Ladies and Gentlemen, it has been a cold summer, but one filled with hot Mon-Keigh blood!
This July was the first defence of the Wet Coast GT title, returning from last year for seconds... but something spicy needed to happen, ye olde warp hunters+inquisition under a void shield was starting to feel pretty stale as it plays the same way every game. Plus there is a lot of antagonism towards warp spiders and wraithknights this year, so I decided to go for something totally different, and try and win the 5-game GT with a pure Corsairs, zero Warp Spider, zero Wraithknight, zero Alpha Strike, all-reserves army -- Bring on the Eldar Corsair Fleet Raiding Party!!!
1850 Eldar Corsairs:
Warlord Prince - jetbike, shadowfield, voidsabre, Reaper of the Outer Dark (Rage, Rampage, must charge units within 8")
Hornet - pulse lasers
Warp Hunter - void burners, kinetic shroud
Void Shield Generator - 2x shields
Corsair Fleet Raiding Company
Rage Prince - jetbike, shadowfield, voidsabre, Seeker of Forbidden Pleasures (corsair combat drugs), +Rage
Void Dreamer - jetpack, shimmershield, witchstaff, Aethermancy (ML1), +Rage
10x Malevolents - jetpacks, 2x melta bombs, corsair combat drugs, +Rage
3x Scatdancers - +Rage
3x Scatdancers - +Rage
Warp Hunter - void burners, kinetic shroud
Warlord Prince on jetbike, Void Dreamer with Malevolents in the foreground:
Rage (Expendable) Prince with Malevolents:
After some playtesting it became apparent that a single Fleet Raiding Company doesn't have enough slots, so I decided to bump out to a CAD+Formation despite the Desperate Allies drawback that Corsairs incur.. On the plus side, two Princes and two Warp Hunters!
Main challenge of the list is that it cannot sustain any firepower or assault really whatsoever, with the exception of the Malevolents who are oddly resilient. Even then, the Malevolents will really struggle to actually deal any damage, so eventually they'll be destroyed in assault too, but they'll hold a unit or two locked in combat for a solid number of turns.
Arriving at Wet Coast GT, there is a solid turnout just under 30 people, with a lot of the classic opponents ready to roll, looking to take out the pointy ears once and for all.
Game 1 is a really rough matchup right out of the gate: the imperious boys in blue, of wide repute for being the only BC-based force to defeat the Croneworld Kin before --
Ultramarines Gladius Strikeforce
5x Command - 4x melta + Drop Pod
3x 5 Tactical - melta + Drop Pod
3x 5 Tactical - guns + Razorback
1x 5 Devastators - 2x grav + Rhino - Sergeant is Warlord
1x 3 Centurions - grav-cannons + grav-amp
3x 5 Scouts
White Scars Allied Detachment:
Librarian - Hunter's Eye (with Centurions)
1x 5 Scouts
1x Drop Pod (Centurions)
Stephen is a really good player, with a really solid and well-practiced Battle Company, so I was very focused on this game and failed to take any pictures sadly. However, you may recognize these warriors of the Imperium from a previous battle report:
The same ones!
++ Pre-Game ++
Mission is ITC 1 -- Emperor's Will on Dawn of War + Maelstrom + Big Game Hunter, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord
This is going to be a tough one as the Marines can easily cover both objectives in obsec bodies, but since the Maelstrom is so much easier for Battle Co to score, the Corsairs will have to focus entirely on winning Primary. Going second will be key. The Maelstrom is virtually unwinnable against Battle Co, so let's just forget that one. Linebreaker is a wash for both armies, Big Game Hunter could go either way with the Centurions versus Warp Hunter/Phoenix both around 200pts, and lastly the Corsairs will need to get Warlord to break Tertiaries, that will be key.
Space Marines win the roll to go first and opt to start the pounding fast and early – they set up the transports spread through the DZ, with Stalker+Devastators+2x Tac in transports very centrally, Speeders to the right with one Rhino, 2x 5 scouts outflank, the others deploy left of centre.
Corsairs are silently crying with pleasure for being handed 2nd turn against the Gladius -- this suddenly became a much more winnable matchup. Void Shield Generator deploys in the far left corner next to Emperor’s Will objective, then the Malevolents+Rage Prince+Void Dreamer string out in front of it to prevent any boys in blue getting within melta range turn 1. Everything else on the Corsair side is screaming down in orbital attack, arriving by Deep Strike or Outflank, hellz yeah! Let's do this!
++ Turn 1
Space Marines bring down the command squad with 4 meltas, they scatter backwards out of melta range and fail to bring down the void shields even. Next comes down a tactical squad with melta, bringing down the shields at least, but unable to scratch the VSG. Lastly the transports and scouts move forwards to extend board presence, and shoot into the Malevolents for some wounds here and there. Not very exciting just yet.
Corsairs dial up their drug dispensers and go hurtling into the newly arrived squads+pods, engaging in a strung out multi-assault with both pods and both units - the Prince decimates a tactical squad, softened up by Malevolent shooting, while the Mallys kind of flap around.
++ Turn 2
Librarian and Captain both arrive with their squads in Pods, trying to land on the Corsair home objective, but both scatter backwards and fail to land in range. The Captain’s unit unleashes some more melta into the Void Shield Generator, finally killing it. The Librarian with Centurions come hurtling down onto a Skyshield Landing pad, but having nothing to shoot at they just chill out for a turn. On the right side some scouts outflank into the Corsair DZ, and a tactical Rhino moves up onto a maelstrom objective supported by both Landspeeders.
Combat with the Corsairs continues, while the Chaplain with tactical squad that landed turn 1 charges in to try and exact some damage on the Space Pirates, only for his unit to be brutally cut down by the Corsair Prince before striking blows. Chaplain and 2 survivors are stuck in, still tying up the Malevolents for a turn.
Corsair Turn 2 and the reserves start rolling in… everything arrives except the Hornet and 1 unit of ghostwalkers! Both Warp Hunters drop down in front of the Centurions, one of them having a mishap back into reserves, the other landing right within Template range and vaporizing two Centurions right off the bat. The Phoenix tries to support the Hunter, but then also mishaps and is placed by the opponent facing into the corner of the board, sadly taking it out of the game for another turn at least. Nightwing drops down right in front of the Stalker, daring it to Intercept or die – which it does, and the 2+ jink holds up against a barrage of autocannon shots, the Nightwing then hammering shuriken and laser fire into the Stalker to destroy it despite Snap Firing, with some assistance from outflanking scatbikes. On the right flank 3x scatbikes + Warlord Prince outflank into the SM DZ and destroy the Rhino and tactical squad positioned there, as well as forcing a landspeeder to jink and stripping hull points.
Assault phase and the Prince is able to slay the enemy Chaplain, finishing off the squad – wow what a combat champion! Malevolents keep slapping away at the other squad, not quite able to kill them, but do destroy a Drop Pod and take a wound for their efforts.
Maelstrom is 2-1 to the SM.
We misread the schedule and think that we only have 20 minutes to go at this point, which is truly shocking seeing as the Corsairs only just arrived on the table, and it feels like we are just getting started. After some confusing back-and-forth, we rush to hammer out a Turn 3 as fast as possible.
Marines keep up pressure by moving up on the Emperor’s Will objective, but so far only the Captain+tactical squad are in range, so they bubble out to hold it –2 scout squads outflank in that corner also, ready to cap next turn if needs be. On the right side the devastators and other units are basically all out of range of the scatbikes, but they send potshots into the Warp Hunter with its special re-rolling Kinetic Shrouds save, failing to damage it. The surviving Centurion lends its weight of fire into the Warp Hunter, immobilizing it but failing to destroy it. Back in assault, the Corsairs keep chewing away at the squad from turn 1, and just two remain, locking them for another turn unfortunately.
Corsair Turn 3 and the Space Pirates have zero hope of catching up on the Maelstrom, so they desperately need to capture the Empror’s Will objective which is currently surrounded by two Rhinos with combat squads, with a third nearby. At the same time they need to recapture the home objective, which currently has a combat squad with Captain sitting on it. No mean feat! As the Corsair Phoenix is forced to fly off the board this turn, that gives away Big Game Hunter to the Marines, both armies will certainly have Linebreaker, so that means the Corsairs also need to slay the enemy Warlord this turn just to get a Tie… can it be done?
To start things off, Reserves continue arriving – a Warp Hunter manages to land perfectly to place a Template on the Captain’s unit, killing them down to 2 models in one fell swoop. A hornet Outflanks right behind the Captain, lacing him with pulse laser fire and wiping out that squad to clear up the objective. Ghostwalkers also outflank and shoot into the Scouts there, then using Reckless Abandon to move 6” further and make it within 3” of the home objective to hold it.
On the SM objective, first the Warp Hunter opens up to try and destroy both transports with his Destroyer barrage – sure enough one is destroyed, but the other survives with 1hp left! Warlord Prince+scatbikes and two more supporting jetbike units move up towards the blue Emperor’s Will objective – the first scatbike unit opens fire and destroys the last Rhino, exposing the enemy Warlord and opening a space for the other jetbikes to contest that objective. If the Warlord Prince can just make into assault the day can be won… Warlord Prince shoots backwards into the Landspeeder, destroying it and propelling the squad forwards with a long Reckless Abandon move – if he can make a 9” charge into the enemy Warlord he can win the day in one brutal turn… but it’s not to be as he fails the charge, but at least his companions are able to contest the objective at least.
Lastly the Malevolents finally kill the last marines, allowing the Rage Prince to consolidate backwards towards the home objective and prevent the encroaching Rhinos from being able to move onto it without risking Death or Glory meltabomb attacks! A pretty good turn for the Corsairs, but by losing the Phoenix to Ongoing Reserves and not slaying the enemy Warlord, if the game were to end here it would be a 6-5 loss.
At this point everyone around us is still merrily gaming, even though we think the round should have ended… turns out yes we misread the schedule and we have a full 45 minutes left to play the game! We have a bit of a heated argument, as my opponent feels that we verbally agreed to just finish the game this turn, so even though there is time left in the round, we should honour that agreement and end the game… My argument is that we didn’t agree to “finish this turn”, we were forced to rush due to our misled belief that time was about to expire… given that time has not actually expired and given that we haven’t played to turn 4 (turn 4 is considered the minimum length by our Tournament Organizer), then naturally we should continue. The Tournament Organizer agrees with me, but my opponent is very unhappy. arguing that being rushed through last turn has put him on the back foot and made him not take the best advantage of the situation, etc. Hoping to assuage his concerns, I offered to let him move and shoot all of his units that he felt did not have a chance to perform yet, despite it being out of sequence, but he declined. Oh well, we can only play on.
Maelstrom is 4-2 to the SM.
Marines continue moving up, targeting the units on the two Emperor’s Will objectives, and sending a Rhino up over terrain to disgorge more troops onto the Corsair objective, while a second unit deploys and is able to get behind the newly arrived Warp Hunter. In the shooting phase, the Hornet is taken down, the ghostwalkers are wiped out, and the Warp Hunter is actually killed! A very successful turn! Back at the home objective, the Marines shoot into the Warlord and scatbikes, killing one, but are not very effective and don’t have the weight of fire necessary to do the job.
Corsairs respond with a vengeance, feeling like this will actually be the last turn, and now all the cards are in their hands… the Phoenix drops down and makes an attack run on the enemy warlord with his devastator unit, opening up with shuriken cannons, phoenix missiles, and a pulse laser, completely wiping the unit out in an explosion of blue armour and gore! The Nightwing drops down right next to the Phoenix to open up on the surviving Centurion and Librarian, sending laser bolts and shuriken the size of dinner plates rending through the elite unit, obliterating the Librarian but leaving the Centurion standing firm with one wound left. Back at the home objective Rage Prince splits off from the Malevolents and targets the Centurions – first he shoots into the tactical marines on the home objective, killing one and using Reckless Abandon to propel himself right next to the Lone Centurion, who he then mercilessly slaughters with his rending Void Sabre! Malevolents move up on the remaining tacticals, shredding them with dual-toting shuriken pistols, then assaulting the nearby Rhino for good measure, destroying it with melta bombs and plasma grenades. The Void Dreamer also splits off from the Malevolents, holding down the home objective as a single model.
At this point the only units left for the Space Marines are a few scout squads and a tactical unit with grav-cannon in a Rhino in the backfield. The Corsairs have lost a unit of ghostwalkers, the Hornet, a Warp Hunter, and the Void Shield Generator, but they are very much still in the business of death-dealing. With the Centurions and Devastators taken down this turn, that is Big Game Hunter, Warlord, while Warlord Prince holds down Linebreaker plus Primary for the Corsairs. Marines easily win Maelstrom and also have Linebreaker.
Corsair Victory 7-5!
MVP – Rage Prince, holy crap! This guy single-handedly took out a tactical squad when it assaulted him, finishing them and the Chaplain off in 3 rounds of combat, then consolidated over and finished off a second unit too! After that he bounced back, took out some marines, then used the Rum Slingshot to murderize the Centurions and snatch Big Game Hunter, ouch! This guy was the king of the backfield, may all those approaching fear him! Oh did I mention that his Shadowfield gave out when he was charged by the Chaplain? So he did all this down one wound and without his incredible invulnerable save, hah. Check out this picture from when official time was called, having just slaughtered the Centurions, with the Nightwing and Phoenix behind him:
Special mention to the Phoenix for having a ridiculous performance of mishapping, going back into Reserves, almost losing Corsairs the game, and then finally arriving turn 4, it was a sad debut. But then when he rolled in on turn 4 he easily wiped a whole squad and picked up Warlord, which was really sweet and ended up clinching the win for the Corsairs hah. Looking forward to seeing this guy get some proper action in games to come! When he does take the safety off and pull the trigger, it's nasty!
Wooden Spoon -- the Void Dreamer for being a pretty big waste of points this game, completely unable to beat down any tactical marines or throw up any useful powers hah, but really looking forward to seeing this guy get into his element, he still seems crucial to the list in my opinion.
Takeaways -- Corsairs rock at the orbital assault, but they are going to really struggle with Maelstrom. Princes tear up MEQ in combat like nobody's business, whereas Malevolents are honestly super weak.
Game 2 vs Blood Angels coming shortly!