What This Is

My brother, Peter, and I have nearly always been miniatures gamers (since about 1989, to be exact). Since then, we've crissed and crossed with "the hobby", sometimes pursuing it with a maniacal focus, other times not engaging at all. But it's been present for both of us for 30 years, background, foreground, or somewhere in between.

This project blog is a love letter to our shared interest and, frankly, to one another and our friends. This is what we do together and with our friends. And half the time this shared interest turns into other stuff--politics, jokes, drinking, pop culture analysis, family time--but that's the joyful quirk of how we play. It's a platform for getting together and goofing off, with idle minds turning to productive thoughts.

What is Porchhammer?

Peter has a porch at his house. It is an extremely Southern porch: wrap around (it no longer wraps all the way around so it's technically two porches now but Two Porchhammer is not very good aesthetically), meant for whiling away hot, humid summer days.

It's where we go to convince one another to do the dumb, all-encompassing, ever-shifting projects we take on. We have cigarettes, coffee, booze, and ideas. Invariably, at least recently, that's miniatures related.

That's where we cooked up the idea to go all in on a Horus Heresy campaign. And it's a campaign which is not to be fucked around with. We don't play until our figures are painted and until our fallow terrain stocks are refilled. That means we're not playing yet. We may not play for a year. Hell, maybe we never play and we're both out obscene amounts of money on well-painted, never used figures. I don't know.

But I know we're going to document it. All of it. The painting, the thoughts, the terrain making, and lore creation. Until we get bored or it fully sinks in that only five people read it.

Porchhammer is basically just Garagehammer, the slightly pejorative term for people who stick to their homes for Warhammer/40K play. But Garagehammer is already the name of a podcast and we don't have a garage to play in, anyway. For me and Peter, Garagehammer was simply called "how you play". There were no local stores and the tournament scene wasn't around. You went to the basement with your pals and you played.

That's carried over to our adult lives. The idea of playing in stores on a regular basis is foreign to us. Speaking only for myself (but I think Peter, too), I can curmudgeonly say that I don't need more friends and tournaments are anti-fun. I don't like strangers grabbing my stuff or tsk-tsking my army composition because raw min-maxing outweighs flavor and aesthetics. I love my kid but I don't particularly care for yours when they're screaming right next to me while I'm trying to measure around a building. I like my friends, I like my miniatures, and that's about it.

This project will be devoted to that idea, that the best miniatures gaming is at your house, and that the best socialization to come from miniatures gaming is with your friends in that setting. We'll have pictures, battle reports, and lore, probably a torrent at first and then more slowly as we settle into a rhythm without backlog. We hope it's worthwhile for you as readers and hobbyists.


Who We Are

Ian Williams: Ian is a Raleigh-based writer and game designer. He's currently a weekly pro wrestling columnist at Vice Sports and writes on game criticism and digital labor at a variety of places but mostly Waypoint these days. His goofy game about the golden age of action flicks, ACTION MOVIE WORLD: First Blood, is cool and good.

Peter Williams: Peter is a Latin teacher by trade and the co-author of the critically acclaimed roleplaying game, Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures. He likes cats a lot even though he's allergic to them.