Warhammer 40k 9th Edition Harlequin Madness

There’s are some nice “new” harlequin concepts making the rounds at some tournaments, and I think It’s worth talking about because in some cases the clowns are doing very well! 

One of the core builds is generally based around 3-5 Starweavers with 5 players packing fusion pistols inside. Back that up with 10-15 Skyweavers and you’ve got yourself most of a list. There are some different ways to approach filling it out, but the bones are the bikes and the boats. These models existed in eighth edition, but this type of build wasn’t really considered strong. 

A few factors make this archetype very strong in Ninth Edition. First and foremost, are the new Harlequin rules in White Dwarf. Running away mid-combat, nasty new relics, pivotal roles; all these rules combine to make the Harlequins, specifically Soaring Spite and Frozen Stars Harlequins, incredibly strong. Probably the strongest type of Eldar in the Aeldari superfaction. Drukhari are meh, Craftworld are mostly relegated to Shining Spears, but the Harlequins now have strong units and the best strats and relics around elf-town. So, this style of nlist is good now. It also doesn’t hurt that elves are good at achieving Engage on all fronts, Deploy Scramblers, and can go get assassinate and bring them down if they need to. 

The transport-based style is strong for a couple of reasons. You’ve got a -1 to hit 4++ platform with the Starweavers with 5 obsec guys inside the boat, so taking their objectives is difficult.

Another strong build is Troupe spam backed up by a clutch of Skyweaver bikes. The one model common to all of these armies is the Murdermaster, AKA a Troupe Master with the excellent Twilight Fang relic and usually with the Darkness’ Bite Pivotal Role in addition to Choreographer of War. 

In fact,a horde style eldar army just took home first place at a GT over in England. Ran by Malik Amin Rubio, the list featured a 20 man guardian unit, and 5 units of Harlequin troops on foot backed up by 10 Skyweavers. This one is particularly interesting because of the Guardian bomb, a unit that seemed to fall out of popularity in Ninth edition. This list has a lot of obsec, fights really well in combat, and can take on hordes and tanks alike. 

As for me, I’m enjoying the boat route immensely. I’m playing around with four Fusion Boats, 10 Skyweavers, a 9 man close combat speciality troupe unit, Shadowseer, Murdermaster, and the Yncarne. The speed of this style combined with the crazy utility of the Harlequin strats is a ton of fun to play. Transports are so, so useful in a game where you have to survive on objectives. Particularly -1 to hit transports with a 4++, that can count as being 6” further away from my opponents guns with a Shadowseer nearby. So, you’ve got a little durability and staying power on objectives, and the ability to harass your opponent with speed. It’s a potent combination, and your Harlequins hit hard enough to clean out objectives and pick up your opponents major threats. And in my case, I’ve got the Yncarne bopping around anywhere something dies and making my opponent double-check their every move and action for fear of her appearing somewhere they can’t deal with. 

So, the Harlequins are king of the Eldar right now, and that’s largely because they have the most recent rules update. Who’d have thought? It also helps that they have armywide invulns and cheap transports with cheap, invulnerabled clowns inside. Personally, I’m really, really hoping for a new Harlequin book and some new Harlequin models sometimes soon. I would give my left thumb-knuckle for a Troupe Master on a bike. Seriously.

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