Tactica: House Escher

The new Necromunda is just a few days away – have you picked your gang yet? If you’re looking to win your games through speed, guile and deadly chemical weaponry, House Escher gangs are for you. With this info, you’ll be playing like a seasoned champion when your copy arrives.

Escher Gangers are fast, smart, and fragile. With a 5” move, you’re a hair more mobile than the Goliaths, and the BS and WS on your average ganger is a respectable 4+, allowing you to take advantage of both ranged and melee weapons.

Strength and Toughness 3 aren’t superb, but there are a few ways to overcome this – we’ll be going into the weapons you’ll be able to equip your gangers with in the Gear section.

Each of your fighters has a solid Initiative, Will and Intelligence, meaning that – generally speaking – you’ll be able to rely on your fighters to open doors and caches when you need them to.

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.

Auto and las weapons might not be flashy, but they get the job done, and Escher has access to loads of them. Lasguns are perfect for keeping gangers cheap when filling out your roster and leaves some room in your starting list for some promising Juves. Meanwhile, autopistols are a great pick for a Juve, boasting a solid rate of fire while still being pretty reliable.

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.

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.

When playing with an Escher gang, you’ll be relying on cunning to keep your key fighters safe. While you may lack the durability of a Goliath gang, there are several ways to make sure that your key fighters stay alive and get to choose their fights.

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.

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.

Want to start your own Escher gang? The Necromunda: Underhive boxed set has everything you need to start playing Necromunda, while Gang War allows you to run campaigns with expanded lists for skills, gear and founding your gang. Meanwhile, if you just want some reinforcements or extra weapons, the Escher Gang boxed set contains 10 new fighters for you to recruit – pre-order all of them today.

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