Saturday, March 5, 2016

Deep Thoughts.... by Bulldoglopez

There comes a time in every Oldhammer blogger's blog life when one of these posts becomes obligatory.


I'm doing it... the old "What is Oldhammer?"

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: FUCK. YOU. But bear with me.

My answer is... I don't fucking know what it is, but I know what it is not. Specifically I mean the way the Oldhammer community is misrepresented on Facebook by a certain page. We all know the one.

So two things happened last week that got me all... thinky... on the inside. It's weird and I try not to do it, but it happened. As is wont to happen a little more often than I think is necessary, someone got banned from "that" trading page and then went on to the community page to vent about the injustice, to which I then responded with the sarcastic tone which has become expected of me. I joked about getting the post deleted by replying with "What is Oldhammer". That's when it got juicy...

Another individual associated with the banned person started a chat with me because he thought I was an admin on that page.... And then we talked about how the Facebook page is giving everyone in this community a bad name.

Now I normally wouldn't care about what other people think about me or what I choose to do in my spare time or how I choose to do it, but i'm bored and mildly irritated that other people are causing other people to think i'm an asshole. I prefer for people to find out that i'm an asshole on my terms. I enjoy watching the realization on their face.

But let's get back to the point.

A separate chat with a person who for all intents and purposes is a "Newhammer" kid brought up what I had suspected all along. The Facebook group makes people think the Oldhammer community is full of assholes.

This is the single saddest statement I have ever read about our community:

"Well I'll put it like this. If I was introduced to Oldhammer via that page, I probably wouldn't be interested in it."

We went on to discuss the reason he did become interested in the Oldhammer community, which was that I had introduced him to "it" and a style of play that was so different from what was going on in the current 40k scene, and generally the competitive attitudes people have towards wargames in general... pretty much covering the old "this is Oldhammer and this is not" but really reinforced the prior conversation about the banning and specifically how the Facebook page has created the notion that the Oldhammer community is full of assholes, which is terrible because so many of the people I would consider huge contributors to the community have been banned from that page anyways.

As Whiskey Priest points out in his seminal piece on shark jumping, there are thousands more members on the Facebook page then are registered on the forum. As he points out "As people are attracted to the group the personality of the group will change". I believe the personality has changed into the form of a giant belligerent asshole. 

Does that personally bother me? No, but that leads me to my point: the Facebook group is discouraging people from participating in the community, and that is sad. Unlike in the UK, we New-Worlders are literally travelling thousands of miles, or more specifically trying to get more people to travel thousands of miles to take part in our events. That means taking time off work, paying for a hotel room and travel, basically losing money, and no one is going to do that if they think the people at the event are a bunch of elitist douche-bags. And yes, some of the admins are total douche-bags. Banning people without warning, deleting posts that "violate community rules" and then go on and violate those same rules in front of everyone. It's not as if people don't notice. 

There are other Facebook groups out there that don't suffer from the same problems. Probably because the admins are more selective about who they admit and those people are all forum people, but also because those pages have the same attitude as the forum and more accurately reflect what the attitude of the community is really like.

The sad reality is that the Facebook page that bears the name of our hobby and forum represents us to thousands of people on the periphery of our hobby. It is likely that the first time a person encounters Oldhammer will be through the Facebook page and people don't realize that the forum and Facebook page are two different entities. It pretty much boils down to two admins making everyone on the internet think that we are a bunch of dickheads, and that is what actually bothers me.

So yeah, that's my serious post. Hobby posts to resume shortly!


  1. Good post Bulldog. I think sometimes we have to do these posts. The OC and OTC have definitely jumped the shark for me. I'm still trying to figure out wtf airborne did to puss them off that much. Maybe they don't get our "I'm just fucking with you" humor. Although most of the brits seem to know when we're just "taking the piss". I should probably be more active on the forum. I just feel like forums tend to be even more of a time suck than Facebook for me.

    1. Couple points: Airborne and I talk about the differences in the media between Facebook and blogging and the forum quote often. While cross-posting feels like an empty exercise it helps drum up activity. Facebook is good for drumming up a bunch of excitement in short bursts of time but lacks any continuity and the medium itself lends itself to arguments, but its a great cache for pictures.

      The forum is great for having more fleshed out discussions and is great for continuity but its difficult to find old material and they can be a time sink. Blogs are great for accessing old material. I try and tailor my content for whatever medium i'm posting to. If i'm just going to do a photo dump or post a WIP it's usually Facebook.

      As far as the Brits (and our French, Irish, and Australian brethren) not getting our sense of humor, they get it. I chat with Rochie, Asslessman, and Crooks pretty regularly. The chats are pretty much 90% dick jokes, 15% fart jokes, 10% gossip, and 2% hobby stuff. There are certain people who don't seem to like our sense of humor.

      As far as what Airborne and I did... well... we'll tell you what happened next time we roll dice together.

  2. Fascinating post. I'm not on Facebook and have always wondered whether I'm missing some great party... that's certainly unclear now.

    All I can say is that the Oldhammer people I have met in real life (a small sample, ahem... 24_Cigarettes) and virtually (through blogs and the forum, encompassing hundreds of people) have all shows themselves to be stupendously kind, interested and inviting. I sincerely can't imagine a cooler community, or one that I'd rather be a part of. I find it unique in the internet, which is otherwise so full of trolls and cranks and sharp judgments.

    1. I agree with that 100% Every Oldhammer dude/dudette I have met in real life have been some of the coolest people I've ever met. While I hate to be the one to groan about Facebook, it just sucks that this one particular page is giving what we do a bad name.

  3. I got pulled into the OH community because people were doing awesome projects that they obviously loved, and they were using old lead to do it. No more than that. (It was Thantsants on LAF doing Orcs Drift, to be exact!) I didn't know abt any rules, and still really don't care. A clever fun take on mini gaming, and I'm in, regardless. My old lead days are behind me, but I'll still be following with interest.

  4. It's a great place to meet people. What are the chances of me having cement contact with a bunch of nutty yanks ploughing the same random furrow as myself. Nevermind Frenchies, Ozzies, and a whole bunch of Oirish. It did it's Job of uniting a bunch of us together to relive our experiences and show of our mini's and act like 12 year olds all over again. After that it's reason for existing becomes fuzzy. When it's purpose becomes telling you how you should be playing your games and telling you which miniatures it's ok to play with then you have to start to question things. When a whole bunch of people start questioning the way thing are then there is generally a bit of an upset (too put it mildly). There is something in the water at the moment and for some time I've been wondering where things are going....

    1. The Facebook platform certainly has its benefits. It's much easier to get to know someone in a way that the forum can't facilitate, and that's great for the hobby. What kills me is its like groundhog day over there. Every three days it's "What is this random thing worth" or "what's the best way to strip minis". Actually I'm still not convinced that the "what's the best way to strip minis" posts aren't some elaborate effort to cause a singularity.

    2. "It did it's Job of uniting a bunch of us together to relive our experiences and show of our mini's and act like 12 year olds all over again. After that it's reason for existing becomes fuzzy."

      Couldn't agree more!

      Some in the community have appropriated this "Oldhammer" thing to push their own agendas.

      I'm just happy to have like minded gamers to share the hobby with...that's as far as I need Oldhammer to travel for me.

      Thanks for the insight into the Facebook thing Bulldog. Looks like I'm better off sticking with blogging and infrequent forum posts...might be a bit safer hey :)

  5. Oldhammer is rediscovering what led you to the hobby in the first place so it is a personal and unique experience. Having your own blog, your own corner of the internet, will therefore always be the most natural expression of Oldhammer.

    1. That's an excellent way of putting it, WP. It's certainly true for me (and my blog, which takes a pretty loose interpretation of Oldhammer, since I range all over the map, but still feel a root connection with classic 1980's Citadel stuff, which informs all my gaming preferences and pleasures).

  6. I got mentioned in a blog. I'm e-famous!

  7. I only just got notification that this post went up, and I have to say I'm fucking amazed that you can string so many words together without needing a lie down in a dark room, well done buddy! On the actual topic in question, you're 100% right on all fronts, a good mate of mine ended up on the Facebook page at my insistence, and within a week he was gone again, asking me how I put up with all those "pricks". I don't really do forums, never have, so Facebook was an ideal quick fix way to show off what I was up to, but now every time I get on there there's at least one fucker getting my back up with some post or other, so I'm now pulling back and trying to get regular blog posts done instead, which I'm really starting to enjoy, because I can flex my fluff muscles a bit and get some good feedback instead of constantly being asked to repeat how I've painted something. I don't mind sharing techniques, but not twice a fucking day for months.
    I can't see the Facebook page disappearing anytime soon, the egos driving it are far too strong, but I can certainly see it ending up a circle jerk with a few genuinely nice folks caught up in it.
    And now Grove and Lopez are gone, who the fuck am I gonna bait the admins with?

  8. Hey Rochie you can show me your painting techniques anytime!

  9. Glad one has dropped FB and have to agree, the forum and G+ is so much a better place.