Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Call Outs - Help and Players Needed

Ok folks, so there's a few things in the mix


1) My blog and the NOVA website could use some sprucing up. Are there any web-tastic folks out there in the listenersphere who might be interested in helpin' a brother out? mvbrandt@gmail.com

For serious. I think that was like the only negative thing I heard at Games Day this year haha

2) LEAGUE AND MINI-TOURNEY PLAY - We're tentatively planning on running a few 40k leagues, and a few 16-man 40k "mini tourneys" in the coming months; locals especially who want to participate, but also anyone in the wider area that wants to help co-run one of these in their locality, should contact me ... it'll be limited participation to a degree, and either free or very low cost. Prizes and such for the winners, natch. The point of these things is going to be test drilling new concepts and refinements for the NOVA Format and missions getting ready for next year ... competitive and fun play for you guys, powerful feedback for us.

3) NOVAcalypse planning and designing - this will be our evening narrative / campaigny / mega-battley thing, but it's so much more intricate than that also. It's going to take some playtesting to get it right, and there will be beer (the plan is free beer) as part of the NOVACALYPSE fee. Just getting it out there early.

The next NOVA is going full convention ... we'll have seminars, hobby events, team and club events, a full on massive painting competition, expanded narrative and competitive tracks for both Fantasy and 40k, etc. Gonna be rocking.

We'll also be doing discounts for earlier sign-ups, with scaling costs as we get closer - so, keep posted, and let me know ASAP if you plan on attending next year; it'll help us plan and save you some cash! Right now we're looking at August again, but a little later in the month than it was this year (to put some space between us and a couple of other early August / late July events).

- Mike


  1. When in August? Keep in mind that a lot of people who play 40k are in college, and a lot of those colleges start this week. (Third week of August.)

    I'll definitely be registering as soon as I can.

  2. Sir Biscuit, we didn't really seem to draw all that many college-age folks, though we did have a few who were in post-bachelor schools of different sorts. Would this impact you, personally?

  3. Excellent news! I would agree with Sir Biscuit as to the timing -- I wouldn't push it back much more than a week.

    As Gamesday will be in Chicago next year, there will be a bit of a void for the mid-atlantic region -- this will be an excellent opportunity for folks in the region to get their fix.

    @kazzual: keep in mind that since you're expanding to a full-fledged con instead of just a tournament, that the demographic of the audience may shift somewhat.

    I'll be registering, and probably my wife and son as well.

  4. I will ask, see who can attend next year.

  5. Some random person "Disagreed." With what? They must be confused ...

  6. I will be coming next year if it is in late August as well a few of my friends.

  7. We are definitely going again next year and most likely with more peeps from Bros Grim.

  8. Bring 'em on. I had a great time with the Grim guys!

  9. It won't affect me if it's on a weekend, but I imagine it will for quite a few other people. Since you're switching from "single tournament" to "whole convention" you'll be drawing people of all ages. At least around here, there are a LOT of college age kids who play 40k, and quite a few travel/have traveled to conventions. I'll make it work.

    Concerning PANELS:
    You have a few options. You can:
    1.) Have a moderator who guides the discussion, making sure no one gets off track, and keeps things civil.
    2.) Give the panel a title, fill it, and let the panelists interpret and talk about it. This is what the University of Colorado does every year at the Conference on World Affairs, and it works great. Really lets the panelists break out. Note that a moderator is still nice to keep things civil.

    Regardless, a good format for panels is each panelist talking about the subject individually for 5-10 minutes, open discussion for another 20+, followed by audience questions. You should generally expect a panel to use a room for 75-90 minutes.

    It's also important to note which panels will probably draw the biggest crowd, and put them in a bigger room with a larger expected time. (Theoretically) a panel with Stelek, Mkerr, Goatboy and... dethtron why not talking about competitive vs. casual play would draw a bigger crowd than one with say Sir Biscuit and other randoms talking about whatever.

    A "panelist packet" will also make things run more smoothly. Basically, give your panelists a packet ahead of time detailing exactly how the panels will work, how early they need to be, etc. Tips on speaking are also VERY good in include, opinionated people, especially people who aren't used to debate, tend to monopolize the conversation and time unless they get a little *nudge*. The audience needs information as well, and it's useful if you can put together a packet for everyone that details what the various panels are, who's involved, and a BRIEF description of who they are. If that's too costly/difficult, a good alternative is to simply post the information outside the panel room.

    Recruiting I imagine could be difficult, you might just put out a call and see who responds. One thing I would NOT do is let people form their own panels. In my con experience (attending at least) putting a bunch of buddies up on a podium to speak for an hour yields a lot of inside jokes and pointless anecdotal stories from them, and a lot of boredom from the audience. Find out who's interested and then assign panels.

    You should probably do a few things:
    1.) Go through the strategic assets and ban a bunch. Flank March and Replacements in particular are nasty and easily abusable.
    2.) Allow only one super-heavy per player, or two if the combined point total is less than 1,100
    3.) Either no or limited strength D weapons. (IE one per player, or none at all.)
    4.) No homebrew units, and no scratch-built models. (Or you WILL see about a billion cardboard titans.)
    5.) Clarify outdated rules and rules that have changed. (The Bio-Titan's warp field comes to mind...)
    6.) Start EARLY. Apocalypse, especially big apocalypse, takes a billion time to play.
    7.) Have a judge at the table. His only job is to help run the game. Even better if he's also "game mastering" and causing random events to happen. ("Random" events can also balance game play and keep the game interesting and competitive for both sides, as long as someone with a deft touch is doing it.)

    In addition, you might want to have more than one table. This clears clutter and allows for more people to play. For instance, you can have a "main" table that has a large number of players per side, and a smaller table that has a different battle that can affect the main fight. (For example, one table could be an attacker defender game where the sides are fighting over deathstrike missile silos that can fire on the main battlefield, or trying to seize and airport to gain air superiority, etc.)

    Another cool event that would be awesome to see would be an actual painting competition. Not like people turning in their best model they've worked on for months and months, but painting under a time limit. Like, you get a model at the beginning of the day, access to modeling supplies and a bitz bin, and you have 8 hours to make the coolest model of the bunch. I'm not even a painter and I'd love that, you get to go conversion crazy and with some really creative people to boot!

    Dang, I was supposed to be using this time to write a Bald and Screaming article... guess I'll be working late tonight. =P

  11. For me, travel to next year's ETC and Edinburgh Fringe will have primacy. As much as I want NOVA Open 2011 to feature me, it looks less likely than I'd, er...like. :(

    That aside...what the HELL are you people on about Seminars. What exactly can be discussed? Stelek talking about the finer points of List Writing? St. John on 101 different deployment tactics for SoBs, but obviously not able to give any concrete guidance on which one to use in any given game? Paint tips from John Laubersheimer?

    Interesting as these things would be, I don't see much point to these. It's not like a Star Trek Convention, where cast members talk about their experiences etc... Pointless tabletop anecdotes, sketchy deployment guides...really, what are you offering with trash like that?

    Hyperbole aside - I see no purpose or indeed value in the idea - please explain.

  12. Regardless of when the event is going to be, I am planning on attending. Though, I am one of those college goers, so flying in/back on Friday/Monday respectively, would force me to miss class those days.

    I don't believe this will be too problematic though.

    ~Marshal Laeroth~

  13. TKE - The purpose of seminars would be for a couple of types of things ...

    Seminar - Dave Taylor talks about how to do XYZ in the realm of painting miniatures properly w/ people listening in / asking questions / etc.

    Panel - MVB, JWolf and Matthias all talk about and potentially argue about ways to plan and build a convention or major GT


  14. I don't see how that Panel could not be more efficiently done via gchat with interested parties (to allow personally motivated pertinent questions) or of course email conversations - both of which are blissfully free of interruption and sweaty neighbours.

    As for painting - it cannot be adequately conveyed (IMO) through discussion and description, only through example.

    I get them in other fields, like I said - but they same to have no real purpose in our Hobby, they seem to be there because they are expected in the American vision of a Convention.