After much anticipation and flip flopping between which army I'd play, NOVA Open happened this past weeekend. In fact, I just got home about an hour ago. But, I had a pretty great time so I decided to sit down and talk a bit about it while it was still fresh in my mind (plus it's raining and I don't want to unpack the car in the rain).
Despite my previous reservations, I took Casey's Ogre army and had a great time playing with them. I really like their play style as compared to the Dwarfs. I also appreciate an army with a small model count when I have to schlep them around between games.
This was my first time attending the Open. There were several seminars I wanted to take, but unfortunately most of them overlapped with my games. There were a few offered on Friday, and I had no games, so I signed up for two of them. The first one was very early in the morning, so I took the Metro, which was vastly better than spending two hours driving through traffic.
The seminars were run by Justin of Secret Weapon Miniatures. I took the early seminar on airbrushing and the evening seminar on basing.I've been hemming and hawing about whether or not I should pick up an airbrush because I have no experience with one. In the seminar, I got a great primer on how they work and what they can do. I ultimately came to the conclusion that yes, I probably want an airbush (if for no other reason than I am an unbearably slow painter). I also got some excellent tips on where to get started.
There ended up just being two of us in the basing seminar (it was during one of the 40k games, so lots of people were busy) but it ended up being twice as awesome because we got to spend the entire time asking every single basing questions we could think of. I started off with snow basing, for Space Wolf-related reasons. But I also learned how to use some materials I didn't know how to work with.
After the leisure of Friday, the rest of the weekend went by at break-neck speeds. So much (maybe too much) was crammed tightly into the schedule. It made socializing with anyone playing 40k very difficult, and I sure didn't see much of Casey. We drove home Friday night and stayed Saturday night at the hotel. This was a mistake, we should have stayed both nights. It was too much hassle to get back in time for his 7:30am game on Saturday.
I really enjoyed the vendors and the whole thing felt a bit like a mini convention. War Store was there and had the Dark Vengeance limited edition box available for people to buy (or pick up if they pre-ordered) which was really cool. We picked one up.
The award ceremony at the end was fun, albeit a tad long. This was mostly due to people having left early so they needed to call multiple names for raffle prizes. They ended up having everyone who hadn't already won anything come up and pick out a door prizes. I got a really nice size 0 Series 7 brush out of it. Casey won a KR cardboard case from the raffle and for winning his bracket, he got a box of Space Wolf Grey Hunters. There were some really fantastic prizes.
I'm so glad I chose to do Fantasy, because the 40k atmosphere is a little too intense for me. I made it through five Fantasy games, but eight 40k would have been too much. The sheer size of the 40k tournament is also a little intimidating.
Overall, I had a great time and hung out with some really cool people. The Fantasy side was pretty laid back and I had 4 solid opponents but 5 good games (I played the same person twice). I'll do a separate battle report post in the next few days, rather than smashing everything into a single post.
I'm looking forward to going to NOVA again next year, although Casey and I will definitely play the same system. The schedules didn't mesh well, so we hardly saw each other the whole weekend. It also made meeting up with people and scheduling meals (especially dinner) a little difficult.