I actually really like a full on Harlie army against bugs. The build I'm going for is meched up in Starweavers with lots of fusion pistols. As I expand out to around 2k there will be bikes and Voidweavers as well (a good chunk of them I may add). So I'm thinking at least 6 Starweavers and maybe 2 or 3 Voidweavers you are chucking out a TON of shots to clear hordes. Thats more shuriken fire than my standard Craftworld army. With 18 fusion pistols across 6 different you can massacre the big bugs and then get after in combat with Carress and re-roll wounds from the Troupe Masters of which I'll have 3. Factor in all the mortal wound shenanigans, first turn charges from the bikers and I really like my odds against Tyranids.
So as for the Drukhari Covens, same answer Fusion Pistols and Caress, with Troupe Masters giving out re-rolls and then getting after them with loads of shuriken fire. That combo you are typically wounding on 3's re-rolling wounds, re-rolling damage, then assault where you are still re-rolling wounds and you have stratagems to double fight World Eaters style with all the re-rolls still in place.
As for going up against Craftworlds, in my experience the bane of Craftworld armies is fast assault armies and Harlies might be the fastest assault army out there.
As for Orks that could be a tough match-up depending on build. I would think that meched up Orks could be a problem, but hey all armies have tough match-ups. But I'm thinking of Scorpion82's Harlie build where he's got 12 Jetbikes with Haywire and 2 Voidweavers with Haywire... I mean you could cripple such an army Turn 1. Against a Green Tide build I'd actually like my chances. I've got a ton of experience going up against Horde Guard with Celestine that just rushes you all game long, and if you can play keep away and just strafe them for a turn or 2 with Shuriken Cannon fire before pouncing in combat I really like my chances. Especially with Midnight Sorrow, Troupe Masters, a Great Harlequin, War Dancers and the Midnight Chime, where you are fighting with extra attacks, re-rolling wounds, hits of 1 and you are consolidating 6 afterwards. Also you can send your transports and Voidweavers into assault just to force the Orks to fall back and do nothing the next turn. You can do the same with your bikes in the early phases just to slow them down.
Dont get me wrong I dont think Harlies are an easy army, the chance for disaster is there in a big way. They are harder to play then any of the other Eldar armies (except Corsairs
) I just think they are very, very good. I wouldn't say they are better that Craftworlds or Drukhari but they are right there or not far off.
But I tell you what.... CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! Not only will I get my 1k of Harlie painted by September I'll continue to grow it to 2k and chronicle my journey and specifically seek out those hard match-ups and see if my theories are true. If I crash and burn I'll paint you up a mini of your choice (maximum size being a flyer or wave serpent size vehicle)! If I win I'll strut around the forum like a Great Harlequin lol!
Good discussion Mage... really gets the brain going.