I love to travel to 40k events. It is about more than the game though. It is about the atmosphere. The friendship. The fun. Playing 40k and winning events is secondary to the experience. I have met more than my share of dudes that I would count as friends at 40k events. Such is how it should be. I am pleased to add The Nova Open to my list of must do events.
My first big travel experience was Bolscon 2009. Fritz and I flew out to Austin to meet Goatboy, Jwolf, Larry and the crew and had an amazing experience. That trip set the bar for me on a travel gaming experience. Since then I have become a regular at most gaming events I can get to. Mechanicon being one of them and last year I went to The Nova Open on a whim. It was really late, and Fritz and I were supposed to go to Bolsc.... er... Wargamescon, but Fritz had to bail so I did to. With a suddenly open schedule, I decided to see if Mike Brandt could get me into The Nova, which he managed, and next thing you know I was driving alone Chantilly, VA!
If you would like to read my writeup of last year's Nova, CLICK HERE It is a long but worthy read!
Onward with Nova Open 2011.
In prep for a preview post on this coming Open, which I have already bought tickets for and reserved hotel, I emailed Mike Brandt, the TO and asked for some back ground info on what he had in store for us. He responded with a book. My eyeballs popped out when I saw the awesomeness that will be this years Nova. Allow me to try to pop out your eyeballs too.
Here we go, in no particular order:
The Golden Nova painting competition. He did not give me many details on this, but one can surmise that it is sort of like Golden Daemon. I suspect that the models entered into the competition will not be allowed to play in the tournament, but don't quote me on that. Mike Brandt can clarify this, or you can look on his blog which has become the main source of info for the Nova.
The Whiskey Challenge!
Perhaps one of my favorite parts of last year was the Internet Celebrity Challenge that happened on Friday Night where I got to play against Tim from Tau of War. It was a slugfest of a game, but I edged him out! Perhaps this year we will get a rematch and he will turn the table! During the game, there was live podcasting going on and it was cool for me to be able to do interviews and sit and spread my two drunken cents. This year the Whiskey Challenge will be taking place on that Thursday, and is promised to be bigger and better than ever. For my win against Tim, I scored a little bottle of Makers Mark while Tim managed to take home a bottle of bottom shelf rotgut.
I have no idea what Malifaux is, but Brandt is running a tournament on that Friday. 32 players, 30 ss scrap size... Have at it other game players!
I love the term! I did not get many details on this except that variable sized events will be running all weekend. Something for every one!
A Fantasy GT with seats for 96 players.
As Mike put it, "A metric crapton of other stuff". This includes vendors like battle foam, social events, drink specials etc.
And of course, the 40k events. (Notice how I did not say just event.)
There are three separate 40k events going on throughout the weekend. On Friday, there is a "trios" tournament for three man teams. I don't know any details on it, but it sounds like outstanding fun. I would be playing in it but I won a ticket for the tournament in the next paragraph!
And also going on is perhaps one of the hottest tickets in the country at the moment. Previously, the hot pants ticket was the Throne of Skulls golden ticket. Every one wanted one. I got one. (actually 3, and was the only guy to do it with Blood Angels, and did it with both the Codex and PDF... own horn has been tooted.) But the fever sort of died when the rules packet was released. I will definitely be in attendance for the ToK, but a lot of guys who won tickets will not. Enter Mike Brandt's Nova Invitational. Mike handed out tickets to other major GTs going on throughout the country. The winner scored an invitation to attend the Nova tournament. The invitational is a 5 game tournament held all on Friday. Only winners of major events like Mechanicon, other prestigious titles like Renaissance Man at Battle for Salvation and a select few are invited to the very exclusive tournament. That means that only the very best of the best will be there. Those of us lucky enough to have scored an invite are in for a treat to be sure! I personally can't wait to lock horns with the best in the country, and get a chance to possibly lay claim to the title that I previously held on Rankings HQ. I know, it's mostly just silly, but fun! (By the way, Tony Spino get November's Mechanicon results reported to Rankings HQ!)
Any way, the Nova Invitational is shaping up to be one of THE events of the year. And with a $1000 cash prize going to the best overall and renaissance man, it will be hotly contested. Mike correct me if I'm wrong on the prizes.
And lastly, the big shabang:
A 256 player supreme 40k GT played over 8 games. Four on Saturday and four on Sunday. But it is bigger than just playing 8 games. This is Nova! On saturday, you will end up with a record consisting of a combination of 4 wins or losses. Then on Sunday, and this is key because it sucks to go to two day events only to get raped on Saturday and have no motivation to play on Sunday, you get to play in a separate tournament based on your record! You can find a breakdown of how it works here. But to summarize, on day two, if you went 0 and 4 on Saturday, you will be in a separate tournament occupied only by other guys with zero wins. There will be only 16 guys playing in that bracket and then it is game on! Those 16 guys will get to play their own tournament with complete prize support! So if you get stomped into the mud on day one, you still have a chance to come out of the event with a Best General and pile of loot on day two. How awesome is that??? All the guys who went 4-0 will fight it out for the supreme prize and bragging rights, while the 3-1 dudes slug away for rights of their own, and the 2-2 and 1-3s get their own chance at glory.
That means that no matter who you are, what your play style, interest, army or whatever, you will have fun playing at The Nova Open. Maybe not Day One, but definitely the next.
This tournament, my friends, will be one for the ages.
What else did Brandt share with me?
An improved mission objective format. Kill Points have been incorporated into the scoring since they are a real part of the 40k rule book. Last year they were eliminated, which also eliminated many players who did not agree with the decision. You better be there Alex!
Even bigger and better swag bags than before! Last year you were given a bag of loot that set the bar pretty high for swag. Markers, lasers, rulers, tapes, bits you name it. This year promises to put that bag to shame.
A dramatic change in venue! The entire event will be held under one roof this year, TAKE A LOOK! Last year it was a little inconvenient that we had to go to a separate building to play. The biggest advantage of this is that open gaming will be going on as long as humanly possible I suspect. Brandt can clear that up with a comment here, but if it is any thing like Mechanicon, there should be gaming into the wee hours of the morning.
Unprecedented game coverage! In addition to the multitude of podcasters who will be covering the games live, they are working on getting up some video feed and John Madden like screen annotation. Holy Crap! If that works out I will almost wish I could be watching the games from home!
Phew. My fingers hurt.
So Mike Brandt is setting some pretty lofty, ambitious goals. But if you met the guy, you would understand that his confidence is well placed. I have no doubt that he will pull it off flawlessly! He has promised mucho loot, loads of fun and hundreds of gaming hangovers. I personally have made my reservation until the following Monday. You can find me sitting at the pool Sunday night chilling and drinking a beer rather than battling millions of other people trying to drive north on 95 in Jersey on the last weekend of the summer. (I suggest this for all of you by the way. Last year the drive home from nova took me 10 hours and should have been 5.)
To make the mountain of loot even bigger, I am throwing in my own addition in support of what should be one of the most outstanding events of the year. Like I am doing for The Feast of Blades, CHECK IT OUT HERE I am painting a unique, custom full sized (3x6 feet plus) banner for The Nova Open. Mike can do with it as he sees fit, but I suspect it will go to the overall winner of the weekend. Maybe it can go to the best overall painted model. Or maybe to the last place finisher! Or the guy who finished right in the middle. Also I will throw in some of the usual bases and such.
Ok that is it for now. Fritz, Myself and my noobie buddy Stanton are confirmed attending. Also you can expect to see the likes of some of Battle for Salvation's finest like Black Matt, Danny Internets, Big Ed, his son Eddie, and Ultrabob. I doubt Stelek will miss this opportunity to put some meat behind his words and you can bet there will be a multitude of other guys. So come on out! Lets have some brews, shots, and lots of 40k.
Last I heard, about 175 of the 256 slots were already paid for and taken, with a boat load of other guys giving Brandt the "Sign me up I will pay you later!". Two of those slots are taken by Fritz and Stanton, and as the old cliche goes, "money talks, bullshit walks." So don't wait. Get your ticket. Visit the website to register.
Here are some links to 3+ save's blog, showing pictures of last year.
More armies and a shot of the room.
Even more armies
More to come!