Hello Folks! NoName1 here, and now that Harlequins have a few units to field, let's take a look at how the army is shaping up, shall we?
Right off the bat, let me say these are NOT rumors - all of the rules in this post are straight out of White Dwarf. So this isn't what the *think* we've got, it's what we've got!
With that, here goes:
Harlequins are Battle Brothers with Eldar, Iyanden, and Dark Eldar
Weighing in first, we have our meat & potatoes - thus far the only Troops unit available to Harlequins. That is, the Harlequin Troupe
(Heh, Troupes are Troops :D)
And Wargear breakdown-
These bad boys (and girls) weigh in at a nickel and a dime each, before upgrades, and can go up to a unit of 12. The Neuro Disruptor is a dime, the Fusion Pistol is the nickel and dime. Harlequin's Kiss and Embrace are a nickel each, and the Caress is three pennies more.
So! Some sweet rules, weapons that can threaten anything in the game, and a Daemon save (5++ Invul. only...) On the one hand, an invul is great, especially with T3 on something that's going to get shot at. On the other hand, a 5+ save is terrible. Especially on an expensive unit. They have Fear (great...), Fleet (awesome on a CC unit) and Hit & Run stock (which is AWESOME).
Solid leadership (but not Fearless), a good number of attacks (and +1 each for two hand weapons), and even a little Dakka at close range. The Neuro Disruptor especially is *brutal,* (Fleshbane, AP2) and can annihilate anything with a Toughness value in short order (watch out Hierodule!)
Also, they have a middling strength of 3, but Furious Charge, which buffs that nicely. Furious Charge and Hit & Run are the dream combo that just keeps the pressure on round after round...
They have high Weapon Skill, can Assault into Cover without penalty, likely hit first against most enemies, and have a ton of options for S6, AP2 attacks.
If you want them to take down hordes, load them with Harlequin's Embraces. This gives them D3 Hammer of Wrath hits at S6 in addition to their normal attacks, so a Troupe member on the charge is hitting with a whopping 5-7 attacks. And, with Hit & Run, can just keep running away and charging over again. Gnarly.
The Harlequin's Kiss is your meaty, multi-wound model cruncher. With a single attack each round of combat guaranteed to be S6, AP2 and Instant Death, it's a good bet it'll hit most things, hurt most things, and kill a lot of things. A unit full of these will scare the crap out of MCs like Carnifex Broods or Hive Tyrants.
The Harlequin's Caress is a weird one, it's a normal CC weapon, but automatically wounds/glances anything on a 6 TO-HIT, at AP2. That again is to-hit, not to-wound, so it actually gives interesting odds of hurting anything in the game - especially when stacked with Prescience! The downside of course, is that even with re-rolls you could roll all 5's to hit and get no benefit. But that's a dice game for you.
Of course, it's also worth saying that the Shuriken Pistol is a solid weapon if you want to keep them cheap. It's still S4/AP5, and Rending (ish) with Bladestorm. Not too shabby!
One issue they run into is that, because they're pretty good at everything, it's tempting to kit them out to take on anything and cost an arm and a leg. Personally, I would run them in as big of a unit as will fit in their transport (10 at least, hopefully) with a mix of each CC weapon (I'm most fond of the Caress, as it can hurt anything that isn't flying) and I would run them with a good number of Neuro Disruptors, so they can tackle Wraithknights, Riptides, and Gargantuan Creatures. I would also probably give the Troupe Master a Caress and one of the Neuro Disruptors. It makes him more of a target, but with the higher number of attacks and higher BS, he gets the most out of both. If you want him in Challenges more, the Kiss might be more reliable - but I'd roll with the Caress and throw those dice!
If you want these guys to tackle armor, I would give them Fusion Pistols, Harlequin's Caresses, and the Troupe Master Haywire Grenades (for a nickel). This is the single most expensive way to run them, but they *could* do the job fairly well. I'm not sold on Fusion Pistols, they're still Meltaguns, but only get Melta at 3" range...
Now, there is the question of Delivery. While these guys are quick, and can make long-charges with Fleet, they are fragile. And it's interesting to see the type of unit that kind of needs to rely on Cover lacking any sort of Stealth or Shrouded.
Based on the units we're seeing, I expect the soon-to-be-released Starweaver to be an Assault Transport. Could be a Flyer, will probably be a Skimmer, and from the very grainy sneak peaks, it looks like a Venom Chassis. If that's true, it may have a Transport Capacity in the range of 5-6. That sucks, I wouldn't want to put this many points in a small unit and not have them with the momentum they need to win fights. If the Starweaver either has a small capacity or isn't Open Topped/an Assault Vehicle, then I would run Harlequins with Dark Eldar Raiders. Throw Illic Nightspear in one for Shrouded and that 2+ Jink!
BUT, if it has a decent capacity and is an Assault Vehicle of some form, I am alllll over that!
Also note that, despite being basically a Sergeant, then Troupe Master can take Relics. We have no information at all on what these are yet, but I'm sure they'll open up some interesting possibilities...
Next, Elite - the Solitaire!
(See above in the Troupe section for some of that Wargear)
...That's a lot of rules
I feel like this guy captures what the Harlequins are really well, he is the Cannoniest, Glassiest Glass Cannon on the table. He will hit like an absolute ton of bricks, but can't take a punch to (literally) save his life.
That said, he is *cool!* And the model is amazing!
Weighing in at just under 150 points, you've got a Character who can never join a unit, moves 12", and has a 3++ Invulnerable Save and Eternal Warrior to offset that T3/W3. His high WS/BS of 9 helps reduce return fire, but when he goes into combat, he goes in HARD and wants to take down as many hapless enemies as he can. He has the Caress, and so does an automatic Wound/Glance at AP2 on any to-hit roll of a 6 (of which he has EIGHT on the charge, or TWELVE if he charges after a Blitz), which lets him threaten just about anything, a little bit. That Precision Strikes rule at the end there is also interesting, as it means those Caress wounds can be allocated by the Solitaire, and he can pick and choose who to wipe out first.
His base strength is also 4 on the Charge, with Furious Charge, and since he also has Hit & Run, he can lather, rinse, repeat if he survives into multiple rounds of combat. This also makes the Harlequin's Kiss not lose out entirely to the Caress, in that you get the one guaranteed S6/AP2 hit, and all of your other attacks at S4. With that many attacks though, I would still take the Caress.
...He can also take Haywire Grenades, which isn't a bad buy for a nickel, because he doesn't have any other gun, but I would only use them in CC if a tank only had one HP left and you really, really wanted it to die, otherwise the Caress has more damage potential.
Right off the bat, the model is beautiful, the rules are at least super-interesting, and while I wonder how competitive he'll be, I expect to run this guy often just for fun!
And again, we have the option to take Relics. Can't wait to see what those are!
Lastly, we have the oddball Jetbikes, the Skyweavers
So, the big stink that's missing about these guys is that they cost an absolute fortune (the models are really cheap Points/$ though, that's nice!). With a Glaive, one of these is 6 dimes (5 without a glaive). That's almost a whole unit of Pathfinders or Dire Avengers each. Compounding that, they're definitely best in units of three or more, which puts you at a minimum of almost 200 pts.
I would always give them the Glaives and never touch the Haywire Blasters. The Haywire Blasters can't fire after Jinking (Blast) and only do one hit each to vehicles anyway. They could be good against weak mobs (at S4 AP4), but personally, let anti-armor units deal with armor - these guys should stick with what they do best and just obliterate infantry. The Star Bola isn't terrible, but it's one-use only, and has and easily scatter back onto the Bikes at the ranges it would most often be used.
These guys come in with Shuriken Cannons stock, that's S6, AP5, Heavy 3 Bladestorm (Rending, ish). They rock. Throw in the Glaives for S6 (Furious Charge + the Glaive itself) AP2 attacks on the Charge (3 each) at WS5, plus Hammer of Wrath, and these jokers are utterly lethal to infantry, massed or Elite. Even if you're stuck in combat from failing (or forgetting) Hit & Run, these guys still get AP3 attacks at the very least.
Compared with Shining Spears, they do not have Skilled Rider (shame...) and have a 4+ save instead of 3+, but they do get 2 Wounds each, and that AP3 on turns other than the charge, which is a nice perk. They also have a stock 5++ Invulnerable Save from their Holosuits, which is unusual for Eldar Jetbikes, and gives them an Invul. save in CC.
...And they cost twice as much as a Shining Spear, but I still think that on-balance, the Skyweavers are considerably more competitive than Shining Spears, even for the points.
If you want to run them dedicated anti-blob, Haywire Launchers and Star Bolas give you a LOT of Blasts. And even though the Star Bolas are one-use only, the unit will still hit at S4 (if AP-) on the charge even after they've been used. Running them this way is a nickel cheaper per model than with Glaives, and they get S6/AP2 Blasts.
Or, of course, you can mix and match!
They also have an interesting bonus piece of Wargear - the Mirage Launcher. It gives them a single round of a 4++ INVULNERABLE save (vs. Shooting only), without Jinking. So it's one round per game where they get that save, but don't get forced into Snap Shots. And it guarantees a decent save for that critical moment when you're facing Low AP, Ignores Cover weapons. If you must take Haywire Launchers, this is handy for that critical shot.
I love the crap out of these guys. Right now I run my Farseer Warlord in a blob of Guardian Jetbikes with just a couple cannons. With the Skyweavers my Farseer would actually get to use the Shard of Anaris I run him with, and beef the Skyweavers up with Fearless to boot!
These guys seem to fill a gap in the current Eldar army (dedicated non-Wraith Assault), and offer some very cool fun toys while they're at it. Everything in here is overflowing with S6/AP2 in both CC and at range, and while they are fragile, they have an almost unmatched potential damage output (Furious Charge and Hit & Run army-wide...?), something I think we'll see put to use in no time.
Harlequins alone would be crazy (if not very diverse yet) on the field solo, but seriously benefit from Allies. Dark Eldar Allies can bring Raiders to deliver the Troupes, Webway Portals to deliver Skyweavers, and Ravagers, Scourges (etc.) to thin out Armor. Eldar Allies bring more Anti-Armor goodness, and Eldar Farseers can provide various re-rolls (saves, to-hit in CC and/or shooting, to-wound) that Harlequins could really benefit from.
The Standouts I see are Farseers with Prescience and two rolls on Runes of Fate (hoping for Fortune and Doom) to beef up and bolster the Harlequins, and Characters like Karandras to provide Fearless and Stealth, and Illic to provide Shrouded.
Expect to see Harlequins on the table very soon (once they get an HQ…), if you haven't already. Mostly as Allies, but once the Codex drops, I think we'll see full-blown pure-Harlequin Masques popping out of the woodwork. Many dedicated painters will be furiously working on this one!
What do you think? Think they're shaping up well, in need of serious help, or a total waste of time and money?