Sunday, March 29, 2015

Codex Review: Harlequins a.k.a. the Eldar Grey Knights

It has been a long time and can't say I'm disappointed.  Back when 40k bit me, when Eldar Harlequins first caught my attention I wanted to field an entire army.  Besides the Warhammer 40,000 Companion and years later a White Dwarf of an entire Harlequin army we haven't had the opportunity to field a posse of clowns.  Well now we can and

JJ posting,

Apparently Grey Knights are so cool that other armies have to have their own version.  Let's be fair, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

When the Eldar fell there was a plan implemented by Cedric the Entertainer, doh, meant Cegorach.  Who also happens to be, wait for it, an entertainer.

No heat intended, Cedric.  Talking about a clown on a stage which people enjoy.  And by stage I mean table, by people I mean players, by enjoy I mean genuinely appreciate.

Man, lots of tangents so quickly.  Focus, JJ.  Need to find some repetitive behaviour to sooth me.  Been watching a lot of Archer recently.

It doesn't take too many pages of reading the Harlequins codex to feel the GW plot hammer hitting you repeatedly to get the vibe that the Harlequins are a force of Eldar with the purpose to fight the Ruinous Powers, pg 6, and use their knowledge from the Black Library Craftworld to efficiently guerrilla fight the Adversary.  Which by the way is my favourite term for Slaanesh.

Getting to the codex review.  Like it, like it quite a bit.  It is the cheapest army to buy into because of the force org chart along with model range.  The Harlequins received a new design along with two new models, Star/Voideweaver and Skyweavers.  GW should be thanked for remaking the model line.  Besides never being a fan of the Troupe Master models, going all the way back to Rogue Trader, I like the entire range.  Solitaire from Rogue Trader was a beautiful model and its place in the foam tray is far from the rest of the clowns.

Just like the Grey Knights army composition you have a low model count.  My 1850 list has thirty-three models.  Similar to my Purifier list which consists of thirty-eight models.  Whether by design or accident GW has made the Harlequins fluff to be almost exactly Grey Knights.  From the specific background to the specialized weapons, which don't help fight the Ruinous Powers in the Harlequins case, and low model army count to boot.  Same amount of points for models with worst saves and far easier to remove from the field.  Go, Eldar Grey Knights!

Rant is coming any sentence, or paragraph, now.  Not sure when, but its coming.  Here we have a codex that costs the same as the Necrons which contained a good twenty more pages.  But, hey if they are giving us a pool full of GW cool-aid, sure I'll take the challenge, dive in, sit at the bottom and attempt to drink it all.

Dive in I did.  Picked up the new Solitaire, Shadowseer and Death Jester.  Already have them all painted from the Rogue Trader days.  Picked up the 3rd ed Shadowseer and Death Jester models.  There was a sale when Air Traffic, man that was so long ago.  Feels like yesterday.  Fuck time is flying.  Feel bad for you, parents.  The hands must be spinning off the clock with how fast time is flying for you.  Another tangent there, Air Traffic was selling a 3rd ed Deathjester for 50% had to buy it.  An idea came to be how to paint it, still stuck in my mind.  Well now I have the full seven elite slots filled with extras, probably like many of you.  Also picked up two Harlequin Troupe boxsets from 3rd ed.  Have some fourteen Rogue Trader troupe models.  When picking up the 7th ed versions also picked up a Skyweaver, Troupe and Voidweaver box.  Due to the fortunes of the gods and my own decisions was able to pick up a second 7th troupe, skyweaver and five more voidweaver boxes.  In all it didn't cost a lot bring my existing Harlequins to be a full army.  Won't have to buy any more until they release another codex with newer shit.

The new models are great.  Like the Dark Eldar they are designed to have interchangeable parts with other Eldar armies.  May end up putting a Dark Eldar wych whip on my Solitaire, not sure yet.  Really appreciate that the troupe box comes with enough Harlequin kisses for the squad.  Wish they would've added enough Fusion pistols.  May end up picking up some from ebay.  Go big or go home right?  Have to make these Harlequins useful before they die.

Back to the codex review instead of money and models.  Well we have another codex that has been rushed book.  Typos, poor editing and unimpressive art.  Holy hanna, GW!  Going from one end of the spectrum with no middle you've gone overboard with the pictures.  In your Dark Eldar and previous sixth ed codexes you moved from no art to just photographed models for pictures.  Plenty of text and very little art.  Yes, illustration is a soft field often first cut when hard economic times occur.  Starting with the Necrons codex GW went from very little art to holy hanna every bloody page has to have some sort of art on it.  Instead of building upon the rich background GW sacrifices content for photoshop art.  Poorly drawn photoshop art at that.  One model repeated four times with just colours changed, Necrons pg warriors.  Same goes for Harlequins, sometimes across multiple pages.  P 39 how does the front loin clothe go through the one on the back?  Come on, GW, you're attention to detail is better than that.  Now we have a detailed background pulled from White Dwarfs some 20 years ago complied in the Companion mentioned above.  Now we get Harlequins given a useless purpose with weapons that aren't designed for the job.  Will give GW credit for making the future a little more darker and brighter at the same time.  If GW is designing an End of Times for 40k they are doing a wonderful job sprinkling the hints in the Harlequins codex, pg 13 king stirs in a court of death and silence.  Don't blame GW for performing only opposite ends of the spectrum finding it hard to hit the middle.  I have the same issue.  The art of the codex would be much better if models for the styles of the Necrons and Harlequins were actual drawings not some computer designed crap.  Not that one is better, harder or easier than the other.  For me there's more feeling in hand drawn art.  The vast, wish I could say few, full colour pages spanning art isn't even that good.   While inspiring, it doesn't grab my attention as easily as previous editions codexes art.  Gone are the fold out pages from 6th and 7th ed codexes.  Necrons was the first to lose them.

Hmm, the rant seemed to have snuck in there.

Harlequins codex is an entertaining book that provides us the opportunity to put down extremely well painted clowns.  Perhaps I'll finally get that best painted trophy!  Appropriately painted clowns will definitely light up a table.

This'll be fun for a long time.  Right now I have them in their boxes, which looks beautiful, waiting to be given attention.  Need to clear several things from my murder table before I get to them.

slainte mhath


  1. Been wondering what you've been up to! Can't wait to see how you paint these guys up!

    1. It has been a little slow around the murder table recently. Of course other things keeping me from it is the reason. Need to make it a priority. Really want to get to my clowns.


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