Sunday, April 29, 2012

Preparing for New Editions - Possibility of 6th Ed for NOVA; Plus LOS Blocking Terrain

Alright, well word of 6th edition continues to build.

The timing is going to be interesting for purposes of the NOVA, for a couple of reasons, and I wanted to let ya'll know we're thinking about it.

The Invitational will remain a 5th edition event no matter what - everyone is qualifying in 5th, and it will be the last major relevant 5th edition event in the country. Final books will be written on the codices, as many fantastic players duke it out using theirs of choice in one of the known and heavily playtested tournament formats.

Unless it releases less than a month out, our NARRATIVE event and possibly Trios will actually be 6th edition. These are more casual events with 3 hour evening rounds, so they present the least issue in terms of adjusting armies in time.

First and foremost for the GT, possible release dates for 6th and associated general gameplan for how we'll handle them:

1) Late May / Early June ... if this is the release date, we'll definitely go with 6th Edition for the 40k GT.
2) Mid-Late June ... this is the trickiest date, though with over 2 months of release and more than a month prior of buzz and possible PDF leaks, it's HIGHLY likely (though not guaranteed) that we'll go with 6th Edition if the release date is more than 8 weeks prior to the NOVA Open, for the 40k GT. More on this later.
3) July - August ... if the release date is within 2 months of the convention, it's most likely we'll go with 5th edition for all except the Narrative/Trios evening events. If the release is within a month of the event, we'll stick with 5th edition for all.

Based on very early rumors, the things we'll have to contest with for any area of format prep are:

Force Organization / Army Build - If the FOC process changes, missions and model/WYSIWYG requirements will have to change somewhat for the first year also. Possible changes range from Troops no longer being the only scoring unit to complete removal of the FOC in favor of %-based army building.

Rules - If we go with 6th, we'll be playing the crap out of the game with all our judges leading up to it, aggressively predicting and working with FAQ issues, and preparing for all the crazy eventualities.

Paint Scoring / Modeling Requirements - This is a bit self-explanatory, in its relation to people having to make significant army changes within an 8-10 week window.

Relevant Issues with 6th Edition Shift.

1) Missions. Changes of all sorts are entirely possible here, including mission focus by GW (i.e. will Kill Points remain, will Victory Points as an optional tiebreaker remain, will Troops remain the only scoring units, etc.).

Invariably, there may be some mission changes as a result of the way they change the core rules of the game. We could go in numerous directions here, but it will be a tad wait and see. We will stick with the NOVA's format and scoring no matter what, but goals may change to mirror game changes and/or 6th edition mission releases.

2) Painting and Modeling. Normally, people have months to potentially paint their entire army and model extensively to meet a theme. While some players have such extensive collections that it's easy to be ready, not everyone can prep quite as extensively in time across every model in their army. So while a 6th edition early release and 6th edition GT won't lift our painting requirements, we may become more lenient on things like WYSIWYG and how we judge your army for appearance score.

An example of what I mean, so you don't overread into this, is as such:
Let's say "Meltaguns" become flamer templates, and Flamers become S8 AP1 guns (roll with me). Anyone who wants to subsequently count "every single Meltagun in my army" as a Flamer is more likely to be allowed to in a 6e NOVA. That said, it would still not be ok to say "well half my Meltaguns are Flamers, a quarter are Plasmaguns, and a quarter are still Flamers."

WYSIWYG violations that are extremely consistent and easy for an opponent to understand across an army are no problem. Trying to hide behind a new edition and run an intentionally confusing army set-up with tons of contradictory counts-as will NOT be allowed to slip through, however.

3) Rulings. Normally we have extensively rulings already in place for every possible scenario that may arise during gameplay. We have the NOVA FAQ, larger community FAQ's to fall back on, and extensive gameplay experience and GW FAQ's for many of the common eventualities. If we only have 8-10 weeks to prep, however, this won't be the case. That said, no matter how revolutionary the changes, our judges will be ready to go, and we've added more time to every round this year. Suffice to say, this is the easiest thing to manage by tournament time, and the most time-intensive leading up to it for us. Something to consider regardless.

The long and short here is we haven't formalized which edition we're going with, with the caveat that its presently 5th, because we have no formal confirmation of the release of 6th edition. That said, keep your ears peeled for incoming editions, and on the blog/newsletters/website for any changes. We don't want everyone to have to play a 2+ month old retired edition come NOVA 2012, and we think if it comes to that, we'll be ahead of and ready to deal with being both the last relevant 5th Edition event with the Invitational, and the first large 6th Edition event with the GT.

Have any thoughts? Share 'em! The NOVA is, has been, and will be built on player input ... yours is as welcome as ever.

Registrations are way up since AdeptiCon, btw - grab your ticket while you can!

Pretty things PS - We went to work on the last bit of our terrain project yesterday, our LOS blocking center pieces.

For those who haven't kept up, the boards at NOVA 2012 are like to have 2 LOS blocking area-terrain-counting hills (everyone's seen 'em by now) in diagonally opposed corners of the boards ... 2 partially LOS blocking area pieces 1'x1' each in the other diagonally opposed corners ... 2 roughly 1'x1' non-or-barely-blocking area pieces in the middle of the long table edges ... and a more attractive and/or intricate los blocking centerpiece that's not quite as large as some of last year's Figure 8 center hills were, in terms of how much blocked.

Many of the new ones of these can be seen below ... We have literally about 40 more LOS blocking center pieces to go, and the NOVA will be totally terrain self-sufficient. A summer full of painting and we'll be donezo in that department for the forseeable.
Pink Foam Building assembly line; making tons and tons of pink foam strips look like assembled building blocks/bricks.

A veritable city of LOS blocking terrain

Owen shared an unfinished marine he had sitting around to give some perspective to the terrain sizes

Stu makes some awesome pieces; this is a partial LOS blocking corner piece

Cool effects with pink foam, via cutters, knives, wood cutters, torches, etc.
Use low temp hot glue to attach little plastic things, or it takes forever for the tacky to set
Oh the wide uses of pink foam ... missing caps? NO problem!

Dewey put this rad piece together

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Road to AdeptiCon 3

We made it. Great times all around so far. Looking forward to tomorrow. We caught up with a bunch of our NOVA crew buddies on the way at a random rest stop, hence the higher population!


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Road to AdeptiCon 2

Faith +1

And, extolling the virtues of Chenkov ...

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Road to AdeptiCon 1

Tony, Mark, Andrew and I at random middle of nowhere gas station.

Now that Mark is driving, the "oomp-chick" in the driver's music of choicehas markedly increased.

Dance party to AdeptiCon 2012 under way ...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy 10th AdeptiCon - Catching Up With Everybody

Well, a ton of the NOVA crew will be making the trip to AdeptiCon this year, to have a blast with the fun times that are always presented.

The AdeptiConstruct, AdeptiCon 2012's Official Show Mini

I'm crashing five separate proposals here, and I absolutely refuse to use this weekend's trip as time off as a result :)

So no postings at the moment, really, but I wanted to let people know what my/our general schedule would be like, in case anyone wants to hang out, open game, join for Giordano's or other shenanigans, or join for the times I drive into Chicago.

This'll be the third year in a row attending AdeptiCon, and the third year in a row I'll be driving; it's about a 12.XX hour trip if you basically don't stop, but realistically closer to 14 with stops and everything else.

We'll be leaving Thursday by 6AM, so I anticipate an arrival time between 7-8PM on Thursday evening.

I'll be Tony Kopach's formal guardian for the second year in a row (parental signatures and all that jazz), and the last year, as he'll hit the 18 mark in June or July or ... well, something.  I've got to try to get him to the ETC Meet and Greet by 9, so that'll be my first priority, but other than that I'll be around for Giordano's with a lot of our crew, and starting to catch up with a lot of the great faces I rarely see.

I'm especially looking forward to seeing others among the TO's that go, including Chandler of Feast of Blades, Jon of WargamesCon, Hank and Matthias of AdeptiCon (primarily done with over-exaggerated hand signals while they're busy bees, as we all are come event-time), Jay of DaBoyz, Reece of the Bay Area, and many others.

On Friday I decided not to play in the 40k Championships. Last year I got quite ill during the drive up, and bailed out of the Champs to get myself well for Saturday's team tournament (my favorite event at AdeptiCon). The resulting amount of free time I had on Friday and Sunday (not that I'd have qual'ed, haha) was quite pleasant, and the sleeping in helped compensate for the grueling day of the Team Tournament.

So, lesson learned, all I really signed up for this year was the aforementioned TT. Socializing and catching in all the gorgeous armies and activities was really the highlight of both years so far for me, so no reason not to stick with what I enjoy the most.

So I'll be with team NOVA Superstars (we never bothered to change the silly placeholder name) wearing NOVA Open shirts and playing Guard/Wolves again on Saturday, and I'll be free to do whatever on Friday and Sunday. Definitely going to be driving into Chicago a fair bit on those two days as well, and I've got room for 8 in the Highlander (some spots already taken), if folks happen to also be free and haven't ever taken the time to check out the awesomeness of the Windy City.

With a clean bill of health this time, I'm also looking forward to plenty of Whiskey along with the 40k this year, so I can finally cover both bases of the blog's name.

AdeptiCon's also a great place to shoot the breeze if you've ever had a bone to pick with the NOVA format, or some great inputs you've always wanted to see ... I'm as open to criticism as ever when it's constructive and on point, and the great input of the community over the past couple years is a big reason why the NOVA has changed so much year to year.

Let me know via e-mail or here if you want to try and catch up some, I'm looking forward to seeing all the usual and new faces at one of the best hobby events in the world this weekend.

PS - If you haven't seen it yet, the first 1000 arrivals will get pretty much the most awesome show mini ever.

Monday, April 9, 2012

So ... Much ... Terrain ... and a NEW BLOG to Follow

Bob Likins, who is our "Minister of Terrain" and works tirelessly to get my crazy terrain ideas executed ... has been keeping track of our terrain project. He's built a blog affiliated with the NOVA, called Road to the NOVA, to track the various terrain days and activities we have.

Check it out from time to time; it'll update visibly on my blogroll when he gets new posts up there.

Here's quite a small fraction of the hundreds of terrain pieces we've built this year, with their sanding step drying in the gorgeous sun we had this past Saturday.

Posts this week incoming:

1) NOVA Open Terrain, further discussion about rationale and purpose
2) How to win NOVA Open Missions

Anything you guys want to see specifically covered by these impending articles, let me know and I'll include it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Attn: Imperial Guard Players / Players in General Going to AdeptiCon

Hello All,

Just a quick note - if you happen to be going to AdeptiCon already and aren't sure what you're doing on Saturday, we're tentatively looking for a replacement 4th for our team. We have a couple of buddies lined up who are happy to at last minute, but I thought I'd give a shout for any who might be more interested than them.

You'd be playing a guard 1000 point force, and you don't have to bring anything at all, except yourself.

 - Mike

Sunday, April 1, 2012

6th Edition NOVA Open Exclusive Sneak Preview! + NOVA Open Movie!

Plus, tons of awesome information in our newsletter, such as meal deals and other things.

Enjoy :)

The Movie will be releasing soon, with over 10 minutes of comedic runtime and professional videography (that's not a word Mike!). Though, don't worry - NO registration fees or other NOVA funds were used in the production!