Nova! Complete with Cosplay...

What a great weekend!

For the first time, I went to a con with no aspirations to really play any games at all. I did play in the trios tournament with my new Tau army, but that is more of a late night addon than any serious game.  Instead I set up a vendor table, put my armies on display there, and chatted with more people than I could count as they made their way through the isles!

Oh and there was even some one dressed up in a costume!

Sadly this was not her.

Oh well, bring on Templecon!

I went to Nova as a sponsor intending on promoting and selling my new DVD set which did very well. I donated a bunch of DVDs to be given away as prizes, I painted models for the Charity Army Give Away which in total raised over 10 grand, and I did seminars.  Most of my weekend though was spent at my table, talking about my armies with curious visitors, and sharing my love for creating and playing the game with many, many people.

Curiously, one of the largest demographics of people I spoke to were families. Parents with middle school age children.  There must have been something going on in the hotel, or they just wanted to pop in and see what was up. But however they rrived, they came.  I spent hours talking with parents about how to get into the game with their kids, drawing upon my own experience teaching an after school warhammer game at my own school.  There were so many curious parents who wanted to give into their kids desires, but also not break the bank! It is always entertaining to see a parents face when I show them a painted model, and how it looks when you open a box and see them all on sprue. That is probably the biggest hinderance and annoyance to parents when they get their kid their first 40k set for Christmas then realize what they are getting into after they open the box. So I got to show them what to do and what to expect and the proper way to start.  All of them appreciated the advice.

 It was fun to talk about the game with new people, and let the kids touch and examine the models.  Had I known there would be so many kids and parents, I would have brought more variety!

Part of it, I suppose, was the fact that aside from the charity army, and the painting contest that was going on, I was the only one with painted models on display and definitely the only source of models you could get close to and touch.  I sorta had the market on eye candy I guess.  Such that it was, my Tau are far from complete.

I arrived at around 8pm on Thursday.  My first Trios game was organizing as I was bringing in my stuff.  I drove down after work, and would have made it in great time but I got lost in DC. GPS does not like all of the closely spaced off ramps!

I rushed to the tables, and pulled my Tau and threw some dice, and started slamming beers.  Not long after I found myself in the VIP lounge with Mike Brandt and company, sipping scotch and feeling good. Then we went down to see some of the Narrative games going on, and I watched my friend John Stiening play for a bit, and that was it. It was about 3am, and I was wobbly and staggered up to my room knowing that 7am came all too early.

My first seminar was set for 7:30 am. I was doing a class teaching how to make my display boards.  A dozen or so equally hung over folks showed up and off we went. It was a flurry of cutting, shaving, and flocking. We sprayed so much paint that the hotel security came in and yelled at us. But in the end, every one there created an awesome display and was leaving proudly with what was essentially a new army since a good display should drastically improve the aesthetic without competitng with the models.  Some of these guys had never seen their armies on a proper display!  A few hours later, I was left standing in a room of foam shavings and spray paint haze while the guys ran off to play their games.  The seminar was a fantastic success!

So then I spent the majority of the day sucking down water at my vendor table and talking to great folks like Sean Parker. We talked about or love for Robotech from the 80s and how we got sucked into the Kickstarter for the new model game.  We also discussed other stuff like Transformers and you name it.  Oh and we talked 40k.  He bought my set of DVDs and sent me this generous and flattering testimonial after previewing them:

 This is Sean Parker, we met at the NOVA Open this past weekend. I purchased your 6 DVDs, and we spent a lot of time chatting at your Booth on Sunday.  I just wanted to say it was very nice meeting you, and thanks again for your Videos. I’ve learned more from these videos than I did from any of the seminars I attended during my time at the Con. These were exactly what I was looking for and its gone a long way to improving my painting! Thanks!
 I especially like your video on painting Dark Angels. It was exactly how I was going to do them, and it just reaffirmed that my method was going to work before I really invested the time into doing the entire army thusly. It’s gotten me excited to start work on them again, and I can’t wait to get to the project. I need to finish what I have on my Table already first however. And since I am painting a Crimson Slaughter Chaos Marine army, I’ll be watching your videos on Red next.
 Sorry if I sound like a fanboy, but I’m just feeling excited about the painting aspect of the hobby again. Something I’ve not felt in a long time. I’ll be nice to have painted armies again, something I’ve not had since before 2e 40k.
 Again thanks!

Those are as kind words as I have ever heard man, and it was an honor to have met and inspired you to get back in the saddle.  If you would like to see what inspired him, LOOK HERE.  Thanks to YOU Sean for inspiring me.  You are why I write this blog and make my videos.  
Friday blew bye in a rush.  I spent so much time chatting with folks that time got away from me.  Before I knew it, it was time for my second trios game, which I played with Simon Lean as a partner and we won.  Friday night I went to bed early.  I knew I would have a long Saturday and then would have to drive home on Sunday.  
Saturday started with more of the same. This was when most of the parents came in. At 2 I did a seminar on Hand Painting with about 10 people. It was much more laid back than the display board one as we could relax and take our time. I demonstrated, badly, how to do angel wings and scrolls. It had been a while since I had done any and I should have practiced a bit to dust off the rust! Then the guys and gals tried themselves.  I wished immediately that I had asked to have them all reminded to bring models as we painted on some primed cardboard which was not a great surface, but still they were pleased with the results.  
I did some paint judging for the 40k events. Sadly I was unable to commit to being a full judge because of my vendor table, but I did get to consult with Mike on some tough decisions.  I felt honored that he trusted me to ask my advice.  
I got in a demo with some Flames of War, and proceeded to purchase a starter kit.  Yet another game to play...  
At night I got stomped by a sisters army in my third trios game, and had a great time chilling with Justin from Secret Weapon Miniatures, who by the way puts on a very good seminar himself. He did a masterclass painting seminar, talking about color theory and model focus.  I walked out of there with not just more knowledge, but a nice example for my own teaching style.  
So that about ran the weekend.  Having a few beverages while talking to good peeps is what I like to do, and I did it a lot.  The best part of these things is getting to catch up with friends. I had a good chat with Neil Gilstrap from 11th company, always a pleasure, and I saw guys I don't normally see like Nick Rose and even some of you blog readers.  It was a glut of hand shaking and laughs.  
The only problem was that I didn't get a chance to mingle much.  There were so many guys up in the gaming room that I wanted to get to talk to, but I didn't want to spend too much time away from my table.  Next year I will be bringing Jim the Stout Smurf and with him manning the table, should be able to slip away more.  
Oh and I will be playing in the Narrative event I decided.  It looked like a lot of fun!  I was also pretty jealous of the GT guys. At the end I was a little sad knowing that I was not in consideration for Best Painted. John Stiening actually won with his "Contemptor" dread Ultramarines for the Narrative best painted.  It was beautiful, but next year I will give him some competition I hope. I will probably finally debut my Lamenters by then, using the new Space Marine codex of course. ;)
That is about it, I walked out of there having spent half the cash I made on models and using the rest to pay my Hotel bill.  I got some Flames of War, Warmachine, X-Wing and some AWESOME "stormtrooper" models I can use as guard allies.  from Dreamforge Games.  I am planning on doing Lamenters with some guard for Mechanicon and beyond.  Time will tell!
Sorry, I have no pics for you.  I packed my camera, but didn't notice the wife had pulled out the battery and put it in the charger.  That sucks. But I am sure the Nova guys will post some soon and I will respost them here to share.



YourSwordisMine said...

argh! my spelling sucks! lol

And yeah, all the cosplay hotties go to Dragoncon Labor Day weekend... We got Clown...

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