It’s been a long while since I have managed to pen down one of these, life and laziness are insurmountable stumbling blocks on occasion it seems. Today I am running my Harlequins against the might of the Dark Angels 1st Company. Harlequins is an army I am still very much learning but having a ton of fun doing so. Turns out speed is quite fun to play with, who knew? Beware of horrendous decision making inside, not advised for sensitive viewers or children.
- Harlequin List (Light Saedath Battalion):
- 2x Troupe Masters (1 with Cegorach’s Rose, Favoured of Cegorach, Player of the Light, 1 with Foot in the Future, Veiled King and the Storied Sword)
- Death Jester with Rift Ghoul and Eye of the Laughing God
- Solitaire, Prince of Sins
- 6×5 Troupes with 1 kiss, 2 fusions, 2 neuros
- 6x Starweavers
- 1×3 Voidweavers
- 1×2 bikes with Glaive and Shuriken Cannon
- Dark Angel list (Deathwing Vanguard):
- Interrogator Chaplain
- Ravenwing Apothecary
- 3×10 Terminators (mixed stormshield/thunderhammer, stormbolter/powerfist, 2 missile racks apiece, sergeant double Lightning Claws)
- 1×6 Bladeguard Veterans
- 1×5 Bladeguard Veterans
Mission 33 Secure Missing Artifacts
- Harlequins Secondaries:
- A Deadly Performance
- Retrieve Nachmund Data
- Deathwing Secondaries:
- Stubborn Defiance
- Grind them Down
- Raise the Banners High
Deployment and Pre-Game:
My opponent is the Defender. I start by moving his bottom right objective down and away from his home. Above all I need him to not sit in his deployment and score hundreds of points on Stubborn Defiance, Banners and the Primary by not interacting. (note we played it here as selecting secondaries before moving objectives, since the timing seems to coincide in the book.) He then moves his home objective back and behind obscuring, and my home objective to be more exposed. I finish off by moving top left back to make it harder for his durable but slow obsec bricks to get there. My priority objective is my bottom left objective, his is the bottom right.
My opponent, showing exactly 0 respect for my army, deploys it all on the line, determined to push those blocks of brutal bodies forward as quickly as 5″ movement and advance rolls allow. He combat squads the maximum Bladeguard Veterans squad and one 10 man Terminator squad. On my side, each boat has a troupe squad inside, with my 3 characters starting embarked. (Sad Solitaire noises. No one ever wants to allow him in a boat). I deploy everything that cannot be obscured 5″ back from the line, to ensure that I am not taking any unnecessary stormbolter fire.
We roll off and my opponent goes first. I elect not to phantasm, as I am hidden from 90% of his shooting not worried about whole 5 missiles he’ll fire off this turn.
Battle Round 1:
My opponent moves out aggressively, raising a sole banner on his home objective, and settling in with a 5 man terminator squad to score stubborn defiance. Anything with a missile launcher does not advance. Between light saedath (cannot be hit on an unmodified 1-3 outside of 12″) and some lackluster rolling he only manages a single wound on my bottom starweaver from his whole army. Turns out I was right about not worrying about some desultory missile fire. Narrator: He was not right. That single wounds goes unsaved and rolls a 6 for damage to blow up my boat. Oof. Classic Aeldari arrogance gets some beautifully poetic comeuppance
On my turn I move the dismounted troupe squad to my home objective. They perform RND (they pass the roll, but this was unnecessarily risky). I *move the two northern transports up to the top-left objective, my Veiled King and Death Jester transports to within fusion range of the terminator squad, and I line up my voidweaver on the same. One boat with just troupes touches into the center objective, and I stage my bikes behind the ruin to get into his deployment next turn.
After the 14x shuriken cannons, 5 fusion pistols, 4 neuro disruptors, 2 shuriken pistols, 3x prismatic cannon and one Death Jester shrieker cannon opens up on the 5 man terminator squad in the open, the thrice damned sergeant still stands. I fire and fade my voidweavers back behind obscuring. My opponent scores 3 points on grind, while I get my 3 on stranglehold. We both score the mission 3 points.
End of Battle Round 1:
Harlequins 6 : 6 Deathwing
Battle Round 2:
He scores 1 point on banners, 2 on stubborn defiance and 8 on primary. His bottom right Bladeguard raise a banner. The Deathwing move aggressively into the middle. He lines up charges into my starweaver on the middle objective with his jump chaplain and the terminators. His bottom 10 man terminator squad move towards my home objective as fast as their stumpy legs allow. In the north, his hero-sergeant and the 3 man Bladeguard goes into the starweavers. His rapid advance leaves a very convenient 25mm hole next to his Ravenwing Apothecary… My Solitaire starts salivating from his hidden position on my home ruin.
Between shooting and charges he fails to blows up any more of my boats in the north. His jumppack chaplain charges my central starweaver. I use the light saedath strat to move it just far enough to still edge onto the far border the objective, but far enough to make the charge for his terminators unfeasible. After some consideration between my bikes and boat, the chaplain ends up going after the boat. I elect to take armor saves to kill the boat, disembarking the troupes inside onto the point to give me a 12 on primary in my coming turn. He gets his 3 on the mission.
My turn 2 I move aggressively in the North. One squad of troupes disembark and performs RND. The downside of my 12 on primary is I cannot flip the middle objective for Deadly Performance, so reckon I need to make a play for his home objective. (In hindsight, I made a massive mistake here. I had 2 easy kills in shooting, and I could have fire and faded the bikes into his deployment to get my deadly performance. I did not need to FnF the voids, just get a narrow angle on the terminator sergeant and the bladeguard. I already had stranglehold locked down, and I did not have enough to take down the terminator squad far enough to out obsec him on his home if all the charges did not hit).
I kill the chaplain with shooting from the troupe squad, the bladeguard and terminator sergeant (finally the damnable nerd eats it) evaporate from the weight of most of my armies shooting. 1 terminator dies on his home objective to the troupes and the Death Jester in the boat. I disembarked the rose queen to guarantee the bladeguard dies, but she ends up not being needed. I fail the 5″ charge into his home objective with my troupes in the centre even with a reroll, but I left 2 toed into the middle to keep my stranglehold intact in case of this exact situation. My horrifically misplayed skyweavers get brutalised by the terminators. RIP skyweavers. You deserved better. My blitzing solitaire thoroughly and effortlessly rips through the exposed apothecary, but gets killed straight through his -1 to hit, no rerolls, 3++ invuln with a luck reroll due to his singular inability to pass even a single save whenever he happens to fight bladeguard.
End of the round I score my 3 on stranglehold and 4 on RND. I miss deadly performance due to incredible stupidity (its definitely not real stupidity, just part of the carefully crafted clown performance. Definitely. Maybe.) but thankfully he also misses grind. We both got our 3 on the mission
End of Battle Round 2:
Harlequins 28 : 20 Deathwing
Battle Round 3:
My opponent still has so much BEEF on the board its honestly scary. He scores 3 on stubborn defiance, 2 on banners and 8 on primary. He finally takes the centre with the one 10 man brick, while his 5 man bladeguard saunter back over to his home to help stem the tide coming next turn. His southern 10 man brick continue their trudge to my home objective.
They knock out a voidweaver, while the centre squad kill the boat next to them and utterly annihilates the 4 troupes on the centre objective. The 4 man on his home kills 2 disembarking troupes (I’ve been very lucky on my disembarking models not dying). He scores his 3 on the mission.
My turn 3 I get 8 on primary. I embark the troupes on my top left and the rose queen back into boats. In the top middle I have a boat very precisely placed to get the 5 man troupes just over 6 inches from the centerline after a disembark and move to get my 3rd quarter for RND. I collapse everything else in range on his home objective. Between the fusion and neuro pistols, the DJ lending his cannon and rift ghoul mortals, and finally the veiled king and the 2 troupe squads swinging into them, the terminators are knocked out. I take down his bannner and cap his stubborn defiance scoring. The Veiled King gets back into the starweaver with the Curtain Falls. Fighting someone just to hop back into a boat is totally fair and balanced and I love every minute of it. With his apothecary dead I can start working on whittling down his bricks too, with the voids taking down 2 marines.
End of the round he scores his grind, I get my 3 on the mission, 4 on RND and 3 apiece on stranglehold and deadly performance.
End of Battle Round 3:
Harlequins 49 : 39 Deathwing
Battle Round 4:
I’ve got a decent lead here, but I am fast running out of material and ways to deal with the terminator bricks that don’t involve a tape measure. He scores 1 banner and 8 on primary, but 0 on stubborn defiance. He spreads the center brick between the middle and his home objective, while the southern brick finally gets close to my home objective (a mere 1″short, but he decides he wants the shooting and will just charge me to get on the point. If I run away with the light strat at least he costs me primary).
He kills 2 troupes with bolter fire in the north. In the south he bounces off the voidweavers, and the troupes on the point runs away so his terminators are stuck outside my objective. The bladeguard mince my Death Jester, boat and the troupes on his home objective. The Veiled King does not roll a one to die on disembark and I cry from happiness.
My turn 4 I score only 4 on primary. I run the troupes back onto my home objective to flip it for Deadly Performance. In the North I commit the remaining 3 man, the rose queen onto the terminators. I advance the Veiled King to try and knock his bottom right Bladeguard off their points factory as a bit of a hail Mary.
On my home objective I get a bit lucky with the void weavers and the troupes, and bring the terminators down to 4 models. The Veiled King manages to kill only one Bladeguard (he feels real bad into transhuman), while the remaining 2 knock him down to a single wound. In the North I kill 4 out of 5 bladeguard after fusions and melee, and the rose queen gets back into the boat. We both get our 3 on the mission. He gets 3 on grind, while I get my 3 apiece on stranglehold and deadly performance.
End of Battle Round 4:
Harlequins 62 : 54 Deathwing
Battle Round 5:
He scores a 1 on banners and an 8 on primary. He does not get his Stubborn Defiance thanks to the “consecutive command phases”requirement. Keeping it to a 5 has been massive for me.
His southern terminators obliterate my troupes on my home objective, and park themselves in light cover. In the north he gets as many terminators as possible onto his home objective. The lone bladeguard kills 2 troupes. My Veiled King on the bottom right kills another bladeguard before dying. He scores 3 on the mission
My final turn I yet again display my staggering stupidity by going for an entirely unnecessary play. I score my primary on the bottom of the turn, so the smart thing to do have been to disembark the troupes on my top left, advance the transport onto the centre and just take my 8. Instead I try to go for the 12 AND try to deny my opponents grind. In order to accomplish either of these I need to get very lucky, accomplishing both is a pipe dream.
My voidweavers jet forward onto the objective. My lone transport gives himself options into the sole surviving bladeguard on my opponents home objective and the terminators on mine. The boat on the top left toes into the centre objective while giving the troupes inside range to the terminators on my home. The rose queen disembarks and advances to try for a 7″ charge into the bladeguard on the bottom right. I’m trying to do way too many things here with low odds of success instead of consolidating my efforts. Going for a 12 on primary but dropping to a 4 if I fail, trying to deny grind but guaranteeing it if I bounce, trying for my 3 points priority objective AND trying knock down my opponents last banner.
In the north the lone fusion troupe kills the BGV, while in the south two transports, 2 voidweavers and the 5 man troupe squad inside the centre objective boat kills 3 terminators. The rose queen predictably fails her charge with a reroll. The voidweavers charge, fails to do any damage and gets a boat blown up for their effort.
I score 4 on primary, 3 on deadly performance, but I miss my stranglehold. My opponent scores grind them down and 1 more on his banner.
End of Battle Round 5:
Harlequins 69: 68 Deathwing
Whoooof that was close. I played my Deadly performance very badly, and similary there was no reason for me not to put a de-meched troupe squad back into deepstrike to get my 12 on RND, especially once it was clear that squad is about to get punked (looking at you home objective boys). I am happy with the secondaries I picked, but there is definitely some improvements to be made in my execution of them. This was my first game fielding a 2 man bike squad as utility. I really liked having them as an option, but I threw them away for no gain, and I missed getting a free 3 points with them early game with a Fire and Fade play. Having them survive later to help the Veiled King clear the bladeguard would have cemented a very comfortable victory.
I also really like the 3 man void weavers still, even after the substantial nerf, but they suck a lot of CP. In this match I think I could’ve afforded to be a lot more cavalier with them. My opponent never really did a whole lot of damage even when he could line up the missile launchers. Especially in the early rounds I think I could have just played angles with them and forgoed the FnF to keep the CP to keep my troupes dealing mortals at full clip.
All in all this game was a lot of fun and a good learning experience. This Deathwing list is a bit of a gatekeeper in my opinion, but if you just let it be it can and will score high just for existing. Disrupting my opponents scoring is a playstyle I very much enjoy, but I think it highlights my own “playing the mission” with this list needs some more reps.
Thank you kindly for reading, I would love to hear your thoughts on the clash!