Monday, October 26, 2015

Missing 40K From Back in the Day

I find myself wishing I could play a game of 40K using a mix of the current NOVA missions with 4th and 5th Edition rules and codices.

Anyone else ever feel that way?

Sometimes, when you talk to things like the craziness of 2+ re-rolls or weapons that auto-delete entire units on the roll of a 6, you hear a response of "well, there's been broken stuff in every edition! It took effectively a 2+ re-roll to kill falcons!"

Well, not really. On the falcon example alone, they could be quickly degraded on much better odds (rolling a pair of 5's and 6's would immobilize one, which got rid of a lot of their value), but across the game as a whole in 4th and 5th edition, most things could be killed and could kill. The arms race was far more nascent, a wider swathe of codices could compete (even if they had to min-max to do it), and army construction / the rules in general were more straightforward.

7th has some perks, not least of which is the amazing quality of the models GW is releasing lately, but I am pretty certain I'd find a way to squeeze time into my schedule for a semi-regular hybridized game of 40k a la the above ... taking the best bits of 4th and 5th + complex and interesting missions for a really nice platoon level wargame without a lot of the crazy big stuff and super powers.

In NOVA news, we're getting ramped up with leads now on planning. Most or all of our events from 2015 will be back, and it looks like we'll be adding a Horus Heresy / 30K event track, Imperial Assault, and Armada. Additionally, we'll take the concept of the CME short-run events like Highlander: Quickenings that we tried out this past year and convert them into proper register-able events to ensure a higher chance of a large # of them firing.

Much more than that to come, so stay tuned! Sorry it's been a quiet few months; things are crazy as ever in NOVA prep town.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

NOVA Open 2016 Dates Confirmed - September 1 - 4, 2016 - Will You Be There?!

I'll be updating this post with some NOVA Survey outcomes and other things.

Long and short is September 1-4, 2016 = the next, best NOVA Open yet!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Flash Alert on Events Running Out of Room. Plus, Badass Star Destroyers are Badass.

 Some updates for last minute lucies ... grab one of the spots listed as barely left below at

Seminar #17, OSL & Effects, only has 1 spot left (of 20)
Seminar #30, Painting Faces, only has 1 spot left (of 20)

Several other seminars are down to two or three spots left

Unlike previous years, it will be very hard to "walk in" to any seminar you want ... 92 people presently are registered for just seminars and nothing else, and the # who are doing other things AND seminars is much higher.

Blood Bowl - the Saturday SlaughterDay! event only has a couple of spots left

The 3 Infinity ITS events are basically sold out ...
Friday ITS - 1 spot left
Saturday ITS - 3 spots left
Sunday ITS - 3 spots left

Wyrd's first ever National Championship, head judged by the guy who designed the game, Wyrd's Justin Gibbs, has 1 spot left.
The Capital Carnage Story Encounter sold out, but we opened a few more spots.
Most of the other Malifaux events are sold out or nearly sold out

Warmachine went gangbusters this year, and FFG is sending folks to join us! There are over 100 WM players registered. Hardcore, Steamroller 2015, and Tierany are nearly sold out. The team event sold out, but we were able to one-time up the slots ... and there are only 11 team spots left.

X-Wing is sold out in every event except the Championships. The Championships sold out, so we upped them to 96, but now we're out of room. X-Wing also features one of the coolest showpiece items we've ever built:

The Lord of the Rings GT is ... running out of room. 32 are already registered for the GT, with attendees from England, Quebec, and across the US. Yup, LOTR. Terrain and display features that have been seen in WD and elsewhere by Wright Wargame Terrain will dominate the center of the LOTR gaming area ... should be a real treat!

Last year's NOVA saw around 860 people attend, including what we call "daywalkers" who just show up not pre-registered and snag passes or seminars and the like on site.

As of today, there are MORE than that # registered for NOVA. It's already our biggest year yet ... don't miss out!

For those who aren't straight tourney gamers or seminar takers or speed painting competitors or vendor deal shoppers ... we also have a board game room this year, where you can play any of over 150 board games (Thanks to Atlantis Comics and Games!), including checking them out (ID swap) and going wherever you feel most comfy playing them, or picking up games with friends or strangers in the board game room itself! This'll be active all con long.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Free Lounge Chats @ NOVA with Wyrd, Privateer Press, Hawk Wargames, Corvus Belli, Cool Mini or Not, and More

We're VERY, very excited to be joined this year by lead designers, reps, and more from numerous parent companies of the games we're hosting, including:

Dropzone Commander
Wrath of Kings
Dark Age

Many of these folks have also been kind enough to volunteer their time for free industry chats and personal time with fans in the Charity Lounge, and will be around the con throughout the weekend.

For free lounge talks, see the schedule: 

Times for parent company reps/designers/etc ...
Thursday 9PM - 10:30PM: Cool Mini or Not
Friday 2PM - 3:30PM: Dropzone Commander
Friday 7:30PM - 9:00PM: Wyrd Miniatures (Malifaux, including Justin Gibbs, Aaron Darland, and Mason Crawford)
Saturday 5:30PM - 7:00PM: Privateer Press (WMH)
Saturday 9:30PM - 11:00PM: Corvus Belli (Infinity)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adding a Little Fun to the NOVA Invitational

8/13 Update - BRACKETS!

Make YOUR Predictions!

This year, we're hosting our 5th NOVA Invitational for 40K.

We wanted to spice things up, so it's a little different this time around.

First and foremost, it's an Elimination/Knock-Out Event. This was actually done mostly for Invitational players themselves, who tend to not enjoy 5 rounds of 40k if they lose one or two early when they have another 8 to go in the GT during the same weekend. So, we've changed it - you're either still in it to win $1,000, or you're in the clear. Those who wish to still play more games against top tier opponents will have the freedom, tables, and even events (in the form of Highlander Quickenings) to do so with.

Next, we canvassed the global community and involved more folks in making the event back into a true Invitational. The original event was, but in the interim years it's become more of a haphazard qualifying system, whereby you could be invited if you won a major event of some kind. The hiccup here came when players who won events could not attend at the last minute, resulting in us scrambling for whichever subs we could find. Instead, we took the sum total of a players' efforts into account, canvassed the West Coast and other locations for inputs on who the top players of the times are, and reached out for those who were well-qualified, interested, and - importantly - able to actually attend.

Finally, we seeded the field and are creating a bracket on
The community as a whole will be able to see players, their chosen Factions (army lists will remain secret until go time), and their seed / first round opponents / bracket path, and participate in a bracket challenge. The seeding was done poll-style by a combination of myself, Neil Gilstrap (11th Company Podcast and this year's NOVA 40K and Invitational Head TO), and Reece Robbins (head of ITC, Frontline Gaming, LVO, BAO, etc.).

Since the event is single elim, 5 rounds, with 32 players of roughly equal skill in a dice-based game, seeded pairings don't have much of an impact beyond that already incurred with random pairings (the only alternative). Taking this course adds more interest to the Invitational, and enables the community at large to participate by submitting bracket selections and the like.

We'll be revealing the brackets and the seedings shortly, but here's this year's finalized Invitational Roster, in Alphabetical Order:

1. Aaron Aleong
2. Alan Bajramovic
3. Aidan Barkley
4. Sean Barkley
5. Ben Cromwell
6. Werner Born
7. Chip Boyd
8. Justin Curtis
9. Tyler DeVries
10. Max Dubois
11. Alex Fennell
12. Jared Friedman
13. Frankie Giampapa
14. Alex Gonzalez
15. Doug Johnson
16. Tony Kopach
17. Paul McKelvey
18. Nick Nanavati
19. John Parsons
20. Zach Pawlikowski
21. Brett Perkins
22. Dallas Rapoport
23. Julio Rodriguez
24. Nick Rose
25. Matt Schuchman
26. Todd Silber
27. Evan Slagle
28. Ron Smiley
29. Mike Taylor
30. Brad Voorhees
31. James Watkins
32. Jim Yeh

Who do YOU think will come out on top this year?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Why Haven't YOU Signed Up for NOVA Yet?

Biggest year yet already, by far, and registrations are still flying off the chain.

Also, it's our first year of really adding more and more stuff "just for your con pass," including nearly 150 check-out-able board games and a board game room, an embellished charity lounge, a bunch of magic stuff, more open gaming than ever, and "just really cool stuff" around the halls.

For example ...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Limited Edition Gaming Mats at NOVA; Free Shipping F.A.T. Mats at NOVA (by Frontline/Tablewar)

Couple of Mat notes and some REALLY AWESOME artwork ...

You can still preorder F.A.T. Mats for pick-up at NOVA from, saving you the cost of shipping. F.A.T. Mats are produced by Frontline Gaming / Tablewar.
Presales end on August 20 and you CANNOT purchase them on-site

Additionally, the NOVA has a couple of limited edition NOVA Open tagged mats that were crafted for this year in X-Wing and Magic: The Gathering. As of now, these can ONLY be acquired on site at the NOVA and will only be available in limited quantities!

Magic: The Gathering; art courtesy of former NOVA Intern Andres Jiminez; mat courtesy of Ebenezer's Emporium:

 X-Wing: Art and mat courtesy of Ebenezer's Emporium:

Friday, July 31, 2015

NOVA 40k - Final Draft Highlander, GT/Invitational Primers; FAQ

We usually miss something, so let us know if and what we did :)

This covers how to prep your 1500 points for Highlander Quickening events at NOVA, and it also covers the Invitational/GT primer, plus the 40K FAQ (finally updated, thanks to enormous work by Chip, Neil, Phil, Jesse, and more).

We are getting VERY close to NOVA and there's so much awesome going on with it this year. I'll hope to update soon.

A Newsletter goes out tomorrow; it'll take us maybe a day or so to get website links all properly connected and updated. It's been a doozy of a year!




Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Charity BBQ Update - Address, Parking, Weather Contingencies, Extras, ITC Points Request - ALL Proceeds Supporting Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Hello All,

The Charity BBQ event is only a couple of days away, and we have a healthy turnout expected.

The address is:
1249 Kensington Road
McLean, VA 22101

This *IS* a personal residence - backyard BBQ by nature requires backyards!

There's a very limited amount of driveway parking
There's fairly extensive "street" parking a bit of a ways down Kensington Road
There's extensive strip mall / shopping center parking across Route 123 from the event

Park in the areas with red circles on the pic to the right.

Weather Contingencies:
The current forecast is iffy for a clear and sunny day.
As with our last outdoor tournament, the gaming tables will all be covered, protecting us from a sprinkle or quick shower.
If there's likelihood of a thunderstorm or two getting in the way of fun, the homeowner has graciously agreed to bring the tourney "indoors" and have kind of a crazy house party tournament. There's plenty of comfortable space either way.

So, the event will happen rain or shine.

Several of the organizers are musicians and will be playing through a fun set at lunch. No promises of quality, but live music!
Corn Hole and Bocce will be available for non-players to enjoy themselves.
Beer, non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, and extra burgers/dogs will be available at a small cost toward charity.

There's about $250 in miniatures available as prizes for each system!

Remaining Spots:
Each event is a lil over 2/3rds full, so we're expecting around 30-40 total gamers at present, along with another 10-20 non-playing attendees. This leaves room for any late joins - just head to

Tournament Packets:
40K -

Malifaux -

We'll be working to set up on Friday - anyone who feels like helping and then joining us for a few beers afterward, let us know!

Reminder that morning check-in begins at 8AM, with dice/cards beginning at 9AM. Look forward to seeing everyone there!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

NOVA Charity Army Raffle is LIVE! Most Gorgeous Forces Yet, from Two of the Newest Codices!

The global consortium of miniature figure artists who work on the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation armies each year outdid themselves. I'll let Dave Taylor and the rest say it themselves best with this little link:

Go support the awesome cause of Doctors Without Borders by buying raffle tickets today.

We draw the winners at the NOVA Open every year, this time on Sunday at the Awards Ceremony on September 6. That said, you don't need to be at NOVA to win - a fact I fear always gets overlooked by a handful. Our first year saw us ship an army all the way to Tasmania, for instance.

These armies don't come just "As is," though you'd think that'd be enough. They also come in custom KR MultiCase with limited edition tagging, bagging, and badging ... one of a kind cases to go with one of a kind armies. Plus - who doesn't want new figures for the super sweet new Marine or Eldar codices?