PDA

View Full Version : Witch Elves or Corsairs?



GodlessM
28-03-2011, 23:22
Simple question; which choice do people reckon is better in a competitive list? The two units listed are the exact same points and so fall under direct comparison. Note the idea would be to run the unit in a horde formation.


40x Corsairs
Full Command, Sea Serpent Standard, Extra Hand Weapons


40x Witch Elves
Full Command, Banner of Murder

Corsairs:

- Are core
- Slavers rule
- 5+ armour (4+ vs. shooting)

Witch Elves:

- Poison
- I6
- Armour Piercing

Other than that the unit are the exact same. Corsairs take less wounds on the trek to combat, have a better chance of catching a broken enemy, and are core so take up a good chunk of your allowance (and so it doesn't have to be spend on less desirable stuff).

Witch Elves have a higher I, are frenzied by nature (thus can take the AP banner), and because or poison have a higher damage output.

friendsofrhomb
29-03-2011, 00:53
I'd go with the Corsairs, only because i like their save. a 4+ will mean most of the will be alive by the time they reach combat. Witches on the other hand are going to die to everything on the way. (rock lobbers anyone)

sulla
29-03-2011, 05:22
That's a big unit. I'd go witches if you were mostly planning to horde them. Neither is totally dominant in combat due to the low strength. Witches can at least get stubborn from a nearby cauldron.

If you were to play that many corsairs, I would probably add the unkillable stubborn dreadlord with a great weapon to the unit. The most obvious choice of banner is the sea serpent, but for that size unit, I'd probably take flaming or murder. A 40 strong unit that has to pursue and overrun might be fairly powerful for the first few games, but canny opponents will soon find ways to take them out of the game.

tmarichards
29-03-2011, 06:18
I'd say Witches. Don't forget they're also stubborn within 12" of a Cauldron, which every competitive Dark Elf has. The 5+ ward makes them a lot more survivable.

tr1pod
29-03-2011, 06:50
Unit of 20 Corsairs with extra hand weapon. Cast Okkams on them, with the extra attack buff from the Cauldron of Blood. Watch the mutilation :)

Djekar
29-03-2011, 07:11
I would assume it has a lot to do with the rest of your army. If you need the points in Core, take the Corsairs. If you don't have a lot in the way of Specials and you already think the Cauldron is bacon, then bring the Brides of Khaine. Personally I'd probably bring the Corsairs but that's because I don't seem to get many 6's when I have poison, so a major bonus from the witches is lost on me.

ftayl5
29-03-2011, 07:22
I'd say Witch Elves.
the 2 units appear very similar on paper but 60 S3 attacks really aren't going to do much damage to anything of any good Toughness. T4 will cause problems and T5 will pretty much negate the point of having all those attacks. And there's armour saves to consider too.

Poison makes all the difference. Witch Elves will get so many more kills than Corsairs whether they have otherwise identical statlines or not. The poison, combined with hatred means that they can get so many automatic wounds that it isn't funny. Witch Elf hordes will tear through all the things that Corsairs tear through and will also be able to rip through things like Minotaurs, Ogres, Orcs, Dwarfs and Lizardmen (and more) too.
Armour saves will still be a problem but the Armour Piercing actually makes a surprisingly large difference, and depending on what your'e facing, could be another huge help.

So Witch Elves is my decision. But if you also want a large unit of Black Guard or Executioners or something else that will eat at your special allowance, then Corsairs are still an acceptable choice.

Morkash
29-03-2011, 08:40
Ever watched 10 Minotaurs run into a horde of Witch Elves? After you closed your mouth again you will see that only shrieking madwomen will stand, and the minotaurs lost the combat by over 20. Their damage output is insane!
So I'd say go for the Witch Elves. The only reason for Corsairs is imo that they have awesome models, and are also cheaper than Witch Elves.

ftayl5
29-03-2011, 09:39
Ever watched 10 Minotaurs run into a horde of Witch Elves? After you closed your mouth again you will see that only shrieking madwomen will stand, and the minotaurs lost the combat by over 20. Their damage output is insane!


Ever watched my horde of 18 Bulls run into a horde of Witch Elves? At least half of the bulls died, killed a bunch in return, but lost by heaps and got run down.

jtrowell
29-03-2011, 12:52
I would say "take both" : deploy using some corsairs to screen your WE from BS shooting. ^_^

jme
29-03-2011, 13:17
If you only want to take one of those, take the corsairs mainly because they are a core unit.

I normally run both in my armies, backed up with a COB but I give my corsairs handbows and let them get charged. Lots of dice rolling them follows.

venomx51
29-03-2011, 15:29
I've never found a place for Corsairs tbh. They cost almost 50% more per model than a Spearman and what do you get for that? a +1 save against shooting.

Providing you have enough ranks both units get the same number of attacks (providing you haven't charged).

I suppose if you take small units the extra attacks might be useful?

So in answer, I'd take a large unit of witch elves, with a cauldron for a +5 ward save. Awesome amount of poisoned attacks, they can do a ton of damage.

GodlessM
29-03-2011, 15:57
Providing you have enough ranks both units get the same number of attacks (providing you haven't charged).

For the average 5 man footprint the Spearmen get 15 attacks. For the same foot print the horde Corsairs with the banner get 25 attacks. Not sure where you got same from.

Rosstifer
29-03-2011, 16:01
I'd say Corsairs, mainly cuz I've seen what a Mortar can do to Witch Elf hordes. Not pretty. I suppose you could Ward up from the Cauldron, but you could do that on the Corsairs too, so kinda a moot point.

popisdead
29-03-2011, 18:24
Corsairs are core, have the ability to have either 4 attacks or 3 per front and KB (with the mandatory Cauldron) and a 4+ save from ranged attacks, then 5+ in combat.

I would take a couple units of 14 (in 7x2) Witch Elves if I had Crone. Otherwise I wouldn't be too worried about Witches. They are good just,.. I think Corsairs are better.

Entreri Bloodletter
29-03-2011, 21:16
Normally I love my witch elves and use them in most of my lists. However, for 'ard boyz I'm thinking about switching them out in favor of frenzied corsairs to take advantage of The Bloody Choppa scenario (the second one I believe). Does this sound like a good idea? Are there any other DE core units that can really take advantage of +1 S and +1 attack?

Doomseer
29-03-2011, 22:05
I'd go with the Corsairs, more resilient on the way and great with the KB Cauldron blessing. I generally take both in games but favour smaller units, 24 Corsairs and 12 Witch Elves.

As good as it may seem damage output-wise , I'm not sure how unwieldy and potentially disadvantageous a Frenzied horde could be?!

tmarichards
30-03-2011, 07:30
You can limit the frenzy downsides fairly easily with dark riders and harpies.

venomx51
30-03-2011, 09:05
For the average 5 man footprint the Spearmen get 15 attacks. For the same foot print the horde Corsairs with the banner get 25 attacks. Not sure where you got same from.
How do they get 25 attacks? They have 2 attacks each right? so that's a total of 15 (5x2 front rank + 5x1 supporting attacks).

Even with the frenzy banner, they only get an extra attack from the front rank so 20.

Or have I missed something?

tmarichards
30-03-2011, 09:48
+1 attack from the Cauldron

Darkspear
30-03-2011, 09:54
Firstly do you have a cauldron. If you are definitely using it I say go for the Witches

Question 2: Assuming there are no cauldron, do you face a lot of shooting or magic. If the answer is yes I will take corsairs.

Otherwise I suggest Witches

Personally I will take both but I assume this is a situation where you can only take one or another.

Count Zero
30-03-2011, 10:14
+1 attack from the Cauldron

surely you can't count that as you could just as easily give the bonus attack to the spears.

I've been thinking along the same lines myself, I'm angling towards witches just for the poison bonus, maybe with a flaming banner to help if i run into a a regen monster.

might be possible to run both though, but still comes back to the dilemma if the cheaper spears are just better overall for core.

venomx51
30-03-2011, 10:16
Ah, kk. That extra attack can also be applied equally to the Spearmen, so the 15 to 25 attack comparison falls down somewhat.

The other (minor) advantage over spearmen is that you can give Corsairs them a frenzy banner. But as Corsairs cost 40% more than a speaman with shield I still can't see any real reason to take Corsairs over spearmen.

I'd still much rather have a 40% bigger unit. Ok spearmen get 1 less armour save against shooting, and the front rank get 1 attack less (from not having a frenzy banner), but the unit will be 40% bigger, which can more than make up for only having a 5+ save instead of a 4+ against shooting.

So yeah, still not convinced on taking Corsairs (which is a shame as I love the models)...

tmarichards
30-03-2011, 12:16
Witches are fantastic at killing monsters, which Corsairs really aren't. They also have the advantage of being Stubborn within range of the Cauldron, have an extra pip of initiative and don't have to take a banner to get frenzied- with the flaming banner, a unit of witches in horde formation will, on slightly worse than average dice, kill a Hellpit before it gets to attack.

The spears are a fantastic utility unit, with the options of Cauldron and Shadow you can gear them to fight whatever they come up against, and Black Guard with the Banner of Murder are superb anti-armour troops.

I get the idea that Corsairs are more survivable, but that's why Witches are most commonly seen in blocks of 40- even if 20 of them are dead before they get to combat, that unit will still rip face.

Von Wibble
30-03-2011, 19:31
I would say witch elves also. Personally I would make sure the Hag has Manbane also - this slightly helps to compensate against heavily armoured T4 units.

In combat, unless you are facing a huge unit there is a fair chance the witches damage output will reduce the number of enemy strikes, and therefore the slight difference in armour save is of little consequence.

Granted, Corsairs are more durable to shooting. But often the enemy has better targets for this - your black guard, cold one knights, hydra etc. Also with harpies and dark riders in the army list you are in a better positino than most to remove some shooting threats quickly (unless its a missile heavy army).

I do agree that spearmen are better for the points than corsairs though. I always have a large block of these to act as sacrifices for my supreme sorc's sacrificial dagger.

Zoolander
30-03-2011, 19:56
I'd say Witches. Don't forget they're also stubborn within 12" of a Cauldron, which every competitive Dark Elf has. The 5+ ward makes them a lot more survivable.

True story. Witches for this and a couple other reasons.

GodlessM
30-03-2011, 20:05
As good as it may seem damage output-wise , I'm not sure how unwieldy and potentially disadvantageous a Frenzied horde could be?!

I play Khorne Marauder hordes all the time and have yet to find a downside.


How do they get 25 attacks? They have 2 attacks each right? so that's a total of 15 (5x2 front rank + 5x1 supporting attacks).

Even with the frenzy banner, they only get an extra attack from the front rank so 20.

Or have I missed something?

As stated in the OP, we're talking about a frenzied unit in horde formation. 5 guys at the front get 3 attacks each for 15, 5 more from the second rank making it 20, and 5 more from the third making it 25.

sulla
31-03-2011, 04:30
I play Khorne Marauder hordes all the time and have yet to find a downside.
.Marauders are half the price though, which leaves more room in your list for support and makes them essentially a very good throwaway unit. The same can't be said for 450pts of witch elves. You really don't want them to fight 5 dogs, win, overrun away from the cauldron's 12" while exposing their flanks at the same time to a flank charge...

Count Zero
31-03-2011, 08:02
I would say witch elves also. Personally I would make sure the Hag has Manbane also - this slightly helps to compensate against heavily armoured T4 units.



i can see the attraction of this, but isn't it a bit pricey for a model who will almost certianly be taken out by the return attacks, esp once the enemy knows she has the upgrade.

Benkei
31-03-2011, 08:12
Well, i must say my Manbane Hag has killed like 3-4 BSBs/Generals already, so i'll keep getting it just in case it happens again.

GodlessM
31-03-2011, 11:50
Marauders are half the price though, which leaves more room in your list for support and makes them essentially a very good throwaway unit. The same can't be said for 450pts of witch elves. You really don't want them to fight 5 dogs, win, overrun away from the cauldron's 12" while exposing their flanks at the same time to a flank charge...

With re-rollable Ld8 they aren't going to be chasing after small throw away units too often, especially when they get stuck in ASAP.

EndlessBug
01-04-2011, 16:54
For the average 5 man footprint the Spearmen get 15 attacks. For the same foot print the horde Corsairs with the banner get 25 attacks. Not sure where you got same from.



As stated in the OP, we're talking about a frenzied unit in horde formation. 5 guys at the front get 3 attacks each for 15, 5 more from the second rank making it 20, and 5 more from the third making it 25.

I'll be honest GodlessM, I'm getting confused by your calculations as well, I agree that the Corsairs get more attacks than spearmen.

Though you're either saying that your standard 5 by whatever unit gets x many attacks, or you're saying that in horde formation if we look at half of the unit then it gets x attacks. Both of which are confusing.

What you mean is either:

Corsairs 5 by 6 (for arguements sake) gets 5x3 in the front rank and 5 support. So 20 attacks.

Corsairs horde 10x3 gets 10x3 + 10 support + 10 horde = 50 attacks.

In comparison 5 by 8 spears get 5 front, 5 support, 5 spears. So 15 attacks.

10 by 4 Spears (needed for full attacks) get 10 front, 10 supprt, 10 spears, 10 horde. So 40 attacks.

The difference is either 5 or 10 based on horde or not.

The points values.
40 spears = 295 with full command and shields
30 Corsairs = 350 with full command and SSS

You pay 55 points more for +1 save Vs shooting and +1 attack per model in base to base contact with an enemy.
30 points more if you factor in the spears having the banner of murder for example. But that complicates things.

on the Witch Elf/Corsair debate. My vote is for Witch Elves. I'd rather take 40-50 spearmen as Core, a 20 man unit of BG and a largish unit of Witch Elves. than replace the spears with Corsairs. this is also due to the spears being great for the sacrificial dagger.

Poison, Armour Piercing, Manbane all adding to the choice. The 5+ ward is an arguement, but of course there are other units in your army and the corsairs could get it anyway.

sulla
01-04-2011, 19:12
With re-rollable Ld8 they aren't going to be chasing after small throw away units too often, especially when they get stuck in ASAP.If the dogs sit in front of them on a silly angle, the witches will certainly be chasing on the compulsory overrun. If the dogs charge from the flank and one miraculously survives to break and flee, they will certainly be pursuing. I totally agree that it is unlikely they will be forced to charge, but it's those other weaknesses on frenzy that a canny opponent will exploit. It doesn't have to be a tiny unit of dogs either; the opponent may throw a 20 strong unit in front of your frenzied block at an angle to take the charge, do a few casualties, break and draw your troops out of line and exposing their flank.

Not saying you shouldn't do it, just saying be prepared and take other tools in your army to deal with it. For example, you may want to take a few extra units of harpies on top of what you regularly take just to hang around the witch elves and charge off any sacrificial units, or smaller units of shooters to do the same.

And stay away from forests. Your witches moving through then will be very vulnerable to single heroes breaking them.