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Caledonian Deathwatch Network

Harlies at the ITC Scottish Open

Image result for 40k harlequins images


I’m just back from the ITC Scottish Open, hosted by Knightly Gaming in Lanark, Scotland. I drove there with 2 friends, so we’ll have the usual road trip report on the podcast soon – but for those of you who just can’t wait (!) this is my Tournament report for the blog.

First up, I had an absolute blast. All my games were great fun, but more than that they were all tough, tactical and hard fought …… most of them coming down to the wire. Usual format – brief reports and some thoughts on my list.

Game 1

Against Nurgle Demons – 75 Plague bearers, 3 characters that buff the PB’s damage output and speed dramatically, 3 Demon Princes and a Renegade Knight with twin Gatling Cannons. We were playing ITC Mission 1. I took Titanic, Head Hunter and Big Game. 

I had been thinking about this match up all week. I knew Plague Bearers were tough, but I hadn’t realised how fast and dangerous they can be with the appropriate buff characters. I wasn’t too concerned by the Knight or the Princes, but I had no idea how I was going to kill all the ‘bearers, while at the same time avoiding being “mulched” by them. But after a while I had a plan – Kill the Knight with the Skywires, Assassinate the buffing characters with the Solitaire, execute the Princes with Long Range Fusion Drive buys, and then get all the Harlies out and assault one unit of bearers at a time.

All very well in theory, but I had underestimated how much of the board 75 ‘bearers take up. Getting to the Knight was tricky, and getting the Starweavers within 3” of the Princes trickier still. It was all a bit “cat and mouse” but when the dust settled I had killed everything other than the ‘bearers and had enough points to “squeak” a win.

Game 2

I was paired up with a friend from the club who I play all the time. Not really what you want at a tournament, but it is what it is.

He was playing Space Wolves “hero hammer” – 3 Jump Lords with Storm Shields and Thunder Hammers, 3 Jump Wolf Guard Battle Leaders with Shields and Hammers, a Rune Priest, 2 units of Wulfen (horrible, horrible things!), a guard CP battery, and a devastator squad (which think we both agreed afterwards was a waste of points – better off with more Wulfen).

This was a very “tactical” game – by which I mean we kinda moved around each other for a turn or two, before either of us decided to commit – often the problem where you have 2 assault armies. But eventually my opponent committed to the assault, and moved all his characters into a ruin, and surrounded them with 2 units of Scions, which he deep struck in. At the same time, he brought in one unit of Wulfen, that was also within range of the characters. And this is where I made a mistake.

I often say the most difficult decision I make in every game with Harlies is when to get the Troupe’s our and committee them to assault. This was the moment to decide …. and I made the wrong decision. I decided to keep them in their Starweavers and try and snipe our the characters with Fusion Pistols, shooting from the ‘weavers. I sent the Skywire bikes to try and kill some Wulfen, but more importantly to hold them up for a turn. My thinking was that I would wipe out the Scions with Shuriken Cannon Fire, making the characters behind them the closest units, and then kill the characters with Fusion Pistols. If I could hold up the Wulfen with the Skywires for a turn, I could then deal with them next turn.

Well it almost worked. I did wipe out the Scions, and I sniped out 3 of the 7 characters – however the bikes just bounced of the Wulfen, and were reduced to a multicoloured mist in return. 

What I should have done was commit 3 units of Harlies and associated characters to obliterate the Jump Lords, still use the bikes to hold up the Wulfen, but also use the Skyweavers to move block them. In my opponents turn, the Wulfen killed 2 of three Starweavers, and over the next few turns killed all but 2 Players. In turn 6, he needed to kill 2 Players to win – he put 2 wounds on them, and I made one 4++, for a draw. Very tight game.

Game 3

So with a win and a draw I was still in the “shark tank” and drew an Imperial soup army of guard, Blood Angles and Deathwatch. “Odd” I hear you say, and that was exactly what I thought, until I noticed he had 2 Forge World Leviathan Dreadnoughts with 2 big “fuck off” cannons. Turns out they shoot 20 S6 AP-2 D2 shots each …. and hit on a 2+. “But that’s OK” I thought “they only have a 24” range”. So I deployed conservatively and made sure I was out of range of the Cannons Turn 1, with a plan to “nuke” them with the bikes, using Twilight Pathways to move them twice if necessary. 

And then he placed them both in reserve!! Turns out you can do that for a CP if they’re Deathwatch Dreadnaughts…..! So now I understood why he took Deathwatch.

Well that threw off my plans, but after a bit of thoughts I decided that I couldn’t sit around and do nothing, and committed to an alpha strike. It went pretty well, killing a whole unit of Deathwatch Veterans (screwing his plan to teleport them to his Watch Captain when the Captain deepstruck in), a bunch of Scouts, some guardsmen and 2 Rapier Battery Quad Heavy Bolters (such a stupid rule that you can’t target the gunners unless they are the closets model). In his turn he brought in both Dreads, but he brought them in way over on one side of the board, rather than centrally. He wanted to kill the Starweavers that had wiped out the Veterans. I think this was a mistake to be honest – IMO he should have brought them in more centrally  – however, it prompted me to make an even bigger mistake.

The Dreads killed both Starweavers, but not the Players inside (some died to explosions, but not all). I was then left with, I think, 7 Players with Fusion Pistols staring down the Dreads. What I should have done was commit the Skywires to killing the Dreads along with the 7 Fusion Pistols. I might have killed one of them, and then the other next turn. But I had a Smash Captain killing my Ravagers that I wanted the bikes to deal with, and because the Dreads were way over on the other side of the board I thought I could probably just keep out of range and/or hide from them the rest of the game. So I didn’t target the Dreads at all, but used the players to kill some guardsmen, and a Company Commander (I had taken Reaper and Head Hunter for my secondaries), and used to bikes target the Smash Captain (they bounced off!!)

So over the rest of the game I killed things, focusing on the mission, hid from the Dreads and generally ran away. In the end he had the 2 dreads left and the un-targetable gunners …. but he had just enough to score a bunch of points on the last turn, to come out ahead. 

So a loss, but one where I knew what I did wrong, and one I felt I could have won if I hadn’t made mistakes.

Game 4

My goals for the tournament was to go 3-0-2, so I had to win my next 2 games.

Game 4 I played Blood Angles  – a Smash Captain, a Chaplain, Sanguinor, 2 big units of Death Company, a Stormraven and a guard CP battery. Thinking about this game overnight my biggest concern was going second and having the Death Company in my lines turn one, using Forlorn Fury (they get a pregame move). But luckily we rolled hammer and anvil and I was able to deploy far enough back that there was no way he was getting me, even if he did use Forlorn Fury. Which was just as well because he seized!

So the only thing that could shoot me turn one was the Stormraven, but it didn’t do anything. On my turn I double moved the bikes using Twilight Pathways and shot the Stormraven down to 4 wounds, I then charged his guard screen, killing one unit and locking the other one in combat so he couldn’t shoot me next turn. I also killed a unit of Scouts, racking up some points. In his turn 2, he zooms the Stormraven up next to the Shadowseer that cast Twilight Pathways and brought down one unit of Death Company to assault the bikes. I think this was a mistake. IMO he should have brought everything down in my deployment zone and got stuck into my Ravagers and Starweavers ….. but having said that I had zoned out the landing zone pretty effectively. 

So in the shooting phase he fired the Stormraven’s Hurricane Bolters into the Shadowseer and wiffed, leaving the Shadowseer on 3 wounds. He assaulted the bikes with the Death Company and bounced off (they were -1 to hit from Lightening Fast Reactions, and had a 3++ from Prismatic Blurr).  He spent 3 CPs to fight again but I used Agents of Vect to block it. In my turn I pretty much wiped out his back field (a couple of Starweavers had moved up the turn before), racking up a bunch of points. 

In his turn 3 he borough down all his characters and the other unit of DC. After some shooting he rolled for a bunch of assaults (with Agents of Vect, blocking a 3d6 charge), but in the end only killed my Archon and one Ravager. That was the critical turn – if he had made more charges he probably would have won, but he didn’t make enough. After that it was mopping up – I would have tabled him on turn 5.

Game 5

So, after at big win I was back in the shark tank, playing Knights on table 2. My opponent had a big shooty knight, a little shooty knight, a big fighty knight and a CP battery with 2 tank Commanders and some mortars. What he also had, which I had never come across before, were 3 Artims Pattern Hellhounds. They were a big concern because they auto hit with S6 flamers, getting around my native -1 to hit. However, when they die they blow up on a 4+, and deliver d6 mortal wound to everything within 6”. Not great for an army that needs to get fusion pistols within 6” to kill them!

So I reserved the Ravagers and hid everything else out of line of sight. My opponent seized first turn (not entirely sure why), and did minimal damage. He pushed the Hellhounds forward, but I had made sure I was out of range of their big flamers. In my turn I moved up the bikes and got the Shadowseer out toTwilight Pathway the bikes up the table towards the Gallant. I also moved 2 Starweavers with Fusion guns to within range of the Hell Hounds. My reasoning was that I might die if they blow up, but I would certainly die if they flamed me as they would have next turn. I also brought the Ravagers down.

A combination of Ravagers, Shuriken Cannons and Fusion Pistols killed all the Hellhounds. The Skyweavers didn’t do nearly as much damage to the Knight as I had hoped, but they did boost up to within charge range. However, I needn’t have worried as they put a few more wounds on the Knight in combat, survived the Knights counter assault, and then killed him using Cegorch’s Jest (which lets you fire at a unit falling back) when he fell back from combat in my opponents next turn. The bikes also soaked up most of my opponents return fire in his shooting phase, although he did manage to put a lot of wounds on the Ravagers. 

In my next turn it was time to commit  – so I committed all the remaining Fusion Pistols and all the Ravagers to shooting the Knight ……. and wiffed. At one point I rolled to hit with 4 Fusion Pistols and rolled 4 ones! It was a woeful display of shooting! After that epic failure it was a game of hide and seek, trying to rack up as many points as I could, before the Knight killed me. Thankfully, while my Fusions Pistols couldn’t hit the side of a barn door, I could make 4+ invulnerable saves … like a boss! At one point I made the stupid mistake of leaving a Shadowseer who was hiding, within 1” of  a wall, allowing the Knight to Charge her …. but that was OK, because I made eight 4+ saves!! 

So in the end I won, leaving me on 3-1-1, and snagging 3rd place. I also took away “Best Painted”, and Renaissance Man – i.e. best overall combining gaming, painting and sportsmanship scores. Very pleased with that.

Next post I’ll reflect on how my list performed and combine that with a few thoughts on how the FAQ effects harlequins. 

2 Responses to “Harlies at the ITC Scottish Open”

  • Brian Ellis says:

    Very informative! What psychic powers do you take on your Shadowseer, you don’t mind? I can’t seem to get use out of anything but twilight pathways and shards of light.

  • EYIG says:

    For my army, 9 times out of 10, I take Pathways and Shard. On occasion I’ll take Veil of Tears, but only to buff the Solitaire …… which really isn’t worth it. To be honest, if it wasn’t for Pathways I probably wouldn’t take a Shadowseer.

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