NOVA has come and gone and, as I always do, I had an excellent time.
(If I skip around here a bit, that’s because I’m trying to touch on a bunch of different things that don’t necessarily need a lot of focus. Also, I plan to swing back and give a couple of topics more focus in their own post(s).)
I think this might have been the strongest NOVA so far. There was more going on and more things to do; it’s starting to feel like an actual convention as opposed to a tournament with some vendors camped outside. (That’s uncharitable; it hasn’t felt like that in a bit… but you can definitely track a progression from that to what it was this year and, hopefully, to what it will be next year.)
Thursday I drove out for the afternoon to check in before the crowd and to do a seminar.
Friday was pretty much all-day seminars. I got in a Wrath of Kings demo, too. In the evening, there was a small Age of Sigmar meetup, then a small two-game Age of Sigmar event.
Saturday was the Age of Sigmar tournament: at 3 2.5 hour rounds, it took up most of the day. I bopped around a bit afterwards, and ended up going to bed (relatively) early.
Sunday was an early morning – the first of several seminars was scheduled for an optimistic 7:30. That kept me busy through the day until what was easily the fastest awards ceremony NOVA’s ever managed. Endless high-fives are owed to Owen for pulling that off.
The Seminars were excellent; I had two each from Caleb Wissenback, Raffa Picca, and Roman Lappat; I took away something useful from each of them and have come out hugely inspired to up my game… and frustrated that it looks like I’ll be painting 15mm jerkwads until January. Massive Voodoo, at least, will be coming back next year, so if you have the opportunity to attend: you really should.
40K looked like it was kind of dead. I’d heard numbers were down less-than-but-closer-to 100 from last year, and that doesn’t surprise me. Chatting with folks gave me the clear impression that I’m far from alone in feeling overwhelmed and unenthused about 40K. Which is a shame.
It very much looked like X-Wing had a better turnout. I’ve been told that that’s not possible (it was capped at 100, and 40K had, at least, over 100), but I would be surprised if that were not the case next year.
Lord of the Rings (a game I have tried and do not care for) had the best looking tables in the building. Malifaux had some great ones, too, but Middle-Earth was universally amazing looking.
The vendor room felt like it was as solid as it’s been previously. One vendor (Island games?) was kind of off and around the corner: they were nearer the events that their product was geared towards, but it was kind of weird. I do think they’ve hit (or are starting to hit) an upper limit to the vendor space, which is a shame.
I should have taken a stab at the airbrush speedpainting competition. I didn’t get the chance to watch John work like I wanted to, so it’d have been better than nothing. Next year, I think that’s going on the to-do list.