[Dredging the Grimdark] Eldar Corsiars and Exodites

This article is a part of a series called “Dredging the Grimdark” that reviews how you can use old, out of production (OOP) Citadel models or odd fluff armies in your games of 7th Edition Warhammer 40k. In this edition, we will be looking into how you can represent the Eldar Corsairs and Exodites on the table top. Have a favorite mini or fluff concept you’d like to play with on the table? Let me know and it could be the focus of a post down the line.

Sexy Space Elves

My entrance into the world of 40k started at one of the weirder moments of my life. This was back in 2002, and I had Nurgle’s Rot
(mononucleosis). I was so sick that I couldn’t leave the house. My buddy Bobby still jokes about how I was like some raspy voiced Gollum whenever he would come to visit me in my parent’s basement. I couldn’teat or sleep, and I was really bored. One day, I ran across the oldGames Workshop forums. That led me to my local games store, where my dadbought me a box of Guardians. Thirteen years later, here I am. The Eldar have always facinated me. They have such a great back-story, and such an interesting culture. But, it is their sub-cultures (the Corsairs and Exodites) that have really stuck with me.
Last year, I worked on a personal project to build an Eldar Corsair list. At first, I wanted to use the Forge World rules, but I decidedthat it might be easier to try to craft something out of the existing 7th edition rulebooks. So, I picked up the Eldar book and worked on limiting myself to what felt like how Corsairs would be represented. I had a couple small units of professional warriors (Dire Avengers) along with some rogue Aspect Warriors (Dark Reapers). Throw in a Crimson Hunter and a Corsair Prince and you have an army! For larger events, I would “ally” in a Spiritseer with his Wraithguard and Wraithknight for some back-up. It wasn’t uber competitive, but it really breathed life back into the hobby for me.
My Corsair Army (from CelestiCon ’14)


The Eldar are going through some growing pains in the hobby right now. They were the portent of the change GW wants to see in their flagship game, and because of that they have been getting a lot of hate. The worst part, in my opinion, is the vilification of one of the most versatile tool kits a narrative gamer could have. Think of a flavor of Eldar (Craftworld, Exodite, and Corsair) and you can create a list for it using the new book. Call it broken, over-powered, or whatever. When you are playing against dragon-riding Space Elves, most people will just smile and roll dice.

 The Rules

Option One: Corsairs
You could always use the Forge World rules, but here I am just focusing on the current codex

Imagine if Legolas and Han Solo had a baby. Corsairs are mercenaries and scoundrels, with the deadly wisdom and experience that only Eldar can bring to the 40k universe. I would focus on using Dire Avengers as your basic warrior, and Swooping Hawks as the more traditional winged corsairs. Falcons and War Walkers are popular, and Crimson Hunters seem an obvious take, too. No Jetbikes, no wraiths (unless you decide to add some “allies”). When building the list, think small. What could you fit on a Void Stalker or Hemlock Destroyer? Just be thoughtful with the list building, and the theme will shine through.
More of this beautiful army here.

Option Two: Exodites

The Wood Elves of 40k. One of my favorite bits of the fluff has to do with all the damn dinosaurs that the Exodites have. I’ve always had a soft spot for cavalry in 40k, and Dragon Knights are so cool! I would use the rules for Jetbikes, Shinning spears, and Vypers as the rules for a mounted list. It is a bit of a stretch, but a common count-as that shouldn’t ruffle to many feathers. And, I can’t imagine any player who wouldn’t want to face off against an army modeled and themed like this.
The Models

If you chose a project like this, you gotta know you’re gonna have a good time. For Corsairs, who wouldn’t want to use the beautiful Forge World kits. So much character, and such quality in the models. If you can get your hands on it, read Imperial Armor 11 and it will give you some great ideas for paint schemes and concepts. If you want to go more OOP, just check eBay for Space Elves. Great models with a ton of character. Even if they are just used for your Autarchs or Exarchs, you’ll be glad you have them.
For the Exodites, Warhammer Fantasy kits are where it is at. High, Dark, and Wood Elves will all give you the pieces you need to create all the cool conversions you can think of. Due to the popularity of the Exodites, Google searches and message boards will be great for inspiration. It is a classic conversion army, and will definitely get you a lot of compliments. Even if it is just a small allied force, it will stand out and make a big impact on the table.
Until next time!

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  • Ambience327

    Your forgot to mention Lizardmen as a source for Exodite models. Their various dinosaur types can add greatly to an Exodite force – especially the Terradons, Stegadons Bastiladons, and Carnosaurs!

    As for rules for the Exodites – I suggest mixing Craftworld and Dark Eldar to taste. That way you have even more variety of units to choose from for “counts-as” rules, and you can include even more different types of dinosaurs and dinosaur riders.