Corsairs a-Raiding Part III

Ibushi back again from the webway with the final game in the Corsair Raiding Party at Foodhammer series, this time playing a beautiful Tau army replete with Shadowsun star, Y’vahra, Stormsurge, and the surprisingly deadly Barracuda interceptor. Can the pointy ears overcome the flood of fish men in suits? 

Game 3 vs. beautiful snow Tau

This was one of my votes for best army, a great force featuring LED-lit Y’vahra, Stormsurge, and a Barracuda! The whole army featured fantastic white armour with scarring, battle damage, and little details that were just great to look at. This list was also rocking a Shadowsun Crisis-star backed up by a Commander leading a Drone Net, then some Strike Teams in a Tidewall, which was interesting. Of course this is another 2-0 contender list, so should be a solid game.

Mission is Tactical Escalation on Hammer and Anvil, two things I love with Corsairs as it really rewards Outflanking/Deep Striking capable Reserve-heavy armies. On top of this the Tau list is remarkably short ranged, as the Y’vahra is a shotgun-style suit, the Crisis star plasma weapons really want 12” double-tap, and the Stormsurge with pulse cannon ideally gets up close. Saying that, if the Tau do get the drop on the Corsairs, I have no illusions about the mayhem they would cause! A nightmare scenario would be Tau deploy second and counter-Deep Strike the Corsairs to get right up in their face and take down a lot of units in one go. Just have to see how this one plays out…

For Psychic powers the Farseer gets a full house of Prescience, Forewarning, Perfect Timing, and Scrier’s Gaze, which is pretty much exactly what I would hope for in a game like this. Forewarning on a Warp Hunter or Warp Spiders for a 4++ can be really gross, while Perfect Timing for ignores cover and Scrier’s Gaze for re-roll Reserves and redraw a Maelstrom card can be game-changing.

Corsairs win the roll to deploy first and decide to play for the Alpha and see what happens. Malevolents and 2x 5 warp spiders start right up on the DZ line, with the Falcon and Hornet out to the left flank also quite far up in aggressive positions, while the jetbikers, characters and Warp Hunter castle under the VSG in the right corner like cowardly aliens looking to keep their skins intact. Tau figure they can’t escape the Eldar ranged shooting and need to get up close, so they also deploy right on their DZ edge, Stormsurge and Y’Vahra a mere 24” away but 12” apart, backed up by the Crisis-star, drones, and an array of Strike Teams, Pirahna, Devilfish, and the Tidewall. Ballsy!

Before rolling to Seize (thanks GW official FAQ!) the Hornet and Falcon Scout directly backwards, doing a bit of a fake-out to escape the range of most of the Tau, but the fish-men fail to Seize anyway.

Turn 1 Corsairs

The Corsairs come motoring forwards – both Warp Spider units rolls egregious warp jumps to land just a few inches shy of the Stormsurge, Malevolents and fusion Reavers move up and string out behind them, putting on as much pressure as possible.

Psychic powers go up with Scrier’s Gaze, getting a nice Maelstrom re-draw, followed by Prescience on the Warp Hunter to get things started properly. Old Warpy then opens up the game by knocking half the wounds off the Stormsurge in one critical barrage, bam! Warp Spiders then take down another 3 wounds between two units, and a unit of scatbikes finishes the behemoth off after some sad rolling from the Tau. Just like that the Stormsurge is brought down, with half the Corsair shooting still to go. Huge blow to the Fishmen in not just losing the Stormsurge turn 1, but from not being able to tank more shooting!

With so much firepower left, the Corsairs switch their attention to the left flank Y’vahra and Commander with marker drones. Hornet and Falcon open up, quickly busting 3 wounds off the Y’vahra thanks to copious amounts of s8 ap2, leaving the suit at 1 wound. Rather than shoot into 2+ armour the splinterbikes then focus on the marker drones, eliminating the entire unit and knocking a wound onto the Commander as well… the Tau just cannot pass any saves this turn apparently, it is starting to become a bit shocking. Next up the final scatbike unit decides to send some potshots into the Commander, scoring a slightly below average 3 wounds from 12 shots. Then the hapless leader rolls a 1, a 1, and a 2, suit systems critically failing from the over stimulation of all those Eldar flashlights, and the Commander goes down! What carnage!

The Tau player really needed to swap his dice out after the Stormsurge went down so fast, and this would have been a different game. But so it goes, can never predict what the dice gods will do, and sometimes a cold streak just never ends. At least the Y’vahra did pass a single 5++ to stay alive. At this point the two of us are laughing pretty hard at how horrendously things have gone wrong for the Tau.

Turn 1 Tau

Not to be outdone, the Fishmen move up and unleash pulse and plasma death to obliterate the Malevolents and 5 Warp Spiders across two units.

The Y’vahra knows it is going to die, so bounds forwards and easily wipes out the fusion Reavers with attached Void Dreamer just like that.

At the end of the turn the Crisis star hunkers down in the ruins for some tasty 2+ cover thanks to Shadowsun’s Shrouded. It was actually a pretty good turn, but likely not enough to turn the tide. How long can the Tau hold on? At this point as the Tau and Corsair units  are each just evaporating at a pace of knots we are laughing quite a lot, neither able to keep anything alive apparently. To top it all off, the Tau player needed to make a 3” run move in the backfield to take an objective, but tragically rolled a 2. Gah, what luck. So much unmitigated carnage and really no chance left for the Tau after the Maelstrom gets counted, but we carry on in pursuit of moments of glory for our factions!

Turn 2 Corsairs

On turn 2 the Farseer’s scrying gaze successfully brings in both the Hemlock and Phoenix with the re-rolls, Phoenix deep striking at the far end of the table, Hemlock shimmying up the right flank out of the Y’vahra’s EWO range. Shooting pours into Shadowsun’s 8-man Crisis unit, rocking a 2+ cover save thanks to Shrouding. Prescienced Perfect Timing scatter lasers push through no less than 5 wounds after some again horrendous armour saves, followed by another 5 wounds from the Phoenix who can catch a few models outside cover (including 1 instant death), and finally the Hemlock casts some D blasts but fails to get through the cover. When the dust and shards of battle suits clear, just Shadowsun and a single suit are left standing. On the left, splinter cannons open up into the Y’vahra followed by pulse lasers and shuriken, and after a string of highly unexpected armour and invulnerable saves the big suit does finally go down. A solid Corsair turn, with another handful of objectives scored.

At this point the Barracuda comes storming on, exploding the Phoenix in a shower of pulse fire, while the Strike Teams juice up on Cadre Fireblade sauce, move forward, and send 33 pulse rounds into the jinking Hemlock, also sending it crashing down in a burning fireball, landing on their comrades and slaying several of their number! Cinematic destruction all around! Drones and a devilfish then target the Corsair Prince and his splinter bike unit caught outside the void shields with a few pulse potshots, but roll hot and score 5 wounds! The two jetbiker armour saves both fail on the first roll, leaving 3 wounds on the Prince’s shadowfield, and he rolls a…. 1, 1, 2! What justice there is from beyond, you can’t make this stuff up! Thanks to his ancient forcefield the Prince does survive on 1 wound, but he no longer has an invulnerable save, and is stranded in the middle of the board. (Un) fortunately that is the last of the Tau shooting, so the sucker survives this turn at least.

Turn 3

On the Corsairs turn the by now deeply shamed Prince seeks to wreak his revenge on the Tau, moving up for an assault on the Devilfish, but forgetting about Supporting Fire. In a freakish feat of hilarity, the two nearby Drones, just 2 Drones mind you, manage to score a wound on the Overwatch, and once more the Prince is caught flat-footed, taking a pulse round right in the kisser – that’s Warlord right there! What a failure of a Warlord this Prince has been, it may be time for a new model. Last tournament the Prince was the absolute scourge of the enemy, I don’t know what to say.

Meanwhile on the right side the Warp Hunter moves up and unleashes the D-flail Rift template into the Tidewall, just mowing down those tragic Firewarriors in their perfect bunched up row, also claiming Cadre Fireblade and several maelstrom points for killing multiple units. Scatter laser jetbikes do a quick Google on Shadowsun, realizing the fearsome warrior is but Toughness 3, oh dear – a flurry of s6 laserlights and she’s gone, along with her lone bodyguard. This just leaves the Barracuda, Devilfish, and another 3 Striketeams scattered around the backfield being strafed and charged by Warp Spider Exarchs.

Turn 3 Tau

Tau turn 3 and the vehicles continue their assault, looking to net a few points by taking out the Hornet and capturing that objective, but it is just not to be as the dice betray the Tau once more.

Meanwhile in the backfield the Striketeams keep struggling with the Warp Spiders, landing the occasional wound on Overwatch or in combat, but to no avail. The Tau player vows to kill the one particularly annoying Exarch and sets about it best he can.

Freakin’ Warp Spiders — just the Exarch from one unit keeps harassing the Strike Team, while an Exarch and one warrior scoot around in the back corner out of range.

Turn 4 Corsairs

Turn 4 for the Corsairs and the Farseer steps up to finish what the Corsair Prince in his youthful vigor could not accomplish – he casts his singing spear through the air, clanging off the vehicles armour, then summons it back to his hand with a gesture of his third eye. Charging into the vehicle he thrusts the spear between two armour plates and skewers the pilot to an ensuing death squeal. Oh what fun.

Meanwhile the Farseer’s scatbike entourage powers up with Prescience and hits the zooming Barracuda a whopping number of times, sending the air superiority fighter spinning out of control to land a broken wreck:

The table is an arena of carnage and death! There’s a piranha in there too, as well as the bodies of the Prince, Dreamer, Reavers, Y’vahra, Stormsurge, Malevolents, and a ton of fire warriors, all slain within this middle zone.

We play it out to the gruesome end, much hilarity ensuing as we enjoy the absurdity of some of the awful rolls and brutal devastation wrought in this game from the very first shot. Corsairs win 23-4 after the Tau throw in the towel at bottom of 5 with about 15 minutes left on the clock. Massive kudos to my opponent Nick for bringing both a beautiful and effective army, but most importantly for taking the game so much in stride and having such a good time of it. When you seriously only pass a single 4++ and a single 5++ in an entire shooting phase (pretty much zero armour saves), I guess you have to either laugh or flip the table, and there is definitely a better option of the two.

In this one old Warpy was again a total monster, a game-changing tank. Meanwhile Rage Prince has to be the single most disappointing member of the force right now, what a loser. The Corsairs had such high expectations of him tanking Overwatch on the 2++ to then slice and dice through the Tau lines like a butcher in a ballet class, but alas you can’t force a Prince to play I guess.

Wrap-Up & Review

In the final standings the Corsairs ended up taking 2nd Best General and 2nd Best Overall with a very solid score. Turns out the tiebreaker for 3-0 generals was Maelstrom points scored in games, so game 2 only scoring two rounds of points was a bit of setback.

The Best Overall placing went to Findlay Craig’s incredible Highland Guard army, all of the infantry have kilts modeled on, and the display board came with a 3D printed laspistol (by Vreda Forge!) which was freakin awesome — check out Foodhammer’s FB page for a video. He also managed to win three games in a row while rocking a Shadowsword superheavy tank, so that’s quite impressive haha, again we raise our eye patches to him!

This event was a ton of fun, really enjoyed how the “taste the rainbow” style Corsairs build played out on the tabletop with a bit of everything to try out. Not really facing any fast assault armies meant the Malevolents and Rage Prince did not get to properly strut their stuff with Reckless Abandon shenanigans, but that is something the local players here have seen a lot of and is not received very well, so that’s probably a good thing. Also not playing any other Eldar forces was a bit of a sad moment, as it would have been a total blast to face scatbikes with a Wraithknight and try to cause some Hemlock+Malevolent leadership tricks. I’m sure there will be a next time for that!

Speaking of flyers, the double attack craft with one Deep Striking and the other flying on was super fun to play, and gives a lot of options for focusing down key units in the enemy army. I wouldn’t run this build below 2k though, being so spendy, and then again in ITC missions not having more throwaway scoring units would hurt a lot. But tons of fun for more friendly competition, and seemed to be quite well-received by the opposition. Flyers do make for interesting, cinematic moments.

Lastly, while for the last 9 months my Corsairs have run as pure Corsairs only, and mixing in a Farseer and 1-2 units of Warp Spiders for objectives are such a big difference in the force multiplier and scoring departments, it is huge. Without Warp Spiders the Corsairs have pretty much zero units that can stick around in midfield or on objectives without being eliminated by a stiff breeze. However, it is admittedly very frustrating for opponents when the units they are looking at in close range are either Warp Spiders with Flickerjump to dodge shooting, or Malevolents and Reavers with Reckless Abandon to dodge charges, it is a lot to keep track of and very slippery indeed.

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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.)

One Response to “Corsairs a-Raiding Part III”

  1. Colin Sherlow March 9, 2017 6:57 am
    #

    This game seems like it was going to be a tough one. But thing just seems to go your way with that classic Ibushi focus and ass kickery. And some bad not great dice from your opponent urn 1. I think that the Storms urge would have still fallen, but it went down even quicker than I thought it would have. WhI checked really allowed you to punish the rest of the Tau forces as well.