Harlequins Preview: Stratagems, Warlord Traits and More
Codex: Harlequins lets you transform the servants of Cegorach into one of Warhammer 40,000’s most unusual forces with a range of powerful new rules. We’ve already checked out the full spectrum of Masque Forms you’ll be able to choose from, while today, we’re taking a closer look at the Stratagems, Warlord Traits, psychic powers and Enigmas of the Black Library that you’ll be using to customise your own masque.
The Harlequins’ Stratagems offer a vast range of tactical options to your army. One of our favourites is Cegorach’s Jest – get across the table as fast as possible, trap a key enemy shooting unit, then punish them when they’re forced to Fall Back:
Defensively, there are a few options that’ll allow you to improve your invulnerable saves – Prismatic Blur shields you as you Advance, and works superbly on Starweavers, while Isha’s Weeping lets you transform casualties suffered in Overwatch from a liability into a significant benefit:
As well as bolstering your units, the Harlequins have a range of Stratagems that directly influence their characters – after all, no army depends quite as much on these supporting players as much as the Harlequins do. Shrieking Doom makes the shrieker cannon even deadlier, and is great for picking off enemy characters thanks to the Death Jester’s ability to ignore usual character-targeting rules:
Heroes’ Path, meanwhile, allows you to deploy your characters at will, and is great for making a last-minute objective grab, disengaging from combat, or closing in on a key position:
One Stratagem that’ll be particularly appealing to veteran Harlequins players is Great Harlequin – allowing you to represent these elusive and mysterious champions on the tabletop and providing some useful bonuses to nearby units:
Finally, like the rest of their Aeldari brethren, the Harlequins can set up in the webway, allowing you to deliver your short-ranged units to the heart of the foe:
Between a variety of special weapons, wargear and some pretty scary offensive characteristics, Harlequins characters are elusive, fast, and deadly. With 12 Warlord Traits to choose from – that’s 6 for any Masque and 6 Masque-specific traits – you’ll find customising your favourites to be a lot of fun, too. These traits vary from direct boosts to your Warlord’s killing power, to shared bonuses like Player of the Light:
Player of Twilight, meanwhile, allows you to recoup Command Points and take full advantage of your new Stratagems – combined with the Harlequins’ excellent Troops units and the ease with which you’ll be able to fill a Battalion or even a Brigade Detachment, you’ll find you have loads of Command Points to play with.
You’ll want to check out your Masque-specific Warlord Traits too – for example, Skystrider from the Masque of the Soaring Spite allows you to disembark after a transport has moved – if both the transport and the character Advance, you’ll be able to cross most of the tabletop in a single turn!
As you’d expect, the Harlequins posses a range of eldritch and enigmatic artefacts they use to great effect in battle, known collectively as the Enigmas of the Black Library. Like the rest of the army, these range from simple, effective and powerful options to more unusual choices that, in the right player’s hands, could be devastating. The Mirrorstave, for example, turns the Ballistic Skill of your foes against them:
They’re not all weapons, either – Faolchu’s Talon makes the transport your chosen character is mounted in even faster – and less likely to kill them in an inadvertent explosion….
Our favourite here at Warhammer Community is Crescendo, a deadly shuriken pistol that, with some good rolls, has the potential to blitz anyone the user finds themselves in close combat with…
Codex: Harlequins features three new psychic powers (for a total of six) designed to broaden your range of tactical options even further and baffle your foes. Veil of Tears, for instance, lets you shield a key unit from harm:
Meanwhile, Webway Dance provides the usually-fragile Harlequins with a way of ignoring wounds – combined with your high invulnerable saves, your troops will be very difficult to displace indeed.
With new psychic powers to play with, we thought it’d be a great time to improve the Shadowseer – now, yours will know two powers of your choice rather than one, meaning with only a couple, you’ll have access to the vast majority of your psychic discipline.
Whichever Stratagems you use, and however you decided to customise your heroes, you’ll find Codex: Harlequins fun, flexible and rewarding – if you’re curious to learn more, make sure to check out our preview of the Masque Forms if you missed it yesterday!