Game Hacks: 40k Death Battles In The Pit Of Champions!

May 12, 2015 by brennon

One of the big parts of our discussions as lovers of tabletop wargaming is who would win against who. It’s been the cause of many an argument between friends and maybe even some roars of laughter on the tabletop as champions of good and evil have duked it out on the battlefield and rolled a handful of ones.

Ghazghkull Thraka

Well, maybe it’s time to put their skills to the test with a Game Hack for the Pit of Champions. Some of those who read old White Dwarf magazines might remember a similar set-up to this they called Arena of Death and yes, I have drawn a bit of my inspiration from that!

Two Enter, One Leaves

The idea of the Pit of Champions is that in the world of Warhammer 40,000 both the Dark Eldar and Forces of Chaos are known to have fighting pits (I’m sure other races do as well but these are certainly more widely known). So, what if your favourite character was captured by either of these forces and so now has to fight for his life against all manner of foes within the pit?

Marneus Calgar

Both you and another player, or a group of friends pick your HQ Special Character of choice and enter them into the Pit of Champions. They must be presented exactly as they are in their Codices (but they could be an older and long forgotten character if you wanted to trawl the archives) and are placed 6″ away from each other with the center point in that 3″ middle point.

Each round you’ll roll a dice to see who has the initiative (helps to throw some of the advantage of ranged characters off a bit) and you can move, shoot, fight in close combat and do whatever else your character would do in order to win.

Kharn the Betrayer

Once one of your characters has been ‘killed’ they are dragged off into the pits to be resuscitated and another character is thrown into the pit to fight the champion. You’re character will stay in the fight until he or she has been taken down so you can even have a running tally in your group of friends to see how many victories each character has accrued.

How To Spice It Up?

The above idea would be a fantastic way to just play out a few bouts between games of Warhammer 40,000 (or indeed any other game that comes with hero characters, it doesn’t just have to be for Warhammer 40,000). However, some times people like to take things to a whole new level so here are a few suggestions you might want to play around with…

Lelith Hesperax

  • Pit Hazards – Inside the pit there are a multitude of traps that you will have to contend with. On the roll of a 1 each turn one of your characters has triggered a trap (roll randomly). This could be a spike trap damaging them or a snare holding them in place for example.
  • Unleash The Hounds! – Maybe the Pit owner has decided that the one on one fights aren’t that entertaining? Your two combatants won’t just have each other to contend to but a handful of Chaos Cultists or Khymerae to fight with. Will they band together to defeat them or use it to their advantage?
  • Doubles Tournament – Instead of it being a one on one fight how about you spice things up with a two on two fight?
  • Unnamed Heroes – While you could use Special Characters there’s nothing stopping you using standard HQ units from your various armies. Maybe agree that they each come with their basic equipment and can earn more from winning bouts against other enemies.
  • Special Moves - There are obviously very few rules in the Pit of Champions. How about you introduce a range of special rules for stabbing people in the back, disarming opponents or even just shoving them around making the traps and hazards more interactive.
  • Ammo – While they might have given your heroes a Bolter there’s no reason why they’d give you more than one clip. How about after each BS test where you shoot you roll a die and on the result of a 1 your gun is dry? It could force ranged heroes to think about their best opportunity and stop abuse of good ranged weapons.
  • Scenery – Get some of that scatter terrain like oil drums and tank traps and shove them into your Pit of Champions. Now there are more interesting angles to go down when it comes to your tactics. Do you go straight for the kill or try and bide your time by claiming cover?

These are just a few examples of some interesting directions you could take Pit of Champions in but at it’s heart it’s sometimes just cool to see who would take down who according to the rules of the game. Imagine the Red Terror from the Tyranid Codex in the pit!

Red Terror

Which pairing would you like to see duking it out? For me it would have to be Kharn the Betrayer Vs Astorath the Grim in a bloodthirsty melee.

Let us know your pair of combatants!

"...what if your favourite character was captured by either of these forces and so now has to fight for his life against all manner of foes within the pit?"

"Which pairing would you like to see duking it out?"