Sunday, 4 August 2013

THE HAMMERHEADS

Just back from a week on The Lizard in Cornwall which was very pleasant...good weather but not too hot, and a Famous Five type holiday for the 3 boys with lashings of ginger beer.

Here is another unit from my old Chaos marauder/Vanir army featuring my favourite figure of all time, Hecatron by Ral Partha. I always pick this fellow up if I see one for sale and have about 17 so far. Here are the ones painted to form The Hammerheads, foremost into battle with an unstoppable charge




As I have 5 minutes and the rest of the family are helping out at the local community allotment scheme (too much like a busmans holiday for me) I thought I would have a gripe about the Oldhammer scene as I see it. Firstly I don't really participate in the forums so perhaps my moaning is unwarranted as I am not contributing anything to the movement, but as I see it Oldhammer seems to have changed direction since it's inception, and become a sort of Games Workshop but just using old figures. Initially (at least to my understanding) Oldhammer was about re-capturing the spirit of early Warhammer, using any figures you had to hand in ragtag units of mixed races and cocking a snook at the laws laid down by GW , breaking free of the fetters they place on the imagination (and the wallet), but recent posts on Oldhammer blogs now state otherwise. Now Oldhammer means having  a collection of rare and expensive Citadel (and only Citadel mark you) figures , painting them in original Citadel Colour paints (which I always thought were crap) and playing third edition.... 

this does sound to me a little dictatorial and smacks of the gaming sessions at GW shops. Not that it affects me in the slightest, and I will happily use pre-slotta Ral Partha giants next to 1990's GW High Elves or 1970's Minifigs skeletons (or indeed 2010 GW skeletons which I covet).... it just seems a shame that the community has lost it's main attraction to me. No disrespect is intended by the way to the  Oldhammer players, I still love your collections and painting!.

18 comments:

  1. Love that unit of Hecatrons! I've recently just painted up some Asgard Orcs to use as Trolls in 15mm, though I'm not entirely convinced by my efforts. I'll get 'em posted up over the coming week.

    I've not really noticed the growing prescription viz. Oldhammer, though I guess Orlygg addresses it here: http://realmofchaos80s.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/mythbusters-oldhammer-etiquette.html

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    1. Thanks Gareth, I missed that from Orlygg so feel slightly mollified, not that I was too bothered either way!

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  2. There are schisms on how Oldhammer is done best, it's true. There isn't anybody out there suggesting that there is only one approach permissible however. I don't think! The vast majority are coming out and saying the same sort of thing as you.

    Nice minis.

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    1. Well you can please some of the people all the time etc.... What's your take on the issue?

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    2. Quite so!

      In a nutshell, I want people to feel able to go from modern, competitive gaming to Oldhammer without spending even more money.

      The longer version is personal, (but to simplify as much as possible) I have one or two long term goals that involve painting up some old lead but I won't allow my miniature collection to shrink from 1000's of models to a hundred or so because of somebody else's prejudice! I want my hobby to revolve around a big pool of gamer friends, lots of games played and lots of minis to choose from.

      I'm cheekily trying to coin the phrase 'Newhammer' (we approach wargaming in new ways!) as a prank on any archeo-gamers out there who want to ban post 1992 miniatures!

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  3. Gareth beat me to it about Orlygg's post. To me I really enjoy the concept of the ethos of Oldhammer. I think we all tend to have a bias to what we played in what we each consider our own golden age. So for me it is 3rd Edition. I have to admit I was starting to think that Oldhammer was about crazy ebay finds of OOP citadel, but I see now how wrong I was. It's just what is going on with the Oldhammerers I subscribe to.

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    1. Thanks Sean, yep each player has their own golden age (I suspect I am a bit older than some of the main Oldhammer gurus, so prefer the older figures and 1-2nd edition). Perhaps if I had the time to get stuck in more I would see through the
      " late 80's Citadel only" main trend. I certainly couldn't compete with the prices that these figures are going for, happily the ones I like are a bit cheaper. Thanks for the constructive reply :-)

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  4. Great stuff as always - Especially love the last shot of the endless wall of Hecatrons!

    Apologies for the shameless self promotion, but I've posted something on a similar theme to Orlygg. I may be one of those evil, arch archeo-gamers ;) but I don't mind what minis my opponent puts on the table - just so long as they're painted and have an interesting reason for being there in terms of narrative.

    Although preaching to the converted, you have made me think that perhaps there could be more blog posts about Oldhammery approaches to gaming - the opposite to the endless debates on meta-gaming the later editions.

    I think, as many of us hold dear the minis of a certain period, Oldhammer can appear a little monochrome in flavour, rather than the eclectic mix it should be.

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    1. Succinctly put, and I think you have hit the nail on the head. I would hazard a guess that most Oldhammerers are in their mid to late 30's, so cut their early teen teeth on third edition figures and rules. To a bitter and twisted old git like myself (44 and jealous of their youth) earlier figures are more attractive. Of course if I got my backside into gear, did more painting and joined in the chats, there WOULD be an Oldhammer branch concentrating on earlier figures, I just can't find the time. I was hoping to get Thistlewood done for the Oldhammer day (30 years since first published) but it ain't going to happen this year :-(.
      Thanks for the constructive comments...

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    2. My pleasure and it's a shame we won't see Thistlewood down at the Foundry, although I know time is always a problem - I'm really intrigued by the Thistlewood thing as its way before my time (to tell you the truth so is Orc's Drift!) and I don't know much about it other than the lovely updates on your blog.

      How about this for some pre slotta love! As Warlord Paul is forming the Newhammer splinter group I think there's definitely room for an Ancienthammer faction - or are we getting into Pythonesque Peoples Front of Judea/Judean People's Front territory? ; )

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    3. Grab a copy of WD45 Thantsants, for a piece of Warhammer history, it's all in there. I really must join in the Oldhammer forum, but I suspect it would mean another evening a week of not getting any painting done.

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  5. Glad you had a great hol,sounds spiffing!
    Interesting post from you,comments and replies.
    I agree very much with your sentiments. It is indeed not about excluding people and figures. I personally find the vast sums figures go for on ebay distateful and greedy.Where is the fun and the sharing which is so part of things? Gamers are being exploited feel by money grabbers at times...

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    1. It was a great holiday Alan. It's the buyers racking the prices up I think. There are plenty of "buy it nows" for silly sums, but quite often bidding goes above the current BIN prices and who can blame the seller for making the most he can with a starting price of 99p. The 'problem' is too may collectors with too much money to burn. Invariably one can find the figure again at a reasonable price (your spaced out druid figure is a prime example, we got it for $1 but I have seen it go for £10 or more).

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  6. Springfield, I wish I knew where this, "only late 80's", figure perception sprang from. What you see on many of the blogs is just big kids collecting the stuff they wanted as little kids. I have on one forum post said that I was wanting to play against another similarly vintage army to my own but did also suggest I would be happy playing against card counters in the future. Point us in the direction of the culprits and I'll organise the Oldhammer heavies to pay them a visit.

    As to the unit, very nice, never seen the figure before but he is great. You realise you have just boosted it's price on ebay don't you? Anyway I do like a nice uni-pose unit it has a good look to it.

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  7. Oh and the fun on Ebay is to make sure you don't pay the silly prices that are on there these days. Anyone that does isn't looking quite hard enough.

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    1. Hi Erny. On one of the main Oldhammer blogs (I forget which, possibly Orlygg's) there was a post on "How to do Oldhammer" for the beginner which defined Oldhammer (at least to my jaded eyes) along the points I was moaning about. Don't get me wrong though, I think it's a brilliant idea and I only wish I could get more involved (ie. had more time and energy). I don't tend to use the net for social networking and certainly don't use facebook or twitter etc. as I find a passing comment or criticism can be blown out of all proportion. As for ebay, I tend to get most of my bargains from Europe and the USA, but then I tend to collect weird stuff nobody else likes!

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    2. Yes it is quite hard to make a flippant comment without it getting treated as gospel. Interesting to see the madness of the non-geek Internet mirrored in our own little storm over oldhammer. Something in the weather me thinks.

      I really look forward to seeing your thistlewood for real some day in the unknown future.

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    3. Well, I have almost finished painting the figures (30 knights and the villagers to go). The scenery is made but needs repainting (some of it is quite old) so I'm hoping October which is only a month late (WD45 was out in September '83). The hardest thing I'm finding is keeping focused. As well Oldhammer stuff, I have ideas for a Skinthammer battle of 5 armies (on a budget of £50), some Hyborean armies using vintage figures (Garrison and Ral Partha mainly) and loads of Hordes of the Things armies...oh yes and then there is the other side of the hobby 54mm traditional toy soldiers nice and shiny.
      ,
      As for us geeks (my wife refers to us as dweebs, which I quite like as well), well at least we can laugh at ourselves (and our hobby warts and all) and have a virtual pint together. We all love little soldiers and life's too short to disagree about them :-)

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