The Last Laugh

An article from Jeremy  aka the French Overlord outlining his latest unique army idea. 

Bonsoir mes petits connards (Good afternoon my little asshats), this is MikhailLenin aka the French Overlord bringing to you the freshest of fresh in new ITC format awesome list combo.

Oh but before I share this new French discovery to the broader community, I want a PSA to come out mentioning that GTA from Team Zero Comp is not allowed to use this list without paying me royalties in the form of Whiskey, Coffee and sometimes both in the same drink. Though for everyone else, you can use it freely, modify it freely, and most of all laugh at your opponents with it but I beseech you all to refer it in its true glamour: “The Last Laugh”.


If no one here could figure out from the last paragraph that this list was going to be a Harlequin army, than you should probably not continue reading this long monologue of me promoting my ego. Yes, internet, I feed upon you like an Archon feeds upon the blood of human innocents in the 40k universe (Which is NEVER, since there are no innocents in 40k). ANYWAY, back on Topic, the concept of the list first started when I was considering my new ITC 2015 Army I wanted to corner and around the same time came out the Harlequin Codex which was perfect because I immediately dialed in onto a very specific relic in the book, The Mask of Secrets. For those who are uninitiated in the codex, it is a Shadowseer only upgrade that grants the Bearer and his unit Fearless but also a 12” bubble that affects all enemy units with a -2 Leadership modifier. Now the tough question was how to build a working combination list with this Item that could also function in the ITC 2 Source Detachment.

At first I considered using the Masque Detachment or Cegorach’s Revenge but the point investment make its tough considering that the army has little to no shooting from afar. The reason being that if I was going to build a list around the -2 Leadership modifier than I would need ways to maximize on this and also increase the potential of it so the first thing that came to mind was the Iyanden Shadow Council with Spiritseers because not only do they gain access to Telepathy but they also gain access to the Eldar Runes of Battles powers and both lore contain highly useful power which I go farther in detail with. The formation I ended up taking is the Cast of Players Formation allowing you to take 1 Deathjester, 1 Shadowseer and 1 Troupe which meant I could take the Mask of Secret, gain access to a Nasty Melee Unit and allow me to pick the Troupemaster as Warlord and unlock completely the new Warlord traits from the Harlequin codex which are phenomenal. The Formation ability is actually pretty useful since the unit is mostly on foot, it grants the unit and all Eldar/Dark Eldar units within 6” the Crusader Special Rule which allows them to roll 2D6 for Runs and pick the highest and also consolidating an additional D3 on top of the D6.


Next up was figuring a delivery method for the Star since most of the Psychic powers were 18” to 24” range and the LD bubble was 12”. For adepticon with their near limitless source allowance, I considered an Archon with a Webway portal because he could also purchase a 6” -2 LD modifier bubble as well and allow me to pinpoint deep-strike the unit within maximum threat range for it to be effective but it also meant I was depended on a reserve roll and that my opponent had little to no interceptor since he could intercept before I could cast psychic powers. Than for ITC format, I decided to steal an idea from Dr Insanotron aka Ben Cromwell which was to purchase an Imperial Bunker with an Escape Hatch upgrade to basically function as a pseudo webway portal.

Before I enter into core army mechanics, I feel you guys probably would want to actually this list I am talking about!


The French Overlord’s “The Last Laugh”

Primary Detachment: Cast of Players Formation

Troupe – 9 Harlequins + 1 Troupemaster (Warlord) – Armed with Harlequin Caress.

Deathjester – 1 Shriekercannon, Haywaire Grenade

Shadowseer – Mastery Level 2, Miststaff, Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher, Mask of Secrets, Haywire Grenade

Secondary Detachment: Iyanden Combined Arm Detachment

Farseer – 1 Eldar Jetbike, 1 Mantle of the Laughing God, 1 Spirit Stone of Ananth’lan

Shadow Council – 4 Spiritseers with Witch Staves

Dire Avengers – 5 – Wave Serpents with TL Scatter Laser and TL Shuriken Catapult

Dire Avengers – 5 – Wave Serpents with TL Scatter Laser and TL Shuriken Catapult

Dire Avengers – 5 – Wave Serpents with TL Scatter Laser and TL Shuriken Catapult

Hornet – 2x Pulse Lasers

Hornet – 2x Pulse Lasers

Hemlock Wraithfighter – 2 Heavy D-scyths, Spirit stones

Imperial Bunker – Escape Hatch

Total – 1,850

The core mechanic of the list is what I like to call “Laughing your opponent units off the stage” (you can all applaud me for that name in your dark cold rooms who’s only light source is the light from your monitors). As you can see there is fair amount of Psykers in the army, a Total of 14 Mastery levels giving you a range of 15-20 Warp Charge dice a turn. The important element here is that there 3 Separate units (the Farseer, the Spiritseers and the Hemlock) in the army that can cast Psychic Shriek which is by far the most direct way of “Laughing your opponent units off the stage”. The Spiritseers can also get a shot at “Embolden/Horrify” which can drop a unit LD by another 3 modifier as well as the Hemlock Wraithfighter which gets Terrify which can drop them by another -1 LD. By the magic number is -5 LD and I will explain why. You will always roll on the Phantasmancy table for the Shadowseer because you auto gain Veil of Tears and because there are some great powers in there but most importantly there is “Mirror of Minds”. The MOST OP power combo in the game with a -5 LD modifier, as some of my opponents found out lately. Let me explain to you all what “Mirror of Minds” does, it is a Warp Charge 2 Focussed Witchfire power that is a pseudo Mind-War but there is a large mechanic difference. Your Target Model and the Shadowseer roll a D6 and add their respective LD, if the result is Equal to the Shadowseer or less than the Shadowseer, the target model take a wound with no armour or cover save. Repeart this PROCESS until the target model beats the Shadowseer which IT CANNOT DO when the Highest it can roll is an 11 and the minimum a Shadowseer can roll is an 11 (due to the -5 LD) so it equals to basically auto removing a model.


As you notice there is a lot of synergy effects happening in the list with the psykers. They can Shriek, they can lower LD, they can cause Morale tests (and with the Hemlock Wraithfighter on the table cause them to reroll successful pass) and finally with the Deathjester “Death is not enough” rule, you can even make units which only are in range of the bubble run away with a whopping -4LD by killing 1 model. I typically start rolling on Telepathy on the Spiritseers for the first two to try gaining access to Invisibility, Shrouding, Terrify and Dominate. If by the first two spiristeers, I don’t have invisibility, I would roll on the Farseer next to hope I can finally get Invisiblity and if I don’t have it, would keep rolling on it for the last Spiritseers. If you do gain invisibility I would try to roll on Runes of Battle on the last 2 Spiritseers for Embolden/Horrify, Protect/Jynx and Quicken/Restrain which come in useful throughout the game. The Shadowseer is really looking for Mirror of Minds, Fog of Dreams or Dance of Shadows. Fog of Dreams is really useful when you fight armies with a Lynx to basically shut it down since it forces it to snap shoot when the power goes off and Dance of Shadows is really useful much like Shrouding to beef up the Halequin unit defensively because even with Veil and Invisibility it can die gloriously. Some would recommend also taking summoning on the Farseer which is a good recommendation but I don’t think I even have enough charges to both cast Invis, all the LD modifiers and Shrieks to cast a Summon reliably.

Now, while the core army mechanic is the “laughing your opponent’s units off stage”, you can’t forget that the Harlequin Troupe themselves packs quick a punch in melee. With WS5, I6, and 3 attacks, a basic Harlequin with Hit and Run + Furious Charge is nothing to sneeze at . Equipped with the Caress they become an all-purpose death tool. The Caress functions much like the old Harlequin kisses aka 4th ed Rending. Any roll of a 6 to Hit results in an automatic AP2 wound or auto glance which basically means they can tackle any threats through sheer volume of swings. The one rule clarification I would like for the Caress is if the roll of 6 hits are removed from the pool of hits when they trigger their automatic wounds/glance as currently written it is not clear. In case you fight an ad-lance I would recommend having the Farseer take Prescience so that they can re-roll their misses in melee. Do not forget that the Shadowseer and Deathjester also have Haywire Grenades purchased.

The rest of the army is pretty obvious mechanically with Wave Serpents and Hornets to provide backfield fire support to the Harlequin star. Keep in mind that the Bunker functions as both a delivery system for the Star as well as protection from turn 1 shooting assuming your opponent did not bring some bunker breaker firepower! What do I mean by delivery system? I would deploy the Bunker in the middle of deployment edge with the backdoor entry point facing my opponent and I would drop the Escape hatch when I deploy them in it exactly 12” in no man’s land preferably in cover so that when they emerged from it on turn 1 they are not just 12” into no man’s land but 18” in and in cover as well. The reason for placing the bunker with the entry door facing my opponent is if he infiltrates on top of the hatch to prevent me from using it, I can exit the start from the entry point and assault them on turn 1. (Repel the Enemy).


Well I hope you enjoyed reading about “The Last Laugh” as much as some of my opponents got to see it in action at Adepticon! I will be answering questions in the comment section as often as I can.


About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

38 Responses to “The Last Laugh”

  1. Avatar
    Black Blow Fly March 22, 2015 10:03 am #

    Very gimmicky list – so pretty much RSP. I don’t think it would do that well versus armies the flying circus (Tyranids or Daemons). If it creeps into the meta you’ll probably see more Chaplains, Commissars, etc.

    I first thought this would be an Adepticon Batrep pitting Reecius versus Paul Murphy when I read the title. Lol

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin March 22, 2015 1:16 pm #

      Stubborn only affects LD for Morale, Pinning and Fear. Psychic scream and Dominate fall outside its purvue.

      Also holds true for the Etheral LD bubble.

      Chaplains and Commissar do not help except for Morale.

      3 Serpents and the Hornets are plenty good defenses versus Flyer but you forget that the Hemlock can cast Shriek at a Flying Daemon Unit at full BS even though it is only lvl 1

  2. jy2
    jy2 March 22, 2015 10:59 am #

    Seems like Stubborn is the way to go against this army. Lysander+centurions, anyone?

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin March 22, 2015 1:18 pm #

      As I mentionned above Stubborn would not help against the Shrieks and the Dominate.

  3. Avatar
    FoeofNight March 22, 2015 11:06 am #

    Stubborn won’t save you. Do note that stubborn only ignores negative modifiers when taking morale and pinning tests… So really will only help against the death jester as shriek and mirror are not morale checks. I had the same thought when I first played the list. Thought stubborn would save my Tau… Lol nope!

  4. Avatar
    Klr March 22, 2015 12:06 pm #

    You do know that you can’t place escape hatch outside your deployment zone right ?

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin March 22, 2015 1:13 pm #

      Yeah? Where it say that? The escape Hatch is not deployed when you deploy the Bunker. It is placed 12″ from the bunker when first occupied. Nothing pointing to a limit.

      • Jeremy Veysseire
        MikhailLenin March 22, 2015 1:23 pm #

        I might be coming off challenging but I would Truly appreciate a clarification of where it is written or clarified

        • Avatar
          AbusePuppy March 22, 2015 5:25 pm #

          I’m pretty sure you’re right on this one- nothing limits where you can place the Hatch. (You can’t assault out of it, but so what?)

  5. Avatar
    Klr March 22, 2015 1:45 pm #

    Fortifactions must be placed in your own deployment zone. Escape hatch is a upgrade/part of your fortification.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin March 22, 2015 1:54 pm #

      Right I deployed the Bunker in my deployment. The escape hatch says specifically when the building is first occupied aka not during deployment. Place hatch within 12″ of the bunker

      • Avatar
        Kartr March 22, 2015 3:31 pm #

        So you’re saying that if the bunker is deployed without anyone in it, you then occupy it turn 1 and place the escape hatch during your first movement phase?

        Because if you occupy it during deployment then you place the hatch during deployment which means it has to be in your deployment zone.

        • Jeremy Veysseire
          MikhailLenin March 22, 2015 3:45 pm #

          You are misinterpreting my statement, since its the deployment of the hatch is a) not tied to the deployment and b) not associated with the actual limitations of deploying. I don’t think there is enough concrete RAW and RAI to evidence to say which procedure of the rule is more appropriate than the other.

        • Avatar
          AbusePuppy March 22, 2015 5:26 pm #

          The Escape Hatch is not a fortification. It’s a marker _related_ to a fortification, but like other markers (such as Servo-Skulls) it is not bound by the rules of the model that it is purchased for.

          • Avatar
            Kartr March 23, 2015 11:26 am

            Ahhh ok that makes sense!

  6. Avatar
    Cavalier March 22, 2015 3:58 pm #

    Absolutley sick. I love it! Fairy well rounded army with scary tricks up its sleeve. I’ve seen very little love given to the cast of players formation but its a perfect entry to learning Harlequins even if you aren’t dropping these kinds of dirty tricks.

  7. Avatar
    AbusePuppy March 22, 2015 5:32 pm #

    I had played around with some similar ideas, but I think lacking 3+ detachments, it’s just not as great as it really needs to be. A fun list, to be sure, and one that can really throw opponents for loops, but it lacks the tools it needs to deal with a lot of stuff around these days. Against vehicles- and especially Knights- it really just has the three Serpents and two Hornets, and while that’s not trivial, it’s gonna really struggle to do enough damage to make a difference.

    It’s also very dependent on getting psychic powers off, which can be dicey; Centurionstar will often just shrug it off without worry (3+ Deny rerolling 1s) and even armies with a moderate number of psykers can often mitigate the worst of its powers. And, of course, there’s the native chance to just fail the rolls entirely.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin March 22, 2015 6:12 pm #

      Agreed on the cent star with draigo, at this point is about overwhelming their deny wiyh volume of dice.
      Againt Knights I would roll prescience on the farseer and let the carress finish it off.

      • Avatar
        AbusePuppy March 22, 2015 8:11 pm #

        Mmm. You’ll average ~6 glances that way, but you’re really banking on always getting enough- if they get to Stomp you, you’re gonna lose most of the squad. Two Knights charging you at once would be pretty deadly.

        It’s definitely worth messing around with, though- the ability to basically delete units via Shriek and lock them down with Dominate is quite strong. I’d feel better if it could get DE for the Webway and Armor of Misery, though.

        How has the Hemlock performed? That’s the one inclusion I’d be most iffy about, though the Mindshock and Terrify are nice. It’s very fragile with AV10, though, and even Jinking won’t keep you alive against a lot of things. (I don’t think it gets Shriek, though- Psychic Focus only applies when you roll all your powers on a discipline, and the Hemlock never rolls powers.)

        • Jeremy Veysseire
          MikhailLenin March 22, 2015 9:15 pm #

          Yeah, I feel pretty iffy with the Knights but thats why the serpents and hornets are for, to knock down a few hull points off ;P.

          So far the Hemlock as been perfect thats cause I have been using him as a third shriek source and terrify is always useful. Spirit stone and reroll morale test bubble has be paying off dividends at Adepticon. Lets not ignore the Distort shots it has too.

  8. Avatar
    iNcontroL March 22, 2015 10:22 pm #

    agreed with the weaknesses to Knights and something you didn’t mention is Fliers but discussed in person.. that said LOVE THE LIST. All lists have weaknesses but withstanding Knights/Fliers you are a huge threat to most other lists and you have SOME answers with this list to those “weaknesses.”

    nicely done sir <3

  9. Avatar
    fluger March 23, 2015 7:43 am #

    My only response to this list: It is what it is.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 23, 2015 10:18 am #

      Hey, I heard that the French Overlord loves that expression! In fact, I was told he plans to have that on his headstone when he passes, lol!

  10. Avatar
    Rolling thunder March 23, 2015 8:59 am #

    What happens if you go second? Does the harliestar hide in the bastion and hope that the opponent does not have the ability to destroy it first turn (drop pod meltas come to mind), severely crippling the unit in the process? Or what happens if you deploy your unit in the bastion, and then the opponent moves an infiltrator or scouting unit on top of the escape hatch so that you cannot disembark from it? Also, I dont think that the Hemlock can get shreik as Mikhail said

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin March 23, 2015 11:19 am #

      Well if its a drop melta list you can just deploy the unit in cover over the bastion since the point of the Bunker is the delivery tool it provides but when they are coming to you than obviously the bunker is not needed. If they choose to infiltrate or scout on top of the hatch than that means they are 12″ from the bunker whose access point is facing the center of the table when I deploy it. It would effectively be a 6″ charge for the Harlequins as they pour out of it. Most likely giving me first blood and still allowing me to bringing the harlequins where they needed to be. Remember if you exit from the actual bunker access point you can charge when you come out aka Repel the Enemy USR.

      I dont see anything in the rules about the Hemlock not benefitting from Psychic Focus.

      • Avatar
        Rolling Thunder March 23, 2015 4:24 pm #

        Who said the whole army would be coming to the bastion? I was thinking just one or two select (and expendable) units: If harlies are in the building: blow it up with melta or flamers if that’s what you are into, if they are the battlements, same thing… Of course if harlies are going first, you don’t do this, but you might send out a land speeder storm or something like that to block the access point. Sure the harlequins might come out and kill the storm, but then they are out in the open, and unless invisible, very fragile

        I actually like the overall idea, I just have always thought of bastions and buildings in this edition to be deathtraps… almost any penetrating hit will mess up the unit inside somewhat

        BRB p. 23 under “generating psychic powers” second paragraph explains this pretty well at least to me. Either you have set powers or “generate” them, which is necessary for psychic focus.

      • Avatar
        AbusePuppy March 23, 2015 4:49 pm #

        The Hemlock doesn’t get Psychic Focus because it never rolls on a table. Psychic Focus only works if you roll all your powers on one table.

        • Avatar
          Dr.insanotron March 23, 2015 5:28 pm #

          It doesn’t have to “roll” to get focus, it just has to “generate” all it’s powers in the discipline witch it does since pre selected powers are listed under the rules for generating powers on page 24 of the BRB

          • Avatar
            Dr.insanotron March 23, 2015 5:30 pm

            Rolling powers is not the only way to generate them

          • Avatar
            AbusePuppy March 23, 2015 6:56 pm

            “Generate” is ONLY ever used in reference to rolling powers. With fixed powers, it notes that the model “starts the game” with those powers, but never uses the term “generate.”

            Fixed powers are discussed under the “Generating Psychic Powers” heading, of course, but this can easily be regarded the same as the rules for vehicles and ordnance weapons being under the “moving and shooting” subheading (which many assumed meant the Heavy rule negated the penalty for Ordnance.) Rather, it is merely an organizational quirk, nothing- the model never generates powers because it always has the same powers.

          • Avatar
            Dr.insanotron March 23, 2015 8:01 pm

            Very first sentence under generating psychic powers on page 23 in bold. Psykers generate their powers before the game begins. So tell me how a Hemlock generates it’s powers befor the game since it has to. The wander is it uses the fixed method of generating powers

        • Jeremy Veysseire
          MikhailLenin March 23, 2015 7:26 pm #

          So Loth doesnt get Primaris Powers unless he picks them?

  11. Avatar
    Dash2021 March 23, 2015 10:34 am #

    Fliers. Been having a huge brainstorm session on Dakka tactics on the codex, and it always comes back to fliers being an issue for Harlies. 6mo ago I’d have said outplay objectives and scoot around, but Leviathan has changed that. Flyrantspam is as much a part of the meta now as Adlance, and you have to have an answer.

    I agree, I think smart play here lets you work over Adlance. Throw a grenade, assault w/3 and then ~6 more caress attacks easily kills a IK. I’d also recommend Doom fishing for doom as a primary too. Witch weapons love doom for an armored target. Between Caresses and Witch weapons I’d actually kind of want my opponent to try and charge both of his remaining knights in. You’re fairly likely to kill another IK before getting wiped out, and being as the entire unit has Inuvln saves you have a decent chance of a few surviving stomps to HnR out and finish up the fight.

    But fliers. I’m playing a similar-but-different anti-meta cast list right now, and it’s the only thing I can’t figure out how to deal with. Lost to a Demon factory the other day, and was playing for a draw from turn 1. He started w/3 Fliers, summoned 2 more and I just had no answers.

    • Avatar
      Dash2021 March 23, 2015 10:41 am #

      Also a good time to advocate for ITC giving a second look at the FMC’s not being targeted by skyfire blast rules. RAW they can be hit by them. RAI it’s questionable, but with FMC’s being so grossly overpowered now (relatively speaking of course) I don’t think the RAI interpretation is wanted/needed.

      For example, French Overlord has a flier here that with templates. It would make his list a well rounded TAC list, except for the RAI interpretation. Instead he now has a Rock-paper-scissors list. On the flip side, the ruling doesn’t change a FMC spam lists tactics much nor does it drastically decrease such a lists chances of winning.

      Food for thought in an attempt to prevent every tournament from here on out being 30/50/20: Tyranids/Marines/Other.

  12. Avatar
    Jim March 25, 2015 4:17 pm #

    Culexus Assassin in a Drop Pod approves of this list.

  13. Avatar
    Seapheonix March 28, 2015 9:09 am #

    One question and one thought about the list:

    If you are using the Iyanden codex, how are you getting the troll-seer? If you are utilizing the codex supplement that allows you to take multiple spiritseers, you should be using the relics that are attendant on that book if I am not mistaken. Thus you would not have access to either the laughing mantle, nor the super spirit stones.

    Thought about the hemlock that I have seen about the internents. Many people assume that you are re-rolling the leadership test for the psychic shriek and such when within 12″. However the Hemlock states that you reroll only morale and pinning checks. Just don’t want that to be part of the base of the army, only to have it not work out that way.

    Ooh, a third thought. How about including some shadow spectres with the shadow of death exarch power. Ads another D6 to any leadership or morale checks. Which would effect all of those nifty psychic powers that you are basing off of. Also likely to be cheaper, and more destructive then the hemlock. Although without the extra psychic shriek.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin March 28, 2015 11:54 am #

      To answer your questions.

      First the Iyanden Supplement only forces you to stick to Iyanden Relics on a Character if he buys 1 Iyanden Relic. You have access to both you just cant mix and match with both books.

      Yeah you are correct ie question 2, it is merely an additional Psychic Shriek on the table and the bubble does not impact Shriek as it is not a Leadership test.

      originally I had SHadow Spectres over the Hemlock but like I mentionned before a lot of Psychic LD power are not Leadership tests and thus their aura does not work.

  14. Avatar
    Greymooon February 17, 2016 10:39 am #

    How does this list stack up now with the new codex for both harlies and eldar

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