View Full Version : Corsairs and Repeater Handbows?

19-01-2011, 19:05
My friend has started a dark elf army and wants his core to be mainly corsairs but hes unsure about whether to stick with the extra hand weapon or go for the repeater handbow. For modelling purposes it doesnt matter he wants to know about its effectiveness in game.

Hes having 2 units of 40 models each modelling them to be a horde set up 10 by 4.

So its -

+ 10 attacks on the frontage.


+ 40 S3 AP shots at 13 inches (movement 5 + 8 range) + the same at stand and shoot.

What do you guys reckon?

19-01-2011, 19:11
HW's for most, HB's for some?


Gazak Blacktoof
19-01-2011, 19:11
I think he should get some magnets and leave his options open. Or simply use them with the arms off for a couple of games until he works out what he prefers.

19-01-2011, 20:06
Extra handweapon all the way.

These guys are for combat, if you wanted shooting you would have repeater crossbowmen.

19-01-2011, 20:54
What Malorian said.
I've seen small units of 10 Corsairs with handbows as 'detachments' to larger units. They basically annoy the enemy enough to attract attention, act as speed bumps whatever. Walk up in front of a unit, shoot it, get charged, stand and shoot, die.
I've seen them work, I've seen them not work. But with AHW, you know it's gonna help out.

19-01-2011, 22:23
Their save is better out of combat though, wich makes them better off avoiding it.

Walk up to an enemy unit and stop 1" away so they can't wheel then shoot them.
If he the charges you, shoot them some more.
Assuming you have a 10*4 formation that is 22 shots from the front row and erm, 20 from the second, sorry math fail.
Hitting on 4's ordinarily and 5's when you stand and shoot.

Followed by hitting the survivors first with your initiative 5.
In short if he does charge you he is risking 84 shots, 42 in your shooting phase and 42 when he charges in his turn.

Not sold on duel wielding corsairs, I have more lethal units for melee.
If a small unit charges a AHW horde your losing attacks for every model that hasn't got a target.
Not the case with shooting, you get the same number of shots no matter the enemies frontage.

19-01-2011, 22:44
I think the unit looks really cool modelled with a mix of extra hand weapons and hand-bows anyway, which keeps your options open for fielding them.

I'd say that for two hordes they definitely want the extra hand weapons, as a horde is going to see combat. If you had a mixture of unit sizes, then some small ones with hand-bows could be effective.

19-01-2011, 23:05
Mix and say AHW.

20-01-2011, 03:27
I'd say try a horde of 40 with AHW, a unit of 20 with AHW and 2 units of 10 with HB. It would be silly to have a horde of 40 with HB since he'd be wasting two ranks worth of attack, he'd even be better off splitting it into two large units of 20, or 4 units of 10 (4 of 10 is way better if they have HB). If you have a huge horde of AHW surrounded by 4 detachments, you'll make your opponent real nervous.

20-01-2011, 11:19
Warnig! Math Hammer Alert!

My buddies and I got into this debate just a week ago. Lets say for arguments sake that you have two horde units of approximately the same value. 40 DE Corasairs vs. 80(90?) Skaven HW&S Clan Rats.

Round one: AHW Corsairs vs. Skavies. It doesn't matter who charges who other that for charge bonus.
DE first: 41 attacks with hatered nets 36.4 hits, 18.2 wounds, 9.1 dead.
Skav: 31 attacks nets 16.5 hits, 8.25 wounds, 5.5 dead
Result: 3.6 more kills to the DE. Skaven loose but are steadfast.

Round Two: HB Corsairs stepping forward and shooting, then recieving the charge.
1st shots: 42 shots, 21 hits, 10.5 wounds, 7 dead. Unimportant really as these deaths don't effect the following round of combat, other than clearing out a few rats.
S&S shots: 42 shots, 14 hits, 7 wounds 4.6 dead
DE combat: 31 attacks with hatred 27.4 hits, 13.7 wounds, 6.8 dead
Skav combat: same as above, 5.5 dead
Results Draw. Even though the skaven took twice as many casualties, it only lost 1 more man in h2h but got the charge bonus. Musicians duel.

I like the idea of HB Corsairs but I don't feel if they can't dominate (nearly) crap troops like Clan Rats then it's not really going to work unless you have two awsome shooting rounds (75-90% dead/shot) forcing a panic.

20-01-2011, 18:25
I'd say try a horde of 40 with AHW, a unit of 20 with AHW and 2 units of 10 with HB. It would be silly to have a horde of 40 with HB since he'd be wasting two ranks worth of attack, he'd even be better off splitting it into two large units of 20, or 4 units of 10 (4 of 10 is way better if they have HB). If you have a huge horde of AHW surrounded by 4 detachments, you'll make your opponent real nervous.

You aren't wasting anything once in cc.
40 hand bow armed Corsairs can stand and shoot with 42 attacks, then fight hand to hand for 3 ranks meaning 31 attacks.
Thats 73 attacks combined, every time you get charged.

Combined with you shooting during your turn it can total 115.

A horde with AHW gets 41 attacks in total. Don't forget those AHW benefit only ten models in the front rank.
10 extra in cc for the cost of 42 stand and shoot attacks.

Give me 73 over 41 :)
If anything your wasting 30 attacks in a 40 strong AHW horde, 10 never fight and 20 are limited to one attack.

shoot 42
stand and shoot 42
cc 31

or charge and cc 41

hand bow armed Corsairs get more shots for stand and shoot then AHW get in total.

Unless I completely overlooked something?

Lunnie Logic
20-01-2011, 22:45
I'd take AHW every time. (just down to personal preference) Throw in the sea serpent standard and your laughing. 3 attacks each from the front rank is always good. If you have a cauldron near by, throw killing blow on them and then it's a daunting unit for anything to charge.

I'd be open to considering it against low toughness or lightly armoured infantry but usually I'd stick with the AHW

In prolonged combats you'll be thankful for that extra attack.

20-01-2011, 23:05
I say handbows for the same reasons as Hashrat. They give more punch in that initial burst to frighten off most smaller units. Throw in a support Noble with the Guiding Eye tto really make sure that volley hits home and you should be golden.

But your buddy should also look at Wirewolf's math as Corsairs are really just too expensive and too weak to be a horde unit (which can generally cope with being one or the other but not both). You don't want the unit to cost more than about 5-6 points per model if you can help it, or it has to have S 5-6 to make up for it. You can make horde corsairs work (Cauldron of Blood and Sorceress with buff spells) but these work just as well on spearmen.

In short the only reason you should take Corsairs is for modelling or theme purposes as they are the least points effective core unit the Druchii have.

20-01-2011, 23:56
It is true that Corsairs are a hopelessly expensive horde.
Best use for them if you don't use Dark riders or Harpies is MSU support.
run a handfull into a combat thats being fought between Warriors and the enemy and pursue with the corsairs, always reforming the main unit.
They come with a nice advantage when enemy units break from a battle involving corsairs.

40 warriors cost 120 less, you get a lot for that.

That said fun and fluff are as good a reason to pick a horde as any other!

21-01-2011, 03:31
Corsairs with extra hand weapons (and the obligatory sea serpent standard) are good because even a hit form a s5 template doesn't significantly reduce their combat power.

Any other DE core can't really take a template hit.

Handbow corsairs can be made useful in certain niches but as an all-comers unit, they are often hopelessly outclassed, both in shooting and combat.