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 Death Jesters, any good?

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PartZebra
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PostSubject: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jun 28 2017, 13:03

Hey all,

So I've been working on my space elf murder clowns lately and I'm really liking the rules, but I don't seem to understand the role of Death Jesters.

They just seem a little weak; sure they can target characters, but neither modes of fire appear adequate for the job. Similarly, the lack of consistent ap on the Shrieker Cannon means that you can't even guarantee that you're gonna deal those tasty mortal wounds on hordes or multiwound models.
Lastly, I can see the appeal of Death is not Enough as a way of neutralizing certain guns or individual models - but it's gravy really, and I hardly see that as their primary use.

So do any of you have any experience using them, or can you see something I can't? I'm determined to find a place for a Jester in my army and make it work!
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|Meavar
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jun 28 2017, 14:23

Death is not enough is great against some enemies who have more guys and 1 or 2 special weapons in a unit (all those guard squads losing heavy or special weapons is awesome remember a comissar means still 1 guy dies, as are larger eldar aspect warrior squads losing their exarch) and more then just gravy I think. But it depends a lot on your enemy.
Also he is quite ok at killing some characters.
Overal I think he is mainly good against armies that do not rely on heavy armour: orks, guard and eldar, nids.
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PartZebra
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jun 28 2017, 14:26

That may be where I'm struggling then, as I've only fought Necrons so far and the Jesters (cos I have 3 Razz) were just there to fill out the points.

I dunno, their damage just seems a little lacking. Then again, they're better if the finish off a multiwound model, for instance, which is actually quite fluffy now I think about it.

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Ikol
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jun 28 2017, 17:34

Target the Commisars! Target the Synapse.

Necrons are just nasty to play, no wonder you've been struggling with them, the space zombies are pretty much a hard counter to Harlies.

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PartZebra
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jun 28 2017, 18:04

Oh, well, when I say "struggle" what I mean is that I've been struggling with using my Jesters specifically - I won the single game I played vs 'Crons pretty decisively with my Drukhari/Harlie list.

I 'spose Jesters are pretty good for sniping the characters in the 'Crons...they're just uber resilient!
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jun 28 2017, 22:50

Yeah their shooting is lacklustre but they're great for charging in and thing units up in CC as they're reasonably survivable. He can either bounce out and recharge or shoot or stay in and prevent overwatch for other units charging
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Thu Jun 29 2017, 00:44

That's a point for the entire Harlequins army. Bouncing in and out of combat, shooting every turn is viable. So long as you can stay in range, and that shouldn't be difficult with 8", they should be able to use every bit of Wargear they're carrying, every turn, and with the charging in and out, first turn of combat should be a reliable goal.

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amishprn86
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Thu Jun 29 2017, 09:48

Death Jester is total trash, 40pts over costed IMO. I literally wouldnt play one even if it was 50pts.

35pts? Sure i would take 2-3 in a Starweaver, 50pts? nope... 75pts like it is? WTF IS GW THINKING?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!??!!

PS: I even tried it with the PGL for a total of -2, 90% the time the units are immune, are in squads of 5 with LD9, or have no special weapons (genestealers etc.. for things out of Synapse).

With Synapse, Orks LD rules, Command points, Hero Abilities and just MSU and Vehicles his special rule is pointless.

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|Meavar
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Thu Jun 29 2017, 10:07

For 50 points I would have a bunch of them.
For 35 points it would be similar to a jetbike, which can target characters, hars 2.5 times as many wounds, has a 4+ invurnerable save, has a ws and bs of 2+
All for the cost of becoming fast instead of very fast...
I am not saying they could not have been cheaper, but since some armies rely on characters quite a bit the ability to shoot them is very expensive. (compare him to 4 rangers) that is 1 extra shot and a slim chance for mortal wounds, but at lower bs, no fewer wounds, no invul save, no move and shoot, a lower strength without ap.
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Thu Jun 29 2017, 10:36

I reckon I'll try them out in my next game. I've tested them as individuals and they were lacking, but this time I'll use all three and have them running around together - we'll see if increasing the rate of fire makes them any better!

But yeah, at 50 pts they'd be lovely

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Thu Jun 29 2017, 10:59

@|Meavar wrote:
For 50 points I would have a bunch of them.
For 35 points it would be similar to a jetbike, which can target characters, hars 2.5 times as many wounds, has a 4+ invurnerable save, has a ws and bs of 2+
All for the cost of becoming fast instead of very fast...
I am not saying they could not have been cheaper, but since some armies rely on characters quite a bit the ability to shoot them is very expensive. (compare him to 4 rangers) that is 1 extra shot and a slim chance for mortal wounds, but at lower bs, no fewer wounds, no invul save, no move and shoot, a lower strength without ap.

He doesnt do mortal wounds to characters, you have to slain 1 to get mortal wounds and that is only 1 shot for that chance with a low chance of AP. Also along with wasting the mortal wounds rule you are wasting his other rule of -1 LD. He is not a good character killer at all.

He have 0 melee capabilities his rules dont work most of the time.

If you feel 50pts makes him over worth it and you would take 2-3 of them then you have a better opinion than i do, tested him out for 4 games and all 4 games he did jack, I wouldnt even take 1 at 50pts still.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Thu Jun 29 2017, 11:19

Not used one yet but looking at the stats and rules, 75 points is massively overpriced. All his rules are mixed up. He has abilities that would be great against characters that can't even be used on them. He has rules that would be great against hordes but are on a single shot weapon that has less than a 50% chance of killing a GEQ!

I honestly wouldn't even consider them at anything more than about 30 points and even then I'd think twice unless the rules get a serious rewrite.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Thu Jun 29 2017, 11:24

Yep thats how i feel, he wants to do 2 things at once but does both of them poorly.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Thu Jun 29 2017, 11:44

Which is a shame, because they're possibly my favorite clown fluff-wise.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Thu Jun 29 2017, 12:18


He doesnt do mortal wounds to characters, you have to slain 1 to get mortal wounds and that is only 1 shot for that chance with a low chance of AP.
The mortal wounds was for rangers who for a similarly priced unit deal similar damage to characters but are less mobile and die faster. To show that units that fulfill a similar role have similar costs. Well except for guard snipers who are freaking cheap and I want hordes of them.


He is not a good character killer at all.
Not a good character killer? He deals over 1 wound a turn to most characters I face. (3 shots means 2.5 hits, means 2 wounds means 1.4 wounds versus guards/orks, or 1 versus a farseer) He might not be a good space marine killer, HQ killer, but characters he kills quite nicely in 2 or 3 turns, which is right when I like to get into melee and need those buffs taken away.
He have 0 melee capabilities his rules dont work most of the time. He has great melee capabilities, just deals no damage there. He can get noncombat units in melee so they cannot shoot, and jumb out in his turn shoot a character and get back in so the unit cannot shoot next turn either.

If you feel 50pts makes him over worth it and you would take 2-3 of them then you have a better opinion than i do, tested him out for 4 games and all 4 games he did jack, I wouldnt even take 1 at 50pts still.
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Thu Jun 29 2017, 12:57

1 wound a turn? Well to me thats not good at all, so in 5 turns you will kill 1 character... ok you play him and i will just keep doing what i've been doing.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Sat Jul 01 2017, 14:17

Ask GW about the Death Jester and i talked about my views on them, they informed me they are looking at re-balancing him.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jul 05 2017, 00:26

Anecdotal, but opened my eyes to the flaws:
Tried him in my last game versus marines. Shot 5 times throughout the game and didn't do a single wound. The leadership ability didn't trigger once. Fishing for 6s on characters felt stupid. Shooting marines didn't work either.

Compare that to the Troupe Master.

Jester is completely useless. I can't justify taking him again. Shame because the model is awesome.
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jul 05 2017, 06:29

Yeah, I've now tested him personally as well. I took three of them and tried using them all in a group, as well as dotting them about the board.

Frankly, the only use they served was to lengthen my shooting phase. I think they took a couple of wounds off of various things here and there, but really it was just chip damage.

Glad that GW are considering taking a look at him, no idea how they'll fix him though.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jul 05 2017, 06:42

One little saving grave is that Death is not enough does work in combat as well as at range now. Its still not making him worth 75 points but it does mean that throwing him into a combat where you can't wipe them out but they will fail morale means you can pick the first death

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jul 05 2017, 06:49

I hadn't considered that application. Even so, like you say, 75 points for the chance to maybe pick a model to flee isn't exactly appealing. Especially when it doesn't really matter a majority of the time.

So how do we think he could be improved? Maugan Ra has the exact same weapon just with a static -1 AP, which is miles better. So evidently it doesn't need to be a huge change.

What do you think?

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jul 05 2017, 07:30

Honestly, I think dropping his points to say 45 and then on the shrieker round ONLY apply a -1ap

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jul 05 2017, 07:57

Perhaps. I feel like coming up with a specific role for him would be the best starting point before considering points cost and weapon buffs or nerfs.

As mentioned prior in this thread, he seems to be trying to do too much; is he character killer or isn't he? DiNE seems to be better on hordes or 10-man units, so is he anti-infantry?
If we pigeon-hole the Jester's role into something then we could find a use for him. At least, that's where I'd start.

Not that I expect a full reworking by GW - they did say "rebalance" after all.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jul 05 2017, 12:24

The problem is the rate of fire isn't good enough for the cost in a shooting role and he doesn't hit that hard in combat. He's OK as an all rounder but needs more of a role buff tbh. If he's meant to be a sniper, make him snipe better. If he's anti infantry, give him more shots etc
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PostSubject: Re: Death Jesters, any good?   Wed Jul 05 2017, 16:42

His melee is trash for Harlequins POV, i treat is melee as nothing lol, 4attack S3... not very good.

His problem is either Points are to high, or he doesnt do his role at all.

His role is shooting, but no mass shots, he is a sniper made to disrupt infantry units or hurt characters. The problem is he doesnt do either very well at all. If he was 35pts and you took 2 of them they STILL wouldnt do that job well enough but he would be cheap enough to be worth it.

I hope he is changed soon i have a few of them and i love the model.

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