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Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3

 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:57 pm 
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Ok, so in summary the list construction is too complex, there are too many special rules and you think the current Eldar Aspects should be used to represent the main Harlequin units, with a couple of very minor tweaks (teleport Inspiring) to create one new character / unit. And these suggestions because, as you rightly say, the Harlequins are on the fringe of playability, and the lack of response illustrates the popularity.

I would generally agree with your summary, except
  • The Harlequins have been identified separately from the Eldar for many years, so they are different from the current Aspects. The Howling Banshees in particular are considered to be the weakest Aspect, so they are a poor analogy in any respect.
  • They are considered to be more effective than the current Aspects, though more also aloof.
  • These stats do not reflect other elements of the Harlequins described in the "fluff" that formed the basis of some of the other rules.

Survivability has been at the heart of the debates in the past few years, and is probably the most crucial question that needs to be resolved. If we gave all the Harlies a permanent Invulnerable Save on a 4+, in a 6 strong formation, could that work as the basis for the armour stats?


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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:43 pm 
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Sorry I don't mean that they are just aspects (though IMO it's a perfectly acceptable way to get them on the table if anyone wanted to), but that they play very much like them, and if there were a formation you could swap out to gain harlequins, it could be the aspect formation. It would make things very simple, especially if statted to be drop in replacements.

Leaving aside that howling banshees are still very good in CC, 2x3+ FS infiltrate is clearly superior to all the CC aspects so not really sure what's to complain about? But yes I think the banshees are the most similar in terms of how they behave - fast, hit you before you can hit back, but low armour. And death jesters are very similar to dark reapers.

I also don't see any need for a 4+ save. To me the regular inv save is fine. They really should not have good armour, it feels wrong and also makes them play wrong - for them to be extra hard marines in shooting and firefight just doesn't make sense. If you hit them they should die - that is, if you CAN hit them, because first you have to survive a ton of first strike hits. Unlike banshees, whose FS is due to the banshee masks (and for warp spiders it's appearing from nowhere), for harlequins part of the justification is the holofields. Overall I think holofields are well represented as part of infiltrate, first strike, inv save. If aspect warriors are viable units (and boy are they) then a harder hitting version with a 6+ inv save slots in quite well IMO. Fair enough if they will remain a niche unit because CC units that aren't built like tanks aren't popular choices, but that's just the way things are. Banshees have a similar issue, but it's not a reason to jack up their armour value to compensate for how the game is designed.

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:57 pm 
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Kyrt wrote:
Leaving aside that howling banshees are still very good in CC, 2x3+ FS infiltrate is clearly superior to all the CC aspects so not really sure what's to complain about? But yes I think the banshees are the most similar in terms of how they behave - fast, hit you before you can hit back, but low armour. And death jesters are very similar to dark reapers.
There was a long and ultimately unsuccessfull debate on Howling Banshees, trying to find a way to make them work by increasing their First Strike capabilities, which got down to 2+ FS. The problem is not the target (which can be decimated by the First Strike), but fire from the support formations which cannot be avoided by the HBs as they are base to base with their opponents.

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I also don't see any need for a 4+ save. To me the regular inv save is fine. They really should not have good armour, it feels wrong and also makes them play wrong - for them to be extra hard marines in shooting and firefight just doesn't make sense. If you hit them they should die - that is, if you CAN hit them, because first you have to survive a ton of first strike hits. Unlike banshees, whose FS is due to the banshee masks (and for warp spiders it's appearing from nowhere), for harlequins part of the justification is the holofields. Overall I think holofields are well represented as part of infiltrate, first strike, inv save. If aspect warriors are viable units (and boy are they) then a harder hitting version with a 6+ inv save slots in quite well IMO. Fair enough if they will remain a niche unit because CC units that aren't built like tanks aren't popular choices, but that's just the way things are. Banshees have a similar issue, but it's not a reason to jack up their armour value to compensate for how the game is designed.
And I would agree with you if the CC units could fight enemy without incurring the enemy support, and also find a way to let them move around the table without being wrecked by enemy pre-emptive fire. We need a way to counteract the support fire as well as that of the target. MrDiealot's suggestion of using the Holofield rule (or equivalent) goes a long way to achieving this - and you also mention this.

But, IMO a 3+ Holofield save is a tad excessive, hence the suggestion of 4+ Inv Save as it reflects their Daethdi 'holfields' but leaves them more open to MW and TK shots.

But, I also believe that making the formations more survivable would only be valid where they start smaller (5-6 max), at a greater cost than the equivalent Aspect formation which I agree they effectively replace. Yes they are rare, not least because few people have collected Harlequin figures (even though they have been an integral part of Eldar sprues).


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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:35 am 
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Meh, guess that's where we differ. I don't think we do 'need' to find a way to remove their weaknesses. We know lightly armoured CC units are problematic in Epic, but that's just the way it is. Plenty of units have these problems. Wanting to make them awesome game units is not per se a good enough reason to make them harder to kill than space marines even in firefight and shooting - none of which they should be. If you don't want to get shot back too badly, make sure you kill them all or don't attack well supported formations :)

But anyway, to each their own. I suppose if your goal is to make a viable tournament competitive harlequin army they need all the help they can get to win a game.

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:46 pm 
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I feel the suggestion to just play Harlequins as Aspects is already an option for those who wishes to do so. There's absolutely nothing preventing anyone from counting their Howling Banshees as Harlequins, their Exarchs as Harlequin characters and their Dark Reapers as Death Jesters. If that's good enough for you, go ahead. But I personally think it's a wasted opportunity where there's a real possibility of doing something interesting.

I think a compromise between a straight 6+ Invulnerable and a 4+ invulnerable could be a 5+ Holo-Field save. That in combination with a Shadowseer "Veil of Tears" ability that gives the enemy a -1 to hit in FF (which would really help against supporting fire) would perhaps give them enough survivability without making them overpowered.

Another thing I've thought about is that an interesting restriction for including Harlequins in e.g. a Biel-Tan army would be that they can take no Aspect formations. There could perhaps also be a restriction in that they have to take at least one Webway Portal, but perhaps that's unnecessary as you'll want them anyway.

As for what other special rules they should have I think the one about being able to use already used Webway Portals might be the only one that's really critical. The ability to re-enter the reserves through Webway Portals might also be quite useful, but I guess I could live without it. IMO all the others are "nice to haves", but not too important.

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:24 pm 
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Kyrt wrote:
But anyway, to each their own. I suppose if your goal is to make a viable tournament competitive harlequin army they need all the help they can get to win a game.
The goal has only ever been to find a way to represent Harlequin units and formations in E:A, that is both reasonable to play with and against whilst also being as faithful to the “fluff” as possible. The Grand Masque list is intended both to fix these stats (formationas and costs) well as providing a way to use them.

However, despite the long GW history behind the Harlequins, you are correct that there seems to be very little interest and even less support for using Harlequins in Eldar lists which is a pity.


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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:10 pm 
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Mrdiealot wrote:
I think a compromise between a straight 6+ Invulnerable and a 4+ invulnerable could be a 5+ Holo-Field save. That in combination with a Shadowseer "Veil of Tears" ability that gives the enemy a -1 to hit in FF (which would really help against supporting fire) would perhaps give them enough survivability without making them overpowered.
The Holofield suggestion is very interesting, though this does represent a new rule that would need a new name.

The Shadowseer rule would also work (needing another rule) and it would be interesting to test this combination, and to compare / contrast with the Grand Masque version of this rule. In practice, this would be an auto-include, so would need to follow your other approach of fixed formation designs.

Quote:
Another thing I've thought about is that an interesting restriction for including Harlequins in e.g. a Biel-Tan army would be that they can take no Aspect formations. There could perhaps also be a restriction in that they have to take at least one Webway Portal, but perhaps that's unnecessary as you'll want them anyway.

As for what other special rules they should have I think the one about being able to use already used Webway Portals might be the only one that's really critical. The ability to re-enter the reserves through Webway Portals might also be quite useful, but I guess I could live without it. IMO all the others are "nice to haves", but not too important.
I agree they ought to have the ‘Webway mastery’ rule.

As to inclusion in other lists, that is a thought, though I prefer to use costs to ‘encourage’ limited use, and price the Harlequin formations accordingly.


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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:19 pm 
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Ginger wrote:
Mrdiealot wrote:
I think a compromise between a straight 6+ Invulnerable and a 4+ invulnerable could be a 5+ Holo-Field save. That in combination with a Shadowseer "Veil of Tears" ability that gives the enemy a -1 to hit in FF (which would really help against supporting fire) would perhaps give them enough survivability without making them overpowered.
The Holofield suggestion is very interesting, though this does represent a new rule that would need a new name.
Yes, but since it's just a variation on the already existing Eldar Titan Holo-field rule, it's very easy to explain.

Quote:
The Shadowseer rule would also work (needing another rule) and it would be interesting to test this combination, and to compare / contrast with the Grand Masque version of this rule. In practice, this would be an auto-include, so would need to follow your other approach of fixed formation designs.
Either that, or you could make the Shadowseer 0-1.

Quote:
As to inclusion in other lists, that is a thought, though I prefer to use costs to ‘encourage’ limited use, and price the Harlequin formations accordingly.


That's another approach. But I think it will be easier to gain acceptance for Harlequins as an ally if you have very hard restrictions / trade-offs for when you can take them.

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:54 am 
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Since Kyuss wants to keep going with the Corsairs I've gone back to my original intention and started to play around with the idea of a Craftworld Lugganath list that combines Craftworld Eldar, Corsairs, Fir-Iolarion and Harlequins.

Yet again, the Harlequin part of it is a suggestion for how these things might work.

Curious what people think about the concept!


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Craftworld Lugganth beta.pdf [145.76 KiB]
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Last edited by Mrdiealot on Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:54 pm 
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I like it. A couple of comments / questions:

Why the different Harlequin formations rather than a base formation, add characters, add / replace Harlequins with Mimes / Death Jesters etc.?

Harlequin Avatar, Shadowseer, and Master Mime have inv. save but no holo suits, which is worse than regular Harlequins.

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:18 pm 
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Quote:
Why the different Harlequin formations rather than a base formation, add characters, add / replace Harlequins with Mimes / Death Jesters etc.?


Partly for fluff-reasons (Harlequins fight in ways that replicate the cast of actors in the mythical plays ("Saedaths") that the formations are named after), partly because it would be easier to cost the formations when they are fixed... But perhaps mainly because I think it would be a bit cool to have them like this, and would set them apart from other Eldar.

Quote:
Harlequin Avatar, Shadowseer, and Master Mime have inv. save but no holo suits, which is worse than regular Harlequins.


That's because they're characters, not Inf ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:52 pm 
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So two invulnerable saves. Why do they confer an extra invulnerable save when the infantry already have holo suits?

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 Post subject: Re: Harlequin Grand Masque V4.2.3
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:53 pm 
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Because characters in general get one? Hardly the most important thing however, could easily be dropped.

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