Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Oldhammer (ish)

You may have noticed, in many a blog, a recent resurgence of interest in older versions of Warhammer. The amusingly named Oldhammer movement has grown in the past year or so, looking back to a time 25 years ago when Warhammer was in it's infancy. There are some great blogs to check out - try Realm of Chaos and Warhammer For Adults, these are good starting points with lots of links to follow.

Strictly speaking I am too young to qualify as an Oldhammerer. I started my Warhammer career a mere twenty years ago, when fourth edition was released in 1992. Oldhammer is generally concerned with third edition, released in 1987. So really this post is about MiddleAgedHammer, which doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Specifically, it's a collection of photos I took at Gamesday 1993 or 1994, I don't recall which, fading memory and all that - maybe I do qualify for Oldhammer!

My interest at the time was in the Undead army, my very first Warhammer army book. The picture above shows a battle between the Undead and an alliance of Dwarfs and the Empire. It's sobering to think that this was a large chunk of the studio collection at the time and would have been several thousand points per side. Sadly I did not get too many close ups, but a couple of nice shots of the Empire troops.

I only have one snap of the Undead army and it suffers from blurriness and a very narrow depth of field. Still, it stirs some memories for me. In the foreground there's a regiment of metal zombies. I collected about 28 of these, regiments could stand just four models wide so multiples of 4 was the norm. Behind the necromancer is a plastic skeleton unit, from the skeleton army boxset, my very first Warhammer purchase. To the left is a plastic skeleton chariot from the same set. Behind the skeletons is a unit of eight metal wraiths and the old Hollywood style vampire count. To the extreme left is a unit of  metal wights, though you can only see one of them, beyond the river on the right is a regiment of metal mummies. In the distant background there's a couple of skeleton catapults and in the top right is a very blurry Arkhan the Black riding his winged chariot. Apart from this last model I had every one of these figures and used them in many a game, even started my tournament career with them. I don't have any photos of the army, which I sold long ago, which is a bit sad, though I do have a couple of the characters still which I showed in a post here.

I have to confess that I don't find the old lead figures that appealing, though I can appreciate the nostalgic feelings they must invoke. I much prefer my newer armies and find plastic preferable in so many ways. For me, the greatest appeal in the Oldhammer blogs is not the old figures, but the spirit of the game it recalls, and the beautiful old artwork. More on that in a future post.


Beithir said...

Nice post, and good to see those "vintage" figures again. Brings to mind my 5th Ed rulebooks, which is when I started Warhammer. Also makes you realise what a massive shift of image there's been since 3rd-5th and now!

Gareth the Grot said...

4e was my starting point for WHFB too and I have many happy memories of playing on a friend's dinning room table as a youngster. I lost interest by 6e as it seemed games could not be resolved in under four hours and always required much leafing though the rule- and army books.

Inspired by the passion of the Oldhammer movement I bought a copy of 3e last year and, despite the fantastic artwork and photographs, find it to be a clunkier version of the proceeding incarnation. Blasphemous, perhaps, but I like my games to be streamlined and intuitive, which none of the WHFB versions are.

Laughing Ferret said...

So what you're saying is, I'm older than an 'old fogey'. ;) I started in 3rd edition, probably 1989.

Wow those minis were bright! That 100% saturated 'lego blue' horse barding brings back memories.

Both appeal to me: some of the old metal minis I just love, especially the old orcs, but I do love plastic, at least the plastic we have now compared to the plastic back then, for the crisp detail & the ease of converting. I'll never understand the position of 'metal is better just because' or 'because it is heavy'.

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