Monday, February 1, 2016

NOVA Open Registration Tonight

***Caveat, full disclosure:  I used to be a volunteer for the NOVA Open.

So, this is perhaps the (al)most useless post in the history of blogging.  Why?  Because I think the only people that are aware of this blog, are people I met through the NOVA Open.  But, on the off chance someone else stumbles across this or that there is a future of having further reaches I thought I would share that registration for the 2016 NOVA Open goes live tonight.  Follow the link to learn more:  NOVA Open.

To give some weight and purpose to this entire post I guess I will tell a little story about how I stumbled across the NOVA Open, became a volunteer and have watched it evolve.  Before I do that it is important to provide a particular bit of background.  I do not, in general, partake of anything Games Workshop (40k, Fantasy, purchasing of product, etc).  The details and reasons are not important for this particular post and the reality is there is nothing wrong with you liking 40k and me not liking it.  I don't think any different of someone because they like what Games Workshop offers and I hope they provide me (and the rest of the non-GW world) the same courtesy.  People like what they like in this hobby, there really does not have to be reasons, excuses or justifications.

I don't really feel like looking up the dates to get this 100% right, but about 4-5 years ago I was living in the Northern Virginia area outside of Washington DC.  I had been there for a little while and still had not really found a gaming community to become integrated into.  Actually, I had not really even found a single one.  Then one day, on the way to work, I was listening to a miniature gaming podcast (who shall not be named because frankly I don't care for that person).  He mentioned he was going to the NOVA Open.  Wow, in spite of my internet searches, I had not uncovered that this podcast host lived in the area or that there was a miniature gaming convention locally!  As soon as I got to work, I looked it up.  Due to the delay in from when the podcast was recorded and when I actually listened to it, the NOVA Open was that very weekend!  Without paying much attention to anything about it, I quickly signed up and got back to my day job responsibilities.

***Please note, I do not mean anything that follows to come across as a criticism.  I "plan" to make a point.

The weekend rolls around and I head out to the NOVA Open excited to check out this miniature gaming convention!  I do so without having done one lick of further investigation into it.  I arrive and proceed to registration and are wonderfully greeted and welcomed.  As they process my registration, one of the ladies asks for my army list.  My what?  "Your army list for the 40k tournament."  Yeah, that was pretty much all that was NOVA Open was.  I can't recall if WFB, Warmachine were there.  I don't think there were any hobby seminars either.  There was another game system, shoved away in a back corner.  And there were about 3 vendors.  I will be honest, it was disappointing for me as a non-GW person.  Despite this, a few months later I received an email asking (since I was local) would I be interested in helping out building terrain for the convention.  Thankfully I said yes despite having no experience in terrain making and continued to be exposed to the NOVA Open.

I provide the above paragraph to illustrate a point.  Follow the link to the NOVA Open and check out the events now (well 2016 at least):  40k, 30k, WarmaHordes, AoS, Malifaux, SW X-Wing, SW Armada, SW Imperial Assault, Infinity, LotR, Blood Bowl, Dark Age, WoK, DZC, Magic.  Check out the sponsors and vendors, too many to list here.  Check out all the seminars and painting competition, and who is involved in them!  Let's not forget to mention, last year major manufactures had a presence at the convention:  Wyrd, Hawk Wargames, CMON, Corvus Belli.  In the past few years, I have done all the things the NOVA Open has to offer:  gaming (non-40k), seminars, hanging out in the charity lounge (you need to check that out!), etc.  It is a great and evolving miniature gaming convention.  It is unbelievable how it has grown since I first blindly stumbled upon it.  Most importantly to me, the NOVA Open is:  fun, relaxed, welcoming, friendly.

Having relocated some 600 miles away, I am no longer associated with the NOVA Open.  I'm just a fanboy and wish them the best.  Check it out.  And, if you want to bring the family along it is an unbeatable price for a hotel that is very accessible to the DC metro system (just a short hotel shuttle ride to the metro station).  Maybe if you are lucky, you can get the significant other approval rating.

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