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Author Topic: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords  (Read 7080 times)

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Offline Aoitora

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Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« on: March 25, 2015, 02:48:14 AM »
Ive wanted to open up a discussion about the close combat weapons available to harlequins to hear peoples opinions, unit compositions, tricks etc.
Currently Ive been running my troupes in squads of 9-10 with 5-6 kisses and haywire grenades.

Kiss:
This option IMO is the most safest & reliable option. With the high weapon skill and higher than average strength of the Kiss of Death attack you're likely to do a reliable amount of wounds each combat phase. With a handful of kisses in a squad youre likely to win combat against most units but not totally annihilate them. Sadly as it's only one wound per model, meaning if armed with a Kiss, the Troupe Master cannot really go toe to toe with even captain level characters (to be fair no weapon option he can take allows him to do well against medium to high end fighty characters). The Kiss is also helpful for taking out vehicles and is even able to glance most dreadnought variants. A medium number in each unit I think would be most beneficial.

Caress:
This option is the least reliable but also has the most potential. On the plus side everything is a viable target which when first trying out the harlies made it my go to weapon. Several rounds of bad rolls later and I have to say Im not a fan. I did read on a forum something interesting to note, against stationary and immobilised vehicles you auto hit preventing your caresses from even having a chance to work their magic. I think to make the most out of this weapon you would need to take them in high numbers.
*tip* The troupe master makes better use of this weapon than regular players by 1 attack whilst paying the same points cost.

Embrace:
I have not used this in games yet so Im just talking from a theory perspective. Hopefully someone can convince me of their value as I have read some people swearing by this weapon but I'm just not seeing it. If you get the bearer into B2B it is more reliable than the Caress as you're guaranteed to get at least one hit out of it in addition to the models regular attacks. Here's my issues with the weapon:
- Only works on the turn you charge. Where the other two weapons will be working if you get charged or in subsequent rounds of combat the Embrace won't be.
- The models have to get in to B2B on the charge otherwise they lose the benefit.
- Hammer of Wrath goes against the armour value you're in contact with. For example if you charge a Leman Russ and get in to contact with the front/side facing as is most likely the Embrace won't be doing anything for you where the kiss will be attacking the rear armour as normal so it's more like having a krak grenade.

I think if a unit took 1-2 Embraces in conjunction with kisses/caresses it could be useful. Like a quick jab and follow up with a heavier punch later.

Power Sword:
Even with Furious Charge I don't see this being that useful an option. It is more predictable/reliable than the Caress or Embrace but its point cost is so high that I think taking a Harlequin weapon would be the better choice. An argument could be made for the storied sword which would make it quite good at cutting down rank and file MEQs.

So Im really interested in hearing other peoples experiences. I've made up another list to give the caresses a second chance but from where Im standing atm I dont know why Id take anything but kisses.

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 09:14:36 AM »
Two quibbles with your analysis:

1) Stationary and Immobilized Vehicles are no longer auto-hit as of 7th Edition. Well, maybe Immobilized ones (I'd have to look that up), but Stationary vehicles get hit the same as any other vehicle does.

2) Hammer of Wrath does not hit the armor facing you run into. It is a bonus close combat attack with special rules about when and how it hits but in general operates the exact same as other close combat attacks.

Beyond that, I don't have a horse in this game. I think it odd the Caress gets as much praise as it does, yeah, simply because I never roll 6s. Embrace, to my eyes, looks pretty good, *especially* against vehicles. 

Offline Ambience 327

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 09:34:19 AM »
Two quibbles with your analysis:

1) Stationary and Immobilized Vehicles are no longer auto-hit as of 7th Edition. Well, maybe Immobilized ones (I'd have to look that up), but Stationary vehicles get hit the same as any other vehicle does.

You are correct about Stationary, but incorrect on Immobilised. Normal Vehicles (other than Walkers and Chariots) are treated as WS 1, or if Immobilised WS 0. (See "Fighting the Assault" on pg 78 of the Rulebook)

A model with WS 0 is Hit Automatically. (See "Zero Level Characteristics" on pg 9 of the Rulebook)

I would argue, however, that you would still be allowed to roll To Hit with the Caress against WS 0 models/vehicles and just have no chance of failing. There is precedent for this sort of thing in numerous rules and FAQs in the past, though I can't think of a specific example off the top of my head.

2) Hammer of Wrath does not hit the armor facing you run into. It is a bonus close combat attack with special rules about when and how it hits but in general operates the exact same as other close combat attacks.

This is incorrect. The Hammer of Wrath rule specifically states that the HoW Attacks are resolved against the Armour Value of the facing the charging model is touching. This is an exception to the normal rule that states vehicles are hit on their Rear Armour in Close Combat.

Beyond that, I don't have a horse in this game. I think it odd the Caress gets as much praise as it does, yeah, simply because I never roll 6s. Embrace, to my eyes, looks pretty good, *especially* against vehicles. 

I think a Caress and Haywire Grenades on the Troupe Master, with mostly Kisses and one or two Embraces on the rest would make for a really hard-hitting team that can take on nearly anything. One or two Fusion Pistols or Nuero Disruptors (but never both) would also be nice. I would probably run one unit with Fusion and one with Nuero just to specialize a bit.

Offline Aoitora

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 10:17:55 AM »
1) Stationary and Immobilized Vehicles are no longer auto-hit as of 7th Edition. Well, maybe Immobilized ones (I'd have to look that up), but Stationary vehicles get hit the same as any other vehicle does.

Ah yes thanks for the heads up! Ive heard old hands talking about getting rules and editions mixed up and during 5th I thought this would never happen to me Im a rules lawyer. That was 2 editions ago and now everything has blitzed passed me and I havent kept up  :-[

@ Ambience 327, thank you for adding more clarification. I'll have to look in to things more myself before coming to a conclusion about rolling to hit vs WS0.

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 07:36:01 PM »
This is incorrect. The Hammer of Wrath rule specifically states that the HoW Attacks are resolved against the Armour Value of the facing the charging model is touching. This is an exception to the normal rule that states vehicles are hit on their Rear Armour in Close Combat.

Ah! Thanks--this is *me* missing editions. 6th Edition was different, alas.

Offline Skyleap

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 12:52:23 AM »
I've had great success specializing entire units to one weapon type, concentrating the effort so they become very efficient against the target of choice.

I run a unit of six Caresses (counting the Troupe Master) in a Starweaver. This is dedicated to heavy vehicle, high T and Elite unit eradication. They're also armed with Neuro-disruptors for added killing power against 2+ targets, but the focus of this discussion is the close combat weapons. In that regard, Caresses coupled with sheer attack volume improve the chances of at least scoring one auto-glance if not more. Granted, you'll have occasions where they fall flat--this is a dice game, after all--but you'll also have those turns where you absolutely light up the target.

My other two units are dedicated to Kisses and Embraces, respectively. The bonus you get out of the Kisses is its combination with initiative. As the Troupe Master is Ix and the Players are Ix, odds are high you'll be able to have both attacking before the Challenger can return the favor in close combat. That means you get an extra number of Kiss attacks equal to the number of other models in the unit.  Let's say you're going after a Captain level character. The rest of the Troupe is attacking the rank and file outside of the challenge. Resolve your non-AP2 wounds first, then the AP2 wounds. If you're fortunate, you'll have some extra AP2 wounds that spill over into the challenge as everyone else in the unit is dead. This can only be realized with larger units that are entirely composed of Kisses.

The other advantage you get with Kisses is the ability to handle most Dreads in close combat. Greater opportunities to glance means a greater opportunity to wreck. Close combat with most other vehicles are also going to get penned more often. While you do stand a chance at an explosion that kills some of your models, some vehicle blow-ups may well be worth it.

The Embrace is incredibly efficient, especially if you have the unit in a formation that allows for the Run and Charge. I have been able to devastate vehicles, Walkers, swarms and MEqs with equal effectiveness by virtue of tremendous volume.  While you might think the odds of getting many men in base contact to reap the benefits is hard to accomplish, I can speak firsthand to the ease with which I've been able to get no fewer than 6 out of 9 models in base contact on the charge. With an average of 12 free Sx attacks at Ix, that's incredible output. Against Walkers, you can Run and Charge to get as many in rear and side base contact as you can in order to take advantage of the one loophole around having to face a Walker's front armor all the time in close combat. And hordes HATE this weapon. As most horde units are no faster than I5, you're not only going to get 12-18 S6 hits on them with their weak armor, you're also going to get your own units' subsequent normal attacks at Ix and Ix.  With enough successful wounds, you can get to the point where their models can't even move within 3" of you.

Against vehicles, you don't have to worry about explosions like you do with the Kiss because your HoW attacks aren't AP2, so it's very easy to glance a vehicle to death before you even have to take your normal attacks.  That's huge. This also means there's no penalty to doing a disordered charge against multiple vehicle units. If your opponent is obliging enough to place different vehicles in close proximity to one another so that you can accomplish dual charges on side armor, go for it!

One drawback to the Embrace is its ineffectiveness if you're charged or stuck in combat. Thankfully H&R will resolve that for you right quick. The other drawback is that your HoW attacks against a spread out horde could lead to your inability to pile in 3" to attack on your normal initiative. That's where Run and Charge to the densest parts of the horde can really pay off.

The power swords are, in my opinion, not worth it. The exception may be the Storied Sword. I'll be trying that out for the first time this weekend, so I can contribute more on that afterwards.

I really think having each weapon represented wholly by single Troupes is the best way to go. While specialization may lead to exposed weaknesses due to inflexibility, I think the mobility of the army with the crossover effects of all three weapons against vehicles makes up for them.

Edited for excessive stats.  See forum rule 1 for further details - Iris.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 06:33:38 AM by Irisado »

Offline Cavalier

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2015, 03:29:45 PM »
Excellent, excellent write-up Skyleap. This is exactly what I saw in the army when I got my hands on the codex. The offensive output potential of the army is enormous and the book rewards you for playing with them as Primary with Rising Crescendo.

The only questions are... how big are your squads and how many do you run them on foot. If so how many Shadowseers are we talking? Cause that can expensive but also very very effective as the Seers aren't bad in combat on top of their great psychic support.

One insight into what I *think* you're describing in running as many troupes as possible in both transports and on the ground, is that support units like Voidweaver and the Bikes all of a sudden drop dramatically in target priority giving them a chance to shine.

I think this Codex has immense potential but it is very dense in terms of rules, war-gear and formations. Its sort of like 5th edition Dark Eldar taken to the Nth degree.

Really interested on your thoughts on squad size and army composition.
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Offline Skyleap

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2015, 12:20:21 AM »
Quote from: Cavalier
The only questions are... how big are your squads and how many do you run them on foot. If so how many Shadowseers are we talking? Cause that can expensive but also very very effective as the Seers aren't bad in combat on top of their great psychic support.

In my first game with all-Harlequins, I had all three units on foot. Two were 10 strong and one was 6. I attached SSs to each, then added all three DJs to the smaller unit. In the end I had two units of 11 (1 IC) and one unit of 10 (4 ICs). In my games since, I have run one unit of 6 on a Starweaver with no ICs attached and two on foot. The initial size of the units has been 9-10, varying between the two values in each subsequent contest.

When I ran Cegorach's Revenge I had two SSs in one unit (the one with the Warlord Troupe Master) and one in the other. In my last match and planned future matches, I'm runninng a Harlequin Masque and The Heroes' Path with three SSs total. The two Masque SSs each go into the Heelequin units. In every instance I run the SSs as ML2, one with Mask of Secrets, one with The Laughing God's Eye. I choose the Heelequin unit with all Embraces as my Warlord's Troupe, giving him the Starmist Raiment as Embraces should never stop to shoot due to the benefits of getting as many models in base contact as possible.

Numbers benefit Harlequins immensely. Very few units in 40K will go faster than them. Hit hard, hit fast and hit with style. Scrimping on points only does yourself a disservice.

The real bread-and-butter of the Harlequin army are the Troupes and Elites. I treat the Voidweavers and Skyweavers as hand-wavers that distract the opponent to look their way on Turn 1 while the rest of the army advances quickly yet safely behind. I almost always use the Mirage Launchers on Turn 1 to soak up as many wounds as possible, especially if one of my Troupes failed to get off VoT, Dance of Shadows or Invisibility. For their part, the Skyweavers will dart and dash to one of the flanks with their turbo-boost if targets of opportunity are not available, again hand-waving to distract a unit to address them or suffer the repercussions of ignorance. In both cases, they pave the way for the Troupes to engage. Once there, Hit & Run plus combat resolution give you excellent mobility bouncing from one backfield unit to the next.

Turn 2 is when I let the Troupes go while the surviving Voidweavers and Skyweavers focus on key targets that are closest to where the advancing Troupes will wind up. I let VoT take care of enemy shooting units that are farther away should I either fail to charge or wipe up the unit in close combat on my turn.

Offline Cavalier

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2015, 06:36:27 AM »
Awesome. Great write-up again Skyleap. I'm gonna give your configuration a try when I get the models together. So nice to see these units actually put through their paces as opposed to these theory-hammer, armchair genius generals matthammering their way to an evaluation. Cheers buddy
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Offline Fenris

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2015, 11:01:08 AM »
I mostly agree with skyleap, having specialized units is the eldar way and let's you of the hook in situations where you would otherwise have to decide what target you are going after this turn, which can be a real headache if you have a unit with mixed weapons.

However I would like to add, the serpents brood formation and the embrace really works wonders, letting your unit return to any starweaver (in range) after either entirely destroying a unit or all parts of the enemy unit within the "killzone", then consolidating back onto the boat or just use hit&run back onto the boat the same turn as you charged.
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Offline Aoitora

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2015, 01:02:28 AM »
Thanks for your input Skyleap there's some really interesting insights there. I've been won over to give embraces a try.

I gave the Storied Sword a go last game and that troupe master did kill a lot more than the other TMs. I was pretty happy with his performance although I realised it didn't synergies well with the AP2 weapons my players were carrying. This won't really be an issue unless you're fighting 2+ saves but something to think about. This did get me thinking that perhaps giving the SSword to the TM leading an Embrace squad might be useful as they both provide quantity of kills while the sword adds a bit of quality as well should your opponent roll well on his saves.

Ive been defaulting the Rose to the solitaire as I think most of us do, next game however I'm going to give it to my TM warlord (Cegorach's Revenge @ 1500pts). Ive decided on this for 2 reasons firstly the solitaire already has a kiss he's just paying additional points for a fancy one where the TM has only got a CCW. It's going to save a couple of points. Secondly it increases the reliability of my TM doing a wound should he be in a challenge as any return hits really hurt.

Offline Ambience 327

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2015, 08:31:30 AM »
I still haven't played any games with or against the new Harlequin rules, but I firmly agree that the Rose is a bit of a waste on the Solitaire. He is already so nasty, and you pay a premium for it (since he already has a Kiss). I plan to run it on a TM as you stated. I figure a Warlord TM with the Rose and the Starmist Raiment in one of Rising Crescendo granting lists should be pretty nasty.

Offline Skyleap

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2015, 12:29:30 AM »
Sadly you are not allowed to give the same Troupe Master--or any character, for that matter--two Enigmas.

Offline Ambience 327

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2015, 10:40:07 AM »
Ah, crap. I missed that bit. Looking through the last few Codex releases I have access to, the Necrons and Dark Eldar are similarly limited, but the Grey Knights are not. Proof of Imperial bias...?  ;D

Offline Aoitora

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2015, 09:47:20 PM »
Ah bugger. It does seem to vary from codex to codex Ambience doesn't it? Relics are a bit like named characters to me I never use them until now with the harlies.

Anyway back on topic.

In regards to the Rose, seeing how I cant Starmist and Rose my Warlord I'm unsure what to do with it. As we both spoke on Ambience it's expensive for the Solitaire as he already has a kiss (mind you I always fluff my caress rolls and the Rose has proven itself on him) whilst for a non-warlord TM it seems a bit excessive. Perhaps I should stop viewing the TMs as sergeants and start thinking of them more like low level characters like Chaplains or Necron lords. Give the Rose to one, SSword to another and Starmist to the warlord.

Offline sunstrider

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2015, 02:45:36 PM »
Great discussion guys! I really enjoyed the initial post as well. I was having trouble organizing my thoughts on the embrace vs kiss vs caress option and OPs post did a great job of explaining them. +1 to you OP :D

Anyways, I noticed (unless I'm mistaken) that there are no restrictions on who can take the storied sword (I may need to double check this assumption, I don't have my book on me). That means you could equip it to:
- your solitare for a bunch of attacks as a reliable AP (bye bye tactical squads)
- your shadowseer for some attacks with AP
- your death jester to make him extremely relevant in combat (which otherwise he's a player that can get a special CC weapon)

This seems like quite an important detail and opens up a lot of doors tactically. Anyone have any thoughts on this (or can confirm my assumption anyone can take the storied sword?)

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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2015, 07:37:36 PM »
As much as I would love for this to be true, on page 70 of the Harlequins codex, the Storied Sword has a 4 listed after its name.  When you reference that to the restrictions on the right side of the box, it is very clear as to who can take the sword.
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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2015, 12:38:58 AM »
Great write ups. You have even answered some of the questions I had about our dDec.Im planning on adding more vehicles and bikes to my army soon. Thanks for taking the time to put up such a great review and suggestion post.
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Re: Kiss me, caress me, embrace me... and power swords
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2015, 09:55:59 AM »
As much as I would love for this to be true, on page 70 of the Harlequins codex, the Storied Sword has a 4 listed after its name.  When you reference that to the restrictions on the right side of the box, it is very clear as to who can take the sword.

Yeah it seemed too good to be true. It seems wishful thinking overrode my good judgment :P

 


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