Saturday, 3 August 2013

Stop - Its almost Hammer Time!

Yes folk the big day is almost upon us!

Yep - I am this excited!

In four week's time we will be descending on Nottingham for a weekend of Oldhammer antics at the Wargames Foundry.

Hammer Time - Old World Style
Dark clouds hang over the troubled kingdom of Ramalia as King F'yar marshals his invading Orc Tribes against the weakening Alliance of Men, Dwarves and Elves. Will Orc's Drift hold or will its defenders' failure see the Goblinoid hordes free to descend on the capital, Palesandre? As you might guess I'm quite excited about running Orc's Drift - the first time around it was for a bunch of lads and lasses at the Explorer Scout Group I used to help out at. They were keen and enthusuastic and it was great to give them a taste of wargaming and we all  had a blast,  but I'm keen to see what a bunch of Oldhammerers will make of it. I for one won't feel I have to hold back a little with the GM controlled characters as I did with the young'uns because of their inexperience!

Although I probably won't have masses of time away from Orc's Drift I'm also really looking forward to seeing the Realms of Chaos ringing with the clamour of battle in a huge free for all between Khorne and Slaanesh. Orlygg's Bring and Battle game is going to have some seriously twisted warbands and there looks to be some fantastic painting and conversion work happening on the various participants blogs!

Coop is running a Rogue Trader showdown in which you can enter a squad of Space Marines - sorely tempted by this one but time is against me alas! Again I'm sure the table will look a treat with Marines old and new duking it out.

Then there's the Rumble in the Jungle game that I hope to get some time off Orc's Drift for - a mad melange of Lizardmen, Norse, Slann, Amazons, Pygmies, Undead Pirates, High and Sea Elf expeditionary force and whatever randomness gets spewed forth from the dimesion of the Black Yungon! The object of the game will be to raid the Pygmy temples and get away with whatever treasure you can.

There's tons of other games going on too, including a chance to participate in the Forenrond's Last Stand scenario from the 3rd ed Rule book, a mega battle against Golgfag's huge Orc horde and various other engagements that have been organised between fellow Oldhammerers through the Blood Forum.

There has recently been a bit of a debate about the inclusivity of the event and Orlygg has posted a great article on his blog. Living in my little Oldhammer bubble - I usually just frequent the Blood forum, the LAF and all the fantastic blogs you chaps produce - I wasn't aware that Oldhammer had been noticed and what's more been somewhat misunderstood in some quarters.

Seeing sellers on ebay using the Oldhammer label to sell old lead made me laugh (but not necessarily at the prices!) but the misconception that Oldhammer is a set of rules and requirements that have to be met to participate is one that needs setting straight.

Now I haven't played much of the later editions of WFB or 40K, nor have I been part of the tournament scene so I don't have much first hand knowledge of what drove many other folk away from it all and into the arms of Oldhammer. 

However, what I do perceive from the occasional forays I have made into other forums that seem only to discuss the best combinations of magic weapons, Death Star units and constantly bemoan the lack of balance in the latest Army book is a mindset that needs a stringent set of rules and parameters that can be fine tuned so the ultimate goal of winning all the time can be achieved. 

Not my cup of tea I must say! Part of all this is also the need to make everything official so no-one can cheat and beat your uber army of awesomeness with something that's "not in the rules". This all smacks of little kids spitting their dummies out in the playground because little Timmy isn't playing fair and I didn't win! This is pretty much the polar opposite of what Oldhammer is about.

Oldhammer is an ethos - a set of beliefs and aspirations, if that doesn't sound too lofty and evangelical! It is about enjoying yourself and ensuring your opponent enjoys his or herself too. Its about revisiting simpler wargaming times and the minis you loved as a kid - or if you're not an 80's Citadel devotee like myself and others, its about using whatever miniatures you hold dear.

Oldhammer is the zen of wargaming (probably getting a bit carried away here!) - by that I mean its about being laid back about trivial things like having the "right" miniatures, making the rules work for you and your opponent (or better still letting the GM worry about the rules!) and achieving a state of inner peace because you don't have to win. Ritual worship of the false Gods of Game Balance, Rules Lawyership and Official Army Lists it is not!

So what is the thing I am most looking forward to about the Oldhammer Weekend? 

Chilling out with a bunch of mature, like-minded gamers who are there to enjoy each others' company, make new friends and have a great time playing the games we played in our youth. I for one don't want to get too militant about anything when we should be having fun!

I won't repeat too much of what has been said already as Orlygg has done a fine job of addressing the misconceptions that are apparently flying about the internetz. Instead I'll point you towards what some other Oldhammerers think about our ethos. Apologies if I've missed anyone else out there who has set out their thoughts on the subject - let me know and I'll add a link.


  1. Nice post, I'm getting a little jealous that I can't make it there. I hadn't thought about Oldhammer as an ethos, but honestly this view makes me like it even more.

    1. Mission accomplished!

      Sorry you won't be down - maybe next year?

    2. Since I live in the US I can't say if I'll ever get the chance. Maybe I need to look into the Oldhammer scene here in the States.

  2. Ah yes that may prove problematical!

    Well there's certainly one or two of you over there - Check out the opponent finder above and head over to the US.

    I'd have a chat with Blue in VT. Mouse and Private Weird seem to have a penchant for this kind of thing too.

  3. Wish I could be there too! My wife and I want to go to England in a couple of years or so, maybe I'll try to schedule it around the time when this event takes place. It would be nice to meet my fellow Oldhammer players.

    Hey Sean, maybe we should schedule an Oldhammer event in The States.

    1. That'd be great - hopefully the event will be a big success and will become a yearly event. It'd be great to see you over here.

      Good luck if you go ahead with a US event - I know you chaps have some truly huge distances to deal with if you were to all meet up in comparison to us lot in the UK.

    2. I had a quick perusal of Skarsnik's opponent finder and found very few on there in the US. Only one anywhere near me. I'm going to start trawling the interwebs some more and I'll be in touch Atom Kid.

    3. There's not many and its a big old place out there admittedly!

      I do look forward to seeing the results if you and Atom Kid do manage to hook up for a game though.

  4. Oh, I wish I had read this before my latest post :(. Actually I am consumed with jealousy I can't be there, but maybe next year.

    1. No worries! Your post has given me a few ideas for future posts which I'm quite excited about...

      Its a real shame you can't come down - I hope to see your Thistlewood project in the flesh sometime.

  5. Nice thoughts, Thantsants. One of my favorite bits of Oldhammer wisdom: "Old is good. New is good. Evade linear time. Make real choices and live through all the best that gaming has to offer." -Davey, Marienburg Gazette

    1. That's certainly a keeper!

      We should put together a self-help book full of quotes like this for those gamers who have forgotten all that is good about gaming!