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Massaen
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PostSubject: Harlequin Misconceptions   Fri Aug 12 2016, 04:31

So, after @BizarreShowbiz posted the following in an army list thread, I thought it was a good jumping point to a discussion around the misconceptions about infantry based harlequin armies. Please let me point out I am just raising my own experiences and your results may vary!

@BizarreShowbiz wrote:
To each their own I guess. Problems I see with 7+ units of harlequins:

1. They cant start embarked in a transport. This means at best they will have to start disembarked and get aboard an empty FA Raider turn 1, and at worst, they'll have to go anywhere you want them to be on foot. Moving an average of 10UM per turn.
2. Veil of tears does nothing if you dont seize the initiative, and with T3 S5++, you are not gonna survive against any army with even mediocre long range firepower.
3. Veil of tears does near to nothing once you get 12UM away from the enemy. Exacly where you want to be.

The way I see it, there are only two ways you can try to field harlequins on foot:
1. Via webway portal with an archon with 2+ invulnerable save, hitting the backline of the enemy army and using the troupemaster to redirect wounds to the archon via LOS.
2. With the new Death Jester character of the Death Masque box, the Inriam's Spectre, that comes with the shrouded USR for 70p. With proper scenery and a shadowseer to give them veil, I can imagine them getting across the board given that the enemy has no ignore cover weapons. Still very risky.

And speaking about kisses vs caresses, I use troupes to deal with walkers, gargantuan creatures and invisible units becouse DE suck big time against those. Kisses do nothing against this targets hence why I think they are useless. If I wanted to field raw close combat AP2 I'd rather field Talos or Incubi. Both are more resilient and more cost efficient than kisses harlequins in that task. Heck, I'd even field embraces before kisses.

But hey, If foot slogging harlequins with kisses gets the job done for you, wow, I'm actually very impressed. You must be one hell of a Troupemaster, becouse I wouldnt be able to even get them to midtable against any meta list.

Lets break down the above...

1 - Unit size is not a factor - at least not in terms of being able to embark on a transport. Transports are a harlequins worst nightmare! T3, 5++ means when that AV10 open topped vehicle dies, and it will, you loose om half the squad to the explosion on average. Harlequins are more than fast enough on foot to do the job they want to do - punch people! I will preface this with they should ALWAYS have run and charge. My experiences stem from pure harlequins builds using the Masque or Revenge and I have never felt slow. In fact quite the opposite - I have had ravenwing and white scars complain I am so fast!

2 - Veil is the reason the infantry build works - 100% correct. I would postulate that if you are dying T1 if you are not going first that you don't have enough terrain that blocks LoS. My area uses between 1/4 (the old measure from 5th or 6th ed) and 1/3 of the table with terrain - with at least a few decent full LoS blockers. You will also be able to put yourself out of range most of the time since there are very few armies that pack lots of real ranged fire.

3 - Veil does something at every range - it creates doubt. More importantly - I hang out at 19-23 inches with veil - not 12!

We can guarantee a few things with veil...
1. The average range of spoting is 14"
2. Spotting 20" and more is less than 1 in 6 odds
3. Our threat range (which ignores cover) is at least 6+3d6 with rerolls

Lets assume you sit at 23" - your opponent if stationary needs 6,6 for the roll to spot - 1 in 36 odds. If he moves forward the full 6" its now 17" away - about 1 in 9 odds to spot. Harlequins are all about gambling but most of the time this is a safe range.

For me to charge I need a total of 11 on 3d6 - that's average rolls - and I get rerolls to boot. Separate the DJ from the unit, move 6", shoot with him at the unit you are charging (you might get lucky and pull them forward!) while running the unit up. Charge with the DJ first.

At 1500 points, I have beaten Necron Decurions, KDK gore packs with renegade knights, daemon summoning lists, White scar bikers, DE ( Rolling Eyes ), Ravenwing/skyhammer and more. The fact is that if you are patient early game, you will almost always get to strike first and hard with minimal loss. You NEED a shadowser in each unit at lvl2 minimum - and I have ben toying with a masque with 6 so I can go a lvl1 and 2 in each troupe.

On your other points -

WWP is a terrible idea for them. You drop and die. A 2++ save only goes so far when the wounds pile on. You might go a suicide drop with neuros on them all or fusion for that matter but that's way to pricy either way.

The new DJ is pure gold. I will be adding him to every list I build going forward. Start him with bikes then when they move off join a troupe

On the weapon load out discussion - I thin is always going to be personal preference. the Embraces are the worst weapon in my mind. You will never get every model into base to base unless you are very lucky. The caress has a great range in terms of options - because 6's always do something - but the kiss is more consistent. You guarantee a S6, Ap2 attack per model rather than hoping. Yes, the caress can be much more damaging but the kiss is more consistent. Personally, I end up with 1 caress for every 3-4 kiss right now.

My best result at an event so far is 5th overall with 3/1/0 at a 64 player one day event at 1500 points with pure harlies in a revenge - troupes of 8 on foot with attached characters bringing them to 10.

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Fri Aug 12 2016, 08:24

Thanks for posting this. I was about to go looking for stuff on running Harlequins. Literally, as you recommended, I would be better off running them.

I really wanted a break down on the Harlequins special weapons. There appear to be a lot of traps for noobs to this faction like me. I had a play on Battle Scribe and the Troupe players could be built up a bit like a crisis suit- have some AT with a fusion pistol (S8 can still pop vehicles) and a caress, have some anti- GC with neuro disruptor and a kiss, etc BUT if I follow that fool's path, all of a sudden a single player has soared to more than double its initial cost.

Harlequins could be absolutely terrifying in a Zone Mortalis game, but in 40K at the moment, would I be right in saying that the troupe is an elite assault unit and should be built with this in mind to tackle other high cost units?

What is your ratio of Troupe Players to special equipment? In a group of 6, will they ALL have either caress or kiss or do you keep some cheap for ablative wounds?

Eldrad can be a part of this new formation in Death Masque. Already, some at TDC have decried the Troupe load out as rubbish. If it is best to ignore the fluff in the box, how would you build the players and the jet bikes?

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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Fri Aug 12 2016, 09:28

@DEfan wrote:
I really wanted a break down on the Harlequins special weapons. There appear to be a lot of traps for noobs to this faction like me.

The pistol weapons are almost never worth taking as they are, like almost all pistols, hideously overpriced. If you have a particular task in mind, like taking out a Wraithknight, then you could conceivably want to take them but it's a very, very expensive suicide squad.

The melee weapons are all situational. The Caress is my personal favourite as it offers great utility, being capable of taking out grunts, elites and even vehicles, and it triggers off hit rolls so you're more likely to get it working. It is however more expensive than the others.

The Embrace is very useful if you're facing hordes or against Invisible units as the HoW attacks are in addition to the normal attacks and are autohits at high Strength so you're going to force a lot of saves.

The Kiss is pretty reliable (it will usually work 2/3 of the time) and can be good against elites as you're going to be hitting on 3's, wounding on 2's with invulnerable saves only.

Quote :
Eldrad can be a part of this new formation in Death Masque. Already, some at TDC have decried the Troupe load out as rubbish. If it is best to ignore the fluff in the box, how would you build the players and the jet bikes?

The problem is that if you want to use the formations from Death Masque you have to take them exactly as they are presented and cannot change their wargear. And the Troupes are indeed terribly equipped. I literally cannot see any reason to take either Death's Companions or The Company of the Threefold Stranger. For the very minor point break you get for taking them you have to deal with the handicap of having them equipped seemingly via a lottery.

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Fri Aug 12 2016, 10:02

Cheers, Count Adhemar, your responses are typically timely and to the point. Each time a model is removed I'd have to check arms for specific armaments and I can see me making a lot of mistakes as I learn to use them.

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Fri Aug 12 2016, 12:40

You explained your points nicely @Massaen, looking forward to read more of you and your way of playing harlequins. I think we can learn a lot from each other

I still stand by all the points I made, as I had success with the way I play them too. (75% winrate in a sample size of 25 tournament games), though I have to say you inspired me to try a bigger unit in a Masque Detachment covered by Veil and Inriam's Spectre. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Just a couple observations on your points:
1. Not every vehicle that gets wrecked explodes. In fact with the lack of AP2-1 shooting in the current meta only 1/6 Starweavers do.

2. Tournaments tables usually have medium to low level of scenery as a single shop covers around 10 tables at the same time with what theres available, so I tend to try and not count on it in my list building.

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Sat Aug 13 2016, 20:43

One point I would like to add regarding the Harlequin's Embrace--there is one common scenario where it is supremely useful. Invisible units. Hammer of Wrath hits them automatically, and at S6 it can wound those pesky librarius biker stars reliably. I sometimes put two or three in one of my troupes to face that possibility.
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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Sat Aug 13 2016, 23:40

I really like this thread.

Currently I have been learning how to use the revenge formation and I have chosen to mount all the harlequins within Starweavers. I have started to use the spectre and the jetbikes from the death masque as well.

I like the idea of larger units of harlequins with veil. How would you handle a heavy psyker army with many dice that could stop a critical veil? Or fmc that have flamer weapons or a couple of held rakes ?
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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Sun Aug 14 2016, 05:18

Thanks for all the feedback and discussion guys!

@DEfan wrote:
I really wanted a break down on the Harlequins special weapons. There appear to be a lot of traps for noobs to this faction like me. I had a play on Battle Scribe and the Troupe players could be built up a bit like a crisis suit- have some AT with a fusion pistol (S8 can still pop vehicles) and a caress, have some anti- GC with neuro disruptor and a kiss, etc BUT if I follow that fool's path, all of a sudden a single player has soared to more than double its initial cost.

Personally, outside of specialised suicide drop unit with WWP, the pistols can all be left on the sprue. Most players can be left with a kiss (or caress) and call it a day. My squads of 8 are 2 caress, 5 kiss and one bare.

@DEfan wrote:
Harlequins could be absolutely terrifying in a Zone Mortalis game, but in 40K at the moment, would I be right in saying that the troupe is an elite assault unit and should be built with this in mind to tackle other high cost units?

I will throw my harlies into most units and be reasonably sure they will win. The trick is how to dal with overwatch - especially templates

@DEfan wrote:
What is your ratio of Troupe Players to special equipment? In a group of 6, will they ALL have either caress or kiss or do you keep some cheap for ablative wounds?

I like 1 caress / 2 kiss / 1 bare though lately I have just been running all kiss with haywire on the master. Once I hit 8 models, I will add a few without gear to take the first bullets.

@DEfan wrote:
Eldrad can be a part of this new formation in Death Masque. Already, some at TDC have decried the Troupe load out as rubbish. If it is best to ignore the fluff in the box, how would you build the players and the jet bikes?

The jetbikes are very good as it stands - the glaives and cannons are great for bulling small units or more common troops units. Reroll jink is a great thing to have - I wish I could add more models to the unit is all! For the units - I will be building them as per the box since I have more harlies than I need already - and having them as options for fun games seems nice. Outside of this I would be building it as 1 troupe myself - master with kiss and haywire, probably 3 caress, 3 bare and 5 more kiss.

@Count Adhemar wrote:
@DEfan wrote:
I really wanted a break down on the Harlequins special weapons. There appear to be a lot of traps for noobs to this faction like me.

The pistol weapons are almost never worth taking as they are, like almost all pistols, hideously overpriced. If you have a particular task in mind, like taking out a Wraithknight, then you could conceivably want to take them but it's a very, very expensive suicide squad.

The melee weapons are all situational. The Caress is my personal favourite as it offers great utility, being capable of taking out grunts, elites and even vehicles, and it triggers off hit rolls so you're more likely to get it working. It is however more expensive than the others.

The Embrace is very useful if you're facing hordes or against Invisible units as the HoW attacks are in addition to the normal attacks and are autohits at high Strength so you're going to force a lot of saves.

The Kiss is pretty reliable (it will usually work 2/3 of the time) and can be good against elites as you're going to be hitting on 3's, wounding on 2's with invulnerable saves only.

Quote :
Eldrad can be a part of this new formation in Death Masque. Already, some at TDC have decried the Troupe load out as rubbish. If it is best to ignore the fluff in the box, how would you build the players and the jet bikes?

The problem is that if you want to use the formations from Death Masque you have to take them exactly as they are presented and cannot change their wargear. And the Troupes are indeed terribly equipped. I literally cannot see any reason to take either Death's Companions or The Company of the Threefold Stranger. For the very minor point break you get for taking them you have to deal with the handicap of having them equipped seemingly via a lottery.

I agree with counts comments!

@BizarreShowbiz wrote:
You explained your points nicely @Massaen, looking forward to read more of you and your way of playing harlequins. I think we can learn a lot from each other

I still stand by all the points I made, as I had success with the way I play them too. (75% winrate in a sample size of 25 tournament games), though I have to say you inspired me to try a bigger unit in a Masque Detachment covered by Veil and Inriam's Spectre. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Agreed! I always appreciate a good debate on my favourite clowns! I have been toying with a double masque with a 50/50 split of transport units and infantry - 1850 plus of course - and your suggestions are the prompt so its a great platform for discussion!

@BizarreShowbiz wrote:
Just a couple observations on your points:
1. Not every vehicle that gets wrecked explodes. In fact with the lack of AP2-1 shooting in the current meta only 1/6 Starweavers do.

2. Tournaments tables usually have medium to low level of scenery as a single shop covers around 10 tables at the same time with what theres available, so I tend to try and not count on it in my list building.

You are correct that not every vehicle explodes - but open topped means its possible and any AP2 or better makes it far to likely in my experience - especially with expensive units and so few of them to boot. When they dont explode its not bad - but you are then in the same situation the foot troupe is in - but with less models! Veil at 24+" makes the troupe completely immune to fire. That's why ilike it so much.

I find the opposite here in Australia - we will always have at least 1/4 terrain coverage - its a hang over from 6th where that was in the rule book. Most of the events I have played at (locally, interstate and overseas) have all had 1/4 coverage and most had more of late. I guess that's alocal area thing.

@Saunders wrote:
One point I would like to add regarding the Harlequin's Embrace--there is one common scenario where it is supremely useful. Invisible units. Hammer of Wrath hits them automatically, and at S6 it can wound those pesky librarius biker stars reliably. I sometimes put two or three in one of my troupes to face that possibility.

I just find them so unreliable. A properly armed invisstar will give zero cares to a handful of S6 hits. Most should have tanks, multi wounds, ++ saves, FNP and more. To really make it work they all need them and at that point - take DE reavers!

@Skari wrote:
I really like this thread.

Thanks! Cool

@Skari wrote:
Currently I have been learning how to use the revenge formation and I have chosen to mount all the harlequins within Starweavers. I have started to use the spectre and the jetbikes from the death masque as well.

I started this way as well and what I term "Weaver Spam" can work - I just keep finding time an again that I prefer the larger troupes. The cannons on the transports are very welcome though!

@Skari wrote:
I like the idea of larger units of harlequins with veil. How would you handle a heavy psyker army with many dice that could stop a critical veil? Or fmc that have flamer weapons or a couple of held rakes ?

Like all armies, some have hard counters and Harlies probably get it toughest of all.

I don't tend to see helldrakes at all these days - the limted fire arc on the flamer means most CSM or KDK lists just run FMC instead. FMC tends to do most of their work on the ground so the harlies work fine there. It is however a serious problem when you deal with multiple flyrants with dual devourers who can get close enough to reliably ignore veil. All the FMC I tend to see are D thirsters, FMC nurgle princes, fatey and Belakor - and universally they either want to charge me (which is fine) or just fly about taking pot shots with little bang for buck.

When it comes to psyker bomb style lists - the most heavy version I have faced so far (1500pts) was fatey, a lvl3 keeper, belakor and 3 units of 11 horrors. 13 dice or so base against my 6 dice base (revenge with 3 lvl2 seers). I will always start with the most critical veil first and throw 3-4 dice at it. Since its a blessing, its 6's to negate and with even 2 success, they need to use most if not all of the pool to stand a chance to stop it. When you roll low (1 or 2 dice) I still go most important first with 3 dice, then work backwards. It will be interesting to face a 20+ dice list though - but then again, my newer double masques run 6+ seers!

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Sun Aug 14 2016, 08:57

Poring over the warlord traits, I see a lot of fun stuff.
-A 24" super leap!
-Almost guaranteed seize the initiative! Better than Vect's level of "I called it!"
-Does the game end? Do I really want it to? (So many games I've wished for a 2 on T5)

Personal favourite: "Oh you got me good in that challenge, bro, please accept this prezzie." BOOM!

Do you ever run a Harlequin as a Warlord?

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Sun Aug 14 2016, 10:32

@DEfan wrote:
Poring over the warlord traits, I see a lot of fun stuff.
-A 24" super leap!
-Almost guaranteed seize the initiative! Better than Vect's level of "I called it!"
-Does the game end? Do I really want it to? (So many games I've wished for a 2 on T5)

Personal favourite: "Oh you got me good in that challenge, bro, please accept this prezzie." BOOM!

Do you ever run a Harlequin as a Warlord?

Always. Light table is so much fun, plus the objectives arent as hard as DE ones.

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Sun Aug 14 2016, 12:02

I prefer to run a shadow seer as my warlord - I like the first 3 traits and can plan around them since it's just d3!

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Mon Aug 15 2016, 12:08

Since I have the death masque box and already have a small force of harlies, I am planning on running a dark eldar Quinn alliance. 18 harlies, 6 jetbikes 2 voidweavers, a shadowseer and two death jesters. Not bad since I only really brought my first bow of troupes purely for the coats lol
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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Mon Aug 15 2016, 13:21

Here are my 5 cents.

I've been trying out the harlequins at a couple of tournaments and have not had very much luck with the Troupes. They tend to be late game objectice grabbers in my lists. I usually equip 5 man squads with 2 caresser or 2 kisses and the Troupemasters with a Caress. Sometimes just a Fusion pistol for the TM do deal with Drop Pods...

But my game winning, absolute favorite formation is the Faolchu's Blade. The Rerolls are great. Especially turn one if you get Night Fight. (thats why its fun to ally in a small force of Ravenwing and get +1 to the roll for Night Fight)...

I am actually considering running an entire army with just Faolchu's Blade formations Smile

On the other hand it's fun with a Magic Phase and just running around with almost only Jetbikes in the army is kinda boring. So I like the success you have had Massaen with Troupes on foot. I have to try it out again. When I did, I just failed to cast the Veil when it was needed the most and the unit got wiped out!

And the new Death Jester will be awesome keeping a key unit alive even if they fail the Veil.

I think the Choherian Host seems kinda fun. The Troupes have a crap setup but still can do some damage. Eldrad seems like a great buff for the Harlequins, him together with 1-2 Shadowseers could do some good damage!
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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Tue Aug 16 2016, 06:57

What is everyone's opinion on skyweavers? Should they be ran as minimum squads or add another bike or two in the two required for the masque detachment?


On a tangent, the best I can tell veil offers no protection from daemonic warpstorm results. I had a cast of players get wrecked not long ago. Ignores cover wounds are nasty. Outside of cover and phantasmancy I wish harlequins had ways to improve their invulnerable save..
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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Tue Aug 16 2016, 06:59

Sanctuary from sanctic can increase the ++ save

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Tue Aug 16 2016, 07:06

Having to fish for it on sanctuary and with the chance of perils on doubles makes me reticent to try it out for just a 4++. I'm just envious of daemon players with multiple ways to improve their save.
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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Tue Aug 16 2016, 07:40

That's true - to be honest though, the warp storm is such a specific effect, its one I don't normally factor into list building.

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Tue Aug 16 2016, 12:33

What about the formation "Cegorach's revenge"? You can re-roll your 1s which is nice but the main benefit would be 3 Shadowseers who would very likely secure invisibility or shrouding? If the psychic phase goes well, a lot of incoming damage could be diverted.

Also, a Farseer would be a good addition to get Forewarning from the Divination table. Prescience will make your assaults much more succesful.

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Thu Aug 18 2016, 17:13

So @Massaen, do you put a shadowseer in every troupe? How do you have enough warp charges to support giving them all veil? Or do you just pick the ones that need it most each turn?

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Fri Aug 19 2016, 01:10

Veil is only WC 1 and I start with 6+d6.... Easy to have enough for 2-3 dice per cast

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Fri Aug 19 2016, 12:05

Ah right, so do you get much chance to cast other powers? I suppose that would mainly be later in the game once you've closed the gap and the initial assaults have been made?

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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Tue Aug 23 2016, 07:47

This is very intriguing post for harlequin newbies, like me! Would you please provide any example list, @Massaen? Do you just use the single Revenge formation?

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Join date : 2011-07-05
Location : Western Australia

PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Tue Aug 23 2016, 14:15

A full revenge at 1500 has seen the most success for me

3x lvl2 seers (one with mask) and one as the warlord
3x DJ
1 Solitaire

3x8 troupes

2x2 sky weavers with glaives and haywire

void weaver with prism

The troupes I have been using have 2x caress (troupe leader plus one other) then 5 kiss and one naked for ablative wound. I hand out haywire to the troupe first, then the seers, then the solitaire, then the Dj if I have points.

Scaling up I think I would need to lose the revenge for a double masque

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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Tue Aug 23 2016, 15:19

Just out of interest, why the Shadowseer Warlord? Troupe Master is surely a better option, or do you not roll on the Harlequin warlord trait tables?

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Massaen
Klaivex
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PostSubject: Re: Harlequin Misconceptions   Tue Aug 23 2016, 18:49

I roll the harlie ones - but the shadow seer d3 gives me much greater control and reliability of trait. The flexibility in being able to shuffle her around as well has been paramount to me not giving up warlord in games as well

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