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Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1

 Post subject: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:14 pm 
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Kyrt, on the armour front I imagine it's intended (fluff wise) to show the effects of domino coats so I get them having good armour. So like a holofield the armour is so good because things just don't hit them. That fits with the general approach for eldar (eg holofield so and high armour saves on nightwings).

Ginger, well up for play testing this I'd say at the moment my main concern is simply how you create balance in a list which is intended to be bolted onto 5 other lists. I'd be far more tempted to make harlequins a stand alone list and then see if such compatibility is possible, otherwise you'll have to run so many different tests.


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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:04 am 
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I'm not really a 40K player so I don't really know the significance. I know they have a holo suit which gives them a 5+ inv save whereas marines have a 3+ save, no? In 3rd ed Epic they were simply aspect warriors.

Mainly it just seems a bit odd to use the mechanic of RA. I don't think they have any actual armour do they? Just the holo? If it was just the one 5+ save I would understand, or 6+ with invuln or something. As it stands I worry that they are actually very tough to kill. Think of them in ruins: very nearly as tough as terminators. They're damn expensive for sure but hard as nails isn't quite my image of them.

Have put a couple of lists together, will see if I can give them a whirl. Definitely have to make tradeoffs in army selection to build a masque dominant army; have a feeling they may be most potent as addons to another list.

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:08 am 
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Oh BTW harlequin formations except the bikes can garrison. Intentional?

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 Post subject: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:19 am 
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Fluff wise, they basically all have personal holofields [url]warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Holo-Suit[/url] so if you were going for consistency then a 3+ invulnerable would be the way to go ;-)

I'm going to reserve judgement until I've played a couple of games with them.


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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:54 am 
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What about 'always in cover' rules? Don't a number of the Dark Eldar units have something like this in their Shadow Field things? It would keep them moving, flowing through battle like one would expect them to, and keep them from sitting in cover pretending to be terminators.


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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:46 am 
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That would make more sense to me from the point of view of their character. Titans they ain't.

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:17 am 
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If you're reaaaaaaly going to be in the fluff they should have to be moving to get the bonus then as their form visually distorts then and come back when they stop (unless the 'Quins of my youth have been retcon'd which could admitted be the case. They used to be able to use anyone's vehicles provided it was appropriately painted after all). Since sustaining with them isn't their shtick anyways not a big deal but does provide and interesting dynamic to shadowfields.

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:18 am 
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Damn it . Now I want looted harlequin land raiders ala 1st/2nd edition! ;D

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:41 am 
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jimmyzimms wrote:
Damn it . Now I want looted harlequin land raiders ala 1st/2nd edition! ;D


Add them as allies to my Hawk Lords!
/derail over.

I'm sure it's too much micro detail to be worth the effort, but 5++/6++/no save depending on their orders (wait, are we -really- suggesting rules from Space Marine!?) could be an interesting, fluffy take on their wargear. Although when do Eldar units do anything other than double in and out of cover? I don't think I'm really serious on this though.

Personally, just making them always harder to hit seems like an appropriate method to bolster their otherwise low toughness. Has the advantage of being already enshrined in a list too, and when added to something like Fleet (again from the Dark Eldar) it feels like a good start to making a mobile, hard to pin down but easily stomped-on list once (if) you do catch them.

I'm thinking "It is easier to catch star light than to bring the Eldar to battle." rather than just reinforced everything.


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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:52 am 
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Changing their save depending upon their last move may be 'fluffy' but introduces a whole host of problems. Don't really want to go that way.

Originally the list had Holofields but this was changed to RA for game speed and simplicity. Although the approach has some problems, it is much easier to work with.


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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:14 am 
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Ginger wrote:
Changing their save depending upon their last move may be 'fluffy' but introduces a whole host of problems. Don't really want to go that way.
Yes sounds like a nightmare sadly!
Quote:
Originally the list had Holofields but this was changed to RA for game speed and simplicity. Although the approach has some problems, it is much easier to work with.

Ahh now I can see the logic, it just looks quite incongruous when coming in cold. I will admit I never paid any attention to the list in the past. I would have said that simply applying the Holofield rule was rather over reaching in terms of applying existing principles to new units - in many ways Holofield is not an accurate representation for titans either but it makes them feel right in the context of other titans in the game. Yet RA I think doesn't really capture the "fast and squishy" feel accurately nor represent their "true" hardiness. For me when trying to port units into Epic it's better to worry more about the feel than making them uber awesome. Tau being the classic example, who should be really good in FF but we don't want them to be an engagement army, we want them to be "shooty". For harlequins the equivalent issue is of retaining their squishiness, rather than making them "hard marines".

So I would either give them the always in cover rule (which perfectly represents being difficult to hit surely?) or a simple invulnerable save (it could even be 6+, or maybe a special 5+ cover save but with no armour). Remember that flak armour as worn by guard and guardians does not even qualify for a save in Epic, and harlequins have none at all. I understand if you are reluctant to create a weakness for an army that should have small numbers and be good at assaults, as poor armour is a big issue for CC troops I know, but I think it's worth exploring how to do it without making them simply hard to kill overall (and consequently extremely expensive). I note that other aspects of their stats are focused on minimising the opportunity of the opponent to hit them in an assault (first strike, the seer rule etc) so I think following along that theme works better. Dare I say even a blanket -1 to hit harlies in assault - which is a big deal as these rolls are never modified to date - would even be possible.

Sorry if I am coming across negative, I just figure it is better to address major issues of "feel" now when you take over than further down the line. If it's not up for debate it's fine, I will fade quietly into the night. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:04 pm 
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i'd go for always in cover (light cover -1 to hit, 5+ save) that would even apply in an assault. it would not be cumulativ when being in actual cover, but in hard cover the 4+ save may be used. not both.

vs any kind of template and ignore cover this rule would not apply.

or simply give them an inv. 5+ save to represent them being really hard to hit due to their holofield. so they might even dance away from mw and tk hits. i think this would be the easiest route without making them terminator like tanks. which is the wrong way to go with reinforced armour imo. also this way would not implement extra special rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:22 pm 
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yeah that wasn't an actual suggestion, just noting how they used to work when dinosaurs (like me) roamed the tabletop.

A permament "in-cover" as graf_spee outlines in his firat paragraph seems the best to me. They should be hard to hit but squishy when hit. nothing more off putting than factions with special rules that negate your special rules etc. it removes a feeling of player agency and make the actual casulties you inflict against them more satisfying. thei specific weakness, as all eldar factions should have imho, is in ignore cover area effect weapons.

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:53 pm 
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Ginger asked me to write a review of the list, so here goes. Maybe a few talking points?

The Good

- The stats of the army fit well with how Harlequins were presented in Rogue Trader era books.
- They potentially offer a unique, high risk playstyle somewhere between Eldar and Necrons. With right balance this could be a fun and challenging list to play with and against.

Pure Harlequins

Pure Harlequins offers a small, very elite army with excellent assault and Alpha strike capabilities but a number of weakness:
Low Numbers and activations
Vulnerable to armies with numbers and expendable troops(Orks,Nids)
Vulnerable to armies with Air Power
Weak against armies with lots of skimmers due to heavy CC focus.
Weak against armies with excellent AP/MW firepower

Overall:
Probably could give a good game to an opponent happy to play a friendly list that doesn't overly take advantage of these factors.

Harlequins + Eldar

Compared to standard Eldar:

Offers an advantage in SR rating, the Laughing God marker and (arguably)better than usual Aspects. Storm Serpents and Wraithgates become more useful thanks to the Harlequin webway mastery allowing potentially devastating hit and run assaults.

Weakness: This is possibly like an Eldar list with 5-6 Aspect formations. These are pretty rare at tournaments as more rounded lists with a mix of firepower and assaults seem more effective. Another good comparison would be Iyanden. In this case, the web way Mastery/infiltrate/SR:5 offers an alternative to fearless/greater toughness of the Spirit Hosts/Troupes.

Harlequins + Dark Eldar

Compared to standard Dark Eldar:

Offers an advantage in SR rating, the Laughing God marker and superior Assault units. Portable webgate becomes more useful thanks to the Harlequin webway mastery.

Weakness: Reduction in Activations, possible over specialisation as the Dark Eldar already excel in CC, arguably with better cost effectiveness.
Almost certainly 2 BTS's if you take the Great Harlequin and the mandatory Incubi.

So Harlequins offer some strong bonuses to particular types of Eldar/Dark Eldar armies.

Whether these match the strongest Eldar/Dark Eldar builds out there I'm less certain. I'd probably like to see them in action as to whether Web Way Mastery allows them to pull off moves with the same panache as the Necrons with their moving between Monoliths before I could judge.

Few concerns-

- I think wraithlords(even with Holofields and extra attack) could be too brittle at 3 strong and easy to plink into breaking. Could be reworked?

- Mimes are currenty stronger than Harlequins(Teleport, Scout, MW vs 6+FF) but are cheaper. Ginger feels the lack of FF with the Mimics is a big weakness, perhaps boosting the Harlequins FF to 5+ would make the difference between the two plainer?

Obviously, I haven't actually played the list yet, and some of what is said here might be revised in light of that.
But overall, I don't feel the list is obviously overpowered and has good potential for development.
Its not the Eldar Titan list. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:10 pm 
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Kyrt, JZ and DK
Thanks for the interesting ideas, though making the Harlequins more vulnerable creates its own issues with the small formation sizes as Kyrt says. If the Harlies are made more 'squishy', the formations will need to be larger in compensation, which in turn requires a reduction in their power, ultimately returning them to the level of the current Eldar Aspects.

Guys, I take your point about 'squishiness'. However a 5+ RA save has 4/9 chances of failing which is only marginally better than Marines, while the 5+ save against MW provides an analogue for their holofield effects. This is a lot easier to process than yet another 'In cover' special rule.

To the other points, the current stats make the Harlies lethal in CC but much less effective in FF. This in turn makes them poor support formations, in particular the Mimes which have no FF at all (putting them in the same bracket as Tyranid Lictors - but the greater strategy role does give the Mimes a reasonable chance of going first).


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