Oldhammer and me
The Oldhammer Facebook group recently saw the need to crack down a little on off-topic discussion; nothing wrong with that, of course, but it means deciding what the topic actually is, which means defining the term. They chose to define Oldhammer as going up to 1992, which is fair enough, although personally I'd push it up a few years, but whatever. There are many definitions, but sometimes you have to pick one and go with it!
But Warhammer Sorta Thousand isn't quite Oldhammer, although Oldhammer is a part of it. Let me ... hmmm.
Maybe the best way to illustrate this is visually.
|Is it post-apocalyptic scumbags?|
|The authentic 80s goodness?|
|21st century interpretations?|
|Similar non-GW stuff?|
|Pound shop toys?|
|Collecting things from the golden age?|
|Modern models in "the tradition"?|
A broad exploding church factory
For me, the thing that really appeals about the Rogue Trader era of Warhammer 40,000 is its potential. When you flip through the rulebook, you see everything from the Mad Max-style post-apocalypse of Helsreach to table setups that look like much more traditional science fiction, and then of course the traditional space-Gothic greeblefest. And within the context of the loosely-defined Rogue Trader setting, it all makes sense. I mean, it doesn't make any sense. But you expect that it won't make any sense.
I'm not some Rogue Trader purist -- the setting rapidly got developed with future releases, and I like a lot of what's in them. But the key to Warhammer Sorta Thousand is that you take that stuff and you mix it in as an inspiration to your own creativity rather than a set of rules you have to follow. So a lovingly-painted army of Ultramarines with every chapter marking in the right place and a bunch of more-or-less identical armoured vehicles is Warhammer, sure, but it doesn't quite fit Warhammer Sorta Thousand. Fundamentally, Warhammer Sorta Thousand is about narrative gaming, and huge armies that make army-like sense don't necessarily fit that.
So the old-model and old-setting focus of Warhammer Sorta Thousand is not because I'm all about the 80s nostalgia, although God knows that's a factor, but because the older versions of the setting and models tended to support the types of scenarios that I want to play. But once you've accepted that premise, there's no need to limit yourself to a particular type or manufacturer of model.
I took these photos of a massive Warhammer 3rd edition game at Salute this year -- to me, they exemplify the Warhammer Sorta Thousand approach, albeit in fantasy form. You've got a wide range of different manufacturers in there -- including old GW, current GW, Reaper, 4A, Copplestone and many more. You've got cheapo monopose plastics, modern multiplart plastics, prepainted Conflix houses, metal originals, toys, you've got civilians and random monster encounters, you've got a story (although one that my photos don't tell well).
That's what I want from Warhammer Sorta Thousand -- and have never yet quite achieved.
Oh, for Pete's sake. Cheetor. Cheetor's doing Warhammer Sorta Thousand. Man, that was easy.