|Too much caressing and kissing, not enough actual killing.|
Alright, so here's the deal. Harlequins are coming and they're looking pretty damn fine for those that want to play all kinds of CC. While that is really admirable, it doesn't really work in an edition like this one where shooting is king on the battlefield. When they first spoiled the Solitaire, the huge nerd in me got super excited because the idea of Eldar in melee makes me happy. Unfortunately, this went away big time when I looked at the stats and saw that there was no protective bonuses outside of the 3++ invul and a prayer for a bad shooting round.
Here's where things changed a little bit. Then, I saw the formation that allows you to take a Solitaire, Deathjester and Shadowseer and all of them gain Stealth, Shrouded and a special rule that says they have to be by themselves. This suddenly makes them a lot more playable, but at the same time, you have to ask yourself exactly what these three characters offer your existing Dark Eldar? The first thing you will notice is that a package of all 3 is not cheap, not by a long shot. The Solitaire himself is 145 points and if you upgrade the Shadowseer, you're taking even more points on him. Then you consider where the Shadowseer is going to be if he can't join any units, or what will he be doing outside of DSing near the enemy and hopefully trigger some leadership shenanigans coupled with Armor of Misery. He sure won't be taking the psyker powers that targets himself and the squad he's with because he's by himself.
Is that worth the points investment? The Solitaire by himself might be worth the 145 points you spend on him if he comes with Stealth and Shrouded but that's stretching it too. At the end of the day, he's still a T3 3W model with a 3++ save. A good round of bolters should be enough to drop him, even if he's rolling 2+ to save on covers, much less if you're not taking this special formation. The Deathjester is kind of comical because he can just hide back in a ruins and sit on his 2+ cover save, but a quick burst from an enemy Wave Serpent and he's dead before he can do anything. This is just funny to me because a lot of people are super duper pumped about this release. I know that it has to be the excitement that GW are willing to do something so niche, but it bothers me because people are not really thinking about gameplay applications here. To be psyched about the Shadowseer and what he can potentially offer to the table with his psyker powers is one thing, but to realize them on the battlefield is another.
What kind of footslogging lists do you plan on running to take advantage of the Shadowseer? I know that none of these cool looking models will find its way into my DE list because frankly, it only weighs it down to take them. Speaking which, I'm not even sure if DE can take them so this entire post might be moot, but seeing how one of the WD's mentioned "Eldar United", I'm assuming that these Harlequins will be available to supplement both armies. No matter what, you probably won't see any Harlequins in my list. Crazy space clowns are super cool in the fluff, but from a competitive mindset, they leave much to be desired for.
For those of you guys curious about the Holo-fields being different in the Harlequin Codex vs. the Eldar one, expect a errata coming soon. I don't believe GW will let two of the same special rule go with different meanings for long. Yes, this means that Wave Serpent spam will take a nerf. Good, it's been a long time coming.