Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Oldhammer Nazi

Image borrowed from RoC80's
So readers of OoaB the discussion that is always underlying the community has resurfaced once again, the certain question which seems to get people seething and frothing ''What is Oldhammer?''

Where this question is brought up it normally by someone new to this aspect of the hobby, which is fair enough as it's a hard concept to grasp.

So what is indeed Oldhammer?

It's 42!

No wait that's not right, but really just like the meaning of life the term Oldhammer means something different to everyone who's involved.

Myself I've been around from more or less the start of it all and like to think of myself as a well known name in this small circle of people (Hey I was mistaken for the owner of Oldhammer!!), but I don't picture myself as one of the ''Old Guard''.

Guess I really should explain what I mean by ''Old Guard'', They are often the ones which claim Oldhammer has to be played by a certain ruleset (Normally 2nd or 3rd WhFB or RT) and use X miniature (Again normally 1980's Citadel).

Edit: Term Old Guard refers to the ''Old ways'' rather then length of time involved with Oldhammer

Bollocks to that! Oldhammer is fluid.. It can change to the players/gamers need, for example at this years BOYL14 I'm playing and running a Judge Dredd game using Citadel Judge Dredd figures.
Now that's Oldhammer right? 1980's figures? Themed Scenario? But I'm using the ruleset Necromunda 2.0 does that now not make it Oldhammer? Where's the line?

This is what Oldhammer means to me:

''A group of like minded people, who can sometimes agree (If the Stars align and the omens speak true) and having fun with their toys''

Simple eh?

Mr RoC80

This man is Oldhammer, not because he wears the shirt or games/paints in certain way. It's because of his free going attitude and willingness to both embrace the past and look to the future. You can tell he loves the hobby and that is Oldhammer :)


  1. "f the Stars align and the omens speak true" =D
    I think I just fringe into this community with the attitude and love of older models, but although looking forward to getting a few games of second edition 40,000 at some point this year? I do love the latest incarnation of warhammer which would be a hugely frowney thing to as you say many old guard types.
    I do have collections of 2nd ed and older eldar, tyranid and ork forces on the go, so I guess I'm in? =P

    1. Aye I play/played most editions of 40k and WhFB (I'm not playing 7th 40k though) playing them doesn't make me or anyone else anyless a Oldhammer'er imo. Oldhammer should be inclusive and welcoming rather the restrictive and forced.

    2. I think 'Oldhammer' is more about the mentality of the players and how you play the game. Everyone is quite accepting of models from all GW eras (and non-GW) and I don't see why any edition of Warhammer shouldn't be used for games. Once dogma starts creeping in that's when the problems can start.

    3. heirarchies and the such... dogma and cliques are in all social groupings to some degree or other, though thankfully not very much in this community as I've witnessed via blogger and the facebook group.
      But some people do need a certain structure for things to identify what something is. I only hope as you are saying, most agree with the vague joy of 'similar' minded as opposed to thinking there MUST BE! a 'same' minded approach.
      When it comes to rules, I've a friend who was struggling with 2nd and 3rd ed 40k, but loves converting and painting, but wanted to play too. so been working on a really rules light system that so far is playtesting well for core mechanics, just working on adding flavour, psychic/magic things and special/area effects. =)
      I guess it really is like any scene, the more fun types to hang around, are there for the atmosphere, shared attitudes and ability to discuss differing opinons without things losing their fun.

    4. Making rules fit what you want out of a game is partly what Oldhammer is about I reckon. It's great to see people thinking for themselves because that's one of the things that later rule sets have been accused of killing off. Although I first heard things like that being said around 1989! Swings and round-a-bouts I guess. :)

  2. "Guess I really should explain what I mean by ''Old Guard'', They are often the ones which claim Oldhammer has to be played by a certain ruleset (Normally 2nd or 3rd WhFB or RT) and use X miniature (Again normally 1980's Citadel)."

    This isn't really true.

    Also I'd dispute that you were involved from almost the start, you did join the forum early on but many of our blogs had been running several years before the forum was started. You are more than welcome to join us, indeed that's the whole point of oldhammer but pleas don't try to make out the people who first started blogging about all this are somehow elitist or trying to restrict people.

    1. Hey Erny, I used to read all the Blogs long before I joined the BLOOD forum. It was Blue in VT that convinced me to join the new forum Via CDO. This is your oppion and I'm happy you brought it forth :)

    2. I wouldn't have posted if I hadn't known you'd be cool with a dissenting voice:) Certainly not disputing that you're a very important member of the community, you do loads to keep the vibe going I just thought it was harsh to say the old guard were the ones saying things should be done a certain way. Our philosophy from the start was anything but exclusivity.

      Also hadn't considered silent lurkers as you perhaps were in the start as part of the community but I guess they are. We just don't know they are there.

    3. I think where this mis-communication lays is they fact that I'm not saying all the original Bloggers are the ''Old Guard'', I meant the term ''Old Guard'' as those who are enforcing only the old ways and not just the length of time in the Oldhammer Scene. But having said that there is some connection between the two. Also I think if it wasn't for the Oldhammer/BLOOD forum I'd still be a lurker on blogs and still sticking to the few forums I used back then for my fix (CDO & TWF)

    4. Ahh I think I see your point now, the people that say you only should use old minis and old rules are to you the old guard that being your term for such people. I which case objection withdrawn. I'm not sure who that would apply to though, even Zhu isn't really that restrictive, he's very happy for any miniatures to be used.

      Still never hurts to reinforce the view that the community belongs to everyone.

    5. Heh It's all good, always happy to talk Toys in any format :) What sparked this is a number of discussions mainly on the FB group where people were feeling left out or put out at the notion of having to do something a certain way (Falsely or otherwise).

    6. I believe the term you are struggling with is 'grognard', literally 'grumbler'; apparently Napoleon's nickname for members of his 'Old Guard', who wanted everything done the way they learnt at the l'Academie, rather than 'what actually works'.
      Paradoxically, a lot of these 'true believers' aren't first generation players, but people who came later, and fixated on one iteration of the game.
      Like the 'true' punk fans, who were born in the 90s, but insist that if it wasn't played in 1976/77, it's not the real deal.
      The designers of the games didn't seem to have such hangups; if you see their battle reports and photos of their games, there are lots of scratchbuilt vehicles and proxy figures, fighting under one-off scenario conditions and houserules, that would make some 'truefans' heads explode.

    7. if this were on facebook or some such site I'd '+1' this comment @robert feather... as such I'll just say "here here!" =)

    8. Indeed a +1 is well deserved Robert. :)

  3. Personally speaking, I visualise Oldhammer as being a grouping of reference points. My particular reference points tend to be Citadel figures from the late 1980s/early 1990s, background and artwork from Rogue Trader, RoC and Blood Bowl. I actually don't really play any Warhammer 3rd edition, or Rogue Trader...and I play with the most recent Blood Bowl rules, but many other Oldhammerers have similar reference points, so it all works out :)

  4. ''A group of like minded people, who can sometimes agree (If the Stars align and the omens speak true) and having fun with their toys''

    This is it in a nutshell for me. A fun game, where winning means having laughed at misfortune (even your own), had a sharp intake of breath when a big beastie attacks a weaker foe and when at the end of it I remember it like story and not a blow by blow of the turns.

    It's all about how you swing your hammer and not which hammer you swing!

  5. I think if you spend too much time thinking about the meaning of "Oldhammer"....

    ...then you are missing the whole point!!! :)

    the never ending discussion usually makes me chuckle though....when I'm not crying anyway...

    1. Here's something that might be pertinent to the discussion - should make you chuckle too hopefully ; )


  6. In my view... All the argument is ultimately fuelled by the love so many of us have for our little Oldhammer Community. Without the passion, we would not be the success we are and there would not be a hundreds of people drawn to us every month. xx

  7. I play Songs of Blades and Heroes and regard it as Oldhammer Chaos Warbands crossed with Mordheim, and am running a narrative campaign in 15mm using Gruntz! rules and regard it as Rogue Trader as it's set in a universe heavily inspired by 1987-era 40K. For me it transcends both rules and figures.

  8. I see it as a celebration of old-school aesthetics (although perhaps that has to do with the age of many 'members'?) combined with a dislike of power gaming. It's also about injecting rpg-like narratives into our games: giving them a meaningful framework and, above all, making them fun!

  9. I only know what it is to me, or rather how I do it...I wouldn't presume to say my way is right and another's is wrong, though surely you need to either be using at least something (even just an ideal) or be "old" yourself to qualify :)

    For me it's the love and appreciation of the miniatures from the 80s and 90s, my attempts to paint them and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that is fun for all parties when I have the rare opportunity to get a game in.

    I'm a Heroquest/Space Crusade/2nd edition 40K kid, some might consider the glory days were over by the time I got onboard.
    I must admit I don't care much for a lot of modern Warhammer miniatures and have a preference for metal when it comes to my own collections but that's just me and full power to anybody who feels differently.


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