New Eldar Harlequin Rules JDK

harlies2I have mixed feelings about the rumors of a new Harlie codex.  I remember back in the day when making a harlie force was doable.  And I can still visualize the White Dwarf pages from 1980-something when they first came out and had tables to roll on for psychic powers and had all the coolest gear.  They’ve been really pruned back in the last couple iterations, which is a shame, though I’m not totally convinced they should have a full army codex of their own.  Though it has gotten me to thinking, and so I decided to present my own JDK (as opposed to 40K… you know, I’m J. D. Brink…) version of a quick Harlequin Codex.

Harlequins should be like mashed potatoes: light and fluffy.  I don’t feel like giving them any heavy vehicles or kitting them out too much goes well with their fluff.  They should remain small, quick, and generally silent.  With that in mind, as well as the current Eldar codex, these are my fast and dirty Harlie lineup ideas:

ARMY SPECIAL RULES

Standard special rules for the “army” are: Fleet, Hit & Run, and Furious Charge.  These are as the Harlies currently have them in the Eldar Codex (as opposed to Ancient Doom and Battle Focus) and they fit well.  Let’s make that standard across all our units.

FORCE ORGanization

Using the standard force org, with the following special consideration.

— Harlequin units (like those in the Eldar Codex) are considered Elites.  However, you may take a number of Harlequin units as Troops equal to your number of Mime (Troops) units.  Any Harlequin troupes beyond the number of Mime troupes must take up an Elite slot.

— Death Jesters are not a Harlie upgrade but a separate Heavy Support entry.

HarlequinsHQs

Character models of the Rogue Trader Era included Warlocks, Avatars, High Warlocks, and High Avatars.  Of course those names are taken by others with Craftworld Eldar now, so we’d have to come up with something else.

I’m not going to go too into making up stats and special rules and all.  My basic ideas would be:

Solitaire:  Max of one on the board (not just one per detachment), an Independent Character that cannot join any units.  Stats would be similar to a Phoenix Lord (but no armor save).  They might has a short list of “warrior powers” to choose from that can make them more badass.

— Gear: Rictus Mask, various weapon options.

— Friend of the Wind: May choose one of the following: Infiltrate, Scout, or Deepstrike.  The Solitaire may also choose in the Movement phase to disappear, going back into reserve to Deepstrike next turn.  Whenever he does Deepstrike, he scatters only D6″ and can do so into terrain without suffering a Dangerous Terrain test.

— She Who Thirsts: The Solitaire’s role in the Dance comes through in his or her very nature.  He is a Level 1 psychic with the Terrify telepathy power.

— The Art of Disappearance:  No one uses a Holosuit like a Solitaire.  He/She has a 3++ invuln save against ranged attacks and a 4++ invuln against close combat attacks.

— Blade Dancer: In a duel, he/she rerolls to hit and to wound.

“High Warlock”: (they used to be called that)  This would be a level 2 psychic, upgradable to 3, who can pick either Telepathy or Telekinesis as their discipline.

— Mind Link: All Harlequin units within 12″ can use her Ld (10) when making Ld checks.

“High Avatar”:  Some form of badass combat leader.  Like the Solitaire, he of she might have special ability and weapon options.

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TROOPS

Mimes:  Mimes are like your less experienced Harlequins, the understudies of the performance crowd.  Let’s make Mimes basically the same as Storm and Defender Guardians.

— Gear:  Instead of armor, they wear Flipbelts and Holosuits.  Like Guardians, kit them as either shuriken catapult squads or sword and pistol squads, with similar options on gear.

Master Mimes:  These are upgrade squad leaders for Mimes, not a free-standing unit.  WS5, A2, LD9.

— Silence:  Master Mimes can project a psychic aura that “silences” other psychic powers.  He and his unit Deny the Witch on a 3+ and all other units within 6″ can Deny on a 4+.

— Gear: Blades of Grace — twinned mono-edged sabres that incorporate shuriken pistols like the scorpion chainsabres.

Weapon Profile: S(as user) AP6 Rending, A+1 (cuz there’s two of them)

Skyrider Jetbikes: Mimes on bikes.  Basically, same as Windriders.  Can upgrade one to a Master Mime.

— Aerial Artistry: All Harlequin jetbikes incorporate a Holo-field.  This combined with their daring aerial acrobatics allow them to take a 5+ Jink (cover) save even when firing their weapons, and a 4+ if they Turboboost (like in 6th edition).  Barring that, they may take a 6++ invuln save (based on holosuit technology).

ELITES

Harlequins: Basically as they appear in the Eldar Codex now with the Troupe Master upgrade available.  Shadowseers are also an upgrade model that can only be taken with a Harlequin troupe, but I’m adding some stuff.

— Gear: As normal, but I’m changing the rules slightly for Kisses and adding some other options.  (See below)

— Shadowseer: The Shadowseers retain the Veil of Tears power.  They can also allow the unit to Deepstrike onto the board, ignoring the Dangerous Terrain tests for terrain if they land in it.  (Seems they were there all the time, you just didn’t know it.)  Also see my new Hallucinogen Grenade rules below.

FAST ATTACK

Harlequin Jetbikes:  Basically Harlequin stats on a jetbike (with T4 of course).  May have an upgrade to a Shadowseer and Troupe Master.  Cannot take a Kiss (moving to fast) but can take a Jetbiker Flail.

— Aerial Artistry: All Harlequin jetbikes incorporate a Holo-field.  This combined with their daring aerial acrobatics allow them to take a 5+ Jink (cover) save even when firing their weapons, and a 4+ if they Turboboost (like in 6th edition).  Barring that, they may take a 6++ invuln save (based on holosuit technology).

— Jetbiker Flail:  (Optional unit upgrade.)  These are vicious weighted flails and bolas of monofilament line.  The Harlequin Bikers tangle them around their foes then jet off again, jerking the razor-thin cords right through their prey.  These weapons are only usable on the charge and the unit is obligated to perform a Hit & Run at the end of the combat round (if they fail it only means that they didn’t quite get away, but the attack is already finished).

Biker Flail profile: S+3(includes furious charge), AP3, Armorbane, on charge only, must attempt Hit & Run

Air Dancers:  Mimes with Jump Troop rules.

Vyper Squadron: Same as in Eldar Codex.  (In my opinion, about as big a vehicle as Harlies should be flying.)

— Aerial Artistry: All Harlequin jetbikes incorporate a Holo-field.  This combined with their daring aerial acrobatics allow them to take a 5+ Jink (cover) save even when firing their weapons, and a 4+ if they Turboboost (like in 6th edition).  Barring that, they may take a 6++ invuln save (based on holosuit technology).

HEAVY SUPPORT

Death Jesters: As in the Eldar Codex but you can buy upto 5 at a time as a squad/troupe.  These, like Warlocks, can then be broken off to act as independent characters who can join other infantry units, or make attacks on their own.

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— Gear: Rictus Mask and Shrieker Cannon (see both below)

War Walkers: As in the Eldar Codex but with the Harlie special rules, not the Eldar ones, and with a holofield 5++ invuln save, rather than a power field (same diff).

DEDICATED TRANSPORTS

Pretty much DE Venoms with a shuriken cannon and the Aerial Artistry rule.

Eldar HarlequinWAR GEAR

— Rictus Mask: Causes Fear

— Neuro Disruptor: Harking to the Harlies of old, this is a Template weapon that short-circuits the enemies’ brains.  Template, S*, AP*.  Effected models make a Ld test on 3D6.  If they fail they cannot act at all next round and are paralyzed with no saves of any kind allowed.  Models attacked are treated as having WS0 and cannot counter attack.  If not all models in a unit are effects the others may act normally but may not move out of coherency with the paralyzed models.  Vehicles are not effected by this weapon.

— Webber: Another weapon of antiquity.  The webber launches a sticky net that envelopes and crushes the enemy.  All models hit must make a Strength Test or suffer a wound with no armor or cover saves allowed.

— Hallucinogen Grenades: Act as both offensive and defensive grenades.  If thrown as a weapon, they have the following profile: Range 8″, S2, AP4, Assault 1, Blast, Strikedown (halve Init and move as if in difficult terrain)

— Shrieker Cannon:  The rules in the Eldar Codex don’t support the fluff.  Therefore:

Range 36″, S6, AP5, Assault 3, Bladestorm, Poisonous, Pinning (the “genetic toxins” should be poisonous!)

And since these are one of our Heavy Choices, maybe they have the option of also buying alternate ammo, a Sunfire Shuriken that gets super-hot when exposed to the air.  The range, however, is a bit shorter because eventually the ammo burns itself up.  All Jesters in a squad must fire this in the same turn:

Range 24″ S7, AP2, Armorbane

— Harlequin Kiss:  Again, the current rules don’t support the fluff.  If the weapon turns into a visceral blender then it should have Rending and cause Instant Death.

— Harlequin Blades:  The whole squad has the option of paying 3 pts each to get Rending on their hand weapons.

*And for the record, I’ll say again that I think shuriken ranges should be: Pistol (12″) Catapult (18″) Avenger Catapult (24″), Cannon (36″).  If 36 is too much, then make it 30 and consistently add 6″ to all current ranges.  Isn’t that fair??

All in all, I’m a big Harle fan so a codex sounds cool to me, but I’m not sure that really makes me “for it”.  But since I like to make up my own rules anyway, I figured I’d take my turn at a Harlequin Codex too.  Hope you enjoyed it.

J. D. Brink

http://BrinksChaosTheory.blogspot.com

  • BenitoSenence

    Nice, you have a spot in Codex writing in my book. I wish I had my old 80’s army of Harlies as I would love to try these rules out. Sadly I only have one for my Dark Eldar then lost them so now they are with my small Allied Eldar force. Nice article giving something different for Creative Twilight. I like it!

    • JD Brink

      Thanks! These days, sadly, it’s easier for me to make crap up than get any real hobby time in.
      I actually would have a hard times seeing harlies as a full “army” of their own. ally contingent for E/DE for sure, but a big stand alone force? maybe at low points, like 1000 or 1250, but more than that seems… unfluffy.

  • I’m not an Eldar player, and know very little of them, however this seems great.

    • JD Brink

      Thanks, Thor. Hey, if whats-his-name can write up Blood Angels with every damn superpower in the book, we can give the harlies a little boost, right? (Though i hear the BAs got leveled back out to more closely resemble space marines vice superowered vampires, so that’s good.)

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