We've had what seems like everything important now leaked from Codex: Harlequins and for the most part they've turned out as we expected. Fast moving but very fragile army which can hit like a tonne of bricks if it makes it in to combat.
The Codex certainly has thrown a few spanners into the works though, I had an idea of how I wanted to field my army and going by what we have so far I am thinking that I may have to go back to the drawing board somewhat.
There are several issues that I have spotted so far:
Ok, the leaked formations so far look pretty good if you are wanting to take the Harlequins as allies. There are some great special rules (Charging after Running, Hit and Run into a transport) but they are very limiting and with the points cost of a lot of things in the Harlequin book will end up costing too much to use in anything 1500pts or lower. The Harlequin Masque Detachment is good but unfortunately like the Formations it is very limiting. It forces you to take 3 Troupes, 2 Fast attack choices and 1 Heavy Support. Again with the cost of the units you are looking North of 1000pts.
The Harlequins were never going to be Jack of all trades, they are a specialized force and this codex really shows that. The problem is there are things they are going to seriously struggle to deal with.
Mass armour- Haywire cannons are great and all characters can take Haywire grenades but there really is nothing in the book that can deal any real damage at range. The prismatic cannon is only Strength 7 and 24" range. At 1500pts you are only looking at about 6 Haywire cannons. Good for about 3 Hull points if you roll well. Come up against a Astra Militarum army with multiple tanks or an Eldar army with multiple serpents and it's curtains.
Flyers- The big issue that I can see in this book. Admittedly Flyers aren't quite as popular nowadays as they were before but without anything in the book with Skyfire or enough shots to really stand a chance at doing any damage to aerial targets this is a big issue.
The way I see it at the moment is to make the Harlequins anything near effective (I mean just casual game, not competitive tournament play) they are going to need some help. For not a huge amount of points you can add Eldar or Dark Eldar battle brother allies which can add a little of that ranged firepower. Sadly though with the points cost of most of the Harlequins units and the fact you have to pay the Voidweaver/ Skyweaver taxes to field them as a primary detachment your options of Allies are rather limited.
I love the models, I've just painted up 12 of the new Harlequins and although the Diamonds are definitely starting to send me slowly insane they were a pleasure to put together and the kit is great. The idea of a Harlequin army really still appeals to me, there is something so enigmatic about them that I am sure I will still be enjoying using this army even if it's on the wrong end of a few heavy losses!
The psychic powers look great and there seem to be some interesting possible combinations involving the Relic wargear. I think it's going to take me a fair few games to really get into the swing of using this army, but it's going to be an enjoyable journey!
However, here is a few photos!
The army as it stands at the moment
Troupe Master with Harlequins Kiss