In the first year, around 20 people showed up to participate; in year 2, total participation more than doubled, and most players were not involved in the GT during the day (unique attendees).
The Narrative production team has expanded this year, and we're turning it into something truly special, following along with the tracks of the past years.
2014 will focus on the reaction of the Virtue (our own homebrew intergalactic race) remnants still in Earth's Solar System as they struggle to cope with the reality of what occurred. Meanwhile, Earth will be facing their own struggles in terms of racial morality and survival; the planet is devastated (perhaps beyond habitable repair), and the survivors are riddled with both grief and hatred ... eager for revenge upon any and all surviving members of the Virtue (both Earthbound and lingering throughout the Solar System).
To reflect the expanded appeal of the Narrative, 40k players who wish for a different experience from the GT altogether (As opposed to just something in the evening to do instead of or in addition to the GT) will have it: the DC Narrative's full track will involve a unique combination of Command and Combat capabilities, where the Full Track participants (a very limited # of slots ... around 35 ... will be available) both battle it out during the day, and participate in smallgroup sessions that will help determine the battles to occur in the evenings, and will help determine the direction of the Narrative story as a whole in a much more direct way.
A great deal more information is forthcoming, but in addition to the battles these players will be facing, they'll also be responsible for such things as determining which areas of operations the evening players (which they're also a part of) will be deployed to. Our Narrative leads best described some of it as "Model UN meets War of the Worlds."
On the technical gaming front, Day Teams will be in part responsible for determining where night battles will occur, matching wits between Human and Virtue opponents in both a strategic and tactical sense. Furthermore, all participants in the Narrative will have the opportunity to play Virtue or Human "aspects" of each current 40k Codex; these Aspects will introduce subtle tweaks and changes to improve both the connection of the codices to the Narrative's backstory and encourage different ways to play some of the more net-listed armies.
As with everything NOVA, there'll be extensive opportunities for player involvement, playtesting and feedback in the lead-up.
Moreover, players will still be able to participate in the "Night Only" Narrative Gaming we've had to date, so those who wish to duke it out in the GT during the day and have a light, relaxing schedule at night maintain it ... while those who wish to experience an entire weekend full of 7 Narrative Games at relaxing paces coupled w/ "into the story" sessions gain that as well (and plenty of time to hit up seminars, shop vendors, etc. while they're at it).
For those who lived ... mercy died.
Uncredited Human source, following the 2nd Earth-Virtue War of 2313.
Sneak Peak Background Material
Written by Owen Beste (one of the co-leads for the 2014 Narrative, and 2013's Human "Acting" Faction Commander), edited by Mike Brandt, the closing notes to this year's Narrative
"Aspects" of the Virtue and Humanity for 2014
Each Codex will gain an optional "tweak" connecting to one of the three aspects of Humanity and the Virtue as their profiles evolve following the latest war. These includes the Virtue's "Aspect of Insanity," and Humanity's "Aspect of Revenge."
Plenty more information forthcoming for the Narrative, so keep your eyes and ears peeled. This year's format and presentation will also be heavily revised in terms of ensuring fair and balanced matches (especially for the evening games) and will include dramatic new terrain additions, including sector and specific location boards.
We've all seen Zero Gravity combat rules, for instance. Imagine placing your miniatures on a zero gravity gaming board ... complete with suspended, inertially-rotating terrain pieces and flickering embers and explosions.