Necromunday: Downtime Pitfight Extravaganza

Howdy scummers! One of the best things about a Necromunda campaign is participating in a wild downtime scenario. My club likes to run Pitfights –  chaotic multiplayer battles for glory (and bragging rights). I’m going to talk about my the last one I ran, and maybe give you some ideas for running your own!

The basic setup for Necro pitfights is:

  • 24″x24″ board.
  • Gangs choose a champion to represent them.
  • Fighters are deployed along a board edge and 12″ away from each other.
  • Fighters ignore flesh wounds, serious injuries are flesh wounds, and fighters cannot be taken out with a coup de grace.
  • First two rounds, no ranged weapons or grenades, three and four: no grenades or unwieldy weapons.
  • Last one standing wins!

The Rotchosen look on as Iron Bull enters the pitfight arena. Credit: Fowler

While that setup has made for some awesome battles, I wanted to incorporate a few more elements into battle and change things up a bit. My campaign had a mysterious figure pulling some of the strings in our corner of the underhive. The locals call him Fancypants, he calls himself Lord Hesura. He sent my players the following invite for a pitfight:

Fancypants himself, Lord Libum Hesura and his sketchy entourage. Credit: Fowler.


The administrator of Hive Dura is coming to the humble settlement of Dredge! The most honorable noble has invited the various factions and cabals of the area to send their greatest champion – to represent them in glorious battle.

We will be running the Pit Fight scenario with a few modifications:

  • Your selected champion enters the arena only with their weapons and armor – no wargear.
  • Your champion will start with a melee weapon from the following list:
    • Axe
    • Fighting Knife
    • Maul
    • Spud Jacker
  • At the beginning of turn 3, you may choose to discard this weapon and use a single melee weapon on your fighter’s card.
  • At the beginning of turn 4, you may attack with all owned melee weapons as well as sidearms. If you do not have a sidearm you may use the following (without any special ammo or wargear):
    • Autopistol
    • Laspistol
    • Stub Gun
  • At the beginning of turn 5, you may use any equipped weapons.
  • No lasting injuries will be taken, but there will still be D66 rolls for OOA.
    • This is for OHHHHHHHHHHHH moments, bragging rights, and rewards.


ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? – The spectators are serious about seeing a good battle! Fighters ending an activation alone and too close to the edge of the arena may find themselves getting shot at. BS4 shot with a Strength 3, Damage 1 gun.

The arena! Credit: Fowler

You can see that I’ve gone a bit off book here! This setup was kicked around for a while, but I had a few goals I was trying to achieve:

  • Remove wargear bonuses.
  • Even the melee weapon playing field – provide similar effectiveness but with different archetypes.
  • Ditching the starter weapon for just a single one the fighter owns keeps things like paired chaincleavers & etc off the field for a bit.
  • Dissuade fighters from putting space between them and the action.

These baseline rules also had some additional wrinkles thrown in. Spoiler alert, Fancypants is not the administrator of a crumbling hive who’s traveled to the sewer to watch a bunch of weirdos fight. He’s just some local cult flunkie who found some nice clothes. In terms of the fight, that means that after two fighters went out, a couple of Spyrers showed up to reveal his identity and join the fray.

Orrus vs Ogryn. Credit: Fowler

As there aren’t rules for Spyrers in modern Necro, I used a slightly modified version of the ones from The Orrus and Yeld were pretty beefy, but tooled-up gangers can put a pretty serious dent in basically any model (and did in short order)! Throwing the Spyrers out there also meant that the first two players who went out could keep having fun.

Those Spyrers weren’t the only ones who took issue with the Fancypants. When each player activated I let their spectators take a potshot at him: 4+ to hit, then a 6 to wound and take him out! This was a bit of random fun and a nice way to get some more cheers around the table. The gang that took him out managed to gain some rep (and a bit of heat from the local chaos weirdos).

There was a lot going on at this side of the arena. Credit: Fowler.

While there was a bit of complexity tossed in, the game went surprisingly quick and smoothly, with Ogryns coming out on top. My crew is down for some fast and looseness when it comes to details in mega battles – but you may want to lock down some of the things I did not before the game started. Namely initiative (especially important if you have 9 participants) and rewards. I do encourage you to leave the door open for making some (fun) changes on the fly, though!

And that’s it! Whether your inspiration is from Thunderdome, the Caryards arena from SNES Shadowrun, or Final Destination No Items… it cannot be stressed enough that running a multiplayer pitfight is a blast. We hope you take some inspiration from this article and run your own Calvinball slugfest in your next Necromunda campaign. Trust us, it rules. Got some ideas for a righteous megabattle? Drop us a line at