comments 3

Oldhammer – What it is and how to get involved

If you’ve been in the hobby for awhile you know what Warhammer is and probably have an opinion on the company that designs and markets the miniatures and the current state of the game. You may have heard of Oldhammer or seen various references to it on the net, but what exactly is it? This is one person’s opinion, so take it for what it’s worth.

I want to welcome another new author on Broken Paintbrush, Sean Squires from Sean’s Wargamer Corner. While blogging since 2011, his main focus lately is on Oldhammer and igniting the passion in other hobbyists.

This is Oldhammer!

At its core, Oldhammer is a nostalgia for the days when many of its adherents got started in the hobby. We saved our money to buy miniatures, drooled over the battle reports and Eavy Metal painting team’s work. We even occasionally threw dice with reckless abandon and trash talked with our friends while having a great time.

Oldhammer teaser

A picture from the last Oldhammer get together. We tried to recreate the cover of Battle magazine from January 1977.

There are almost as many interpretations of Oldhammer as there are Oldhammerers, and while there are arguments about the best version of the rules or the best releases of miniatures, there are a few generalizations that can be made.

Open to Imagination

The first is that most of us seem really like 3rd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I think the reason for this is that it, and Rogue Trader, offered a wide realm of possibility where the fluff was there to give just enough flavor but not restrict your imagination.

These books also heavily encouraged GM’d games and the primacy of storytelling over wins and losses. I also think that many of us cut our teeth on this version, but perhaps I’m just showing my age.

Broad Range

The next generalization is that Oldhammer is only about GW/Citadel miniatures that were released from 1986 – 1992 ( or whatever grouping of years they’re hung up on). For some, this is true, for others, it is not.


The iconic Mother Crushers, painted in late 2014. Purchased around 1990.

With the Oldhammer renaissance, there are new figures being sculpted in the old style. Kev Adams himself is sculpting tons of figures for new ranges in the “Oldhammer” style. But so are many others like Tim Prow, Mark Copplestone etc. In fact, I should probably say that they are just sculpting in their own style similar to what they did back in the 80’s and 90’s.

For myself, I just paint what I like and try to use it in games wherever possible. I’m using metals, plastics, resin. Some period figures and some new. I have many figures from newer companies and Kickstarters as well.

Abdul Composite cort

Eureka Voltaire figure with plastic Cadian trooper weapon hands and servo skull. Backpack by Dragon Forge.

Specialist Games

In addition to WFB and Rogue Trader, many Oldhammerers enjoy playing what GW called Specialist Games. So Blood Bowl, Space Hulk, Man O’War, Mordheim, Necromunda, Dark Future, Epic (I’m new to it so don’t know all the versions) are some of the other games that are also enjoyed by the movement.

Hey Sean, that sounds cool! How do I get involved?

I’m glad you asked. The first thing you need to do is just self-identify as an Oldhammerer. Pretty easy right? But seriously, I sat on the fence for several years before I gave in to the fact that I really was an Oldhammerer. I missed out on all kinds of stuff, including the first Oldhammer USA weekend because of that.

Join the Community

Once that’s out of the way there are a couple of other things you can do. You can join one of the many Oldhammer groups on Google+ or facebook, you can post pictures of your games and figures to those or on a blog and share them with the community. You can also join the

You can join one of the many Oldhammer groups on Google+ or facebook, you can post pictures of your games and figures to those or on a blog and share them with the community.

You can also join the Oldhammer Forum and talk about it with people from all over the world and get yourself listed on the opponent finder, a nifty little map showing roughly where in the world other players are. I’m in Arizona, all by myself 🙁 (but would love to have you to join me!)

Make it to Oldhammer Day

Finally, if you can’t find anybody locally and have October 1st and 2nd open, think about coming to Oldhammer Day USA at Huzzah Hobbies located at 44927 George Washington Blvd, Ashburn, Virginia 20147. There’s an event page on facebook. Open gaming, Space Hulk, Blood Bowl, Necromunda and the Rogue Trader Scenario Battle at the Farm are currently scheduled.

Oldhammer Day Banner

Hope to see you there and if you have any questions you can find me on my blog, facebook (on the Oldhammer in the New World Group) or Google+ (on the Oldhammer Community Plus).

See you across the table,