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Thread: Codex: Harlequins

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    Commander Ambience 327's Avatar
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    Codex: Harlequins (updated 4/16/2012)

    I present now my own take on the Eldar Harlequins. This list is based primarily off of the Citadel Journal list that was created for 3rd Edition Warhammer 40,000 if memory serves, but has been influenced heavily by my reading of the old 1st & 2nd Edition rules and fluff, as well as various fan-made Harlequin lists that I have read at various times. There is nothing ground-breaking here, but I believe I have reached a point where the flavor of the Harlequin list is quite interesting - they are even more fragile yet deadly than their Craftworld cousins, with a few interesting quirks thrown in for good measure. This list has been playtested a bit, but I'd love to hear what other people think about it.


    There are two options for downloading the codex. You can get it from either Scribd.com or Box.com


    EDIT - New revision of Codex added/updated 04/16/2012 - see the links above for the latest version!



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    Last edited by Ambience 327; 16-04-2012 at 13:47.
    The Cult Ascendant! A Genestealer Cult Army Log

    Codex: Adeptus Arbites (7th Ed) To detect and to purge!
    Codex: Hive Spyrers (7th Ed) Death leaves the underhive!
    Codex: Genestealer Cult (6th Ed) For the Father!
    Codex: Harlequins (6th ed) The Harlequins will have the last laugh!
    Codex: Exodites (6th Ed) The Dragon Knights prepare to charge!

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    Chapter Master Vermin-thing's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Great stuff.

    One question, why no war walkers?

    I think that the army could use a third fast attack choice.
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    Chapter Master Son of Sanguinius's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    If nothing else, you deserve a medal for production value. Bravo.

    I don't have any big issues with the work, just tiny ones. I was very disappointed when they made the Harlequins into a tack-on unit for the Eldar, especially considering the treatment that the Shadowseer and Death Jester got. I would make them into at least 2W characters and make them a tad more threatening.
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    Commander Ambience 327's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    @ Vermin-thing: Somehow I just don't see the War Walkers fitting in with the Harlequins' style. They are mostly about speed, stealth and tearing you apart up close. The war walker is more about standing back and shooting from long range. I included the Marionette as an interesting modelling option mainly, and you'll notice that it doesn't have anything longer-ranged than a Shuriken Catapault.

    In my eyes, the Death Jesters are the primary ranged warriors, and indeed the only things in my Harlequin list that carry anything of a longer range than 24" are the Death Jesters and the Venom & Mockingbird vehicles - and of these only the Death Jester is as slow as a War Walker. As such, if I threw the War Walker in there, it would probably have to go into Heavy Support to fit its role, and I think 3 HS choices is quite enough.

    I guess if I really wanted to I could move the Mockingbird to Fast Attack, but I think the two choices there are really enough as-is. Already you have to choose between your only transport option and the Jetbike squad. I'd hate to have the Mockingbird competing there as well.



    @ Son of Sanquinius: Thanks for the praise. I've really tried to make this look professional, mainly because that is what I like to see. I definitely agree that the reduction of the Harlequins to the single unit in Codex: Eldar was a pity, especially with what happenned to the Shadowseers and Death Jesters. I hadn't really thought about beefing them up any (well, I did add a High Shadowseer, so...). I basically left them as-is for consistency with GW's published works (which is something I tend toward), with the exception of changing them to Independent Characters at 1-3 per choice.

    The Shadowseer's primary job is really to join up with a Troupe and provide Veil of Tears. (The Independent Character status gives them a bit more option here, granting them the ability to split off if necessary, though making them a bit more fragile in Close Combat on the whole.) I'll think on it, but adding a Wound would up the cost, and I'm not sure they would remain viable at that point. I'd like to hear other people's opinions on this matter.

    The Death Jesters might need a bit of beefing up, or at least an option to do so. I noticed in my recent playtests with them that they seemed very fragile, and had to rely on their range to protect them - much like Dark Reapers. However, unlike the Reapers, they are limited to a 5+ Invulnerable Save unless they find some good cover, so small arms tear them to shreds. Maybe each Death Jester could have an option to upgrade to a Veteran Death Jester or something, granting them a bonus to their Wounds, and maybe even their BS? What do others think about such a change?



    Finally - I'd really like some feedback on the Dances I created for the Harlequin Troupes. (Dance of the Comedienne and Dance of the Tragedienne.) I thought these added a bit more character to the units, and provided just enough additional flavor to set them apart from Harlequins in a standard Eldar list. They add an additional cost to an already expensive unit, but I think the benefits they provide more than make up for their cost, and they really give the Harlequins some additional killing power or survivability to the Troupe.
    The Cult Ascendant! A Genestealer Cult Army Log

    Codex: Adeptus Arbites (7th Ed) To detect and to purge!
    Codex: Hive Spyrers (7th Ed) Death leaves the underhive!
    Codex: Genestealer Cult (6th Ed) For the Father!
    Codex: Harlequins (6th ed) The Harlequins will have the last laugh!
    Codex: Exodites (6th Ed) The Dragon Knights prepare to charge!

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    Veteran Sergeant aeoglas's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Good work, as usual. You have a special touch for codexes, as you have already shown us. Considering the lack of background information on harlequins, you did an amazing job.
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    Chaplain captian Maklai's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Brilliant, apart from the soltaire, i mean they say that even if you accidentally touched him, it would be better to kill them there and then rather than them suffer the terrible doom that awaits them. Now i just think he could be a bit more powerful.

    The rest of it is absaloutley brilliant nice work!

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    Chapter Master Vermin-thing's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Okay,




    I had a game a few days ago, and at the very least I can say that the over all list is well balanced.

    Some minor points:

    The death jester is a glass-cannon in every sense of the word. (downed by bolters) I think two wounds, and some sort of blanket cover save, or addtional trainee(s) model(s) in a unit (maybe 1-3 trainees in addition to each death jester) would be well received.

    The shodowseer is fine as he has easy access to a unit.

    The dances are very good, I took the first one. It proved to balance the odds as the forced re-rolls saved their skins. Outnumbered by space marines! I think you might want to fine tune the costs of the dances.

    In the Aspirants Ensemble rules page the result of 10-11 says 10-10, and one other minimal glitch, to many spaces in between 'fast, and skimmer' on the venom army list entry. This shows just how well done it is. (no sarcasm)

    If I can think something interesting for the warwalker I'll shoot the idea here. Possibly making it something like the Marionette. Big laughing faces with legs would be funny at the least.
    Rumours of rumours??? thats warseer
    "I could have died"! "Looks like you lost this game in the "purchase models" phase."
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    Commander Ambience 327's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    @aeoglas - Thanks for the kind words! I try to make something that is both visually appealing and useful in a gaming sense, since I actually use these things myself. I know what you mean about the "lack of background on Harlequins", I was only able to find references to them in a few places, including the old RT era stuff, the 2nd Edition Eldar Codex, the ~3rd Edition CJ Army List, and the current Eldar Codex. Everything else is either borrowed ideas from other sources around the web, or my own creations. (The Dances for the Harlequin Troupes are my own creation, and I am particularly proud of those.)



    @ captian Maklai - I was actually being a bit cautious with the Solitaire, as I didn't want him to be a game-breaking nightmare. I had a bit of an underwhelming experience with him in my playtests, but I think I may have been a bit too bold with him. One problem is he kills things so fast that he can easily be left out in the open after he Assaults - leading to the enemy shooting him to pieces. I don't know if he really needs to be more powerful, but I agree that something needs to be done to improve him. I'm just not sure what. Maybe if he had his own Veil of Tears or something similar...? Any suggestions?



    @ Vermin-thing - Thanks for taking the time to not only look over this list, but to also give it a go. Your participation in my Spyrer thread was greatly appreciated, and is certainly more than welcome here!

    I agree that the Death Jester was a bit underwhelming, especially in the surviability area, so I've dropped them down to 30 points each, and added in an option to upgrade any Death Jesters to Veteran Death Jesters, who gain +2 BS, +1 W and the Stealth Universal Special Rule. They will still be vulnerable (especially to Instant Death now), but it should give them a bit more staying power (if you can stick to cover) without making them ridiculous. Plus, now they'll almost never miss, which means they will do quite a bit more damage before they eventually drop.

    I am currently thinking on the subject of the Dances. I haven't used them yet, as I wanted to get a good idea of how killy the Harlequins were without them first. Once I get a better idea of how much they affect the outcome of a combat, I'll know if they are really undercosted or not. After your testimony, though, I am leaning towards "yes".

    I've fixed the typos you mentioned. If you see any more, let me know!

    (Note, the new version of the Codex is available at the same link. That's why I've switched over to using Scribd - I can publish revisions without updating any links!)
    The Cult Ascendant! A Genestealer Cult Army Log

    Codex: Adeptus Arbites (7th Ed) To detect and to purge!
    Codex: Hive Spyrers (7th Ed) Death leaves the underhive!
    Codex: Genestealer Cult (6th Ed) For the Father!
    Codex: Harlequins (6th ed) The Harlequins will have the last laugh!
    Codex: Exodites (6th Ed) The Dragon Knights prepare to charge!

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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Nice work!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambience 327 View Post
    I agree that the Death Jester was a bit underwhelming, especially in the surviability area
    They are supposed to laugh at death, so how about Feel No Pain? Would that make them too good?

    Perhaps mention in the Wargear section that they may have weapons other than the Shrieker Cannon?
    Last edited by Lorieth; 06-01-2010 at 23:38.

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    Chapter Master Vermin-thing's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorieth View Post
    Nice work!



    They are supposed to laugh at death, so how about Feel No Pain? Would that make them too good?

    Perhaps mention in the Wargear section that they may have weapons other than the Shrieker Cannon?
    Not to sure about that. I mean they already have a 5+ invulnerable save.

    It would be more points though, which I think is not necessarily the best thing.

    I find that they suffer in smaller games, less so in larger ones.

    I look forward to trying V.02.

    For my army I have:

    a High shadowseer

    2 shadowseers

    7 Aspirants, 1 Harlequin

    1 Venom

    1 mocking bird

    3 acrobatics troopers

    3 death jesters

    10 troopers

    5 mimes

    I want to add:

    1 marionette

    1 more venom

    3 more acrobatics troopers
    Last edited by Vermin-thing; 08-01-2010 at 06:17.
    Rumours of rumours??? thats warseer
    "I could have died"! "Looks like you lost this game in the "purchase models" phase."
    Armies that are done: 2k high elves Armies in progress: Skaven, Vampire Counts
    "Alright, your vampire just died. Roll for crumble." "...hah! You've fallen into my trap!..."
    My Eshin spies prevail again.

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    Commander Ambience 327's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorieth View Post
    Nice work!
    Your praise is duly noted.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lorieth View Post
    They are supposed to laugh at death, so how about Feel No Pain? Would that make them too good?
    Hmm... Interesting idea, but I don't know if FNP is the way to go. As Vermin-thing pointed out, they already have an Invulnerable save. FNP seems to just not really fit their character - or really the Eldar as a whole. As of now I'm going to leave it as mentioned, with dropping their points just a bit, and then adding the option to upgrade them to veterans with +2BS, +1W and Stealth. Get them into decent cover, and they should live a while at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorieth View Post
    Perhaps mention in the Wargear section that they may have weapons other than the Shrieker Cannon?
    I'm not sure what you mean here. The "Harlequin Wargear" section on pg 5 is meant for things used by numerous units in the army. The Death Jester Entry on pg 13 and the Heavy Support section of the army list on pg 25 both mention the Death Jester's additional weapon options. So where are you asking this to be added?



    @ Vermin-thing: Looks like a solid start to your Harlequins, though I think you could do with a few more regular Troupers as you build the force up. Aspirants and Mimes put bodies on the table, but nothing bulks out the force like more normal Harlequins. Just my opinion of course.
    The Cult Ascendant! A Genestealer Cult Army Log

    Codex: Adeptus Arbites (7th Ed) To detect and to purge!
    Codex: Hive Spyrers (7th Ed) Death leaves the underhive!
    Codex: Genestealer Cult (6th Ed) For the Father!
    Codex: Harlequins (6th ed) The Harlequins will have the last laugh!
    Codex: Exodites (6th Ed) The Dragon Knights prepare to charge!

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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambience 327 View Post
    Interesting idea, but I don't know if FNP is the way to go. As Vermin-thing pointed out, they already have an Invulnerable save. FNP seems to just not really fit their character - or really the Eldar as a whole.
    Yes I agree it is a bit out of character for the Eldar, and probably too good in conjunction with the 5+ invulnerable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambience 327 View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean here. The "Harlequin Wargear" section on pg 5 is meant for things used by numerous units in the army. The Death Jester Entry on pg 13 and the Heavy Support section of the army list on pg 25 both mention the Death Jester's additional weapon options. So where are you asking this to be added?
    Sorry for not being clear. What I mean is that nowhere in the Death Jester entry (on page 13) does it mention them in connection with anything except the Shrieker Cannon. The table for other weapons is there, but nowhere in the description does it suggest they can actually take any of these. It's not a major criticism, and as you say the army list entry is perfectly clear, but I just thought a line or two in the description might help.

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    Chapter Master Vermin-thing's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    @ Ambience 327:

    Once I give the re-roll wounds dance to the troopers they become quite a bit more survivable. Plus I don't think I want to take this army over 1500, and I've had my share of metal stuff.
    Rumours of rumours??? thats warseer
    "I could have died"! "Looks like you lost this game in the "purchase models" phase."
    Armies that are done: 2k high elves Armies in progress: Skaven, Vampire Counts
    "Alright, your vampire just died. Roll for crumble." "...hah! You've fallen into my trap!..."
    My Eshin spies prevail again.

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    Commander Ambience 327's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorieth View Post
    Sorry for not being clear. What I mean is that nowhere in the Death Jester entry (on page 13) does it mention them in connection with anything except the Shrieker Cannon. The table for other weapons is there, but nowhere in the description does it suggest they can actually take any of these. It's not a major criticism, and as you say the army list entry is perfectly clear, but I just thought a line or two in the description might help.
    Ah, I see. Funny you should mention that actually. There was a little blurb about those weapons being options for the Death Jester in the first version, but when I added the option for the Death Jester Veteran, I removed it because I ran out of space on the page. If I can find room, I'll put it back, but I'm not sure if it is really necessary since the Army List clearly states what types of weapons the DJ can use.
    The Cult Ascendant! A Genestealer Cult Army Log

    Codex: Adeptus Arbites (7th Ed) To detect and to purge!
    Codex: Hive Spyrers (7th Ed) Death leaves the underhive!
    Codex: Genestealer Cult (6th Ed) For the Father!
    Codex: Harlequins (6th ed) The Harlequins will have the last laugh!
    Codex: Exodites (6th Ed) The Dragon Knights prepare to charge!

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    Commander Ambience 327's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    After reviewing the feedback here and at another site, I've done some revisions to the Codex. You can see the latest version at the link in the first post above. Below is a quick summary of the changes in this version:

    - Added Riveblade as an option for the High Shadowseer
    - Removed Force Weapon as an option for the High Shadowseer
    - Changed the Conceal power for the High Shadowseer to match the Warlock version (this was actually meant to have been done earlier)
    - Removed Riveblade as an option for the Solitaire
    - Raised the cost of the Phase Shifter for the Solitaire from +25 to +35 points because he's deadly...
    - Clarified the Venom's "Acrobatic Dismount" rules a bit, and changed the "Explodes" mitigation to a re-roll
    - Reduced the cost of Mimes from 25 pts each to 22 pts each
    - The costs of the Troupe Master's Dances have been raised



    This is stil very much a work in progress, so some things (most notably points costs) may still be subject to change.
    The Cult Ascendant! A Genestealer Cult Army Log

    Codex: Adeptus Arbites (7th Ed) To detect and to purge!
    Codex: Hive Spyrers (7th Ed) Death leaves the underhive!
    Codex: Genestealer Cult (6th Ed) For the Father!
    Codex: Harlequins (6th ed) The Harlequins will have the last laugh!
    Codex: Exodites (6th Ed) The Dragon Knights prepare to charge!

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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Nice work! We all know how hard doing this is. I will be trying out your codex in time to come.
    ..... why no web-way portal, could be a option? it fits the harlies background and theme. Could a piece of war gear option for "troupe masters" in both "troupe" and "aerobatic" squads, and/or "great harly" and "high shadow"
    Maybe 40-45 points to access this item? Just a thought.

    Keep up the good work.
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    Chapter Master Vermin-thing's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    Quote Originally Posted by From Shadows View Post
    Nice work! We all know how hard doing this is. I will be trying out your codex in time to come.
    ..... why no web-way portal, could be a option? it fits the harlies background and theme. Could a piece of war gear option for "troupe masters" in both "troupe" and "aerobatic" squads, and/or "great harly" and "high shadow"
    Maybe 40-45 points to access this item? Just a thought.

    Keep up the good work.
    Drop pods for harlequins any one?

    Maybe we could make the warwalker into a mobile warp gate thing, which disables itself after use.
    Rumours of rumours??? thats warseer
    "I could have died"! "Looks like you lost this game in the "purchase models" phase."
    Armies that are done: 2k high elves Armies in progress: Skaven, Vampire Counts
    "Alright, your vampire just died. Roll for crumble." "...hah! You've fallen into my trap!..."
    My Eshin spies prevail again.

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    Chapter Master ScytheSwathe's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    I like it, i like it alot. Maybe adding stealth to any independant characters would help with regards to the death jesters and solitaire, as well as giving a little more flexibility to the others, and providing more use to the conceal power. I mean if everyone has 5++ then a 5+ cover isnt going to be used that much, as things stands its only useful for vehicles and the aspirants. I had thought adding stealth to all the holo-suits, but that would lose your codex-consistency, and cause a point re-jig, so i dont think it would work with your interpretation, but again i think it would work well.

    Web-gate would be good, troupe master dances seem a very nice touch, tempted to think that they will be underpriced (but ive not playtested it)

    Am i not right in thinking the solitaire was S4 in the journal dex? With the change to quin-kisses it might be worth putting that back in., the only reason he was so overpowered before was the cruel combos you could get away with (kiss-powerblades-phasefield for first turn charges of dooom)

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    Commander Ambience 327's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    @ Shadows: Thanks, always nice to know my work is appreciated. I do this stuff for myself, first and foremost, as I actually use these things for friendly games. However, I do like to share my efforts, and knowing others get a kick out of them is a great bonus. Please let me know how your game(s) go(es) when you use the Codex. I love that kind of feedback the most!

    As to the WWP, frankly it had never occurred to me. It was a DE item first, then the Ulthwe strike forces got ahold of it too. It does seem to fit the Harlequin theme, what with them living in the Webway and all, but I'm not sure it really fits the army as written right now. One of the things I don't want is the entire army getting across the board completely unmolested - which is why the Venom is a FA choice rather than a Dedicated Transport option for Harlequin Troupes. I want at least some units to have to take the time to footslog, or at the very least Infiltrate/Scout/Outflank their way across the board. The WWP might be too big an advantage with such deadly close-up fighters as the Harlequins.

    That isn't to say I'm not tempted to add it, however. It is definitely tempting - but the idea needs a lot of thought to maintain the balance.


    @ Vermin-thing: If I do add the WWP, I don't know that a War Walker is the best place to add it. They aren't extremely fast, so there wouldn't be as much benefit to it (which may be a good thing). Anyway, I'm still on the fence about the War Walkers as it is, but I don't think a WWP delivery system is in the cards for them.


    @ ScytheSwathe: Yay, more praise.

    The DJ's have got access to Stealth, in the form of their Veteran upgrade. I don't want the Great Harlequin, High Shadowseer or Shadowseers getting access to it, as their intended place is within Harlequin Troupes (or Aerobatics Troupes if you have lots of points). It might be a valid idea for the Solitaire though, as his main weakness is his fragility when he isn't in combat. I've been toying with ideas for this, but I'm just not sure what the right way to go is. I've thought about Stealth, a personal version of Veil of Tears, and a few other ideas.

    Conceal is really meant for use with the Aspirants, or in the rare cases where you are facing something that kills Invulnerable Saves, but not Cover Saves (i.e. Psycannons). It has a place, but it is certainly a situational ability. If you know, for example, that you aren't fielding any Aspirants and your opponent can't break your Invulnerable Save, it would be a waste of points.

    The Dances have been increased in cost once already, but playtesting is required to determine if they are still too good for their cost. It is likely so, but I don't want to just make them 50 points each without knowing what I'm doing. It might also be the case that I will tone them down a bit, as I don't want them getting so expensive that nobody takes them anyway.

    I don't remember the Soli's S value in the CJ codex off-hand, but regardless I don't think he needs it. He can get up to 10 Attacks on the charge, hitting most things on3's. His choice of Kiss or Power Weapon means he can lay waste to just about any type of enemy fairly quickly. The S3 may be the only thing keeping him from being so good that nobody would want to face this army! As to making him a bit more dangerous, I am toying with the idea of giving him Infiltrate, Scout or even Master Infiltrator now that the Phase Shifter has been removed as an option.
    The Cult Ascendant! A Genestealer Cult Army Log

    Codex: Adeptus Arbites (7th Ed) To detect and to purge!
    Codex: Hive Spyrers (7th Ed) Death leaves the underhive!
    Codex: Genestealer Cult (6th Ed) For the Father!
    Codex: Harlequins (6th ed) The Harlequins will have the last laugh!
    Codex: Exodites (6th Ed) The Dragon Knights prepare to charge!

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    Chapter Master Vermin-thing's Avatar
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    Re: Codex: Harlequins

    I had a second game yesterday.

    It was 1400 points with orks.

    The guy ran an all horde army, 150 boyz, 2 big meks with FF.

    I think the shadowseer needs some way to join a scouting mine troop, as half of the troop was shot to death, and only three made it into combat. Maybe give them stealth?

    The death jesters, all three of them proved underwhelming as firing at an ork horde is not necessarily the best thing.

    The marionette proved fine sept that its gun proved somewhat useless, 1 shot into a ork horde is kinda bad. lol Perhaps assault d6 would be in order, and a bump it to 15 points.

    The unfortunate mockingbird got shot down in turn 3, after being hit by a rocket, three sixes in a row will do that. I think it needs some sort of blast template weapon. Maybe S6 ap5 heavy 3 blast?

    The aspirants did well, although every one failed the test but did not die.

    I killed about three quarters of his army by the time the last harlequin fell, laughing of course.

    He won 2 objectives to nil.
    Rumours of rumours??? thats warseer
    "I could have died"! "Looks like you lost this game in the "purchase models" phase."
    Armies that are done: 2k high elves Armies in progress: Skaven, Vampire Counts
    "Alright, your vampire just died. Roll for crumble." "...hah! You've fallen into my trap!..."
    My Eshin spies prevail again.

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