Today the cosmic portents and omens were favorable and I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural meeting of Oldhammer.
What the heck is Oldhammer I hear you lament? Well, remember when you were young, say back in the eighties when mullets were cool and Wolverhampton Wanderers were a good football team? Well I don’t remember much of it either but the gaming back then was pretty anarchic. Turn up, chuck every model you own on the table and proceed to fight a massive battle where space marines face off against medieval knights and orks fight against 1930’s gangsters and Judge Dredd.
Yeah, them were the days. The rules were terrible, all the charts were ambiguous and everything was massively imbalanced. You got to play all day in your mate’s dad’s garage and gorge on fizzy pop and crisps and watch the maelstrom developing like some epic movie on your tabletop as you continue to chuck dice and make stuff up on the fly when the rules failed you.
Oldhammer gaming is different. It couldn’t have been that bad as everyone I knew was an avid gamer and collector and everyone loved to get stuck in, whether it was Space Crusade, Heroquest, Space Hulk, Rogue Trader or Warhammer 3rd Edition. The focus was on the narrative and fun, because the rules didn’t allow for much else. This was before tournaments came along and made wargaming an exercise in maths, spreadsheets and army-list optimization. Not to bemoan modern wargaming systems – most of them are far slicker and easier to play than in days gone by but the overall experience is just… well… different. And sometimes a change is good! We can all learn something from each other.
So googlespiders, try to inject a bit of Oldhammer into your games today! And I don’t mean stick a bunch of GI Joes on the table to represent titans. Try to get some sense of imbalance and aim to make sure everyone, win or lose, partakes in the narrative and has some fun!