N18 My first Escher list


New Member
Jan 14, 2021
Standard 'first list feedback request' alert!

I'm new to playing Necromunda (at least the reboot). I’ve built an Orlock gang that I’ve played with (once!) and am currently putting together an Escher gang.

I have put together a list which I hope is sufficiently thematic to be fun (chem thrower, needle rifle etc) but isn't going to totally suck.

Las Espiritus Escher Gang

Going with rule of cool/fluff over pure effectiveness because ‘Necromunda’. The loose backstory I'm thinking is that they're 'security' for a run down night-time entertainment/vice district (which seems to fit the Escher vibe). I'm aiming to make them some terrain to fight over too. Aesthetic will be bright 1980s Miami gangland.

  • I’m 99% sure I’m taking a chem thrower (on a specialist) even though it is probably worse and costs more than a heavy plasma or heavy stubber just because it’s cool.
  • Likewise, I want a needle rifle (makes sense on a Matriarch).
  • I’d like to go pretty heavy on chems and lasers in general.

The idea is to have three “teams” – Queen, Deathmaiden and a sacrificial juve up close and personal. Chem thrower with sacrificial juve just behind them. Needler and lasguns laying down covering fire, with a sacrificial juve in case someone gets too close.

But, I have a few questions:

Gang Queen: I want a close combat specialist. Thinking of the whip (looks really impressive on the model) or a stiletto sword (fits the Escher toxin theme more), and either a needle pistol with chem-synth or a plasma pistol (less Escher specific, but it is almost certainly better, and sort of suggests her status). I'm not keen on the bolter/needler.

Death-Maiden: I honestly don’t love the look of Deathmaidens, but the rules seem like a lot of fun (I love a melee blender). I like the idea of two stiletto swords, but the needle pistol and the claws both seem like good choices too. Would I regret not having one or other for her? I can't afford two weapons and the pistol.

Juve weapons: Stub guns are the standard choice, yes? I'd love to give them laspistols (because “lasers”) or throwing knives (cool) instead but that's just silly, right?

Gang make-up: I tried to aim for nine fighters, but would I be better off having eight fighters (ditching a juve) to either; upgrade another juve to a ganger or wyld runner; upgrade (no credits yet for cats); or add a couple of extra items throughout the gang?

tl;dr Please look at my gang list and let me know what you think! Any and all advice appreciated.
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9 fighters in 1000cr is a bit of a reach for most non-Cawdor gangs, but you pulled it off, thanks to the cheap Juves. I say keep them as is and get them melee weapons and maybe some grenades for one of them when you have the credits.

I also like the Chem Thrower. It's not optimal, but it's definitely cool and can do work, especially with the right chems.

Your list is a bit light on firepower, IMO. Cheap lasguns are great, but they're more of a pinning weapon than a killing weapon. The lack of heavier shooting may give you some problems. Your two "cheap" options there are the Boltgun and Grenade Launcher. To fit either of those in, you'd have to swap some things out on one of your Matriarchs or your Queen. I prefer to start everyone (sans the Death Maiden, of course) in "shooting mode" and then add melee punch. My Queen usually just gets a Boltgun at the start of the campaign and then a pair of Shock Whips, or a Shock Whip and a Plasma Pistol when I can afford it.

You're really heavy on toxin... and all the add ons that can make those effective are expensive. I'd say use them on the Chem Thrower and the Death Maiden... and maybe, if you must, have your Needle Rifle Matriarch (who should get a Claw and Needle Pistol when you can manage it).

One note regarding the Death Maiden... Combat Virtuoso is good on a two sword DM... but better as a second skill, after she already has Spring Up. You can't win if you're pinned. I'd start her with sword and pistol and Spring Up and then add the second sword and Combat Virtuoso as soon as you can.
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Thanks so much for this. It’s given me some ideas to consider.

I think I might go for the whip/plasma pistol combo on my Queen (I always like my leaders to be melee focused) so I’m not getting too toxin reliant.

I wanted to avoid giving ALL my champs spring up, partly because I know it’s so good - which is why the Deathmaiden got Virtuoso.

Given I was kind of on the fence about the Deathmaiden though, I’m now tempted now to drop her completely in favour of some extra firepower/kit, then invest in a Chymist, wait for another champ to die and hope for the best!
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If you're going to give anyone Spring Up, you probably want it to be your Death Maiden. If your shooters get pinned and don't have Spring Up they can still stand up and shoot. If the DM gets pinned, she can't charge, which effectively neutralizes her.

Here's what my favorite Escher starting list looks like... lightly equipped, but 9 fighters, including 3 champions.
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I like the theme you're going with, it's not "optimised" Escher -if there is such a thing- but it won't get shot off the board turn one either. You do need to think about how much punch your poison weapons are all S4 equivalent, and you have a few of these but they're all close range or melee dependent, which means your not going to be reducing enemy model count until you get into combat.

Lasguns can be punched up into hotshots and that should be a priority, for Juves I'd aim to get them all stiletto knives or better at the first opportunity to make use of their WS. Don't sweat about pistol choices for Juves, if you have the spare creds a las pistol is strictly better than a stub gun, but the only reason you have that pistol is the extra melee attack when you get them the knife they're actually going to use to kill people with.

If you want to drop a juve for some more killing power you can up-gun one of your gangers to carry a shotgun, you can give her acid rounds later to keep the theme but it's a reliable S4 D2 weapon that does work through the early games.

Regarding skill choice, Spring up is an absolute must on melee characters and strictly better than combat virutoso, Spring up AND combat virtuoso is the stuff nightmares are made of and should be the route for your Death Maiden.

If you don't want to overuse Spring Up (personally I think it's fine on two models, you can distinguish them more with your second skill pick) then your Matriarch would be the one I'd drop it on, she can take a leadership or combat skill (I think Escher can access Rain of Blows?) and still be a threat with a shock whip or plasma pistol - she doesn't need to be base to base to hurt people.
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