Nova open has come and gone and was, as predicted, a blast. We had exceptional turnout for the event, cresting 100 unique players for the second year in a row. There were some hiccups, as all conventions have, but we look to better ourselves and make next year even better.
Its sounds cheesy, I know, but we are seriously taking a solid look inward to make sure we are better, and not repeating mistakes of the prior year. This is especially true when this is our first year with an Iron Gauntlet, and next year should draw an even larger crowd. This year, though there is plenty to learn about scheduling, communication, and terrain, I still think we were able to put on a impressive show. Players were overwhelmingly positive during the event, and walking the tables gave me a view of some of the awesome armies being played and let me talk to the players who showed up to pilot them, some from half way across the country.
This year was the first time we really reached beyond the Midatlantic Coast, with more than a few people from out of town. Players came from Texas, Chicago, Florida, and Massachusetts to play at NOVA, which surprised me – I’m not very good at advertising, so I wasn’t sure how people even heard about the Warmachine events. I should remedy that. It did, lead to an interesting insertion of the North American Meta here at NOVA. I’ve been tracking our faction and Warcaster distribution at the Brawltimore events, and there is an extremely high distribution of Skorne, Khador and Circle, with Cryx and Trolls taking a less important roll than one would expect. This weekend introduced our meta to Bane Spam, Runes of War and Evolutionary Elementalism like never before.
Thursday afternoon, right around 4:00pm, started the tier tournament, which was broken into two heats of 32. Each heat would go to its undefeated champion, with both of them and second place of each heat qualifying for Sundays masters. After Five rounds, Harrison Hare was Crowned the Tier Touranment Champion, qualifying alongside Aaron Fishkow, Joe Marion and . The event went longer than planned, but we were able to get a little sleep before the team tournament started the next morning.
Friday was lead off by the Team Tournament, which I love very much. I don’t see the appeal of playing in one, as a loner and a misanthrope, but I do understand that other people love them so very much, so I will keep running them until the days are gone. My favorite part, though, are the awesome names that people come up with that I could never have been clever enough to come up with. Names such as Bradigus did Nothing Wrong, Pants Off Dance Off, and Struggle Snuggle. Due to a rounding error, this year we opened the team tournament up to a truly MASSIVE number of players: 32 teams were able to compete for title. Team tournaments are long, and after a cut to top four after three crushing rounds, four stood. The top team and the Captain of the second team would make it in. At the end, the Carolinians from I Like a Small Shop, Liam Piver, Lawson Bennett, and Fisch all qualified, as well as Anthony Faciane, captain of team Ram Rod.
Hardcore started a but later, we had hoped that it would run after the team event, but with a pair of errors, it was not to be. 22 people signed up for the greuling event that went deep into the night, including an hour break to dole out the Master Craftsman Award. At the end of the day, there were 8 happy people. Brendon Caulkins, winner of the Templecon Mastercraftsman, also won the NOVA Open Mastercraftsmen Award. Dutch Adams took home the Vanquisher, defeating each foe that took the table across from him. Mike Ireland took Executioner, piling up the dead at his feet. The last award was Mage Hunter, and the last man standing who’d killed only the caster at least once was Derek Apsche. The top 4 players by wins and SOS moved on to the Masters on Sunday from this event as well, Sending Dutch, Trevor Attrdige, Bruno del Alamo and Matthew Jacobson to the finals.
Satrudays games were led off by the first ever Nova Open Iron Gauntlet, feeding into the IG finals at Lock and Load 2016. 21 people stepped into the ring, with three fully painted armies. After three rounds, The top four: Matt Jacobson, Daniel Porter, Ryan Chiriboga, and Jordan Nach, advanced to the Gauntlet rounds, where they were paired off to play massive 75 point games with lists built on the spot. At the end of the two gauntlet rounds, Ryan Chiriboga emerged victorious
Second, starting at noon, was the Standard Issue Steamroller tournament. 56 players competed for the last 4 slots in the finals the next morning. 6 rounds and dozens of games later, Four people qualified in the wee hours of the morning. There were timing issues, and the time between rounds was longer than we’d like, but the tournament finished. Larry Paladin, Mike Ireland, Matt Pragat and Charlie Michalson all making the cut.
Two events ran simultaneously Sunday, with Masters Finals starting at 9, and Scrambles running alongside.
The Masters event pitted the best players over the course of the weekend against each other over four rounds to determine who would take the Warmachine Weekend Qualifier slot. When the dust settled, Trevor Attridge had, once again, taken the names of all before him. However, having already won a slot at the Warmachine weekend invitational, it passed down to second place. With one game left to go, and a tight Strength of Schedule, we waited for the last game to come to an end. When everything finished and we were able to finalize the standings, Jordan Nach came in a conclusive Second, taking the Qualifier Slot.
and with that, I headed home, tired, beat and hungry. It was a great convention, and my summary doesn’t do it even the barest amount of justice, but there will be other, more intimate journeys out there, I am sure. I will do my best to find them!