It is finished! And I had no reason to worry. We didn’t have much time to plan, but everyone at the NOVA Open was helpful and supportive–and, most importantly, a small but enthusiastic group of players showed up to play games and have fun!
Things got off to a great start when I picked up the guidebook containing the schedule and event guidelines–it was only about two weeks ago that we submitted the material (after the deadline), but here it was with graphics and in print!
Then I descended to the ballrooms on the lower level to meet my co-lead; he had already set up terrain on our designated tables, and this was the moment when I was most excited and nervous. Sure, players had registered for the event, but would they show up and have a good time? One of my prime motivations to get involved with planning all this was my wife–she surprised both of us last month by trying and enjoying the game herself, and she was excited to participate and share the experience of the NOVA Open with me.
We had a great location in the big hall behind the Hobbit event which featured some fantastic terrain, and next year I aim to emulate the energy and leadership of the lead for the LotR events. It was humbling to watch him in action with his larger group of players. Overall, we had a decent showing for GW fantasy games even without 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy.
Friday night we met in the foundation lounge where a big suite had been converted to a bar and hangout space and all the proceeds for the drinks went to charity. Everyone met and talked about Age of Sigmar for an hour, keeping attitudes positive, and then we went downstairs to play some games. I wanted a relatively casual evening of gaming without many composition rules or restrictions, so we played for achievements–most of which did not just reward removing models from the table. After 2 rounds, Tim with his Brets was awarded the first certificate for our AoS events of the weekend. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to hold an award and shake the winner’s hand while posing for a camera at the same time!
But Friday night was a relief–I did not need to worry about hecklers or unhappy players, and even though my wife lost her first game she wasn’t discouraged and remarked about how fair everyone seemed to play. I managed to get in a practice game with an opponent as well–I didn’t have my Stormcast Eternals finished, and my wife had borrowed most of my painted Wood Elves, so I set up a force of old Wolfen Confrontation models as proxies for Ogres. One unit in particular chewed through several small units of plump Duardin.
Even though the Duardin force outnumbered my “Ogres” by more than 200%, we didn’t need to use the Sudden Death victory conditions, and our collective experience over the course of the weekend reinforced everyone’s suspicion of using that new rule in games featuring classic Warhammer factions.
I have plenty more pictures of Saturday, but I’m going to save those for a second post.