Why I’m Optimistic for 9th: Harlequins

Today’s article is covering three reasons I am excited for 9th Edition as a Harlequin player and a few concerns I have.

Reasons for optimism:

  1. Changes to Detachments and Command Points:
    As odd as this may sound, I believe the change to how you select detachments really helps Harlequins (and other armies with smaller unit pools.) Since harlequins can easily fill out a battalion, and have only one option for both heavy and fast attack slots, it won’t be difficult to fit an optimized army into a single detachment. This allows a Harly player to start the game with as many CP as possible (good for such a hungry army). Given that it would appear Player of the Twilight (regenerate command points warlord trait) still works as normal Harlys have never had an easier time maximizing CP’s without wasting points.
  2. New Table Sizes:
    While I am not going to chop down my mat anytime soon, this change is still beneficial to the Harly players. While it appears players will still be 24”-ish apart Harlys can close that gap very quickly (especially if you factor in the new player roles). In addition this change also helps them as a lot of their shooting is quite short range. In some ways 24″ range is the new 36″.   
  3. Changes to Overwatch:
    Perhaps it is because my brother plays Tau (who naturally avoided the nerf *sigh*) but this is one change that has me the most excited. As Harlys were always very expensive and vulnerable to overwatch, by reducing it to once per phase (or just making it less common) will immediately boost the army. It also offers opportunities to drain your opponent’s CP by baiting them to use the stratagem with a sacrificial unit.

While I am very excited for the upcoming changes there are some concerns I have. These are things that may work against the faction in the new edition.

  1. New Terrain Rules:
    There is a lot I love in the new rules, but I am a little worried about the change from strict line of sight blocking on the first floor of ruins towards the more flexible approach. I know we will have to wait and get the full rule set, but I am concerned about games turning into shooting alleys which makes murder clowns sad.
  2. Combat Becoming Less Safe:
    With the changes to vehicles firing in combat, as well as the new stratagem to escape tri-pointing, close combat is looking a lot more dicey. That being said, harlequins are in a decent spot to overcome these changes due to their stratagem that allows a troupe to chase a unit that fell back. They also have access to ample supplies of haywire weapons which make short work of vehicles. In addition, the changes to unit activation really help them out, as it gives you the ability to land a second blow if your initial charge was insufficient.

Overall I am tremendously excited about the new edition and I think Harlequins are in a great place going forward. We will need to reevaluate once we get the full rule set and point values, but I believe the Harlequins faction is primed to be a powerful army in the coming meta and one that rewards a good general.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!


2 Responses to “Why I’m Optimistic for 9th: Harlequins”

  1. Rob Butcher June 30, 2020 10:50 pm #

    (1) Much does depend upon the terrain used, as to whether you can see through. I can quite understand firing at through a window or even a wall with a weapon from the 42nd century!! The new restrictions just mean you have to sight through only one building so restricts the miracle sniper shots that some were making.

    Instead of GW buildings with doorways and windows, we’ve already seen lots of the munitorium containers being used. And now dense cover rules for sector mechanicus and woods.

    With the tighter terrain rules it will be good to have a wider range of correctedly built terrain. I hope the days of “magic boxes” (a volunteer has glued the top on accidentally??) or a squad hiding in an obelisk are gone. Most of my hobby over the past fortnight has been building WW2 style / Imperial Guard scatter terrain (3×3 rubble upto 2″ high), pill-boxes, czech hedgehogs and a gun battery to go with the GW1988 palm trees I built and based. They’ll be there to provide dense cover (-1 to hit, +2 cover saves).

    (2) Close combat in many games is one turn – look at “La Grande Manner” (Napoleonic) or “Bolt Action” (WW2,Korea and sci-fi in 1947). I think that true melee armies that weaken a target with firepower are still going to devastating. So handflamers, melta-pistols etal are going to be just as important as melee tools like a kiss, caress or nurgle hug.

  2. Ben July 11, 2020 5:52 pm #

    Oh how wrong your optimism was
    I was let down too so I know your pain

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