With Necromunda headed out into the wide world this week, we’ve got a look at the tactics of the deadly gangs of Necromunda.
House Escher is the graceful, agile gang in Necromunda. More about speed and swiftness and finesse, they’re good at dodging their way into shorter range, and finishing off their opponents up close and personal. With weapons like stiletto knives, shock whips, and plasma pistols at their disposal, the Escher are all about getting up in there quickly so the fight ends before they take too much incoming fire.
With a base strength and toughness of 3, they’re at a disadvantage compared to their frenemies in House Goliath, who are 4’s all around. They rely more on their specialized equipment to wound opponents, but it does mean that you’ll need to stay alive while getting in there. Escher excels at creating defensive openings for themselves and delivering their area controlling weapons where they need to be. Let’s take a look at what GW has to say about House Escher.
First up, let’s take a look at their gear.
Whether you’re playing with the Warhammer: Underhive boxed set or Gang War, Escher gangs have an unusual and varied armoury. Generally speaking, Escher Gangers can be equipped in one of two ways, either packing cheap and reliable weapons like lasguns and autoguns, or armed with some more esoteric weaponry, like the shock whip or “Nightshade” chem-thrower.
In close combat, every Escher can take a stiletto knife, power sword or shock whip. All of these weapons are more costly than average, but perform excellently against a variety of targets – which one you pick will be down to personal taste. The power sword is a superb all-rounder, capable of parrying incoming attacks and slicing through armour, the stiletto knife can take even the toughest gangers Out of Action thanks to its venomous tip, and the shock whip can be fired at short range like a firearm, representing its superior reach.
All Escher gangers (apart from Juves!) can take plasma pistols. While these weapons have a nasty habit of running out of ammo (or exploding!) they’re pretty powerful and suit the short-ranged warfare the Eschers aim to excel at. You can try to keep a reasonable distance from deadly close combat Goliath gangers, but still perform well if things get too close, thanks to the weapon’s Strength.
Finally, House Escher gangs can take a range of lethal Toxin and Gas weaponry, including the aforementioned stiletto knife. These weapons bypass the normal process for wounding fighters and are therefore perfect for the low-Strength Escher.
The needler/bolter combi weapon has superior range, while the chem-thrower can hit multiple fighters at once – catch your opponents off-guard, and you could clear up an enemy gang in a single gout of toxic gas. Gas grenades give every Escher ganger a deadly backup weapon and are particularly punishing against grouped fighters – particularly devious leaders might want to use one of their fighters to bait multiple chargers as a way to set up a particularly deadly shot.
Then of course we get to my favorite section, skills. Not only can you use them to pay the bills, but you can also use them to customize your gangers to your particular play style. My own particular play style is flipping the table turn one, which is why I’m banned in twelve systems.
That said, here’s a look at some skills that, when you use them in the game, you won’t get kicked out of anywhere. Probably. Odds are good, at any rate.
There are loads of skills to choose from when setting up your starting gang, but we’d recommend picking defensive abilities from the Agility set for starters. Dodge and Step Aside allow fighters to avoid attacks and ensure that your most costly Champions don’t end up a liability in your games.
For your leader, consider some Leadership skills; while it’s tempting to turn your boss into a close combat killing machine, abilities like Mentor and Commanding presence help you make the most of the rest of your gang and help you press your numerical superiority against the foe.
Finally GW recommends a few tips for running your Escher Gang in game.
Firstly, you’ll want a couple of low-cost gangers to lead any forward assaults. The purpose of these guys is to absorb incoming fire from your enemy’s heaviest guns – in Necromunda, models can usually only fire at the closest target, so keeping your characters safe is sometimes just a matter of having enough meatshields (such is life in the underhive!).
Secondly, in games on 3D boards, you’ll want some gangers with long ranged weapons hanging back to Pin key enemy fighters. Autoguns are great for this – while they might not be particularly strong, their rate of fire makes up for your average Escher’s BS and should suffice to keep any particularly nasty Goliath gangers ducking for cover, making space for the rest of your gang to advance.
Positioning is key for the bulk of your Escher gang. Weapons like the “Nightshade” chem-thrower and gas grenades allow you to control space very effectively, but you’ll want to place your fighters carefully so you don’t end up injuring them.
Advantageous positioning should be no trouble for House Escher.
In short, Escher gangs reward devious players willing to make use of cover and mobility with a range of deadly tricks – equip yours with a variety of weapons, pack a chem-thrower or two and the underhive will be yours in no time.
So keep these tricks in mind when building your Escher Entourage. Or, if you’re playing as House Goliath, gear up for these finesse-fueled furies to bring the pain, noise, and funk.
Would the same conflict but set on a Tomb World be Necronmunda?