NOVA Open Looms!

About two months and counting. That is how long I have to build and paint an army designed to win the Nova Open.  It is my opinion that the army I brought last year will be blasted off the table by the first GK army I face.  So I decided to completely redesign my list, and build and paint an entirely new army.  More on that later.

But one thing can be guaranteed. I am playing Blood Angels.  Yes, I am working on my own GK army, but that will be unveiled some other time.  Definitely not until the busy season is over, after I have finished The Heroes of Armageddon, and some other lingering commissions.

But just what will I bring?  Well, I have two factors to consider. First is the Trios tournament I am entering on that Friday.  As I posted before, I decided not to enter the invitational.  I decided that the rest of the tournament will be stressful enough, I did not need to get in 5 high stress games on Friday too.  More to the point though, I wanted to spend Friday hanging out with Stout Smurf and Fritz!  40k is a social game and the Nova is at the top of the lists of social events.  I want to be social!  I want to drink beers with good people and have fun playing some low stress games.  (Especially since I am bringing my game face for Saturday.)

Danny Internets and Ultrabob at Nova 2010.

Lets get one thing straight Fritz, I am squashing your bugs before they even molt.  Do you expect the Blood Angels to take the field with a bunch of mindless roaches? Let alone the Ultramarines? Do you think they have forgotten Ultramar?  Smurfs dreadnought is decorated with the rotting carcass of one for gods sake.  No sir, Mephiston is calling in Inquisitor Fritz to lead his contingent of The Inquisition to join the might of the Blood Angels and Ultramarines.  :)

The fun of the Nova Trios tournament will be in designing lists that work well together from three fronts.  I have to have a 1k point BA army that compliments both Smurfs marines and Fritz's knights/bugs/space elves. What do we play? Well the war council will convene next week. Then we will get to work building our display which should be awesome, and preparing the troops.

This leads me to talk more about The Nova Open. Perhaps the best part of last year's Nova was the staff. Mike Brandt patrolled the floor, shaking hands and engaging every one in conversation. You felt welcome and cared for. I know this seems silly, but in a day where we have to choose between a dozen GTs to go to, every little bit helps.

Then there is the loot.  I know Wargamescon was pretty loot heavy and I did not make last year, :(, but I have to hand the loot prize to Nova from my experience.  It must have been every half an hour that they were drawing random people to win something. Whether it was a pack of dice, a box set, or a laser pointer.  I think most dudes walked away with something.  I personally was ineligible to win any of the giveaways because I kept winning games, (Something I think Mike should change.) But I still managed to walk away with something by handing Nick Nanavati a 20 for a Razorback he won. (It may have been some one else, can't remember... not important.)

I only had two complaints about last year's Nova.  Mike addressed them both.

1.  The games were held in a separate venue from the hotel and there was no way to get in open games. Guys arrived early and were looking for room to game, and could find none.

Mike fixed this by securing a new venue/hotel that will house all of the players and games.  This new place will have 24/7 gaming.  Brandt correct me if I am wrong.  And I believe that the non stop gaming comes with non stop bar service? Talk about nonstop hangover!  This year, the Nova should set the bar again for competitive, social and fun gaming. Getting every thing under one roof was a big step.

2.  Last year was really just a one day tournament with the top handful of players invited to play in a mini tournament.  This was kind of a long trip for a one day event.

Mike knew this was a problem before the Nova even started, but his hands were tied by contractual issues with the venues.  I felt sorta let down because I went 3-1 on the day, played for a spot in the "finals" but missed the cut by one or two names.  I'm sure I was not the only guy who left on Sunday feeling a little disappointed. (This happened at the Battle for Salvation Nova too by the way.)

But the problem has been solved in spades!  Now, day one is just a seeding day for what will end up being the REAL Nova.  Your record on day one will decide your bracket for day two, then you will end up in a mini  tournament on Day Two vs only guys with like records!  Each of these mini tournaments will have full prize support. What a fantastic resolution! Brandt definitely listens to input.  Of course the 4-0 bracket will be playing for the best prizes and highest honors like Nova Champion. But this format means that even the lowly 0-4 dudes have a chance to leave feeling satisfied and happy with the tournament. They won't be going into day two after a rough first round knowing they just have to take it on the chin.  Believe me, I know how tempting it is to drop out from day two after getting whooped on.

This is likely going to be what I look like at about
9pm on Saturday at The Nova.

For these two improvements, I applaud Mike Brandt and the rest of the Nova crew.  Can't wait to see you all at the Nova!  Oh, and I would love to get in some games vs any one who wants one.  I will be arriving early on Thursday. Thursday night I will be playing in the Whiskey Challenge. On Firday  Fritz, Jim and myself are going for the gold in the trios team tournament. Then after some dinner and a quick nap I will be back at the tables for open games.  Rinse and repeat on both Saturday and Sunday. Then I am leaving Monday morning. (I'm not about to fight that Jersey traffic on the last weekend of the summer!) I suggest to any one else, if you are driving down from the North East, make the reservation for Sunday night too, and be prepared to relax at the pool with us.  Last year it took me 10 hours to drive home to CT on Sunday.  After a long day of gaming on Sunday, believe me, you are going to want to chill instead of sitting in a parking lot on 95.

What else for the summer?  Well this summer I will be at Gamesday Chicago, then the Nova ramps up the fall schedule for me. I will be hitting the Battle for Salvation, and Mechanicon of course, but I also intend on going to Da Boyz and any thing that Mike Clark runs in Media, PA. and I still have not ruled out Wargamescon!  Thanks for the nice Email by the way Jwolf.  I am going to try to start annoying the wife enough so that she sends me away.  :)

Be sure to read about the Nova Open at

More to come on my plans, lists and strategies for both the Nova and the Trios.



ServvsUmbrarum said...

Do you happen to know of any tournaments near the Columbus Ohio area? I don't mind driving a few hours but Nova is about an 8 hour trip.

"The Initiate"

Mike Brandt; mvbrandt@gmail said...

Jawa - awesome article and thanks buddy ... I can't wait to get into some scotch with you on Sunday night. ServvsUmbrarum .... I can't help you around Ohio, but I do know there are some other Ohioans attending the NOVA - perhaps carpooling might ease your travels and travails some? Happy to put players in touch w/ their local peers ... over 40 states and 6 countries are already signed up.

- Mike

Mike Brandt; mvbrandt@gmail said...

Oh, and Jawa is 100% correct on the changes ... the venue is here:;jsessionid=F125D5B56DF0D6A69396D05A4D01DCAC.atg06-prd-atg2?icamp=propPhotoGallery

The gaming will be 24/7 .... of course, the drinking won't really be, bar-wise ... VA laws and all. We'll be working to have a bar in-hall for periods of time, there's a bar in the hotel lobby, and there are a couple dozen bars and restaurants a walk away from the Hyatt, plus a restaurant in the Hyatt. Booze and food aplenty, beyond the simple fast food and ... well, fast food at the Expo Center from last year.

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