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Pimpcron: So What’s The Deal With Oldhammer?

5 Minute Read
Nov 10 2017
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Pimpcron actually did some investigative journalism.

It’s that time of week again. When the Pimpcron spouts off nonsense and you get to comment!

But this week isn’t so full of nonsense. Many of you know that I came into wargaming a bit “late in the game” when I discovered and fell in love with Warhammer 40k in beginning of 5th edition. So roughly 9-ish years I have been in the hobby and never played during Rogue Trader or any of that.

Apparently Custodes were shirtless male dancers in RT.

What is Oldhammer

We’ve all heard of Oldhammer by now, but for those of you who don’t know what it is: Oldhammer and its many variations are when a player decides to keep playing a version of  game that has moved on to other editions. What if your game was all-out discontinued like Blood Bowl was for so many years and you liked it so much that you continued to play it with your buddies. Those of us who keep up-to-date with the newer versions may wonder what it is that they like about playing a defunct, unsupported version of a game.

This past weekend I attended an Oldhammer event in New Jersey with my friends James and the only Oldhammer buddy I have, Dave. James started playing roughly a year after me, so we are both outsiders to the whole Oldhammer thing. They were playing old board games, Rogue Trader, Fantasy Battles among other things at the event but HeroQuest is what we wanted to play going into it. Plus I really have a soft spot for old miniatures even though I didn’t play back then. I have collected quite a few Rogue Trader models and other old metal models from different ranges.

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I’ve heard many comments about Oldhammer players from current-edition players and it usually sums up to not understanding what the attraction is. Why play a dead version? Don’t you want new models to play with and new rules? I have to admit I have always had these same questions so I thought this was the best chance to investigate. I went into this event with no expectations at all, I was just going to have fun and try some old games. Instead of going into everything that happened that weekend, I’ll tell you what I found Oldhammer players to be.

So What Are Oldhammerers Like Anyway?

Just like all of us other gamers, they come in all shapes and sizes and degrees of social awkwardness. But also just like most of the gamers I’ve met, they were all quite nice. Their enthusiasm for this hobby seems to come from a sense of nostalgia instead of whatever the new hotness is rules-wise. For many of them, they play older versions of Warhammer out of love for that edition and what it meant to them when it was current, not out of a hate or dislike for what is new. Other than an occasional friendly joke, none of them batted an eye when I said that I play 8th edition or Age of Sigmar.

This is considered a cuss word in some circles.

I asked one guy why he still played Rogue Trader instead of following the progression of editions over time. He said that he had nothing against the newer editions, but he likes what Rogue Trader is about and how it plays. It would be like you loving 40k as it  is now, and then a year from now it turns into a card game or something. You don’t hate the card game, you just don’t want to play a card game. You like the older version.

What Do Oldhammerers Do?

They have a real passion for their hobby just like all of us, except that it is almost a different hobby all together. Actually playing the game seems secondary to collecting rare miniatures and painting them. Sure, they may play but they are much more eager to whip out their collection of unique and beautifully painted miniatures. And they know all the data about each model. It was kind of funny and pretty impressive as I looked through one guy’s collection. I’d ask about a model and he’d know roughly the year it came out, what range it was from, and which sculptor sculpted it.

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Another aspect of this hobby is recreating the version of Warhammer that they played back in the day which is an interesting spectacle. Terrain from that 90’s era is used and their models are often painted in the “traditional” colors of that time period in the hobby. Looking at their boards is like tearing a page out of an old White Dwarf from the era. Ebay hunting and collecting intact and complete sets of board games or models is part of their hobby as well.

I Tried Space Crusade!

I got to try Space Crusade for the first time ever last weekend and absolutely loved it! For those of you who don’t know, it is a partnership between GW and Milton Bradley in the 90’s to make a pseudo-Space Hulk board game. Space Crusade is kind of rare due to the fact that it was never sold in the U.S. It features a wacky collection of aliens including Orks, Chaos Marines, and “robots” which are Necron Warriors. The guy who was running it was so excited to play it since it was his favorite game from childhood and he said he spent a whole summer playing it with his friends. His enthusiasm was palpable and really drew me into the game.

All in all, I walked away from this with some great memories and a new appreciation for this part of the hobby. Even though I am not “from” that period in the hobby, it was still a blast to experience what it means to “Oldhammer”.

How Many Oldhammerers Do We Have Out Here? Holla Atcha Boy Pimpcron!

What brings you to play old editions?

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