Corsair might not be the Fisherman captain you were expecting… big, bulky and slow with strong ball denial and control elements weren’t exactly Sharks forte – and yet the first thing that really struck me was that our stout new addition to the roster was definitely ‘a Fisherman’ – that is to say he very much fits the overarching playstyle of Fish, focusing on ball control and scoring whilst staying out of harms way, he just does it in a very, very different way. He cannot delay his opponent by catching them in a net, but he’ll certainly make it an uphill battle for them! Steamforged, I’m impressed!
Lets go over his statline. At MOV 4/6, he’s slow, but I don’t think you could ask for much faster for a seafarer with a peg-leg! TAC 6 is standard for a captain, but with a playbook only 5 long we’re entering Brewer territory – strong. Speaking of Brewer territory, DEF 3, ARM 1 and tough hide is reminiscient of Tapper and Hooper themselves and when coupled with 18 boxes you have a very sturdy player! KICK 3/6 is pretty standard and actually a little under average when compared with the majority of other captains however becomes apparent when we reach his legendary play, plus, men with peg-legs aren’t famous for their kicking ability. INF 4/6 again is quite standard for a captain. 40mm base with a 2” melee zone means he covers a bit more of the board than you might initially expect and is in line with the majority of Fishermen melee ranges.
His character traits give you a few clues as to his role and playstyle. Tough Hide, Sturdy and Close control are one hell of a denial combination. If you want to get the ball off him, you’re going to really have to over-invest some resources to do so via your more ubiquitous methods (Knock Down and Tackle). Things like seduction and puppet master will still be tough for him to avoid, especially due to his lower than normal defence, however in most situations he’ll be a reliable anvil to your Fish – equivalent to approximately 25 HP (if you assume Tough Hide = approximately +1/3 original HP) with a real investment required to knock him down or tackle him is exactly what you want to make the most of his legendary play. Additionally, these traits in conjunction with his excellent playbook really exemplify why a counter attack from Corsair should be treated with extreme caution and respect.
On his Legendary turn, friendly models (note, not guild, all friendly) gain +1/+2 KICK whilst within his 6” aura (which is more like 7-8” when you account for base sizes). When I first saw this, my immediate thought was that Angel can now get to an effective 6/12 KICK and potentially roll up to 7 dice. This means a super-shotted Angel has an 89% chance to connect a snapshot and up to 94% if you can bonus time it. Heck, even models like snakeskin who might have come up slightly short on goals with a 3/6 KICK can now really threaten, and much more reliably. Nothing worse than missing a shot with Fish, and his legendary really helps you score more reliably from a longer distance – lovely, and typical Fish behaviour. Huge burst goal-scoring potential, I think you’re going to want to try and score twice on this turn, ready your ball retrevial skills and prepare to snapshot some goals!
His playbook is short, which is generally a good thing and very unique to Fish with a momentous result available on every column. Early access to momentous tackle and momentous knockdown tie in nicely with his control/denial theme. Heck, he can counter attack reliably enough that you might have to tackle the ball from Corsair three times in order to grab it! He also has access to some quite reasonable damage and repositions later on the book which will be a lot easier to achieve against a lower DEF/KD’d target and still has desperation to a single non-momentous dodge – lovely. He has an auto-hitting momentous harpoon if you can trigger his 4th playbook resul – situationally brilliant.
Finally, Corsair has a very unique set of character plays. Rough Seas can be thought of as a 6” ranged tackle, however at no point is the word tackle ever mentioned, it’s simply “I hit you, I have the ball now” so it is important to note that anti-tackle tech like close control will not work against this play, only plays like clone work, and again this can played around. You’re generally never able to ‘not’ do something, but you might be able to avoid the first instance of something happening. Basically – be wary that you’re not guaranteed to hang on to the ball if you’re within 12” of corsair. He can also have 3 attempts at this in a turn if desperate.
Secondly – Harpoon. We’ve seen this one on Kraken before. Essentially pull a model into base to base with this model. Again, another lovely denial piece that really can take a model out of the game if they get bogged down in the Kraken/Corsair tarpit. Available as a momentous result to auto hit those high DEF pesky targets or just being able to raw cast it provides some real flexible application and utility.
Finally, stand firm, another brand new character play. Target friendly model becomes sturdy for a turn. More denial – lovely. Any more denial at this point becomes exponentially harder for your opponent to deal with as they already have stretched resources. When resources as stretched so thin, your opponent will sometimes have to just pound their way through the defensive Fish layers in a completely tangental fashion as it is no-longer worth their while to attack in a more ‘traditional fashion’. There are a few applications of this Character Play.
- Sturdy is ridiculous on lower DEF models that have great counter attacking potential (Kraken with his momentous KD on his first result, and Jac with Resolute swinging with generally at least 7 dice) when you can essentially garuantee that you will be able to counter attack or your opponent will have to dodge/leave combat or have a momentum to stand up/get back into combat in order to have an effective activiation. Psychologically, just having this ability on Corsairs card without even casting it could deter your opponnent from loading up one character with too much INF in fear of having a sub-optimal activation, further adding to the layers of denial. Love it.
- On high DEF models, one of the best way to deal with these models is to simply lower their DEF by knocking them down. Ignoring the first KD when you’re already DEF 5 can be ball-busting (you’re welcome) and really raise your characters survivability into the ‘garuanteed to live’ threshold.
- One of the worst ways to lose tempo is to be knocked down and lose the ball. Giving Sturdy to someone who is already an excellent ball handler like Greyscales can raise him from inconvenience to infuriating. Apart from a few dedicated players, not many players have a tackle or knockdown and dodge – allowing any counter attacks to be virtually garuanteed, buying you more time to score more downtown goals!
- There are a tonne more – I’ve only just skimmed the surface.
Great Character Play, great utility and very cheap!
I’ve covered a lot of his strengths, but lets talk about weaknesses – he’s not nearly as fast or aggressive as the other Fish captain, however this can certainly cause your opponent some headaches when they’re trying to figure out what style of tactics to bring to the table. He’s much more Kraken-like than Angel or Greyscales, but that certainly isn’t to say that he cant get great use out of all Fish players – an interesting dynamic. Perhaps opponents have to now start leaning towards ‘I need to bring anti-goal scoring tech against Fish’ rather than ‘I have to try and spread out against Sharks legendary play’. Could we see a rise in stock in Tenderiser? Probs not.
Corsair is slow, almost polar opposite in speed to Shark and he cannot help out his teammates with their speed an positioning with quickfoot and tidal surge like shark does, however he can certainly hinder your opponents positioning – rough seas will deter enemies from coming near you with the ball and harpoon means they might not have an option. Whist Gut & String used to slow down your enemies and deny them combat altogether, stand firm, tough hide, sturdy and close control will deter them from the fight in the first place! Perhaps we could see some further denial elements heading the Fish’s way?
Even with these weaknesses, he still retains an aggressive goal-scoring policy. Angel being able to snapshot from 12” away in honestly just ridiculous. It’s the explosive goalscoring potential of someone like Greyscales just went through the roof. Sakana getting his garuanteed free counter attack and now being able to move 10 and shoot 10 – yes please! Retaining this aggressive goal-scoring policy is what impresses me most. A completely different playstyle and suite of abilities coupled with a fundamentally homogenous approach to victory conditions – sign me up!
I’ve been mulling over what my first team to run with Corsair would look like for quite a while – I’ve basically just thrown models together that I think synergise well with these core abilities to create a generalist team that allow me to explore the elements discussed above.
Corsair – Because I want to.
Salt – Because I have to.
Angel – Dat goal scoring threat doe.
Greyscales – Excellent ball handler through to the next level
Siren – I get too much value out of Seduction
Jac – Sturdy Jac best Jac
Sub 1 – Kraken
Sub 2 – Sakana
Corsair makes for an exciting new addition to the Fish lineup I was not expecting. Whilst my personal preference is for a more aggressive, tempo controlling game, I’m excited to trial a few of my theories above with him, as I’m sure there are a plethora of tactics I’ve barely even skimmed the surface of.