Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Eldar Harlequins (9E)

From 1d4chan

This is the current 9th Edition's Harlequin tactics. 8th Edition Tactics are here.

Why Play Harlequins[edit]

Because you love practical jokes, big smiles, and grisly murder, have a thing for Carnevale masks, and like laughing at your opponents when your psychedelic clown elves eat entire units in assault at the speed of light.

Harlequins are massively improved from where they started in 8th to the point they're currently one of the best armies in the game right now. They're extremely fast, surprisingly difficult to kill with proper support, and hit incredibly hard in melee, quickly chewing through MEQs with mass high-strength, decent AP attacks. Badly positioned, they'll still quickly die to the enemy's firepower, but with proper planning you'll be laughing all the way to the circus. Send in the clowns.

Pros[edit]

  • Incredibly fast with a default 8" movement plus the ability to Advance and Charge, and everyone ignores terrain and models.
    • With the Psychic Awakening update, a whole bunch of deepstrike shenanigans have been added, along with a myriad of other fun stuff.
  • Beautiful models with a unique and cool theme that can be painted in any kind of ridiculous way without breaking fluff.
  • Hit like an absolute truck in Melee with 4 attacks base for basic troops, and can also pull off close-ranged Shooting shenanigans with Fusion Pistols and Starweavers.
  • Your BASIC TROOPS can have 5 (or 6, albeit relatively weak) attacks.
    • To compare, many characters have just 4, and the Golden bananas have 3 (admittedly though their thing is being hard as nails in defence, they hit at much higher strength and AP than you, and have ways of boosting their numbers of attacks. Try not to get arrogant when facing them down in melee; give 'em a chance and they will wipe your entire squad).
  • Have the AELDARI keyword, meaning you can plug the holes in their capabilities with complementary units from Dark Eldar or Craftworld Eldar (e.g.: cheap scoring Kabalites).
    • Even better, with the 9th Edition Craftworlds Codex, you can now throw them in their own patrol detachment without throwing anything off for a bigger detachment of Eldar/Dark Eldar, but you will lose Luck of the Laughing God.
  • Oddly cheap troops and HQs, for a supposedly elite army. Filling battalions and brigades is pretty damn easy.
  • Possibly the best faction for leadership bombs on single units. This just becomes even better with allied elves.
  • The sheer number of tactics and synergies available give Harlequins one of the highest skill ceilings on the game, a good harlequins player can run rings around their opponent, sometimes quite literally, giving them a very satisfying playstyle.
  • Bikes are incredibly flexible and literally any loadout can be useful on them to some degree. Equip 'em for melee, and hunt down marines or set them up to shoot 'em. With haywire, your bikes are able to threaten vehicles, and also, to some degree hordes of low toughness units thanks to blast. You probably wanna stick to one setup with each unit rather than trying to mix and match though
  • You can make Joker quotes the whole game and laugh away if you are winning.
  • You can always say that you're just doing it for the lolz if things go bad!
  • Most players are not accustomed to battling against these buggers (though that may have somewhat changed with them being super strong at the start of the edition, and continuing to be so). Use that to your advantage and seriously play for keeps, laugh and clown around all day but this army is even more cutthroat than dark eldar.
  • Every model has access to a 4++ or better, and also has access to high AP weaponry.
  • In 9th edition, the smaller standard board size means that you've got less of a distance to cross before you can get into melee range.
  • They're Clowns.
  • As of 9th Edition you've been rolled back into the Craftworld Codex, though you still retain a lot of the gains made since becoming a separate codex.

Cons[edit]

  • As a good army in the competitive scene, even moreso than the star of the codex that you're listed in, you're at risk of being labelled as that guy.
  • You're incredibly fragile. Even though you've got decent invulns literally everywhere, your clowns are squishy T3 1 wound models meaning that even the humble lasgun is lethal to you. If you can't hit first and hit hard, in nicer terms things will go poorly. Never mind the average armour save for infantry is 6+ (7+ on Shadowseers, god knows why) means that if their invulns are somehow negated, your clowns will fall apart even easier than guardsmen.
  • In addition to the above: this is seriously the Harlequins greatest disadvantage. You pay a premium for your models, but unlike other elite armies, you don't have some bullshit to fall back on. You aren't Custodes and you aren't Necrons; the longer a fight takes the worse its going to get for you. Once you make the decision to engage another unit, you need to make that unit dead NOW, not two turns from now.
  • Miniscule selection of long-range firepower. The best you have is 36" on your Voidweaver's guns.
  • Small pool of units to choose from- Two HQs, one Troops, one Fast Attack, two Elites, one Heavy support, and a transport. Most Harlequin armies are going to look very similar each other in terms of units. At the very least there are rumours of something new coming later on down the line, so... hope?
  • Your models are pricey, in points and dollars. With melee upgrades on your clowns it'll bring 'em up to the same cost as Howling Banshees. Moreso if you give them pistols.
  • Modifiers cap at +/-1, which probably hurts Harlequins the most of all Eldar factions in 9th. Rip Suit of Hidden Knives cheese.
  • They're Clowns, and field a huge number of floating vehicles. Prepare for endless Pennywise jokes.
  • Being rolled into the Craftworld codex did lose you some things, even if it was an overall net positive.
  • One of, if not THE hardest armies to paint well due to the multicolored checkerboard patterns on many of their units, though you are of course free to paint them however you'd like.

Ghost Space Clowns vs. Regular Space Clowns[edit]

23/07/2017 FAQ: You must have Yvraine, The Visarch or The Yncarne as your Warlord to be able to give any Aeldari units in your army the "Ynnari" keyword. Yvraine and The Yncarne are your only access to the Revenant Discipline and the same FAQ finally gave The Visarch a 4++ Invulnerable save. It's a Tax, but all three characters are in a good spot now. GW has to sell that box set I guess. Remember that you still need to to take the following units in a separate Detachment should you wish to use them: Dhrazar, Mandrakes, Urien Rakarth, Coven units and The Avatar of Khaine.

16/11/2017 FAQ: Soulbursts now cannot be triggered on your opponent's turn, and only one of each particular action can be performed on your turn. Given the charge-happy nature of your Harlequins, it's hardly worth giving up your ability to advance and charge as well as the ability to fall back, shoot and charge again so you can squeeze in a maximum of one extra charge if you kill a squad on your turn. This constraint does not apply in Narrative/Open Play games, however.

16/04/2018 FAQ: You can no longer take Ynnari detachments with mixed troops due to changes to the Army of the Reborn rule. They must now be pure Craftworlds, Drukhari or Harlequins detachments only. They still don't receive a masque/craftworld/kabal etc trait, but they do now count for the purposes of unlocking stratagems, so you don't need to bring an additional "pure" detachment just for that purpose. You must also add one of the Ynnari HQs to *every* detachment you want to be Ynnari, as well as nominating one as your Warlord.

White Dwarf Ynnari Index/Psychic Awakening: Phoenix Rising: The Ynnari received a massive rework, gaining their own Warlord Traits, Stratagems, Relics, fully fledged psychic discipline and Tactical Objectives. They additionally received their own version of Objective Secured (finally) and updated faction Keywords. The best news is that Strength from Death now functions more akin to a Masque Form or Craftworld Attribute, no longer disabling abilities like Rising Crescendo or Battle Focus. The bad news? The Soulburst mechanic was entirely reworked in what could be considered a severe nerf, no longer granting out of phase actions. Instead, while it triggers for all of your units across the field whenever any unit dies, all it does now is grant them the "Fight First" combat rule, giving them a +1 to-hit if they already could or just charged. This ability isn't terrible persay, as having an effective BS2+ on the charge across your entire army is nothing to scoff at considering your combat oriented playstyle. It's simply underwhelming compared to several of your vanilla options, especially since it's only active if a unit is completely wiped out where virtually every other attribute in the game is consistently active (even if they have some variable condition, like the 12" rule for Alaitoc or Raven Guard, for example).

In terms of all the new tricks and trinkets you get? It's a very mixed bag. On one hand, the Warlord Traits and a couple of the relics are actually really solid picks, almost worth considering a token Supreme Command detachment for some particularly lethal HQ choices. On the other hand, the Revenant psychic discipline only offers one or two powers genuinely worth taking and comes with the tax of locking out any access to the Phantasmancy Discipline for your Shadowseer's use (not even mentioning how all Ynnari units can't benefit from Runes of Fate/Battle or Phantasmancy powers any longer, directly or otherwise). The stratagems and objectives are where the Ynnari fall flat on their ass. What stratagems weren't simply copy-pasted from the other aeldari factions are generally overpriced and situational at best or flat out useless otherwise. Your tactical objectives suffer similar issues as well, simply being inferior copy-pasted versions worth fewer VPs for the exact same tasks that the vanilla versions also must complete. Granted, tactical objectives aren't a concern unless you're playing Maelstrom of War, so many players may not even notice this particular issue.

So, should you have your harlies join the Ynnari? These days, definitely not fully. A small, secondary detachment is certainly a decent choice worth considering if you want to build a bit of an HQ death star, but you sacrifice far too much from the rest of your army if you commit your detachments to the Ynnari entirely. A situational +1 to hit in melee on the charge isn't worth giving up a guaranteed extra attack on the charge, or effective morale immunity when you want to go big. Between barring all named characters, several notable units (like your Solitaire) and banning the new perks and abilities granted through each faction's psychic awakening, there just isn't much the Ynnari offer that sticking with the vanilla factions can't also provide or even outperform entirely with their own inhouse selections.

Faction Keywords[edit]

Your main keyword is HARLEQUINS. You also get the AELDARI keyword, which is shared with Craftworlds, Dark Eldar, and Ynnari, allowing you to freely mix and match units from all four factions.

You also have to choose a <Saedath> keyword, to denote what aspect your Harlequins belong to. This will determine their Chapter Tactics equivalent, Masque Forms, as well as all the other goodies they gain.

16/04/2018 FAQ The new Battle Brothers beta rule states that the AELDARI and Ynnari Faction tags are no longer sufficient to include units in a Battle-Forged detachment. Any and all units now must also share an additional faction keyword (Such as <Saedath> or HARLEQUINS) in order to remain battle-forged. While mixed soup lists are over, you can still take these units in separate detachments and remain battle forged.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Harlequin's Panoply: The central rules for the killer space clowns.
    • 4++
    • -1 to be hit in melee.
    • Move horizontally through any terrain or models.
      • You'll be needing all that, considering that your troops are running around in skivvies.
  • Rising Crescendo: Your units can charge after advancing and they can shoot and charge after falling back. Again, they'll need all that mobility due to the limited space in their transports as well as their blistering speed.

Detachment Rules[edit]

These rules only apply to harlequins detachments.

  • All Harlequins Troops get Objective Secured.
  • Lead Role: If you want a harlequins warlord and have a troupe master in the army, the warlord must be a Troupe Master.
  • Pivotal Roles: As with all other armies this edition, you can upgrade your harlequins characters here, granting them a new power for a certain cost. Each model can only be upgraded this way once.
  • Travelling Players: We're back to the olden times. Revealed in the Craftworld Codex, this allows you to ally in a single Patrol Detachment of Harlequins into any army without fucking up the other army: you ignore harlequins units in the Patrol detachment when checking your army to see what it shares, such as Army Faction or any given keyword or ability (so e.g. Power From Pain and Strands of Fate still work, if you ally into other elves). You can choose whether or not to apply it to a detachment, but if you do, the rule becomes mandatory, which shuts down Luck of the Laughing God. Note that this is simply a rule you can slap on a Harlequins detachment, so you can ally your clowns to anything, including, of course, themselves - you can use this rule to field mixed Saedaths.

Army Rules[edit]

Like every other 9E army, you get rewarded for fielding a mono-subfaction army: these rules apply only if every unit in your army is harlequins and the same <saedath>.

  • Luck of the Laughing God: The Craftworlders got their Strands of Fate ability to mess with rolls, so you will as well. Each turn, you gain a number of re-rolls depending on the size of your game that you can freely use each turn on hits, wounds, saves, advances, and damage rolls. While not as convenient as the Craftword's auto-6, you can actually choose what you can re-roll. You also, relative to them, lose the ability to buff charges and psychic tests, but gain the ability to buff damage rolls (giving you an additional incentive to take weapons that make damage rolls, like fusion pistols).
    • Each turn you can roll up to 6d6, and if every die is different, you gain that many dice in additional re-rolls. So in a 2000 point game each turn you get 3 + gamble, which comes down to these averages, minima, and maxima for each number of dice rolled:
      1. 4-4, average 4. This has the highest minimum and the lowest variance, and is the best choice when 4 re-rolls is much more important to you than getting up to 5.
      2. 3-5, average 4.67. This ties for the highest average but within that category has the lowest variance, so is the best choice spread across playing many turns in many games.
      3. 3-6, average 4.67. This choice and all remaining choices are simply inferior in all possible contexts; never choose them.
      4. 3-7, average 4.11.
      5. 3-8, average 3.46.
      6. 3-9, average 3.09.

Saedaths[edit]

Due to no longer being worthy of their own codex, the factions are cut down from six to a mere three, meaning that this faction has the least amount of variety, in terms of chapter tactics equivalent, of any army, including subfactions that get their own codices, like Death Guard, due to them having subfactions within their subfaction, E.I. Plague Companies. But while the variety is less overall, the options that are available are very good. Also, for some reason, GW made their wildcard keyword into something weird and copyrightable.

Light[edit]

The Light Saedath is a very range-focused aspect. Not only does it provide protection from ranged attacks, but it also improves the effectiveness of your models as they can shoot at full effectiveness even while advancing.

  • Characterization - Blaze of Light: Units with this aspect count as stationary when shooting after moving or advancing and can't be hit on an unmodified 1-3 when attacked from over 12" away.
    • The defensive boost is equivalent to (if the rules didn't stop the modifier from applying) -2 to 2+ attacks and -1 to 3+ attacks, with no effect on worse BS or on weapons that hit automatically. It won't stack with hit penalties, but it will negate hit bonuses of arbitrary size within its range - e.g. a BS3+ attacker with +2 to hit still won't hit you on an unmodified 3, let alone a 2. The benefit of adding on a hit penalty, like Dense Cover, is that if your opponent tries to ignore your buff by bringing BS4+ or BS5+ shooting to bear, they're necessarily using the weapons hurt most by said penalty. The moving bonus is best on Heavy weapons.
    • Combine with Mirage Launchers on the already-mandatory -Weavers which prevent re-rolls to hit, and your opponent has no choice but to contend with a hard 50% max chance to hit at range. Stack -1 to hit on there and you'll never have friends ever again.
  • Warlord Trait - Player of the Light: Heroic Interventions have a 6" range and the Warlord gains +1 to Strength and Attacks when charging or heroically intervening. It's a pretty strong boost to the troupe master as the sole melee character of your army.
  • Stratagem - Capricious Reflections (1 CP): During your opponent's charge phase, a Light unit that's about to get charged can immediately move 6", forcing the enemy to charge someone different. While this does rob your guys of the ability to overwatch, this has incredible trolling potential, including being forced to charge at a wall of clowns defended by a Shadowseer instead of the Shadowseer itself.
  • Relic - Shadow Stone: Shadowseer only. Boosts auras to 9" and adds 3" to the range of Phantasmancy powers. This turns your Shadowseer into a major strongpoint, as they can make nearby troupes into an untouchable wall until they close in.

Dark[edit]

The Dark aspect is your beatstick faction, focused entirely on melee. This allows their trademark weapons to rip through even harder armor and guarantee that your clowns are always fighting.

  • Characterization - Dark Deeds: Melee attacks improve their AP by 1. Any time a model dies in melee before fighting, they can fight at the end of the phase before going down. That AP boost is really strong for the Harlequin weapons, making them effectively power swords with special tricks that kill MEQs in one hit.
  • Warlord Trait - Player of the Dark: Your Warlord deals a mortal wound on a natural 5+ to wound.
  • Stratagem - The Silken Knife (1 CP): During your charge phase, mark one unit. All Dark units charging this unit can ignore all overwatch and set to defend reactions, making sure you'll get to killing with all your boys.
  • Relic - The Ghoulmask: Allows the bearer to deny one power each turn, which stacks with the one deny Shadowseers already get. On top of this, the bearer gets a 3" aura that blocks ObSec from enemy units. This absolutely goes on a frontline unit, where the ability to deny the enemy from capping points is vital, though even the deny can see use on less-direct characters.

Twilight[edit]

As the Twilight is the edge between darkness and light, so too does the Twilight aspect represent the edge between life and death. This makes your army a risk-taking group, though it should be said that there's not much you lose from taking these lists.

  • Characterization - Twilight Falls: +1A when charging, charged, or heroically intervening for the entire Fight phase (so if you fight twice, you get the bonus twice). In addition, your units add +2" to their consolidation and pile-in distances. This has its own tricks of mobility.
  • Warlord Trait - Player of the Twilight: While the warlord is alive, you gain a CP on a 6 whenever you use a stratagem. In addition, whenever you use Luck of the Laughing God to chance more rolls, you gain an additional CP - even if you don't win. Expect to make back plenty of CP for it.
  • Stratagem - Malicious Frenzy (1 CP): Select a Twilight unit at the beginning of the Fight phase. Any natural 6s to hit automatically wound.
  • Relic - The Twilight Blade: Troupe Master only. This replaces their power sword, improving it to S+2 AP-3 D2 and gaining an extra number of attacks equal to the round number. This is the prime weapon to make a blender out of your troupe master, ripping through mobs and MEQ alike without an issue.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  • Favour of Cegorach: The warlord can re-roll one melee hit, wound, or save roll and make it an automatic 6. The Q2 2022 Dataslate has unfortunately limited the re-rolls to melee hit or wound rolls, which sadly lack the sizeable buffs shuriken weapons get.
  • Fractal Storm: Enemies attacking your warlord can't re-roll their hit or wound rolls, which is a pretty big deal considering how dependent on buff auras many armies tend to be.
  • A Foot in The Future: The Warlord rolls 3+d3" when measuring how far they advance and add 6"(!) to any charge rolls they make. There are plenty of uses for this, as advancing is a pretty frequent thing for your clowns to rely upon and something you'll don't want to be rolling badly at. The charge distance will also mean a lot for a beatstick Troupe Master.

Stratagems[edit]

  • Bladestorm (1 CP): Any Asuryani or Harlequins unit that rolls a natural 6 to hit with a shuriken weapon scores an additional hit.
  • Cegorach's Jest (1/2 CP): Use this when the enemy unit falls back from one of your infantry units. If you aren't locked in combat with any other unit, you can shoot that unit AFTER it finishes its fall back move for 1 CP, OR it can consolidate up to 6" for 2 CP. Either way, this is a potent way to harass the target even further or guarantee that they are completely wiped out.
  • The Great Enemy (1 CP): Used whenever a friendly Asuryani/Harlequins/Ynnari unit is chosen to fight. Re-roll all failed to-wound rolls against a unit with the SLAANESH keyword. Can be extremely usefully against Obliterators and Havocs as everybody and their dog gives them mark of Slaanesh to use Endless Cacophony.
  • Lightning Fast Reactions (1 CP): Used when a friendly non-monster unit is targeted by a ranged or melee weapon. All attacks against that unit are resolved at -1 to hit for the rest of the phase. Considering how flimsy your forces are, expect to use this a LOT, especially since you lack the Craftworld's incredibly powerful Battle Focus.
  • Murderous Spectacle (2 CP): When a harlequins infantry unit makes a charge move, add 1 to the damage characteristic of melee weapons they are equipped with to a maximum of 3 until the end of the turn. With all the 2W units popping up with the space marines, you'll absolutely be needing this to rip through their bloat.
  • Prismatic Blur (1 CP): Select a harlequins infantry unit from your army that has advanced more than 8". It gains a 3+ invulnerable save until the start of your next command phase. Considering that these are your flimsiest units, the boosted invuln is a powerful insurance policy for their survival.
  • Virtuosos of the Webway (1 CP): At the end of your movement phase, select one harlequins unit not within engagement range of enemies. That unit immediately leaves the board and hops into strategic reserves. Had a troupe that was chasing something on the other end of the battlefield that you need back with the rest? In fear of that 12-clown blob getting deleted in the next turn of shooting? Use this shit.
  • War Dancers (3CP): Standard Fight Twice Stratagem, can only be used once per battle round on a single Troupe. Sweet! Just think about how a Twilight 12-elf troupe will yield 120 attacks on the charge.
  • Dramatic Entrance (1CP): At the end of your opponent's Charge phase, a harlequins infantry unit is able to perform a Heroic Intervention at 6" instead of 3". This is especially vital in protecting an exposed Shadowseer or Death Jester from an oncomimg murder mob.
  • Heroes' Path (1 CP): Use at the start of the Movement Phase. If a Troupe Master and either a Shadowseer or Death Jester are on the board, you can add 2 to the move characteristic of said models and add 1 to charge rolls made for them. Decent little buff to mobility, though you aren't particularly lacking on that.
  • Multifaceted Mind (1 CP): Allows a Farseer, Shadowseer or Yvraine to cast after performing a psychic action, in case you picked those secondary objectives.
  • No Price too Steep (2 CP): In the fight phase, when a HARLEQUINS CHARACTER that has not already been selected to fight this phase is destroyed, do not remove that model from play. It can fight after the attacking model’s unit has finished making its attacks. If that model was a Solitaire, or was destroyed by a CHAOS unit, until the end of the phase, add 1 to that model’s attacks and strength characteristics for this final attack. Your opponent just took out your super-buffed character? Let them get a round of combat in at the very least before they actually die.
  • Torments of The Fiery Pit (1 CP): In the Fight phase, pick a HARLEQUINS CHARACTER (except a Solitaire) that has lost any Wounds this Battle Round. Increase their Strength and Attack characteristic by 1 for the rest of this phase. Putting out more hurt is never a bad idea, though it might be slightly rare that it'll come up before your character gets splatted.
  • Unparalleled Mastery (1 CP): One Farseer, Shadowseer, Yvraine or the Yncarne can cast an additional power after successfully casting the first. Ohhh, expect to use this a lot to one-up Tzeentch's bitches.
  • Champion of the Aeldari (1 CP): The typical "another character gains a WT", though this one is special in that it also allows you to provide a WT to a Harlequins character, even if they're in an allied detachment. Unfortunately, this won't work with Dark Eldar because...
  • Favoured of the Laughing God (1 CP): You have this. Unlike the above strat, this one can work even if you don't have a Harlequin HQ and thus can be used if you ally in with a Dark Eldar detachment.
  • Treasures of the Aeldari (1 CP): The typical "another character gains a relic" stratagem. Notably, this allows you to provide gifts to Harlequins, even if they're attached to the Commorites.
  • The Curtain Falls (1 CP): After fighting, a harlequin infantry unit can immediately fall back into their transport provided that it's within 6". This is sure to infuriate your enemies, as they're forced to watch as their prey scurry back into their clown car and then flee with a few parting shots.
  • Feigned Retreat (1/2 CP): Pick a unit that has fallen back this turn; it can now shoot or charge despite having fallen back, though spending 2 CP allows you to do both. Your entire unit lives and dies on strike-and-fade tactics, and this can especially be useful on a Dark or Twilight detachment.
  • Fire and Fade (2 CP): After a non-AIRCRAFT unit shoots, it can move 7" as if it was the movement phase; however, it will be unable to charge that turn. Still a small price to pay for getting move-shoot-move back for your Harlequins. It gives a great mobility boost as well as Advance-Shoot-Move is possible. Finally it can be a nice option to get a unit back into cover after it has finished off a unit in the shooting phase.
  • Mocking Laughter (1 CP): At the start of the morale phase, select one enemy unit within 12” of a Death Jester from your army. Until the end of the phase, your opponent cannot select that unit for the Insane Bravery stratagem, nor can they use any rule that would let them re-roll morale tests for that unit. If a morale test is taken for that unit that fails, any action that unit is performing immediately fails.
  • Phantasm (2 CP): Used at the beginning of the game but before the first player turn has begun. You may immediately remove up to 3 friendly non-Titanic units and re-deploy them or throw them into Strategic Reserves without spending extra CP. Nice if you deployed first for a quick counter-deployment strategy in case you fucked up your unit placement. Considering how a properly positioned Eldar unit is critical, this can be a good backup plan. Alternatively, if you have the CP to spare, you can attempt to influence or bait your opponent's deployment by setting up a few key units (like your VoidWeaver) in a position that heavily encourages him/her to focus on either setting up in a manner to exclusively avoid or target those units. Once the deployment is finished, you can place that Fire Prism he could've sworn was just sitting out in the open way down field of those devastators he sent after it with a clear flanking shot on them.
    • Do note that using this tactic offensively will likely only work once or twice against most people, and even then you shouldn't base your core strategy around it. Try to save it for tournaments or games against irregular opponents and if you're confident you can afford the CP or potential risk to your important units.
  • Webway Strike (1/3 CP): This lets you deep strike a single INFANTRY or BIKER unit of your choice! Pay 3 CP instead to deepstrike two such units. This is still an excellent stratagem for any non-VEHICLE or MONSTER units you want to either protect for the opening turn or to outflank vulnerable positions in your enemy's lines. As they follow standard deepstriking rules, this is the superior choice to Strategic Reserves but can be used in conjunction with it.
  • A Deadly Embrace (1 CP): The stratagem for the Harlequin's Embrace. When a harlequin's embrace unit charges or heroically intervenes a non-monster non-vehicle unit, roll a d6 for every model in your unit; each 4+ scores a mortal wound to a maximum of 6. This can make for a very potent opening salvo before you throw a punch.
  • Haywire Charges (1 CP): Same as Commorites, a unit can throw one of these instead of shooting. If it hits a VEHICLE, then it inflicts D3 Mortal Wounds. Good for polishing off a near-dead thing or dropping a Damage Tier.
  • Kiss of Death (1 CP): The stratagem for the Harlequin's Kiss. A harlequin's kiss unit that fights in combat scores a mortal wound (max of 6) on a natual 6 to wound, allowing you to maximize damage on multi-wound mobs like Termies.
  • Oblivion's Caress (2 CP): The stratagem for the Harlequin's Caress. A harlequin's caress unit that fights in combat ignores all saves, letting them be more useful on daemons and skitarii, where invulns tend to be common.

Psychic Powers[edit]

Phantasmancy is the unique Harlequins discipline, and it's a grab bag of buffs, debuffs, and a few direct attacks.

Phantasmancy[edit]

Overall an okay discipline, but it requires a lot of careful thought to utilize properly. Broadly speaking, the best powers to take on 2 Shadowseers are Webway Dance and Veil of Tears on the Shadowseer in the back and Twilight Pathways and Fog of Dreams on the one in the front; if you only have one, Twilight Pathways and Veil of Tears are probably the best combo intrinsically, letting you get 1 thing you want in position and hard to hurt, but your mileage may vary.

  1. Twilight Pathways: Warp Charge 6. One <Saedath> Core or Character within 6" can immediately move, advance, or fall back, though they cannot charge if they do this. This is potentially the most useful of the psychic powers, granting a huge mobility boost, especially considering the huge movement speed of Harlequins. However, it is limited by its short range; you will need to carefully position your Shadowseer if you want to get the most use out of this power. With proper placement it can be used to slingshot units across the board to vital locations (objectives). Units affected by this cannot make charges. Tricky to properly utilize, very much gutted from what it was last edition.
  2. Fog of Dreams Warp Charge 6. Select one <Saedath> Core or Character within 12". Nobody can shoot at this unit unless they are the closest target or within 12" of the enemy. If you're anxious to protect a troupe from getting shot at as they step out of their starweaver or need to protect a Death Jester from fire, this will give you the assurance you need.
  3. Mirror of Minds Warp Charge 7. One enemy unit (doesn't need to be visible!) within 18" takes d3 mortal wounds and you and the opponent roll off. If you roll equal to or higher than them, they take a Mortal Wound. Repeat until they've taken 6 mortals total from both the 1d3 and the roll-offs, until they roll higher than you, or the unit dies. That means the total average number of mortal wounds swings tremendously with the initial d3 - if you roll a 3, you only need to win 3 roll-offs to reach 6, which is exponentially easier than if you roll a 1 and need to win 5. The net average you inflict after the cast is slightly more than 3.22, which means accounting for the odds of casting it's slightly less than 1.88, beating Smite's average of 1.79. This is a usable but unreliable character sniping tool (remember that the restrictions on targeting Characters do not apply in the Psychic Phase). A few lucky rolls will kill weaker Characters like Priests and Commissars, and it's best used for that purpose, as more powerful characters usually have too many wounds to bother.
    • As the lion's share of this power's mortal wounds come from the initial d3, if you're going to spend a CP re-rolling something, do it to the d3 if it shows a 1.
  4. Veil of Tears Warp Charge 7. Pick an enemy unit within 18". This unit cannot shoot any <Saedath> units beyond 18". This is essentially your protection for Voidweavers and Skyrunners that want to target a unit without worrying about them firing back. What this won't do is guarantee protection from any nearby enemies that can still shoot these units down with impunity.
  5. Shards Of Light Warp Charge 7. Smite that deals 1 mortal wound or 1d3 if against a unit with over 6 models or a Monster/Vehicle. This unit will also suffer -2 to Leadership checks until your next psychic phase.
    • Needless to say, the damage output for this was drastically reduced for small units - it's very easy to take this power and find yourself never wanting to cast it.
    • This power has a pretty decent niche when stacked with other leadership debuffs and the Craftworlds spell Mind War, allowing you to more reliably kill one character a turn in the psychic phase.
  6. Webway Dance Warp Charge 7. Friendly <Saedath> units within 6" of the user get a 6+++. The 6" bubble is an Aura - i.e. the FnP is provided at the time the damage is dealt, not at the time the power is cast, unlike Fog of Dreams - making this power broadly terrible combined with Twilight Pathways and less than excellent with Veil of Tears. Any target within 6" is also within 18", so if you have something friendly you plan on keeping near your Shadowseer, you can apply both buffs to it, without worrying about things like the target having a special rule that triggers on you casting a power on or near it (like Deny the Witch).
    • Crucially, this is the only buff spell that can affect your vehicles. Keep it in mind.

Secondary Objectives[edit]

More points, so you have a way to win other than just trying to murder all of your opponent's stuff. Keep in mind you can only take one from each category. Also keep in mind that these are only the generic ones, there are a few mission-specific ones too.

These ones focus on killing specific things. Most of these should be pretty easy to score for you.

  • Assassinate: 3 VP for each Character you kill. Nice and easy, send a Solitare in and melt a poor bastard, have a Jester with Cegorach's Lament pop a Commissar out of existence, hell, even a basic squad of clowns can score this.
  • Bring it Down: 2 VP for any Monster or Vehicle you kill with 10 or less wounds, 3 VP for any with over 10 wounds. Haywire will do wonders here if you're spamming bikes, Fusion too so long as invulns aren't all too prevalent.
  • Titan Slayers: 10 VP if you kill one Titanic model, but you max out at 15 if you kill more than one. Auto-take versus a knight list, haywire bikes are probably the best way to deal with knights out of all Eldar factions, especially given the mortal wounds which will bypass any invuln saves, unlike fusion pistols.
  • Slay the Warlord: 6 VP for killing the warlord. Skip this, you can easily kill characters as is and unless they've only got one, just take assassinate.

Loss based, essentially. Focuses on having less stuff destroyed than your opponent for scoring, or destroying more depending on your perspective. A mixed bag for your circus.

  • A Deadly Performance (Codex): A multifaceted secondary, you have four different tasks you can accomplish each turn (Have a unit control an objective you didn't already control on the previous turn, have a unit inside the enemy DZ, kill 2+ enemy units in shooting or kill 3+ enemy units in melee). You score 3 VP if you accomplish at least two of them, so you don't need to feel pressured if you can't kill enough enemies if you can instead claim their point or throw a unit into the other end of the board. Just make sure you don't lose focus on anything else.
  • Thin Their Ranks: Essentially 1 VP for every 10 models you kill, or 1 for a model with 10 wounds. Ideal for horde armies, like Guard or Orks, blows ass against elite armies like Custodes. You should have no issues scoring this with the sheer amount of attacks Troupes can spit out and the fact that haywire cannons are blast weapons.
  • Attrition: At the end of each turn, you win 4 VP if you have killed more enemy units then the enemy killed your units. Your units are pretty fragile so unless you're able to strike hard enough to delete everything before they can do that to you, skip this.
  • While We Stand, We Fight: Select the three most expensive models in your army, counting all the wargear options. For each of these models that remains at the end of the game, you earn 5 VP. Likely gonna be Shadowseers and Solitares, the former of which can be pretty damn durable with all the hit and wound modifiers they can put out, though Solitares are more likely to die.

Movement based stuff, auto-take one of these, trust me. Starweavers (after they've dropped off their Troupes) and Bikes are exceptionally good for these.

  • Engage on All Fronts: Score 2 VP if you have units totally within 3 table quarters and more than 6" away from the center of the board. You instead get 3 VP if you have units totally within each quarter and more than 6" away from the center of the table. Pretty simple, Jesters holding your back half are basically scoring half of this for you and everything else being in your opponent's face should have the last two for you as well.
  • Linebreaker: 6 VP at the turn's end if you get 2+ units (excluding Aircraft) in the enemy deployment zone. Also easy, since you wanna be in melee range of your opponent's stuff. The only time you might not want this is when you're against a fast army as well.
  • Take Your Places (Codex): After deploying, three additional objectives must be placed: one on your DZ, one on the enemy DZ and the last in the middle so long as each one is not within 9" of another objective or within 6" of the table edge. You score 2 VP each turn where you control two of them, and this is upped to 4 if you control all three objectives.
  • Total Domination: 3 VP if you own more than half the board's objectives. This'll likely be the hard one, though if you can get your clown cars onto points the second you've dropped your dudes off, then you should be golden for at least a turn or two.

A lot of these are action based. They each have their own rules but all universally share some traits. You can't perform them if you've advanced or fell back with the unit you want to do it with or are within engagement range of an enemy unit. Character auras don't work while they are doing this, and the action fails if your unit does basically anything. Moves, advances, charges, falls back, shoots, casts a psyker power, or heroically intervenes. One thing to note is that Warp Spiders can use their Flickerjump and still do these for you.

  • Investigate Sites: Your Infantry units (excluding Character) gain a new action each turn. If they move within 6" of the table center and end the turn with no units (excluding Aircraft) within 6" of them, you win 3 VP. If you want to take this, make sure the Troupe you're running it with has a Shadowseer babysitting them with shield from harm and veil/fog.
  • Repair Teleport Homer: Your Infantry units (sans Character) gain a new action each turn. If they move so they're totally within the enemy DZ and have them survive until your next command phase, you win 5 VP. Less ideal, since you don't want your clowns exposed doing this. Doable, but a pass for me.
  • Raise the Banners High: Your Infantry units gain a new action each turn in an attempt to emulate Dawn of War. When they move next to an objective that isn't within range of an enemy unit (excluding Aircraft), they can choose to plant a flag at the start of your next command phase so long as they still aren't threatened. At the end of every Command Phase and at the end of the game, you score 1 VP for each flag you have on an objective. Be sure to guard your objectives, as the enemy can immediately rip down your flags when they control your objectives. Keep in mind that this is done at the start of your turn, so you can freely advance onto objectives in the previous turn and do this just fine.

These give you a new power that functions similar to an action. You can perils off of these and they can be denied, though if you try and use these you cannot use any of the psyker's other powers. You'll probably wanna only take these if you've got more than one Shadowseer or have some Craftworld allies that can handle these. Otherwise you'll be leaving your other units at a disadvantage with the lack of buffs.

  • Mental Interrogation: Your Psyker units gain a new power. During the psychic phase, they can cast this power on a 4+ on an enemy Character within 18" and gain 3 VP. You should be able to get into position for this easily, though make sure your Shadowseer has some sorta bodyguard.
  • Psychic Ritual: Your Psyker units gain a new power. Score 5 VP if you get a Psyker unit within 6" of the table center and cast this special power on a 3+, maxing out at 15 points if you do it three times in a game. A similar case to Investigate Sites where shield from harm and whatever minuses to hit will help, though you'll want something babysitting your Shadowseer this time around.
  • Abhor the Witch: You can't take any Psyker units for this. Why you wouldn't take a Shadowseer is beyond me but if you're set on it and your opponent has psykers, not a bad choice. You gain 5 VP for any Psyker Character you kill and 3 VP for any other Psyker units killed. Assassinate is easy enough as is, so this'll be easy as well for similar reasons.
  • Weave Veil (Codex): Your Shadowseers gain a special psychic action. Instead of a power, they can instead cast a WC4 power that tags them, scoring you 3 VP and upping the WC of the power by 1. This is essentially an easier Mental Interrogation and one that you can very easily apply with Multifaceted Mind.

Armory[edit]

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Shuriken Pistol Identical to the Craftworld Eldar version, most of your units get this base. Pistol 12" S4 AP-1 is eh, but AP-3 on a 6 to wound makes it moderately useful, and it adds a little extra killing power up close. Remember that it can be fired in melee now. You generally want Fusion pistols if you can afford them, however you always want one Troupe per unit carrying a Shuriken Pistol so you can still spam Grenades.
  • Fusion Pistol Just like the Craftworld Eldar version, but you get to take it on Troops. It has a tiny 6" range, but S9 AP-4 and D6+2 damage makes it a powerful tool for melting vehicles and monsters. Remember that your units are fast and can leapfrog enemy units, which allows you to occasionally catch out a poorly placed Character. Being able to fire it in assault makes it a more worthwhile pickup for Troupe Masters.
  • Neuro Disruptor: 12" range at S6 AP-3 D1 at 5 points. Underwhelming? Not at all. Unless you shoot at a vehicle, successful hits will inflict a mortal wound on a target instead of normal damage, bypassing saves.
  • Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher: Not a grenade, but an 18" range Assault D3 weapon exclusive to the Shadowseer. On hit, you roll a 2D6, and if it's equal to or higher than the target's leadership they take D3 Mortal Wounds. Not a bad little toy, and could be seen as a slightly weaker extra Smite. Again, remember your speed and leapfrogging abilities- this can be used to snipe at badly bubble-wrapped Characters.
    • Stacks very nicely with LD debuffs, for obvious reasons
  • Skyweaver Haywire Cannon: One of your longer-ranged weapons at 24" Heavy D3+1 S3 AP-3 Dd3, Blast, against vehicles unmodified 4+ to wound always wounds and unmodified 6 to wound deals +1d3 mortals. Strictly worse than their 8th edition incarnation against anything with an invuln save, but the normal shots will basically deny anything an armour save. Also worse against infantry than it was, though it can still do work against GEQs with blast.
  • Voidweaver Haywire Cannon: Similar to the last entry, but heavier. 24" Heavy 2d3 S4 AP-3 D3, Blast, against vehicles unmodified 4+ to wound always wounds and unmodified 6 to wound deals +1d3 mortals. Your preferred prey will still be vehicles but the blast rule combined with the good AP and damage means it can put some serious hurt on MEQs and weaker units.
  • Prismatic Cannon: Exclusive to the Voidweaver, and gets to use one of two profiles, all of which are 36" Heavy:
    • 3D3 S5 AP-3 D1, Blast, good for fucking up marines and guardsmen alike.
    • 2 S12 AP-4 D2d3 for heavy hunting. Averages out to about 4 damage each successful wound.
  • Plasma Grenade: Your actual grenade. It's a D6 Grenade with S4 and AP-1. Nothing much to say, just remember to throw it when your Troupes shoot for a bit of extra damage.
  • Shrieker Cannon The Death Jester's special toy. A shuriken cannon with an extra point of AP and 30" of range that can snipe characters.
  • Shuriken Cannon The same gun your Craftworld buddies get. 24" range, Heavy 3 S6 AP-1 D2 with the ubiquitous AP-3 on a 6 to wound makes it a versatile and useful weapon that can be fired while maintaining mobility. The high strength means it'll wound on at least a 5+ against basically anything. Your Vehicles and Jetbikes get one or more of these standard.
  • Star Bolas One of two equipment options for Skyweavers. A D3 Assault weapon rather than a grenade now, with S6 Ap-3 D2, which is reasonably strong, but just like in 8th it's rarely worth choosing them over the Zephyrglaive. You already have better ways to do that kind of damage.
    • If you have a jet bike unit that you plan on just using for ranged, these aren't a bad idea. The stat line isn't something to laugh at and can put out the same sorta hurt shuriken cannons can.

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Harlequin's Blade: It's a free CC weapon with a bonus attack and AP-1. Does work against T3, and also some other select targets (see troupe entry for elaboration), particularly if you're in a Troupe master's Aura. That said you typically will only take it if you don't have the points for any of the below.
  • Harlequin's Caress/Embrace/Kiss:The Harlequin weapons were all folded into a S+1 AP-2 D2 statline. The only differentiating feature between them is which stratagem they can trigger. See that section for that info but otherwise these have a nice general profile that'll threaten the majority of units in the game.
  • Miststave: The special melee weapon for the Shadowseer, it hits hard with S+2, AP-1 and D1d3. While AP-1 is poor , the Shadowseer's 4 attacks let it do a surprising amount of damage up close for a Psyker. D3 damage, while not ideal compared to a flat 2 gives it a chance to splat other HQs if things go right.
  • Power Sword: Only available to Troupe Masters and exactly like any other Power Sword at S+1 AP-3, making it just about the same thing as the old Embrace. The only real reason to take one is for the Power Sword relic. The trade off of damage for the extra point of AP is questionable at best.
  • Zephyrglaive: The melee option for Skyweavers, a S+2 AP-2 weapon with 2 Damage. Combined with the extremely high speed of Skyweavers, it's a useful weapon for quickly wiping out MEQs. Send 'em in for backline support units or have them go in as the vanguard of your forces to tie up and hurt things while your footsloggers hop outta their clown cars.

Relics[edit]

  • The Storied Sword Replaces a Power Sword, and thus can only be taken by a Troupe Master. A nice little weapon with S+2 AP-3 D2 which automatically hit the target. Pairs nicely with the Veiled King Pivotal Role for reasons that should be obvious.
  • Cegorach's Rose: Replaces a Harlequin's Kiss, S+2 AP-2 D3 and rerolls failed wound rolls. A decent option that'll let your Troupe Master fuck with death guard and characters all the same.
  • Crescendo: Replaces a Shuriken Pistol. Fires a staggering 6 shots with a flat AP-3 D2 with Shuriken. A strange choice for a Troupe Master but a pretty solid option on a Shadowseer that wants to hang back outside of fights but still do some damage.
  • Suit of Hidden Knives: At the end of the fight phase, the bearer can make 3 additional melee attacks (cannot target TITANIC units). When resolving these attacks, each hit inflicts 1 mortal wound and the attack sequence ends. A decent way of finishing off a straggler or a hero on death's door before they could fight back.
    • Absolutely hilarious on a Death Jester with Rift Ghoul, which gives him a very surprising amount of mortal wound output in melee for a sniper character. Probably not competitive, though hilarious.
  • Starmist Raiment: Each time an attack is made against the bearer, the hit and wound roll cannot be rerolled. Once per battle in your command phase, you can trigger a 3+= invuln for the bearer until your next turn. Pretty meh compared to the old version, probably a pass but it can help make a unit more durable.
  • The Laughing God's Eye: Whilst within 6" of the bearer, units gain a 5+++ against mortal wounds. You've got psykers you should be taking to deny powers which shouldn't give you all too much trouble on that front, though if you're up against Thousand Sons or Grey Knights, a definite thing to consider at the least. Stick it on a Shadowseer or a second Troupe Master if you're gonna take it.

Unit Analysis[edit]

HQs[edit]

  • Troupe Master: No longer a squad sergeant as he was prior to 8th, but a full-fledged HQ, allowing you to fill out Detachments. Is reasonably cheap at just 75 Points barebones, and comes packing 6 attacks hitting on a 2+ with a basic blade and shuriken pistol at stock. Though you don't want to leave him like this. Upgrading him with relics and other wargear and buffs will turn this guy into an absolute monster in melee. He also has a buff aura, granting friendly Harlequins Core units within 6" re-roll 1s to wound. This is an extremely powerful buff to your Harlequins and should be leveraged as much as possible by keeping multiple units within the aura (remember that only one model needs to be within 6" for the whole unit to benefit). Ideally, a Troupe Master should be nearby whenever you get your clowns into a charge. He can spar with enemy HQs using a harlequin weapon (as the Kiss, Caress and Embrace are all effectively the same bar stratagems), or help a Troupe hack through enemy squads just as well.
    • Pivotal Roles: As of 9th edition, you now have to spend points for one of these boosts, but you're not sacrificing your buff aura, making for a better trade.
      +1 to charges for <Saedath> Core units within 6”. Probably not a good idea to take this with Player of the Light, even with the free extra inch. Harlequins are already fast as fuck and can basically guarantee charges in the move phase as is. Alternatively: If you really want to charge out of deep strike, this would definitely help. You're only going to have a 27.8% chance normally, increasing to a 47.9% chance if you re-roll the charge. If you slap a +1 on top, your chance to make the charge jumps up to 66%. Now, it's probably wise NOT to do this since you've got a 1/3 chance to waste 3CP; however, blitzing into the material plane just to beat the crap out of something is sooooo much cooler than beating stuff up normally.
      The troupe master's melee attacks ignore invulnerable saves on a 5+ to wound. While terminators won't give too much of a damn by having a 2+ save to fall back on, this can be more damaging against units like daemons or Wyches, where they need that Invuln to survive.
      For every melee attack against a unit that is not a MONSTER or VEHICLE, an unmodified wound roll of 2+ is always successful. With this no longer replacing anything, the value of this has gone up a good degree - after all, you're not getting that re-roll anyway because of the re-writes to auras. If you're not expecting to find many invulnerable saves, you can slap this on to ignore any issues with high-Toughness enemies.
  • Shadowseer: The Shadowseer clocks in at 100 points. Possessing the ability to cast two spells in the Psychic phase, a decent melee presence with 4 S6 AP-1 D1d3 attacks, and especially the Shield from Harm ability. The defensive counterpart to the Troupe Master's Choreographer of War, it means your opponent must subtract 1 to wound rolls against friendly Harlequins Core or Harlequins Character units within 6" of the Shadowseer. This is a potent defensive bonus and one of the few defenses you have available, and much like the Troupe Master's bonus should also be extended to as many units as possible at once. The sheer joy of seeing weapons have to wound your squishy, squishy clowns on a 5+ cannot be overstated. Shadowseers are too expensive to spam, but at least one is practically mandatory for any list, and two can be somewhat affordable.
    • Neuro Disruptors can be taken for 5 points, and may be worth consideration against higher leadership units, where the nearly guaranteed mortal wound will at least hurt. Against guardsmen, though, you're better off firing grenades into 'em.
    • Pivotal Roles: As of 9th edition, you now have to spend points for one of these boosts, but you're not sacrificing your buff aura, making for a better trade.
      -1A to every model in every enemy unit within 6” of this model. Far improved from the version that came out in Psychic Awakening, as it'll now affect the whole unit, rather than just individual models. Though this is per model, so against larger groups it can shave off a pretty big chunk of their threat alongside the basic defense aura. Works best on stuff that has an attack characteristic of 2, effectively halving their output.
      Mark one enemy unit within 12" of the Shadowseer - its buff auras are shut down. Stacking buff auras are a big part of the game this edition, so being able to shut one down can prove disastrous to the enemy, especially if it's something big like re-rolling to hit or the unit in question puts out multiple auras.
      One friendly <Saedath> Core units within 6” of this model counts as being an additional 6” away when shot at. Foils Rapid-Fire cheesing, prevents flamers from doing anything during overwatch. While the Q2 2022 Dataslate nerfed this to only work on one unit each turn, it's still a pretty decent buff.

Troops[edit]

  • Troupe: CORE Oh BOY shit has been shaken up for these guys. GW in all their retarded wisdom has decided to make it so you can only have each squad take what's actually in the box. No more fusion pistol spam, you're forced into using kisses or blades for most of the troupe, and they have a squad leader now with one extra wound, inexplicably. Kitted out by default with shuriken pistols and harlequin blades, each upgrade'll cost you 5 points, on already 13 point models, which you definitely should do for the most part. Cheaper than they were last edition, at the least. The old flip belt rules and such have been condensed down into Harlequin's Panoply, granting that same 4++ and the ability to jump over models and terrain in the move phase as if your clowns could fly. Rising Crescendo still lets them advance and charge freely. Already your clowns move 8" so this'll all but guarantee you to be within range to succeed a charge. Right now your best bet's to equip them with at least one of each melee option, excluding the blades so they have access to all the stratagems in each unit, making them relatively versatile in that regard at least. Overall you get a basic infantry that's incredibly fast, can shrug off melta shots just fine and are very much deadly with 4 base attacks in melee. All at only 13 points per model!
    • Their 4++ is equivalent to a 4+ against AP0 weapons (slightly worse, in fact, since Harlequins generally get no benefit at all from cover), massed anti-infantry firepower will absolutely shred them. You very much don't want these guys to be caught out in the open against even a squad of guardsmen, doubly so if within rapid fire range.
    • Alternatively, if you're up against something with either low toughness and/or poor saves that rely on numbers, such as GEQs in the former case and Orks in the latter, the default Harlequin's Blade is a decent weapon to pick up, having gained a point of AP and also granting a bonus attack. Orks are T5 meaning the blades will wound them just as reliably as the other melee weapons, that being on a 5+. Given a standard mob of boyz have a 6+, these swords will punch through their armour just as well as the other weapons too.
    • Made CORE in the Aeldari FAQ

Elites[edit]

  • Death Jester: The Jester retains its role as a sniper, but has some nasty tricks which make it better as a support unit. The first thing to note is that while in this edition it does actually get a melee weapon, it doesn't have a whole lot really going for it (S+1 AP-1 D1). So unlike most of your army, it will want to hang back, made a bit easier by its character status. The next thing to note is that the gun ignores Look Out, Sir and is thus capable of sniping characters regardless of whether they are the closest. However, there are still bodyguard units that'll interfere with this on occasion. Said gun is 30" Assault 3 S6 AP-2 D2, Shuriken. Probably a buff, given its previous incarnation, as this'll reliably threaten MEQ (average of 2.5 wounds dealt, which is 1.25 dead MEQ) and can scare your standard footslogging character. Death is Not Enough means any models this kills count as double for morale, meaning that you can pretty easily break units with a good round of shooting, especially if you throw more than just the Jester's shooting at it. Oh yeah, it also got bumped up to 5 attacks rather than 4, so there's that, I guess.
    • Pivotal Roles: Unlike last edition, you can take any of these while keeping your attrition booster.
      Each time the jester shoots, a natural 6 to hit scores scores 3 hits instead of 1 (the equivalent of +2 to hit, mathematically - you now land, on average, 7 hits for every 6 attacks you make). While not as powerful as last edition, this is still a massive bonus to their firepower, especially against beefy characters. The net benefit across the 3 attacks you make is that you should land, on average, 7/5 (1.4) times as many hits, or additively speaking, 1 additional hit (3.5, rather than the 2.5 a normal DJ lands). Against almost all possible targets, Rift Ghoul is better for the same purpose, so don't take this on your first Death Jester. Note that the Bladestorm stratagem can be used on this, getting you diminishing returns, as it will simply add another functional +1 to hit, taking you to a new accuracy of landing 4 hits every time you shoot your 3-shot gun.
      Any time the jester hits a non-Monster non-Vehicle unit, the target will suffer -2 to movement and can't overwatch or set to defend. This can be very handy as it can both shut down potential aggression before your clowns can make their jumps but it also makes sure that they can't defend themselves once your clowns charge.
      Any attacks the jester makes ignore cover and deal a mortal wound on a natural 4+ to wound, useful if you're dealing with armies that have plenty of cover boosts (like Genestealers) or just like to pretend they're in cover (Alaitoc, Raven Guard). This is also important for a dedicated character sniper, where dealing a mortal wound might be enough to take them down before needing to waste a second turn. The net benefit is, in general, 1.25 mortal wounds. This doesn't specify shooting or melee attacks, which means that it'll work in both. That'll certainly catch at least one or two opponents by surprise should they try and charge him.
  • Solitaire: You know it, you love it - but for now at least, a pretty poorly performing unit, because literally all it can do is murder things in melee, and it's pretty costly at 110 points for how hard it can hit compared to, say a troupe master with the twilight fang. All the same, it's still an incredibly powerful single model, with melee potential that will threaten any other infantry or character in the game. Functionally, he hasn't changed much between editions, though he has gotten a couple of buffs. Tougher than your standard clown, at S4 and T4, with his weapons hitting even harder than the normal clowns with a bonus point of strength and AP, working out in total to 8 S6 AP-3 D2 attacks every fight phase. Ouch. Combine that with a 12" move, putting him among the fastest infantry in the game, and he's a very, very scary target to any of your opponents. His trademark Blitz is still here, letting him add 2D6" to his move and adding 2 to the number of attacks he makes to 10. Between these traits and his 3++, you are looking at a highly mobile assassin more than equipped to take out characters. Oh yeah, he can use both the Harlequin's Kiss and Caress stratagems, the latter of which is almost certainly more useful for a character hunting Solitare. Sure, you might not be able to kill greater daemons and primarchs but you'll be able to tear through just about any footslogging character without a worry. Be careful, though, as he suffers from the same squishiness as the rest of your army with volume of fire being able to easily wipe him out. The psychological power of this model is not to be taken lightly. This is a model you want your opponent to make mistakes over and alleviate pressure on the rest of your army. Very fitting method of fucking with their mind.
    • A severe issue with this new codex version is its loss of the <Saedath> keyword. This not only forbids the solitaire from benefitting from the Shadowseer's powers, but it also means it cannot use starweavers for transports. Sure, it's fast enough to not worry about movement with how much it will advance anyways, but it is now very exposed to snipers and walls of overwatching infantry.
    • Solitaires can't take warlord traits, or relics this edition. There are only a couple relics that'd be worth considering taking on him but it's still a bummer.
    • Pivotal Roles: Unlike last edition, you can take any of these while keeping your Blitz.
      All enemies take a -1 to hit the solitaire and can't re-roll to hit. Considering how naked and exposed the solitaire has become, this has become a pretty easy auto-take to ensure they can actually survive until they can fight.
      You may set this model up in deep strike during deployment. After being brought in from deep strike, following the standard 9" rule and declaring a charge, roll 3d6 and discard one of the results. Very nice, though arguably the weakest of all three, which is saying something. On one hand, it's a way to safely get your Solitare into position, though there are also normal strategic reserves, heroes' path, and webway gates to achieve similar results without spending points.
      The solitaire always advances 6" and can move an additional 3" when consolidating. If you're in a small enough field where you can expect to get into battle immediately and to always find in a nearby battle, this is a great tool for covering ground. That said, big fields remain a massive issue for the solitaire.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Skyweaver: Clowns on bikes. By default, they come with a shuriken cannon and star bolas at 45 points per model. Do yourself a favor and buy the zephyrglaive. The star bolas are perfectly serviceable, and even better than they were last edition, but as with other Harlequin units, you want them in close combat, especially with the extra attack they picked up. The scary part is how mobile they are. A 16" move, plus a 6" automatic advance, then the charge. They also fly, so can fly over their enemies and play amazing hit and run (and hit again) tactics. At A4 W3 with their 4++ and -1 penalty to hit against anyone punching them while negating any re-rolls to hit them, they stick around longer than they have a right to, knocking out models all along the way. A good default tactic is to advance, then charge with Zephyrglaives, and just keep repeating. Keep in mind that they are among the most mobile units and, if needed, can also effectively harass MEQs, bikes and even some lighter vehicles at range with shuriken cannons before they swoop in for the kill.
    • Do yourself a favor and take these in 5-bike units to avoid blast. They're only really durable by elf standards. If you really want to hedge your bets, drop to 3 bikes for Morale immunity, since they're Ld 8 and hence can't fail Morale checks until they lose at least 3 bikes in a turn.
    • Note the Zephyrglaive occupies a much more vital role as a D2 weapon. With the rise of 2-wound Marines and the like, you're going to be needing that extra point of damage to strike down anything that's still standing from an initial volley from your shuricannons.
    • Star Bolas aren't as useless as last edition. Now being Assault d3 Blast with their statline, they can pretty easily strike down MEQ. That said, it's still a shooting weapon when you want a melee weapon to make the most of Rising Crescendo.
      • Alternative take, as the other ranged weapons are now heavy rather than assualt, these might be something to consider if you want to run them as a mobile, shooty unit outside of a Light Saedath.
    • You should definitely consider haywire cannons. They're worthless against monsters, but with fusion pistol boats being a thing of the past these are probably your best bet against vehicles. While the haywire cannon has Blast on it, S3 means that it will suffer to wound anything beyond S3, which most mobs won't be. Even then, you're not taking these to kill mobs, you have your other units to handle them. The haywire cannons auto-wound vehicles on a 4+ anyway,

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • Starweaver: Because you really, really want to get your troupes up close and personal and that is 100% of the time you field them, especially with their automatic 6 to advance rolls. For armament it has shuriken cannons, while not phenomenal, it is a long-range gun option for your clowns and has the welcome AP boost to threaten light vehicles. It is no slouch in melee either; it has the best WS of all vehicles with marine-esque 3+, and with A4 S5 it can now possibly kill a few MEQ/GEQ on its own, and then have the clowns inside pepper them with their pistols. It's also regained its -1 to hit it in, as well as negating re-rolls, providing a massive perk to survivability. All is good, but, honestly, the worst part is that it can only carry 6 <SAEDATH> INFANTRY. Very much an easy pickup for 80 points The WH40k Balance Dataslate Q2 2022 has increased their base points to 95, making it still very much useable, just no longer under-costed.
    • Disembark your clowns and then charge these in first to eat overwatch for the squishier guys. Not only will this thing stand up to massed bolter fire better, being wounded on 5s but it's also not too terrible in melee either as stated above.

Heavy Support[edit]

Voidweaver: Mini Fire Prism. Same hull as the Starweaver but with more gun instead of transport capacity. The real question is are they worth taking? In 8th, not really, though in 9th now? Probably. With the Haywire and Prismatic Cannons both being heavy weapons, you can't really advance with it if you still wanna shot, though Light Saedeth lets you go full speed with no penalty. At a flat 90 points 130 points since the WH40k Balance Dataslate Q2 2022, it is now fairly costly for the firepower it offers. What you should really take it for though is that it's a t5 unit that can bodyguard for your Death Jesters, assuming you're running multiple, while putting out shots at the same range.

  • Since Prismatic Cannons now cost the same amount as Haywires, you'll almost always take the Prismatic Cannon since bikes are a much more spammable method of getting Haywire onto the field. Never mind this is the best way for you to deal with monsters, battlesuits and anything else that isn't a vehicle but is still tough. It can put out two S12 shots with its focused mode at 36" that'll cut through just about any vehicle save. And with 2D3 damage (Averaging out to about 4 per shot), it'll certainly fucking hurt whatever you fire it at, assuming no invulns are involved. The other profile will throw out more shots that'll fry any GEQs and put some hurt on MEQs too. Blast means it'll hurt big blobs too.
    • The haywire is far from a bad option too, capable of throwing more shots out than the bike one, along with doing a flat 3 damage, auto-wounding on 4s versus vehicles compared to the D3 the bike ones deal. Still probably not the best option though.

Fortifications[edit]

  • Webway Gate: For 95 points you can finally pick this giant arc. Fluffwise, it is the very reason of Eldar trollability to suddenly appear somewhere, where they completely shouldn't be. Crunchwise, it is still a pair of giant arcs with T8, 14 wounds, 3+ and 5++ which helps you to deep strike your units, including halving the cost to throw units into combat reserves. Each arc counts as light cover, heavy cover, unstable position (though who the fuck was gonna climb it anyways) and Inspiring to all Eldar. It can be set up anywhere on the battlefield more than 12" from enemy deployment zone and their units during your deployment and, of course, is immobile after that. What it allows you to do, is to let your units emerge from combat reserves by placing them within 6" of the gate, allowing them to emerge within 9" of an enemy - even straight into combat where they'll count as having charged the BAHLD AND FEWLISH enemies. Of course, if the gate is destroyed, all units that were in the gate's Webway (the Webway form Webway Assault stratagem is not the same one) are slain. On the one part, it does let you save some CP from throwing some units into Strategic Reserves and furthermore allows you to deep strike your Vehicles. Still, the restriction for its placement and its relative size poses a large threat that your opponent will decide to just blast it to hell with artillery first, thus making actually using the gate a bit of "Risk-Reward" tactics, if not even a bit of a doubtful one. You can take two (or more) and store all your reserves without deciding beforehand where they're coming out of and making it harder for the opponent to block you out. The model is very nice though, so don't restrain yourself from using it as a piece of terrain.
  • Universal Fortifications: Harlequins benefit more than most from taking Bunkers and Bastions. Assuming a 6" diameter building, they have an effective threat range of a 42" circle (this is often squished into an oval due to deployment zones), or roughly a quarter of the board. While your faction transports are certainly faster, the building are far more durable.
    • Note that these will require a fortification detachment, which may be an issue if you plan on spamming for CP.

Army Building and Tactics[edit]

Army Building[edit]

If you're interested in running clowns, for the most part it's recommended to run them alongside some other form of eldar too. See the other pages for starting with these armies. If you want to run pure harlequins though, below is a decent way to get started.

  • 3 boxes of troupes: These come with Troupe Masters too and are the only way to fill out a battalion. Build them with at least one of each of the special melee weapons and fusion pistols, along with one clown naked to absorb a wound from transports dying or overwatch is the most common way of setting up a squad.
  • 2-3 skyweavers: The bikes in 8th were typically considered one of the best units in the army, easily able to deal with vehicles and marines alike. For the most part this still holds true, being your best shooting unit based on volume of fire. Typically you'll wanna build 'em with haywire for some anti-vehicle goodness, especially with limited fusion in clown squads.
  • 2-3 starweavers: These are pretty much required for each unit of troupes you aren't deepstriking in, they'll get them across the board faster and once they've unloaded, you can send them off to camp on objectives for you if you don't have anything else to, or to eat overwatch for the troupes aboard.

Once you've got the basics, maybe played a few games to get a feel for just how the army runs, expand out in pretty much whatever direction you want. Sure, your options are limited but grabbing a shadowseer, a solitare and a death jester are generally good next steps and you can never go wrong with more bikes.

Souping[edit]

Another option to expand, Harlequins can be brought alongside any other army that has the Aeldari keyword, this includes Craftworlds, Drukhari and Ynnari. As you've already got some blisteringly fast, expensive(ish) melee units, Craftworlds can bring in some Wraith units or grav tanks for some durability while Drukhari can get you cheap, longer range shooty units that can crap out ungodly amounts of poison with kabals. Check out the other pages and take what'll compliment your army fit your tastes. Just keep in mind that they need to be kept in separate detachments, which the clowns have a rule to allow you to take a patrol alongside another army without them losing any of their bonuses for remaining mono-faction.

Tactics[edit]

Harlequins are a fast and deadly melee army, though are pretty squishy. You'll wanna place every unit you can out of LOS when deploying, along with a unit or two in deepstrike. These should typically be just normal clowns or bikes but if you need space to hide everything, a starweaver isn't a bad choice either. Your units are blenders and will easily wipe out just about every infantry unit in game, though they need to be supported with psychic powers and more importantly, stratagems. If playing mono-harlequins, take only one detachment and don't splurge for more relics than you need to. Your ability to stay in the game is very much determined by playing smart and making proper use of the base game mechanics to get the most out of your fragile units. This is not a good army to start with for newcomers to the game but ultimately, you do you.

Abuse the fuck out of your mobility, stay in combat or out of line of sight to avoid being shot at. Given all our units can ignore models in the move and charge phase, you can use this to wrap around the backside of units in combat, allowing you to get more units in. For the love of god make sure you're using terrain to your advantage for LOS blocking before you charge, as it can deny overwatch. Against shooting heavy armies like Tau, consider using things like the Silken Shroud stratagem to deny overwatch.