N18 New to N18 - Van Saar questions

FatherTurin

New Member
Nov 16, 2021
7
0
1
Hey everyone, sorry if this isn’t the right place for this. I’m new to N18, but I did play some of the original back in the 90’s. I am also no stranger to skirmish miniatures games, as I’ve been playing them for two and a half decades. There are three main gangs I am interested in: Enforcers, Van Saar and Delaque.

I love the aesthetics and feel of Enforcers as the authoritarian thugs moving in to crack skulls with a Judge Dredd-ish vibe. I also really love the look of the Van Saar and the lore of a faction in the Imperium that actually kind of understands technology but has to hide that fact is appealing to me. Delaque are something I loved in my quasi-edge lord teen angst years, and they come in the Hive Wars box so why not. I do like the Cthulhu esque angle they have now.

Van Saar were going to be my first (and main) gang, but as I’ve perused subreddits and forums (thank god I found this one, so much info!), it seems like there is A LOT of hate directed at Van Saar. I personally approach miniatures games as a collective experience, and I try to steer clear of NPE style factions so that everyone has fun. I also don’t want to dive straight into a new game with a hated faction (my main Blood Bowl team is Dwarves, I get enough hate on the pitch so I don’t need more in the underhive).

So my question is pretty simple. Is the Van Saar hate real, or more of a meme? Also, as a new player, should I focus more on a balanced gang (Enforcers may be different from other gangs, especially in campaigns, but they seem like they offer a balanced mix of ranged and melee), or is Van Saar ok to run with (provided the hate isn’t that extreme). Should I focus on Delaque first? Although from looking through the House of Shadow book with my limited understanding of the game, they seem potentially very powerful as well, without the super obvious “smoke grenades and punch them” or “play zone mortalis” weaknesses of Van Saar.

Any input is massively appreciated! Thank you in advance.
 

Jayward

Gang Champion
Aug 4, 2020
287
452
63
Yeah, the hate is real. But it's mostly directed at 'cheesy' lists. If you go for as much Plasma as you can and take skills like Fast Shot you'll probably cruise every game that doesn't have a specific hard counter to you, and that breeds resentment.

But by the same token, Goliath now have Gene-Smithing abuse, Cawdor can abuse Faith... every house (except perhaps Orlock and Escher?) have high-power shenanigans! Necromunda is currently a game that doesn't take much to bust wide open. Best thing to do is talk to the people you'll be playing with and see what sort of level they're going for, but generally play what you want; as long as you're not trying to win at all costs most people will be chill in my experience.
 

SPKnox

Ganger
Jun 1, 2018
133
85
33
Nevada
Necromunda Is a game that can easily be broken by its players. Van Saar leaders and Champs are going to be hitting the opponent on a 2+ in heavy cover without much work. So if you have a copy and paste plasma spam list where all your points are dumped into those 3 or 4 models and everyone else is naked with a las gun, yes the hate will be real. But then again so is the hate of a complete T5 Goliath gang. Variety and Narrative play is where Necromunda shin. A combi las/plasma isn't bad, but just one and maybe stick it on your ganger specialist.
 

Atom-Cat

Ganger
Jan 13, 2019
139
184
53
Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Yes. It real.
It’s not the VS players fault GW thought giving players starting 2+ to hit AND access to shooting skills AND some 4+ armour saves in the same gang would be a good idea.

So. VS players can try and build balanced lists… or go cheesy. The cheese teams are an auto win in many situations unless you roll 50% 1s.

Hatred of dwarves is less because they are cheesy … most people can beat them. But it is a boring grind with little SPP. Until my claw/mb kicks in. Then I love dwarves.
 

Heart of Storm

Gang Hero
Mar 8, 2019
903
1,364
108
Regarding Van Saar, they're a very easy gang to crank up to 11. As others have noted other gangs can be as tough/win at all costs (T5 genesmithed Goliaths notably) but I think Van Saars big problem is they're a difficult gang to dial down.

To abuse Goliath, or Cawdor you have to make choices to do that, specifically by paying for Gene-Smithing or choosing certain acts of faith to perform again and again, with Van Saar the huge advantages are baked into the profile - 2+/3+ BS by default in a game that is very heavily skewed towards shooting is very hard to deal with, and the general poorness of the rest of their profile largely doesn't matter as a result, and armoured bodysuits baked into a price that isn't that much more than other gangers.

Add in a house weapon list that gives you few options besides Plasma spam and you're left building a deliberately sub-optimal list in order to not be playing a high-power gang. Something other gangs don't suffer with.

As others have said, understand your group and your meta, if everyone else is playing to win and building the best gangs they can, play Van Saar and don't feel bad about it, if everyone else is more interested in narrative play and building a cool gang, maybe go enforcers, who are more mid-tier, or Delaque which have good narrative options without feeling like your handicapping yourself for the benefit of others.
 

FatherTurin

New Member
Nov 16, 2021
7
0
1
Thanks everyone for the comments so far, and as I’m getting deeper into the rules I definitely see the points folks are making. Trying to make a non-optimized list still involves a bunch of Teks with Mesh Armor and Lasguns for 90 credits. A 4+ save and BS 3+ lasguns seems…really good, especially compared with a Palanite Patrolman with a concussion carbine, worse save and worse BS costing more.

I tried to fit a Neotek in there, since early on in a campaign they seem like more of a liability until you can afford some grenades, and I went with other sub-optimal choices (Prime with a lasgun and energy shield, one Augmek with a plasma gun (I need SOME good guns in the shooting gang) and an Archeotek with a Rad Beamer). The gang still seems pretty strong, so I will definitely talk to the folks I plan to play with and go Enforcers or Delaque for the first campaign unless they really are cool with the Van Saar.
 

SPKnox

Ganger
Jun 1, 2018
133
85
33
Nevada
The Other issue with Van Saar is they are rather bland. Spamming any loadout is neither narrative or exciting. Sitting back turtled up in a gunline isn't either. Make sure no one jas the same starting loadout or skill. Take a mix of ranged and CC weapons.
 
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TopsyKretts

Hive Lord
Honored Tribesman
Dec 29, 2017
6,061
6,203
193
Norway
The Other issue with Van Saar is they are rather bland. Spamming any loadout is neither narrative or exciting. Sitting back turtled up in a gunline isn't either. Make sure no one jas the same starting loadout or skill. Take a mix of ranged and CC weapons.
Ie. play with a handicap... wish the game wasn't designed like this!
 

Nocturus

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
3
0
1
Yeah, the hate is real. But it's mostly directed at 'cheesy' lists. If you go for as much Plasma as you can and take skills like Fast Shot you'll probably cruise every game that doesn't have a specific hard counter to you, and that breeds resentment.

But by the same token, Goliath now have Gene-Smithing abuse, Cawdor can abuse Faith... every house (except perhaps Orlock and Escher?) have high-power shenanigans! Necromunda is currently a game that doesn't take much to bust wide open. Best thing to do is talk to the people you'll be playing with and see what sort of level they're going for, but generally play what you want; as long as you're not trying to win at all costs most people will be chill in my experience.
I was a Van Saar player back in the 90s and I have to say, it makes me sad looking at the box options. Everyone is hating on the plasma abuse, but for new players now, that's really all they give us in the box. I'd love to have some flamers and meltas to throw into the mix. Sadly, I have to buy upgrade sprues to pull that off. So to keep my monetary cost down on my initial investment I have to spam more plasma than I'd like initially :S.
 

SPKnox

Ganger
Jun 1, 2018
133
85
33
Nevada
I've been playing around with trying to build a Van Saar gang that uses the other las weapons more along with gadgeteer. The sad true is that it is still very costly and not very effective. So not going plasma spam is easier said than done.
 

Toofast

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
2
1
3
My local group seems to have decent lists so I'm rocking 2 plasma guns, a dual plasma pistol on a hip shooter, and grabbed an ambot after my second game when I had the credits. I'll probably add a hoverboard, house brute and archeotek with spider rig/plasma pistol.
 
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