40k: How About Some ClassicHammer?


Today BoLS presents a new way to play warhammer 40,000 that may take you back to classic days – of FUN!  Welcome to Classichammer.

Hello again BoLS Readers! AdamHarry back with a crazy suggestion – but before I get to that I’d like to take a moment to preface this crazy suggestion (which may not be so crazy after all). My story begins with a simple question: When did the Harlequin Codex come out? Oh that’s right – Waaaaaay back in… February? That was only 4 short months ago. Does it FEEL like it’s been 4 months? For me, personally, not at all – it feels like the Harlequin Codex came out early last year or at least 9 months ago. Why is that? Well the answer is the rapid-release schedule from Games Workshop. That’s not a surprise – we’ve talked about it. For a lot of gamers it’s just getting to the point that the game is too large to be understood. But all is not lost – I have some news that may be surprising for a chunk of readers: You are in control of your game, not the company that makes it.

“That’s great AdamHarry – thanks for that unbelievable insight #sarcasm. What do we do with it?” Great question! The answer is take control. For me, taking control means I’m going to pump the breaks on the game and see if I can find the fun in some self-control. I know this may not be for everyone, but if you’re willing to give me some of your precious gaming time, I think we can all appreciate each other’s point of view on this. There may be some casualties along the way. But eggs & omelettes and whatnot. I would like to introduce you to

Download ClassicHammer!


Classichammer-v0.01 (PDF)

This is a new format. The idea is simple. Let’s streamline the list building process. I don’t like to rely on an accountant to double check the math on my list and I don’t appreciate when my opponent runs my list to their lawyer to double check to see if the list is legal. I don’t like that I need to bring luggage carousel with me full of reference books for my army (or a handy digital copy in a lightweight tablet). Hyperbole aside I do think list building, which is a major part of the game, has just gotten to complicated for it’s own good. Why should an army that was 3000 points suddenly cost 2000 points because of a formation? To sell models, DUH! But that doesn’t make it good for the game.

Classichammer, the rules:

The Rules:

  • No Formations
  • No Allies*
  • No Multiple Detachments/CADs
  • No Unbound Armies
  • Only Troop Units are scoring
  • Dedicated Transports are not scoring even if purchased with a Troop choice
  • Lords of War are 0-1 per 1500 points (ie a 1850 point list can have 1 LoW, a 3000 point list can have up to 2)
  • Warhammer “30k” is allowed – It’s marines people, c’mon.

Army Construction uses the ClassicHammer Force Organization Chart:

  • Compulsory
    • 1 HQ
    • 2 Troops
  • Optional 1 HQ
    • 4 Troops
    • 3 Elites
    • 3 Fast Attack
    • 3 Heavy

If your army or book does not fit with the ClassicHammer Force Organization Chart try again next edition.

Classichammer Allowed Allies

– Skitarii may ally with Cult Mechanicus

– Dark Eldar may ally with Harlequins

– Craftworld Eldar may ally with Harlequins

That’s it.

Does this fix the game? No – you can still build some stupidly powerful armies (30 Scat-Bike Eldar or a Chaos Demon summoning horde still work). But if you are going to try and break the format, then just don’t bother because it’s been done and you’re missing the point. This isn’t designed to be a tournament system. It’s just designed to put up some artificial restraints on the list building aspects of the game so that you and your opponent can understand each other’s list without a 3 page cheat sheet.

However, this format is not my my crazy suggestion. The crazy suggestion is give it a try. Find a willing victim opponent and play a game with these restraints. If you have enjoyable game, GREAT! If both of you do then even better. If you hate it – that’s okay, too. At least you tried it out and can form your own opinion based off an experience vs hearsay or theoryhammer.  But I have a funny feeling you may fine that Classichammer is MORE FUN.

So, anyone for a game of ClassicHammer?

PS, in the classic tradition of BoLS, we’ve made this handy PDF You can download, printout and tack up on your club room wall, or pass out to all your mates.  Give it a try.

  • Syratogo

    This is pretty much why I play Horus Heresy.

  • SYSTem050

    or jjust play unbound 🙂

  • Syratogo

    Also some other allies suggestions – Chaos with Imperial Guard (classic name ;] ) or with Mechanicus. Imperial can ally freely. I would also suggest only one allied detachment!

    • Brettila

      The whole point is NO allies.

      • Bayne MacGregor

        But that’s not really ‘classic’ is it. Because early 40k had Ork/Guard alliances (Blood Axes especially), Ork Genestealer Cults and lots more besides.

  • moonshadow101

    Every change to a game system prompts reactionary nostalgia. In third edition, some people insisted second was better. In fourth edition, some people wanted to stick with third. So on and so forth unto eternity. The sky is always falling, but it never hits the ground.

    • Syratogo

      I think some people like the balance of older editions more, I definitely prefer to play to a force organisation and I find it difficult to keep track of formations etc. Now I just avoid that stuff by playing 30k, which is a more streamlined game system. Balance comes from limitations there.

      • Mitchell Wragg

        Agreed. I’ve gladly sold my old stuff and migrated to 30k. Best decision ever.

        • Syratogo

          I have also begun to sell all my old stuff but I don’t think I have the courage to sell my chaos army! My 40k Imperial fists on the other hand are being gutted (bye bye razorbacks and storm talon and centurions etc…) and turned into Dorn’s finest badasses on the ramparts of terra!

      • Having played 40k for 20 years, let me assure you that it has NEVER been balanced.

    • Charon

      I still like 2nd better.
      And I still think 2nd with a few tweaks would be superior to every edition thereafter by far.
      Alone that we still have no modifiert to rolls, WS is still somewhat useless and psi is inconsistent as the best spells are cheap and harder to deny than the worse and more expensive witchfires. Not to begin about the whole vehicle rules.

      • ctFallen

        I agree, 2nd is still my favorite edition.

        • Mark Denson

          I miss sustained fire dice.

      • Dennis J. Pechavar

        I liked being able to kill stuff in vechicles, drivers and such.

      • Shinnentai

        Yeps – getting back into 2nd edition 40k rules (it was what I grew up with really). Really loving the 2nd ed Chaos Codex – Beastmen FTW! Pretty funny how many editions it took to get Running and Overwatch back after 3rd Ed made everything boring in the name of big battles.

      • marsultor

        Agree. That’s why a friend and I took time to re-write the entire rules using 2nd ed movement, shooting, vehicle movement/ shooting, and then used what was best for combat and psychics from 3rd/4th. A much more fun game…it’s never been boring…even though large battles take longer

        • Charon

          I would probably replace PSI with the old Fanatsy magic system with difficulty numbers to beat. Makes it a bit less rough for those armies that lack psykers and any psychic defense.

          • marsultor

            That’s so weird you mention that because that’s exactly what we did…I mis-stated above. The only thing like 3rd/4th was that we just did away with the psychic phase, but I’m currently wondering if wouldn’t be better to actually have that as a phase again to make things simpler (forgetting to cast this or that at the beginning of the turn). We also let psykers expend their dice into pumping up force weapons.

    • Local Ork

      I don’t think people miss 4th and (especially) 6th editions tho.

      • Brettila

        4th was my favorite. I’ve been around since 2nd.

    • Da Masta Cheef

      Oh I dunno, some of us think 40k has hit rock bottom in terms of the ‘fun factor’.

      • It has with me. I just play to drink beer with my friends. All money goes to infinity and model tnks

    • Glob

      Hold on, I continue thinking that 3rd edition is much much better than that horrible 4th abortion. Specially with all the Index Astartes material.

    • Brettila

      I don’t think he’s saying that at all. It is just a suggesti9n to play the good old FoC without allies. He mentions that it is a polite suggestion to give it a try; not replace the current rules.

  • Michael Gerardi

    As an Oldhammer advocate, I’m for ANYTHING that empowers players and frees them from bondage to GW’s latest scheme to sell plastic crack. Good job, Adam! I hope it catches on.

    • Matt

      So, more restrictions is freeing? I don’t get your point sir.

      • Me

        I think he means that having more than one ruleset to play == more options (not that the other ruleset is less restrictive).

        • Michael Gerardi

          I think I like your restatement better than mine 🙂

      • Michael Gerardi

        You and mitey didn’t pay attention to my entire statement. So let me rephrase it: Classichammer in particular, and Oldhammer in general, frees players from having to play according to GW’s latest edition and latest pile of sloppy codices, overpriced dataslates and broken formations, whose raison d’etre is pushing plastic crack, on pain of finding it difficult or impossible to find pick-up games at your FLGS. Both free players to play the games THEY invested in, rather than fanboyishly following along with GW’s orders that YOU VILL PLAY 7TH EDITION UND YOU VILL LIKE IT!

        • nurglitch

          So, basically Classichammer and Oldhammer are Unbound play. Got it.

          • Michael Gerardi

            No, you DON’T get it. Classichammer has nothing to do with Unbound play. Oldhammer has nothing to do with 7th ed, let alone Unbound play.

            Try reading posts before you reply. You’ll look better that way.

          • nurglitch

            Yup, Unbound play it is.

    • miteyheroes

      Unbound is freeing. Being able to use CAD or Formations is freeing.

      Having to only use CAD is restrictive.

      • Da Masta Cheef

        Then move on from this post and never look back.

        Its quite simple really.

  • So can I s use a detachment from my Codex if it fits your FOC. Like the BA detachment that gives +1i

  • Neat idea but ill pass, seventh is fine ive played oldhammer when it was called 5th ed.

    • Azrell

      old hammer is 2nd/3rd. your wanted to say classic hammer.

      • Ahh. Damn me and my not knowing what people want me to think 😛 it does seem alot like 5th tho to me as far as that page shows.

        • PrimoFederalist

          Well, that’s because the CAD was the strictly enforced army model until 6th, so there wouldn’t have been much difference between 5th and the earlier versions.

  • Chris Maile

    Another pointless article. If you don’t like the current rules and you play with friends then your fine already! Most people probably play with some sort of restrictions as its your right to do so the BRB practically encourages it. And if your playing in a tournament setting then again your covered because that already have some restrictions dependant on where you go and again it’s your right to play how you want. The rulebook just gives you an option take it or leave it, I like it but it’s your money.

  • Aemon

    Does this also work for Imperial Knights when you use the #)K Crusade army list. As each knight there starts as a Troop unit and can be assigned to another role by purchasing an upgrade.

    • Bayne MacGregor

      They did say Heresy was ok…..

  • miteyheroes

    Yeah! Let’s all play 3rd-5th edition and pretend it was better!

    Um, no thanks. And this is hardly “classic” hammer. Classic hammer is Rogue Trader: you should be suggesting that we roll for our units’ equipment on tables rather than choose what our armies have.

    • Matt

      Agreed. The system, though it has it’s flaws is better know. Just because some people struggle to keep up doesn’t mean the system is flawed. Formations and FOC flexibility is good for the game. The old single FOC restrictions meant that some armies really struggles to field a viable force. I like the current flexibility.

      • Malthrak

        They’re hardly good for the game. They’re just spam mechanics and web-bundle incentives.

        Free rules and wargear simply for taking X units it absolutely absurd game design, and there’s a reason you don’t see any other tabletop game doing these things the way GW is.

        • Carnelian

          I disagree that they’re not good for the game. My Manufactorum Genestealers dataslate has been great for my games! Dataslates allow so much flexibility and can make for epic flavourful games. it all depends on who you play with. CAD can be awful games if you have the wrong opponent.

        • CMAngelos

          They are better for fluff than you would think. I switched my marines chapter and started playing Blood Ravens shortly after Dawn of War came out, and was quickly on the bandwagon hoping for GW to at least acknowledge them gamewise. Now we have this new codex, with the conclave is the closest in that six or so years that allows me to play them as close to psyker heavy fluff says they should be. Not to cram powers down my opponents throat, but because that’s how my army is supposed to operate.

          Yes this is just one example but it’s the best personal example I have. And it works.

          There have always been and always will be people that look for ways to break a game in the name of a 100% win factor. And yes GW has made some bone headed moves as of late, but not everything is done for the sake of evil.

          • Malthrak

            I don’t recall anything in Dawn of War where the Blood Ravens ever fielded something like a big group of Librarians? It’s been a while since I played them, but I don’t remember them ever doing anything like that (certainly not in DoW1 or any of the follow-on’s), and don’t see why it’s necessary to accurately portray the Blood Ravens, at least any moreso than taking a couple of Librarians previously would.

          • CMAngelos

            Then by your own logic, why is it necessary for anybody to portray any specific chapter accurately? Because it’s part of what makes the game/hobby fun.

            As for the Blood Ravens, their fluff refers over and over again to the large numbers of librarians they employ from command structure down to squad sergeants. So yes, That formation allowing you to take 5 librarians (who in no way actually have to stay near each other, only 3 of the 5 need to be within so many inches of each other to get full benefit of casting) two others can go where they want at will. and still be added to two basic HQ’s of Librarians (if you so chose) from a standard marine FoC at the right point level, without being unbound.

            So for someone who, like me, Actually cares about fluff for their army. Stuff like this matters and can be used to both effectively play, and build a list that FITS the army I play to its roots.

          • Malthrak

            That’s not my logic.

            My logic was that there was nothing about the Blood Ravens regarding Psyker covens, and “psyker heavy” is extremely vague, and it was entirely possible tor portray as many Psykers in a standard army before as the Blood Ravens have ever been portrayed as having in a typical force. We’ve never seen big groups of Psykers in any portrayal we’ve ever seen, rather, they just always have a Librarian with them (not big groups of them or attached like old 5E style Wolf guard across the entire army).

            I’ve played through the Dawn of War games, I’ve read the Blood Raven’s codex entries when they get them, nothing in those fluff pieces has anything that portrays something like 5 Librarians in a company (or more realistically for a typical 40k game, a demi-company) sized force.

            Even when Blood Ravens had Chapter Traits, back in 4E, when the Blood Ravens were explicitly represented, there was nothing about Psykers or masses of great masses of Librarians.

          • CMAngelos

            A quote from the GW Indext Astartes; Blood Ravens article for you since you seem to want more.

            “It is not uncommon for groups of Librarians to be dispatched with an army of servitors and a number of squads of Space Marines to uncover a lost artefact whos location has been recently unearthed.”

            Or how about this

            “The higher echelons of command within the Blood Ravens reflect the high proportion of psykers, leading powerful units of warriors chosen from the Librarium itself.” -What do you know, that sorta sounds like the conclave to me.

            “Due to the higher proportion of Librarians, it is not unknown forthem to lead companies into batle, though this usually only occurs when the chapter fights alone and unaided.”

            How is that for explaining multiple Librarians in a company or on the field? And that is from official writings as well.

            As for my comment about your logic. Your own words, “and don’t see why it’s necessary to accurately portray the Blood Ravens” Using that logic why should anyone want to accurately represent their own chapter, Because it can be fun to do so. That is why.

          • Malthrak

            Where is that from just out of curiosity? It’s not in the Chapter Approved Index Astartes book from 2002/3 I’ve got sitting here (the Blood Raven’s are not even mentioned, it’s pretty much entirely original Legions), and it certainly doesn’t appear in any codex mention or portrayal in Dawn of War that I’ve seen.

          • CMAngelos

            Index Astartes entry, Titled “Knowledge is Power” written by Graham McNeill in WD November of 2004, That’s where it comes from.

  • Robomummy

    Sooo…. just play 5th edition?

    • deuce1984

      there are some good things that have resulted since 5th. Vehicle damage chart+hull points is a better system. Although I do not love picking casualties from the closest model, 5th ed wound allocation was horrendous. umm i think that is it haha

      • Robomummy

        Yeah, it had it’s problems. My point is that nothing is forcing you to play 7th. 5th with house rules usually works best in my experience.

      • Michael Gerardi

        I preferred 3rd vehicle damage charts.

  • Unferth

    How about some AncientHammer: max. 50% of pts for HQ, min. 25% for Troops, max. 50% of Elite, Fast Attack and Heavy Support combined, max. 25% of allies.

    • miteyheroes

      Go 2nd Hammer go!

  • Sean Parker

    shall we break out the targeting overlays as well?

  • Sean Parker

    I do miss my Suicide Chaplain on Jetbike with Vortex grenade

  • Chumbalaya

    This is a great idea. I’ll give it a shot next time I play. Who knows, it might be fun playing 40k for a change.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      I agree. I’m all for alternative formats. I think the joy of this is making your opponent’s list a little more predictable as well as reining in some of the excesses of the current system that lead to really skewed armies and thus rock-paper-scissors games.

      For my tastes this might be a tiny bit too restrictive on allies. I think you should be allowed a single allied contingent from any other codex, as the old fashioned allied contingent of 1 HQ, 1-2 Troops and 1 of each other thing max. Forces that don’t have an HQ should be exempt the need to field one in their allied contingent.

  • Or, you could (and call me crazy here) just play an older version of the game? I own and have learned most versions since 2nd ed..

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      nothing wrong with that, but I suspect that most players like the current rule set, aside from the army construction rules and formation madness that sees USRs stacked on top of yet more USRs.

  • Koen Cambré

    You guys skipped the allying of inquisition/grey knights/assassins. Other than that, looks fun.

    nothing stops you from just plain picking up a cheap 4th/5th ed ruleset and codexes though. They are dirtcheap.

    • We will kick out an updated pdf from time to time with allies tweaks based on feedback and new codex releases. Thanks for the feedback Koen,

      • PrimoFederalist

        Yes, I think a bit of tweaking of the ally matrix and you’d have a ruleset I could heartily embrace.

        That said, including HH is super random and lame. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you and your playgroup have armies…

      • Robert Thornton-Kaye

        I love this idea, and would like to provide some feedback. Could you please advise on where I could do this (other than as a reply to one of your posts)?

  • Its good though I’d say lord of war 25% of your army.

  • D. B.

    Not completely sold on this one – I’d go as far as to 2nd ed army selection a bit more, with allies and a percentage system for full-on craziness.

  • Crablezworth

    it was great until you included the entirety of 30k and randomly allowed certain factions allies. 100% in agreement though on keeping the foc relevant.

    • Da Masta Cheef

      If you have access to Adobe Illustrator, those parts are easily removed (which I did) as its not a password protected PDF.

  • Shawn Pero

    This is all well and good for Marines, but you’d have to adjust points costs for a lot of other armies. Orks wouldn’t be viable – current builds need to be able to field a lot of extra Painboyz and Big Meks to make Boyz viable. Unless you allowed ‘Heavy armor into the 6pt cost of a Boy or let most HQ be taken outside of HQ slots. I’m not an expert on other codices but I have a feeling similar shenanaigans would be necessary for other books to be usable.

  • Benderisgreat

    If it’s truly supposed to be classic style, then no Lords of War, ally exceptions, Tyranids, or Tau should be allowed. After all, neither monster race was around in 1987. (if you don’t think Commies are monsters, read up on Stalin….)

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      many capitalists are monsters too. Some religious people are as well. Humans just have the potential to be horrible to each other.

      • Spiritof69

        see my response to other humorless guy above

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          here’s a tip; saying everyone who holds a particular belief (such as saying “all Christians are idiots” or “Commies are monsters”) is a great way to annoy people on the internet.

          Its also never true.

          • Porty1119

            A political philosophy and system of government that lead to the death of more than fifty million Russians, Chinese, and others can be fairly categorized as monstrous. Nazism caused roughly a tenth as many deaths, and there ain’t many rational folks defending Hitler.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            around 8 million children die around the world every single year due to starvation and easily preventable illness. Global capitalism isn’t working out that well either is it?

          • PrimoFederalist

            It’s lifted more people out of poverty and faster than any system humanity has yet attempted.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            but it has plunged others deeper into poverty and starvation, and even in those places where it has improved the overall lot it has polarised wealth and increasingly concentrates it in the hands of the super rich.

            We haven’t seen how capitalism will play out in its end game as global share owning corporate capitalism is only 150 years old, but I don’t like the way its going. If it carries on the way its going though the majority of humans will be serfs to a vastly wealthy 1% and ruled by a few unaccountable corporations.

            Also we can’t ignore the effects on the biosphere. If the planet no longer supports us with any quality of life it will hardly matter how rich we all are.

          • PrimoFederalist

            There has been nothing comparable to what capitalism has done. “Plunged others deeper into poverty” – who? Capitalism may *disrupt* peoples’ lives, but dirt farmers living on dirt floors and practicing subsistence farming aren’t worse off materially when their children move to the city to find more opportunity. This is a fiction folks like you believe with a sort of religious faith: “sure, capitalism *kinda* works, but it also destroys peoples’ lives.” No, it really doesn’t. It disrupts them because goods and services fluctuate along with supply and demand.

            I’d love for you to point to an area riddled with poverty (let’s say, India) and tell much how much better off those slums were 50 years ago or 100 years ago. For the latter, those individuals would literally be socially trapped their by the caste system (or class system in a place like Mexico).

            The 1% ruling the rest of us as serfs. Zuckerburg and Bill Gates are going to buy private armies and regulate us to do their bidding or what? Your covetousness is unsurprising.

            And the symbol of Communism was industrialization: some of their currency had smokestacks, so yeah, throw the environment at Capitalisms feet too, haha.

            Maybe the next revolution will get it right. Just need to kill *only* the right people and lose the guillotines and the gulags and we’ll be able to finally create a utopia in which everything is given to each according to their need, from each according to their ability… Heaven on Earth!

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I urge you to watch the film ‘The Corporation’ because a post on a wargames blog is hardly the place for a detailed critique of corporate capitalism. When you’ve finished that and have gained a little insight into the power relationships between Western corporations and Third World states you could read The Spirit Level to see the effect that social inequality has within developed countries.

            For the record, subsistence farmers are often greatly worse off when they are forced into the cash economy by the need to pay taxes or buy goods. They find themselves prey to middle men and seed merchants pushing GM seeds and chemicals which ultimately profit western corporations like Monsanto. About 20,000 Indian farmers kill themselves every year as the only way they have to escape their circumstances. There is an article about it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21077458
            Corporate capitalism doesn’t leave anywhere untouched. Even the lives of subsistence farmers around the world are transformed by decisions made in far flung boardrooms.

            The main problem with global capitalism is the skewed nature of the market, international trade agreements are written to benefit the rich nations and companies, to force open poor countries to their goods at the cost of local industry and to ensure resources can be exported without tax barriers. Even shallow research into global trade deals will show you how this works. It has been the same for hundreds of years.

            I’m not a communist, but I’m not a capitalist either. Both systems are deeply flawed. Ignoring the problems of Capitalism because you prefer the particular mixture of awfulness it brings about to the awfulness generated by Communism doesn’t seem like a solution to anyone’s difficulties.

    • Ben_S

      I’d allow Tyranids – they’ve been around since 2nd edition – but not Necrons or Dark Eldar.

    • LordKrungharr

      Stalin and Mao were just men. Communism is a do-able form of government IF people were without Sin.

      • Spiritof69

        what is wrong with you?

      • Sean Parker

        Or control was given to Robot Masters…

        They would have to be 4 Laws Safe Robots though…

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          just make sure you switch off Windows Update…

          • Breaker

            Or use Win8.1, where Windows Update is broken out of the box :p

      • spacemonk

        What is this ‘Sin’ you speak of?

      • Benderisgreat

        Ah, the great myth of the world’s most failed political system. You keep believing in unicorns, buddy.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          all political systems fail in one way or another, humans are fallible. Communism and nationalism create repression and dictatorships, global capitalism creates massive social inequality and exports starvation and poverty. All create ecological disasters.

          • Benderisgreat

            Oh please, you’re going to have social inequality and starvation no matter what (and you have to work real hard to starve these days, especially in a developed nation) . It’s not something that can be imported or exported, it just is.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            oh you are so naive. one blindingly obvious example- the US was importing Ethiopian grain to feed its cattle during the last famine. In what way is that not exporting starvation? How about the way the developed world leverages debt to ensure third world countries have to export their raw materials almost at a loss in order to make their debt repayments? I could go on for days about how the wealth of the First World is at the expense of the rest.

            Personally I am just as concerned when people starve in the “undeveloped” world as in the developed.

          • Benderisgreat

            I’m sure you really could blather on for days (ever wonder why it is people walk away while you’re still talking? it’s that, right there) . Pampered first world socialist utopianists usually do. By all means, move to a worker’s paradise like North Korea and tell me how great it is that the party elite live in luxury while the poor serfs have to cook and eat each other to survive.

            But please, keep it to yourself.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            remember, you started this. You are also the first person to resort to personal insults. You know nothing about me. You don’t even know what country I am talking to you from, or how I live and have lived. You don’t know my race or disability status, my level of education or wealth. You don’t even know my gender, and yet somehow you feel able to insult me.

            I notice you don’t even bother to answer the point I made instead resorting to a straw dog argument.

            One day perhaps you will learn some manners and some debating skills.

          • Benderisgreat

            All I did was make a disparaging remark about communism, bud. You’re the one who got all preach.

    • tau4eva

      So much ignorance in your comment.

      • Benderisgreat

        So much arrogance in yours.

        You seem like a real peach otherwise, though.

      • Benderisgreat

        So much arrogance in yours.

  • Charles Rink

    How is this “classic?” It allows Horus Heresy, but not allies? A truly “classic” game would allow allies. Allies were a part of the mix until 3rd. This whole article just feels like someone cranky with the current system and trying to impose more limits. None of it felt “classic” to me. The article should have been called MyWayHammer. The most ridiculous part was where he tries to insinuate that doing it this way will result in more fun. Well, I have news: most people have more fun when they can play with all their toys. I like my IG/SM/Cult Mechanicus list the best. I couldn’t use it here.

    • deuce1984

      i do not remember allies in 2nd. And RT was such a different type of game it is not worth even grouping it in with all of the editions that came after.

      • Michael Sellwood

        Recently re-read the 2nd edition Chaos Codex. In the army list you can spend up to 25% of your points on allies chosen from certain lists, and the book itself included two appendix lists to allow you to field more daemons, or beastmen, or cultists. Same with Imperial Guard. Same with Ultramarines.
        So, yes, classic 40K (and Warhammer for that matter) actually allowed you to include allies in your army.

        • Michael Gerardi

          So did the original Daemonhunters. Which made sense, AS AN EXCEPTION, for this specific army. For Witch Hunters too IIRC. By no means does that mean that allies belong in standard 40K as a general rule.

    • Michael Gerardi

      You could use it in Apocalypse. That’s where it belongs.

    • PrimoFederalist

      I really like the concept, but then they said “Horus Heresy is allowed” and I did a double-take. Uh…. what? Why? Because they’re Marines???

      Does that mean Orks can take Boar Boyz and Grimgor?

  • Dustin Dean

    I dig it. However, outside of tournaments, anyone can play the game any way they want.

    • deuce1984

      but it is tough to use house rules in a public “pick-up game” environment.

      • Dustin Dean

        But these Classic Hammer rules are still house rules…

  • Phil

    “I can’t figure out how formations Work and instead of learning I’m spitting my dummy out” Hammer.

    • Oh, we know how Formations work Phil, we just think they are gimmicks to sell models.

      GW letting you field 1000pts of free models in your army in exchange for giving them $800 is great capitalism – not great game design.

      • joshua jury

        And how exactly are you going to field 1000 points of free models!? Take two Gladius Strike Forces? Because it is not possible to get 1000 points for free with just one.

        And guess what, it’s not game breaking! And it’s fun!

        • Da Masta Cheef

          For you. Not your opponent who’s codex doesn’t offer *free* models…

          • joshua jury

            Yay I got 6 free av11 boxes! My aren’t they unstoppable! Space Marines and their vehicles die like chumps. All the battle company achieves is giving you more chumps to kill and give the Marine player the chance to eke out a win through sheer stubborn guard tactics.

            And guess what, this silly 5.5e lite rule set doesn’t even work as written! Skitarii don’t have HQs so you can’t take them, Harlies don’t have troops last I checked, so you can’t take them and guess what everyone can still get free points. This rule set doesn’t bar summoning!

            So you’re worried about 440-730 free points of AV11 with TL bolters, but don’t mind that people can summon 1000+ points of demons over the course of the game!? This rule set doesn’t fix anything, it just makes the Daemon codex more powerful, while removing flavor and balance. You want a better game? Require people to use their combi-detachment and only armies without one are allowed to use the CAD, allow double CAD for them, but only battle brothers are allowed for allies.

          • Da Masta Cheef

            lol, wow. Nerd rage much?

            Also those 6 free boxes with twin-linked heavy bolters will mow thru my orks with grim efficiency…

          • joshua jury

            Orks are about the only thing my Space Marines can kill and even my last game against them didn’t go well. It’s been a tough few months for my Imperial Fists successor chapter, Rhino rush hasn’t been working since every one in my group knows it’s the only list I have.

      • spacemonk

        Tch. Pot calling the Kettle black.
        How about we go back to ‘Classic Bols’, without all the dozens of flashing pop-ups that squeeze the actual content into a sliver on one side of the page, or that doesn’t redirect me to ad pages – and where articles aren’t multiple repeats of the last bit of news with one new sentence and with patronising headlines and intro’s, cough-click-bait-cough!

      • Unferth

        I think formations are an awesome way to spice up the game and favour fluffy and stylish builds over repetitive netlists, Las/Plas-spam or Leafblower-alikes.

  • Malthrak

    I would play this in a heartbeat over any other currently available format.


  • Spiritof69

    This is how all of us who still are in to WFB will playing in about 3 weeks.

  • Tynskel


  • Spacefrisian

    Wouldnt call going back to 5th to be actuall classic hammer. Might i suggest to take a look at 4th in case of scoring, cause i wouldnt argue with a big Daemonprince when he/she is claiming with an objectiv when iam holding just a lasgun…with a fixed bayonet.

    BTW, i been going different retro style by using old Codexes with new Rules set (taking hullpoints for vehicles from current dex), its pretty hilarious sometimes.

  • deuce1984

    “Good Luch!” [sic]

    • life of adept brian

      The great thing about house rules is that every house has them. Always have.

  • Joe Freeman

    You lost me when it allowed some allies and 30k. Sounds like just picking and choosing.

    I understand one Cad max with no extras but this all just seems like a nice way to play with a friend if you have both agreed. In no way a rules pack.

  • Another Biased Opinion

    So CSM can’t ally with Deamons…? apart from that looks cool

  • N. Thanks

    How do you use Inquisiton and Assassins?

  • spacemonk

    This to me is going back to the stuffy old days when we lost the freedoms we once had.
    The FOC is the most unrealistic thing about this fantasy world, aside from guys with swords instead of guns.
    Iron Warriors want IG Artillery and lots of heavy support slots, 3 is not enough to make them feel right… and so on.
    Always hated FOC restrictions.

  • Koszka

    But how will all the countries best players win with only a single codex!?

    I’m a huge proponent of this format. It pulls a lot of the shenanigans that makes 40k easy to circumnavigate army weaknesses.

    Every army has a strength and weakness. By not being able to plug in those gaps it makes the game much more tactical and interesting.

    I know highlander can brutally punish armies, especially lower powered armies such as DE and Orks, which need to utilize multiples of their transports to help deliver the goods ( a single venom and raider probably won’t cut it). By utilizing 40k classic, you nip a lot of abuse in the butt, while still allowing players to bring to bear a multitude of combinations.

    Maybe 40k players get nostalgic about the good old days. It may seem crazy, but maybe the internal balance of the old codexes helped create a more interesting play dynamic for players. Thumbs up to 40k Classic. I hope it gains the momentum it deserves.

    • I don’t really remember any good internal balance of old codices. I remember every edition having its top 3 power armies that most of the players I faced used since 3rd edition.

  • joshua jury

    how are you getting ally Harlies when they can’t fit in your hyper restrictive force org?

  • Halollet

    So, wait, no assassins or inquisition?

  • MarcoT

    Our local tournament does this. One CAD, that’s it. 800-900 point double tournament, so formations and such wouldn’t have much of a place anyway.

    Anyway, i like it, seems to fix the most blatant nonense that’s been added lately.

  • Andrew

    No Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marines as allies? Yeah, you guys really nailed this “classic” thing alright…

  • Draco Aleksander

    Harlequins Beta came out in 1991 with an HQ unit called the Great Harlequin, so you could theoretically just call back to that one if you wanted to use them as an independent army. The PDF should still be in a few dark places on the ‘net…

    • Michael Gerardi

      Citadel Journal 39 from around 2000 ran Gav Thorpe’s updated Harlie list that included two HQ’s: the Great Harlequin and the Shadowseer. Why the latest Harlies have no HQ’s is a mystery of GWism.

  • James Squyres

    I personally don’t know anyone who doesn’t self-impose restrictions such as these to make 40k actually playable

  • Keander

    You know what I miss? Rogue Trader era overwatch – skip your shooting phase whilst hiding round a corner, wait until your opponent moves his unit into sight, remove the unit’s overwatch counter and then open up at full BS. Awesome! I actually figured out a convoluted way to get a unit off overwatch and still get to shoot them, which I’ll post if anyone is at all interested.

  • life of adept brian

    It always amazes me that people have to be told how to enjoy their own hobby, and not steer it in that direction themselves. I mean, even if you do not have the luxury of having your own game room at home, you can certainly have a regular gaming group at a store/club, pick and choose likeminded players and you can all make houserule suggestions to the group. Democracy! If you have difficulty keeping friends, well… (?). We have been making concessions/exceptions/alterations for as long as we have been a group (which has been a very, very long time).

    Of course, if you are new to an area and have to start over, things take time – but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult. The beauty of this hobby is that it consists of 3 main parts – rich fictional universe to immerse yourself in, playing games, and building/converting/painting. If at anytime there is a lul in one aspect, you can fill the void with the other two. Ride it out and you’ll have an opportunity to pick up that missing aspect sooner or later. That’s why so many of us are stil here over two decades later.

    (This last bit is in reference to not having access to a likeminded gaming group… My point is, you should always play the game YOU want to play!)

    …maybe I am just different, but the actual playing of the game has always taken a backseat to the other two aspects of the hobby for me, so it’s easy for me to dismiss. For me it has always been about the people, the models/terrain, the story and the spectacle of it all rolled into one. As GW has always promoted: the game is just an excuse to get out your pretty toys and move them around the table.

    Next time you play a game, get down at table level and have a look from a model’s perspective – that is where the game is at it’s best.

  • ruleslawyer

    People play how they want. They’re called house rules. GW does not mandate how people play. That’s up to you, your fellow players and in some cases the TO. It’s up to you how you play.

  • Whoever wrote this apparently forgot Inquisiton exists.

    • Also that Harelquins and Skiitari don’t have an HQ

  • Aeonic

    I would request 2 slight modifications.

    1. Prohibit grand detachments that are basically formations of formations (ie Necron Decurion detatchment, KDK Bloodhost)

    2. Allow non troop units to score, but give troops objective secured.

    (or if you can make those two changes to the PDF and pass it along to Paul Murphy to give to me I will run an event here in Oz :))

  • Troy Dean

    Aha. ‘Classic.’

  • Agent OfBolas

    I’m playing 5th, 6th and 7th edition. When you are not tournament focused you can play whatever you want with WH40k.

    Use imagination, screw dumb GW ideas and play your game as you like! 🙂

  • Philip Newton

    What, no CSM/Daemon allies?


  • Fungrim

    This is similar to how it was the last time I played 40K, over a decade ago! (now play Fantasy… well, at least for one more week…)

  • Anggul

    Only troops scoring was a stupid rule.

    Allies are a good thing as long as it’s allies of convenience only.

    Otherwise I tend to stick to CAD anyway. I don’t like that a unit gains different abilities depending on which arbitrary name you apply to it’s detachment/formation. They should always be able to do them.

  • nurglitch

    Warhammer hipsterism?

  • Bayne MacGregor

    If you are going to call it classichammer you need to have more aspects of earlier editions. This isn’t classichammer it’s just-a-little-while-ago-hammer.

    What about the other FOCs for different mission groupings? What about random decks of wargear cards? What about random tables as part of your army list?
    That some of the things being removed like allies have been in tons of editions of 40k in the past means it cannot be ‘classic’ when classically 40k has allies.
    You are ruling out fluffy forces while keeping in non-fluffy ones.

    How about instead a marine player has to choose one company as their main list with HQ and Troops from that company and no more than 1/3rd of their list total from other companies.

    How about 50% of Eldar armies must be guardians unless they are from a craftworld with more aspect warriors or wraithguard?

    How about returning Animosity rules for allies that aren’t happy near one another like opposing chaos powers or putting Mechanicus and Ecclesiarchy too close together?

    I don’t mind optional rules that restrict un-fluffy combinations of units and that make it easier to put a legal army together, but not ones that restrict fluff-accurate gaming.

    Just look at the forces listed as being present in the battle for Armageddon in Codex Armageddon, some of which have only been released in miniatures and rules this year!