N18 How would you "fix" Van Saar?

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Juve
Aug 26, 2022
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Hey all, if you were redesigning Van Saar, what would you do differently?

I have been toying with this idea that I wanted to run by you. It seems like a lot of the complaints about Van Saar (too heavy on shooting skills, BS too high, etc.) are secondary flow on effects of them having (too much) access to plasma. I know that a lot of Van Saar players might be upset by this suggestion... but imo removing plasma from their gang roster would do a lot to address the regular complaints we hear about them being spammy/OP.

Secondly, I'd probably remove the +1 armour save they automatically get. It's just an extremely bland approach to giving them more flavour, and everyone tends to armour up as the game progresses anyway. Why give them a head start.

Also, I'm across the usual counters to their plasma spam. I'm more interested in tweaking the gang than discussing how to counter Van Saar RAW.
 
Not sure what the issue with plasma access is, 4 of the 6 main house gangs have plasma guns in their house list. Van Saar have the unique pistol combi which is rubbish! Not worth the punishing ammo roll to get a las pistol and no access to max mode.......The main issue I think is that lots of plasma turns up due to the absence of other viable options......if their las auto gun and shotgun equivalents were a few creds cheaper and had some similar ammo upgrade options then I think you'd see a lot less plasma. I'd certainly take more suppression lasers if they were 30 creds with a couple of ways to upgrade ammo other than focusing crystals as they are utterly pointless (not as many ammo options as a regular shotgun though, as it does have plentiful which is nice). Similarly if rad weapons were a bit more effective, even just S3 rather than S2, and a little lower in cost then I think you'd see more of them taken vs. plasma.
 
The main issue I think is that lots of plasma turns up due to the absence of other viable options......if their las auto gun and shotgun equivalents were a few creds cheaper and had some similar ammo upgrade options then I think you'd see a lot less plasma. I'd certainly take more suppression lasers if they were 30 creds with a couple of ways to upgrade ammo other than focusing crystals as they are utterly pointless (not as many ammo options as a regular shotgun though, as it does have plentiful which is nice). Similarly if rad weapons were a bit more effective, even just S3 rather than S2, and a little lower in cost then I think you'd see more of them taken vs. plasma.
Pretty much this. The expanded las arsenal doesn't have much going for it for what the individual weapons cost, and rad weapons are pretty badly costed for what they offer on the table. Additionally, for a gang house whose lore indicates that they're exceptional tinkers when it comes to tech, Van Saar seem to rely a lot on outside aid to reflect that in the tabletop, be it territorial boons or trading post items.

With regards to rad weapons specifically, I remember asking a buddy a while back about what he'd do to make rad guns worth what they currently are, and his response was pretty much a flat-out "Make Rad-Phage cause an automatic additional flesh wound on a successful hit instead of the current 4+ to do so." Given that it's a weapon that's trying to compete economically with plasma guns as they are, I'm inclined to agree.
 
Kill team has a lot of nuances but can't give a team flat boost to the 3 most important parts of the game, BS, shooting skills and armour save. Because even boosting one of these compared to equivalent teams would break the game. So what about something like re-roll 1s to hit and save?

If it was D12 based and avg ganger would hit on 7+ (50%), it would be much more acceptable if Van Saar hit on 6+.
 
Kill team has a lot of nuances but can't give a team flat boost to the 3 most important parts of the game, BS, shooting skills and armour save. Because even boosting one of these compared to equivalent teams would break the game. So what about something like re-roll 1s to hit and save?

If it was D12 based and avg ganger would hit on 7+ (50%), it would be much more acceptable if Van Saar hit on 6+.
I'd personally lean on using the d10 instead and reworking how Toughness and Armour interact with one another (the latter might just be me having been playing MESBG more recently, mind you).

The key issue with attempting this however is that you would have to re-write the entire game just to solve the issue that one or two factions pose out of the ten or more that are available.
 
The problems with van saar is their combination of access to all the shooting skills combined with BS2+, personally I think the easiest way to "fix" Van Saar is a straight reduction of their BS by one point across the board, maybe let subteks keep their 4+ as it makes them equivalent to other juves.

They can keep shooting skills, and their house list this way, they still have the strongest shooting in the game, its just much less obnoxious
 
I see quite a few tribe members bringing up the shooting skills. Yes it is a strong skill group but so are others. A good way of blunting fast shot spam etc, or any mass powerful skill for that matter, having unique starting loadouts. Give your champion with a plasma gun Fast shot all good but now your meltagun champion has to take a different one.
Skill spam and weapon spam just gets boring. It also forces your opponents to do the same.
Van Saar also has ready access to the savant skill group. Many fixers equals tonnes of cash.
Any problems I have with Van Saar only stem from spamming. Have some self control and make your gang members individual this is not mass warfare after all.
 
Isn't it obvious that the problem is not exclusively with Van Saar themselves (although, their free undersuits are busted), but rather in how the game treats high BS? Any champion with innate BS3+ is just one advance away from becomming a BS2+. Then you can Aim and reliably hit light cover on 2+ or heavy cover on 3+. Throw in infra-sights or blast and you are always hitting on 2+ now, regardless of smoke or cover.

What van saar actually need is a price bump to reflect their undersuits properly (or better yet, just remove undersuits and let them purchase them like everyone else).
 
Isn't it obvious that the problem is not exclusively with Van Saar themselves (although, their free undersuits are busted), but rather in how the game treats high BS? Any champion with innate BS3+ is just one advance away from becomming a BS2+. Then you can Aim and reliably hit light cover on 2+ or heavy cover on 3+. Throw in infra-sights or blast and you are always hitting on 2+ now, regardless of smoke or cover.
The more I think about it the more I think a flat reduction of everyone's BS by 1, all models, all classes, no exceptions, would go a long way to balancing Necromunda
 
The more I think about it the more I think a flat reduction of everyone's BS by 1, all models, all classes, no exceptions, would go a long way to balancing Necromunda

I think the simpler approach (if any fixing is needed in the first place) is to simply limit maximum possible BS, in the cumulative ordering of the calculation.

Such that if you always limit any fighters "to hit max as 2+" BEFORE any further modifiers are applied.
Rather than just adding it all up in one clumsy block.

Then, if you have a VS starting with BS2 with a +1 modifier, or have an Orlock with BS3 and a positive +1 modifier, they both need a 2 to hit. However if there is partial cover, they both then need 3+. Any bonus which theoretically pushes them to 1+ (which we know is still an auto miss) is lost. In the example above with traditional rules, the VS would remain at 2+ even if the opponent is in cover (and depending on weapon or attachments, maybe even if they are in heavy cover!).

This would allow VS to retain their solid shooting (their entire identity) while also allowing cover and negative modifiers to remain useful. It would also give their shooters a more meaningful choice over selection of weapons with modifiers, and a reasonable chance to miss under certain circumstances, like everyone else!

Additionally, thanks to the vagueness of the rules, I don't think this is even explicitly against the official wording, so it could be implemented as an interpretation...
 
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