40k: Harlequins Units Review (Troupes, Solitaire, Skyweavers)

 Hello Folks! NoName1 here, and now that Harlequins have a few units to field, let’s take a look at how the army is shaping up, shall we?

Right off the bat, let me say these are NOT rumors – everything in this post is based on the rules straight out of White Dwarf. So this isn’t what the *think* we’ve got, it’s what we’ve got!

With that, here goes:

Harlequins are Battle Brothers with Eldar, Iyanden, and Dark Eldar

 Troops – Troupes

Weighing in first, we have our meat & potatoes – thus far the only Troops unit available to Harlequins. That is, the Harlequin Troupe

(Heh, Troupes are Troops :D)

Eye Candy-



These bad boys (and girls) weigh in at a nickel and a dime each, before upgrades, and can go up to a unit of 12. The Neuro Disruptor is a dime, the Fusion Pistol is the nickel and dime. Harlequin’s Kiss and Embrace are a nickel each, and the Caress is three pennies more.

So! Some sweet rules, weapons that can threaten anything in the game, and a Daemon save (5++ Invul. only…) On the one hand, an invul is great, especially with T3 on something that’s going to get shot at. On the other hand, a 5+ save is terrible. Especially on an expensive unit. They have Fear (great…), Fleet (awesome on a CC unit) and Hit & Run stock (which is AWESOME).

Solid leadership (but not Fearless), a good number of attacks (and +1 each for two hand weapons), and even a little Dakka at close range. The Neuro Disruptor especially is *brutal,* (Fleshbane, AP2) and can annihilate anything with a Toughness value in short order (watch out Hierodule!)

Also, they have a middling strength of 3, but Furious Charge, which buffs that nicely. Furious Charge and Hit & Run are the dream combo that just keeps the pressure on round after round…

They have high Weapon Skill, can Assault into Cover without penalty, likely hit first against most enemies, and have a ton of options for S6, AP2 attacks.

If you want them to take down hordes, load them with Harlequin’s Embraces. This gives them D3 Hammer of Wrath hits at S6 in addition to their normal attacks, so a Troupe member on the charge is hitting with a whopping 5-7 attacks. And, with Hit & Run, can just keep running away and charging over again. Gnarly.

The Harlequin’s Kiss is your meaty, multi-wound model cruncher. With a single attack each round of combat guaranteed to be S6, AP2 and Instant Death, it’s a good bet it’ll hit most things, hurt most things, and kill a lot of things. A unit full of these will scare the crap out of MCs like Carnifex Broods or Hive Tyrants.

The Harlequin’s Caress is a weird one, it’s a normal CC weapon, but automatically wounds/glances anything on a 6 TO-HIT, at AP2. That again is to-hit, not to-wound, so it actually gives interesting odds of hurting anything in the game – especially when stacked with Prescience! The downside of course, is that even with re-rolls you could roll all 5’s to hit and get no benefit. But that’s a dice game for you.

Of course, it’s also worth saying that the Shuriken Pistol is a solid weapon if you want to keep them cheap. It’s still S4/AP5, and Rending (ish) with Bladestorm. Not too shabby!

One issue they run into is that, because they’re pretty good at everything, it’s tempting to kit them out to take on anything and cost an arm and a leg. Personally, I would run them in as big of a unit as will fit in their transport (10 at least, hopefully) with a mix of each CC weapon (I’m most fond of the Caress, as it can hurt anything that isn’t flying) and I would run them with a good number of Neuro Disruptors, so they can tackle Wraithknights, Riptides, and Gargantuan Creatures. I would also probably give the Troupe Master a Caress and one of the Neuro Disruptors. It makes him more of a target, but with the higher number of attacks and higher BS, he gets the most out of both. If you want him in Challenges more, the Kiss might be more reliable – but I’d roll with the Caress and throw those dice!

If you want these guys to tackle armor, I would give them Fusion Pistols, Harlequin’s Caresses, and the Troupe Master Haywire Grenades (for a nickel). This is the single most expensive way to run them, but they *could* do the job fairly well. I’m not sold on Fusion Pistols, they’re still Meltaguns, but only get Melta at 3″ range…

Now, there is the question of Delivery. While these guys are quick, and can make long-charges with Fleet, they are fragile. And it’s interesting to see the type of unit that kind of needs to rely on Cover lacking any sort of Stealth or Shrouded.

Based on the units we’re seeing, I expect the soon-to-be-released Starweaver to be an Assault Transport. Could be a Flyer, will probably be a Skimmer, and from the very grainy sneak peaks, it looks like a Venom Chassis. If that’s true, it may have a Transport Capacity in the range of 5-6. That sucks, I wouldn’t want to put this many points in a small unit and not have them with the momentum they need to win fights. If the Starweaver either has a small capacity or isn’t Open Topped/an Assault Vehicle, then I would run Harlequins with Dark Eldar Raiders. Throw Illic Nightspear in one for Shrouded and that 2+ Jink!

BUT, if it has a decent capacity and is an Assault Vehicle of some form, I am alllll over that!

Also note that, despite being basically a Sergeant, then Troupe Master can take Relics. We have no information at all on what these are yet, but I’m sure they’ll open up some interesting possibilities…

Elites – Solitaire

Next, Elites – the Solitaire!



 …He has a lot of rules

 I feel like this guy captures what the Harlequins are really well, he is the Cannoniest, Glassiest Glass Cannon on the table. He will hit like an absolute ton of bricks, but can’t take a punch to (literally) save his life.

 That said, he is *cool!* And the model is amazing!

 Weighing in at just under 150 points, you’ve got a Character who can never join a unit, moves 12″, and has a 3++ Invulnerable Save and Eternal Warrior to offset that T3/W3. His high WS/BS of 9 helps reduce return fire, but when he goes into combat, he goes in HARD and wants to take down as many hapless enemies as he can. He has the Caress, and so does an automatic Wound/Glance at AP2 on any to-hit roll of a 6 (of which he has EIGHT on the charge, or TWELVE if he charges after a Blitz), which lets him threaten just about anything, a little bit. That Precision Strikes rule at the end there is also interesting, as it means those Caress wounds can be allocated by the Solitaire, and he can pick and choose who to wipe out first.

 His base strength is also 4 on the Charge, with Furious Charge, and since he also has Hit & Run, he can lather, rinse, repeat if he survives into multiple rounds of combat.

 …He can also take Haywire Grenades, which isn’t a bad buy for a nickel, because he doesn’t have any other gun, but I would only use them in CC if a tank only had one HP left and you really, really wanted it to die, otherwise the Caress has more damage potential.

 Right off the bat, the model is beautiful, the rules are at least super-interesting, and while I wonder how competitive he’ll be, I expect to run this guy often just for fun!

 And again, we have the option to take Relics. Can’t wait to see what those are!

 Fast Attack – Skyweavers

Lastly, we have the oddball Jetbikes, the Skyweavers



So, the big stink that’s missing about these guys is that they cost an absolute fortune (the models are really cheap Points/$ though, that’s nice!) you’re looking at the cost of a Thunderfire Cannon for every two of them, another dime each if you give them the Glaives.

I would always give them the Glaives and never touch the Haywire Blasters. The Haywire Blasters can’t fire after Jinking (Blast) and only do one hit each anyway. They could be good, but personally, let anti-armor units deal with armor – these guys should stick with what they do best and just obliterate infantry. The Star Bola isn’t terrible, but it’s one-use only, and can easily scatter back onto the Bikes at the ranges it would most often be used.

These guys come in with Shuriken Cannons stock, that’s S6, AP5, Heavy 3 Bladestorm (Rending, ish). They rock. Throw in the Glaives for S6 (Furious Charge + the Glaive itself) AP2 attacks on the Charge (3 each) at WS5, plus Hammer of Wrath, and these jokers are utterly lethal to infantry, massed or Elite. Even if you’re stuck in combat from failing (or forgetting) Hit & Run, these guys still get AP3 attacks at the very least.

Compared with Shining Spears, they do not have Skilled Rider (shame…) and have a 4+ save instead of 3+, but they do get 2 Wounds each, and that AP3 on turns other than the charge, which is a nice perk. They also have a stock 5++ Invulnerable Save, which is unusual for Eldar Jetbikes.

…And they cost twice as much as a Shining Spear, but I still think that on-balance, the Skyweavers are considerably more competitive than Shining Spears, even for the points.

They also have an interesting bonus piece of Wargear – the Mirage Launcher. It gives them a 4++ INVULNERABLE save for one turn per game, without Jinking. So it’s one round per game where they get that save, but don’t get forced into Snap Shots. If you must take Haywire Launchers, this is handy for that critical moment.

I love the crap out of these guys. Right now I run my Farseer Warlord in a blob of Guardian Jetbikes with just a couple cannons. With the Skyweavers my Farseer would actually get to use the Shard of Anaris I run him with, and beef the Skyweavers up with Fearless to boot!

 In Closing-

These guys seem to fill a gap in the current Eldar army (dedicated non-Wraith Assault), and offer some very cool fun toys while they’re at it. Everything in here is overflowing with S6/AP2 in both CC and at range, and an entire army with Hit & Run and Furious Charge is brutal. While they are fragile, they have an almost unmatched potential damage output, something I think we’ll see put to use in no time.

Harlequins alone would be crazy (if not very diverse yet) on the field solo, but seriously benefit from Allies. Dark Eldar Allies can bring Raiders to deliver the Troupes, Webway Portals to deliver Skyweavers, and Ravagers, Scourges (etc.) to thin out Armor. Eldar Allies bring more Anti-Armor goodness, and Eldar Farseers can provide various re-rolls (saves, to-hit in CC and/or shooting, to-wound) that Harlequins could seriously benefit from.

The Standouts I see are Farseers with Prescience and two rolls on Runes of Fate (hoping for Fortune and Doom) to beef up and bolster the Harlequins, and Characters like Karandras to provide Fearless and Stealth, and Illic to provide Shrouded.

Expect to see Harlequins on the table very soon, if you haven’t already. Mostly as Allies, but once the Codex drops, I think we’ll see full-blown pure-Harlequin Masques popping out of the woodwork. Many dedicated painters will be furiously working on this one!

 What do you think? Think they’re shaping up well, in need of serious help, or a total waste of time and money?

  • petrow84

    To help fellow readers outside the land of the brave with all those point-equivalents : http://www.immihelp.com/newcomer/usa-currency-coins.html
    That was what I googled first to decode the article.

    • I’m not even sure why they use language like that to list points, GW can’t stop you from publishing points costs, and they linked to the actual (copyrighted) WD pages for each of these units already in previous posts.

  • Benjamin Tull

    I’m not sold on the Skyweavers as a dedicated assault unit. They don’t have grenades, and the glaive really ups the cost of the unit quite a bit. 60 ppm for a model with T4 and a 4+ save is pushing it, even with 2 wounds. I think you may just want to stick with the bolas. I agree with the problems with the haywire cannon, though – it’s not ideal on a jinking platform, and it will be useless against some armies (Nids and other armies such as Grey Knights running power armor and Dreadknight spam) and inefficient against a lot of others (foot IG, orks, skimmer-spam armies that can jink off the glances).
    One correction to the article though. The Mirage Launchers create a once per game 4++ INVULN against shooting, not a cover save. Pretty big difference there.

    • Noah Hallett

      Oh man, good catch! Thank you for the correction – that’s huge difference

      • Benjamin Tull

        No problem. It was a good article, in total. Reasonable people can disagree on the value of certain options, and I’m sure that it will take some time on the table (which nobody has yet) to figure out what really works. I personally think people might be under-rating the Embrace, as it is relatively affordable (same as a kiss) and buffs up the already-ridiculous number of attacks the Harlies get with more S6 attacks. Very handy for dealing with walkers, too, which Harlies will otherwise struggle to hurt.

    • anscarii

      you know at the end of the day a blast of s4 ap4 ca really hurt nids and orks nicely. Remember eldar jetbikes can make an extra movement in assault phase to hide or take some distance. I think those guys have posibilities.

      • Benjamin Tull

        Oh, I agree it can hurt. My thought, though, is that if you are shooting at 6 point Hormagaunts or Boyz, killing 2 or 3 per small blast (which is probably generous) with a unit that costs 55 ppm, you are probably killing those mobs inefficiently.

  • James Clark

    Nickel Dime??? stopped reading after that.

    • Sh4d0wProph3t

      I’m British and I got the reference. American popular culture is prevelant across so much of the world I find it hard to believe people didn’t understand.

      • James Clark

        Is it not so much easier to just type 5pts or 6 pts, rather than nickel and dime.

        • Sh4d0wProph3t

          It depends on posting rules. We all know GW’s legal team are inherently posturing when they send out their cease and desist toilet paper but why poke the bear?

          • It really isn’t poking the bear though, at least no more than linking to the full leaked rules (which they do every time rules leak), or telling you exactly what something costs using silly monetary metaphors. There’s no difference between saying a jetbike costs half a dollar or 50 points, both are fine legally, one is annoying.

        • An_Enemy

          A dime = 10. A nickel = 5. This comment is not endorsed by BOLS.

      • Elliott Gaal

        I’m Candadian and I got the reference.

        • nurglitch

          We have nickels and dimes too.

    • PrimoFederalist

      You know, I’ve never gone onto a 40k site run by Brits, Aussies, Spaniards, Poles, etc, and b!tched that they posted prices in pounds sterling, AUD, or that the site wasn’t in English, so I’m not sure why it is that a small handful of people feel compelled to complain about the American vernacular being used on a site run by . . . (wait for it) . . . Americans.

      • euansmith

        “… and the Harlequin Dancing Master costing three and six…”

      • euansmith

        “… and the Harlequin Dancing Master costing three and six…”

  • Excellent write up dude. Good points aboot what is needed to know altho Iol’d at “fills a gap in the eldar book”

    • Brettila

      The funny thing is, though, is that it does. CC is not something Eldar do well. Units in the book are either really good (Serpents) or just plain terrible (Banshees). The reality is most units in the codex never see the table.

  • An_Enemy


  • Sersis

    Thank you for the review.
    One small correction – according to the rules for Harlequin’s Kiss, the ‘Kiss of Death’ is indeed a S6 AP2 attack, but it becomes Instant Death only if 6 is rolled on the To Wound roll for this attack.

  • Any eldar/dark eldar characters that have skilled rider?

  • Defenestratus

    Can’t agree about this being a dedicated assault unit if cover so easily negates their advantage as a glass cannon.

    Can’t be a cannon if you’ve been turned to shattered glass already.

  • Koszka

    If you can charge into an ongoing combat they strike at their initiative regardless of terrain. They could combo off well with dark eldar, who have units like grotesques, where they weather a charge from elite unit, and allow a storm of str6 ap2 attacks to rain in. I wouldn’t rely on the bikes, but they hve a very interesting statline, and the ablity to drop a lot of fire power ( ie: for 100pts. you get 6 str6 ap5 shots + 2 str6. ap2 blasts). Sadly the bolas is a one use weapon, but it is a pretty nasty piece of wargear.

    • Benjamin Tull

      I don’t know that the one use nature of the bolas is that big of a deal. How many times in a given game are you likely to get into position to shoot a 12″ blast weapon? I bet most of the time you only get one shot with them anyway. Just food for thought.

      • Koszka

        True. My buddy who always plays sternguard always brings this up quite a bit.

  • deuce1984

    i think they are shaping up to be a fun ally to the the other pointed ears. On their own, however, it won’t work beyond 1000 points.

  • withershadow

    Stopped reading after all that dime, quarter, nickle penny nonsense.

  • Bhazakhain

    I’ll personally be going for Haywire Cannons on two of them and maybe shuriken on the third. The mirage launchers are there to ensure you get that all important volley off. If the enemy is pouring their fire into these guys though, your troupes are approaching unmolested. Relatively anyway!

  • This was a good write up. It remains to be seen what these clowns can actually do on the table, but they sound like a pretty nifty couple of hard-hitting units.
    From the sounds of things, these bad boys will nicely plug the gaps that DE suffer from. Loading up a raider with a unit of 10 Harlies will negate the likely 5-6 capacity of the Starweavers and give them a nice, open-topped assault platform. I was sad to hear that DE lost out in the assault phase, but this has provided some serious food for thought and might make me think about picking up some DE and harlies. I’ve always loved the fluff and the look of DE but the lack of assault doesn’t fit my play-style. Now, that might change…

  • GiftoftheMagi

    I still would like to see how a pure Harlequin army would work. Apparently we are getting a full Codex now, but a very different Organization chart. I am curious to see how they work.