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The dreaded Uber Corsairs Strategy (mini tactica?) 
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Generalissimo
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:09 pm
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For a change from my usual DH BSB led Executioner horde, I tried running a fairly extreme version of the SSS Corsair / Mindrazor Strategy yesterday. It was the first (and almost certainly only) time I have run this set up, so thought I'd share a very quick run down of my experience with it.

Unit setup
In a nut shell, the uber Corsair Strategy appears to be:

- Battle Standard Bearer with Hydra Banner, beastmasters scourge and full mundane armour.
- 29+ Corsairs with additional hand weapons, Full Command and Sea Serpent Standard.

Supported by
- Level 4 mage with Lore of Shadow (probably in a unit of warriors with sacrificial dagger).
- Cauldron of Blood.

How I used it
I buffed the Corsairs with the Cauldron for +1 attack each.
I then charged into combat with my opponent's horde of 47 Empire Swordsmen.
I then succeeded in casting Mindrazor upon the unit.

In total that gave me:
- 4 WS6 attacks at S9 with AP and hatred
- 66 (yes, 66!) WS4 attacks at S8 with hatred

That was a whopping 70 attacks total! I killd 44 of his guys and he conceded immediately. To be fair, it was the final straw rather than the first (he had also allowed me to completely outflank him with my dark riders, shades and a Cold One chariot, who between them had just annihilated his two cannons and unit of 2+ armour save knights, as well as just taken a gazillion casualties from a double chariot charge against the swordsmen detachment near his other flank).

Risks
Of course, the strategy comes with risks. On this occasion, if I had failed to cast Mindrazor I might have had some problems (particularly as his warrior priest had succeeded in giving his troops re-roll to wound in his last magic phase, and they had hatred too). And it was a close run thing on this occasion: my 29 against his 28 to cast in the magic phase (bet he wished he hadn't wasted his dispel scroll against the withering that same phase...).

Value
It was a bit silly, and does become a bit of a game winner in itself. But then having each corsair have a total of 5 S8 attacks EACH was certainly worth doing at least one...

Comments?
Anyone else care to share their experiences on this approach? Did it work for you? Did you enjoy it? Did your opponent? What other variants / add ons have you used?

Final thoughts
Personally, I wasn't a fan. It was too risky, followed by too broken if it worked. I'd consider running the corsairs with hydra banner and COB again, but never in conjunction with Shadow. It's just not fun enough.

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Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:12 am
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Warrior

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:37 pm
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Shouldn't the master have had 6 attacks?

3 basic, +1 for BMS, +1 Cauldron, +1 Hydra banner?


Used to run 30 Corsairs - they worked well, but they're a pain to rank up and i didn't like the paint job, so no mix up core to Spear blocks/Crossbows

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Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:45 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I've used the corsairs in the past, and just once recently. They truly need to either get a buff or debuff your opponents forces to be able to work really well.

As you mention, the Mindrazor is an extreme buff for them which makes them outright kill anything and everything they meet. It's a reason for us Dark Elves being called all kinds of names when we use shadow lore and the "gayrazor" (as it's being called by some I know).

However, when it comes to army choices and you want to go for extreme close combat with witch elves, corsairs, black guard and don't want to go with executioners and the like, you end up with an army without much armor penetration. All those 1+ armored deathstars is almost invinsible then, and to be honest I enjoy using the mindrazor in those games on my witch elves... because they have everything put into one unit to win the game, and you just crush that completely with the mindrazor.

So, what I am trying to say: Corsairs of different setups and pumped up with mindrazor works well... when you get the spell through. Otherwise, when you rely on that strategy, take on knight units, and fail the casting of mindrazor (or gets scrolled at once), you're f***ed.

Imo, creating a list to rely on spells is outright wrong, because the more dependencies you have in a list, the easier it is to break it apart. Not to mention the biggest problem with a big corsairstar: They are frenzied. So, they can be chaffed out of the game if you don't have enough anti-chaff.

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Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:54 am
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:29 pm
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following the rules for banners the faq. If a buff or debuff from a spell, banner, ... affects a unit, all models, including characters are affected, unless otherwize stated. following this logic the beastmaster could have a total of 7 attacks 3 + one for hydra banner, 1 for bms, 1 for cauldron and another for being frenzy, as the banner say's that this unit is subject to the rules of frenzy, this unit being everybody in the unit.
this is of course debatable.

I do believe that , considering some good play, you would have won without the spell. this being achieved by attacking the warriorpriest (if possible with bsb, if not, with 1 model and a few supports). This would give you a good chance to kill him before his unit gets to strike and this they would no longer have hatred.

if you don't have a chance to the warriorpriest with the bsb, chances are slim to take him out, so i'll consider all attacks on the unit. 66 attacks of which 75% hits is 49.5 hits. of which half wounds is 25 wounds, of which 1/3th is not saved. about 17 dead swordsmen. then 7 attacks from your bsb, of which would give you 6 hits. of which 4 would wound.

21 dead swordsmen.

26 swordsmen and a warriorpriest retalliate. the warriorpriest would do about 1 wound. the swordsmen would do 20.25 hits, which would do 15 wounds (with re-rolls) which would result in 10 effective wounds after saves.

so 11 wounds.

you'd still win with a decent margin, but steadfast would be a real concern, as would him getting of other spells. But, he would be losing attacks fast on following turns, while most of your attacks are in the front.

If these were greatswords, then it would be a diffrent situation entirely.


Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:10 am
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You really dont need the hydra banner in there... your going to be paying around 200 points for him, just to gain an extra 10 attacks, when you already have 50+. Its the same with the COB blessing. 30 corsairs in a horde with SSS get 51 attacks. If you cast mindrazor on them, they will delete any unit in the game, an extra 20 attacks for that amount of points is just a waste.

Leave the master at home, make the COB your BSB and put KB on the unit just in case you dont get mindrazor off.

Also, I think handbows are the way to go on corsair hordes. It allows you to shoot chaff rather than charge and risk a bad overun, and also allows you to move up an hammer a unit with 80 shots (40 in your turn, 40 as S&S) then you get your 40 attacks, which in most cases is enough anyway. Worked well for me this weekend at a tournament.

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Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:28 pm
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Interesting build. Thanks for sharing your feedback with it :)

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Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:22 pm
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Actually I think the Hydra Banner BSB is just over the top.
But in essence: Large units of Corsairs with frenzy, cauldron and Mindrazor just rock!


Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:39 pm
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Generalissimo
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Thanks for the feedback :)

Yes, I guess I forgot to stack the +attacks bonus for the BSB. I think I was so much looking forward to the main event, I didn't consider all of the implications for the hero :)

The Hydra Banner was absolutely over the top, as was the Cauldron buff of +1 attack. If I had been playing more competitively, the right thing to do would probably have been to give the unit killing blow instead (in case I didn't manage to get Mindrazor off), but it was up against a reasonably squishy unit (saves of just 5+ I think) and so the extra attack buff seemed fun instead.

I think my goal in taking the unit set up with Hydra Banner etc was more to push the combo out to one of its more extreme variants. As many of you have said, 51 attacks at S8 is probably way more than enough. It was interesting, though, to see in action quite how extreme the set up could get when buffed up higher. Of course, it could go higher still, but this seemed like a reasonable point to push it to.

Witches are of course aother alternative for the Corsairs in this set up, as they have a lot of similarities (same points cost, same number of attacks when frenzied, same weapon skill, etc) There are pros and cons to both. The Witches have poison, are Khainite, have access to a 25 point gift of khaine, have I6 and are frenzied naturally (so can take a different banner). That said, they have no armour save, cannot be led by a non-Khainite character and are a special unit choice. Corsairs, in contrast, have a 4+/5+ save, are core and can be led by a non-Khainite character, but don't have the other advantages already listed for Witches.

Finally, yes, Corsairs with handbows rather than ahws are another useful variant, but not one I've tried yet :)

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Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:01 pm
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id say the biggest weakness is a cunning opponent with fast units. that unit is FRENZIED. remember all the nice advice we have given about how to handle big blocks of khorne warriors? thats right. they HAVE to overrun.

you can mitigate this by bringing an extra helping of fast units and quickly clear the field, but i know that if i were to face this monstrosity i would do my best to redirect it. beware that your opponent does not do the same.

ps: also its terribly boring to play with big uber units ;)

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Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:55 am
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Just talking about the Lore of Shadow for supporting the Corsairs.

A lot of opponents will be saving their dispel dice and scroll for stopping the Mind Razor going off at the right time for the Dark Elves.

However depending on what the Corsairs are fighting against the other spells in the Lore of Shadow can also be very effective.

The Withering vs. a T3 or T4 enemy unit will significantly increase the Corsairs damage output.

Enfeebling Foe can reduce damage done to the Corsairs.

Miasma can reduce hits on the Corsairs from higher WS troops.

If the Magic fails that turn the Cauldron Buff is still there to assist.

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Last edited by Lorddrittz on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:22 am, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:20 am
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for facing deathstars and not relying on mindrazor to go off, I equip my 30 frenzied corsairs with the unkillable + stubborn dread lord (on foot, if needed alowes me to swamp places with my shadow sorc, using lore atribute).
I give them the KB not extra attack. This almost guaranties you, character assassination capability. as killing 30 corsairs in once cc round is extremely difficult to accomplish.
I'v faced numerous deathstars, no enemy hero lasted more then 2 round of combat vs the corsairs.
The role of the Dreadlord is to ensured that the corsairs hang around when they loose combat, which they almost always do. The reason is simple, any and all possible attacks are targeted on to the enemy heroes, so your not gaining much of an CR, but point wise your always up by more then enough.
By the time the corsairs are wiped out you should have a flank charge set up. :roll:

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Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:51 pm
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I don't rely on Mindrazor to go off on the turn the Corsairs hit. I run two 'tire-shredder' units of 7-10 witches in front of them, casting Mindrazor on them when they hit. The first one gets scrolled. That means the second one (witches again) or third (Corsairs) is MUCH more likely to go thorugh. And even 7-10 Witches can rip the heart out of a big unit with Mindrazor and a cauldron buff (between 28 and 44 attacks yielding between 20 and 28 woulds, depending on the presence and loadout of a Hag in the unit). One Mindrazor goes off on any of the three, and the target unit is toast. :twisted:


Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:20 pm
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What do you do if you don't generate the mindrazor spell.

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Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:32 am
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KillerK wrote:
What do you do if you don't generate the mindrazor spell.


Miasma/Enfeebling Foe/Withering, Repeater crossbows, and arrange for a 'target unit' sandwich.


Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:34 pm
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