the Chaos turn, they need to get some big points to stay in this game, but Eldar are sitting on 5/6 objectives at this point, dictating target priority to a large degree. Soulgrinder shoots into the Phoenix, but is unable to cut through the 3+ jink. Knight takes down the void shield again, then shoots stubbers into the jetbikes and Hornet for possible charges. Barrage weapons are largely out of range now, thanks to the Phoenx and Hemlock killing the forward Thudd guns, and the jetbikes scooting backwards just out of range, so they rough up the Malevolents a fair bit but that’s it. Warpsmith and plague zombies is finally in range of enemy units this turn, making a charge into the Warp Spiders and ultimately killing them all in a fit of gore! Likewise the Warlord and his plague zombies charge into the fusion Reavers, brutally pulling them down beneath a moving tide of plague-ridden carcasses. What a way to go. The Chaos Knight finally gets a toe to his prey, easily exploding the Hornet. The Renegades did pretty well on the Maelstrom, too, snatching a solid 4 points this round to put the score at 10-9!

Turn 4

With just a few minutes left on the clock, we draw our cards and look at the options – Linebreaker and Warlord are both going to be a wash, Corsairs have First Blood, then in the Maelstrom cards the Renegades just don’t have the right positioning or options to tie up the game, so we call it there 10-9 to the Corsairs, a hard-fought victory with brutality from both sides!

A really great game, it easily could have turned into a landslide if the Chaos had taken first turn and pulled off multiple turn 2 assaults, or in the other direction if the Corsairs had rolled a bit better for turn 2 shooting to just eliminate all the major threats. How it actually played out was a very enjoyable game with some solid back and forth, but the advantage was always with the space pirates thanks to getting the jump with turn 1.

There were several moments of glory, like the barrage artillery forcing Rage Prince to flee like the princeling coward he really is, or the Phoenix just dominating the Maulerfiend like a silly daemon puppy needing to be put in the doghouse. There were also some great moments of shame, such as the Falcon immobilizing itself with the first roll of turn 1, stranding the embarked Reavers on the roof of an impassable Bastion, ha. Hemlock “the Destroyer” Wraithfighter failed to hit anything with his potent destroyer weapons, but at least he was solid as a Flying shriek platform. My favourite moment of this game was the fusion Reavers though, dropping in literally surrounded by Chaos units, then running through a gap between the units to steal an objective to clinch the Maelstrom. Hope to see them be a bit more successful with the fusion guns in the future, but that was a nice move.

Also I have to give a shout out to my opponent Larry for bringing a solid but also fluffy list, complete with backstory, amazing paintjobs, themed conversions and objective markers, and then for playing a gnarly barrage army like a gentleman. What an enjoyable game. I look forward to the grudge match this time next year with any luck.

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About Ibushi

Ibushi leads a warhost of Croneworld Eldar out of the west coast of Canuckistan, and is known for unexpectedly winning, carrying around a full size katana, and making pink look good. He also offers a bottle of whiskey to anyone from the US who can win a GT in Vancouver. (TasteyTaste came close once.)

2 Responses to “Corsairs a-Raiding Part I”

  1. Ben Mason March 6, 2017 11:43 am #

    Such a close game, my favorite kind. Really well painted armies, too- makes it 2x better. Just reading this makes me want to organize a charity event, too.

    • Ibushi
      Ibushi March 7, 2017 2:37 pm #

      Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the reports!

      Totally agreed on both counts — charity events are a fantastic way to promote the hobby and play around with army composition or missions in a bit of a relaxed but competitive way.

      But there is no competition for playing a game with two fully painted armies on a full table of terrain, whisky in hand!

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