5th Ed Throwback ITC Tournament: Oldhammer


What is Oldhammer 40k? Tony Myers has a tournament review and steps for how to run your very own Oldhammer event! 

Hello everyone!

Tony Myers from the Meta Mafia gaming club here with my very first article on frontlinegaming.org! As a long time reader of the great articles here I’m very excited to drop my two cents in the bucket.

This article will be both an event recap as well as a small piece about why we decided to run this style event. Not only that but we will give anyone that’s interested the link to the event page for the next one so that hopefully we can see a few of you all there at the next one!


Tony on the left the winner Aaron on the right.

So before I dive right into the recap of the event we ran a little while back in Sacramento California I want to talk about the type of event it was and why I think it’s important.
Our event is an “oldhammer” style event and is essentially a 5th edition style list build that’s using the current big rule book and ITC FAQ. That means none of the scary formations, no destroyer weapons, no super heavies, etc. Just a standard CAD and some dice to rolls to determine the winner.
It’s an alternative format to the standard ITC style and I think that’s part of what makes it interesting to the 40k community. Not only is it an opportunity to draw in those players that have been on the fence with competitive gaming, but maybe it brings back a few disgruntled people that have left the game in recent years, and even some new players. This is also an entry point for those either scared of the power gaming aspect that competitive play can be, or maybe a nostalgia trip for those of us that enjoyed fifth edition and it’s list building simplicity.


The terrain for this event looked awesome!

I really think this style of event is an important thing to have in any healthy 40k community, and contrary to some arguments of it battling with the standard ITC format, I think it actually complements it. Newer players, returning players, and disgruntled players can all get their feet wet again with this style event and are more likely to keep playing and maybe even dabble in the other standard style ITC events once they feel ready. Not only that, but it’s a great way for the competitive players to relax and maybe play some fun lists that have taken a back seat to the block of cheese armies they generally bring to other events. We saw things like dreadnaughts, and terminators being played for example. One guy even brought an entire Mordian Imperial Guard army to really bring the Oldhammer style!

We also let everyone that played give feedback throughout the day and also at the end in order to make adjustments for the next event. Only two rules adjustments were made for our next one on August 6th and I think that’s really good considering how different the event is to anything else.


Fun Fact: Tony’s wife took the pictures of the event. Which is impressive because my wife can’t tell the difference between a Land Raider and an Elbow!

So without further delay here is the tournament information and format

Location: great escape games – Sacramento, CA
Date: June 18, 2016
– 1500 points
– Single CAD (Combined arms detachment)
– No formations
– No lord of wars (characters ok)
– No super heavies
– No gargantuans
– No Destroyer (D) weapons
– No flyers
– Flying monsterous creatures are considered to be gliding at all times.
– No forgeworld units or rules
– Armies without an HQ selection such as harlequins can build using the CAD perimeters without the HQ choices but must nominate one character in the army to be their warlord.
– Current Itc FAQ will be used for anything else, including the interim rules for the new psychic powers.
– First draft GW FAQ **will not be used**


Salamander melta spam in drop pods ended up being the overall winner. Vulkan with his army wide buffs and the master crafted weapons ended up being very very powerful in this event. Part of the reason was the low Tau army count. With very few armies able to deal with the rapid insertion and armor popping melta, it proved to be the most dominate army there.
Our overall feedback from the event was really really good. Players seemed to enjoy the more relaxing style of games where they felt their units could actually all interact without being at a huge disadvantage when put against other more streamlined and min max style units. We saw terminators and dreadnaughts and land raiders, instead of formation based obsec heavy Gladius armies with min max units of tacticals in rhinos. Or khorne berserkers instead of cabal conclaves. The psychic phase was used sparingly instead of a game deciding phase. We also played with some really unique missions designed by the TO that were themed and told a story throughout the event. Also the next event will have new missions directly themed and influenced by the winning army from the first event. This lets the players impact their experience from each event and really gives something to work towards. (Editors note: Make sure to ping Tony for more info on those missions! I am curious about them as well.)


Those are some pretty Salamanders!

Anyone interested in attending our next event please feel free to call and sign up at the store, great escape games – (916) 927-0810, and/or visit our event pages.
Also, If anyone has any questions about the event or would like to get some tips on how to run a similar event in their area, please feel free to check out our club page and message me there.


Peter Kelly (2nd place) left. Aaron Wisch (1st place) right

Thanks everyone and I hope you all enjoyed the article and we look forward to seeing you all at the next oldhammer event!

~What edition of 40K is most worthy of an Oldhammer tournament?

  • CatachanCommissar

    I wish there was a way I could find opponents based on edition and area! Like tinder for WHFB.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      Well there was access denied for a long time, not sure if that is still kicking around though.

      • CatachanCommissar

        30/m/pennsylvania/6th ed whfb/top

        • Benjamin E

          This is, hands down, the funniest comment I’ve read in a long, long time, and I wanted you to know it was appreciated.

    • Ben_S


      It doesn’t seem to have a lot of users yet, at least near me, but if no one signs up it will stay that way. So, if you want to do something, I’d suggest giving it a try.

  • euansmith

    That’s some nice looking themed terrain. The Avatar style table looks particularly cool. I like the idea of 5th Edition style of list building. The restrictions used to give armies a flavour back then, rather than the grey goo of 7th Edition armies.

    • Benjamin E

      I thought they meant build lists using 5th edition codexes, but play with 7th edition rules. I wonder how that would turn out? Less bloat with special rules for units, I don’t doubt. That might be a good thing.

      • Karru

        From what I gathered, they used 5th edition army building aka CAD, but they used 7th edition rules.

      • Ben_S

        I think they used the most recent Codexes – hence the reference to Harlequins – just using 5th edition list building rules (CAD, no formations, etc).

    • Karru

      I hope GW sees this tournament, this seems like the way to go with 40k. Multiple detachments, bs formations and “decurions” absolutely ruin this game. People complain that those days lacked “freedom”, but with that “freedom” came hellish unbalance. Those restrictions are all something I wouldn’t mind seeing happen in the coming edition.

  • Zingbaby

    Tyranids got that much needed Nerfing I see haha.

  • Ben_S

    I was going to say I’m not convinced 5th edition really counts as Oldhammer. I’m even less convinced when you play 7th edition rules, but merely tinker with list creation.

    • Karru

      Yeah, but from what I gathered it was great fun and made the game a lot better. All those restrictions hit everything that is wrong with current edition of 40k and looks like it worked a lot better.

      • Ben_S

        I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, only that I wouldn’t really call it Oldhammer.

        • Karru


        • Severius_Tolluck

          Yeah old hammer should be running straight fifth…

          • Jeff Daniels

            “Oldhammer” would be playing versions of Warhammer from the late 80s and early 90s. It’s more than using an older ruleset, it’s also about the older Citadel aesthetics.

            Aesthetics, storytelling, campaigns, and a large amount of creative freedom. Oldhammer is most certainly not about tournament play.

            I’ve got nothing against tournaments. If you enjoy them, great, more power to you. But they’re definitely not part of the Oldhammer movement.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Well that is your opinion, i guess oldhammer means different things to different people. it also varies from person to person what is “old” To me would honestly be playing 2ed or RT with their rule sets, models could be current, its the rule set and fluff that is old hammer to me.

            Running a just standard force org is not old hammer. The very least old hammer is playing by an older edition of rules with that editions valid codexes, regardless of tourney or not. if you play with an older brb and its generation of codexes you are playing that version of the game and that would exclude forces that did not exist during that edition’s period.

            E.g. If I am running third ed old hammer, I am running a codex Witchhunters with using the rules out of the 3ed BRB. Now I can use the newer models for like tempestus as my inquisitorial troopers so long as they are equiped as the codex states!

  • sethmo

    Some other oldhammer ides:
    Make dedicated transports assault vehicles. (Deep strike restriction still keeps pods from assaulting)
    Make all power weapons AP2.
    Make grenades only hit walkers on a 6.
    Old night fighting rules.
    Give chariots hit and run.
    Make fliers fast skimmers.
    Psychic powers pass on a leadership test, with mishaps and everything. Warp charge would be the mastery level required to use the power.

    • The rhino rush is one of the reasons why I hated old 40k.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. But take hull points and throw it on top and it’s much more manageable. That’s all they had to do.

        • Josh Watkins

          bingo bingo, There where so many little changes that GW could have done to improve the game but never did. One thing I always wanted to see was more common sense implemented, something like “flyers have a jinx of 5+ naturally but can perform ‘evasive maneuvers’ granting them a 4+ but at the cost of snap fire.” … but hey thats just me.

        • I don’t really agree. The rhino rush allowed armies that went first to charge first turn. I still remember seeing a game at the chicago GT back in 2000 or thereabouts where a guard player was literally charged and wiped out by blood angels rhino rush in turn 1 and did not fire a single shot.

          Hull points won’t change first turn charges that the rhino rush has the potential to give. I never found hull points to be that game changing other than it stopped stun-locking vehicles the whole game without getting lucky enough to kill one.

          Even disallowing first turn charging, you will be getting an entire army into melee on turn 2… giving an army at times just one turn of shooting before the shooting is shut down.

          I don’t really like that in a sci fi game… thats just personal preference though.

  • So they’re not actually playing 5th edition.