Thursday, February 17, 2011


Well, I was going to try to go to the NOVA Open this year, but between the $35 fee to get in the door, and the $65 fee to play in the Warhammer Fantasy tournament, I really don't think I'll be attending this year.
Or ever.
$100 to play a couple of tabletop games? No thank you. Look, I know we as wargamers have to expect a certain expense when it comes to the activity, but $100? This is double what I was expecting to pay, and $35 more than I am willing to pay. $65 to play in the tournament is excessive, but $35 just to walk in the door?

Say what you will about this being the biggest / best / most elite tournament in Virginia, but to me they're just getting $100 from those who've bought into hype. I don't want to hear about how it's also a painting contest, or how much swag is being handed out. $100 is WAY too much.

I may seem a bit bitter in this post, and to a degree I am- I was getting together some miniatures to play in this event. I was looking forward to getting back into the tournament scene. I'm just glad I checked how much a ticket was before I dropped another however many dollars into my army.

Guess my Skaven will stay at the "friendly" level instead of stepping up to the "competitive" bracket for now. Until then, I'll be on the lookout for any sensibly priced tournaments.

Sorry for the negative post, but this just has me irked.


  1. There's an entry fee and an event fee? That seems silly. Is it attached to a larger event? I thought the Nova Open was a stand-alone sort of thing. Shame to hear this, I've been meaning to look into it since it's in our backyard.

    Ultimately, I think Warmachine is the way to go for tournaments. The rules are tighter, the game is more tactical, there's less room for shenanigans and "mistakes" in army lists, plus the company at least seems interested in seeing their game played competitively. Also there seems to be a couple tournaments a month around here, depending on how generous you want to be with your driving distances.

  2. I'm sorry you feel so strongly about the price! That's quite the powerful reaction. Unfortunately our hobby is as expensive to run as it is to play. We take up relatively huge amounts of square footage per player, and so the price you almost have to charge can often be higher to cover your expenses. Sadly, while some people will rip you across the internet no matter what you do, this isn't a moneymaking venture. We won't be walking out of it with a Buck in our pocket due to the badge fees or what have you.

    While I'm sure in blogging and amongst friends you may delineate all manner of villainy in our rates, they aren't there so we can profit off the "hype." It's just so that running DC's only wargaming convention doesn't COST us money. I'd like to hit $0 lost or gained.

    As an aside, Fantasy tix, format, and price are all not finalized yet. You can't even buy Fantasy tix. $65 is for 40k, which gets you a guaranteed 9 rounds in a field of 256 @ a world attended and known GT. At 96 slots, Fantasy will be more 6-7 rounds and probably will cost more along the lines of WM/H ... more like $30 on top of the badge.

    PS, found the angryrant because someone followed your link to our site.

  3. Well, sir, I thank you for taking the time to respond to my rant. I was a bit harsh in calling the people who attend the event "those who've bought into hype". I just don't believe in censoring my thoughts here, where I admittedly can hide behind a screen of anonymity.

    I have not attended your event, but I have attended several cons, and 90% of the activities are included in the badge price. Badges run in the $60 range, but that's still a fair sight less than $100.

    To me, $100 to play in a tournament is just way too much money. Maybe it is because of the size of the event, but once you leave the $50 area in terms of cost, you've lost me as an attendee. I've participated in, as well as run tournaments many times for many game systems (Warhammer, 40k, Hordes, Warmachine, Monsterpocalypse) and I've never encountered this price tag except for the Games Workshop Grand Tournament I attended which ran ~$145. The GT, however, included food and lodging in the fee so that, to me, slightly justified the price point. Today, however, I have a bit more respect for the value of the dollar.

    Should the Fantasy event be in an "affordable" range (this is a bit of a moving target, thus the quotes) I will reconsider attending.

    In the end, however, I cannot justify to myself the $145 I spent on the GT, and I cannot justify spending $100 on a tournament either.

  4. Not a problem on commenting, and I appreciate the comment re: harshness.

    The important point for me to convey is multi-fold here

    1) Your original post gives the impression you believe we are charging more than we should, and/or that we are overcharging, for our Fantasy GT. I've corrected that about the Fantasy GT; I wonder if you still hold the opinion re: the 40k GT given information included. Also, most activities and events are indeed included in the badge price.

    Either way, what's important to me as an organizer is that you are aware - especially since I'm sure you've shared your frustrations (as you should!) with friends / compatriots / etc. - that we charge what we budget for, and we do not budget for a material profit (enough to cover unexpected last minute charges, or contract infractions if we don't fill enough hotel rooms). We'll be donating any of that overage saved for Breast Cancer research in my mother's name, as she is a two-time survivor. So, while the NOVA's 40k format enjoys worldwide acclaim, and is worked on to a fairly excessive and relentless degree, we certainly are not "fleecing" anyone for a profit. You don't run GT's for profit, as it's not really feasible.

    2) While your rant is your right, do consider the viewership that will come across it, and the fact that if you were to regularly read and keep up with details about the NOVA, you might both better understand the cost, and be aware that we're always an open door to critique. The format, and structure, is in fact built upon the input of literally thousands of voices and playtesters around the world (which is probably why we have already dozens of attendees paid up this year from Europe and outside the US).

    Perhaps posting about how upset you are / were at seeing a tentative price did help you feel better; that said, if feeling better is what you seek, vs. simply being angry, you would be better served to e-mail / share with us your concerns, so that they can be taken into account with all of the other commentary we get, and might help make our event even better.

    It was only by the pure fortune of your link to the NOVA Open site that I came across your rant ... it would have simply been wasted frustration yelling into the void had someone not clicked it.

    My $.02 only, but feel free to expend your energies constructively ... at least in regard to the NOVA; it is a service we provide, not a business of which we profit.