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10 RHB corsair screen. 
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Noble
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Hi mates,

I wanted too know if someone had field 10 rhb corsairs. And what your experiences are with them.

I thinking of letting them screen my bigger units. And ofcourse stand and shoot ( as they can only do that ).

So, what can i expect of them?


Mon May 11, 2009 4:06 pm
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Corsair
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I have quite an extensive experience with them, always in a unit of 10 with muso = 105 pts.

I assign them 4 uses:
- screen for more expansive unit (BG)
- taunting unit (that's fun).
- sorc babysitter, they can soak a lot of magic/missile before she is in danger and can take care of light skirmishers willing to charge but afraid of the S&S.
- lone assassin delivery unit (they cross the battlefield until in charge range of something juicy - their RHB makes them immune to light units).

1st game: destroyed by Bretonnians, like all my army.
2nd game: guarded a fence, babysitting a sorc. Were ignored, remained intact. Earned 1/4 table and did nothing else.

3rd game: were great to bait a large dwarf unit, stand & shoot, kill 1, have 4 killed, loose melee, flee, rally, see the large darf unit flank-charged and destroyed, and take a 1/4 table with the 6 of them remaining.

4th game: did nothing to recall.
5th game: same.
6th game: same.

7th game: outstanding, my best unit of the game. They entered a building, not far from opponent's deployment zone. The dwarf unit with general charged. They S&S, killed 3! Panicked the general!! Which did not rally the next turn and left the table!!! Real fun.

8th game: things went bad, a dwarf small unit of 9+FC overran into my 10 RHB corsairs (so no S&S), I stayed because anyway I was loosing the game and it's a small unexpensive unit. The dwarves fluffed all their attcks, (1 wound - saved). I killed 1! Unexpectedly won by 1. Guess what: he failed morale! Catching up dwarves with the slavery rule was easy, captured 1 banner in addition to the unit destroyed! And, I occupied the 1/4 table instead of him! So finally I turned out to loose by 148pts, when 150pts were needed to make it a loss. This small unit (with a lot of luck) transformed a certain loss into an incredible draw.
Now, you bet, my arch-enemy dwarf has a bounty on them.

9th game: They screened efficiently BG, loosing 4 of them to magic but BG was therefore spared. Fleeing, but rallying afterwards, did nothing else but take 1/4 table while the rest of my army massacred the HE to the last.

10th game: did not much while the rest of the army lost badly. Probably a couple of them remained.


My present conclusions:

- screen for more expensive unit (BG): their best use. They protect efficiently, especially since they can shoot at a fast cavalry that went around and could not be charged.
Good also to canalize the frenzied unit they are protecting.

- taunting unit (that's fun): see reports above.
Either the unit endured a lot of magic & shooting to get rid of it, sparing the same fate for something else,
or they got charged and you've lost not too much, especially if they allowed a juicy flank-charge in the process,
or they survive and take a 1/4 table plus they worried the opponent who avoided them.

By the way, they don't necessarily S&S when they are alone. If the attacker is heavily armoured and coming from far, they sometimes better flee and surprise the enemy who will move only half-charging movement.

- Sorc babysitter: they are good. Put them in a building and they are excellent. Take far-reaching magic (Metal, Fire) and forget about them. They prevent snipe-charges, they soak magic and shooting.

- lone assassin delivery unit. It works with the cloaked sass when you're magic-heavy. But that makes the unit too expensive to my taste. If the sass gets to a warmachine, that's great, and then the corsairs are let loose as a taunting unit.


Conclusion:
Corsairs are fun, mate!
Join us! :D

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Last edited by Calisson on Tue May 12, 2009 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon May 11, 2009 9:27 pm
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Noble
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Ahh thats a good report calisson . nice, ill use the old ones to practice a little with them.


Tue May 12, 2009 2:14 pm
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The only match I used the corsairs to screen my units was during a mirror match against a De with asf bg and much shooting (I didn't had the hag graef banner nor assassins). I used the corsairs to screen my bg from the enemy one, treathening his with the handbows, so that he was forced to put in front of his units 10 spears, but this way he was unable to charge with anything. If he charged with the spears the combat would have been in my favour (thanks to s&s reaction and the casualties made before) so that I would have won, getting a double chance to shoot on the asf bg (normal shooting and s&s reaction on their charge). This really solved the match in my favour, but I think it is a one shot use for them, as usually screening your troops with some ranked infantry means not getting the charge when you want, probably suffering a charge yourself after that the opponent charged the screen overrunning on the unit in the back.

I'd always suggest to use the harpies for screening the units, expecially when having the general near in a troop behind them.

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Wed May 13, 2009 3:32 pm
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It's true that screening with RHB corsairs is not easy, because ultimately you want the screened unit in contact, not the corsairs.


1. If the enemy spends a lot of energy to kill the corsairs, they are progressivley reduced to a small unit. They did their job taking hits for the most expensive unit behind.

1.1 If they flee (across ITP BG or frenzied WE, you don't care - or if they are down to 4 or less, you don't care), then you have no more obstacle and you can progress with your elite troop and charge. Problem solved.

1.2 If they remain in front of your elite unit, you can progress and even charge with both units, including charging on the same foe, because the small remaining corsair unit does not anymore block LOS.
Both charging, you have to maximize the units in contact, and you must try to get an even number from both units (BRB p.23). The elite's job is to kill, the corsair's job is to catch the fleeing opponent with the slavery rule if you win (thanks Ehakir for the rule clarification, a few posts below). Problem solved.


2. If the enemy charges the corsairs,

2.1 they can flee through ITP BG or frenzied WE (who don't care) and, if the positioning was good, you'll charge next turn, or be charged, but that is your elite and they are supposed to withstand that. Problem solved.

2.2 they can S&S, probably loose, flee through the elite unit behind which receives the overrun charge of a belittled unit. Problem solved.


3. If the enemy let them live and tries to avoid both units (as Master of Arneim's example)
ultimately, when you're close enough, you'll wheel them on one direction, hopefully facing the most threatening shooters, while the elite behind wheels towards the most interesting target. It leaves one round of reaction to the enemy, which is much better than having to cross the whole battlefield with no cover at all.

One good way to make room for the unit behind is as follows:
wheel 2.5" away from the desired direction, then reduce the front line by 5 to 2x5, removing the 5 in excess all from the side in front of the screened elite unit (yes it's legal, you don't have to reduce from both sides).
After that process, you should be able to move forwards your elite unit with a double-march around the former screen. Problem solved.

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Last edited by Calisson on Sun May 17, 2009 7:01 am, edited 3 times in total.



Wed May 13, 2009 3:59 pm
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Noble
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ahh thats a neat tactic.

But , how much space must i leave between the corsairs and the elites?

i mostly distance them something like 2 inch.
But that way i can only wheel them 70 degrees, then they would hit my BG.


Wed May 13, 2009 4:20 pm
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It's not that simple I fear... while they could absorb well the enemy fire, you've to consider what to do when the opponent march straight ahead with a heavy armoured troop, or shoot them from a very long range. There are many problems with having a corsairs screen:

- As correctly pointed out by Zenith you need a certain distance between the 2 units, depending on which kind of opponent are you facing (the distance will be 0 against dwarves and much if against the empire in example). Having much room between the 2 units force the elite one to start further than the 24" from the enemy deployment zone, probably losing 1 turn to reach the opponent's lines (or at least losing a turn to improve the distance between the 2 units)

- taking care of the corsairs: 10 corsairs are not that heavy shield as you would think. I'll go now in the awesome world of theoryhammer where strange situations happen, only to set up a certain environment and post a practical situation: let's assume that your elite unit is made of 14 bgs with a front rank of 7. You'll easily understand that losing 4 or less corsairs will cause to your elite to be uncovered from enemy fire and this could happen even in a single turn as the 4+ as vs shooting is not that great.
With the harpies on the other side you would have a unit able to jump on the warmachines in the 2nd turn, or trethening enemy mages, so that the opponent would be forced to kill them all not to leave any chance to be charged.

- about charges on the corsairs: to avoid the charge and the overrun in the elite unit you'd need to have some space between those 2, but if the enemy has got cavalry, this distance should be more than 9-10" to maybe avoid the overrun. This would leave the corsairs really exposed, not considering another difficult option: let's assume that the other player move his heavy unit straight in front of the corsairs that has been reduced a bit from his fire. Being so near, the chance to make a double charge is inexistant as you could not have any room for your elite unit. Then he suffer a double shoot (from your shooting phase and in the s&s reaction) but if he has a nice armour/ward save/thoughness he could stand really well your fire for then charging, pursuing/overrunning and facing your elite unit.

- another tactic could be using some flyers/fast cavalry to march block both the units. Surely the next turn he will suffer your handbows, but the opponent would slow down really well your troops, and this would not happend with harpies that could even charge his fast units.

What I've shown is something that could do a mess with the corsairs screen (a sort of devil's lawyer). It would be interesting posting some situations to understand better if they are useful or not. I wait for your input Calisson.

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Thu May 14, 2009 1:56 pm
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To make it short, although one such unit is fun to use (see my 1st post), using them efficiently (GT level) requires more skill than I have.
I don't blame people advocating instead the use of harpies (much easier to use) or MXB.
I woudn't encourage anyone to use two of such units.

When comparing 2 units of 5 harpies to 1 unit of 10 corsairs, sure the harpies are much easier to use.
But please don't forget that they are prone to flee if 2 of them are killed, which corsairs are not. Another factor to take into account is that, if you have a special-heavy army, you may be happy to fill up a core slot with 105pts corsairs.

Also, you need not to cover the whole elite unit:
only the shooters which view the elite unit may shoot. The part of the unit which doesn't see any elite misses.
EDITED: Until recently, I believed that if more than 50% of your elite unit is hidden from the shooters by corsairs (who block LOS), then you can claim a hard cover providing -2 to be shot at (just like hiding most of the unit behind a building).
Dalamar corrected it:"The rulebook only gives terrain as example for providing cover. I'm pretty sure they'd include models in it if they indeed provided cover."
Tournament rules seem not to allow this cover, although nothing prevents home rules to allow it. END EDIT.

The extreme case about charge and overrun is, let's say, extreme. Sometimes you just flee with corsairs and accept the charge over the elite (especially if the elite unit is the ASF BG, which needs protection from shooting, not from charges).

About getting rid of march blockers, this is precisely what RHB corsairs are good at. Yes, the two units will be march-blocked, but the cost is the likely destruction of the light march-blocking unit by the RHB.

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Last edited by Calisson on Sun May 17, 2009 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu May 14, 2009 2:43 pm
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I may claim hard cover.! wow, didnt knew. On witch page did you found out.

Thanks all good advices


Fri May 15, 2009 6:11 am
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Zenith wrote:
I may claim hard cover.! wow, didnt knew. On witch page did you found out.
Dalamar wrote:
- the rulebook itself only gives terrain as example for providing cover. I'm pretty sure they'd include models in it if they indeed provided cover.
Let's view the argumentation. EDIT: For tournaments, it seems that the interpretation below about hard cover is not valid.

LOS: BRB p.9. Models and LOS. "Models (yours and the opponent's) block LOS.

Shooting: BRB p.26. LOS. "The individual LOS of each model determines whether it can shoot at the desired target or not.
Only those models having a LOS on the target may shoot, the other miss automatically.
Remember that models and terrain block LOS."

BRB p.27 Cover. (right of the page). "A unit is considered under cover if at least half of its models is effectively behind cover.
Hard cover offers a real protection in addition to dissimulate.
Soft cover does not effecitively protect, but allows to hide behind."


These rules explain why, in my opinion, a dense formation of corsairs in front of BG provides a real protection to BG, and I see no reason why not to refuse the BG a hard cover.
Yes, I know, it seems strange that the corsairs are immune to unintended shots, but GW prohibits shooting at 2 units at the same time.
A loose pack of harpies is less dense, therefore I would have no objection to call that a light cover. They would fit perfectly the definition, as they block LOS indeed, but they can hardly pretend to be a dense formation able to stop arrows.

Let's see an example.
10 Empire Bowmen (B) shooting at a unit of 2*5 Execs (E) partially hidden behind a unit of 2*5 corsairs (C).

Code:
BBBBBBBBBB


CCCCC
CCCCC

EEEEE
EEEEE

You see that B1 to B5 don't see any E - they miss automatically.
B6 to B8 see 1 or 2 E, less than half of the front line of E, so they shoot at -2 because more than half of the unit is covered by something blocking effectively the arrows.
B9 and B10 see 3 E, so they see more than half of the unit and have no penalty.

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Last edited by Calisson on Sun May 17, 2009 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri May 15, 2009 5:05 pm
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Lord of the Dragon Caves
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I don't think you get hard cover bonus from being behind other troops. Cover is obtained from terrain, not troops.

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Fri May 15, 2009 6:47 pm
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I'm afraid I have to agree with Dyvim Tvar here, Calisson. Models don't give hard cover penalties. Only terrain gives any kind of cover, as specified in the Warhammer Rulebook.

Definition of cover - "Troops who are behind certain terrain features, such as hedges or walls, or inside a wood" (WHFB Rulebook, pg. 27)

Hard cover is defined as buildings, large rocks, and walls, as well as pits and/or trenches. So, unfortunately, models don't give hard cover to other models (nor do they provide soft cover, or indeed any type of cover).


Fri May 15, 2009 9:01 pm
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It is true that in the examples of covers provided in the BRB, there are only terrain. It creates doubt, even in my mind. But they don't say either that the list is a comprehensive list. Nowhere is it mentiond that troops (which can block LOS) cannot provide a cover, just like any possible kind of LOS-blocking terrain.
This is why I took the definition provided for cover, and checked if it could apply with "living terrain". And it can be argued that the covering troops do apply the definition of providing real protection, even though they are not provided as example.

One thing for certain is that, in the example I provided above, the bowmen B1 to B5 will miss automatically because of lack of LOS - there is some perfectly efficient cover provided indeed!

The debate is about B6 to B8.
I understand the difficulty about "lost arrows", which, in reality, would hurt Corsairs.

Now, replace the Corsairs in the diagram with Empire's Halbardiers in the very same position, providing the very same and dense LOS-block, and you'll realize that B6 to B8 must really take care not to hurt their fellowmen. As they see only a single opponent or maybe 2, and they must avoid their own troops, how can you claim that they would suffer no penalty? B5 would have infinite penalty, while B6 would have none when he sees only half of an Exec? It does not make sense.

This is why I believe that troops blocking partially LOS could as well provide a partial cover, just like obstacles or woods, as long as they block LOS to a majority of models of the targeted unit.
Hey, remember, even high herbs provide -1 cover to a troop which is otherwise fully visible!

But I agree that it is open for debate and I am not a ref.

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Fri May 15, 2009 9:35 pm
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It my opinion the handbow corsairs would have been an excellent choice if their crossbows were either armor piercing or if they all had duel handbows, but even though I have been a strong advocate for HXB corsairs in the past I would be inclined to say that either dark riders (117 for 5 with crossbows and musicians) or crossbowmen (110 for 10 w/shields) would be a better choice all around for your army.

For me though, I field a primarily infantry army and the HXB corsairs act in the same way dark riders act for most players. I use them to bait, disrupt, and harass the opponent. I say give this a shot, try them out in your list; give them a full command, duel HXB on the champion and try them out a little bit. They take some getting used to but the shots are often much more accurate then the RXBs of the dark riders and the crossbowmen, and best of all they can constantly stay in motion because they suffer no shooting penalties for moving, and thus can fill a different purpose then dark riders and crossbows.

Good luck!

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Sat May 16, 2009 2:59 pm
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Calisson wrote:
Both charging, you have to maximize the units in contact, which can be 1 corsair (charging sideways) and many elite (and you'll benefit from the slavery rule if you win). Problem solved.

in an incorrect way...
Sorry Calisson, but it doesn't work that way. It is thoroughly described in the BRB section about charging. At the end of this section it discusses charging with multiple units, and it describes how you should endavour to bring an equal amount of models from all units engaging one side of an unit into B2B contact.

And for the corsairs: I completely agree with Lord Veshnakar. The corsairs as they are aren't hitty enough in the shooting phase where they can only shoot up to 2 times (having moved and S&S)

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Sat May 16, 2009 3:46 pm
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If you play that way and it feels right to you, then keep playing that way Calisson! That's why Warhammer is so wonderful, you can play it whichever way you like, rulebook is just a guideline.

But if you ever go to a tournament, or play with someone you don't play with on a regular basis and who doesn't know that you play it that way - the rulebook itself only gives terrain as example for providing cover. Yes, the list isn't complete, but I'm pretty sure they'd include models in it if they indeed provided cover (models can provide cover in warhammer 40k, and it's clearly stated in the rulebook)

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Sat May 16, 2009 11:34 pm
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Dalamar wrote:
(models can provide cover in warhammer 40k, and it's clearly stated in the rulebook)
You probably spotted rightly why we are playing it that way at home!
I tried to justify afterwards even if I could not find clearly the ruling in the BRB, but you're right, I probably "overrinterpreted" the rules... :?.

I'll edit my previous post. Sorry for false hope brought to readers. :oops:

That is a great achievement of this forum:
without playing anywhere else than home, I still can confront rule interpretations with the majority of the world! :)

Thanks.

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Sun May 17, 2009 6:58 am
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