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Abrégé De Harlequin

Submitted By: Algavinn of the Many Paths Date: June 26, 2006, 05:28:56 AM Views: 3161
Summary: As a note, this is an analysis and commentary on the Harlequin army list as written by Gav Thorpe, and provided on the Games Workshop website. Author: Algavinn of Biel-Tan The Harlequin army among the most versatile, compromising, and intimately lethal army in the game of Warhammer 40k in its ability to tear apart any opponent. It’s troupes and characters are able to specialize themselves to take out any opponent in the 40k universe, be it Imperial Guardsmen, Terminators, Land Raiders, greater daemons, Khorne Berserkers, or even hoards of Tergimaunts. The basic profile, abilities, and options allowed to the harlequins make them one of the most deadly forces out there, but with this they are also one of the most fragile. Fluff wise the harlequins are some of the most elite Eldar in existence. They have a higher mission than defense of the craftworld. They exist to protect the black library and to stop the forces of chaos from engulfing and destroying the universe itself. They are performers, as well as protectors. They do not wear armour. Because of this they are physically vulnerable but in the universe they are very few in number. They travel in bands which are never more than a hundred, and usually are very few; enough to perform the Birth of the Great Enemy, and other important ritual performances. Because of all of this their armies are made up of very few, but very elite Eldar soldiers. They only attack and risk themselves when it is of the utmost importance.

The Harlequins are a wonderful army to play, very well backed with fluff, highly elite, highly important, and as with all these above qualities they are similar to craftworld Eldar in that they are not necessarily for the beginner.  They require strategy and skill to get them to your opponent alive to do their work.  Experience, and understanding of both ones own army, and ones enemy are necessary, as well as the ability to change strategies as you face new opponents to make up for the lack of resilience (and somewhat lack of mobility) found in the Harlequin army.

Where this army lacks numbers in the different kinds of units you may choose it makes up for it in the ways you may equip, and use it.  In an army complicated in this way, improvisation in a nearly innovative way is at times necessary during battle to win by an acceptable margin.  (To some degree I have always played to the style with the Eldar to preserve as many lives as possible, especially with harlequins, to save their soul from the bowels of Slaneesh.  The words of Fred Franks apply here well in my opinion, in that it is not just enough to merely win, you must crush your opponent and take as many of your men home alive.)    To be able to fully harness the above abilities the harlequin commander must be able to do 3 things.  These are the following:


Harlequins, while given the Deathjester so it may take out enemy armour platforms and tanks from range whilst on the move, is almost exclusively a close combat army, though it is, without doubt in my mind, the strongest close combat army in the game.  Even the Deathjester excels at close combat.  But the key to even wounding the enemy without being taken out at range is to get your forces into intimate contact as soon as possible.  If you can get one squad in 3 within 6-12" of the enemy, unless it is close combat, or vehicle intensive itself in makeup, victory is generally decided, depending on game length and objective.  Transportation is key, whether advancing with a troupe with a Shadowseer while taking out enemy armour and other long range threats with bright lances, or by using Venoms, it is still one of the most important facets of harlequin tactics. If you do not get the enemy, you will not defeat him. 

Many armies such as Tyranids and Orks are based off of close combat and must meet you as well, and from this you act accordingly: find the best spot to be met by/meet your enemy and get there first.  Learn how to advance on your opponent through cover.  Learn when to wait for them to come to do.  Learn to sit and do nothing at all.  I once played a 3-way carnage game against a chaos and imperial army.  I kept my army sequestered in a large set of ruins in my deployment zone until the third turn.  On the first and second turn my opponents attacked and weakened each other, and advanced on the objective.  I only lost 2 troupe members to fire up to this point.  I then, on the third turn, moved, used fleet of food, charged an opponent and then consolidated onto the objective.  This is mobility.

Preservation of forces:

Harlequin armies are made with painfully few numbers, and as far as harlequin lore is concerned traveling bands and troupes are usually less than a hundred strong.  A thousand point army is going to typically be 20-25 models, depending on if you take your 0-1’s.  Because of this, force preservation is inherently entwined with success.  This ties in heavily with the aspect of mobility; once your force is among the enemy, casualties will be at a minimum, but you must get them there first.  If you master mobility, preservation of force is not far behind.  Harlequins are highly resilient to almost all forms of attack.  Between the utility of a Shadowseer causing long range weaponry to have a low effect, and huge advantage harlequins have in close combat, the harlequins have an incredible defense, it is nearly impossible to kill them outright if the harlequin player is experienced and careful. The second part of preservation of force, lies within the next facet:

Attaining maximum combat potential and full lethality of the force:

The Harlequin troupe, as I have mentioned before, is probably the most versatile unit in the game.  Space marines are considered good for any job, but in reality the standard tactical squad is not the best at anything in particular, they just have a higher ability to survive large amounts of punishment.  The standard harlequin troupe, however, can be immediately deadly to any specific opponent the moment of the charge.  But you, as the commander and creator of the army list must understand what weapons and gear to use against what kinds of enemies, why, and which are the most important given points restrictions.  The difference in effect from a power weapon to a harlequins kiss changes the main purpose of the unit entirely.  Having a good all purpose troupe is easily possible, but much their strength, in my opinion, lies in being equipped with a particular type of enemy in mind (that being a T3SV5+, or T4SV2+, a daemon, tanks, etc.).  Harlequins are given some of the best and most effective weapons in the game, but they must be used correctly to take advantage of the edge they hold over all other armies in the game.  To find what is theoretically best is not hard, given the information following this introduction, but experience is also irreplaceably important. 

With what I have said so far you may think; but what if I am going to a tournament or do not know my opponent?  How am I supposed to plan for a specific enemy?"  As craftworld Eldar have units such as the howling banshees for attacking MEQ units, scorpions for hoard/infantry+ vehicles, and other specific units, you can make a troupe for a specific purpose.  As an example you have one troupe with power weapons, fusion pistols, and haywire grenades.  You have done this as an anti-MEQ equivalent of the Striking Scorpion.  You now have a unit that has a specific best role on the battle field; it can take down MEQ units and vehicles, which one being the primary use depends on your style and what you face.  Another example is a solitaire with a neuro-disruptor, harlequins kiss, and hallucinogen grenades.  This is now a prime unit for hunting down monsterous creatures in your opponents tyranid army, and taking down hoards as he does.  Again the primary role is up to you.  Here are a few more examples, with a bit more detail.  After going over the rest of the post, the utility of their choices becomes more apparent.

Anti-Tank Troupe:

159-Harlequin Troupe (6 members) 6x Haywire Grenades, 2x Fusion Pistols, 2x Power Weapon

The weapons taken can be either a power weapon or a harlequins’ kiss depending on what opponent you are facing, while the haywire grenades and fusion pistols are standard anti-armour choices.  These upgrades are good to keep on one squad if expecting some armour, or on multiple squads if the army you are facing is armour heavy.  Also a good idea to work in conjunction with fusion gun Venoms, and bright lance toting Deathjesters.

Anti-Horde Troupe:

303-Harlequin Troupe (10 members) 2x Harlequins Kiss, Troupe Leader; Powerblades,
Neuro-disruptor, tanglefoot grenades, hallucinogen grenades.

A large squad able to cause enough wounds to either break the opposing mob, or at least reduce the risk of taking many return casualties.  Close Combat weapons fit for best dealing with hoard opponents (T3-4 sv. 5-6+), and a neuro-disruptor for firing on new squads before moving onto them, especially after sweeping advances.  Grenades equipped for increasing the chances of a small to moderate sized squad breaking, and for holding them in place for a definite sweeping advance.

Monstrous Creature Hunter (horde):

166-Solitaire, Powerblades, Harlequins Kiss, Neuro-Disruptor, Tanglefoot Grenades, Hallucinogen Grenades, Domino Field.

The Solitaire has enough attacks to bypass the multiple wounds held by a monstrous creature, and with the harlequins kiss he can ignore his opponents’ higher toughness.  Because the solitaire will be working alone the Domino Field is taken, especially if bad luck occurs and he is stuck in CC with the monstrous creature or is attacked by other units.  Neuro-disruptor is taken for firing on squads as he heads to his next victim, and is given a few utility grenades for assisting other troupes when all the monstrous creatures, at least in his area, are dead.  This role can also be filled by a Shadowseer, or Great Harlequin on a jetbike, which makes it easier to go from one monstrous creature to another.

Specialization and Equipment:

Now let us look at what equipment will be the best tool to use for your specific goals.

Close Combat Weapons:

The harlequins’ basic profile and abilities allow them to excel in close combat, and with special weapons such as the Harlequins Kiss, or a power weapon, they can truly control the assault phase.  Because of their affinity with close combat, and the low cost of upgrades, close combat weapon choices should always be taken for troupe members and IC’s (other than the deathjester who already has powerblades).

Harlequins Kiss:

An excellent standard choice available to troupe members, and characters.  This is best used against hoard armies, daemons, monstrous creatures, and other tough opponents such as Plague Marines and Ogryns.  Given the harlequin (and general eldar) strength of 3, the Harlequins Kiss is a boon to close combat performance against tougher opponents.

Power Weapon:

Standard choice against MEQ opponents.  It is available to troupe members, where it should be always taken, as said above, troupe leaders, and IC’s.  For IC’s I suggest going for Powerblades, as explained above and below.


A power weapon with a 16.5% chance per attack to kill a unit with multiple wounds straight out.  It is more expensive than a normal power weapon, and has only limited opportunities for use.  I would not suggest this piece of equipment as against monstrous creatures where you would want to be using this, as the harlequins kiss makes a better match for dealing with their extraordinary toughness.


Highly useful piece of equipment.  In most cases this affords even more damage to light infantry targets than a Harlequins Kiss because it gives an extra attack AND is still a power weapon.  It does not couple with the HK, or Riverblades for multiple special effects, but it still affords a higher killing power than any other available option, and it is more or less the most affective combo against anything you face.  Terminators, or marines; power weapon.  Light infantry or large amounts of weak troops, high number of attacks, the same applying to tough multi-wound targets.  The only case where another weapon would be prudent is daemons, or invulnerable save monsters where an HK would be very useful.

Pistols and Small Arms:

Because of their vulnerability Harlequins tend to get into close combat as quick as possible where they excel and minimize time within line of site (LoS) to their opponents.  Because of this most troupes are going to be using fleet of foot (FoF) in the instances that they are close enough to fire.  There are some uses for pistols however which are highly useful, and important, especially as they are available to normal troupe members.  Fusion pistols are an important piece of an anti-armour troupe.  Neuro-disruptors, though not available to normal troupe members, are highly efficient against a multitude of opponents, ranging from massed hoards to heavy infantry and vehicles.  These are specialized weapons and should be used for specific tasks.  Pistols are an inexpensive option for troupe members but will typically go unused unless you have a goal in mind from the start. 

Fusion Pistols:

As mentioned above these are highly potent anti-tank weapons, which in the hands of Harlequin troupe members, leaders, and characters alike are capable of taking down vehicles before haywires are able to be used.  These pistols are a cheap option available to troupe members, and in conjunction with haywire grenades can make up for a lower number of DeathJesters, or allow the DeathJesters to focus on heavier vehicles while the troupes take care of lighter threats.  It is not suggested to take fusion pistols in any capacity except for attacking vehicles.  Plasma pistols are a much cheaper alternative for other uses.

Plasma Pistols:

These are pretty cheap and powerful all purpose weapons.  As mentioned above most Harlequins will not get a chance to shoot because they are using FoF, though these are still a cheap troupe bought option.  Anything you use them for, however, is typically done better in close combat, so I do not suggest taking plasma pistols.


This is a very powerful weapon.  Against highly packed hoard armies with low leadership it is often worth holding back on FoF to use this weapon, though it is best used when you have already assaulted one squad and are amongst the enemy, so do not need FoF to get to your opponent any longer. 

Because it ignores all but invulnerable saves this is also affective against heavy infantry such as Space Marines or even Terminators.  I once combined three neuro-disruptors at once (a very hard task) on a 6-man terminator squad and destroyed the lot of them before they had a chance to cause any return casualties.  This just illustrates the potential of the neuro-disruptor, it is in no way the normal results.  Imagine an advertisement for a diet program. "Results may vary."  When you are given time to shoot before assaulting (such as after you are amongst the enemy, especially against hoard/IG opponents), or have a specific plan for it, it may be devastating, but remember it costs nearly as much as a troupe member.

Bio-Explosive Ammo:

Possible cheap alternative to neuro-disrupter or plasma pistol, but only a few points are saved and it is inferior to plasma pistol for killing resilient units, and inferior to the neuro-disrupter for taking out the same, or for weaker/massed units.  The same problem of having time to shoot is still present, and you will have spent points on it.  If you need a second weapon for a character to get their second attack it is a cheap method, but otherwise this upgrade is Not suggested.


A note on grenades:  Remember that you may only use one grenade per assault round per squad, so keep this in mind when assaulting a squad, as you cannot combine the effects of the tanglefoot and hallucinogen grenades, or any other combination.

Haywire Grenades:

This is an excellent item to keep on characters and troupe leaders just in case an unknown vehicle shows up, or in case something happens to your designated anti-tank units.  If there will be a presence of threatening tanks, at least one troupe should be detailed with these.  Good item for an army where you do not know your opponents list in advance.  Suggested use by all characters.


This is a moderately expensive upgrade, one that would allow you to purchase another troupe member in its place, but it is also highly useful.  This makes it so that your opponents are only going to successfully hit you 16.5% of the time in close combat.  That means only on 6’s, a.k.a.; almost never.  I personally keep my independent characters (IC’s) in troupes or working closely alongside one so often do not take them but many harlequin players choose to send off their solitaire, or other IC’s out by themselves, on jetbikes, or otherwise to attack tanks or other small but threatening units.  In these situations the Domino field is an excellent security on your intensely expensive character, especially when your solitaire gets upwards to 140 points.  At this point it is a small price to pay.

Dread Mask:

As with all masks in the harlequin armoury this one is considerably expensive.  It is not suggested for most instances where you are facing a squad of 5-10 that should be easily either destroyed or broken (i.e.; forced to run because of the odds of attackers to survivors and possible use of hallucinogen grenades, or have so few remaining that they do not pose a threat, or attacked by multiple units), though it may find use against large squads such as Tyranids or Orks who even after loosing a combat can be quite threatening to the harlequin troupe, even when attacked with a troupe and a character, or multiple troupes.  It may be useful in certain situations but consider its expense before deciding to take it.

Eldar Jetbike:

A rather expensive choice but if you have a particular enemy that needs to be taken care of quickly (a tank, a Devastator squad, etc) or just need to get a unit into combat quickly/effectively the Eldar jetbike can be a lightning quick and devastating unit.  The word Blitzkrieg comes to mind. One advantage that the harlequins have with this piece of equipment over their craftworld based siblings is the choice of having both pistol and close combat weapon for an extra attack even on the bike.  I would not want to take a unit of this every time, or more than one troupe of them but they do give Harlequins the mobility and resilience that they typically lack.

Hallucinogen Grenades:

These can be useful for when you are working with small troupes (6 or less), jetbike squads, or independent characters working separately from your troupes.  This contributes one strategy of having units such as jetbike Harlequins or Solitaires jumping from one squad to another, causing casualties and forcing them to fall back, and then moving on.  One weakness, or at least drawback, of using these grenades in normal troupes, and elsewhere really, is the risk of being shot at instead of being in close combat if it is your opponents turn after the phase.  These, as with all grenades, are a good choice to keep on your IC’s in case the opportunity presents its self to use them in the above situations.

Plasma Grenades:

Can be very useful if enemies are expected to be in cover.  Even if they are not necessarily expected to be in such a state, characters should carry these anyway, just in order to protect any squad it is with, or itself, from unnecessary risk and danger, especially in missions where the field layout is not known before hand.

Phase Field:

Basically a way of paying for what fleet of foot already gives you.  The biggest use most people have for it is to give a DJ one of these so he may shoot and advance to get larger range, or to remain close to the advancing troupes to maintain the advantages afforded by him as an IC.

Rictus Mask:

This mask is useful in large and bunched armies to break up its coherence, which is useful for units who are jumping from one squad to another and breaking them up, but because of its limited range and the fact that it costs as much as a troupe member, it is hard to use and justify taking a Rictus Mask.  It is however quite fluffy and fun to use, but as said above, it is hard to utilize.

Tanglefoot Grenades:

An interesting piece of gear, which may prove useful if you have a particular goal and use for them in mind, such as hunting down a highly valuable enemy squad, be it a seer council/heavy weapons/close combat/daemon type unit.  Also nice for attacking mobs of Orks and other large hoards who have lower leadership and can loose many models by being wiped out after loosing an assault.

Long Range Weaponry:

Shrieker Cannon:

Not a bad weapon for attacking daemons, and similar high toughness units, but only one attack an armour piercing of 5, as well as having a not so impressive range.  May be useful for attacking tightly packed units, but otherwise it is better to find a weapon with a higher number of shots or higher AP value.  It can, however, be fired on the move so the Deathjester may utilize his abilities as an IC to advance safely next to, or in another unit.

Shuriken Cannon:

A cheap way to attack weaker units, with 3 attacks and a strength of 6 it is ideal for killing Guardsmen, many Orks, Tyranids, and creatures with an invulnerable save but a pesky amount of toughness.  Not the best weapon to use against marines, or enemies with 2+ saves.  If you can get side shots on vehicles, or fire on skimmers/light vehicles there isn’t too bad of a chance of causing some real damage.


One of the most important and affective weapons in the entire Eldar arsenal.   It can take out heavy units, such as terminators and tough HQ units, but cuts through a land raider like it was a buttered rhino.  It can be fired on the move.  This is highly suggested for taking out any vehicles.  Keeping one in an army when you do not know the composition of your enemy’s forces is advised.  If many tanks are expected, get multiple of these, otherwise you may allow multiple rounds of the tank moving or shooting before you can get it down.  A single bright lance is not dependable for heavy anti-tank uses.

Eldar Missile Launcher:

Capable of shooting both an anti-tank round (S8 AP3) though it is not exceptionally strong  when compared to the lascannon and bright lance), so do not trust it for taking out heavy tanks (i.e.;those with 13-14 front armour) and an anti-personnel blast.  The plasma missile causes a pinning test if it inflicts a casualty on a squad.  Because of its low AP value it is only suggested for attacking densely packed light infantry, (Orks, Tyranids, Dark Eldar, etc.).  The missile launcher is typically a very expensive choice, which is not worth the points.  The better alternative is the bright lance for taking out heavily armoured units at range, (tanks, Drednaughts, characters, etc), or the shuriken cannon for light infantry.


-Some units such as the Space Marine/Chaos Dreadnaught can not be harmed by close combat from a Harlequin, and you must be especially careful when fighting against them to destroy them before they get close.  Suggested means are bright lances, or I have known some people to strafe with their fusion gun equipped Venoms.  Fusion pistols are not particularly advised, as you must get close enough for it to be able to charge you (or step on you).

-After an opposing commander comes to know Harlequin special rules and how the army operates there is a good chance they are going to stock up on flamers, missile launchers, and ordnance template weapons.  Luckily harlequins are able to be 4" from each other instead of the standard two, which help when you are moving through a large space as far as templates are concerned (though one must be aware of how much more difficult it is to assault a squad when your troupe is spread out over 20 inches of table).  Also flamer templates rarely reach a harlequin squad if the harlequin commander is careful with the harlequins movement, fleet of foot, and charge, usually they won’t get a chance.  Template weapons are still very dangerous and must be played against carefully, and must be destroyed if the opportunity arrives while they are a threat to you.

-Mobility, as mentioned near the introduction, is an important factor to a harlequin army.  Learn when it is safe to move, take out template and other heavy threats with bright lances, jetbike squads, and strafing/transporting Venoms early on if you can, and utilize cover.  Small troupes can use cover better than larger ones, so keep this in mind and find your particular style of weighing resilience and power in numbers to maneuverability and mobility.

-Also as mentioned before, the Harlequins are never going to be numerically superior, except against foes like an armoured company.  Some Harlequin commanders choose to try to counter this by taking less equipment and IC’s, to maximize the size and numbers of their troupes.  There is a broad spectrum of this choice, but most players will suggest that you don’t take 6 Death Jesters, a jetbike squad, troupe leaders for every troupe, and all three IC’s fully kitted, all at once.  Going to battle with 18 models as opposed to your adversaries 40-60 is not a great idea most of the time, so when you finish a list, set up the actual models and look at them.  Think about how big your opponents army will be, and how many units you are going to have to deal with.  What is the unit to unit ratio.  1/2? 1/4?

Overall Strategies:

There are many ways to go about wielding your army as a whole, and many specific ways of using individual units, but I will talk about a few here for you to try out, and expand upon.

The Sledge Hammer Approach:

In this strategy you attack each enemy unit with enough power to be able to destroy it outright, or to allow for a sweeping advance after an assault.  This is often best done against one enemy flank at a time, possibly setting up with a refused flank, so that you may focus your forces on a small area.  Using Deathjesters with bright lances, or other weapons, and Venoms with fusion guns to attack vehicles and smaller, but threatening units, that would be a waste of an entire troupe attacking (such as Obliterators that can be attacked with bright lances, enemy characters, monstrous creatures, etc) as your army advances so that it may be faced with less units at once, especially fast response units like raptors, land speeders, and bikers.  This strategy works best against MEQ, and other armies who have fewer units.  Also less mobile armies are ideal as they are not as capable of reacting to your precise attack.

Focusing your army is the large picture, but efficiency lies within the squad configurations, character and equipment use.  In this strategy you want brutal (number wise, as we know all Eldar are lithe, I didn’t mean to insult anyone’s Farseer here) killing power, which means combination's of the following:

-Multiple troupes attacking a squad at once, a large troupe with a smaller one, two small troupes, or other combination's based on your particular opponent.

-Troupes with troupe leaders and/or characters attached

-Characters working in conjunction with troupes, such as a Solitaire, which cannot actually join a troupe, fight along side it, attacking and assaulting who the troupe does.  This allows for the utility that the character offers by way of its grenades, as well as its incredible killing power.

Some pieces of gear are ideal for this strategy such as:

Tanglefoot Grenades: These allow you to use a sweeping advance to fully wipe out a squad, hopefully using your attached character, or troupe to consolidate into another close by squad, in effect keeping it from shooting either of your units.

Hallucinogen Grenades: These are good for increasing the chances that an opposing unit will break and run in close combat, so that you may sweeping advance to destroy them instead of risk expensive troupe members and characters in an extended fight, and it also frees them from close combat so that they may go and get a charging bonus attacking another unit.  This must be used with care, however, so that you don’t come out of close combat to endure a round of shooting care of those still alive.

Domino-Field:  These are good for IC’s being used in conjunction with troupes so if one squad is leading a sweeping advance, the character isn’t stuck by himself attacking a new squad, or being stuck out in the open.

When kitting out a troupe, if you are not using two troupes together, or using a character, give your unit a troupe leader.  Give him a few different grenades, such as hallucinogen and tanglefoot, and haywire/plasma if they are applicable to your situation.  Powerblades are the best investment of weaponry for him, and give him at least a shuriken pistol and harlequins kiss to get the extra attack (+1 for powerblades, +1 for 2 close combat weapons).  The same applies to characters.  These are some examples of units used/used together in this kind of Harlequin army:

Harlequin Troupe (10) 2x Power Weapon, Troupe Leader, powerblades, Harlequins Kiss, shuriken pistol, plasma/tanglefoot/hallucinogen grenades.

This troupe is of full size with a tooled out troupe leader.  It is angled, through its power weapons, against a MEQ opponent.  This is usually good for attacking most standard to smaller squads and probably routing them, but against tougher units you may need more.

Great Harlequin, powerblades, harlequins kiss, shuriken pistol, plasma/tanglefoot/hallucinogen/haywire grenades
Harlequin Troupe (10) 2x power weapon.

The added character makes the squad marginally more powerful against its opponent, which again here is MEQ.

Shadowseer, powerblades, harlequins kiss, shuriken pistol, plasma/tanglefoot/hallucinogen grenades
Harlequin Troupe (7) 2xHarlequins Kiss
Harlequin Troupe (10) 2xHarlequins Kiss

Now we have two large troupes attacking together, one with a Shadowseer.  The opponent is an assault hoard, be it Orks or Tyranids, which has larger squads so will need a high number of attacks to kill.  Later on the Shadowseer may detach due to casualties or to hunt monstrous creatures, but for now he makes his squad very powerful as opponents take a risk when trying to assault the squad, as they may end up doing nothing due to his psychic power.  These two squads are already very powerful in themselves, but together will wipe most opponents on the charge, which may or may not be your goal.

The Scattering Approach:

With this strategy you undermine the efficiency and coherency of your opponent by assaulting and heavily wounding their units and then when they break you move onto, or consolidate into, another squad and do the same.  This is a devastating method of attack in objective/table quarter taking missions as you remove one squad after another from being a scoring unit, but it is risky as every squad, even the small ones, will be a large percentage of your army and will still be vulnerable.

This approach works best against armies with lighter infantry where weakened squads will not pose as large a threat to you as MEQ armies would.  This means imperial guard, (I believe Tau probably qualify here as well.  I haven’t played against them) and some hoard armies where many units will continue running after you break them, and you have a larger chance to be able to consolidate into another unit afterward so as to not leave yourself exposed to fire.  This is a risky method as it often exposes you to a lot of enemy fire, and many hoard armies, such as Tyranids and Orks, are likely to rush you, so they will not be running off a table edge and completely removing themselves as a risk as quickly as IG usually does.  Units that work well with this approach include small but powerful units (like 6 a troupe including a leader/IC, or a solitaire), especially jetbikes which are much more durable than harlequins on foot, and can quickly move from one squad to another, minimizing the time they are outside of close combat.  The equipment that fits well with these are as follows:

Hallucinogen Grenades:  These again are an excellent piece of gear, but used in a different way.  You will often be using smaller squads in this strategy to have a larger number of troupes engaging as many enemy squads at once to disrupt the army as a whole, and so it is easier to get opponents to fall back with this item, so that you may move on to your next victim.

Domino-Field:  This is a must for IC’s traveling alone in this kind of harlequin army, as they are more likely to be found alone, either on jetbikes or on foot, for longer periods of time.

Deathjester Use:  One popular method of using Death Jesters is to equip them with either the shrieker cannon, or bright lance and stick them behind cover.  As these are assault weapons the Deathjester can move and shoot.  Each turn you move the Deathjester out of cover just enough to get LoS on a single opposing model or vehicle, and fire.  With the range of the bright lance most opponents are going to have to move to get LoS, and then will not be able to offer return fire.  Also few opponents are going to be able to (even if they desperately want to) spare a vehicle or a mobile fire-base to attack your one model that is in cover and has an invulnerable save.

Another method is, again, giving him an assault weapon and a phase field and have him advance with/in a unit and firing all the while, taking advantage of his IC status.

Independent Characters: These are great to use in, and in conjunction with troupes, as well as on their own (solitaires or others on jetbikes), for their killing power and utility (Shadowseers psychic abilities), but I have one warning and suggestion concerning them.  They are a lot of points.  A LOT.  A solitaire is regularly 140 points or so after equipment.  This is a large chunk of what most troupes cost.  Therefore you want to be very careful about loosing them for VP, and damage purposes.  My suggestion is that when your troupe gets low on numbers, instead of keeping the IC with the troupe to protect him, and give the squad good leadership, detach him and have him fight alongside but not as part of the unit, so he will not get stuck falling back for the rest of the game.  This is especially important on objective based games where you need points on an objective.

Also many players elect to take very little in the way of characters, troupe leaders, and wargear, attempting to combat the low number of models that harlequin players usually put on the board.  Most players like to set a minimum, or a system by which they can judge if they are going to have enough units, such as having 10 troupe memebrs for over 50 or 100 points of wargear, etc.  It comes down to personal style, which is varried among harlequin players.

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