Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers


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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:20 pm

Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers

So, continuing a tangent I may have been forcing over here -> viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3367&start=30 <- I thought I'd start a topic to discuss how to get new players into the Oldhammer rulesets.

I'm very keen on expanding the boundaries of Oldhammer. Having gotten into tabletop RPGs through the OSR (try here for the uninitiated), despite having no prior involvement or nostalgia I found the DIY attitudes and healthy disrespect for the rules and established tropes exciting and inspiring. I think the Oldhammer movement is teetering towards becoming another OSR and we should give it a hefty shove to start it rolling!

First a couple of definitions so we're all on the same page:

1. New players - I'm specifically referring to people who have no experience of any of the Oldhammer games, whether they play games with current GW rules, other companies rules or have never played a wargame in their lives. For these people nostalgia for the rules or models don't factor in (which I suspect they do for a majority of us here), they also have no existing knowledge of the Oldhammer rulesets.

2. Oldhammer Rulesets - I think (and hope) everyone would agree that WFB up to 3rd edtion and RT/2nd ed 40k are Oldhammer (I know - looking at no one in particular :P Zhu - that some people think army lists aren't Oldhammer but I think it's concievable to play these games without). I would also consider all the Specialist Games Oldhammer, though maybe there is some disagreement there, let me know guys and gals.

So assuming we agree with these definitions the main questions to answer are:

1. Why should a new player get into Oldhammer? Specifically, why should they bother to learn an old set of rules instead of playing Infinity, Dust Tactics, Malifaux or any one of the clean polished modern games available today.

2. What obstacles are there for someone who is interested playing games using Oldhammer rulesets?

3. What can we, as a community, do to encourage involvement? How can we break down the barriers to entry?

Obviously I have some ideas and opinions on these questions but this post is getting long enough :) lets here what other people think!

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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:51 pm

Re: Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers

The playstyle inferred from Rogue Trader and the playstyle inferred from 2nd Ed are completely different. Why is 2nd Ed. 40k now considered "Oldhammer" and 3rd ed. not?

Personally I draw the line at 1991 - "Oldhammer" = Ansell era Warhammer, simple.
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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:17 pm

Re: Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers

:) I wondered if that would cause a fuss. I include it because I started with 2nd ed when I was a wee nipper (ah nostalgia!), the tone of the books and White Dwarf were still very much about DIY and fun instead of balance and competition and because the rules are available for free without having to resort to becoming a filthy freebooting pirate! The 2nd ed Battle Bible is pretty basic but it's free and contains the basic rules.

3rd edition was a (I believe) concious move towards a balanced and competitive game, I think it'd be hard to argue 2nd edition ever had that attitude.

Any other issues with the definitions as laid out?
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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:44 pm

Re: Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers

2nd edition is compatible with Rogue Trader, whereas 3rd onwards is not. Most of the changes made to Rogue Trader over it's lifespan essentially were just what would become the 2nd edition rules.

Likewise, the switch to giant armies, no terrain, crowded deployment zones, herohammer, lack of tactical options and close combat uber alles happened in 3rd.


In any event, I think the easiest way to get people in is to set up a situation where they have no reason to say no.
Set up a small scenario, let them know it'll be a bit more like an RPG and that it'll use an older version of Warhammer/40K. Then have them show up and play.

Don't make it contingent initially that they have to buy into it or go out and get brand new/old mini's.
You may wonder if old or new 40K is better.
Ask yourself:

Did Bolt Thrower write about Rogue Trader or 7th edition?
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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:53 pm

Re: Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers

Sorry, still not sure where you're running with this, but I'm pretty much willing to give anything a try - so am wiling to play virtually any edition you care to mention ( I started with 2ed, dropped out with third and jump back- in with 6th or was that fifth!), your ideas for introducing the idea of oldhammer to new player is - to tell people to play old editions of Warhammer, and?

I thought the general idea was to get players out of the win at all costs mentality - by introducing them to games where they have to think (using any edition of the rules they feel comfortable with) - about how their playing the game and have fun whilst doing so? :D

In hope

Paul / Golgfag1
(attempting to have fun, where & when ever possible - play up, play up & play the game) :lol: :lol: :lol: :
How can I ever have enough stuff, I don't need.

https://golgfags.blogspot.co.uk/
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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:31 pm

Re: Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers

The specific ruleset is less important than the playing for fun, but the compatability of the rulesets I've defined as Oldhammer means that something created for one game can be easily used for something else. Going back to the OSR (sorry to keep harping on), it's the fact that all the rulesets before AD&D 2nd ed are very similar that keeps the community together.

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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:05 pm

Re: Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers

There's a massive difference between Rogue Trader that says "Hey, if you want to create your own thing, here's some guidelines" and 40k2E which says "If you want to improvise your own thing, you're on your own, besides most people will be happy with the stats and we provide for the miniatures we sell, which by the way, you'll need to buy an extra catalogue / army-list to find out what they are" The rules might appear compatible, but there is no question that the attitude and intention they are written in is very different.

It's like the difference between some IKEA instructions and a woodworking manual - and indeed that's pretty much the same case I made in Oldhammer contract back in 2011.

As for attracting more people - showing what can be done, introducing people to the playstyle by demonstration as Golfag suggests. But really, if W40K2E why not just roleplay/skrimish a current edition? they're not that different.
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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:09 pm

Re: Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers

What Zhu says with sugar, cream and a cherry on top :D
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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:28 pm

Re: Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers

Zhu Bajie wrote:There's a massive difference between Rogue Trader that says "Hey, if you want to create your own thing, here's some guidelines" and 40k2E which says "If you want to improvise your own thing, you're on your own, besides most people will be happy with the stats and we provide for the miniatures we sell, which by the way, you'll need to buy an extra catalogue / army-list to find out what they are" The rules might appear compatible, but there is no question that the attitude and intention they are written in is very different.


The same rogue trader where every single supplement is full of army lists? Where mini's that were not in the rules stopped being made?

The "RPG Rogue Trader" existed in the main book and every thing published since then was not in support of that. Open up the Compendium, Compilation, Vehicle manual, Battle manual. Tell me what you find in there.

Those army lists were written because that's what people wanted at the time. We've gone back retro-actively and rediscovered this style of play which is great. But let's be honest about the nature of the games that were being played at the time.



As for attracting more people - showing what can be done, introducing people to the playstyle by demonstration as Golfag suggests. But really, if W40K2E why not just roleplay/skrimish a current edition? they're not that different.


Why 40K2? Because it's a better game than what came later. You can skirmish with 7th but it'd be like buying a moped to impress girls. You might get lucky but it won't be what you wanted it to be.

And like I said, it's rules compatible with Rogue Trader in any event. I can play 2nd edition and use a Sensei warband and I can play Rogue Trader and put in some Necrons. In either event, I need essentially zero conversion work.



edit: and in case it needs to be said, Oldhammer is SERIOUS BUSINESS :)
You may wonder if old or new 40K is better.
Ask yourself:

Did Bolt Thrower write about Rogue Trader or 7th edition?
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Post Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:45 pm

Re: Bringing in new Oldhammerererererers

Except you don't have to buy anything to play 2nd edition, it's not 1994 anymore, the Battle Bible has everything you need. If people want to play narrative games with 7th ed that's fine with me too, it's the attitude that matters, not the rules. The only advantage to sticking with the early rulesets is that they're all compatable, and much of that compatability is because RT eventually became 2nd ed through the later supplements.

You can (and I have) approach 2nd ed as a toolbox for narrative story telling without any issue, I don't see anything in the RT rulebook (in regards to actual rules) which makes it better for narrative games. Except maybe the bestary :) although with a quick flick through any of the D&D monster books you could stat up a million creepy aliens.

To answer my own question about attracting new players I think a clear and free rulebook is the key to getting new people to look at the RT rules. The free retroclones of D&D show a variety of styles that can entice people in.

And SERIOUS BUSINESS indeed :)
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