Friday, March 2, 2018

NOVA Open Warhammer Age of Sigmar Events

Hey everyone!  Today I wanted to talk about the upcoming Warhammer Age of Sigmar events at this year's NOVA Open Tabletop Wargaming Convention.  I have the honor of being selected as the T.O.  Lead for the Age of Sigmar Grand Tournament and Team Doubles Event, but there is a variety of Age of Sigmar events for all players and age groups and the Age of Sigmar Lead Team are working together to make it a great year.  I have invited the Kidshammer and Narrative Leads of these events to come on and talk a bit about their events as well.  Registration opened yesterday so be sure to get your tickets and join us later this year!

Event Organizer Stephen Duall

The NOVA team is excited to have our youth gaming event – “Kidshammer” - return to the NOVA Open for the second year.  It’s a two-day Warhammer camp for kids aged 10-15.  Last year’s event was a blast. Kids played Age of Sigmar all weekend, with open gaming and hobby tutorials on the Saturday, and a friendly three-round tournament on Sunday. For 2018, Kidshammer will have the same general format, but will offer the option to play Warhammer 40,000 too!

The organizers of Kidshammer are excited to see the next generation of Generals and Warlords develop, and the event fits in well with the family atmosphere of the NOVA Open. More than one parent said they attended the NOVA Open last year just because Kidshammer made it more attractive to attend the convention with their whole family. We love that, and want more family gaming!

Participants can bring their own models to play or can borrow a “loaner” army provided by the organizers if they don’t have their own army or want to try something new.  

Saturday morning will feature pairing off participants and playing matched play missions to get a feel for the game. Adult leads will be close by to provide tips and tricks and answer any rule questions.  Saturday afternoon will start off with a painting seminar lead by Sean McAfee (BrushforHire), an extremely talented and approachable artist and teacher.  The rest of the afternoon will give an opportunity for the kids to experience multiplayer and narrative gaming. The Age of Sigmar narrative team has cooked up some exciting ideas that will really emerge the kids into story-based gaming (if they want to if that’s not their thing kids can do other things).

Sunday is the “Youngblood” friendly tournament day, designed to be a competitive event without being a cutthroat event.  The tournament will use the matched play missions from the General’s Handbook or the Eternal War missions from the 40k 8th edition rulebook. Two separate tournaments will be run simultaneously: an AoS tournament and a 40k tournament.  Kids will sign up at the event on Saturday for the tournament in which they wish to compete. The Age of Sigmar tournament will be played at the 1500 point level with a custom Pitched Battle army composition chart. The 40k tournament will be at the 75 power level using the army construction rules contained in the Matched Play section of the 8th edition rulebook.  Kidshammer encourages models to be painted, but it’s not required (although we will offer the opportunity for painting to be judged during lunch during the tournament on Sunday, and painting will be used as a tie-breaker for determining a tournament winner).  There are more details, of course, in the Kidshammer Primer for the event.

We look forward to making Kidshammer a success again this year, and hopefully for years to come. There are only 16 spaces available, so act fast if you or someone you know is interested!

The NOVA Open Age of Sigmar Team

The Age of Sigmar Grand Narrative at the NOVA Open is going to run continuously from Thursday, August 30th until Sunday, September 2nd, and our event team is excited about delivering a world-class narrative event. Our event has grown out of the work that Aaron Bostian has done to run the Narrative at NOVA since 2016, and this year is set to transcend everything we’ve offered in the past. We are hobbyists and storytellers that are hosting a game for like-minded individuals: we’re looking for players that will combine excellence in painting and modeling with storytelling and wargaming in the world of the Mortal Realms. We invite players to join us as equal partners in bringing our story to life, and we’ve designed a weekend of activities that will bring the Realms to life on the NOVA tables!

As a player in the Grand Narrative, you have the opportunity to craft unique warscrolls for your faction, along with one-of-a-kind models to play this on the tabletop. First and foremost, every player will create a unique Airship model, in the general style of the Kharadron Overlords. This model will fly, transport models, and have some kind of offensive capability dependent on the choices you make before the games and the upgrades you choose throughout the weekend. The modeling choices are up to you because every faction is going to implement a flying transport in a different way. Would the Stormcast Eternals build some crackling dynamo out of sigmarite, or enlist the aid of some celestial beast? Would the forces of Chaos take to the skies through Skaven engineering, a daemon-infused ship hull, or a howdah on a giant monster? We’re giving every player a chance to answer these questions and build a model that’s unique to their forces while opening up modes of play that wouldn’t be available on any other AoS table.

This year’s narrative continues the Ships of Renown theme we started in 2016 but expands this game element in exciting ways! We’ve always set games around moving the concept of battling with foot-long sailing ships, but in 2018 we are creating new epic ships that take the scale of naval warfare to a new degree, and most excitingly are drawn from the lore of Warhammer! Our first ship to be unveiled is the Heldenhammer, seen in GW’s 2011 board game Dreadfleet. This ship, originally a dreadnought for the Empire in the Warhammer Old World, is re-cast as an Order Grand Alliance sailing vessel in our story. Other ships will follow, each drawn from the lore of Dreadfleet, Man’o’War, and the Mortal Realms. The ships will all interact together to allow players to create naval battles, garrison their structures for new and interesting powers, and launch their airships and other pieces for unique gameplay on the high seas!

We’re also trying to formalize the space that narratives need to develop with our Planning and Team Meeting sessions. This is time scheduled in the NOVA GT calendar in which we won’t be doing structured gameplay. Instead, the organizers will be facilitating sessions with the teams of players, organized around the alliances of our story. In these sessions, teams will talk with each other about what they’ve experienced in the preceding games, what theories they have about the world that’s being unveiled around them, and what strategies they can use to block the progress of other alliances. This is the time when alliances come together to plan against foes or when new motivations can be formed beyond the somewhat mundane “rule all the lands.” If players want to accomplish some side objective, they can work with the organizers to quickly define a skirmish-level game. A wager or challenge can bring in another alliance as an opponent, or the organizers can run a quick Renown or Ruin game as a test of skill. These sessions will be the space that lets our stories breathe and percolate, but more intense players can find themselves embroiled in AoS Summer Camp with gaming around the clock!

Finally, we are using this year’s Grand Narrative to establish a covenant with our current and future players. We are committed to making this event the equal of any Age of Sigmar narrative event running around the world. We display that commitment in the tables and terrain we build, the medium we use to tell our story, and the planning we put into quality game design. We know that the NOVA GT has been blessed with an amazing Age of Sigmar community that is going to respond to our work with a compensating effort and that our tables are going to be graced with beautifully painted armies featuring fascinating and distinctive creations. 
We invite both committed and prospective players to connect with us on the NOVA NEON Facebook group to see our progress and start building their armies, in both plastic and prose, as we march towards Labor Day. The AoS Grand Narrative for 2018 is going to be something really special, and we invite every player within striking distance of Washington D.C. to be a part of it!

T.O. Garrett Mulroney

The NOVA Open Warhammer Underworlds Grand Clash is a 7 round Warhammer Underworlds tournament spread over the whole weekend. The first 4 rounds are in the evenings of Thursday-Saturday so you can enjoy the rest of the convention, either by competing in other events, attending hobby seminars, or exploring the vendor hall. On Sunday, players will be broken up into 8 player brackets, by current standings, where they will compete to be the top of their brackets.

This is the first Grand Clash at NOVA Open and we hope to see you join us to battle it out in this competitive fast-paced game!

T.O. Chuck Moore

It wouldn't be a convention without a Grand Tournament or a Team Doubles Event and NOVA Open will be bringing back both of these events for this year's convention.  The goal is to provide two distinct and different competitive events for its participants who will compete for glory while enjoying the social aspect that Warhammer provides.

The Team Doubles is being built to focus more on the social aspect of the game with balanced and fun scenarios in a one day, three-game event.  One of the great joys of conventions such as NOVA Open is getting to play different people and make new friends.  It is made even easier by the fact we all share a common hobby and can easily talk for hours about it.  The Team Doubles is a great time to play Age of Sigmar while playing with a friend against other players and growing your social circle.

While the focus is on the social aspect you can be sure that each of the three scenarios and twists will still allow for balanced gaming whether you are building a team with a friend or looking to fight it out with a random team member assigned on the day if you arrive solo.  Tickets will sell fast and only one ticket is needed per team.

The Grand Tournament this year will be a two day, six game event with the focus on finding the best general at the event.  The scenarios will seem familiar and are being built with a competitive mindset in order to allow players wanting to battle it out to their fullest with the finely honed armies.  Gaming is only one part of being the best general in Age of Sigmar however so you can expect to see scoring on painting and sportsmanship being in play as well victory points earned during your games.  We want players to bring their best on the table, in their hobby, and with their interaction with one another at the event.

The scenarios are still being finalized for both events, but will be posted ahead of time to allow everyone to practice until they feel ready to storm the fields for glory!  Unlike last year we will be using the latest General's Handbook as well as having a cut-off date for useable released much closer to the event date to ensure we are playing with the most current releases.   I hope to see you all at the event and if you haven't yet, be sure to pick up your ticket's now.

As you can see there is a way to play Age of Sigmar at NOVA Open this year no matter your age or preferred play style.  It is worth noting as well that the Age of Sigmar Leads decided to implement changes to last year's hobby standards.  Primarily, with exception to the Kidshammer event, we will be requiring round/oval bases as well as full tabletop standard painting.  These will be detailed in the Primers soon if they are not already.  NOVA Open is one of the three Major National Events in the U.S.A. and we wanted to ensure the standards for what you see on the tabletop will match those of other similar events at the National level.  Feel free to check out my impressions of NOVA Open from last year (Part 1 and Part 2).  All info will be posted on the primers for each event online, but if you have any questions about the event be sure to reach out to  NOVA Open is a very unique event as it centralized around raising money for various charities and enjoying the social aspect as much as the gaming.  We look forward to seeing you later in the year!

Happy Hobbying!

Chuck Moore