This is something! 3rd year in a row we’re doing this. And it’s still kicking! Polish annual Oldhammer Weekend. This time we moved to Katowice to Inny Wymiar gaming store and club (eng. Another Dimension) for two days (20-21. October 2018).
This is really huge deal for me, being part of it. And despite, it’s not entirely Oldhammer /ruleswise, minitureswise), the weekend is always something huge and worth to wait entire year for it.
During the weekend we play Warhamer Fantasy 5th edition. Whole weekend is dedicated to it – several scenarios, organised in a campaign. With such approach – the games are handled to the players by the organisers. Restrictions – such as WYSIWYG or friendly reminder that we are adults and we should have all our minis painted (no exceptions!) shouldn’t be things to worry about… But, some folks in Poland still think Warhammer is not about making your armies fancy, and they want to play with pure lead or plastic. On this event we would like to remind everything what’ s exactly this hobby means – painted models, and friendly competition. Everything else is just background noise.
And why 5th edition Fantasy? Why not older? Like proper Oldhammer. The answer is simple. Too few players interested in this – most of veterans of wargaming scene in Poland started in 1990s, and 2nd or 3rd edition is kind of mythical for many. We all know it exists but just a handful of people actually played it. So, we went easy with this, concentrating on sentiment factor – and the thing that shaped us as warmongers – Warhammer 4/5th edition.
So with this approach, we gathered 16 players, which is is quite a good result for our little Polish playground. Enough to have fun, and not too crowded.
The idea for the campaign for this year was simple. The armies arrived to the island, where they were supposed to compete. 9 different scenarios – some taken from 5th edition Battle Book. Some of them were little rearranged old scenarios from White Dwarf magazine, or 5th edition campaign supplements. Players were randomly put on the small map, where all the opponents and scenarios were designated. Then at the first day – everybody were to play 3 battles. Two random scenarios and the third, simple pitched battle, but allied with another player (so the game would be 2 vs 2).
Each win was providing some small perk to the victorious army. It could be a magical item, brave champion, or a blessing from a priest. Nothing to fancy, more like a fun bonus to make campaign more interesting.
All battles, the campaign tree, were leading to the grand final battle. The generals that made to the interior of the island, realised that was all a big mischief and a trap. A horde of Greenskins surrounded divided warlords and caught them with no chance to retreat. The only option was to stand and fight. The Green Horde attack was planned for a day two. We decided to divide the horde to three separate armies and hold the ground on three separate tables. For many, it was the time to bury the hatchet and to form an alliances and resist the invader!
Man, the whole weekend was simple the best. All organisation went loose in a matter of not even few hours. One may think that 16 adult gamers are easy to manage, but well, the reality is rather different. 16 individuals, each going his own way. Not even worth trying:) So, instead to focus on control issues, we loose out a bit and we let them be free. Play easy, play completive, slow, fast… whatever your poison is.
And 16 different armies. I was pretty distracted with new surroundings and new faces (and the fact I was pardoned form the role of main organizer:) and I haven’t followed who was playing with what army. Diverse company , that’s for sure. If I’m not mistaken, we were missing Lizardmen, Bretonnia and Chaos Dwarfs. And beside that, every army from 4/5th edition were involved.
I chose for this year, something easy to prepare and easy to play. The daemons of one and only god of Unholy Four. The Khorne!
The army of Sinwar Fireflesh, The Bloodthirster Daemon and his minions.
The Bile Eaters – 16 Bloodletters lead by Filthgnaw, their champion.
The Scab Gnashers – 3 Bloodletters on The Juggernauts
The Traitors of Renegade God – 2 Chaos Spawns
The Gob Spittles – 5 Flesh Hounds
The Forth Fiddles – 5 Flesh Hounds
It took me around 8 weeks to prepare this guys. In 2018 I was busy with several other painting projects, and I knew it will be tricky to go to Polish Oldhammer Weekend with something new. I needed the army with just a few models. And there’s only one army like that – Chaos:) And since I already had a few Bloodletters and Flesh Hounds lying around, I decided to go with Mr Khorne. Just bought a few minis to complete the set, and I was ready to paint.
Battle at the shore (vs Wood Elves)
First, I faced the sneakiest creatures alive on entire mortal plane. So, called ‘The Wood Elves’ – living abomination against the on true faith. With their ideas of nature, and balance, and order, and light. Ugh, it was all clear for me they need to be sent to the deepest pit in their idea of hell.
When, my minions stood on the mysterious island and the first sight was the ranks of archers ready to fire, I knew it won’t be an easy battle. Basically, Tomek (the Elven general) tried to lure Sinwar The Firelesh (Bloodthirster daemon) into the trap. He exposed the unit of Glade Riders, hoping The Bloodthirster will charge them. While the Riders were full of bonuses against flyers plus Elven General was there. No way, Jose! Sinwar was too smart for that – he felt something isn’t right. He sensed – the target was too easy to grab. So instead, he simply was flying around and trying to slaughter some other units.
Meanwhile, most of my units were destroyed by elven arrows. However the daemons took some of the mortals with them to the warp, Khorne be blessed!
The battle was tight. Daemons, while powerful in close combat – with Toughness 3 are pretty exposed to enemy missile fire, and with armies like Wood Elves are quite weak. Long story short – I lost, but it wasn’t an easy victory for Tomek. Plenty of Elves went down.
Humans Ahead (Empire Expedition Force)
Every lost battle displeases Khorne. And he is not merciful god. After defeat, there’s no easy way to return to his favour. In fact there’s only one way. The spill of blood.
Thankfully the opportunity to the cleanse of the sins against the Blood God came soon.
Lost in the island wilderness, Expedition Army of one of the human mortal realms, called The Empire was looking for ancient artefact called The Monster Egg. It was said, the hatchling inside the Egg, once hatched will serve the master of The Egg for eternity. Whatever the hatchling it is…
The human General, Count Janusz von Oplau, was pleased when his men finally, after many days of search, found the Egg. They were preparing The Egg for transport to safe location, where the wizards could perform the ritual of hatching, when The Sinwar appeared in his neverending fury.
And this time, Khorne was on our side. His legions slaughtered humans, no men left alive, all was annihilated and burnt to the ground and The Monster Egg was ours:).
We played here Battle Book scenario called Treasure Hunt. The idea was simple, to get to the treasure (The Monster Egg in this case) before the opponent. The trick is if the army pace is too fast, there’s a chance that some units will get tired and won’t on time to the battle. And it happened to Janusz – his cannon and one of the wizards missed all the fun because of fatigue…
And Empire folks did get to The Egg first, allright. But, like I mentioned before, this time The Blood God was fully on his minions side, and the dice god loved them equally as Khorne. They did awesome here.
(The Monster Egg: The hatchling happened to be another Chaos Spawn. Great addition to my horde:)
The third battle
My daemon horde moved toward the centre of the island. After being defeated by Wood Elves on the shore, and after the massacre of Empire expedition, Khorne was still hungry for more flesh and blood.
Unexpected encounter was about to happen. Massive army of Greenskins stood on the way of Khorne minions. Sinwar Fireflesh decided he could use these puny, weak mortals to get more glory for Khorne. By allying with Greenskins, the havoc would be emerse. Litres f blood, hundreds of skulls. Oh, glory days!
The Bloodthirster infested the simple mind of Ork General, Drunkus The Tablebreaker, with idea of victories and loot, and the alliance became a fact.
And the very first enemy emerged even sooner then anybody expected. The allied force of Dwarfs and Wood Elves stood on the way of Greenskins and Daemons…
…and here I would love to describe the battle, but after Turn 1 we were sitting tired, started talking abut usual nerdy stuff over a beer, and, long story short we decided to call it end of the day:)
At the same time, the last 2vs2 battles were fought, and when everyone was finished we took a short trip to a pub, where we all could sit relax and chat.
While Saturday was more organised, and all players had specific plan to fulfil, Sunday was more easygoing and casual.
The massive horde of Greenskins all of the sudden appeared out of nowhere and attacked whatever stood on their way. Unexpected alliances were formed – it was the only way to survives this green tidal wave (no, really – huge army of 20-30k points were gathered to represent this!!!). Even Sinwar Fireflesh, after long inner struggles, decided to join forces with vile Ratmen (Adam) and untrustworthy von Cartstein vampires (Kuba). The combined allied army of Undead and Chaos tried to stand against the great green horde lead by fearless general – Tomek.
Well, the effort was…not good enough. The wave of Orcs, goblins, Trolls, Giants and other Old World’s misfits were unstoppable. Legions of Khorne, were outnumbered and outflanked. Proud Bloodletters were cut down by brute Black Orcs. Flesh Hounds, despite their speed, were forced to withdraw by pressure of too many enemy units. Even Sinwar Fireflesh stuck for almost eternity in close combat, practically being useless here (first, he tried to slay the giant. And it took him two turns, and then he was tied by savage orcs regiment, failing to kill enough of them to break the bastards. Another four turns:).
And, so called, pathetic allies? Von Carstein slain by orcs, Skaven fled faster than usual. It did not go well at all. The battle was over – Orks, Goblins marched over the dead bodies of their enemies and invaded this part of the island.
(The battle we played – 6000 united armies of Undead, Skaven and Daemons vs 6000 points of Orcs and Goblins).
Upf, we ended our part quite quickly, so we jumped to another corner and helped Orkish generals in defeating their opponents. We faced Zbigniew (High Elves), Grzegorz (Dark Elves) and another guy, whose name unfortunately eluded me (Wood Elves). We tried to do with them the same Tomek did with his Ork pupils. We tried, but combined Elven forces stood strong and showed us how Orcs and Goblins should be dealt with. We had no chance. Elves gave us a painful lesson.
There was also the third battle where the green horde ran over the defenders in similar fashion like they did over Khorne/Skaven/Vampires union. So final outcome was clear – The Greenskins came and destroyed what they wanted to destroy and the day was almost over.
Time has come to say some final words, shoot a group photo, and hand out trophies for the finest army background story (awesome write up by Grzegorz) and the nicest painted army (wicked middlehammer era Orcs and Goblins by Piotr).
It was amazing weekend. Met old friends, and made a bunch of new friendships. And it was my first trip to Katowice since I don’t even remember. I loved the trip, the city and the hobby store (Inny Wymiar), and enjoyed the weekend a lot. I t had everything I needed – play time, toy soldiers and the lads I could chat and have beer with. Happy days indeed.
Big shout out the organisers. That I know, who did a big part in making The Oldammer Weekend happened – Tomek, Przemek and Grzegorz. And to those I don’t know by name. Big Thanks!
Also big thank you – to the club/store that hosted a bunch of grumpy old oldhammerers like us. We owe you, big time:)
2018 Oldhammer Weekend in Poland was the last one held in current form. This year we go multitask. We add more Oldhammer in it’s true meaning. Rogue Trader, 3rd edition Fantasy. This kind of things:) There will be also more games systems to try and play, hopefully that attract more folks. And what’ important – it will be three days event! 20-22. September 2019, Warsaw. Mark the date in your calendars and stay tuned for more info.