Sunday, September 29, 2013

Even 'Eavier Metal: (Aurumina Demonicus) - What's Good is Great Again!

Thanks to Painting Bhudda at I just found out that David Soper won the Games Day UK Golden Demon Slayer Sword. I'll let that sink in a bit.

Yep - that David Soper!

So Congratulations Mr. Soper! That is awesome! For those of you who are newer to the Oldhammer movement, David Soper is an incredible artist who won the Golden Demon UK Slayer Sword in 1990. I graduated high school that year, and missed my only chance so far of going to the UK show. Due to political events that year, instead of going to the UK for my dream trip, I headed over to Berlin and got to help chip the Berlin wall down. While nothing will ever replace that wall going down, it is still one of those wistful moments when I wish so much I could have done both!

Here is some of the highlights from the Fantasy Miniatures Hardback book about that Golden Demon and David's Winning Model and further collection:

David Soper - Golden Demon Winner Fantasy Miniatures 1990 by Attilla13 [/url]
Well, David has an incredible blog here. And it seems that he left the hobby for a while, and as he puts it "After dropping out of the hobby for a few years I’ve rediscovered my passion for painting miniatures."

I am going to post this here - but it is his miniature and picture of his WIP Helion base. This was only a part of the winning model, a Dark Eldar Diorama. For more amazing photos, please make sure to check out his blog.

David Soper's WIP Helion from his Golden Demon winning Diorama. Incredible!
So it is amazing that he was able to win a Golden Demon 23 years apart, but is it really? I mean, he is one of a small incredible group of artists that helped instill our hobby with the passion it had back in the "Oldhammer days", is it really surprising that his, as he put it "rediscovered" passion was able to win again? Technique is an incredible thing, and I'm not anywhere close to any of these guys in my own abilities. But I sure can appreciate it in others. But just maybe it is that passion that drives us to Oldhammer may be making a bigger return than even we think.

I would love to find out from him just a little bit of info, mainly the differences in the awards, the competition of the different eras, the different techniques that he explored. That type of thing. Hopefully we'll hear from him about this.

But lets talk about his original winner - the Nurgle Predator tank. This was an incredible piece and I have drooled over the pictures of it for many years. It truly is a thing of nightmares, and has an incredible amount of work. The description in the book says it took over 6 months, and I can barely believe it was done so fast! The incredible control on the conversion work, and the detailed painting makes so much of it pop, and your eye is continually drawn to the face and organic details of the tank. With any less skill, it would be almost too busy, but at this level it draws you on and on to another amazing detail. Looking at it now, I'm particularly liking the mushrooms, but that is because I've decided to try adding these to my figures of my Orc army.

I don't have full photos of his new entry, but I'm sure they will be on his blog, just to celebrate, but the same incredible color control is on display in that WIP photo above. I'm sure it was simply amazing to see in person.

I'd also like to point out the other page in the small selection at the top of this post - As amazing as the Predator Tank was, these let you know how good he really is at painting. The Chimera is outstanding to me in the subtlety, highlighting the Palanquin Champion of Nurgle was genius, and my favorite has always been the troll. If I tried that many colors, it would look like a mishmash or a child's finger-painting. But he pulls it off so well that it kinda became my ideal for this Troll. All of the detail work in conversion and paint is top notch, and you would never expect less.

Back in the "Sweet Spot" of gaming, the Fantasy Miniature books highlighted some of the most incredible artists around - John Blanche, Andy Craig, Mike McVey, Ivan Bartlett, Dale Hurst, Tim Prow, and a whole host of others. With Oldhammer gaining momentum like it has been, it just seems fitting that one of the Kings of Old would return to the pinnacle of the mountain to take his Sword! Orlygg at Realmsofchaos80s was kind enough to include info on these incredible books on his blog, so I won't rehash too much of it here - just use the link on the right of my page to go there. But for more of the Fantasy Miniature Books look here - 19881989 and the full 1990.

I have never met Mr. Soper, and would probably have to control myself from drooling all over his miniatures if I did get a chance to see them in person - because as we all know, these are even better in person than the photos. But I have to admit, seeing one of the Great Champions of our favorite era come back and win again has gotten me pretty excited tonight!

And while I am not at this skill level, I did get my W&N ink on Friday, so I got to start on the Ruglud's today. I'm hoping to have photos of them by this weekend. And I have another Hobby Update on the project coming on Wednesday.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tales From The Front: Battle Report History - The 1st White Dwarf Battle Report

"The sun sank below the horizon, casting deep shadows across the valley. Warriors drank, sang of glorious wars, and sharpened their weapons for the coming battle. Since early that evening, Empire commanders n the southern camp had been welding the disparate groups of Humans, Dwarfs and Halflings into shape. To the North, the grim face of the Lord of the Undead turned once more to the horizon.

The Moon slid behind a cloud. In the enveloping darkness, still silence was broken by the howl of a wolf. From across the valley, a slow steady drum-beat began to sound...boom!..doom!....boom!...doom! the battle had begun."

So begins a long and storied tradition in White Dwarf - The Battle Report. As has been covered on numerous blogs, and something I've pointed out to others before, I think that the first battle report to ever appear in White Dwarf for Warhammer was the one in issue 107. If you have never seen this, it is a far cry from battle reports to come, or the more current ones of today with colored graphics or gorgeous photos designed to sell more miniatures.

The first battle report was a bit of promotion for a club of gamers called the Roundabout Youth Club. As the report states: "The public often perceive people into our hobby as slightly crazed and obsessed with violent death. We wanted to show that Fantasy Gaming, was a fun, sociable, creative way for young people to spend their time, and that we could use it to help others." Great goals, and I believe they gained 300 pounds in their 24 hour marathon - quite a tidy sum in those days! The event was set up as a 24 hour gaming experience fought between the Forces of Good (The Empire Allies: Humans, Dwarfs and Halflings) and the Forces Of Chaos (Dark Elves, Orcs, Chaos Dwarfs, Skeletons, and Human Chaos Mutants). To report on these events, and as a thank you to Games Workshop, Robin Dews sent in the report and it was printed in White Dwarf.

I'd like to take special notice of one particular paragraph which highlights the board size, the armies fighting and then this - "We had originally begun with the idea of using about 10,000 points per side but as the armies assembled, it became clear that both sides wanted to throw everything they had into an all or nothing confrontation. We decided to just "go for it" on the basis that this was all for fun, and "armies were never equal anyway." This resulted in a final points value of about 15,000 for the Chaos Commanders, John and Max, and 18,000 for the Empire Allies, myself, Leon and Tristan."

Ok, so note a couple of things - first, it is very large. This is of course one of the dreams of most gamers, to have such a huge horde they can fill a table and take on all comers. For most, it is just a dream, but that visual is one of the things that appeals to most of us - even if we only start out small or with a Chaos Warband. Also, "This Was All For Fun!" How often in the current environment of tournaments do you think you'd hear - ok, you take 3000, I'll take 2400, its fine, its just for fun? Remember this is part of the fun of game mastered games, and of Warhammer 3rd. Sure, things have points, but really it was collecting and playing with an army (or in this case, several), it was not chess, nor restricted to this or that comp - as you'll see when we talk about one of the "secrets" later.

I also like how Robin covered the first few turns as the armies shake out and they use four hours to basically sort out how all of the allies are going to fight. Sure, one small paragraph, but isn't that amazingly close to how you'd imagine a real battle would fall out? Trying to figure out where everyone is, is going and what they are going to do would add confusion and miscommunication to anything like this.

Robin does a great job, in the old days of print, using text to give us a feel of the tilt and sway of battle, using only 3 hand drawn maps to cover the Initial Dispositions, The Height of Battle, and the Final Stages. Very well done and concise, and no-where near a step by step tactical guide, these help you place the units in your imagination that the text brings alive - with descriptions like: "they crunched unceasingly towards the village", "On the right, things were a mess!" ;) "the Cold Ones, having failed a stupidity test, were munching grass in the midst of the woods", "Holes appeared where man had stood before," and "the surviving Knights charged forth in a complete frenzy, desperate to bury their lances into the line of Chaos Thugs now flanking the decimated archers". I just wonder how long Robin took to write all of this up! There is a photo, presumably from the event, and it is great in its black and white goodness. I wonder if there are any photos from this event in the hands of anyone who still plays? If you know of anyone, please have them get in touch with me, if you can.

But I wonder if any of the current crop of fans will notice something very peculiar about the whole you know who won? The gamers. There is plenty of mention of the units getting crushed, run down and melting away (as skeletons do, you know?), but he never says exactly who won. And that is Oldhammer! It is playing a massive multi-thousand point game over 24 hours, and having a blast, a true moment where "the story is the thing". Excellent job, and very interesting as the beginning of the Battle Reports in White Dwarf.

So the interesting thing is...why highlight this little bit of antiquity? Very simple - Battle Reports! One of the cool things of the Oldhammer Blogs are some of the really cool battle reports that have appeared. Thantsant has some great ones here. (And can I say how much I just love his photo backgrounds on his blog - incredibly cool!) and Gaj's are highlights on the left hand column on his blog here.  These are just some of the ones you'll find on most of the Oldhammer sites and you'll see some really cool games. I'll be posting some as well, though I'm probably going to have to pick up a good camera somehow. And if you find any or post any of your own, put a link in the comments below!

In the Margins: 

That mammoth is pretty cool, actually. If you have been doing this for a long time, you'll probably remember that another company had miniatures for skeletal mammoths (and a rhino!). I loved the idea of a skeletal mammoth (my family has always been partial to elephants!) marauding around and crushing my foes. It was probably the Oliphants fault, but after reading this report, I just had to have one. Of course, I ended up with 4 of them ;). Gonna have to make some rules for these guys, just to play with them again. I tried to find these guys to take photos of them, but the only one I could find is not painted, and unfortunately I have a hard time finding one figure in my two storage units. I'll try to get some pics up as soon as I can.

But one of the elephants is available here:

Skeleton War Mammoth With Catapult

* Special thanks to Orlygg for scanning this

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hobby Update: The Goal and Progress So Far!

Well to get the hobby updates started I get to talk about my goals first.

I have a ton of Games Workshop that I have collected over the years. A ton of it is Oldhammer from the days I was buying as a kid - from pre-slotta to early stuff all the way to the great Lead Sell-off. When I was trolling around and found Oldhammer as a movement, most of it was just sitting in one of my two storage buildings. As I have said before....I may have a bit of a problem.

Anyway, as all the photos I posted up on facebook show I have a ton of stuff, including a lot in shrinkwrap. So if I'm going to do the Oldhammer thing, where do I start? One of my first true armies (not minis but full fledged ideas for an entire army) was Undead. They will always have a special place in my heart. Back then I had friends who I got to play, but they were basically unable to afford hardly anything. So what to do....ok I bought tons of figures for their armies. That way I had ready made opponents and more figures! Win-Win, right? Well yes, but it has left me with a pile of unpainted minis that would shock most people. One of the brothers Horton did High Elves, one did Chaos and Orcs. I played Undead, Empire, and anything else to make a fun game. So I have all of these options. And I doubt I have to buy too much from ebay to make any one army - of course, I will because I'll want that one special figure - but that is different from needing to go out and spend.

I want to do my Undead again, and I have a ton of the models, but to be honest, I want to accomplish something else first. Then I thought about Kev "Goblinmaster" Adams (see below) and thought - ok...Its Orcs and Gobbos!

I started puling out figures (some with primer, some sprayed green (really bad green form some spray we found in the late 80s), some bare, some black....its like a mono-toned rainbow). I am going to go through jars of Simple Green just to clean them all. I still have things to find that I know are in there somewhere, but I have found enough to get a really good start on my complete army (complete in my head - not points!)  I decided to just concentrate on the slottas for now and I have grouped them in two basic groups - 85-90 and 91-92. The former has the regiments, skullcrushers, leadbelchers, etc. the former has some of the "newer" orcs and savage orcs. I'm really starting on the older group first, have like 6 units of infantry, gobbo wolf riders, orc boar boyz, war machines, fanatics, and chariots. I want them done but the whole thing won't be finished until those savage orcs have tattoos!

But I wanted to start with one of my favorite things...the old regiments of renown. So I decided to do Ruglud's (because I can find everything for two boxes except either of Harboth himself - more searching to do!). Anyway, these were pretty rough and painted when I was 15 or so I think (or at least half done - hey it was my friends army he was borrowing from me.) So I gave them a bath, and presto - bare metal! Here are some of them coming out of their bath:

Well I had a full box (which is 17) and I wanted at least 20 and hopefully 30 - I wanted a really big unit of these guys. Luckily I was able to get some more of them from Rusty, and It brought me up to 27 - and I just added three other Orcs with the right weapons to the back rank, and I had my thirty. One of the ones Rusty sent me was missing a hablerd - it was broken before he got it - so I had to fix em. Here is my little plastic whittling job. Its a bit rough, but in my opinion it makes him look like he's already been in a few fights!

In the photo it looks a lot bigger, but it is more because of his hand placement - I used the one on the right as a template of sorts. So I was all ready to go and get started when on the facebook page Andy Craig mentioned how he painted Orcs. Basically Green Apple Windsor and Newton ink with mid tones and yellows added - I think I have that right! Anyway I have always wanted to be able to get the old look of Orc skin down and could just never do it (using the Citadel paints at the time) and now i know why. So I ordered some Red and Green Apple inks and I'm waiting for them to arrive.

If you have never used Red with your red paints, then you should give it a try. I learned that one long ago, as it keeps your paints from getting too pink (unless you want them to). I am not a painting expert, so I'll just keep it to what I am trying to do. For excellent tips and paint jobs, please see some of the others on the facebook page. I'm afraid I will never win a Golden Daemon, or even come close. But I have long painted until I am happy with things and played lots of games. I am trying to get better, and hopefully this project will help - but I just want to warn you.

Anyway, as I am currently waiting for the inks to arrive, I am cleaning a bunch more of the Orcs and Gobbos now. Lots of cleaning to do!

Also, my blog is less than 24 hours old - and I only told three people. But somehow I have 100 pageviews already. Very cool!

GoblinAid for the Goblinmaster

I know my Oldhammer friends will know about this (and it was discussions about this that led me to find my first Oldhammer blog) but this if for anyone new who may not know. Kev "Goblinmaster" Adams recently had his home burgled by some cowards who injured him pretty seriously through armed assault. Golbinaid was set up to try to help Kev out. There are a whole bunch of figures donated by a ton of industry big names that are available with proceeds going to cover Kev's expenses. There are also people who have donated painted figures for auction and more. Our friends at Foundry also made Kev's self-portrait available with some extras to help him out as well. Its a fun mini - and I had one before when it was originally released as a limited figure.

Anyway, I don't want this to lose any momentum, and some great figures are coming to you through this program, so if you are interested in old-school style figs, go to the facebook page and you'll find pictures and all the links to find out how you can get your hands on them and help Kev all at the same time!

Goblinaid on Facebook

Oh, one other note, because I have heard it twice in one week. Kev "Goblinmaster" Adams is not Kev White from Hasslefree. They are two incredibly talented guys, but they only share a first name.

"So Wat's This Then?"

So what is Oldhammer? Well it will be different things to different people. For some of it - lets see what some of the bloggers have said:

Gaj's thoughts on Warhammer for Adults: Why Is It Called Warhammer For Adults? 

Orlygg's first post, on why 3rd edition - Welcome Traveller to My Blog

Zhu's Guide to "The Oldhammer Contract" - "The Oldhammer Contract"

This is Thantsant's post just before Oldhammer Day - pay particular attention to the ethos bit! : Stop Its Almost Hammer Time

How has this confused some people? Orlygg has a great post about his here: Mythbusters - Oldhammer Etiquette

So what does Oldhammer mean to me? Or what should it mean to you? Well, truly the answer (to me) is pretty much whatever you want it to mean to you with only a few caveats (and mostly Zhu's points as well):

1) Oldhammer is not really about a certain set of rules, it is more about the contract between players (and a game master). This contract is for fun, challenging and fair bouts of gaming. Sometimes this may mean the story is more important than the outcome for you personally - and that is perfectly fine! This is not about tournaments, points, or above all god - Winning! - at all costs! If you require those, please leave me in my Oldhammer World - there is probably a tournament coming up for you soon.

2) While we all have piles of unpainted figures (or most of us do), Oldhammer is also about love of old figures (for me personally for old Citadel especially - and old Citadel designers)or at least old-style figures. It is more about the way you hobby and game. You have freedom. Get what you want and build it. If prices are getting you down, but you like Nick Lund's old Grenadiers - Great! Otherworld or those new Wrath of Kings figures float your boat - fine. But here is the big part.....PAINT! Yep that is right, if you are going to get into Oldhammer, then you got to do some hobbying! After all one of the biggest things about this is that you have to build the figures you can get on the table to complete the contract from point 1. My Daemons from 2-4th edition aren't doing much for Oldhammer as silver parts in a box- all they are is part of my COLLECTION - not playable parts.

Long ago I fell in love with Citadel miniatures. I can only thank all of the Citadel designers (too many to mention and list) from the bygone eras. I have poured over my White Dwarf collection, my old rulebooks, my old Fantasty Miniatures books, and just about every book I could get from GW so many more hours than I have ever been able to play the wonderful game (mainly because you can do it by yourself - though I used to do it in college as my girlfriend gave me my nightly massage (and she played too!)). I spent one Xmas Eve at GW reading through WD 85-104 (In the late 90s. I was alone in the office - the only one on the phones and we were dead). I poured through every one of those old Epic articles when I played it often - but I still look at them every year and remember that feeling.

I am a collector. I'm a father and step-father. I've gotten the older kids playing with figures. I'm often their game master. Its one of my biggest kicks.  I don't get to paint as often as I would like (2 girls under 3 after all!) but I make whatever progress I can. This blog is an attempt to make sure that I get more done - after all I'm going to have to show something on here. I'm completely inspired by like-minded people throughout the world - enough to write this blog. I'm looking for more people on this side of the pond who play, want to play, or are interested in learning about it. I want an American Oldhammer day!

And that is what Oldhammer is to me.

And Oldhammer with the group in the UK even celebrated all they had done in one year....Happy Birthday Oldhammer!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Oldhammer In The New World

Ok, so I'm starting a blog. So the big question is: Why?

The Great Beginning

To answer that I have to explain something about myself and where my hobby and gaming has taken me. I started buying miniatures when I was 9 years old. It is amazing to me how that memory is so clear to me even today. I was on a family vacation and found some money on the side of the road. Back then it was a lot of money, and my parents took most of it, but did let me have some to buy something. My brother wanted a model, so my dad took us to a hobby shop. Inside I found tons of stuff, all those little knick knacks, and even little kids toys (cap guns, swords, etc). But instead of the cruddy toys (kids today have it so good!), I was drawn to some little packages on one wall. It was a small selection but the first one I looked at had orcs in it. I remember thinking - "Those are like Lord of The Rings!" I bought them and a couple of others I thought looked interesting - including some official Lord of The Rings models. These are not them, but the packages were like these:

 I still remember having to wait until we got to the hotel before I could open the packages. So I read the back of the cards to still be able to play with them. I remember staring at the Citadel. I remember the light being interrupted by trees as we drove and thinking..."Nottinghamshire - wonder where that is?". My dad was the first to remind me of Robin Hood. ;)

Ever since that day I have been pretty much hooked on minis. I played DnD with friends, and did other geeky delights (like flipping Space Invaders on an Atari). But I always wanted more miniatures. It got worse when I decided to try to paint them like some of the pictures I'd see. I only had Testor's model paint (which were all enamels back then). Needless to say none of my early efforts were great, or even remotely more than splashes of color - I was still using the Testor's brushes that came with the paints! I remember being crushed when my mom could not tell what I had painted.

The Hobby Truly Begins...

Eventually times changed, and we got older and the models progressed. Acrylic paints came out and my painting got passable - though better than most of my friends - but nothing like the images that were now starting to appear in magazines. Warhammer had come out, and we were in the process of one of our many moves as a family, so the guys who were going to play it with me were no longer there. Then 2nd edition came out, and I was able to talk a few friends into trying it out. We had a load of fun, screwed up the rules constantly, made up a bunch of our own, told great stories, defended towns and villages and in one incredible day, I was able to sack an entire castle! In other words, to us and our imaginations, it was like any kid in a candy store that is told he can have all he wants for was incredible!

Then came third edition. I know Rick Priestley has said that they were some of the worst "rules" they ever put out, but as a package and guide for us younger folk it was like a whole other world and level of miniature gaming. We had always been happy with our tables, with everything from books to towels, to legos.We had done some small buildings, and done the castle (which was basically a box with four paper towel cardboard tubes all painted grey). We roughed it and filled in the blanks with our minds. We had seen some awesome games, and read about some, but never before had we thought you could do a full gaming room! Of course, we were a bit younger than the guys doing all of this, and impressionable! So our hobbying took on a whole new level. Of course, then we moved again. I probably would have been lost except for Space Hulk and Blood Bowl. through them I met some new guys at the new town, hosted a big game, and bam, we were off and running again.

One of my favorite all time images (even if it is not too old). Someone has the original of this at their house! (You know who you are!) I'm hoping to someday see it in person.

 The Explosion and The Collector...

 It was at this time that my collection of Citadel Metal had grown to the point that it would get me weird looks from my mother, to say nothing of my sister or the movers. (Yes we moved again). Again, gaming got me new friends to play with, and they loved that I had so many figures for the roleplaying nights...after a few epic battles I was again able to talk them into trying Warhammer, and we had a great time, on my first purpose built terrain board (where I learned first hand what happens to blue board when you spray paint it on the first try!). And while I was having fun playing with my figures, and some of the guys did buy some, I supplied almost everything that everyone used. So I did not just have one army, I had 3 then 4, plus all of the villagers, talisman, fighters, etc.That was when I realized I was a collector - not a gamer only, not just one army, and not a painter only - but a collector. If it existed or came out, I wanted it. Of course, small part time jobs and mowing lawns could only get you so much, so my large purchases were still pretty small, but compared to all of my friends, it was crazy. The rest of High school was a series of days where I went somewhere (I think they called the building school) and ignore some rambling adults and got As in everything when I was busy drawing and writing games, rules and scenarios. Then I got let out for nights of gaming, painting and role-playing with my friends - still my best friends to this day. I did play sports in there too.

Then 4th edition came out. It was, of course different than 3rd, changed the scale and everything. We'll get into that more in a later post, but the one other big thing that it did was ushered in a whole lot more gamers! As Rick has pointed out on podcasts and interviews, they basically went from a ten to fifteen million pound company to a 100 million pound company! But this huge influx of gamers was incredible. I was in college at the time, and I had just gotten a job at The Tin Soldier in Dayton, OH. More people were buying and playing, and we'd stay until 2-3 in the morning - and it got worse when 2nd edition 40k came along :)!

Then I got the great chance to go to work for Games Workshop in Baltimore! It was the dream job I had been wanting to do since I had gotten those first figures and then read about available jobs in the UK! It was great. My first day, Richard E. dropped the first stateside 5th edition preview copy on the table next to my desk. I was a kid in a candy store - even though they tortured me through the first 90 days, when I could not buy at discount. It was incredible and it was a job. Some of my good friends are still my good friends (though now we tend to keep in touch about our kids rather than the business). I'll admit I was a kid in a candy store. I still remember visiting the UK factory and getting 30 minutes to load up on metal! But I went west in 2000, still gaming, but no longer getting things at discount or finding out things months in advance.

In the Wilderness...

After leaving GW I followed my fiance across the country and was soon up to old tricks, working and gaming at a store. 6th edition arrived (I actually got my copy before I left the company). Then she broke it off and I found myself on the other side of the country, for no real reason, and not even wanting to game. So I headed back to Michigan. Ah, yes, the wilderness years. I'm in a small town - a company town. The closest game store that really carried GW was just a bit over an hour and a half away. So for a while I contented myself with just adding to my collection - this was when ebay became a friend (sometimes like a too good of a friend that sticks you with the tab and you pay it anyway ;) ).

7th edition arrived. I was stuck in a town when my savior arrived in the form of one of my High School best friends. He moved back to town, and we were both frustrated with no gaming (anyone who wonders about the need for a store to introduce people for a thriving gaming community should just ask me). Well with two of us we could not do Role-playing so I finally got him to play me (pretty much bribed/blackmailed him - everything involved should be better left unsaid), and thank god I did. He decided to play Lizardmen, and with his innate rules lawyer ability from roleplaying, and all of the things I taught him, he became a great opponent. He now wins a lot of things, and we both won Adepticon best general for our team army. And then he moved away, and I thought I was stuck in the wilderness again. Luckily enough for me, a store finally opened in the area, and I was rescued again.

The Epiphany...

And then it happened - no not 8th. I know a lot of people were upset about that. No it was for lack of a better term, the lack of passion I started to see in the hobby. This is not a knock on tons of guys who paint their armies far better than me, with much better technique, and "color management". No I started at Adepticon that year with a whole new army (one I had not reallyl played since 4th edition - Dwarfs!), and I went and did pretty well (except for painting-more later). But it hit me as I played the second round and was playing against another Dwarf player. Our armies were just too similar. They were painted completely differently (his much better!), but I actually lost track of a unit, because I thought it was his - even though our paint jobs were completely different! I mean, we both had new pretty (or pretty-ish in my case) armies. We had both taken advantage of the plastic, kitbashing and posing our figures as much as we could. But they looked the same. And except for the skill in painting and maybe the base, I noticed all of the dwarf armies had too much of a look of just the same....And it was the same for all of the Dark Elf armies, and all of the Chaos armies, and all of the Vampires or Orcs or Empire....

Once again, some of these armies were painted incredibly well, and I still enjoyed seeing them, but for me, the plastics had taken some of the soul out of the game. I remembered my first dwarfs. I remembered my friends at the time. Back then the only figures we both had in our armies were Bugmans and a slayer model. That was it. I had Imperial style dwarfs, he had Norse. So we did not have any figures that were the same. Our armies were the same race but made up of completely different things. And I looked hard at my collection, which came out in two parts....stuff from 4th edition and earlier....and everything after. I remember Tom Kirby talking about plastics at some sales conference (in London that year I think as the new factory was getting ready). Basically it came down to the history of plastics that GW had done....putting things on slotta bases, then introducing plastic arms and weapons to go on lead figs, then full done plastics single piece, and at the time basically the introduction of the plastic sets with metal command (turning it completely around form the earlier way). Of course there were vehicle kits and everything, and the metal command parts went away pretty quickly to just full plastic. Part of the reason was to give gamers an affordable way to collect units (no joke, that was his words at the time).

Of course now I was here years later, and I realized that my collecting of incredibly cool individual models had been replaced by unit collecting. Blisters were basically gone (and mainly direct only - which I hate (I like supporting the FLGS) and while it was nice to be able to buy a unit for the game, I was just basically buying playing pieces, not those incredible models of my youth. And while some incredible unique armies are out there, the sameness just keeps coming through. So my ebaying took a turn and I was only looking for old stuff (that was always the case - always looking for parts to the collection, of course), but I was no longer looking for current and old stuff - I only wanted old stuff.

Then one day, I'm trolling around and found an interview with one of the old GW hands, and discovered Orlygg's, Zhu's, Gaj's and Erny's blogs. It was great! There were others like me, who wanted to return to that incredible creative era of GW, where the game was for fun, not a competition. Where the figures were each and everyone awesome little signs of talent and creativity...and should reflect it in their paint jobs!


So I discovered oldhammer, and watched and read their blogs, I started getting out some of the older stuff, going through the storage unit and the garage, pulling out the copies of 2nd and 3rd Warhammer. Finding my still-in-shrinkwrap copies of Goblobbers, Advanced Heroquest, Blood Bowl and others. Then breaking into the boxes to start finding the old models. I finally decided I wanted to do an orc and gobbo army, and I had all of the old figures to make a pretty big one right away.

I made some comments and I post on the facebook page, but I have to admit - jealousy hit me again....all because of this...

Getting to England was not going to be happening right now - I have two kids under three and two teenagers trying to get me to buy them cars. [I mean, don't they understand how many miniatures that could buy ;) ?]. So I knew I would not be there. And I begged for photos (thanks Tony!) and info. I read and looked at all the photos, saw some old friends in the pictures, and was basically really sad I could not be there for the day. But thanks everyone for the pictures, and to all of the blogs that reported and talked about it.

Of course, then I wanted to figure out how we could have an Oldhammer day in the states. I started talking to some of the others on the lists here on this side of the pond, and we are going to try to make something happen. Of course, to make it a really cool thing (besides just three or four of us getting together) we have to get the word out. So of course, I've decided to start this blog. There are some others with blogs or sites here in the states (see the links to the right). I'm working on a cool siege game...more on that later, but basically a small town is going to get attacked.

But why does this matter to you? Well, if your story is somewhat similar to mine, you find yourself drawn more and more to the old miniatures, or you just can't handle the gaming tournament scene anymore, this might interest you. And if it does, then maybe you can comment here, join us on the facebook page or forum (on the right under Join the Community) and also fill out the opponent finder here: Skarsnik's Opponent Finder.

I'm going to be blogging about my current projects and gaming things. I'll be talking about any Oldhammer get togethers I can find out or hear about. And in general just spouting off about whatever is striking me at the moment. I'm also going to talk a little bit about my collection, including additions, or my favorites - there is even the whole bucket list and top ten list for what I want. This is all a rather long introduction - but gives some of my thoughts on why Oldhammer as a community and movement appeals so much to me.

I'll also try to include any little tidbits I can think of, though Orylgg has covered a lot or most everything in White Dwarf! Thanks! Hope you'll be joining me on our journey and even better, hope to see you at an Oldhammer Day here in the states one day soon!