Friday, 13 February 2015

Codex: Harlequins Release Confirmed

It's not Codex: Exodites, but it's the next best thing. Leaked on Bell of Lost Souls with the early release of a White Dwarf issue, it has now been confirmed that the Eldar will be seeing a second codex. Not a supplement but a full book at least on par with Codex: Imperial Knights.

The information so far has been sparse but what little has been confirmed has shown that the servants of the Laughing God will be receiving a number of new vehicles to help enhance their existing forces. Those shown so far have fitted the idea of a fast moving elite force who hits hard then falls back, with a very clear emphasis upon small sized skimmers, jet bikes and the like. So far there has been no sign of anything even at the size of a Wave Serpent, and it looks as if the infamous Harlequin Wraithlords will not be making a return.

Other new models have been sighted for the likes of the Death Jester and many prior core units for the army, with the famous Solitare putting in an appearance. As such it looks like things are off to a pretty solid start in terms of setting up a small supporting army, and the force organisation chart (amazing as it is that Games Workshop is even following that after their "unbound armies" nonsense) reflects this. Rather than being a standard set-up, it focuses upon nothing but an HQ, Fast Attack Choices, and with a vast number of optional Elites slots. These are listing individual units as being choices within Troupes, so it looks as if this is going to be following the same unconventional approach as the old army.

Further information has been revealed in the form of the mission cards and codex itself. The book will come with a limited collector's edition (because when doesn't one these days) and the cards will contain a large number of location markers, mission types and psychic powers. The good news is that the Harlequins will be gaining a unique psychic power known as Phantasmancy to help reflect their unique abilities and skills, which should benefit the Shadow Weaver. Also Sanctic Daemonology which fits them despite the terrible name. Let's just hope they don't add daemon summoning as well, as Games Workshop keeps trying to force that on every faction in every game.

There's really little else which can be said at this stage, as this leak shows nothing of the lore, the way in which the army works or even how the basic tactics are set up. The art looks good, the bit we see at least, so here's hoping it adds a bit more flavour than what we've seen in the past, and less recycled work.

There's certainly some potential concerns behind this, but any judgement should be reserved until we know more. For the moment, let's just celebrate the fact that the psychic killer clowns are back and have an army with them once again.


  1. This is excellent news, even if the book ends up being terrible. Here's hoping that it's not going to be anything like Codex: Legion of the Damned. What I mean by that is I can see they have more than just the Elites Slot, but I hope they have more than one unit per slot and it's an actual army (or at least as much as somebody can call it an army).

    As a side note I've been looking at the rules for 40K for a long while now, and trying to tweak what works and doesn't work as far as making it a faster paced game as well as more fair to both players, would you care to weigh in on what I've come up with?

    1. It does look like it resembles LotD's codex a lot in overall layout, and what little I have seen does suggest that this will be focusing upon small bands of very elite units. As such, it might be going for a small strike army but sticking to the sort of Harlequins force which worked well back in second edition.

      As for your comment, it's taking a little time but i'm actually writing something along those lines right now. It's a lengthy article pinning down 40K's current problems and what could be done to really improve the game. In my personal experience though, I think the main turn based system needs to be seriously changed. Despite the game undergoing massive changes they've still tried to stick to the same three turn system (well, four if you include the psychic one now) and it's simply not working. They need to look into systems used in other games for battles of that size, either Epic where maintaining formations was key to winning battles or possibly Firestorm Armada which still offers sizable fleets but has a staggered structure which helps speed the game along. not to mention a lot more of the fun random mechanics which 40K seems to have forgotten how to really use.

    2. A small force wouldn't be so bad then for the Harlequins, at least they have units in all the different slots and so long as they have weapon variety they should be able to be a decently effective army in the game. This is one of the few Codex's I'm looking forward to, but that's mainly because it doesn't have a previous one (that you can still use right now) so it'll be interesting to see where they go with this.

      I'm looking forward to that article then as I'm always interested in second opinions, I do completely agree that the current turn system doesn't work and is something I've been revamping in my own rules (the main goal is trying to get both players involved throughout the game rather than have one player sit and wait for a while as the other person does their turn). I'm not too familiar with Epic or Firestorm Armada but structure I'm finding is a major issue (also I find my rules a bit lacking in depth) so maybe they'd be good places for me to look to.

      As far as fun mechanics go, I want the players to have a lot of choice in what they do, more so than what the game already has and this lead me to a few kind of silly situations, for example I decided to let the "Our weapons are useless!" rule apply to any combat if one side failed to cause any unsaved wounds (and if the owning player chooses to apply the rule) but then realized it's entirely possible (if both players want for some strange reason) for Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines to charge at each other, fail to hurt each other, then run away from each other in fear. Rather than remove that I decided to address it in a designers note, and I suppose some players could have some fun with it if they made a mission condition to always use "Our weapons are useless!" in any combat where both sides fail to cause a wound.