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Caledonian Deathwatch Network

List Building with Harlequins

Image result for harlequin images 40k

 

I’m starting to think more seriously about lists. I’ve tried a few variations, but I think it probably comes down to 2 basic archetypes  – Pure or with Allies, or in other words, do I take Drukhari and/or Craftworld, or just stick with Harlies.

In this post I’m going to think about options for a pure Harlies List, and in the next talk about allies.

I think the starting point for a pure Harlies list is structure – and by this I mean what detachments to take.

The first option is a Brigade, but I don’t think it’s realistic. I’ve played around with it, but you need to make too many compromises. The biggest being you’re more or less stuck with one Masque, and I think that an optimal pure list needs to take advantage of more than one Masque Form. So, I think the realistic options are a double battalion, or a battalion plus 1 or 2 other detachments. 

Single Battalion

I think the core Battalion is reasonably straight forward. To my mind Soaring Spite is the stand out Masque, and Troupe’s with Fusion Pistols in Starweavers the obvious choice. Couple that with 2 Troupe Masters (assuming you’re taking the Shadowseer in another detachment), and you have your core. How to load out the Troupe’s is more interesting. In the past I shied away from max Fusion Pistols. I took the view that a ‘weaver with 5 Pistols in it encouraged bad decision. I tended to over extent my army, boosting one Fusion ‘weaver on a Long Range Fusion Drive By (LRFDB), without the necessary support. Having lots of Troupes with a smaller number of Pistols (I settled on 3), forced you to keep them together, which was generally more effective.

However, the new codex has made me re-think that. If you have a Shadowseer with Twilight Pathways and a Troupe Master with Falchou’s Talon, you can boost 3 Starweavers on LRFDBs in one turn. The first has a 34” range using the Talon, the 2nd has a 50” range using Twilight Pathways, and the 3rd a 35” range using Fire and Fade (move and advance, shoot the Starweavers Cannon, play F&F, move a further 7” and shoot the guys inside). You can also make those Starweavers more survivable, giving 2 of them a 3++ with Prismatic Blur (one after it advances in the Movement Phase, the other after it advances using Twilight Pathways in the Psychic Phase), and making the third -2 to hit using Lightening Fast Reactions.

That makes LRFDBs more attractive, leading me to think that 3 troupes with 4 Fusion Pistols might be the way to go. That would give me 2 ‘weavers with 5 Pistols (a Master in each), and one with 4, so 14 Fusion Pistols all with an effective range of 34”, or 31” for “double dice”. That’s going to cause a  dent! I would also run them with Caresses which is (probably) the overall best weapon (controversy still rages). The downside of course is that makes for a very expensive 1 wound, 4++ model (29pts each) which is why the 5th Player in each squad has no upgrades … he’s the first to die! 

That brings us to 856pts.

The next decision is what else to bring – there are really only 3 options  – an Outrider Detachment, a Spearhead Detachment and a Vanguard Detachment. 

A Vanguard Detachment is the cheapest – 313pts gets you a Shadowseer, 2 Death Jesters and a Solitaire. However I still don’t rate Death Jesters and 2 of them feels like a tax. Also, I’m not persuaded that 4 characters running around on foot is the way to go (although Hero’s Path is a partial solution to mobility). That might persuade me to take a Starweaver, which makes the Detachment 412pts, which is still reasonably cheap to be fair, but hardly optimal.

Next cheapest would be a Spearhead detachment with a Shadowseer and 3 Voidweavers with Prism Cannons for 467pts. The advantage of this detachment is that the most obvious Masque to take is Soaring Spite allowing the Voideweavers to advance and shoot without penalty. That would allow the Shadowseer to jump into one of the Starweavers from the Soaring Spite Battalion. 

Finally, there’s the obvious “best choice”, being an Outrider Detachment with Skyweavers. A minimal detachment would be 365pts, with 3 units of 2 Skyweavers and a Shadowseer, but if I was going to take this detachment I would want to kit it out. My choice would be a 6 bike unit of Skyweavers with Shuriken Cannons and Glaives, and 2 three bike units with Haywire Cannons and Bolas using the Silent Shroud Masque Form. The idea is you force the 6 bike unit down your opponents throat (taking advantage of the “you can’t overwatch me” stratagem) while the two 3 bike units kills vehicles or infantry. It’s not a cheap detachment though, coming in at 611pts, but I think it’s the most effective. 

So with the Battalion that comes to 1,467pts. Add in a Solitaire brings you to 1,565pts, or 435pts to spend – enough for a a Vanguard Detachment, but I think I would rather have one less Command Point, and more Troupe’s in Starweavers. With a little effort we could probably get 2 more in the Battalion getting us to something like

Soaring Spite Battalion

Troupe Master, Fusion, Kiss

Troupe Master, Fusion, Kiss

Troupe, 5 Players, 4 Fusion, 4 Caresses

Troupe, 5 Players, 4 Fusion, 4 Caresses

Troupe, 5 Players, 4 Fusion, 4 Caresses

Troupe, 4 Caresses

Troupe, 4 Caresses

Solitaire

Starweavers x 5

Silent Shroud Outrider Detachment

Shadowseer

6 Skyweavers with Zephyerglaves, and Shruiken Cannons 

3 Skyweavers with Bolas and Haywire Cannons

3 Skyweavers with Bolas and Haywire Cannons

There’s about 50pts left over for some additions here and there (probably more Fusion Pistols), but that’s the core. 

I think it’s a sound list, but the character’s are a bit awkward. There’s no where for the Shadowseer to go. However, there’s no reason why the Shadowseer can’t go in the Battalion, which means she could get a ride in one of the Starweavers. That means putting the Troupe Master in the Outrider Detachment, which is fine, but he still feels a bit “lost”.

As for Powers, Twilight Pathways with Shard of Light or Veil of Tears. Pathways is there to boost the Bikes wherever they need to be. Veil is there is cast on the Solitaire, making him the most irritating unit to get rid of, and you might take Shard of Light if there are “big scary things” with invulnerable saves that the Haywire Cannons can’t deal with. For Relics I would take Falchou’s Talon on the Battalion Troupe Master, and either Cegorach’s Rose or Starmist Raiment on the Solitaire, depending on what I want him to do. 

As for Warlord Traits, I would probably take Skystrider on the Shadowseer and make her my Warlord. Being able to get out of her Starweaver and move after the ‘weaver moves means you will never need to worry about placement every again (!). Another good reason to have her in the Battalion.

But …… it’s only 9 CPs, and you will probably spend 1 pre game, and one to Deep Strike the Outrider Troupe Master meaning you will start with 7. I don’t think that’s enough …. which brings me to.

Double Battalion

I think the starting point is the same as the last list – a Soaring Spite Battalion with 2 Troupe Masters and 3 Troupes with 4 Fusion Pistols each in Starweavers. The big question then becomes …. what masque for the 2nd battalion?

One option is simply to double down on Soaring Spite, swap a Troupe Master for a Shadowseer, and “same again”, but that’s a bit boring. If one battalion is a “shooty” Masque, perhaps the other should be a “fighty” one? The obvious Masque for that role is Frozen Stars.

I have a hankering to run a 12 Player Troupe on foot to see how it goes. I think a mix of Blades and Caresses are the way to go, Caresses to kill stuff with, and Blades to be the first to die! I need 3 Troupes to make up the battalion, so one big one on foot, and 2 smaller ones in Starweavers. Smaller Frozen Stars Troupe’s are I think the ideal place for Kisses, given the strategem that allows you to add 1 to wound rolls, which gets around one of the main drawbacks of a Kiss – that it’s strength 4. For HQs I think at least one Shadowseer is necessary with Twilight Pathways to make sure the foot-slogging Troupe gets across the table. She would also take Veil of Tears and use Shield from Harm to protect the Troupe. A Troupe Master in one of the weavers is also probably a good idea for re-rolls to wound.

That brings us to 1,640pts. Add a Solitaire (probably in the Frozen Stars Battalion) and we’re at 1,738pts. Just enough points for a 6 Bike Unit of Skyweavers (with a bit of jiggling around). I’m tempted to take them as a Silent Shroud Auxiliary Support Unit, again for the “you can’t overwatch me” Stratagem. 

So something like

Soaring Spite Battalion

Troupe Master, Fusion, Caress

Troupe Master, Fusion, Caress

Troupe, 5 Players, 4 Fusion, 4 Caresses

Troupe, 5 Players, 4 Fusion, 4 Caresses

Troupe, 5 Players, 4 Fusion, 4 Caresses

Starweavers, x3

Frozen Spite battalion

Shadowseer

Troupe Master, Kiss

Troupe, 12 Players, 6 Caresses

Troupe, 5 Players, 4 Kisses

Troupe, 5 Players, 4 Kisses

Solitaire

Starweavers, x2

Silent Shroud, Auxiliary Detachment

Skyweavers, 6 Bikes, 6 Glaives, 6 Haywire Cannons (maybe just Shuriken, as points allow)

I suspect this list will be more CP reliant than the last one, so I might be tempted to take Player of Twilight Warlord trait (regenerating CPs). For powers I would take Twilight Pathways and Veil of Tears, and for Enigmas probably Cegorachs rose on the Solitiare. 

So the list starts with 12 CPs as opposed to the last list’s 9. 

On balance, I think I prefer the second list, but it will turn on whether I can get the footslogging troupe to work. An alternative would be to simply take another 5 Player troupe in a Starweaver …… but then would it not make more sense just to take a second Soaring Spite Battalion?

Thoughts?

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