N18 Non plasma Van Saar


Jun 30, 2022
Hi - getting back in to Necromunda after a very long time, playing Van Saar. I'm considering avoiding plasma at gang creation to free up credits to allow more diverse builds. Plasma will be bought as soon as funds allow. Will be playing campaigns against CGC, GSC and Orlocks. Thinking is some template and blast and/or mid range swashbuckling may be needed, also CGC may be dropping smoke.....any advice on build viability from experienced players welcome!

Option 1
Leader - hot shot las, infra sight, mesh
Augmek - hot shot las, infra sight, mesh
Augmek - las sub carb, hot shot las pistol, mesh (gunfighter)
Neotek - (for mobility/flanking/disruption) lasgun, photon flash, mesh
Ganger - suppression laser, energy shield
Ganger - lasgun
Subtek - lasgun, rad grenade
Subtek - lasgun

Option 2
Leader - hot shot las, infra sight, mesh
Augmek - hot shot las, infra sight, mesh
Augmek - hot shot las, mesh
Neotek - (for mobility/flanking/disruption) hand flamer, mesh
Ganger - las carbine
Ganger - lasgun
Subtek - lasgun, photon flash grenades
Subtek - lasgun, frag grenades

Option 3

Similar to Option 2 but swap second Augmek for Archeotek with las sub carbine & occular cybertechnika and plan to make them a heavy/special weapon platform via. Weaponsmith
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I would drop the Hot Shots initially and pick at least one hard hitting gun. You can Hot Shot later but for such a melee shy gang you need something to take care of the melee beat stick that will reach your lines.
I would avoid heavy weapons until you can purchase suspensors with them at the same time. You need to move and shoot rather than get stuck with double actions that leave your heavies vulnerable to charges.
Smoke grenades are your bane. You always need to shoot the enemy with clear lines of sight.
CGC are super nasty if they reach you so don't let them. Grav Guns to slow them down (Maybe Hurt then as a Bonus) and a Prime with that Leadership skill that gives them a extra group activation with a fire team of 3 lasgunners to pin as many of the hungry hippos as possible. Pinned fighters can't charge you.
Both options you give could deal with the GSC and Orlocks with weight of fire but both these gangs can fire back although not as well and as with most other gangs will make a mess if they reach you.
When you have the creds Plasma is your friend as are Hot shots and Mesh for the 4+ saves. Don't do Focus Crystals.
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Yeah, was a struggling to let go of plasma at creation......keen to keep the hand flamer for a.) fun and b.) access to some template, especially Vs CGC mask willpower checks. And an infa sight to counter smoke. An option is dropping to 7 member

Prime - Plasma, Lasgun, mesh
Augmek - Hotshot las, infra sight, mesh
Augmek - Hotshot las, mesh
Neotek - Hand flamer, mesh
Tek (specialist) - Hotshot las or Lascarbine, mesh
Tek - Lasgun
Subtek - Lasgun, photon flash

Feels like it gives me a bit more stopping power plus one more ganger with mesh, if I go for the Lascarbine I can squeeze in another photon flash. 7 just gives higher risk of bottling and one less lasgun for pinning........
My experience with Neoteks are if you only have the one it becomes a bullet magnet as it's easy to see and much easier to hit. Maybe put the creds into Subteks? Corpse Grinders can field an awful lot of infiltrating initates.
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It's definitely a challenge to go completely plasma-less at the start with VS. Our other special options are the melta gun which costs more and has half the range (but is a lot of fun on a hip shooting augmek) and the grav gun which costs the same as the plasma gun but is significantly less effective and shorter ranged. The rules kinda channel us into a plasma heavy build. I wish we started with access to the Long Las. Maybe equip a couple of your gangers with suppression lasers for a bit of punch? Far from optimal, but if you were looking for optimal you'd have plasma guns.

If you're going with Neoteks, I'd suggest taking two and giving one grenades and the other a hand flamer.
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my cawdor boys with their homemade weapons weep for you and your problems (and then turn to dust as the plasma hits)😂
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Other option is to bring in some mini plasma via. Plasma pistol on a champion gunfighter e.g. plasma pistol plus las pistol or sub carbine. Could add energy shield for survivability - I know this gets me to a cost that could buy me a full plasma gun, but gunfighter build gives me ability to deal with closer range threats and energy shield gives half a change if melee kicks off........any experience with a van Saar gunfighter build? Feels sub optimal, but certainly not a fundamentally bad idea.......
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In our last campaign I had fun with my rad (dude) Van Saar gang, the Geiger Meisters. I set myself a no Plasma, only rad and las rule. I found them quite fun to play with, until I came up against GSC with their Haz suits and just had a lot of expensive S2 weapons.

But despite that, I would play them again. I enjoy the rad mechanic and they threw up some interesting challenges as a player. I might buy or convert an Archaeotek one day so I can play them again with the Rad Beamer as well.
The Fast Shot skill is your friend here. With all those plentiful weapons you could have 3 fighters putting out 6+ shots a round depending on which las-variant you give them. Give one of the champs two las-subcarbines and fast shot and they are brutalizing two enemies with 2-6 hits a shot at BS3, then spread that over nearby enemies and you've got half the opponent's gang pinned if not injured.