The NOVA Open was incredible. I entered the Narrative event with my Sons of Horus army, and despite a grueling early morning/late evening game managed to help humanity loose the earth. We lost, and had a blast doing it. It is hard to describe how good the Narrative really is. It plays the way I want games to play. It is a sort of a "bring what you've always wanted to see on the tabletop" and let's make a scenario where it is fun. The event is about camaraderie, and using story elements to ensure that everyone has a good time. The organizers, Owen and Steve, did an outstanding job. Will Nick and Kramer lead the forces of humanity to victory in space next year? How many desperate boarding actions will there be? The sky is the limit for the Narrative event. As players we dove right into the role playing aspect, and I think it showed. Hopefully next year we'll see team missions, side boards, and asymmetric battlefields and missions. Sometimes winning means loosing ground more slowly than the other side expects. No-win scenarios can be fun. Maybe we'll even see fewer games and more strategy.
The NOVA Charitable foundation managed to earn 20k for Doctors Without Borders. The winner of the Ultramarines force was even a member of my favorite warhammer 30K forum. I was supposed to play a game with Terranraida, but the narrative schedule left me panting for breath between games. Hopefully we'll see a Kreig supported Imperial Fists force from him at next year's event.
I met a load of people this year. Todd Sherman and Greg Hess both of whom I have either blog-stalked or chatted with online were a lot of fun to hang out with. Both are great painters. Greg took a huge amount of photos, so if you want to see the huge breadth of painting at the NOVA Open, he is your man. Todd has one of my favorite Eldar armies. His stuff looks great in photos, but when you see it in person it is an order of magnitude better. Brian Ballard and Jeff Jenkins might even convince me to go to Adepticon for some 30k action. Jeff already has EC's so maybe I'll have to paint up another legion.
The Capitol Palette was a turning point for my painting. It still does not seem real to me. My "Imperial Knight stomping on an EC contempter dreadnought" won Best of Show. I hadn't even considered that possible. The German panthers won another gold, and the SoH land raider won a bronze. Even typing this right now it does not seem real to me. When I entered this year my primary goal was to get painting feedback. Last year a combination of seminars and paint judging by Justin McCoy spurred me to change my painting style. After last year's seminars I embraced weathering in a totally different way. I even started chasing the military modeling community in order to learn their techniques. I can't think of a better endorsement for an event. I entered a competition, took a class, and that pointed me the right direction to push my painting. I am lucky so many people kept posting encouragement on this blog and in person. That helps more than you know.
It has been a great journey so far.