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The corsairs post seems a bit cluttered and out of context for this so I thought I'd start a new thread for fresh minds and ideas.
I've been dabbling with Dark Elves for a while now and the core choices seem to fail me quite a bit (feel free to comment on these as well):
- Spearmen good power dice but ultimately get cut down when something closes in...lets be fair they arn't great combatants,
- Crossbowmen deal more damage over time but nothing that impacts the game by a large amount,
- Dark Riders good for flanking but offers my opponent combat resolution in conjunction with another unit, crossbows are inaccurate when moving and deal little damage even when warmachine hunting.
This leaves me with the corsairs. I've been using crossbowmen because they're cheap and they offer the best payback thus far in my games.
My Idea with the Corsairs is that a unit of 10 is the same cost as Crossbowmen, they get a handbow for free and have better protection albeit a shorter range. So instead of a row of 10 crossbowmen I have a row of 10 corsairs advance towards the opponent until the get range to fire once then stand and shoot during their turn. If oppitunity arises I may flee in order to give another unit a chance to shoot or gain the charge advange from somewhere else etc.
Of course....no banners or musicians just a reaver with dual handbows. Though unlikely there may be an asassin included (points permitted) to deal with the charge or asassinate unsuspecting characters.
So....comments on this set-up?
#1. You're selling our spearmen short. They don't win by kills, they win by cheap static combat rez. A block of 20 Spearmen with shields, full comand and a War Banner provides a very cheap anvil unit that pairs well with CoK/CoC/Execs/Dark Riders as flankers. Cheap core spearmen with WS4, a +4 save in CC and hatred is a great strength for the DE. Spearmen are a better defensive core choice than Corsairs, Corsairs are a better offensive core unit compared to Spearmen.
#2. You point out that Crossbowmen are not a game winning unit by themselves...but you want to base an army off of a gimped Corsair version of them. If you don't think RxB's can win a game...what makes the RxHB's better?
#3. Dark Riders are fantastic flanking/support units. Again, you can't base an army off of them but they fill a needed role in most DE lists.
#4. Corsairs with RxHB are much like Dark Riders. They can form a supporting/screening element to an army...but I can't see them functioning well as your sole Core choice. The best use of RxHB Corsairs is as a screen for BG. The Corsair shooting save protects them as they move forward in front of the BG, they pepper the enemy with fire then flee the charge through the ItP ASF BG...boom, you've got your BG in combat without taking any shooting losses.
#5. Don't forget 2HW Corsairs. These guys can go toe to toe with most armies T3 core troops and come out on top. They only really come up short against T4 or high armour saves.
#6. Why do you want your core choice to only be one type of troop kitted out one way? The strength of DE is how well all the core units complement one another. An army with RxB, Spearmen and Dark Riders is going to be stronger and more flexible than any mono choice core list that can be made. Don't gimp yourself by limiting your choices to just one unit kitted one way.
The only honorable options left to we combatants is seppuku or semantics...which amount to the same thing really.