Its been a while.

I very much wanted to write something up before I left for NOVA, but it just wasn’t going to be. Between packing and verifying everything I would need to make sure WM and Hordes ran smoothly all weekend, I was unable to really get any solid train of thought rolling. I also knew I needed to get some sleep to buffer out the lack I was going to encounter shortly thereafter.

How did it all go? Well, keep reading! I’ll list all the winners at the bottom!

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Novaopenbanner

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. 

Continue reading

Novaopenbanner

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. 

Continue reading

On the Horizon

Every year, I head out to Lock and Load, where I hope to hang out with some of the staff and Warmachine personalities from around the globe. I’ve been every year except the first, and I intend on going as many years as is possible.

Seeing as I have a long term plan to go again and again, I have a goal of splitting my years evenly between Iron Arena and Tournaments. The first year was an Iron Arena year, where I brought my White and Orange Cygnar with me to try and meet some new people. The year after I tried a masters tournament and got kinda stomped. That meant I only had Lich 2, Terminus and Skarre 1 with me, so it wasn’t the best year to make friends. I did get a ton of games in, though, with the staff, which was awesome, and I got to play in the very first demo game of Level 7 [Escape]! Last year was a little insane, with my eardrum rupturing on the way out to Seattle kinda putting a damper on any and everything I did. I did get to see some of my favorite Seattalites, however, and That more than made up for it. I played in a single tournament, the inaugural Spelldraft, which was 6 rounds and took for freakin’ ever to finish. So, even though this year is supposed to be a tournament year, I lost last year to ear infections, blown eardrums and spelldraft. This year, I am going to be deep in Iron Arena the whole time. Well, Maybe not. I have to do one thing.

Flights out and Getting there. 

often, people tell me that its too expensive to fly out, and I get that, but I take as much as possible off the shelf in that regard as possible. I signed up for a Southwest credit card, and I use that for everything, and I mean everything. Each dollar I spend gets me a point, and its about 20,000 points to fly out. With the 6000 anniversary points, I don’t really have to spend a ton of money on the card – just my standard bills, gas, food. It all goes on the card, filling up my points total. At the end of the cycle, when it comes time to buy my Airfare (February, I’ll have racked up a huge total of points. There may be some deficits, but I’ll pay the 100 or so bucks to make up the difference: Paying 100 bucks for round trip tickets ain’t nothin’

I also make sure to get direct flights. They aren’t notably more expensive, but they are a hell of a lot swifter. Taking a 5 hour tris and ratcheting it up to 10 or more is just absurd. Layovers, strange flight patters and other flight weirdness makes me reticent to actually try any of it, though it might be fun to meet a friend at a local airport, sometime.

Because I’m a volunteer for the company, I get to add an extra day to the convention, with the PP invitational on Thursday. This means I want to arrive pretty early Wednesday and actually get settled in. This has, historically, been the hardest day to get a room on. My roomies, a bunch of awesome Canadians from BC, who I now plan on meeting up with every year that is possible, don’t get in until Thursday morning. But, They didn’t mind my random coming and goings, and gave me a place to sleep while also being exceedingly nice. What more can be asked of a host!

Its easy enough to bunk with them for the four days, and then try and find a room on Sunday Night. It seems that many of the participants leave Sunday night. I, however, cannot find a good flight out on Sunday after the awards ceremony and dinner but before my eyes bleed from being awake 20 hours a day. I take the day and sleep late, get on a plane, and roll out to be home by the end of the day. I’ve historically gone to work on Tuesday, but we’ll see how that works out in future years.

The Gameplan

Getting in on Wednesday gives me a little breathing room, and I’ll be up bright and early on Thursday. Do to me being a PG, Thursday I’ll play some games with some awesome PGs, Staff, and other volunteers at the PP Invitational. and then probably roll over to the Mox Boarding House for even more fun and games, including the first ever Mox Invitational, at least as a spectator.

Friday I’ve got planned a tournament, but for once I’ll not be playing in it. I am going to be adjudicating the morning Master Tournament which should be a ton of fun. Honestly, I’m nervous as shit. I know that there will be people who play this game competitively and seriously there, and I’m worried that, in my nervousness, I’ll make the wrong call. I know its dumb and will go away once I am there, but its one of those things that just sits in my gut. fortunately I’ll have someone I know with me adjudicating as well and that should cut down on the nerves. Afterward, I’ll be going to grab a dinner and then Heading back into the hall for the Team Tournament. Sadly, were on the waitlist, but the plan is to either play in it, or play a few games and call it a night. I’ll get about 4-5 hours of sleep, grab a shower and then hit the arena with Zeal.

To that end, I’ll be bringing with me, as I’ve mentioned, the Tier 2 Rasheth Chain Gang. This list has so many permutations and concepts that I really think playing it over and over again will be a ton of fun all weekend. With a fully painted T2 list, I should be making some awesome points to try and snag some sweet swag, whatever happens to be there.

Saturday night is a bit in flux. if I wasn’t able to play in the Team tournament, I want to play in Token Aggression. If I played in it, I want to make sure I get out and get some good food and sample a local place or two, then get a game or two in before crashing out.

Sunday has the same plan as Saturday, grinding out points and getting some cool goodies before the hall closes and calling it quits for the weekend.

If you plan on being at Lock and Load, let me know, and we’ll get some sort of game in! I’d love to meet some fellow gamers, get some games in, and maybe have a few beers while we are at it!

I’m really looking forward to Seattle and Lock and Load this year. Here is hoping that I don’t have to wear the Hoodie I’ll pack.

Like I have had to every other year.

In June!

 

See you at There!

The NOVA open has come and gone, and with it a great burden off my shoulders. I didn’t manage to get my Cepahlyx painted in time, but I still threw down on the tabletop despite my constant judging. I managed to eke out wins in both games – one against Siege and one against Sorscha 2. It was great playing against Dan and Bill.

The events were packed all weekend, which amazed everyone involved. Here is the breakdown (from what I remember)

Thursday Tier Tournament: 37 players
Friday Team Tournament: 13 teams of 3 – 39 players
Friday Hardcore – 31 Players
Saturday SR2014 – 39 Players
Saturday Iron Gauntlet – 16 players
Sunday Masters – 16 players
Sunday Scrambles 21 players (of which 16 actually got to play, sad!)

That is a fantastic turnout for our fourth year, and a 100% year over year increase in attendance.

What really mattered, though, was that there were so few incidents. The players were, overall, excellent, and the level of competition was exceedingly good. We had pull from several states, and it really felt like it, as I saw lists that we just don’t see here in my meta. We pulled in over 80 players from around the region, and with an Official Iron Gauntlet Qualifier next year, I am thinking we can really become an excellent tournament.

That’s not to say that there weren’t hiccups. There are always things that can be done better, clearer and faster, and we are really looking into them but for the most part they were, while serious to the individual players, minor to the overall scheme. Tighten up communication about alternates, Make sure all the information is the same in the booklet, the primer, and the draft primer, and get the tournaments running in heats to save time.

What I heard that made me the happiest, though, was the direct, honest feedback from the players of the game. It ranged from effluent praise to frustrated critisism, but for the most part it was suggestions on how to make next year better and run smoothly. I got suggestions on what events to pair against each other, what sizes everyone liked, and how to get the most out of every tournament. Its great to know that the people you run these events for, the players of the tournaments, are just as invested as you are in an event. I can’t wait to see who makes it out for next years Iron Gauntlet and Warmachine Weekend Qualifiers!

But I’d be hard pressed not to include my favorite moment of the weekend, which happened not to be Warmachine, somehow. Instead it was when I saw Gutier from Corvus Belli sitting at the cafe and sat down to have a chat with him.  He was pleasant, energetic and extremely cool to talk to. Its good to know that I’m not the only one who gets so immersed in their own worlds that they become real.

I have to give a tip of my hat to both the Infinity guys and the Malifaux guys, who seemed to be running some awesome tournaments where everyone was enjoying themselves. I was sad to see the infinity guys pushed out and into their own small room, but they had some really awesome terrain. The Malifaux guys were just so exceedingly friendly and pleasant – though I knew nothing about their tournaments – that they were a blast to share space with.

Finally, I want to mention Greenman Designs, who make some really cool acrylic measuring templates and other tools. He was extremely enthusiastic and mentioned getting a whole line of warmachine stuff up and running, including some omni-measuring tools as well as sliding scatter template. My buddy has the first Cygnar Flavored one, and its really awesome. He even takes whatever custom design and can cut it out in whatever color you want – Color is independent of product, so you can always get what you want. His prices were reasonable, as well. Give him a look if you have a chance!

Till next time,

Jonathon

Every year about this time, I start gearing up for one of the larger events I run, the NOVA Open, a 4 day gaming convention in Crystal City, VA, just north of DC.

I’ve been Pressganging for almost three complete years now, and NOVA holds a special place in my heart, because its my Pressgang anniversary. Each year I’ve stepped up my involvement with running the events, and this year, I’ve been given the privilege of running the whole show. If I seem to come off as selling this years event, don’t worry, I am shamelessly.

the NOVA Open, as its name implies, is open to all sorts of gaming. There are 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Bloodbowl, Flames of War, X-Wing, Infinity and Malifaux events going on all weekend as well as workshops and seminars to boot. Justin from Secret Weapon Miniatures has attended multiple years, as has Dan Cotrupe from Tectonic Craft Studios.Justin from Malifaux 2e will be on hand this year as well!

One of the things that makes the NOVA Open unique is the load of what they call Lemonade Raffles – Prizes for loosing games. For every game you loose, you get your name put into the drawing for the Lemonade Raffle, and if your name is picked you get a prize. Sometimes, its a fantastic price worth over a hundred dollars (I think, I seem to remember someone winning a colossal last year). This makes Warmachine, Malifaux and Infinity players extremely happy, as we play, and loose, many games over the course of the day.

Speaking of those games, there will be tons of tournaments to attend in every shape and style you can think of. While the official schedule is here, I’ll break down the Warmachine events.

Thursday:

4:00pm – Midnight : Tierany Tournament
– A 32 slot, 50 point,  Theme list tournament, requiring your army to be qualified for at least Tier 1 of the Warcaster or Warlocks Theme force. One list is required, with a second list optional, using the Top Table variant.This event uses the Deathclock timer, and will qualify the top 2 players for the masters on Sunday.

Friday

8:00am – 3:00pm:  NOVA Team Tournament
– a  35 point, 3 person team tournament. Each team will have designated themselves, however they desire, into Captain, First Lt., and Second Lt.. Each round, each Team will play the other team member of the same rank. Once during the tournament, the Captain can use the team feat and swap two players on his teams rank for the rest of the tournament. This Tournament uses the Top Table and Deathclock variants, and will qualify the entirety of the top 2 teams for Masters.

5:00pm – Midnight: Hardcore Tournament
-a 50 (corrected from the earlier 35) point, out of the book Hardcore tournament. That mweans 1 list, fully painted, Timed turns, Deathmatch Scenario tournament! Bring you’re A game and shoot for the Commendations: Vanquisher – Best Overall Record,  Master Craftsman – Best Painted Army (as judged by the NOVA Open Judges), Executioner – Most Army Points Destroyed, and Mage Hunter – Most Efficient Caster Kill. The top 2 players, determined by record and SOS will Qualify for masters.

Saturday

8:00am – 6:00pm – Steamroller 2014
– a 50 Point Steamroller with just a few variants. Deathclock Timing, Divide and Conquer (1) and Finals Table. The top 3 Players, as determined by record and SOS, will qualify for masters.

10:00am – 8:00pm – NOVA Open METAL FIST

An unofficial Iron Gauntlet event, following all the iron gauntlet rules.

7:00pm-Midnight – Who’s The Boss!
– Everyone favorite broken format! build a 41 point list and spin the wheel every round to see who the leader of your army is! Deathclock and Finals Table Variant! Other special rules are

The caster becomes a Friendly Faction model and gains all the benefits of being a caster of that game system. Focus and Fury manipulation of the caster will change as part of the army’s parent game system.
– Warjack and Warbeast text on the casters card will change as part of the army’s parent game system with the exception of offensive spells or offensive abilities. Offensive spells or abilities wording remains unchanged on the card.

–  Abilities and Spell effects on the caster cards that add Focus will remove Fury in a Hordes army.
–  Abilities and Spell effects on the caster cards that remove Fury will add Focus in a Warmachine army.
– Elite Cadre and similar abilities of the Warcaster/warlock are lost unless the defined models exist in the army they are playing for.
-Abilities/spells that heal/repair will change as part of the army’s parent game system.
– Animosity and Abilities that specify caster battlegroup types are removed from their card.

Sunday
10:00am onwards – Scrambles!
Fast moving 4 or 8 man tournaments, meant to be quick and have players perhaps play people that you’ve not played yet at NOVA. Submit your list and when we get the requisite number of people, we’ll start the tournament! Deathclock will be required to keep the tournaments moving, and we will be giving out prizes for each scrambles event!

10:00am – 6:00pm – Nova Masters
The culmination of the NOVA open, pitting the qualifiying winners from tournaments all weekend long against each other for the title of NOVA Master. Be prepared to play by the Masters Rule set: 3 lists, Divide and Conquer 1 and Deathclock timing.
The Qualifiers are as follows.

  • Tierany: 2
  • SR2014: 3
  • Team Tournament: Top Two Teams (6 players)
  • Hardcore: 2
  • Metal Fist: 3

There will be alternates, as described in the primer, so even if you don’t qualify, make sure to note that you could get in if someone doesn’t show!

We also will have a Kingmaker Tournament on Sunday for the High Command players, and will be having Iron Arena and all sorts of goodies to win via playing open games!

Caveat: We are still hammering out the final details, so there might be some minor changes here and there, once the final Primer comes out, that supersedes anything I’ve written here (which shouldn’t change much, honestly, if at all)

So, if you have the weekend of August 28th-30th free, consider taking a trip down to DC and playing awesome games of whatever system you play. Stop down by the Warmachine area, and we’ll give a demo to you if you’ve never played, or challenge a PG or anyone else. I’ll have my Cephalyx and hope to have them fully painted, looking for games between running events.  It’ll be an amazing time!

Feedback is encouraged, either through Twitter or Comments! Let me know what you think of the schedule!