Oldhammer 40K

Whether it's fedoras, pop art, colonial wars or Nickelodean, retro is back.  Old is the new new, and where else is this more true than the grumbling masses of ageing GW fans*?  My gaming group have already rejected a lot of the changes that Sixth Edition brought**, and we generally play from memory (mostly Fourth).

But Kieran recently, and generously, let me have a copy of the Second Edition Guard Codex, and I have fond memories of the Third Edition one.  So, when idly browsing Ebay I came across some absolute steals...



The Third Edition Rulebook was about £10, and the starter set something like £6.  Given how much I've paid for classic Necromunda figs in the past, I was pleasantly surprised by this.  And what a blast from the past!

The Third Edition book was very emotive, since it was in vogue at the time of my conversion at about the age of ten.  I still clearly remember, during a family trip to Cleethorpes, excitedly rifling a dog-eared, borrowed copy and falling in love with the Mordian Iron Guard (hence the special place my own Mordians have in my heart).  The rules also mean a lot more to me, since I never knew the Second Edition and I could identify with Third a bit more.

The second treat was this lovely boxed set.  I'm not entirely sure what it is - clearly some kind of Second Edition starter set, but there are all sorts of other models and books, and I'm not sure if they were thrown in or part of the pack at the time.  I saw this as it was newly-listed on Ebay, and whacked an auto-bid on it for £6.  Never expected to get it, but then a week later I got an email telling me I'd won!



Lots of models in there, a couple of dice, and a brace of rulebooks and catalogues as well.  As I say, this means more to Kieran than to me as his 40K experiences predate mine by some years, but I'm dimly aware of being in the presence of some real hobby history.

The vague plan is for me and KB to experiment using our modern armies to see if we can bring back 40K at its peak.  At the risk of going off at a tangent, I think that sums up the best thing about our hobby.  In this world of ragequits and opinionated rants (I've had one or two myself), we need to remember this is all voluntary.  If I don't like something GW does from now on, I'm going to bally well ignore it and make up my own rules/use my own models.  Hurrah for isolationism!

We'll keep you posted as to how these games go!

For the moment - thanks for reading, and until next time,

Ed

* Despite my youth, I am still strictly speaking an 'ageing' fan; I am getting older.

** Not out of principle, I just can't be bothered to learn a whole new set of rules in order to continue doing what I do at the moment.

Comments

  1. What a fantastic find Colonel and at that price. I was lucky enough to pick up a fair few of the older books and supplements myself a while back - I'm aiming to have the whole collection!

    I too came in at the very end of second and so third to me was always the edition that stuck in my mind - Its the first wargame I learnt (very badly mind but who cares when you 12 and having a right laugh with your mates) and the one most played.

    I totally agree with your final sentiment, I dont understand those not satisfied with changes made to their favourite armies/units by current rule sets of army books - just use the rules you are happy using - if thats third edition rules, or fourth edition codices, then so be it.

    As a final comment, at 28 and a third edition entrant I dont feel old, but with 15 years under my belt at this lark I feel very much a verteran compared to some of the 'kids' I would see when I frequented the shops!

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    1. I was dashed lucky to get it at that price, I know. Third Edition looks like it's going to be our first effort, and to be honest it was so long ago I can't even remember what the rules are like. The migration is primarily driven by ethos and attitude, rather than rules.

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    2. I dug out my old copies last night for a look through. Had a good chuckle looking at some of the codexes of that time - they dont hold a candle production wise to todays efforts but they still provided all you needed.

      The 3rd ed Marine codex is a grand total of 48 pages long (the latest effort is a whopping 180 hardback) of which only 9 are the unit entries (versus 19 pages of unit entries and another 40 odd of individual unit descriptions/fluff/rules pages in the new one). Theres a couple of pages of painted miniatures showcase with little comment boxes highlighting each units perceived strength and weakesses, a couple of guides to collecting a force and how you would grow it out featuring Paul Sawyers White Scars and Alan Merretts Dark Crusaders. There's 7 pages with step by step instructions for painting a Marone and a Predator tank including accessorising it. 4 pages are given over to special characters - Lysander is only a chump Sergeant in this edition. Then theres a 'Planetfall' mission scenario to play through, and a couple of pages of fluff including a complete guide to the daily rituals of a Space Marine outside of active warzones. At this time of night (2000 hours in Oz), a good Space Marine would be completing Evening Prayers prior to the Evening Meal at 2100 hours.

      Then there is my favourite page when I was younger, a Tatcical Guide to using Marines with three ideal ways to play "All Out Attack", Solid Defence" and Refused Flank" - I remember thinkning I was all that and then some when I deployed according to those tactical plans and actually won games.

      There is something to be said about older editions and the fondness we hold for them. I must have spent hours poring over those 48 pages and dreaming up battle rosters and tactics. I cracked the rear binding glue twice by the colouration of the layers of super glue thats currently holding it on to the pages. I might scan a few pages and make that my next nostalic look back post.

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  2. Tried posting earlier but it didn't seem to like that. 2nd edition was my first edition, I started playing properly in 97, so I was in at the tail end too. But I do remember going into GW and playing a big Saturday morning game and saying I still wasn't used to 3rd edition yet just after it came in.

    I dug out some of my old Codices the other day, so I might write up my Nurgle list for 3rd.

    I've also bought 6th ed Warhammer and a few armies books for similar reason.

    That is a starter set per se, before the time there were really started sets - so that was the only way you could get the game if I recall. And also in the days before everything was crammed into one uber book - a superb bargain and now I kindly have some Space Orks and Gretchin to paint up. Ta muchly sir

    And I feel the same as Frothing Muppet, I'm 27 but still feel like an old git relatively speaking.

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    1. There's definitely a post in there for both of use, or dream Third Edition army lists... So this predates blisters and boxed sets?

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  3. Interesting post. I think it must have been 97 or 98 when I started playing. I used to go to GW Lincoln on a Sunday with my 5 Khorne bezerkers and play 2nd Ed intro games. I mainly remember close combats taking ages as it was basically a series of duels but normally the bezerkers would just kill everything in sight, (oh yeah and for wargear pretty much anyone could carry anything if i remember rightly)! I'm sure I still have my 2nd Ed Codex Chaos at my parents house but I never owned the rulebooks. I'll look forward to hearing how you get on with playing 2nd Ed now!

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    1. Hi Andy, thanks, and glad you enjoyed it. Reading the comments it seems quite a few of us probably frequented the Lincoln store (Lincoln, Lincolnshire, that was - you don't mean the one in the US...?). Ah, I do remember Berzerkers being particularly nasty on those days! Thanks, stay tuned for updates!

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  4. Bloody hell, Lincoln was where I used to go. Not very often mind. And bought my beloved 2nd Chaos Codex. Small world

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  5. Firstly, that is a really good find! Some of the older editions had really good parts (Although I'm a child of 4th ed, so most of what I learned was from private reading my school library's older copies) I thoroughly agree with your philosophy though Colonel - if you don't like it, change it. Everything we do in the hobby is for our own enjoyment, so there's no sense blindly following things that don't work if it'll make it worse for us.

    Also, I used to frequent Lincoln's GW when I began...really is a small world.

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    1. Thankyou, your Royal Highness! The fluff in the Third Edition, particularly the artwork, was really inspiring stuff and had much more depth to it than the bland maps you get nowadays.

      We should all wear red hats when we go to GW from now on, so we can identify one another covertly.

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  6. Good gawds... Am I the only old bugger about these parts that started playing when Rogue Trader (1st Ed) was published???

    That boxed set was indeed the 2nd Edition Starter/Rules. Came with plastic orcs and goblins vs Space Marines and card orc dreadnought. There were wargear cards and every character model walked about the battlefield like a god as you could buy pretty much anything you wanted to trick them out. My favourite part of the game was that one didn’t need 200 miniatures to play a regular sized game and that Squats still existed. 

    I didn’t play a game of 40K after 2nd Ed though and attempted a game with boring 5th Edition rules a couple years ago, but barely got past 2nd turn.

    After reading 6th Edition rules, I find they are only marginally more interesting than 5th Edition, even if they lean more toward the fun and silliness of 2nd Edition. When I eventually have enough units painted up, I won’t even play 40K using the rules, I instead have another company’s rules set for the job that is far more fun. (5150-Star Army by Twohourwargames)

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    1. Good. I despise being the eldest in a group.

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    2. Didn't realise you'd never played past Second Dai, although I was of course you were a distinguished graduate of the Old School, with honours... ah Squats! Forgot about those happy campers. Not nearly GrimDark (TM) enough, I suspect.

      Our own games tend to have high levels of silliness artificially added. Normally involving falling architecture or crude puns.

      Hmmm, will have to try out those rules...

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  7. 33.
    Second Edition.
    Barely touched Third.
    Got back in with Fourth.
    Second certainly was chaotically fun!

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    1. Interesting, I always assumed those who started before me had played ALL the classic editions. If we get to Zzzzzz's this spring I'll bring along all my books etc.

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  8. Youre not the only RT starter here I got serious with the 2nd ed due to various circumstances missed 3 and 4 got back in at the very tail end of 5th hated it and then 6th reminded me of 2nd and I loves it. I'm under 40.... just

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    1. A few people have seemed to mention that there's a link between Sixth and Second. I'll have to take a fresh look at the rules in the light of that info. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Very good find!
    I started playing in third, skipped fourth, came back in fifth. Man, that stuff is just memory lane.

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    1. Thanks mate - ah, a child of Third as well! It really is a blast from the past. I was grinning with glee like an idiot as I walked down the street with it, the nostalgia just gushing from the pages.

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