Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Eldar Go To War (GamesCon)

It’s been a while since my last update. Real life and other projects keep getting in the way. Hope I haven’t been disappointing all 2 of my followers J

I have not been playing my Harlequins a whole lot since Adepticon, unfortunately. After playing them nonstop from December to April, I was ready to let my other armies out to see the light of day again.

Tomorrow is the third annual WarGamesCon (third if you count BOLSCON). This year I will be playing my Harlequins alongside a force of craftworld elder in the 40k team tournament. 3 rounds with 2000 points per side.

I have decided since Adepticon that I am going to need a lot more practice and tweaking to get my harlequins to a level where they can compete at a GT. So this time around I will be bringing out my Greenskins for another go at the title. But I didn’t want to just leave my Harlequins at home. Luckily, I found a partner who also plays Eldar, and the team “King of Fools” was born. Below, you can see the fluff for our army and our lists for the tournament. Long-time Harlequin fans should recognize the first section of the fluff story!


Hrythar had seen a Harlequin troupe only once before - as a child several decades ago - but now he had been chosen as lavair to welcome the Masque of the Shadow Dancers to the Alaitoc craftworld. He fought down tension as the warpgate opened and two dozen figures stepped out of the shifting, coruscating colours. It was said that Harlequins could smell fear, and as the spokesman for his craftworld, it was not seemly to show any.

The newcomers' appearance certainly lived up to the stories. Three little knots of troupers each manhandled a trunk like a garishly coloured coffin, which hovered just above the deck on suspensors. Four skull-masked margorach Death Jesters glided forward with their great reapers on their backs, moving automatically towards the chamber's cardinal defence points. Four esdain Shadowseers strolled forward in a group, their masks bobbing in an animated discussion that had evidently begun on the other side of the warpgate. The ardathair, the Great Harlequin who played the Laughing god in the masque, emerged last, the fixed ironic half-smile on its mask seeming to comment on what had come before.

"Lavair." it said. It was a statement, not a question. Hrythar struggled to seem relaxed and slightly offhand as courtesy demanded.

"Hrythar Dreamweave," he answered. "Alaitoc is gladdened by your presence."

"Dreamweave," the voice was rich and even despite the mask's distortion, "a fortunate name."
Unsure whether this was a compliment or mockery Hrythar held an expression of bland courtesy. Inclining his head to the Great Harlequin, he turned to lead the Harlequins to the quarters set aside for them. Even though he concentrated on his movements as he walked, beside their fluid gliding figures he felt clumsy as an Ork. He burned to ask if and when the Masque would perform, but it was for them to say and for none to ask.

A hush descended as the performance began.

The first work was performed by a single troupe. It was one of the many stories about the Laughing god, the Harlequins' only master. The High Shadowseer stood to one side, his dathedi suit cycling through shifting reds, greens and golds of the Storyteller as he wove a commentary with the projectors of light, sound, psychic impulse and programmed hallucinogen from the creidann unit on his back. The Great Harlequin danced the part of the Laughing god with his suit projecting the ever-changing lozenge pattern of Cegorach.

Death entered, his suit cycling through the decomposition of a corpse from flesh to bone to dust to nothingness and back again. Troupers danced around him, falling at his touch. The Laughing god danced around the outside.

Suddenly the performance stopped. The Great Harlequin of the Shadow Dancers walked to the front of the stage and looked out into the audience. Then he bowed - a bow of courtesy to a superior.
The audience sat in stunned silence. Then one figure rose.

Those few who recognized him knew him only as an undistinguished infinity Matrix technician. He had lived on Alaitoc for over a century, humbly tending the circuitry that maintained the countless Ancestors as the spirits in the body of the great ship. Now the Great Harlequin had bowed to him. He nodded - curtly, as to a subordinate - and walked toward the stage.

"Alaitoc is fortunate." The Great Harlequin's voice seemed uncomfortably loud after the silence. "We shall perform The Dance”

The message flashed around the craftworld at the speed of thought. All normal functions were suspended, and every Eldar on Alaitoc came to the talaclu hall. Even the Ancestors in the Infinity Matrix watched through the craftworld‟s internal sensors. At least once in their lives, every Eldar should witness The Dance – the greatest of the Harlequins‟ works, retelling the story of the fall of the Old Race – and keep the lessons of the Fall alive in the spirits of the survivors. But The Dance is rarely performed, since the key part cannot be danced by any member of a Masque. Only the mystic Solitaires – those touched by the Laughing god himself, who pass unrecognised as whim or design moves them – only these may dance the part of Slaanesh.

The nine troupers bounded into the centre of the stage. their dathedi suits projecting a weaving pattern of colours as they danced the part of the Old Race. The Shadowseers took up positions around the outside; emotions were monitored, amplified and returned by their equipment as the Eldar lived the fall of their ancestors; felt their joys. their prides, their petty rivalries and their driving passions. Three Troupe Masters danced the parts of the Fallen gods, leaping, cartwheeling and somersaulting around and among the dancers of the Old Race.

The dancers of the Old Race became wilder, their passions stronger and their joys more extreme, more menacing. They came together like a whirlpool, and broke upon something unseen – hurled back as the Solitaire leaped into view, somersaulting from his unseen entrance to the centre of the dancers.

An involuntary shock ran through the audience at the sight of the allegorical figure of the Chaos god Slaanesh. His suit projected a constantly-writhing mass of figure, in attitudes of decadent pleasure.
From behind Slaanesh, seven figures appeared one by one to mingle with the Old Race. First came four of the Mimes, passing their sensual and disturbing movements to the other dancers as the Daemons they represented had spread the corruption of Slaanesh. One by one the dancers of the Old Race began to project the pattern of writhing figures on their suits. Next came three dark figures; the Death Jesters' suits displayed skeletons as they leaped and slew, dragging the inert forms of the Fallen gods to the feet of Slaanesh. As the last fell, a psychic scream from the Shadowseers echoed through the minds of the audience. It shifted and writhed like the patterns on the cancers‟ suits, gradually coalescing into a chilling gibbering laugh of madness, corruption and depravity.
But in the laugh there was another voice. A clearer laugh, an ironic laugh. A laugh which laughs because it chooses not to weep.

Then at one side of the stage, the Great Harlequin entered. His suit projected the ever-shifting multicoloured lozenges of the Laughing god as he strolled casually onstage, still laughing at the cosmic folly of the Fallen. He looked at the triumphant form of Slaanesh atop the mound of writhing dancers, and he laughed. He looked at the Mime-Daemons and the Death Jesters as they bore down upon him. And he laughed.

For a moment he could not be seen among the press of Slaanesh‟s minions, but with a cry he flew above their heads, tumbling in flight to land facing them. As they turned he leaped again; two figures dropped as he touched them, and five more clawed the empty air as he somersaulted across the stage.
His laugh now was one of glee as he leaped and tumbled, evading the hunters and turning now and then to strike back. He picked up the body of a Death Jester and hurled it at the figure of Slaanesh, who reeled slightly at the impact. With a wild cry the Laughing god leaped forward, pulled a single dancer from the feet of Slaanesh, and withdrew. At his touch, the writhing figures on the dancer's suit dissolved into the lozenge pattern, and the dancer also began to laugh as he danced the dance of the Harlequin. The two of them put the remaining Daemons to flight, and as last fell. Slaanesh joined the battle.

The confrontation between Slaanesh and the Laughing god seemed to go on forever. Other dancers melted from the stage as the two figures leaped, cartwheeled and somersaulted around each other. Slowly. in the background, the Mime-Daemons and the Harlequin troupers took up the dance reflecting the movements of the two principals in perfect unison.

The Dance ended abruptly, with the struggle unresolved. It was indeed the Dance Without End. The hall was quiet. The dancers left the stage. The audience sat stunned.

El’yen, Farseer of Alaitoc was waiting for the performers as they left the stage, assuming a submissive posture as his eyes met those of the Great Harlequin. “I was watching for you,” he said quietly. “So it is time, then?”
“Yes,” the Harlequin replied. “Everything is prepared?”
El’yen had seen in his meditations that the harlequins would arrive on this day. He had arranged for Dreamweave to welcome the troupe to Alaitoc. He had also seen that the Harlequins had not come simply to put on a show.
“We are prepared. My warriors are among the finest on Alaitoc, and are yours to command.”
“Good. We will need all the soldiers we can get. The Great Enemy is on the move, and seeks to destroy this craftworld. Alaitoc has always been known to adhere rigidly to the Path, making your people the least susceptible to the touch of Slaanesh. She moves to eliminate you. Forces of men and deamons, even alien races are being spurred on by the Great Enemy to destroy you. Cegorach has sent us to fight back the Enemy.”
None of this surprised the Farseer, who saw this very conversation happen in his meditations. But he listened patiently, giving the honor due to the Great Harlequin. “We are making preparations as we speak. The Young King has been chosen. He will be given up to Khaine in twelve cycles time. We will go to war with the Avatar of the Blood-Handed God.”
“Khaine was shattered by the Enemy. You cannot hope to defeat her with naught but a shard of the King of War. We too shall bring forth the power of our god.”
El’yen felt the Great Harlequin reach into his mind, projecting an image of a towering construct with the grinning face of the Laughing God, the Great Fool, Cegorach. “A Spirit Walker,” El’yen gasped. This did surprise the farseer. There were only a few Spirit Walkers in existence. It was whispered that the Laughing God himself controlled the Spirit Walkers through the strings of fate stolen from the crone-goddess Morai-Heg in ancient days. A Spirit Walker had not been seen in battle for hundreds of years.
“Indeed. Call forth the spirit of Khaine, we bring forth the face of the Laughing God himself. For the first time in a millennia, the King and the Fool shall fight side-by-side once more…”

Army Lists
Our army lists are taken from Codex:Eldar and Codex:Dark Eldar. Both army lists are found below. The Harlequin force is a counts-as force using rules from the Dark Eldar codex. Each unit is referred to by its Harlequin name, and the Dark Eldar equivalent is given.

Craftworld Alaitoc


The Avatar of Khaine –                                                                                                                       155 pts
Farseer El’yen – Runes of Warding, Doom, Fortune –                                                                        125 pts


5 Fire Dragons –                                                                                                                      80 pts


10 Dire Avengers – Exarch, bladestorm –                                                                               147 pts
14 Guardians – Starcannon, Warlock with Conceal, Singing Spear –                                       172 pts

Heavy Support

Wraithlord – Brightlance, Missile Launcher, 2 Flamers –                                                         155 pts
Falcon – Scatter Laser, Holo-fields –                                                                                       165 pts

Masque of The Shadow Dancers

Solitaire – Harlequin’s Embrace, Domino Field, Dance of Death –                                         145 pts
            (Archon with huskblade/soul trap, combat drugs, shadow field)
High Warlock – Webway Portal –                                                                                            85 pts
            (Haaemonculus with Web Way Portal)

4 Death Jesters – Bright Lances, venom with 2 Shrieker Cannons -                                         173 pts
            (Kabalite Trueborn with blasters, venom with 2 splinter cannons)


14 Harlequins –2 tanglefoot launchers, haywire grenades, avatar w/ blast pistol/power gauntlet –  233 pts
            (Wyches with shardnets, haywires, hekatrix with blast pistol/agonize)
14 Harlequins – 2 chainsabers, haywire grenades, avatar with blast pistol/power gauntlet –    233 pts
            (Wyches with razorflails, haywires, hekatrix with blast pistol/agonize)

Heavy Support

Spirit Walker – Dual Bonesabers, Haywire Blaster –                                                               130 pts
            (Talos Pain Engine with chain-flails, haywire blaster)

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