It’s May and as of this writing we’ve officially got just 15 weeks before the NoVA Open Tabletop Convention kicks off on Labor Day Weekend. With the Big FAQ 3 and the relevant errata finally out, the Goonhammer crew can finally start planning in full for the convention’s many events. Rather than keep our plans a secret, we thought it might be fun to share all of our list building, hobby work, theorizing, and agonizing with each other with the broader community, so you can see how dumb we are for biting off more than we can chew hobby-wise.

So we’re excited to bring you…


The Road to NoVA is a multi-part series where we’ll regularly track the progress of twelve goons as they prepare their armies for the big event. Regardless of what games you play or which armies you follow, there’s something to enjoy. As they post about their progress over the coming weeks, I’ll come back and edit this post to include links to their updates.
So without further ado, let’s introduce the participants:


Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones (@thechirurgeon)

Events: The 40k GT
Armies: Chaos Space Marines

We’ll start with me, because I’m the one writing this article. This year will be my second time attending NoVA and my second time participating in the 40k GT. I’m doing the GT because I like doing competitive events, and also because I couldn’t get into the Narrative. This year I’m planning on bringing Chaos Space Marines again, and my primary goal is to improve on my record last year, when I went 3-3. The upside? I’ve got a whole new codex, new units, and the FAQ significantly hurt some of the armies that dumpstered me last year. The downside? Almost none of the models I took to last year’s event are going to be going to this year’s event — I have to replace my old Abaddon and a bunch of marines, plus add a bunch of new units that weren’t part of my strategy last year. Almost nothing in that photo is making a return. Pretty much the only stuff that I’m bringing from last year are the cultists and maybe some sorcerers. So I’ve got a lot of hobby work to do!

TheChirurgeon’s Road to NoVA

Part 1: Planning a Spikey 17
Part 2: 130 Hours to NoVA
Part 3: Now the Real Work Begins
Part 4: The Warmaster
Part 5: Do Practice Games Against Greg Count?



Events: NoVA Narrative, Adeptus Titanicus Princeps Formal
Armies: Genestealer Cults, Xestobiax Legio

As mentioned in the Tales of Goony Gamers, I’ve had a slow start on my Genestealer cults with 1,250 points painted up for an event in May. I’m still undecided on what my 2K list for Nova will look like if I want to soup up with Imperial Guard or Tyranids. I’ve also entered the Adeptus Titanicus one day event. So far I have 2 games to my name with the same person and a force largely in shrink wrap. I’m a big fan of warhounds, so will likely go for something with either a Venator or Regia maniple to make good use of them Lastly, and possibly the hardest – I need to decide which faction to represent between Sports or Anime at the Badcast Friendly. I finally got into 40K with the advent of 8th edition and have not been to a big event yet. I’m really looking forward to slamming hams with fellow goons and checking out how a big narrative game is run.

Soggy’s Road to NoVA

Part 1: Entering the Abyss
Part 2: Following Through
Part 3: Shuffling Deckchairs


Alfredo (Bonds0097)

Events: NoVA Narrative and Kill Team GT
Armies: CSM/Thousand Sons for Narrative, Undecided for Kill Team

I’ve gone all in on the latest Chaos release and so I am building a largely Tzeentch themed CSM army that will go heavy on Daemons and Daemon Engines in order to synergize with my Thousand Sons and Tzeentch Daemons. The Chaos Space Marine piece will be entirely Black Legion, mostly tzeentch-marked. If I have time, I’d also like to do some big stuff for opponents that also bring stuff (think Magnus, Knight, LoC, etc.). I got one of everything in the new release and I’m hoping to have it all painted by NOVA so I have options.

Alfredo’s Road to NoVa:

Part 1: Hard Left at Chaos
Part 2: The Elfening Begins
Part 3: Slow (and steady?) Progress


Campbell “SRM” McWAAClin (@BrotherSRM)

Events: 40k Narrative (Warlords Track)
Armies: Ultramarines

After sweeping my events at Adepticon with Small Marine Black Templars, I thought it was about time I chose a similarly pretty, but still Not Good army to bring to NOVA. I’ve painted about 1000 points of Primaris Ultramarines so far, built mostly from Dark Imperium. Once I finish my second box worth I can move on to Shadowspear and figure out how I can hit that sweet spot between “tacticool” and “exceedingly loud” on each Marine. The goal with this whole project is to combine modern, weathered and grim aesthetics with the Rogue Trader and 2nd Edition style, combining bold heraldry and freehand with a more grounded look. I’m hoping to make it past 2000 points by NOVA, which shouldn’t be all that tough, considering I’ve only painted the first 1000 points since January.

Part 1: Plus Ultra
Part 2: Wait, How Much Gray Plastic?
Part 3: Stop Competing at 40k
Part 4: And They Shall Have No Direction
Part 5: Vanguardium Leviosa


Craig “MasterSlowPoke” Sniffen (@masterslowpoke)

Events: Narrative (Humanity Warlord)
Armies: Rainbow Warriors Space Marines

I was kind of waffling on starting a new army for NoVa 2019, but Shadowspear really solved that problem for me. My Rainbow Warriors are pretty set on first wave Primaris stuff, so I’m looking forward to painting all of the new Phobos stuff. Those camo cloaks seem perfect for massive rainbows to dazzle their way through the battlefields of the 41st millenium! With Kill Team: Elites coming as well, I want to add some Terminators to my force so I can have options on my Command Roster. I’d also like to add a Contemptor to my collection of Dreads; I’ve had some sitting on sprue for a few years now! This is going to be a busy 15 weeks!

Part 1: Jackrabbit Start
Part 2: Zero Steps Forward


Pictured: not the army I’ll be taking to Nova. Why did I think Hellions were a good idea!?

Liam “Corrode” Royle (Insta: @corrode.blackheart Twitter: @corrodepaints)

Events: The 40k GT
Armies: Eldar, probably

What I’m working on: So the tough thing here is that I’m really not sure. For the last few months I’ve been playing Talos spam with Doom/Jinx support from Eldrad. This worked pretty well, with two podium places at events in March including a 3rd place at Battlefield Birmingham. My plan was to wait for the FAQ and the Ynnari index and see what came out of it, and whether I would stick to basically what I was playing already, or expand out into Craftworlds or Harlequins or Ynnari. Unfortunately those two things came out and raised more questions than answers! For now I’m trying out different combinations of Aeldari stuff and seeing what sticks – but I’m not ruling out an Adeptus Mechanicus wildcard call either. For now the best I can say is – watch this space!

Corrode’s Road to NoVA

Part 1: The Corroad to NoVA
Part 2: Indecision Abounds
Part 3: Actually Playing Warhammer


NeonMentor (Jay)

Events: 40k Narrative
Armies: Genestealer Cults

2019’s gonna be not only my first NoVA, but my first proper organised event. I was originally planning on bringing my Knights, but then Genestealer Cults happened and now I’m stuck painting 100+ little buggers instead of 4-5 bigly buggers. Arse. As you can see from the pic, they’re in various states from half-painted to in-need of stripping, but by hell or high water I’m getting these cultists done in time.

NeonMentor’s Road to NoVA

Part 1: Oh Sweet Christ I’m So Behind


Dan (FromTheShire, not Badcast Dan)

Events: 40k Narrative
Armies: Blood Angels

After many false starts, color and concept changes, and side projects, I’m building and painting my first full army (Blood Angels) for this year’s event. There will likely be an overemphasis on Primarii and dreadnoughts because I like the models. I have a decent amount of models built, but there is still a fair amount of customization to do, and literally everything needs to be painted. Time to fire up this airbrush and get to work!

FromTheShire’s Road to NoVA

Part 1: Road to NoVA Week 1
Part 2: Road to NoVA Week 2
Part 3: Road to NoVA Weeks 3 & 4
Part 4: Road to NoVA Week 5
Part 5: Road to NoVA Week 6
Part 6: Road to NoVA Week 7
Part 7: Road to NoVA Week 9
Part 8: Road to NoVA Week 10
Part 9: Road to NoVA Week 11
Part 10: Road to NovA Week 12


Greg (Greg, @Skullfest9000)

Events: The 40k GT
Armies: Dark Angels

I’m doing the GT for my first Warham tournament ever, despite losing literally 90% of my games, and the reason why is that I’m fucking stupid. The main idea of the thing is to take my Dark Angels, which I started building in 5th edition and I’m dumb so I have too much dudes, and make them, uhh, maybe not good, but at least have an outside chance of going 1-5 in the NoVA GT. The list is still in progress, but the gist is this: a battalion of Primaris – no small marines at all, except for maybe Azrael – backed up by Ravenwing flyers and, if I get enough brain damage between now and then, a squad of some type of Terminator. Still in the TODO pile is 15 more intercessors, a unit of plasma jumpy bois, and a unit of hellbois, plus probably another jet, and I’ll be converting my existing land speeders to be Talonmasters. I’m planning on not bringing my knight Crusader, and going full mono-DAngels. If my dumb ass wins a game, I’ll be thrilled and confused in equal measure, but I’m mostly excited to get a bunch of new stuff painted, and jump on the Primaris train two years after it left the station.

Greg’s Road to NoVA

Part 1: How Do I Work This?
Part 2: Extremely Cool and Incredibly Good
Part 3: The Widening Gyre
Part 4: Ah Man, That Didn’t Go Well
Part 5: Big Dipshit Energy


Garrett (Condit)

Events: Adeptus Titanicus Princeps Formal
Armies: Legio Vulpa

This is going to be the first time I’ve played in an AT event with any sort of real organization, and I’m looking forward to running into new strategies and seeing what I can do to adapt to them. I’m going to be focusing on building out my Legio Vulpa forces, with an eye toward running the Ferrox Light Maniple from Doom of Molech in smaller games, and bringing a Regia Battleline Maniple (complete with a Warlord with an Arioch Titan Power Claw) for the largest game of the weekend.

Condit’s Road to NoVA

Part 1: What’s “Time Management?”


Jack “BenBooley” Hunter (@BenBooley)

Events: 30k GT, Adeptus Titanicus GT, 40k GT, 40k Narrative
Armies: Blood Angels, Imperial Fists, Adeptus Titanicus, Adeptus Custodes, Imperial Knights, probably some Elf Bullshit, I don’t know

Hi, I’m Greg, and Booley keeps cyber-bullying me to post this. Homeboy has like four different armies: in 30k, 40k, really any k you got, he probably has an army for it, and it almost certainly looks better than yours. Booley is dead-set on attending NoVA, though not entirely sold on which events, but you’ll know you’re playing him when you start crying after he deploys.

Booley’s Road to NoVA

Part 1: A meandering road towards NoVA
Week 2: The meandering road towards NoVA

There’s More to Come

So there you have it. Twelve players, twelve armies, twelve dreams. Come back and check Goonhammer for updates as we lay out exactly what work needs to be done, what our plans are, what kinds of lists we’re fielding, and show the hobby progress we’re making.