Harlequin Troupe Leader/High Avatar

I painted this guy up in 1993, when I was seventeen.  The paint job is far from perfect but it is still good enough for me to be quite happy to use the figure in any of my games that require it.

Harlequin Troupe Leader

As my Harlequin project never got any further than that Troupe Leader (or High Avatar as it was called back then) I still have a few lovely old Harlequin figures knocking around that tempt me from time to time.  If I do get around to painting them I may tie the scheme in to resonate with this figure in some way, just for fun

I will probably avoid copying the hairdo that looks like a decorated Xmas tree though, I am not so keen on that.  It does however make the figure a little more appropriate for an Xmas post.

Festive Head

I hope that all of you guys get the nerdy stuff that you want under the tree this year.

Back To The (Grim, Dark) Future Pt3

Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.

Using the last game for rules of thumb we decided to throw points values out of the window.  We then tweaked the scenario to represent the disruption by Harlequins of a daemonic summoning ritual by the Sin-Eaters.

The main reason for that scenario was that I wanted to use some of the daemon and other miniatures that I painted for the army years ago that never proved viable enough for regular play.  It is always fun going back to play with figures that were fun to paint that never got much table time for whatever reason.

GAME 3: Harlequins Vs Sin Eaters Chaos Space Marines

We set  up as above but doubled the number of sentries as the Harlequins had too easy a time avoiding them in the previous game.

Nonetheless two troupes made short work of the sentries on the Western side.

That didnt slow down the summoning ritual though.  Swarms of Nurglings and and a group of Plaguebearers poured through the rift that was being opened by the Plague Marines.  Sin-Eaters Bikers also came in from the East in support.

Nurglings swarmed over one squad of Harlequins, catching them unawares and killing them unexpectedly.  The fight between the Plaguebearers and the second troupe caused casualties on both sides.

Eldar Guardians from the Kouranaya Craftworld stepped through their webway portal (the tacky looking golden pyramid) to support the Harlequins.  The Sin Eater bikers adjusted to an intercept course.

Tough as they were the Plaguebearers were finding it difficult to withstand the repeated hit and run attacks from the Harlequin troupe.  The Nurglings unexpected run of luck didnt hold and a fully expected obliteration occurred at the hands of the third troupe.

Sin Eater Havocs moved in from the South West and deployed their heavy weapons to cover the altar.

A solitary Plaguebearer was all that remained of the unit as the troupe disengaged ready to charge in again.

The armoured bikers were too tough for the guardians who were wiped out after a protracted fight.

More Guardians came through the Webway portal just as the Bikers finished off the first Guardian squad while the surviving Harlequins circled the altar ready to assault.

With heavy casualties on both sides the Harlequins nearly dislodge the Plague Marines from the altar…

…but a Chaos Spawn congeals out of nowhere and lands behind the surviving troupe.  It looks bad for the Eldar.

The Harlequins on the altar are killed by the remaining Plague Marines, Chaos Spawn and solitary Plaguebearer.  The Harlequins backflip out of combat with the bikers as the guardians kill another, leaving only the Sergeant.

This frees up the last Harlequin troupe to rush back towards the altar.  Unexpected supporting fire from the final Guardian squad that just warped in proves lethal in combination with the Harlequins sidearms.

The Guardians finally tear the biker sergeant from his saddle and riddle him with close range shuriken fire while the remnants of the last troupe send the final daemon back to the hole that spawned him.  Bloody but victorious the Eldar prepare to set explosives and counter wards to ensure that the altar can never be used again.

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Conclusions:

Although at this stage we were tiring of our trip down 40k memory lane, with all of its dead ends and turn offs that go nowhere and for no real reason, that game ended up being quite fun, if a bit linear and predictable.  It was close in the end and it was evocative of the source material.  That is the most that we could have hoped for in fairness.

Parts FOUR and FIVE.

Back To The (Grim, Dark) Future Pt2

Part 1 with some preamble is here.

There was only a little bit of vague information about Eldar Pirates in the Rogue Trader book before White Dwarf 127 brought in swathes of background and info regarding the Craftworld Eldar.  Before that the only Eldar worth talking about were the Harlequins.

Last year MT painted up a bunch of Harlequins that he had traded with me years ago which were last seen in a Space Hulk here.  Despite how cool the original Harlequin stuff was back in the day neither of us had been involved in a game using them (apart from a few abortive attempts to use the silly Harlequin list from the Citadel Journal circa 2001).

The current Eldar Codex and the new Dark Eldar Codex both have rules for Harlequin Squads that looked good to us.  It seemed like GW had finally got the Harlequin power level right: stylish and effective rather than bland and ineffectual (Eldar Codices 1 and 2) and playable rather than broken (Citadel Journal Harlequin list).  So we were pleased to be able to finally play a game of 40K with them so many years later.

GAME 2: Sin Eaters Vs Unknown Harlequin Troupe

We set up an Altar of eeevil in the middle of the table with Sin-Eaters holding it and four Chaos Marine sentries surrounding them.  We decided to play a second, more involved scenario with daemon summoning etc after this one,  once we had an idea of how well the Harlequins functioned.  This game was to be all about how the Cosmic Elf Ninja Clowns work in their current form.

The Troupe started off on the Western edge.

With all of the panache that one would expect from a group of almost immortal space ninja elves devoted to a god of violent deception, a pair of Chaos Marine sentries were silently bumped off.

A trio of Sin-Eater bikers rush in from the East in response.

The irresistible force of the Harlequins meets the immovable object of the Plague Marines.  Something had to give.

It turned out that the Plague Marines caved to the flurry of attacks brought about by the Harlequin ability to Hit and Run.  Say what you like about 40k, but it felt just right, one of the rare marriages of the background and the game mechanics in action.

The last Plague Marine regrouped with the depleted biker squad, but the fight was gone out of them.  Their indistinct would-be assassins encircled.

The last of the Chaos forces were wiped out and the Harlequins won by a large margin.

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Conclusions: Already a number of the tried and utterly untrusted mechanisms of 40k were starting to wear thin.  We glossed over these with the wave of our hands and the application of hazily remembered other rules from the various editions of the system over the years.  This kept the game going, but obviously wasnt ideal.  Also the IGo/UGo nature of the game felt scripted and dull.

On the plus side it was nice to play with Harlequins that felt like how we thought that they should feel after all these years (thin and muscley with an excellent skincare regime in case you were wondering).

Digging out older figures that havent seen the light of day for a while (like the Sin Eaters) for a game is always a little bit of a kick.  The fight between the Harlequins and the Plague Marines on the altar was evocative because of the thinly applied setting/scenario and because the rules actually helped the events to feel authentic.  This is a main goal for me with miniature games so that was a big plus.

Parts THREEFOUR and FIVE.

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