N18 Another Van Saar list

MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
135
97
33
Halmstad, Sweden
That is as close to an optimized list as you can get. It is going to kick some serious ass.

Edit:
I would go for Trick shot instead of Fast shot, though, but that is mostly a personal preference. They are both very good skills.
 

MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
135
97
33
Halmstad, Sweden
The thing with Fast shot is that it's not as awesome as it initially sounds. The number of rounds where you actually get to use it are not that many. Oftentimes, you either need to move, stand up or reload to get a shot off, and those rounds it is wasted.

Also, with a scarce weapon, the total number of shots you get to fire is (statistically) limited. Fast shot only means you can burn through those shots faster, but you don't get more of them. Sure, doing damage early in a game is always better than doing it later, but again the benefits of the skill are less than one might think.
 

MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
135
97
33
Halmstad, Sweden
Standing up is an action, so you can't shoot twice with Fast shot when you do it. Unless you get extra actions from somewhere else, of course.

Trick shot and Fast shot are both good skills. But when they are combined they multiply each other. So whichever you start with, you should aim at getting the other one when you advance.

For the lasgun equipped gangers, there are two possible ways (if you are aiming for maximum efficiency) to develop them, after they have gotten mesh armour like the rest of the gang.
- Give them hotshot las packs
- Give them boltguns or grenade launchers, and keep the lasguns as backup weapons

Hotshots are the budget option, turning the otherwise crappy lasguns into something decent for a fairly cheap 20 creds. Giving them a boltgun or grenade launcher, though, turns them into much more of a threat, but at a greater cost.
Which way you go is heavily influenced by your plans for the rest of the gang. If you are planning to get your hands on some heavy weapons, for example, you might want to keep your gangers as cheap as possible.
 
Jun 8, 2018
32
47
33
Australia
Normally you cant stand up and shoot because both are basic actions. Fast shot makes it a standard action letting you do it twice in the same round or once and a basic?
 
1 comments

spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
Staff member
Necromunda Custodian
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Feb 8, 2013
9,417
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Tilehurst, U.k.
you cannot perform the SAME basic action, you can perform 2 different basic actions in your turn. so anyone can stand up and shoot, but no-one could stand up twice (not an issue), or shot twice (without skills obvs).
 

Petitioner's City

Gang Champion
Nov 15, 2017
320
578
118
Edinburgh, UK
As an arbitrator, I might suggest not playing this because while it is optimised, it is also incredibly standard and ultimately ... cookie cutter?

To explain further, this is basically the same list three van saar players used in my last campaign, and it's deeply unfair in its "power value" vs other gangs. While players may have certain counters (such as cards like cut their supply, click, history of violence, dangerous footing, blackout, etc), four 4+ saves with nasty str5 at 24"/30" with warforge at bs2+/3+ is not exactly fun to play against - especially since it will most likely magnify in power throughout a campaign. Further it just pushes people to standardised or cookie cutter card use and gang development to counter this kind of gang design.

The flaw is of course the gang options as published, which makes it hard to resist this "get out of jail free" design. However, given the esoteric (yet utterly unoptimised but more interesting) options open to van saar specifically and to all gangs throughout the trading post and black market, I think you can make for yourself a more risky but more varied and ultimately rewarding playing experience.
 

MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
135
97
33
Halmstad, Sweden
Normally you cant stand up and shoot because both are basic actions. Fast shot makes it a standard action letting you do it twice in the same round or once and a basic?
You know you can do two different basic action in the same activation, right? Just not two of the same.
 
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MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
135
97
33
Halmstad, Sweden
As an arbitrator, I might suggest not playing this because while it is optimised, it is also incredibly standard and ultimately ... cookie cutter?
I strongly disagree with this attitude.

If you, as an arbitrator, don't like the imbalances in Necromunda (and you are fully entitled to), then take steps towards a better balance. Change the costs or stat lines of weapons and fighters.

But don't bully players away from the lists they want to play just because you don't like them.
 

TabulaRasa

Gang Champion
Jul 26, 2018
452
367
73
Stockholm
Wouldn't it be better to just talk with the players to come to a consensus as to what sort of campaign you want to run? Or limiting the amount of special/heavy weapon slots for a gang (like 2 from start, maybe a 3rd at a later level). I think these sort of changes seems a lot more reasonable than to completely start to alter the fundamentals of the game, no?
 
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MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
135
97
33
Halmstad, Sweden
You don't need to rebuild the game from the ground up. A slight cost increase for the most offending weapons and fighter types goes a long way of creating better balance.

The problems with doing it your way are:
1. Not all players are on the same level when it comes to limiting themselves.
2. Limiting the number of special or heavy weapons is toothless, since the most overpowered weapon in the game is a basic weapon.
 

Petitioner's City

Gang Champion
Nov 15, 2017
320
578
118
Edinburgh, UK
I strongly disagree with this attitude.

If you, as an arbitrator, don't like the imbalances in Necromunda (and you are fully entitled to), then take steps towards a better balance. Change the costs or stat lines of weapons and fighters.

But don't bully players away from the lists they want to play just because you don't like them.
I have changed things massively in my campaign, with my player's consent, and we have a very rewritten ruleset to avoid this (including limits on rare weapons, changed stats, etc). For example, our van saar are cheaper but far less overpowered. It's not perfect, and we are playtesting it in campaign at the moment, but I think it helps fix a real problem with the van saar as published in gang war 3 and the compendium.

I wouldnt say I'm bullying Spiraling Cadaver, and I wish you would restrain from langauge like that - I think everything I said is valid and comes from running two campaigns. As you know, this kind of van saar list isn't easy nor enjoyable to play against if you are a less strong player, and a list like it only gets more powerful through the campaign through income and indeed the addition of bolters and grenade launchers like advised above.

It's an invitation to make something that doesnt feel like it's roleplaying the setting. Yes things can go wrong in a campaign (that unexpected 66, etc), but it's far more likely things will go better for a player using it than those with other starting gangs, given the deadly, repetitive, numerous examples of heavy firepower and strong armour it can easily and cheaply deploy

Sorry if this set off something in you, but it's my problem with the rules as published making this a too easy choice that just doesn't feel very true to indeed my views of the game or setting.
 

MrAndersson

Ganger
Sep 18, 2018
135
97
33
Halmstad, Sweden
I have changed things massively in my campaign, with my player's consent, and we have a very rewritten ruleset to avoid this (including limits on rare weapons, changed stats, etc). For example, our van saar are cheaper but far less overpowered. It's not perfect, and we are playtesting it in campaign at the moment, but I think it helps fix a real problem with the van saar as published in gang war 3 and the compendium.
Then lists like this shouldn't be a problem.

I wouldnt say I'm bullying Spiraling Cadaver, and I wish you would restrain from langauge like that - I think everything I said is valid and comes from running two campaigns.
I am not saying you are bullying him, or anyone else. I am saying you (in the general sense of the word) shouldn't tell players how to run their own gangs.

"Bully" might be too strong of a word. Sorry. English is not my first language.
 
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Petitioner's City

Gang Champion
Nov 15, 2017
320
578
118
Edinburgh, UK
I am not saying you are bullying him, or anyone else. I am saying you (in the general sense of the word) shouldn't tell players how to run their own gangs.

"Bully" might be too strong of a word. Sorry. English is not my first language.
Is this not a comment and criticism thread, for an upcoming campaign, in which the gang will be used? I'm talking from my experience, and responding to cadaver's list, and saying that it is a difficult list to play against - which I think is fair to say since understanding and empathising with your opponents is a necessary skill of good sportsmanship and good playing. This isnt a WAAC game, it's for fun ultimately - everyone's fun, and that's rubbish if you find it hard to have fun because of a too tough opponent. I don't see why you are so upset over honest feedback about changing a list to be more amenable to that premise of providing a challenge but not being "that guy"?

Edit: anyway, I've said my piece - I get you like this strategic optimisation game, Mr Andersson, that's cool, it's different. But I think everything I've said is fair in the context of a c&c space.
 
Last edited:

spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
Staff member
Necromunda Custodian
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Feb 8, 2013
9,417
12,213
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Tilehurst, U.k.
I am simply saying that if you care about balance in a campaign, then it is better to change the rules, to make the game more balanced, than trying to influence the players to play worse lists.
While that is a fair point, as the OP is not asking for house rules to adjust his groups play to make it more balanced, but is asking for a critique on his list (without speficing any houserules therefore we have to assume he is using GWs unmodified rules), the suggestion to tone it down as it is very strong (and new players without detailed knowlegde of other lists may go to this sort of load out with VS without realising other gangs cannot compete out of the box with it), then this is perfectly acceptable to suggest this as an off the cuff suggestion as @Petitioner's City did. He has offered reasoning for this view, not a out of the blue (possibly passive agressive) statement, which I would say would stray towards bullying.

But as you have said, I think 'bullying' was more a language issue rather than intent, so I think this can be left there.
 
Jun 8, 2018
32
47
33
Australia
While that is a fair point, as the OP is not asking for house rules to adjust his groups play to make it more balanced, but is asking for a critique on his list (without speficing any houserules therefore we have to assume he is using GWs unmodified rules), the suggestion to tone it down as it is very strong (and new players without detailed knowlegde of other lists may go to this sort of load out with VS without realising other gangs cannot compete out of the box with it), then this is perfectly acceptable to suggest this as an off the cuff suggestion as @Petitioner's City did. He has offered reasoning for this view, not a out of the blue (possibly passive agressive) statement, which I would say would stray towards bullying.

But as you have said, I think 'bullying' was more a language issue rather than intent, so I think this can be left there.
Just starting out so gw rules so far but any common houserulings or things to look out for will be noted and are appreciated!
 

Baffo

Ganger
Aug 2, 2018
127
202
53
Ljubljana
Prehaps overwatch as starting skills would make things more interesting?
As secondary skills its more difficult to obtain 100% am I right?
While Overwatch would be a good choice for Van saars, it isn't among their Primary skill sets, meaning they can't choose it as a starting skill (also during campaign you can't ever strait up 'choose' any skill outside your primary set, you'll always generate them randomly (9 XPs to roll on a secondary skill table and 12 XPs to roll on a non-secondary table)).
That said, in the Book of Judgement there is a new Illegal item from the Black market: Mnemonic spike (100 creds) that allows a fighter in the gang to roll on the Lasting injury table (because they literally jammed an archeotech spike into their own skull) and if they survive it they can chose one single skill from any 'standard skill table' (meaning almost anything except Palatine, Savagery or Psychic skills).
As far as I know these illegal spikes are the only way for anybody to choose any skill that isn't among their primary skill sets.

Admittedly it has a high credit price and carries some risks (potentially even death if you're unlucky) but it can be used on any fighter (not just Leader/champs) and could allow you to build up some pretty characterful and powerful skill combos if you're willing to take the risk.

In regards to the opening question (and since by now you might have realised Fast shot does not work quite as you initially thought), I would suggest taking Trick shot on at least one of the champions instead of Fast shot (and plan to arm said champion with Suspensors and a Rapid fire heavy weapon like a Plasma cannon or Autocannon later on in the campaign). Another good alternative to Fast shot would be Hip shooting, allowing you to run 8'' and still take a shot (normally I would suggest arming this champ with a Template weapon like the Radgun or any Flamer variant to negate the -1 to hit when running a shooting, but Van saars with Bs 2+ to start with, can probably ignore the malus due to any short range bonuses to hit from whatever gun they are carrying - a Meltagun or Combi melta on a Hip shooting Van saar is still terrifying, without feeling like you are just spamming Plasmas).

Regardless of the negative online reputation of Van saars spamming Combi-plasmas (see earlier disagreement in this very thread as an example), I believe you should avoid repeating the same wargear/skill load-out across your entire gang, since that makes your gang somewhat static (especially if you rely entirely on Fast shot) and predictable.
Yes, the initial gang is pretty powerful (in a Min-Max kinda way) and will steamroll an inexperienced opponent, if the table/terrain and scenario allow you to castle up somewhere and keep the enemies at a distance, but Necromunda has a huge amount of random events/enviroments/scenarios that can completely negate your basic 'shoot them from afar plan' and if you have all your fighters equipped/skilled the same, you'll have no flexibility to get yourself out of a bad situation when that inevitably happens (I call it Van saar Karma :)