Necromunda: going a bit tekky

Hey everybody,
Today I wanted to ramble on about Necromunda some more – specifically, about House Van Saar. I’ve been a big fan of House Van Saar for quite some time now – in fact, I think they could be said to have been my first Necromunda gang. Back in the dim and distant past of 2018, when they were first released, I painted up a gang of 6 which, at the time, I remember being quite pleased about. There was the leader, with his iconic energy shield and combi-melta; the rad-cannon guy, the plasma gun guy, and so on. The colour scheme was, in some ways, quite intricate as well, as I was painting each layer of armour in a different colour. Well, blimey, I’m not sure I want to go through with that for much longer!

House Van Saar

I’ve seen some amazing paint jobs online, and I think I might try to go with something a bit more muted and subdued, perhaps more appropriate for the Underhive!

My initial six-person gang is barely a legal force, if I take the leader, two champions, and three gangers (one upgraded to specialist), however it comes in at 1200 credits. I therefore need to get some more generic guys done, I think! Van Saar is the shooty gang, though, and even basic gangers have a ballistic skill of 3+, so they are correspondingly more expensive because of these better stats. At any rate, I have come up with a better starting gang that is ever so slightly over 1000 credits, although with seven gangers it should be a better mix from the off.

In the lore, House Van Saar has a functioning STC for lasguns, so is one of the richest Houses because they supply the Guard with weapons. However, the STC is leaking radiation, so their ganger bodies are a bit weakened as a result of this. I don’t know why it has really appealed to me, perhaps because I tend to play shooty armies in 40k, but I do like the whole lore and stuff around them. I also really like the aesthetic of the gang. I know a lot of people tend to dismiss them for being a bit too sci-fi or techy for the Underhive, but I think it kinda makes sense to have them stand out from the others. Indeed, when you look at the product range for the new Necromunda, I think everything has a really good, individual look now. When you look at the original Van Saar miniatures, the new line is basically a very good update to them, in my view!

House Van Saar

As I said, I want to try to do a different colour scheme for my peoples now, so I have started with the models that have been undercoated but nothing else. For a base, I’ve just painted over the whole model with Dark Reaper, but I’m currently torn over whether I want to go for a green/purple vibe that they have on the box, or whether instead for something a bit more interesting like the dark blue-grey base with then a splash of red or something, as an accent. Depending on how well that goes, I’m hoping that I can then just paint over the six that I already have done, though that could be a challenge that I’m not too keen for! As I will probably need more basic gangers built anyway, a big part of me is just thinking I might try to cut my losses and sell off what I have, then start again! 

I do have a lot of stuff that I would like to try to thin out this year, so I might see where I can get to with that. I suppose it would be nice to just start over, and not worry too much about stuff!

Van Saar, as one of the earlier of the original six House gangs, has had quite a bit of support from Forge World as well as the main plastic line, so that’s always nice to see. There are three champions in total, two of them come as a set (the guy with the cloak, and the woman with the servo-claw), and one with a lascannon and the cyberachnids. I do really like the latter, especially as the Champion has a vague look of RoboCop about him. Of course, the cost for him is quite insane – he can only take two cyberachnids, but maxed-out he comes in at 475 credits. The lascannon is quite a behemoth of a weapon, S10 AP-3 and D3, but with a 24” short range, I’m not sure it would ever be anything more than a gimmicky weapon. It gets a +1 bonus for long range, which is 48” – but if you’re on a table where that is possible, I would say you’re playing Necromunda wrong!

Cyberachnids are exotic beasts that are kinda interesting, with a venomous bite and web projector, which could be quite horrible in the right circumstances. They also have the Fearsome skill which they can transfer to their handler, so an enemy fighter will have to take a Willpower check before charging. They have the hilarious rule called Horrific, which means they can never be captured because “gangers of other Houses would just as soon not have (it) in their hide-out”. Exotic beasts aren’t something that I’ve had a lot of call for really, but I am really tempted to get this pack for them alone!

Finally from Forge World, there is the Arachni-Rig servo-suit brute, which is quite a costly piece of kit at 240 credits base, but it can also take a rad gun and/or a plasma gun, both of which together would bump it up to 360 credits! At first, I did wonder why I’d ever spend so much on something like this, when I could just get a champion wielding one of those guns for much less, but the brute can actually shoot twice, using each of its guns, which is pretty good. The guns are obviously cheaper as well, and you get the close combat ability that most other Van Saar don’t really have!

What else is there? Well, there’s the second gang box that came out in Wave Two (as I think of it), with the new champions and the prospects. The new champions are called Archeoteks, and while they are a little more expensive than the regular champion, they do have a slightly better stat line overall. They have some very interesting weapons options, though, including the rad beamer, which I think sounds very interesting! The close combat variant has a spider-rig, which almost makes them a mini arachni-rig, which I also like! The prospects are the guys on hover boards, Neoteks, and are mainly armed with laspistols and energy shields, although they can take lasguns, shock staves or plasma pistols, interestingly. I’m not entirely sure whether I’d arm them with shock staves, but it’s nice to know!

Prospects are an interesting addition to the roster, and one that I’ve also been looking at for my Goliaths recently. In terms of gang composition, they count as a Gang Fighter, same as a ganger and juve, so you can have almost as many as you like because they don’t tip the balance – normally, you can’t have more leaders/champions than you have gangers/juves, but adding in prospects to the latter means there’s more chance for variety in your basic gang. Of course, they have a juve statline, but they advance like juves as well, so you have a better chance of getting them better than you do with gangers. Also, the fact they have better weapons options can’t be overlooked! I think I’ll have to do a bit more a deep dive into the whole prospect thing in another blog, though, as this is already rambling on long enough! 

Suffice it to say, though, I am looking forward to getting more work done on these guys, especially once I have my colour scheme worked out and stuff. I think it’ll be good to have more options for playing the game fully painted (this will be the fifth gang that I’ll be painting, which is exciting!) so stay tuned for more updates on that!