Part 1 with some preamble is here.
There was only a little bit of vague information about Eldar Pirates in the Rogue Trader book before White Dwarf 127 brought in swathes of background and info regarding the Craftworld Eldar. Before that the only Eldar worth talking about were the Harlequins.
Last year MT painted up a bunch of Harlequins that he had traded with me years ago which were last seen in a Space Hulk here. Despite how cool the original Harlequin stuff was back in the day neither of us had been involved in a game using them (apart from a few abortive attempts to use the silly Harlequin list from the Citadel Journal circa 2001).
The current Eldar Codex and the new Dark Eldar Codex both have rules for Harlequin Squads that looked good to us. It seemed like GW had finally got the Harlequin power level right: stylish and effective rather than bland and ineffectual (Eldar Codices 1 and 2) and playable rather than broken (Citadel Journal Harlequin list). So we were pleased to be able to finally play a game of 40K with them so many years later.
GAME 2: Sin Eaters Vs Unknown Harlequin Troupe
We set up an Altar of eeevil in the middle of the table with Sin-Eaters holding it and four Chaos Marine sentries surrounding them. We decided to play a second, more involved scenario with daemon summoning etc after this one, once we had an idea of how well the Harlequins functioned. This game was to be all about how the Cosmic Elf Ninja Clowns work in their current form.
The Troupe started off on the Western edge.
With all of the panache that one would expect from a group of almost immortal space ninja elves devoted to a god of violent deception, a pair of Chaos Marine sentries were silently bumped off.
A trio of Sin-Eater bikers rush in from the East in response.
The irresistible force of the Harlequins meets the immovable object of the Plague Marines. Something had to give.
It turned out that the Plague Marines caved to the flurry of attacks brought about by the Harlequin ability to Hit and Run. Say what you like about 40k, but it felt just right, one of the rare marriages of the background and the game mechanics in action.
The last Plague Marine regrouped with the depleted biker squad, but the fight was gone out of them. Their indistinct would-be assassins encircled.
The last of the Chaos forces were wiped out and the Harlequins won by a large margin.
Conclusions: Already a number of the tried and utterly untrusted mechanisms of 40k were starting to wear thin. We glossed over these with the wave of our hands and the application of hazily remembered other rules from the various editions of the system over the years. This kept the game going, but obviously wasnt ideal. Also the IGo/UGo nature of the game felt scripted and dull.
On the plus side it was nice to play with Harlequins that felt like how we thought that they should feel after all these years (thin and muscley with an excellent skincare regime in case you were wondering).
Digging out older figures that havent seen the light of day for a while (like the Sin Eaters) for a game is always a little bit of a kick. The fight between the Harlequins and the Plague Marines on the altar was evocative because of the thinly applied setting/scenario and because the rules actually helped the events to feel authentic. This is a main goal for me with miniature games so that was a big plus.