What to do at NoVA?

NoVA Open 2011 Logo

Dang, I need to figure out what the hell to do at NoVA this year. I’m running out of time in which to put that decision off.

I mean, I’m definitely going (I bought my pass when they went up, as well as the Capital Palette entry), but I have no idea what I’m going to do there:

  • 40K is, I’m quite sure, not going to be it.  Through a combination of the shittiest game of 40K I’ve ever played* at last year’s NoVA, house stuff, and simply being more interested in other games: I literally haven’t played 40K since last year’s NoVA.  The idea of subjecting myself to another eight game marathon without having event spoken to the game since is deeply unappealing.
  • 40K Narrative – I’ve enjoyed playing narrative games with TGS comrade Steve, but I can’t get my head around what they’re doing here.  It doesn’t sound unfun: it just doesn’t sound interesting to me.
  • Infinity is something I’d actually hoped to maybe play in this year, but that’s not going to happen.  We never quite got to full games with it, and haven’t touched it in months. It’s not a good use of my time.  Plus, if I have anything to enter into the Palette, my Infinity models are it.  Tough to play with them in a glass case.
  • Blood Bowl, Dark AgeDropzone, Lord of the Rings, Malifaux, Magic, X-Wing – I don’t play any of these.
  • Wrath of Kings – I don’t play this either.  I guess I have minis for it, but I haven’t even put them together. I guess I’m a step further than that with Warmachine (picked up the Cryx starter a few months ago, and assembled it), but I have less than no desire to actually play it in a tournament setting right now.
  • Seminars – Is maybe my best bet, but in my experience they can be hit-and-miss: some presenters you have to catch at the right time (jet lag and hangovers can make a poorly scheduled seminar a waste of both your time and money), and I think you get the most out of them going in with questions and specific things to learn (not just showing up to see what you can see).  Also, they add up to very expensive pretty quickly.

On top of that: I’ve got less than a month and no free weekends between now and then in which to paint.  I’ve painted precious little this year, and quite a bit of what I have painted has been 15mm (and not suitable for a competition).  So, whatever I’m doing, I have no time to prep for it.

EDIT: Completely forgot about Age of Sigmar.  I’ve yet to play a single game of this thing, but at least I’ve got a painted army for it?

* I just went to dig up a link to last year’s AAR – not there!  I was so non-plussed by last year’s 40K tournament I didn’t even post about it.  That says a lot.  Like, I got a Bronze in the painting competition last year: I’ve got to be feeling pretty not good to fail to crow about something like that.

  • Although it doesn’t help you with the NOVA, if you ever want a demo game of Wrath of Kings let me know. I’m happy to meet up and walk you through the game. I’ve found it pretty enjoyable, similar in size to WM/H (largest game size is 45 models), and only takes ~60 minutes once learned.

    • I got good deal on all the Kickstarter stuff for one of the factions at a swap meet several months ago. I keep trying to assemble them and… just can’t finish it. Part of that’s due to the bizarre basing situation and the other part’s because they’re not entirely inspiring.

      I’ll get around to assembling them at some point, I hope, after all this 15mm stuff I really want to work on.

    • Alright, you so-and-so. I’ve got a pile of assembled Wrathful, Kingly dudes. I am prepared to play.

  • Bodacious

    I am super curious as to what your worst game of 40k was, especially since it made you quit. Was it the match up? Was your opponent an assbag? Some of my friends that I have coerced back into playing a couple of games are really put off by the rock paper scissors nature of the game.

    • I didn’t make me go, “I quit this stupid game,” but it has inarguably had a cooling effect on all desire to play 40K.

      My opponent was just awful. They complained about every single thing I did (along the lines of, “You’re running a Bloodthirster. Your army is awful and bullshit and broken.”), never mind that they were running a stupid netlist of some sort. That’s.. okay. But they argued with me about everything; not unheard of at a tournament. So far, it’s just a bad game, right?

      Except they projected this assertion that they were new to the game (which, according to some friends afterwards, is total BS) and they used this as an excuse to slow play to a level unheard of before.

      NoVA rounds were 2.5 hours last year (a good move). We did not finish two rounds. Then they had the chutzpah to be like, “Well you had to get a ruling for that one thing that smelled strongly of bullshit. That’s why the game took so long.” Apparently, every game they played went along those lines. A judge tried to convince me to keep playing: last game of the night, no hard limit. Fuck that: I needed to get my army photographed and that I didn’t walk out was nothing short of a miracle.

      Of course, they went on to actually win their bracket. That’s possibly the worst part; they should have been kicked out of the tournament (they were, at that point, known to be a problem player) not rewarded in any way. Maybe that’s actually the worst part: shit games happen, but NoVA’s inability/unwillingness to correct things just amplified the whole thing.

      Oh, and their army looked terrible. Like, garbage paint. That’s not normally something I judge people on, because the hobby means different things to different people… but in this case, I’ll make an exception.

  • masterslowpoke

    I’ve been playing in the Narrative for the last two years, and it’s a pretty awesome experience. It’s super laid back, with a relaxed schedule. You don’t have to worry about the Narrative supplements if they don’t interest you.

    • It’s on the table. It’ll probably be either the Narrative or Age of Sigmar.

  • Mike Schaefer

    Heya, Richard. I’d suggest enjoying NOVA as a smorgasbord this year. This is the first time that they’ve really had the option to try out a number of different games, simply as demos or pick-up games. You can try demos of Dark Age and/or Wrath of Kings at the CMON section, and you can try out Lord of the Rings in the “Highlander” critical-mass events. The LotR primer said they offer models to use to play on their sweet terrain tables. I hope to squeeze that into my schedule, since I’ve been wishing to try out LotR for a long time. Also, Aaron is running introductory games of AoS, if you want to experience what that game has to offer. Lots of options for sampling games.

    • I ended up signing up for Age of Sigmar: I basically packed Friday and Sunday full of seminars and Saturday was weirdly empty.

      I do plan on checking out the Wrath of Kings demo on Thursday, just to see how it plays.

      At a minimum, it’ll be lower stress than it normally is when I’ve been tied up with the dang 40K tournament.