NOVA Open is done, and it was a lot of fun!


Hey everyone, Reecius here to relate my experience from the NOVA Open!

The NOVA Open is a 3 day gaming event held in Arlington, VA. It provides a wide array of gaming options, including hardcore tournament action, narrative gaming, demos, painting classes, and all kinds of other events.

It is located in the beautiful Hyatt, very near the DCA airport. Getting to and away from the event was simple, and easy. The hotel itself is beautiful, and the rooms were excellent.

The event was extremely well run, and professional. Everything I witnessed ran on time, registration was a breeze, there was a ton of space for gaming and walking around and in general was a pleasure to participate in.

I went with fellow Team Zero Comp teammates Frankie and InContol. I brought Astra Militarum with Knights, Frankie brought Dark Eldar, and InControl brought Tyranids.

I felt slightly dickish bringing the Adamantine Lance formation as it is really powerful (I didn’t get my Ogryn list painted in time and the Knights were handy so I grabbed them), but when I arrived and looked around at the other lists, I actually felt slightly under-gunned! I have not seen lists that hyper-powered since the last Ard Boyz I went to! I knew I was in for a tough tournament, but that is good fun.

The players we met were uniformly fun to play, skilled and friendly. You just better bring the serious heat if you go to the competitive events, there. That is fun though, taking off the gloves can be a good time. The cool thing is that you can play in the narrative events if you want some more laid back gaming. NOVA provides a venue for that as well. In the main 40k event, it seemed that once the brackets split up, the lower brackets had some awesome, fun lists, too. In effect, there was room for all kinds of gaming.

What I did find humorous and ironic though, was the fact that a lot of players on the East Coast think that using Forge World or some Lords of War is going too far, or would be too powerful. Looking around at lists like 3 Imperial Knights with 3 Riptides, or 3 Wraithknights with 2 Imperial Knights, or an army with a Seer Council AND a Beaststar, or 2 Beaststars, or the legions of Centurionstars I could not help but laugh. My friends, it doesn’t get much more powerful than that! Haha.

I brought the following.

Adamantine Lance Formation:

Knight Paladin

Knight Paladin

Knight Errant

Astra Militarum CAD

Lord Commissar: Power Fist

Veterans: Melta x 2, H.Flamer



Platoon Squad: Flamer

Platoon Squad: Flamer





So as you can see pretty much this is just what I had the day before I got on the plane! Haha, it was a fun list though, and gives me quite a few tools.

Round 1 I played Neil from the Independent Characters who also had an Adamantine Lance and 3 Riptides! We had a great, fun game and ironically, my Basilisk won me the game by smoking a unit of Crisis Suits with the Ethereal attached for all the secondary points, giving me the win. Didn’t see that coming in that match up!

Round 2 I played Jack, the winner of the Invitational with his Centurionstar. We had a very chess like game with him Gating his Star around avoiding my Knights, while I hunted his support units. The game boiled down to me making some incredible saves to keep my blob alive, my Commissar Lord going ham and taking out Coteaz and two Centurions in assault, and my Knights holding or contesting objectives. Jack failed to take the game winning objective by 1/8″! Great game against a very skilled opponent.

Round 3 I played against Kurt’s Dark Eldar with dual Beaststars. Lol, no rest for the wicked! But considering I took the Adamantine Lance, I had it coming to a certain extent. Kurt was a fun, and skilled opponent and it was a close game. His Wraithknight took a flank and was picking up easy KPs out of reach of my Imperial Knights, but, my Knights were hot on their stomps and I was able to cream one beast pack. I was losing until turn 4 when his reserves hit the table and my Vendetta and Knights were able to pick off the easy targets. However, the game was a lock when I hit Vect with a pie plate and poor Kurt rolled a 1 on his save, doh! That sealed the game. Another super fun game and rounded out day 1 3-0. Nice!


Round 4 I played Kelsey and his Flying Circus Daemons. Someone forgot to tell him that that list wasn’t good anymore because I got my ass handed to me by it, lol! I set up for an Alpha Strike and to jump onto objectives immediately to start earning points but he seized on me and that was a wrap. One of his Princes had Iron Arm and Armorbane and was able to chop-chop my Knights. Plus, my dice were ice-cold, I killed more of my own models with bad scatters in my shooting phase than I did of Kelsey’s! He was a fun, nice opponent though, and despite the butt-whipping, it was an enjoyable game.

Round 5 I played a Farsight Tau army commanded by Vaden who was a great opponent. He almost shot my Knights down in a straight up gunfight! When the dust settled I had 2 Knights left with only 3 HP between them. However, Crisis Suits don’t like all the strength 8+ pie plates I was tossing around and he just couldn’t win the battle of attrition, giving me the win.

Round 6 I played Andy Kopach’s Centurionstar, and while he was an excellent player, he made a deployment error, keeping his Star too far back and I was able to outmaneuver him and take the objectives despite barely destroying any of his army. Great game and Andy was a fun opponent.

Round 7 I played Cameron’s Eldar. It was well rounded, with Wraithguard, Serpents, 2 Wraithknights, Spiders and Hawks. We had a great game of cat and mouse that came down to the final roll of the dice. It actually was settled by a game of rock-paper-scissors to see who would roll off for the end of game and I lost, having to roll for it and losing to First Blood! We had a really fun game and had some crazy dice on both sides of the table, making it a very enjoyable game. The critical moment was him making 6 of 6 jink saves on a Wave Serpent with a single HP left to avoid FB, and then hitting my Vendetta with a single Serpent Shield hit, pinning it, rolling a 6 to immobilize it followed by a 2 to see it crash and burn! Haha, them there is the breaks.

Round 8 was pure comedy. I played a super fun opponent John, who had 2 Deathstrike Launchers and a massive amount of IG Infantry. He killed all 3 Knights by turn 2 and all of the in two shots! Lol, it was crazy, every hit was a punch followed by an Explodes! result followed by 3 HP lost, I couldn’t believe it. The best moment though, was a Deathstrike blowing up a Knight who went nuclear, and then scattered onto another Knight, D-Slapping him! Doh! While I got totally creamed in short order, we were both laughing our asses off at the pure ridiculousness of it.


In all, 8 fun games against 8 great opponents. Thanks to everyone that played me! I ended up 5-3, as did Frankie who made the top bracket with Dark Eldar, and Geoff went 6-2 with Nids!

In all, NOVA was a great time and we had a really enjoyable experience. We were sad to leave our Forge World toys behind, but that’s OK, variety is fun, too. Thanks to everyone who threw a fun event.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

71 Responses to “NOVA Open is done, and it was a lot of fun!”

  1. Avatar
    iNcontroL September 2, 2014 9:39 pm #

    great article as always! Nova was a lot of fun.. we have good friends there and it was a blast playing warhammer with em. I have to agree though.. EAST COASTERS: Stop being bitches about FW/LoW — you guys are all shameless powergamers anyways.. pointing the finger at FW/LoW makes you look silly lol 🙂

    • Avatar
      Jural September 3, 2014 8:20 am #

      The thing about LoW is where to draw the line. You remove any fun for an unprepared player with some of the LoW… Add in Knight Allies and what would Phil Kelly’s Endless Swarm even do? 😉

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 3, 2014 8:51 am #

        Tie up the Knights in assault,,,endlessly! Buh-dun-ching!

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 9:06 am #

      I had a great time, too, NOVA was super fun.

      And I really do miss my Malanthropes and Vulture and Sicaran, etc. =)

  2. Avatar
    guest September 2, 2014 9:42 pm #

    great to see you had fun … deathstrike missile tales are the best … glad you didn’t have to face tony kopach … that list of his was the definition of being a dick desperate to win

    • Avatar
      Chip September 3, 2014 7:43 am #

      You’ve got to be kidding me…

      • Avatar
        ChanceT September 3, 2014 7:58 am #

        Welcome to the internet lol. Faceless a-holes who literally don’t have a clue or just being try hard trolls.

        • Avatar
          Greggles September 3, 2014 10:44 am #

          Seriously. As time goes on, and I experience a lot of these events first hand, you really start to realize how many of the negative comments are coming from individuals who didn’t even attend the events!

          Everyone is just so angry! Have a beer fellas! Cheers!

          • Reecius
            Reecius September 3, 2014 11:44 am

            The folks at the events had a blast, which is what matters. While folks are free to express their opinions, as you noted, weigh them more lightly than folks that attended the events.

    • Avatar
      Jural September 3, 2014 8:15 am #

      ??? I reviewed the top 10 lists as posted by Tasty Taste. How did the winner’s list end up more “dickish” than the rest? It seemed like a variation on serpent spam… one of 3 variations on that list in the top 10, lol!

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 8:52 am #

      I did have fun, thanks. And Tony’s list was pretty full on, but he’s actually a really cool dude.

      • Avatar
        Chip September 3, 2014 9:03 am #

        Breaking news: Night Spinners are the new OP Meta!

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 3, 2014 9:07 am #

          You heard it here, first! I actually liked his list, honestly, Mech Eldar, speed, mobility, optimized for the missions. It was well played. Plus, I love Fire Dragons!

          • Avatar
            Chip September 3, 2014 9:56 am

            his list was a great example of knowing the tournament. with the type of terrain, and more so the size of the terrain, having a large blast barrage weapon was pretty crucial.

            It’s no deathstrike though 😉

          • Reecius
            Reecius September 3, 2014 10:04 am

            Yeah, I honestly don’t think his list was as bad as some of the others there. Wave Serpents are amazeballs, no one will deny that, but compared to some of the other lists I saw there it wasn’t unbeatable by any means.

            And yes, thankfully no Deathstrikes, haha, I had my fill of those!

        • Jeremy Veysseire
          MikhailLenin September 3, 2014 10:15 pm #

          And Here you thought my choice of a Nightspinner at Adepticon was weird =)

  3. jy2
    jy2 September 2, 2014 9:58 pm #

    Congratulations you guys. You guys did great!

    I actually shudder at the thought of East Coast players allowing FW in their tourneys. They are already very cut-throat in terms of competitive lists. I’d hate to see what they can and will come up with with all those new FW “toys”.

    • Avatar
      Pascal Roggen September 2, 2014 11:51 pm #

      I think after a couple of big east coast tourneys, you’d find out what was .. if anything, better than basic gw stuff….. I don’t think a lot, but who knows with all these new dexs:)

    • Avatar
      Jural September 3, 2014 8:17 am #

      It would certainly help clean up some of the deathstars which prevailed… but the new Dark Elf dex may as well. But I am certain that more LoW plus Knights and FW increases the odds of auto losing… as in- I’m putting my models on the table and moving them around, but unless my opponent rolls all 1’s…

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 8:53 am #

      Perhaps, but, it would also (hopefully) mean more variety.

    • Avatar
      winterman September 3, 2014 10:05 am #

      Yeah I think that is a real consideration. I have yet to see anyone really try and abuse FW at a west coast event outside of Gareth’s list at LVO. East coast I am sure would see more abuse.

      But at the same time FW has become much more tame. All the old buggaboes were either nerfed (dread drop pods, liftas); marginalized by 7ed rules (sabre platforms) or now have similar options in the standard codexes (Loth vs Tigerius, thudd guns vs wyverns).

      All in all I suspect NoVa will allow FW next year. They were fairly close to doing so this year by things stated on MVBs blog.

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 3, 2014 10:24 am #

        Agreed. But, we have grown so accustomed to it here that it feels like playing with an arm tied behind your back without it.

    • Avatar
      DarkLink September 3, 2014 6:33 pm #

      There’d be, what, more Thudd Guns, Hornets, and Sicarian Battle Tanks? Like there weren’t a ton of those at the BAO. It’d be fine.

  4. Avatar
    klr September 3, 2014 1:40 am #

    Thanks for the write up. Some good showings by the team.

    Could you enlighten us a little bit more how you think imperial knights performed in your list and general in the GT.

    Good? Bad ? Was the formation good, or would you have taken only 1-2 to get more points for other thngs, like anti-air ?

    Seems like there was a lot of lists with imperial knights, but none got into the top 5 in open or invitational. Do they have to many counters ? Are peoplng seeing themselves blind on the lance formation and sinking to many points into them ?

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 8:54 am #

      The Knights are a bit all or nothing. If your opponent can deal with them, they become a huge liability. If not, they can win the game on their own. I think in the future I will go back to a single Knight. I think it is a better investment.

      The Lance Formation is bad ass, but, you always end up splitting them up by midgame. It really helps you to survive early game shooting and get off critical charges than anything else.

  5. Avatar
    ChanceT September 3, 2014 5:30 am #

    I agree with JY2 as an east coaster who has to play against these lists I shudder to think of what these guys could do with FW. Although I am a proponent of opening the game up to FW/selective LoW. Watching Reece call his shot after losing the Rock Paper Scissors match was probably the highlight of my weekend just for the sheer hilarity of how it all went down.

    Like I said in the other nova thread it was cool seeing you guys again. And keep up the good work with all the content you guys at frontline provide, as there are those of us that appreciate it a lot.

    Overall it was a great weekend and another great nova. After playing taudar in 4 of 6 games at nova last year it was nice to never play the same list twice this year and shows that 7’th Ed. And varied missions really has allowed for varied lists.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 8:56 am #

      It was a pleasure seeing you again too, brotha! We had a great time. And yeah, sometimes you just know what you are going to roll, and Cameron did, too, so it was funny that the game came down to Rock-Paper Scissors! haha

      I only played the same army twice, myself, which is awesome. It sucks plying the same army over and over at a GT.

  6. Avatar
    Noah September 3, 2014 8:01 am #

    Nice write up Reece it seemed like a very good time. It is quite ironic that these power gamers fear the addition of FW/LoW. As long as you restrict things like the tranny Ctan and the Revenant then it isn’t that big of a deal. Naturally we fear change so I understand the hesitation. On a side note Geoff…your army list picture was hilarious. I’m not sure I could take a game seriously after being handed that.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 9:01 am #

      Yeah, it was funny, but, they’re all cool guys and super fun to hang out with, so nothing personal of course. I just found it funny that they could fear FW when they already bring lists cranked up to 11.

  7. Avatar
    Jural September 3, 2014 8:09 am #

    Great write-ups, I’m just hoping this East Coast West Coast thing doesn’t blow up like 90’s rap did.

    Out of curiosity, what is meant by no LoW? The slot was removed from CAD, or the slot was allowed but no super heavies (i.e. Ghaz, Logan, etc were allowed?)

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 9:04 am #

      No, not at all. We have a friendly rivalry with them, but we like them, too. They’re cool guys, we aren’t putting them down at all, we genuinely enjoy hanging out with them. We just like to rib them about their crazy lists is all! haha

      Oh, and the LoW we talk about is a restricted list of Super Heavies and Gargs+Characters.

      • Avatar
        Jural September 3, 2014 1:33 pm #

        I meant did they not allow any LoW at NOVA, or did they allow characters but no super heavies or Gargantuans, or some mix of allowed super heavies…etc?

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 3, 2014 3:12 pm #

          No super heavies at all, it was too close to the event so they just did a blanket ban which at the time, was only Ghaz and Logan.

    • Avatar
      TrueKnight September 3, 2014 9:33 am #

      Lol ya during the podcast yesterday all I could think of was it being Pac n Biggie all over again lolol

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 3, 2014 10:05 am #

        Well, if we’re the Pac of that equation, I can live with that! haha

  8. Avatar
    Jural September 3, 2014 8:22 am #

    So Frontline guys- how are you feeling about CtA allies now. I saw a few lists which relied on them… My CSM could use the boost, lol! Even tempting with ‘Nids.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 9:06 am #

      I am more open minded to it now, so long as you impose a strict rule of it HAS to be a themed army.

      • Avatar
        Umbo September 3, 2014 9:41 am #

        considering the things the imperium can do to each other CtA allies it is ok imo .

      • Avatar
        Umbo September 3, 2014 9:46 am #

        It is a super event, I am looking forward to the next one already. The rules things is what it is, I would like to see more consistency with other GTs like yours. There are currently some big differences between both sets.

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 3, 2014 10:06 am #

          Yeah, no doubt. We both have wonky rules calls that people question, this particular one definitely got blown out of proportion, though =(

      • Avatar
        Jural September 3, 2014 10:10 am #

        Luckily Knights go with anything. They are like salt.

  9. Avatar
    fluger September 3, 2014 10:54 am #

    Well done, team 0-comp!

    Great, simple write up.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 11:43 am #


      • Avatar
        fluger September 3, 2014 12:18 pm #

        Also, what’s up with all this anti-competitive gaming noise up above me? LOL

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 3, 2014 12:40 pm #

          Eh, it’s just people reacting, it’s all good =)

  10. Avatar
    Thatguyoverthere September 3, 2014 11:57 am #

    What was the nid list that went 6-2?

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 12:39 pm #

      Living Artillery Formation

  11. Avatar
    Lee Zag September 3, 2014 1:05 pm #

    You guys were a blast, glad you guys had a good time. Though, I think me you and Frankie may have had a little too much to drink Sunday night! Having less than a 4 hour turn around to make our flights was a bitch.

    Lists were definitely cranked up to 11 at NOVA, it was hilarious. People looked at my Triptide list as soft because it wasn’t Triptide + Adamantine Lance!

    I was hoping that me and Frankie would have been paired together in the Final Bracket, but things kept getting FUBARed and it never happened.

    Fun was had by all, great meeting you guys. I’ll have to try to swing out for the LVO.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 3:11 pm #

      It was great to meet you, Lee! And yeah, we definitely had too much to drink on Sunday, I was hung over the entire trip home, lol!

      Hope to see you at the LVO!

      • Avatar
        Tom September 3, 2014 3:24 pm #

        Were any of the your games recorded? Would love to see the toe to toe action.

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 3, 2014 3:33 pm #

          Me getting owned by FMC Daemons was live streamed, haha!

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 4, 2014 9:28 am #

          No, no recordings, unfortunately.

      • Avatar
        Lee Zag September 3, 2014 5:53 pm #

        Lol, I was a little rough around the edges and was at work by 3pm.

        Geoff and his box on the plane still cracks me up, you guys were good people.

        I’ll definitely try and make it to the LVO!

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 4, 2014 9:25 am #

          Same, same. We’d love to have you, dude!

  12. Avatar
    Umbo September 3, 2014 3:22 pm #

    I hope to attend the LVO with my buddies as we had a blast at NoVA!

    I know people are worried about FW and stuff but they really shouldnt. I was wondering if instead of having a list that is ‘created’ by your thoughts and ideas on what LoW should be allowed maybe introduce a percentage limit. Say 25% of your points can be spent on a LoW, like FW do with the 30k armies. Then no one can argue why was their LoW banned and not this one etc etc

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 3:33 pm #

      We have thought about something like that, too. We decided to ban anything with a larger than 5″ blast or flamer template that ignored armor and cover. It worked well.

      • Avatar
        Umbo September 3, 2014 4:02 pm #

        Then you should ban the deathstrike ;-), I cant think of an overpowered LoW at 475pts or less, problem with your list is that it will need constant reviewing and questioning. Not that I am complaining, this is just spit balling ideas

        • Avatar
          Jural September 4, 2014 9:24 am #

          The only real advice I have (theoretically speaking) with the BAO LoW list was that some pieces (Lord of Skulls thing) only have an option to be fielded with the offending gear.

          I hope in future tournies the list is opened up and some specific upgrades disallowed instead of blanket bans… thank goodness they decided to make 50 Baneblade variants instead of one variant with 20 different mix and match options!

          I’d love to see if that Eldar Lord of War really holds up, or the Harridan, or the Space Marine Gunship. Because I can see all of them being nasty even without Ignore cover shennanigans

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 4, 2014 9:26 am #

          Ban Deathstrikes? Never! Haha, but I totally see your logic =)

  13. Avatar
    Lackluster Batreps September 3, 2014 3:36 pm #

    as an east coaster…who constantly plays against these lists…you have a great attitude about it and the game needs more players like you. yes we think forgeworld and such is o.p., but it s bc of the combos you can create, not the models themselves. On their own they are good/great units. but combine them w the crazy combos that already exist and it s ridiculousness. We, and im speaking for a lot of us, feel like there are already enough units allowed to create a great variety of tournament winning lists. I for one use necrons and frequently win local tournaments against these “super strong lists”. Why allow super overpriced models that most people can t even afford to the fray. A night shroud bomber costs 4 x as much as a nytscythe and it s the same model w fins.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 4, 2014 9:27 am #

      We use FW all the time and honestly have had no issue with it. I am sure some loopy combos could come out of it, but I honestly don’t think it would be any worse than what we have now, just different. And yeah, the game is fun, even when you are playing crazy shit like double deathstars, haha!

  14. Avatar
    Migsula September 3, 2014 4:22 pm #

    Great write up, great spirit and looking forward to more reports and lists. Did any of the “top 10” guys do write ups anywhere?

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 4, 2014 9:25 am #

      Thanks, Migs! And as for the write-ups from the top players, I don’t know, honestly.

  15. Avatar
    Madcore September 3, 2014 4:55 pm #

    congrats guys,

    Seems like a lot of fun…

    I am very curious how that Justin Adams guys made it that high in the rankings with that Chaos list….Any pointers you guys can give me about this? From what I can recall of the pictures, I think Franky played against that guy would I be right?

    Tks and Congrats..

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 4, 2014 9:25 am #

      He made the finals at the LVO with Chaos, too! He’s very good.

  16. Avatar
    Master Shake September 3, 2014 7:53 pm #

    Hey, Reece! This is Kelsey.

    It was great meeting you. I hope to see you at the LVO!

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 3, 2014 10:25 pm #

      Definitely! I need a rematch after that ass whipping, lol!

  17. Avatar
    Julio Rodriguez September 4, 2014 1:36 am #

    I just want to congratulate you guys for reppin the west coast. I was cheering on thru my phone daily checking up seeing how you guys were doing. Im joining you guys next year for sure.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 4, 2014 8:51 am #

      We’d love to have you next year, and thanks for the support!

  18. Avatar
    olliswe September 4, 2014 11:14 am #

    Thanks for a good time guys!

    /Oliver, the centstar player from Denmark

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 4, 2014 11:42 am #

      It was a pleasure meeting you, Oliver! Well done on winning our bracket!

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