Saturday, February 25, 2012

More Thoughts On Eldar Corsairs: Webway Portals

Well I am officially back in good old Lansing. My time on the path of the outcast is over and it is time to tread the path of the Seer once again. Its been a busy month and the move, although smooth, has taken up a lot of time. I have been remiss in posting and for that I do apologize. The Judge, Samsquatch Monster and I have been setting up the 40K man cave in the basement of the house. The hobby areas are set and the tables are in progress.

I promised some more thoughts on the Eldar Corsairs list. Sadly I have not gotten another game in with them as of yet. I have had some more thoughts as I mill over the list though. I have put some thought into the many forms of deployment available to the army. I had officially dismissed the Void Dreamer. The powers he offers are nice in very specific situations. Sadly they do not have a decent blanket effect, nor does he have the utility of a Farseer to warrant using the HQ slot he takes up. Many of the more observant readers of Codexes and Imperial Armor books will notice that the Void dreamer has 2 entries for a Corsair Jump Pack. This is of course a typo and if you look at the Q&A entry on the Forgeworld site there is errata correcting this. The Void Dreamer demands a second look when you find out that the second Jump Pack Entry should be a Webway Portal.

This Opens up some possibilities. All of a sudden the Void Dreamer fits into a list with multiple deployment options. Using the corsair princes ability to allow up to three units to deep strike if they did not have the ability to do so already in conjunction with a Void Dreamer equipped with a webway portal, let you deliver your army quickly and efficiently. Dual Void Dreamers also opens up the option for a hybrid Craftworld style Webway list. I have been putting together some different list options running one Corsair Prince and One Void Dreamer as well as a Dual Void Dreamer List.

The prospect of delivering Webway portals via Falcon and a decently hardy Psyker is much more appealing than Haemonculis and a group of wracks. The defensive powers and slight offensive capability of the Void Dreamer combined with a small group of Corsair veterans or even just regular corsairs armed with some nice assault weapons ensures a very stable and easily defended beachhead for the army. The Falcons can harass the enemy while the Void Dreamers and their bodyguards establish the Webway portals in good positions. The real bonus to this is that you have 3 options with a lot of the units in the army.

You can deploy the traditional way and walk onto the board edge, or outflank with scouts, deploy via deep strike with your jump pack equipped units and come through the webway portal if no viable deep strike option is available.

This second look is really expanding the possibilities. I am more apt to take a Phoenix Bomber or Nightwing with 2 Falcons on the board. You have a decent amount of fire power on the table while the rest of your army awaits in reserve to react to your opponent. The only real Achilles heel to this style of list is the same one all reserve armies suffer from. The units coming in piece meal.

I will have more on this later, I will be trying the lists out this coming week as well as a Footdar list that I am sad to say I did not come up with. OST has been pondering my Footdar after facing them a few times and seems to have come up with a list of his own that seems pretty legit. More on that later.

Until then

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. After playing a handful of games with my Corsair army and trying the Webway Portal I've come to the conclusion that neither the Void Dreamer nor the Webway Portal seem to be worth it for the points.

    The problems are three-fold:

    1. DELIVERY OF THE PORTAL - Getting the WP into position is every bit as tricky as for their DE counterparts. Granting the Void Dreamer Deep Strike via a Prince isn't reliable since he won't arrive until turn 2 at the earliest and there is a 50% chance he won't arrive until turn 3. With no reserve roll modification positive or negative there is no guarantee that by the time the WP is place the rest of your reserves haven't already arrived themselves.

    Giving him a Jet Pack only lets you place the Portal 6" out from your deployment zone, since Jet Packs only let you move 6" prior to the shooting phase. Not even to the midway part of the board.

    The best option remains as it is in Codex:DE - joining a small squad aboard a Venom, moving up 12", disembarking 2" from the nose of the open-topped vehicle and then placing the Portal. After which the 5 man unit is likely to be lit up and obliterated. 2 - 3 Kill Points lost to get the Portal into position. Mer.

    2. NO RESERVE MANIPULATION - As touched upon earlier without the Autarch's bonus for reserves there is little guarantee that the reserves you need will show up when required. It's not as big a deal if you can place the WP turn one, but it can still be annoying.

    3. THE ARMY DOESN'T NEED IT - The Webway Portal in the Dark Eldar army fills the niche of delivering large unwieldy units of assault maniacs with no access to transports (20 Wyches, full compliment Beast Packs, Talos) straight into the beating heart of the enemy army.

    Do the Corsair Eldar have large assault units? No.

    Do they really want to get into assault? By Lileath's lunar mammaries, NO! (Well, maybe Harlequins, but a Venom gets them there just as fast.)

    Do they really want to get close to the enemy? Aside from Harelquins, an allied Elite unit of assault troops (which you'd be mad to take over Fire Dragons), or Corsair units with Fusion pistols, NO.

    The majority of a Corsair army wants to "sabre-dance" (to borrow a phrase from Klingon starship combat) with the enemy. Trading long ranged missile and lasblaster fire while flitting in and out of cover on jet packs.

    There are a few units in the army that want to close range: Fire Dragons, units with Fusion pistols. They have ways of doing so though. Fire Dragons can go flat-out turn one in a Wave Serpent and with Star Engines be in position to threaten ANY point on the board. The Prince and his bodyguard squad with Fusion pistols can all take Jet Packs and can deep strike next to the enemy to deliver a short ranged fusillade of melta fire.

    So, really the Void Dreamer and his tricksy Webway Portal don't really benefit the army and instead tie up a fair chunk of points for no real advantage.

    More importantly they take up that precious second HQ slot. I've found a second Prince using his Void Strike ability to fire off a Darkfire Skyburst and plunge the table into Night Fight to be far more advantageous. Much like Necron Crypteks using Solar Pulses to set off two consecutive turns of Night Fight.

    ESPECIALLY with my Void Dragon pattern Phoenix Bomber armed with Nightfire missiles and Starcannons flying around strafing Long Fang squads. That Eldar Titan holofield is FAR more effective when two thirds of the enemy forces fail their Night Fight spotting checks!

    Best of luck fellow Corsair...just stay away from the spoils of the Void Dragons!

  2. Its interesting that you bring up the second price and the Dark fire skyburst. Having faced the new Necron codex a few times now, in the hands of CVinton and OST, I see the dual Prince working very well when you are using the night fight advantage. You just have to remember to use that ability last after all of your shooting is done.

    Thanks for your analysis. I have not gotten a lot of games in with this army list yet. I have culled my armies down to just Craftworld Eldar so I am going to be playing the Corsairs more.

    My webway musings were a product of the great success I had with the webway list for my now gone Dark Eldar. I make your point though in that this list was mostly Wych cult and was close combat oriented.

    I will get some games in and see how I like the 3 different lists I have made.

  3. Great! I'm interested in hearing others reports of what works (and doesn't) for them in regards to this unique and fun list.