Counts-As Corsairs: Part 2

Hey guys Cavalier here, co-host of Splintermind the Dark Eldar podcast and commission painter for Frontline Gaming. Sharing how I’ve continued finding roles for my Corsair units and models after their demise as a standalone army.


So continuing on from last week’s article I’m continuing to explore counts-as options to keep your Corsairs realspace raiding.The following units also find easy corollaries with the Drukhari and Craftworld codices, with kitbash options that are likewise in a fairly good place on the tabletop currently.

Cloud Dancers-

One of the unholy nightmare units of 7th ed. Corsair bikes were one of the filthiest units in the game at the time. Outflanking with these guys and then getting to move after overwatch was brutal! Nonetheless adding Corsair bikes to your army is still very easy. Wind Riders are a natural fit for this role. While you cannot add cool options like Dark Lances or Splinter cannons to them, the scatter laser and shuriken cannon good to great weapons. The Wind Rider host which has been gaining some traction lately makes this particularly intriguing with almost any flavor of Craftworld trait. Its an easy kitbash too. Whether its with using actual Corsair heads like mine, or Reaver, Hellion head swaps this is a great classic Corsair unit (going all the way back to 2nd ed) that can make a dramatic visual, and play style impression with your renegade Eldar.

Ghostwalker Band-

One of my favorite units from a thematic standpoint, the Ghostwalker Band were stealthy forward operatives who worked in conjunction with Eldar Rangers as covert commandos. They could be equipped as infiltrating close-combat squad, or as a ranged commando squad with sniper rifles and even Drukhari blasters. While that kind of versatility is no longer possible they do have easy corollaries with current units from the Aeldari codices.

This is a unit I took particular pains to kitbash and convert, ultimately making 2 units of 10 with close-combat weapons and pistols and also purchasing 15 Eldar Rangers to really go all out. Luckily this easily transfered into starting an Alaitoc themed force in 8th edition in which they became Alaitoc Rangers and Striking Scorpions both of which really suit the unit from a war gear and play style perspective.


One of the most imaginative units dreamed up for the 7th ed. book, Malevolents were Eldar Corsairs who were drifting too far down the path of carnage and excess. Without the psychic safety-net of the Asuryani path system, nor the dark methodology of the Drukharii they were slowly becoming tainted by Slaanesh, almost like an Aeldari Death Company.

For thematic reasons I never went down the route of Malevolents but I gotta admit I’m pretty tempted now because Namartii Thralls would make great stand-ins for them and using the Mandrakes rules-set would instantly bring them to life.

Voidstorm Squad-

Lastly the Voidstorm Squads were dedicated Corsair close-combat units. They could take a number of combat options across both the Drukhari and Asuryani codices and could be equipped with or without Skyreaver Jetpacks. Sadly there is really no real way to pull off Skyreaver variant, but the foot based units are very easily brought back to the table as either Wyches or Storm Guardians. Personally I prefer Wyches as the wargear options speak more to that exotic Corsair vibe but either would totally work.

Extant Units-

Again for the bonus round there are number of options still available through Xenos Index 1 from Forgeworld The Warp Hunter, Hornets, Lynx, Phoenix, Nightwing and Wasp are all supported in the current game. For my money the only two options worth bothering with are the Warp Hunter and the Hornet but the rest are there if you are interested.

Also units such as the Vyper, Fire Prism and Falcon were also available to Corsairs and obviously still alive and kicking (well at least the Prism) in the current Craftworld codex. Also the Crimson Hunter (and Exarch) are merely Aspect warriors who use the Nightshade interceptor, a mass produced Eldar vehicle that you could easily justify including in your force.

So hopefully if you are an Eldar Corsair player, or just someone interested in running a Corsair themed army, all hope is not lost. I wont lie its taken me almost 2 years to reverse engineer my Corsair force into a lean, mean fighting force again. So if you fall into either camp hopefully this unit guide will jump start you and give you some ideas.

If you are interested in more Aeldari discussion check out our podcast: Splintermind for exclusive Drukharii and all things Aeldari news and discussion. If you are interested in following my painting exploits check me out on Instagram! Thanks for reading and stay tuned!


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!





About Cavalier

Commission Painter for Frontline Gaming + Co-Host of the Splintermind: The Dark Eldar Podcast

4 Responses to “Counts-As Corsairs: Part 2”

  1. Vipoid July 20, 2019 3:02 pm #

    As someone who loved Corsairs back in 7th (they felt like everything I’d ever wanted out of my Dark Eldar), I appreciate these articles.

    Out of interest, have you tried making themed Corsair lists using these units?

    I ask because the one thing I find myself wondering is whether a “Corsair” army would end up feeling a bit dysfunctional – since it would (appropriately) be made up of units from different armies but none of them would work together. e.g. a “Corsair Prince” Autarch wouldn’t be able to buff the “malevolent” Mandrakes or “Balestrike Band” Scourges.

    I wondered if it would be worth making them Ynnari – partially for the flavour (not perfect but it seems closer than the regular factions) and partially to make them a bit more united (e.g. sharing psychic powers). Or do you think the Ynnari characters take them too far away from the Corsair theme?

    Also, I hope you don’t mind, but I actually have a semi-related question about your previous article on Ynnari-Harlequins (I hadn’t checked in on FTG for a bit so I missed the opportunity to ask you at the time). Basically, I noticed that you didn’t mention Shadowseers at all. Do you think Ynnari-Shadowseers can be worth using, or is it Troupe Masters or nothing?

    • Cavalier July 21, 2019 11:26 am #

      Hey bud oh yeah I run themed Corsair lists in almost every game. Only time I deviate is when I play my Wraith Host (but even then I have Y’riel…. so Corsairs lol). I’ve had tremendous success with my lists particularly the Drukhari Flayed Skull lists with lots of Venoms. I developed too different Warbands so my second is my Umbral Watchers Corsairs (all in stealthed out black) who I use as Alaitoc and they of course have been ridiculously good too with my Balestrike Reapers that I featured in my first article. Been experimenting with my Hornets again and found them to be very solid especially with the Pulse Lasers.

      You definitley need to streamline your approach and get your counts-as options in the right detachments but mine plays super smooth.

      I play them as Ynnari too, especially when I’m using my Voidstorm/Wyches and had a great run with them. I’m working on more Wyches at the moment and just finished painting 2 Venoms specifically for my Ynnari build. I also have counts-as versions of both Yvraine and the Visarch (Priestess of Ynnead and my Corsair Prince as the Visarch).

      As for Shadowseers in Ynnari they are ok. I just think you are better off with a Farseer Skyrunner everytime. Especially because 9/10 I’m using him to support my Skyweavers.

      Anyway hope that helps thanks for reading bud, glad you dig it!

      • Vipoid July 21, 2019 2:58 pm #

        Hey, thanks for replying.

        It’s comforting to hear that you’ve managed to get your stand-in Corsair army to work smoothly. I’ll have to did out some of my lists from 7th edition and see how well I can convert them. Could be quite fun, really.

        Regarding Ynnari, I agree that a Skyrunner Farseer is ideal. However, I’d ideally like to just run some Ynnari Harlequins alongside my DE (so no Eldar force), so I was thinking along those lines. Also because I have a model I’d like to use that’s sadly lacking in the Jetbike department. 😉

        Anyway, I really appreciate your taking the time to reply and for writing these articles in general. You’ve given me some helpful advice and a lot of information.

        • Cavalier July 24, 2019 2:13 pm #

          No problem buddy thanks for reading man. I’ll try and keep those articles coming!

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