N18 Escher Campaign start tips


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May 7, 2022
Hey all
I want to know if somebody has some tips regarding my Escher starting gang. I know there's another thread going around right now, but it looks like I kind of want to take my gang in a different direction (a lot more melee oriented). Tips and tricks on how to play Escher are also welcome, since I'm new to Necromunda.

My current list:
Queen: Shock Whip, Plasma Pistol, Mesh Armor, Spring Up (215 CR)
Death Maiden: Stiletto Sword, Needle Pistol, Chem-Synth, Mesh Armor, Combat Virtuoso (200 CR)
Matriarch: Stiletto Sword, Autopistol, Needle Rifle, Chem-Synth, Mesh Armor, Step Aside (205 CR)
Specialist: Grenade Launcher (Frag, Krak & Smoke) (120 CR)
Sister x2: Lasgun (55 CR x2 -> 110 CR)
Little Sister: Stiletto Knife, Stub Gun (45 CR)
Wyld Runner: Wyld Bow, Phelynx (105 CR)
Total: exactly 1000 CR

The main questions I have are:
-Is a melee oriented Queen a good idea, or should I look into keeping my queen in the backline and get a leadership skill? Her three attacks are so tempting.
-Is the Needle Pistol a good pick or should I look into another sidearm for the Maiden?
-Is it too much to have both champions be toxin based or should I look into giving the matriarch a different loadout?
-It looks like the bow sucks, but I really like the look of it. Is it as bad as it looks and should I buy ammo for it?

Any tips are welcome, but if possible I would really like to keep the bow + phelynx in my starting list. I'd also rather not run more than two lasgun sisters.
We can also buy up to 100 CR of common items from the Trading Post, though I have no idea if there's anything worth buying from there. The only thing I was thinking of was getting a long las for the matriarch for long range support. That would free up quite a bit of points, but I'm not sure if the long las is good enough for that.

And finally what would I be searching for in terms of early upgrades? A Clan Chemyst, Hotshot Laspacks, Armored Undersuits, more bodies or something else?
Shock Whip and Plasma Pistol on your leader is a bad combo, specifically, one being versatile and the other one not. If you want her melee you should grab 2 melee weapons with the same range.

In terms of upgrades, if you like melee, your brute is a pretty good deal.
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IMO, toxin is a red herring. An Escher gang is better off going with conventional weaponry.

If you want a melee focused gang, I would advice you to equip half of your fighters for close combat, and have the rest provide fire support. Lasguns for pinning and grenade launchers for taking out the most dangerous enemies early. Boltguns are also good damage dealers.

Lastly, don't over equip your juves. Keep them cheap, they won't kill anything anyway. Unless they can get a CdG, of course, but they don't need a weapon for that.
For matriarchs, you're better going ranged, Death Maidens are better at melee so id drop the pistol and stiletto sword from her.

Melee Leader works, but be aware if she dies you can't replace her, still, 3A base is nice.

Wyld Runners are sadly not up to much, fine if you're going role-playing but worse then literally any other choice you can make.
You should be able to use the versatile of the shock wipe and plasma pistol together.
I don't think that's right. I thought the accepted interpretation was that versatile allows you to make attacks at range with weapons that have the trait, but this does not extend to any other close combat weapons or pistols carried by the model. Have I got that wrong?
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Toxin is actually pretty decent. It's essentially S4 and ignores multiple wounds and gives you something to play with if you do decide to play around with Clan Alchemy (Personally I like panicking). Don't go crazy with it or it'll suck out too many creds. So yeah, Toxin weapons are good and clan alchemy is something to dabble with.

The Needle pistol is quite a good one on the DM and goes well with her special rules. Personally, I'd want to start with 2 x stilleto swords to maximise the melee set up and not leave you making decisions about whether to move forwards or to shoot the pistol. Always move forwards. You can give her a pistol later and it will come in useful for those odd times when you start your turn either pinned or in Melee (Usually when someone charges you but doesn't kill you). You can do a fight action, kill some clown and then shoot one of his mates with the remaining action. 2 swords also equals 2 parries which is nice.

Regarding the Queen, you should build for ranged and melee. She's just really good at both. Initially I'd be tempted to find 5 creds and upgrade the plasma pistol to a Bolter and then get her a pistol or a second shock whip later down the line.

Cool things to add on later - Stim slug stash and Frenzon Collar for the Maiden. A light scattering of clan alchemy and the apprentice chemist if you're going down that route. Armoured undersuits are a solid favourite for champions too. Night Night stimms for champions Is also another good buy. A blindsnake pouch can also be a great addition to a champion with the dodge skill - what's not to like about a 5++ save in addition to your armour save.

The Wyld Runner is probably not the most efficient choice but you will get use out of her and she adds some character to the gang. We do house rule that you can choose not to attack when you charge, despite the recent faq ruling. The main reason being that it adds utility to fringe cases like the Phelinx and the humble Cawdor bonepicker. It allows the pet to get into combat, not get killed by reaction attacks and then provide an assist for the Wyld Runner. This seems perfectly fair and within the intent and spirit of Necromunda so have a talk with your group and see if they'd be up for that minor rules change. It'll make the Wyld Runner and pet a much more useful pairing.

As a group Arbiter, I'd be really pleased if someone entered a list like this at the start of a campaign. It's hard but not completely maximised with no spamming and is full of flavour. Well done you!
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My one recommendation (outside of what's already been said) is if you're going to take the Wyld Runner (totally support that choice btw, though people frown on them, I love the flavor), I would find a way to bring to Phaelynx. Remember, they have to end their activation within 3 of their owner. So when you make a charge, move the Wyld Runner close (or first if charging with her), THEN move in the cats. sure an attack MIGHT fall on her but it's unlikely. Also, I love the bow but haven't had a lot of success with it. I'd give two Stub Guns (if you can afford it, with dumb dumb rounds each) so that in melee she's ST4 not 2.
I don't think that's right. I thought the accepted interpretation was that versatile allows you to make attacks at range with weapons that have the trait, but this does not extend to any other close combat weapons or pistols carried by the model. Have I got that wrong?
That is the usual interpretation as far as I have seen, even if I think it is a bit silly. You can use the pistol at range, you can use it in melee but for some reason you can't utilise it from Versatile? Just seems to be a little off to me.
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Similar to Esher I have run in the past. Could definitely work
Like the original battlecruisers Esher are glass cannons. They may hit like a ton of bricks but they can fold easily if not treated well. For your characters pick a archetype and stick with it. Then give them a friend to watch thier back either to double down on thier style or cover thier weaknesses. Remember that your Queen and matriarch have group activations. Your Queen is a potential combat monster but having a friend to pin any Goliath monster in range to counter charge or another to really hit home coup de grace any Serious injuries that survive. The same applies for any melee combatant.
Maintaing a fire support group is essential for Esher gangs even if you are mostly melee focused. These snipers need not ever wound anything only expect regular pinning. Mobility is key for Esher. If any potential counter chargers are prevented from doing so this allows your girls to slip in and out without getting bogged down.
Armour is always a good shout trading post battle. Alchemy prolongs toxin and gas weapon use. More girls to keep your Crew numbers up.
Toxin and gas weapons will become less effective as other gangs progress. Toughness increases, they get respirators etc. Remember who gets the Tools of the trade rule. Once a weapon you get early on is no longer as effective get another or get some improved ammunition. Bows no longer working? Get some acid arrows. Stub gun bouncing of Goliath hides? Dum dums.
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