N18 House of Blades (General discussion)

Yeah house of chains gave them a lot of freedom, allowing access to trading post, black market if outlaw and the forge tyrant's list (I presume hob also allows BHs hired by Escher gangs to access the gang queen list) - can either be good or bad depending on the player!
Any Rarity from Trading Post then. Only limitation is 150 credits. While other non-house gangs are limited by rarity 10 or less.
I dont like the chems! Sure some effects are nice. And the serious injury heal or night night, can be quite valuable insurance (should drugs be this). But without dealer guy u cant use them at all, since they will ruin u. Even with it, income in necromunda is not huge per match. Spending creds on a one time use, u have 2 outright kill an enemy leader or champ 2 make it worth. Otherwise u are better of ignoring them and just buy bolter, sights, armor...
So they are a bit in the bounty hunter situation. On time use in campaign is just baaaaaaaaad. When will gw learn this? 24millions never used bounty hunters not enough?

Rules are... clearly written 2...

I like the throwing knife and cl boost. Was always strange, that these killer psycho girls where so easily skared of.
Bow... omg...
Whip... rly#$%

Like the new options for cc chain axe for leader is a nice mix up.
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I don't know @kueppe , money is unfortunately easy in modern Munda - it's only an issue in the latter half of an uprising campaign or if you are using a method like in the Seattle rules/NCR/oldmunda to reduce income and/or are picking or being forced to play bad scenarios?
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I've warmed to one time use items. Our group just played a law and misrule campaign (in the before times) and so income was relatively high, 70 creds per game or so.

Once you're in the top half of the gangs, I can't just stuff my gang with bolters because then I'm going to either give the other player lots of tactics cards, or be undermanned and bottle out fast. At that point I'm ok with spending creds on limited items to keep things interesting, the efficiency of the gang is the limiting factor not the total creds available. Obviously YMMV though depending on ranking/injuries/creds.
I don't know @kueppe , money is unfortunately easy in modern Munda - it's only an issue in the latter half of an uprising campaign or if you are using a method like in the Seattle rules/NCR/oldmunda to reduce income and/or are picking or being forced to play bad scenarios?
That is a problem I didn't think of. These are arguably a 'boost' to a wealthy campaign. Reduced income (from Uprising campaign or income tax house rules) will nerf escher more than goliath perhaps?
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I got House of Blades early from my local games store and I have to say that I feel that the Eschers are finally there where they should be. Mind you, it took 3 previous iterations of N17/N18 to get them right (Underhive - Gang War - N18 Gangs of the Underhove - House of Blades). That's mainly because of the Cool Increase and the expanded / edited weapon lists across the gang that brings them closer to the cold-heart psycho-killers and thrillseekers that they supposed to be. I have to admit that 's why I didn't start with Eschers and only recently even began to play Necromunda with a Venator gang.

Also, I like the new way that the individual entries and weapon lists are represented since I first saw them in House of Chains, especially the much needed clarifications regarding Specialists.

That regular gangers can't get special weapons after the campaign start or weapons from the Trading Post, thus being stuck with house-list weapons, is a bit of trade-off for that, but makes gang building easier for casual gamers and starting gangs. Then again, you can get Hotshot Laspacks straight from the houselist for them, so who needs those bolters anways?

The only thing that struck me asr really odd was regarding Wyld Runners vs Little Sisters. I wonder if their Strength scores will be swapped in an errata, as S 3 on the Wyld Runners 'd make more sense given their cost of 45 creds and the Juves' discount price at 20 creds.

Since I haven't played Eschers yet, but learned a little about their playstyle from our campaign and Goonhammer, here's my up-hive armchair general wannabe-matriarch take on them:

- Queens / Leaders: Great all-rounders, best kept at range to preserve her Cool for inevitable bottle & nerve checks. With the new Eschers' increased, Inspirational is less of a must-have skill.

- Matriarchs / Champions: Needle Rifle & chemsynth seems like the go-to option for the start, given their good Int. One could later become a heavy weapons specialist.

- Deathmaidens: They seem to me as a good countercharge unit, a deterent for enemies to get too close to your crew. Chem-Synth is a must, as are toxic weapons, due to the synergy with Toxic Blood. I 'd take the Stiletto sword over the claw for the new combat virtuoso skill (they 're the only ones with primary access to the skill set, and IIRC it only works with knives and swords). A Black market favourite of mine are Lho Sticks on the Deathmaiden, giving all Little Sisters and Wyld Runners in 6'' a Cool of 4+. And given that they 're already dead and toxic-blooded, I doubt there's a health hazard for them.

- Wyld Runners: They're Juves with a Twist, same as the Goliath Forge-Born and count as Gangers, but can use TP & BM weapons and have access to multiple equipment sets. For starters, I 'd go for a stubgun instead of throwing knives and maybe a phelynx. Since they have access to Trading Post weapons, you could buy them Stiletto swords and needle pistols after the first game (from the houselist, so no rarity roll needed). Also, good as objective grabbers, as slightly cheaper melee fighters, and Hotheaded means your non-wyld gang members won't panic due to being 3'' a downed Runner. Incidentally, with M6 ad BS 4 - and despite S2 - I'd consider them to deliver Photon Flash Flares, given that your gang sisters should be on snipers duty.*
- Gang Sisters: Lasgun & Hotshot Pack on the houselist makes them strong at range, but I wouldn't overlook the shotgun for its special ammmo (IIRC Acid rounds got Scatter Shot now - S3, Ap-1; Executioner Ammo is great no matter what, and the Black Market's gas shells might be a better fit for Chem-Alchemy's Gaseous Ammo mods). Might also work well for delivering photon flash flares.* Not sure if I 'd go for throwing knives with them, but they might have a place as back-up weapons and close ranges surprises.
- Specialist: Equipping this one is a hard choice, as they are limited to house list weapons but can have multiple equipment sets. Still not a fan of the Nighshade Chemthrower despite chem-alchemy
- Little Sisters: Now that Juves count as Gang Fighters and not as towards the Leader/Champions limit, they 've finally found a place as objective grabbers, door openers and general support choice. Stubgun & fighting knife or stiletto for beginners and you're good to go. Objectives might also secure the XP needed for advances.

Overall, Eschers seems to work better at ranged and mobile warfare than close up. While they can't outshoot Van Saar or Delaque due to lack of access to shooting skills, they have solid ranged options. They might challenge Orlock at dominating the mid-range game. But since their best melee gear are probably the toxin weapons which lack an Acc bonus, I am more swayed towards a ranged game.

* A note on Photon Flash Flares: They can pin enemies and blind low-Initiative enemies, what's not to like? I 'm considering either a Sister or a Wyld Runner to deliver those stunning goodies. While gangers with M5 + S3x3 have a 14'' threat range with them, and Runners with M6 + S2x3 only a 12'' range, the 5'' template can do the trick for the later, and leave your sisters on lasgun duty.
Does the GotU houselist even apply to a House of Blades gang?
No, all of the Escher content is completely replaced.

Curious what the actual price for stun grenades is.
  • Trading Post: 15 (Rare 8)
  • Goliath: 15/25 (depending on which fighter purchases it)
  • Escher: 25
  • Delaque: 10
To me, it really doesn't matter whether it's 10, 15 or 25, so I can't understand why it has to be so many different costs.
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Idk if it's been mentioned yet, but the Cold Traders now just add Sling Guns and Armourweave to the house list instead of reducing their rarity.

So Cold traders are the Escher strong alliance. Did any of the profiles change? Did they clarify why ogryns have autopistols and knives?
What's your take for Escher generic bounty hunter, if outlaw, can it have escher chems or black market chems? The limitation is anything from House Equipment List (Leader) & Trading Post + Black Market (rarity/legality 10 or less).
The bounty hunters aren't meant to be members of the Houses (excepting some Dramatis Personae), are they? While they might use the leader's equipment list, they're only hired guns still so I'd say they wouldn't have access to (i.e. be trusted with) house-proprietary stuff like chem alchemy or gene-smithing.