N18 Using Genestealer Gang rules to play Pit Slaves in N23?

Aulenback

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Mar 29, 2016
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Ahoy, all.

My favourite gangs for the past few decades have been Ratskins and Pit Slaves.

Ash Nomads appear to be the new game's version of Ratskins, more or less, in the part of using the weather while largely being immune to it, and a mix of mid-range and melee.

Looking about for a way to play Pit Slaves in the new ruleset, I saw the Ogryn Slave rebellion, which hits many of those themes, but I don't feel are well represented by my large collection of pit slave minis. I have seen a handful of homebrew gang lists for Pit Slaves some of which seem quite good...

...but in the interest of making things easy for my regular opponents to understand (plus having just been playtesting a homebrew gang list), I was looking for a good substitute from the published-by-GW gang lists. Folks have used Venators, as a catch-all, but their champions are far beefier than Technos were. Using the Outcasts allied to the Slave Guild seems thematically the opposite, siding with the system rather than against it (plus only ends up including a couple of Pit Slaves among the gang). I have seen folks suggest Corpse Grinder Cult, but they are generally nattered about as 'unreasonably forgiving' as a gang rule set. Some suggested using Goliath, but we may have a Goliath gang in our next campaign.

I noticed a comment on Reddit that "the obvious way to play pit slaves in N17 is using the Genestealer Cult list."

I was looking for thoughts on this idea. The only thing that seems to be missing is the complete absence of Savant skills (the old Techno skills) on the Champions. Using the assorted close combat weapons to represent the augmentic weapons seems a good fit. The Chieftain/Allpha having three arms matches up well, just give them two melee weapons and a pistol or shotgun. Choose to use grenades rather than the Special Weapons on anyone except the Techno (Champion). Aberrants are just the big thugs ("Gladiators").

Has anyone PLAYED a close-combat-and-grenades GSC gang? Could it stand any chance? Of would those extra restrictions do it in?

I think I am going to give it a try.

But I am interested in folks' thoughts. So....

What are your thoughts?
 
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I'd not considered the GSC for pit slaves. Interesting idea. 3rd arms and whatnot. It should work.

I planned to use Venators to run pit slaves a few years back as I enjoyed the varied stat lines and more free access to gear to cover their fancy gear. Can even house legacy in some of the industrial gear not on the trading post. Sure, Goliath rivet guns are a bit rubbish, but they fit the theme. Never got round to running them as other projects stole my attention. The chief got used as a house agent and/or bounty hunter in my Goliath gang though.

Regarding savant access you could go shopping for the mnemonic inload spike at the trading post and hammer those savant skills into their heads.
 
I have been thinking of making pit slaves out of an outcast gang, that has affiliation with the slave guild. This way you could buy chainglaves and -axes to your basic gangers too, representing some more heavy hitting pit slave weapons.
 
Genestealers have plenty of non Tyranid options that work well. Rock saws chain swords etc that can be used well for pit fighters.
The aberrant is a combat beast normally. Then you add so many variations on its weapons too. Good pit fighter shout
The Neophytes are fragile if you run them as melee fighters so be wary if you tool them up with expensive weapons and third arms.
Your champions can hit hard but can also be glass cannons but that may be a good thematic thing anyway.
 
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The N95 Pit Slave gang’s champion was the Techno, who was a fragile shooter able to get Special weapons - so this parallels that nicely.

The weapon equivalents I was looking at have most available without the trading post, and a couple needing trading post visits:
Hammer arm - power hammer
Claw arm - power pick, or power claw (trading post)
Drill arm - heavy rock drill
Shears arm - heavy chain cleaver (trading post)
Chainsaw arm - chainaxe (trading post) or power sword (gang list)
Dremel - power knife (trading post)

These don't all match the rules of the originals entirely (or costs, in the case of the drill), but they seem to thematically suit, if nothing else.

We’ll see. The old Pit Slaves were also expensive and fragile, so that isn’t anything new. It’ll be an experiment.
 
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The N95 Pit Slave gang’s champion was the Techno, who was a fragile shooter able to get Special weapons - so this parallels this nicely.

The weapon equivalents I was looking at have most available without the trading post, and a couple needing trading post visits:
Hammer arm - power hammer
Claw arm - power pick
Drill arm - heavy rock drill
Shears arm - heavy chain cleaver (trading post)
Chainsaw arm - chainaxe (trading post) or power sword (gang list)
Dremel - power knife (trading post)

We’ll see. The old Pit Slsves were also expensive and fragile, so that isn’t anything new. It’ll be an experiment.

Quick question are we talking about the 1995 or the 2003 fanatic version? They have some important differences.
 
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I have been a '95 player for ... decades. I never shifted to the N03 edition of the Pit Slaves, partly because our play group enjoyed the N95 edition of the rules, but also because we agreed that sticking in a heavy weapon servitor drastically changed the play of the gang.

The N95 Techno was a poor combatant (WS BS 2) but with Special Weapon access, and as fragile as any ganger, with T3 and W1 and I3. The N03 Techno was still a poor combatant (WS BS 2) but with Special Weapon access, and as fragile as any ganger, with T3 and W1 and I3. Making the Techno be necessary for including a heavy weapon toting servitor didn't really change the Techno itself, as a "Champion" analogue. The GSC champion has a better BS than the Techno ever did, so flamers become less a necessity for them (ha!).

But yeah, comparing the N95 (White Dwarf mag) Pit Slave gang, and the N18 (Book of Ruin) Genestealer Cult Gang, if that helps. Though if anything, the ability to include heavy weapons makes the GSC gang closer even to the N03 Pit Slave gang.
 
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Yes, by N’03 I mean the 2003 edition by way of Specialist Games. “Blood and Iron, take 2,”


And by N’95 I mean the 1995 edition, and the Pit Slaves gang published in White Dwarf. No heavy weapon servitor in that version of the gang.
 
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Revolted slaves pit as outcast as it was said can work and suprisingly slaves under control with the slave guild and some hive scum. But i will put forward the venator as they have a plethora of good profil and flexibility with weapons.

As for their weapons they have acces to the trading post and black market. also your concept is very cool so i don't think your gaming group will protest a litlle modification.

One option that i think could work is the mutants from : Apocrypha Necromunda: Devils of Gunk Deep. that add some flexibility.
 
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Update:

Going through the minis and rosters of my old Pit Slave Uprising, I found the hired Ratling Sniper. Suddenly, I have a plan for Champions beyond the one techno. GSC champions with long las are decent shooters, with sneakiness skills, and reasonably slow and fragile. That leans into the Ratling Sniper (just missing access to Shooting skills, really). So there we are.

They math out surprisingly similarly, though GSC power weapons tend to around 35 credits, instead of the old Pit Slave Weapons tending to around 20 credits.

It misses out on the "free advance roll" for each of the pit slaves, but also charges 15 credits less for each ganger, than the original gang did (2 credits per xp, rounding up?).
 
For any who might be curious, here is the list, as it looks at the moment:


Champion(s) with Long Las will be ratling(s), champion with grenade launcher will be the Techno. Mechanically the same as each other, thematically and visually different.
 
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The old pit slaves didn’t have a direct equivalent to the “mechanical familiars,” but did have a good chance of starting with additional toughness or wound or skills like dodge and spring up and so on, which provide “similar” damage/hit mitigation. Not identical, no, but vaguely parallel.

But then, all of the gangs in the new editions have starting access right out of the gate to more impressive weapons and equipment than did the original, so there’s a need to balance against that, too.

If access to them proves overpowered for a “melee and grenades” GSC gang, I can easily drop them in short order.
 
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