N18 Escher - Three champs in starting gang

megasaxon

Juve
Sep 24, 2020
32
5
18
What are people's thoughts on this 1,000 pt starting gang strategy?

My idea was to field three combat groups (to make use of group activations), twin guns blazing on the matriarchs (before they get into combat), and a lot of smoke/flash grenades to close the distance to the enemy. Could it work, or would they get blown off the table?!

COMBAT GROUP 1
Queen (170) - Chainsword, Stub gun, Mesh (Disarm)
Death Maiden (160) - Venom claw, Mesh (Acrobatic)
Little Sister (60) - Fighting knife, Smoke grenades, Flak

COMBAT GROUP 2
Matriarch #1 (155) - 2x Autopistol, Stiletto knife, Mesh (Spring Up)
Little Sister (60) - Fighting knife, Flash grenades, Flak

COMBAT GROUP 3
Matriarch #2 (140) - 2x Stub gun, Fighting knife, Mesh (Dodge)
Little Sister (60) - Fighting knife, Smoke grenades, Flak

SUPPORT
Gang Sister (85) - Lasgun, Hotshot las pack, Flak
Specialist (110) - Needle rifle, Chem-synth, Flak
 

Kiro The Avenger

Gang Hero
Apr 4, 2018
1,715
2,260
128
Bristol, UK
Well, it's almost entirely melee/pointblank so you're going to suffer. But...

Disarm is a useless skill, I wouldn't bother.
Autopistols, stubguns, and fighting knives are weak and a waste of a champs stats if used as a primary weapon.

I'd turn one of the combat groups into another ranged support group, dropping a champ to a ganger to get some better weapons on the remainder.
 
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Valar

Ganger
Feb 22, 2018
53
32
18
England, UK
It can definitely be done! If it’s a campaign list then dropping the chem synth and hot-shot pack can free up points to give the champs a bit more bite.

I played a little with a 3 champ list and it put in a LOT of work. The better stats and wider leadership bubble keeps the crew together brilliantly.
 

Kiro The Avenger

Gang Hero
Apr 4, 2018
1,715
2,260
128
Bristol, UK
Oh and definitely drop the flak armour.
It's not worth it. If you still want to spend those credits on armour, buy mesh for 2/3 as many fighters, it's a much better investment. A 6+ save won't save anyone.
 

megasaxon

Juve
Sep 24, 2020
32
5
18
Thanks for the feedback both.

It can definitely be done! If it’s a campaign list then dropping the chem synth and hot-shot pack can free up points to give the champs a bit more bite.

I played a little with a 3 champ list and it put in a LOT of work. The better stats and wider leadership bubble keeps the crew together brilliantly.
That's a cool list. Very toxin-heavy, which for Escher is fair enough I suppose, but I try not to spam it too much for variety's sake. My gaming group have also said no duplicate primary skills at gang creation, again for the sake of variety.

I have found hotshot las and chem-synth (to a lesser degree), to be a significant upgrade on the stock version of their weapons. Like, I have found that standard lasguns do nothing but pin, whereas hotshots wound, punch through armour and take down enemy gangers much more reliably! Is there any point to having guns that simply pin?! Should that not just be a useful side-effect?

Well, it's almost entirely melee/pointblank so you're going to suffer. But...

Disarm is a useless skill, I wouldn't bother.
Autopistols, stubguns, and fighting knives are weak and a waste of a champs stats if used as a primary weapon.

I'd turn one of the combat groups into another ranged support group, dropping a champ to a ganger to get some better weapons on the remainder.
I see your point re Disarm. Tbh I try to build my gangs with a bit of character, rather than minmaxing loadouts. Dropping a champ to a ganger makes it a standard list, which defeats the point of this thread...

Decent tip re Flak - cheers!
 

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
1,486
2,125
138
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Is there any point to having guns that simply pin?! Should that not just be a useful side-effect?
That useful side-effect completely neuters any melee capabilities of a model, unless it has pin-immunity or ways to cheat an extra action to stand up.

Your go-to third skill should probably be Sprint or Step aside. Take Step aside only if you are facing other melee heavy opponents, otherwise you are better off with a tool that allows to actually close in.
 

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
454
63
I like the idea! From experience I'd say whether you get blown off the table is going to depend a lot on the table itself; if there's a lot of clear LoS then you're going to be in poor shape by the time you get within 12" of your opponent to start shooting back. Smoke Grenades help, but sometimes people have infra-sights or you simply run out of grenades before you can get close enough.

I think you can do a lot with the theme whilst also tightening up the list, though.

For example, Disarm is a trash skill. It's very situational and even when it works it doesn't do a lot... But at the same time, this is your Queen. If you want her to have Disarm, swap that Chainsword for a Chainaxe. 5c nets you +1 S and Disarm whilst freeing up a skill choice.

It's worth bearing in mind, too, that when it comes to shooting two stub guns a Ganger is only marginally worse than a Matriarch, but the Matriarch is so much better in terms of both melee and special weapon access. So if I was absolutely sold on going down the TGB route I'd put double pistols on a Ganger or a Wyld Runner and give the Matriarch something cool.

I've done the three combat groups strategy before and it's ace. But it's important to have some ranged capability in each group. I usually go 2 ranged 1 melee on the champs, and each group of three will also have two range one melee.

Don't worry too much about the Group Activations unless it gives you've got a great opportunity to pounce or reposition to safety. It's better, in my opinion, to be the last one acting in a round as it gives you 'safe' activations that your opponent can't counter that round.
 

Heart of Storm

Gang Hero
Mar 8, 2019
941
1,427
113
I see what you're aiming to do but I think its a bad plan for Escher - Goliaths, Ogryns or Corpse Grinders will eat that melee list up, id consider a more balanced gang with better ranged support.

Fighting knives are yuck on juves, find the credits for a stiletto knife which ignores their strength characteristic or save up until you can, same with smoke grenades, juves can't throw them far or accurately.

I think it needs more guns.. a suggestion would be:

Gang Queen, mesh, plasma pistol, chainsword, Spring Up
Death Maiden, mesh, needle pistol, venom claw, Spring Up
Matriarch, mesh, autopistol, stiletto sword, Spring Up (or Dodge)
Matriarch, Mesh, Needle Rifle, Lasgun, Dodge
Specialist, Grenade launcher
Sister, Lasgun
Sister, Shotgun
Little Sister, Autopistol, Stiletto Knife

Cuts down on bloat, still has half the gang dedicated to melee, one matriarch hangs back with the GL and the lasgal to lay down fire, shotgun runs with the other matriarch for mid range support and extra melee, queen, DM and little bullet-sponge go for melee.

Not a gang id run but id argue more well rounded, is melee centric and features the 3 champions you wanted to run
 

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
454
63
@Heart of Storm Juves are S3 now; the fighting knife isn't the best but it's not terrible, and they can throw a grenade as far as anyone else in Escher!
 

ntw3001

Gang Hero
Feb 17, 2011
1,225
2,250
118
35
Essex, UK
Don't worry too much about the Group Activations unless it gives you've got a great opportunity to pounce or reposition to safety. It's better, in my opinion, to be the last one acting in a round as it gives you 'safe' activations that your opponent can't counter that round.

Ahh yeah. Group activations are a trap. They sound like something you'd want to do, like you're using your leader's special power, but your rule of thumb should be to avoid them. If you activate two extra fighters, your turn ends two activations earlier and your opponent gets what is in effect an unrestricted, unthreatened group activation of their own at the end. You're borrowing activations from the end of your turn, and you pay interest in the form of board control.

An unactivated fighter exerts control by representing a potential threat or reaction. After activation, that control is spent and the opponent has more freedom to move. If we consider the 'quality' of an activation to be represented by the level of opposing control exerted on the board when the action is taken, you trade down. Spending actions increases the quality of the entire rest of your opponent's turn. The earlier you borrow, the more you pay.