Saturday 2 February 2013

Oldhammer Day Warbands Creation and Advice

As many of you know, there are major plans afoot which should see some kind of Old School event at the Foundry in Nottingham this summer (most likely late August). One of the components of this would be a celebration of Slaves to Darkness' 25th anniversary. Many in the community have suggested using the rules in the book to create Khorne and Slaaneshi warbands, collecting the original models and the pitting the forces against each other...

And I must say, its an excellent idea! Having a lot of experience playing with the warbands rules, I have put myself forwards as the organiser/GM overseeing this part of the event. I have two fully painted warbands to bring to the table already!

One thing that such a contest can never, ever be is a tournament! 

So don' t expect one!

The rules for warbands were designed as a miniature RPG to be played between friends. The concept is one of the futility and damnation of following a chaos god. The chances of success are remote and attributes can have a positive or negative effect on your forces...

So those of a nervous 'armylist' disposition you may want to look away now because there is NO ARMYLIST to pick your forces from! Just a long series of d100 and d1000 charts. And these can be as random or as deliberate as you like. If you want, you can roll off on the charts and create your force as the Chaos Gods intended, or you can be more selective, picking the forces you already have in your possession or that your are most interested in fielding. 

Can I just remind you, that in RoC there is NO BALANCE. It is very easy to create an extremely powerful force, just as it is easy to produce a force that wouldn't last twenty minutes against a force of lazy, shortsighted hobbits. 

So some kind of order is going to have to be introduced so that all those involved have a great time collecting, painting, and ultimately, gaming with Slaves to Darkness miniatures and rules. Let's start with warband composition.

Warband Creation Kit

1. Creating your Champion of Chaos

Your very first job is to roll off (or pick) a race for your Champion. A quick look at the STARTING PROFILE TABLE just throws up the number of options that you have; everything from a chaos dwarf to a zoat.

2. Once that is done (and you have a dwarf, human or dark elf) you need to roll off your starting stats. In our experience, standard profiles don't make good champions. They die far too quickly and just do not 'feel' like the champions that they should be. I recommend a level 10 or level 15 hero or wizard as good starting point, so don't bother going about rolling for one (unless you want to, that is...) 

3) Next up, you will need to give your new character a name and background. Who is he, she or it and what are they doing roaming the Chaos Wastes. Their first reward is automatic (chaos armour for Khorne champions and a Willpower increase for followers of Slaanesh) however, I feel you should be able to pick an additional reward at this point, either a chaos steed or a chaos weapon (the nature of the weapon to be rolled off on the day) Additionally, you will need to establish your first attribute. If you are unsure what I mean by this, have a look at the table below...

Yes, there are a very large number of attributes in RoC. Some are merely cosmetic and make challenging conversion projects, while others have a positive or negative effect on a champion. This system is obviously very easy to abuse and its simple to just pick the most useful and powerful attributes to 'beef up' your champion. This is, however, quite the opposite to the spirit of the game, isn't it? I feel that those of us interested in creating and gaming with these warbands should pick one negative (or cosmetic) and one positive (improves stats) attribute. I feel that this is the most sensible thing to do and should bring some interesting flavours to the games.

4) Finally, you need to create your retinue. This, in my opinion, is the most exciting part of the game. Rolling off is totally random, and the way I like to do it as it takes your collecting into a strange and previously not expected direction, though just picking the troops you have available to you is also acceptable. Again, this system is open to abuse (lets all just pick a dragon shall we..?). I feel that a little direction will help here so;

If your character is level 5 roll 4 times
If your character is level 10 roll 3 times 
If your character is level 15 roll twice
If your character is level 20+ roll once

Avoid dragons.

This will give just a starting point for your band. Most likely, you will have about 10 or so models now and it should be pretty simple to collect and paint those models between now and the summer when Oldhammer day takes place. All you have to do is share your warband as you build it. We would all love to see them develop.

This will give just a starting point for your band. Most likely, you will have about 20 or so models now and it should be pretty simple to collect and paint those models between now and the summer when Oldhammer day takes place. All you have to do is share your warband as you build it. We would all love to see them develop.

Right, let me have a go shall we... If you want to take part (and your using dice rolls) it would be interesting to see what players rolled off. Here's mine...

Champion of Khorne

Starting Profile Race: D100 = 81 Human
Profile Roll: D100 = 51 Human Level 10
Add Chaos Armour
Attribute One: D1000 = 478 Horrible Stench (positive) keep
Attribute Two: D1000 = 449 Growth (positive) discard
Attribute Two: D1000 = 408 Featureless Face (cosmetic) keep

Retinue Roll 1/3 D100 = 57 2D6 (4+4) humans 2/3 D100 = 4 2D6 (3+5) Beastmen  3/3 = 39 1 Chaos Warrior

So I need 8 thugs, 8 beastmen, a chaos warrior and the champion model itself. I'll avoid taking a steed and take the gamble on a chaos weapon on the day. Well, I have all of these models and they number less than 20 models to boot!

On the day, simply turn up with your warband and stats (more about that later) and we will organise some games. Either one on one encounters, or something on a larger scale (which I would prefer) with all the Khorne warbands on one side of the table and all the Slaaneshi ones on the other. A simple scenario (with private objectives for each player) and a battle to wipe the other faction off the board.

Does that sound like something you'd like to take part in? Well, let us know - it would be nice to get some dialogue going between players, share the development and histories of our champions (perhaps even create a few early rivalries) and exchange details and resources.

Who's up for it then?


  1. Man, if I still lived in the UK I would definately jump on this.

    Also, on, there's currently a small warband competition going on right now also. Most everyone is taking Nurgle warbands (of course), tho mine is Undivided.

  2. This sounds like fun, I am going to try and get something of the same sort started with a group of my buddies.


  3. I'm in. I'm already on my way to putting a Khorne warband together.

    1. Great! My warband will have an opponent then! Looking forwards to seeing what you come up with!

  4. This sounds ace! I already have a sizeable collection of painted RoC models that I could use. Couple of questions;
    Are we restricted to RoC era citadel miniatures? I do have other models that I've used in my Chaos warbands that aren't citadel, but they do maintain the 'flavour' of RoC (or I wouldn't have used them!).
    Also, is this just between Khorne and Slaanesh warbands for the first event?

    1. We are going to stick to Khorne and Slaanesh as the event is partly inspired by the 25th anniversary of Slaves to Darkness' publication. Obviously, original Citadel RoC miniatures are preferred, but we are not going to get all nit-picky and start being restrictive with what people bring. You are right though, the miniatures involved should maintain that 'flavour' of RoC.

  5. I am intrested in this event but have the same question as Ninja for Hire....that's in regards the miniatures. My armies are all built along the oldhammer principles, I use any figures I like the look of. As a result my miniatures vary from 80's through to current Citadel figures. I also use miniatures from Mantic, Reaper, Wargames Foundry, etc, etc. I am currently building a Nurgle themed army so I would like to use a Nurgle warband is that a problem?

    Finally when do you think a date for the event will be set? I have childcare issues and both myself, and my wife, have jobs that have strict minimum staffing levels and thus require a lot of notice.


    1. As I have already stated, the focus is on Slaves to Darkness and subsequently Slaanesh and Khorne - we hope to do a similar event in a few years to celebrate the release of Lost and the Damned... But I doubt anyone is going to complain if a Nurgle Warband turns up... you will have to choose a side to ally with in the case of a larger scale game between alliances of chaos warbands.

      As for the date, it seems to be pretty set around the 24th of August. Just a few things to iron out before things are confirmed. Gaj over at Warhammer for Adults is the driving force behind this, so feel free to contact him for further details. The plan is, to leave AT LEAST six months notice for collectors and gamers to be able to sort something out for the day.

  6. This all sounds so awesome! I have a small Slaaneshi warband full of RoC loveliness which I'm painting up after I've finished my little wood elf force. Trouble is I've never played a game with 3rd ed rules in my life! I missed out on all that by about a year when 4th was released :-( Hopefully Foundry won't do the event on the 17th or 18th August as I'm busy that weekend. I should really introduce myself on the Blood forum as I'm registered (Leadpest). I used to live in Braintree BTW Orlygg!

    1. Don't worry about the rules... Most of the other people attending have not played for over 20 years, so don't expect a crack team of rules lawyers. Just turn up and enjoy is the general plan. BTW, the date is not set by Foundry but by us. There are a number of threads on the Bloodforum which discuss dates and ideas for the day. Get your voice heard mate!

  7. Cheers mate. I just read all the threads. There are some really great ideas floating around! I think I'm up for a goodies VS baddies style grand melee and a RoC tournament type thing. Maybe a painting comp. too! Right, I'm gonna give my two cents worth!

  8. We played this a ton in college--with the Lost and The Damned as well. One thing I learned from the random lists is that you can never have enough beastmen to go around... There was an unbeatable champion in one warband that just chewed through everyone's stuff-- but me his match against a guy sporting a graviton gun who pinned him to the ground for an entire game. We had to make a ruling that he must have been taken out of action during the game since he couldn't move. Good Times!

  9. If I can get my act together I would LOVE to join in on something like this.

    I might be able to help make things a bit easier now that we have joined the digital age - I like rolling D100s as much as the next man (who doesn't you know?) but I could probably throw something together to create a basic team and roster sheet automatically - something like this:

    in excel - this took about five minutes (which is why the stats are mostly "H" for holder, I got bored of typing!) or given a bit of time I could probably adapt the army builder I built for rogue trader:

    The biggest problem is getting all the tables typed - I've actually got most of the attributes tables in a suitable format, but entering the individual profiles for everything is a nightmare.

  10. OMG, I remember playing warbands for a whole summer back in the early 90's with my late mate Johnny G, we had so much fun, the only problems arose were some of the outrageous conversions we had to make when we rolled the personal attributes, we had several judges so could not fudge the champions and had to stay true to our roll. If i remeber right I rolled walking head and scoured the land for a large head to glue on some legs, I ended up finding a giant head in a kinder egg and adding legs and drastic plastic arms to it, quick paint job I was done, those were the days. You never know you might just see me as I recently stripped my ROC chaos beastmen.

    1. I had Walking Head as well :)

      Ended up cutting up a Drastik Plastik Orc so that the arms and boots were glued directly to his head (I used the screaming head) tilted slightly backwards so that he appeared to be screaming at a normal-sized opponent. Had to blend everything together with blu-tack hardened with superglue as I couldn't find Milliput anything at the time!

  11. I really want to have a go at using these rules. Just a matter of finding others to play with.

  12. I rolled up a level 10 Dark Elf hero with a glorious 'Mane of Hair'. Slaaneshi then...Lord Savage (anyone who knows of footballer Robbie Savage will understand) will ride to battle on his loving Chaos Steed 'Throatripper'. Lord Savage leads seven Beastmen, four of his own kin (I can't remember the rules for making them assassins but it doesn't sound like it will win me any prizes for sportsmanship, so I won't) with crossbows and lastly two Ogres with double handers.

    Looks quite versatile and balanced to me, what do others think?

  13. Warlord Paul; I like where you are going your background there. I love the 'tongue-in-cheek' nature of RoC too. I was thinking Slaaneshi warband led by chaos warrior champion on fiend, 5 of those slightly disturbing RoC slaaneshii beastmen with hand weapons, 3 perverted chaos dwarfs, two additional chaos warriors (one of which is that tiny chaos warrior familiar. Gotsta love that mini!) and a minotaur - you know the classic one with the dragon arm!

    1. Glad you had a chuckle at my antics. I like the collection of minis you have in mind, will look forward to having you as an ally against the machinations of the Blood God.


    I have rolled a Chaos-Were Fimir that turns into... another Fimir. With loads of attributes. This is going to be fun isn't it?

  15. This sounds very interesting - much closer to my idea of a gaming day out than a 'tournament'. It still puzzles me when I pick a Lone Wolf book and see that Joe Dever was a Dungeons & Dragons champion, and tournament scene (and the way that tournament thinking infects non-tournament play) diminishes the potential of fantasy gaming of all stripes.

    As a side point, though I might be able to dig some interesting models out of the lead pile and the back of cupboards, should Oldhammer take a lead from the OSR and say; "The old models [books] are/were brilliant, and we encourage you to collect and play using these. BUT the old models [books] are collectors items, and are often in bad shape, so we heartily endorse Oldhammer [OSR] play using 'all new' retro-style models [books]."

    My own plan is shout 'OLDHAMMER'S ALIVE' like Brian Blessed, and build a Chaos warband entirely from all new miniatures that anyone can buy without needing to track down decades old white metal.

  16. I'm in. Although I may arrive with a Nurgle warband as that's what I'm working on now. I'll also bring my brother who has a mass of classic Khorne. And DrBargle can get a lift with us, as long as he's not too shouty on the motorway ;-)

  17. I am glad that plenty of other leadheads are enjoying a little bit of RoC in their precious miniature time. Its fantastic to see so many other enthusiasts get inspired by this classic ruleset. I am really looking forwards to seeing people's warbands develop on the blogosphere and beyond and, of course, the fateful match up at the Foundry!

  18. ok, I am having a few beers to loosen up, here we go
    used this die roller (No fudged rolls)

    1st Roll:
    result: 19
    Chaos Dwarf

    2nd Roll:
    result: 80
    Dwarf 10 Wizard

    3rd Roll:
    result: 615

    4th Roll: (level 10 = 3 rolls)
    1st result: 100 >> Other D4 >> result: 1 >> Creature D10 >> result: 10
    2nd result: 84
    2D4 Skaven >> 2D4 >> result 1,4 = 5 Skaven
    3rd result: 94
    1 Wizard >> D6 >> result: 5
    Level 10 Wizard

    So I have an 8 strong warband, not sure of allegiance yet, a nightmare conversion on a Chaos Dwarf Wizard, a Fimir, 5 Skaven and another Wizard, I can use virtually none of my existing RoC miniatures, Damn you! hehe great fun.

    I may have to have another go

  19. Hello? has anyone got a RoC base size list for every creature available on the chart please, I have buckets of RoC miniatures sitting in Dettol stripping and will be doing prepping next week I want to get the basing right, I have just stripped loads of RoC beastmen and today moved onto Chaos Thugs.

    1. Use the Bestiary in Warhammer Fantasy Battle Third Edition to check your base sizes. Nearly every type of creature is described within and appropriate base sizes are discussed for each entry.

  20. Sounds fun, not sure if I can make it all the way from Shanghai/Singapore, but I'll try my best... on to eBay then, need a bucket load of Beastmen...

  21. Hey, just came across this post it may interest you

  22. Hi Guys,
    Well, I'm a old school collectionor like you and love your the future I'll build my own blog with a lot of pictures.. but I need times :)

    Well, if I lived in Uk I played with you to your special Roc Day ;) Exciting!!!

    Well, It's a project for me and friends to play at roc with the warbands rules, and I will take your restrictions for retenues starts...
    But I try again to find a rule to play with... Warhammer FB or Mordheim??? I prefer to play with the Mordheim rules.... What you think? it's a good idea or bad?
    May be on the battlefield use the Mordheim rules but add one thing, every models of the same group (for exemple 5 beastmen) have to be played in the same time and you have to keep the 2" maximum distance between them...
    Well, I try to search the best rule to play, because my friends don't like WFB and prefer Mordheim rules...

    What do you think? It will run liek that or it will be too difficult to play with the roc rules?

    Thanks a lot for your help