Troupers, also called Rilletann or Player, are the the most numerous Harlequin warriors. The main body of any company of Harlequins will be troupers, who perform as the chorus on both the stage and battlefield. In performance they dance the chorus roles, and in battle they form the rank and file of the Harlequin troupe, if such a term is appropriate to the unique and free-wheeling structure of Harlequin society. The typical wargear of a Trouper consists of two close combat weapons (one of which is often a Shuriken Pistol), a visual disruption Holo-field and a holographic Refractor Field.
In battle, Harlequin Troupes move fast and hit hard, relying on speed and skill to annihilate the enemy before they even have time to raise their guns. Preferring to evade harm than endure it, every Player is equipped with a Holo-Suit that fragments their outline into a storm of coloured shards,
confounding the foe's aim outlining the Harlequin in a colorful glow, no wonder the Imperial Guard tends to beat back the Eldar in fluff. Once in combat, the Harlequins are in their element, performing a lethal dance of death while their masks shimmer with the foe's worst fears. The Players cut their panicked victims to pieces using an array of horrific, yet strangely beautiful weapons, every pinpoint blade thrust and whipcord kick an act of worship to the Laughing God.
Harlequin Masques are comprised of three distinct Troupes: the Light, the Dark, and the Twilight. Each contains a different cast of characters, grouped by outlook and symbolism. The Light, for example, is especially associated with swift action, the heroic protagonist, the sky and the day. By comparison, the Dark represents villainous antagonists, violent endings, and the night, while the Twilight is transitory, like the Webway or the fateful journey, comprising characters that bestride multiple or shifting worlds. This structure ensures that each member is aware their fellows' roles, upon both stage and battlefield.
All harlequins must undertake a mysterious trial, known only as the Ritual. The Ritual is said to free them from the Giant Purple Slut, which is why harlequins have no fear of her, and need not wear a waystone. It could also be due to Cegorach trolling Slaanesh on a frequent basis. This is also why the harlequins can roam the Webway at will without enduring the soul-draining which afflicts the other Eldar who spend too long exposed to the warp. Due to their extremely athletic nature and acrobatic skill, harlequins are fearsome warriors in an assault, aided by their highly specialized weaponry.
A change up from what it used to be in the Craftworld codex, they now come in squads of 5-12 and the Troupe Master got a welcome boost of +1 WS, W, & I turning him into a viable army warlord in his own right who can take from the relics list' he can also take a power sword, but you're probably better served giving him a Harlequin's Kiss or Harlequin's Caress to help him chew up 2+ save characters in challenges.
Don't forget to take along haywire grenades - first time you have to deal with a Ghost Ark or a Land Raider, you'll be very glad you did. The rest of the unit is customisable as you would like, with any model being able to take any harlequin item combination. Like most units with the capability, beware the temptation to give everyone in the unit a special weapon of some sort, as they die in droves the moment any competent unit with guns look at them. At least 1 generic clown per special weapon is recommended in not dying like droves.
|Forces of the Harlequins|
|Command:||High Avatar - High Warlock |
Shadowseer - Solitaire
|Troops:||Black Guardian - Death Jester - Master Mime |
Mime - Troupe Master - Trouper - Warlock
|Vehicles:||Black Guardian War Walker - Black Guardian Vyper |
Jetbike - Skyweaver - Starweaver
Venom - Voidweaver
|Allies:||Dark Eldar - Eldar|
- Not to be confused with "Tropers", which is what TV Tropes users call themselves.