BS 13 and the ability to walk on anywhere on the table edge, including the enemy deployment zone (AD tactical jump) means Van Zant often chooses which range to place himself in, making for an effective strike unit. Combined with CC22, martial arts Level 2 and AP ammo Van Zant can even take on the heaviest of units.
Martial Arts level 2 grants stealth so unless the enemy has sixth sense he can even deploy right behind an enemy without fear of ARO.
AP rifle grants +3 between 8” and 16, with the ability to flank enemies effortlessly and pick deployment, Van Zant is able to easily gain three unopposed shots on 16s.
A heavy pistol is useful for closer engagements under 8” and a AP CCW with a PH 13 and possible +3 to damage from Martial arts, enables hand to hand engagements with high armour targets.
The very possiblile presence of Van Zant is often enough to alter how an enemy deploys their force.
Van Zant has ARM of 2 which grants moderate protection from small arms and by picking when he enters the fight you can be certain of his involvement where and when you want him.
V.Dogged grants some risk management with the ability to take one ARO while deploying (unless shock ammo). Additionally V.Dogged means that if the dice go against Van Zant in the active turn he gets another chance to complete his mission. Reactively V.Dogged means Van Zant is often an order sink to remove for your opponent.
PH 13 and BS 13 means depending on the opponent and range Van Zant can choose how to react to enemy fire.
Walking on the board behind your enemy is the main trick on offer and boy what a trick. Lieutenant hunting, cheerleader killing or as a devastating way to dislodge enemy ARO pieces the ability to choose where you enter the field with such an effective piece can often be game changing.
V.dogged also allows you to play riskier while entering the field, picking spots for deployment that might otherwise be covered by basic infantry with rifles that standard airborne might shy away from.
Executive order also allows you to grant Van Zant an additional order to wreak havoc with, just make sure that losing your Lieutenant is no longer an issue such as in your third turn, as Van Zant is already a high value target as soon as he appears.
Cover your back! Ensure that you have people facing every which way you can, don’t make Van Zant’s mission an easy one. Van Zant is why minelayer exists for units that do not have forward deployment skills. A camo marker in your deployment will scare him off, and if he appears a shock mine can render him dead in one hit.
Don’t forget about his threat as the game progresses, soon as you change facing he will jump on any opening you give him.
If you can survive his strike he is easy to kill although it might take some orders to do so. Use shock ammo to put an end to him as soon as possible. If shock is not an option in his reactive turn if he goes dogged consider ignoring him after that as he will die at the end of your current turn.
Van Zant is not a cheap option by Ariadna standards but he is an effective strike piece. Consider placing him in your second combat group to hide his presence.
For missions such as Decapitation or firefight as a unit to hunt enemy targets he can be very effective. for area control consider taking him as a last minute unit you can bring in to add 38-39 points in any zone you choose (which can easily be the difference between winning or losing a game).
If you want to use him aggressively don't bank on him surviving past your opponents next turn as he will often became a priority target so think hard about if you wish to take him with executive order.
With executive order he can be an effective third turn piece however, using the LT order to cause further damage, but don't risk this in decapitation as you are effectively offering a free LT kill to your opponent.
Don't. Simple keep him for when you need him, placing him in your deployment is a waste of points as he will be out of range and you are not using what he is designed for.
when picking when to bring him on consider what is his primary target, will he get his easy free shots on it? do you want to cc a target? do you need to kill a unit holding an objective? all factors in how you wish to use him.
An early alpha strike from behind might seem tempting but also consider that your opponents deployment will empty as the game goes on giving you more chance to deploy later out of LOF and more chances to work out which target you want to hit first.
Try and bring him on out of LOF where you can but when needed you can risk ARO's from standard ammo with V.Dogged.
Ensuring you have orders to spend on him however as bringing him on to stand on the board edge is a waste of 38 points.
Active Turn Role
Van Zant is your strike piece from behind, your means to target which ever enemy piece is most important to you. don't plan your whole strategy around him but do consider him as an effective strike piece that can kill even heavy units.
again depending on the mission will depend how you want to use him, as an effective point dump into a zone on turn 3 he can be very effective, as a lieutenant hunter he can equally prove his worth.
With PH 13 and BS13 outside his good ranges always consider if dodging is better. Consider if he survives his strike turn placing him in suppression to create a nasty unit behind the enemy lines that they will have to deal with.
within 8" consider using your heavy pistol for the +3 or within 3" consider engaging enemies with his decent CC stats he can be an effective brawler.