Hey guys, how is everyone?
Firstly for those who don’t know me here’s a little about myself. I’m Ash and I am a big admirer of the Harlequins. I found my way into 40k merely a year ago and I have quickly found out how addictive a hobby it can be! A friend of mine, after much persuasion, finally convinced me into having a nose around a GW store near to where we were working. Upon seeing the Harlequin Troupe box it was love at first sight (though my first purchase was actually Drazhar. Go figure!)
Fast forward a year… At a time when I was thinking that my Clown Princes of the Webway deserved some TLC, and proxying Eldrad Ulthran in my army a few too many times due to my aversion of fine cast, it was as if GW tapped into my thoughts and came out with the news of the Death Masque box set. Anyone who has seen this, and is either an Eldar or Space marine player, will know how great value a box set this is. So naturally I jumped at the opportunity to grab this box set on its release. GW’s teasers on Facebook got me hooked and like a kid I began wishing and hoping that with it would be some new rules to buff the tremendously fragile circus act. When I collected my order from my FLGS I couldn’t wait to get home and open up the set to see what new rules and formations I had to use for my forces -To be honest I was left a little underwhelmed!
So what is the Coherian Host? Well it’s a formation made up from:
- Eldrad Ulthran (Nothing new except he now comes in plastic)
- Death’s Companions (A unique Harlequin Troupe)
- Company of the Threefold Stranger (A unique Harlequin Troupe)
- Inriam’s Spectre (A unique Death Jester)
- The Blades of Fate (A unique Skyweaver unit)
- The Serpents Breath (A unique Voidweaver)
Lets look at the units.
Death’s Companions come in at under 150 points and with it you get unit comprised of six guys set up in a specific way.
You get Dusk, who replaces the Troupe Master with a Shuriken Pistol and CC weapon, another guy with the same load out, two with a shuriken pistol and Harlequins Kiss, one with a neuro disruptor and Harlequins Caress, and another with a shuriken pistol and Harlequins Caress. This unit comes in at 11 points less than a standard troupe with the same load out and gains the ability to run and charge the same turn! The downside is the Troupe Master's replacement. Dusk has -1 to his WS, BS, Initiative, Attacks and Leadership values in comparison to a Troupe Master. This unit is very much geared up towards combat as a good Harlequin unit should be. That said, outside of replacing a Troupe in either a Masque Detachment or a Serpents Brood Formation, where it could easily overcome its inability to take a dedicated transport, I don’t think I would use this one.
Next up is the Company of the Threefold Stranger. Rocking in at just over 150 points these guys get a 5 point discount compared to what they would cost you from the Codex. The Troupe Master is replaced here by the Lambent Prince, who retains all the stats of a troupe master and has a shuriken pistol, haywire grenades and a power sword. The rest of the cast have the following: One player with a neuro disruptor and harlequins kiss, two with shuriken pistol and close combat weapon, one with shuriken pistol and Kiss and one with neuro disruptor and combat weapon. Overall I think this unit is trying to be both shooty and close combat at the same time but feel due to the squishiness of Harlequins will fall short overall. I'll probably still give it a try a few times though. The benefit gained by this unit is the ability to run and shoot in the same turn which is pretty cool and used in a Masque detachment gives it Rising Crescendo which lets the units in the detachment run and charge. This means they can actually shoot, run and charge in the same turn - I don’t see anything saying these two special rules aren’t allowed to stack. However, much like the Deaths Companions, this unit doesn’t get a dedicated transport so really will only work well in a Masque or Serpents brood.
Now we come to Inriam’s Spectre. He, for me is probably the MVP of the gang. At 10 points more than a standard Death Jester he comes with haywire grenades and shrouded. I think anyone who plays Harlequins will be seeing this man as an auto take. With Harlequins being so fragile, putting him in with a troupe to run between ruins and gain a 2+ cover save will be invaluable.
The Blades of Fate contains 2 skyweavers with Zepherglaives and these guys cost 5 points more than a standard skyweaver unit equipped the same but gain the abilty to reroll failed jink saves. The only downside for me for this unit is the fact that you cant bolster them with extra jet bikes. That aside, I would still take these in place of a normal skyweaver unit every time if points are tight.
The final unit we have The Serpents Breath. Coming stock with a prismatic cannon, it took me a while before I could actually see why I was paying a premium of 10 points compared to a standard voidweaver with prismatic cannon, and 15 points more than a stock voidweaver. It turns out that extra points cost is for +1 BS. This, for me is the worst of all of the units here. Already the tax of the codex, and with the shuriken cannon option better than the prismatic cannon, outside of anyone using the Coherian Host I doubt we will be seeing this used at all.
Lastly we look at the Coherian Host formation as a whole. On top of the individual benefits of each unit we also see two special rules granted to the formation.
The first is Ephemeral Phantasms. Whenever a model suffers an unsaved wound roll a D6. On the roll of a 6 the wound is simply ignored. Although only a slim chance of actually saving you, as a harlequin player, anything helps. Plus, unlike feel no pain, it works against any weapon regardless of the strength and even against D weapons as it isn’t a saving throw.
Secondly we have The Power of a Trillion Souls, which quite simply gives Eldrad Eternal Warrior which means he needn’t be afraid of strength 8+ weapons insta-killing him any more which is actually a huge deal in my eyes!
Rounding up, although nothing game breaking for the Harlequins here, I actually like this formation and in smaller friendly games at around 1000-1250 points I can see this being really fun to roll out. I don’t see the new individual units seeing much action outside of it with the exception of Inriam’s Spectre and maybe the Blades of Fate.
Until next time, my all you to wound rolls be 6’s and leadership rolls be double 1’s!