The NOVA Open is a Washington, DC area tabletop wargaming convention with a strong focus on organized play, charity, hobby seminars, and social connection. Over 1,300 gamers attended in 2016. 

2017 will be the 8th year of the NOVA Open, whose origins lie in a 32-person outdoor charity BBQ tournament held in 2009 in Springfield, VA. 

The NOVA Open's legacy events include a 256-slot Warhammer 40,000 GT, 256-player X-Wing Championship, and 100+ player events in Warmachine, Malifaux, and large organized play tracks in numerous other game systems. 

The NOVA Open hosts some of the world's best hobby instructors - Roman Lappat of Massive Voodoo, James Wappel of James Wappel Miniature Painting, Caleb Wissenback of CK Studios, and many more. Seminars are offered all day, every day of the con, and include new 4-hour hands-on workshops as of 2016. 

The NOVA Open partners with a sister organization, a formal 501(c)(3) charitable foundation known as the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation (NOCF) to raise funds and awareness in fighting critical causes around the world. We especially focus on leveraging the compassion of fellow wargamers and hobbyists to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the Fisher House Foundation. We primarily achieve this through an international consortium of brilliant miniature figure artists who collaborate to create world-class pieces of miniature art, including full armies, display boards, and individual show pieces. These are raffled and auctioned off through a combination of world-wide online raffles and at-NOVA raffles and silent auctions. Entering its 5th year, the NOCF raised over $100,000 for charity to date.

Information on the NOVA Open event, tournament rules and the Washington D.C. area can be found throughout this website and on the convention’s development blog at Whiskey & 40K.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at customerservice@novaopen.com.


The  NOVA Open originated in 2009 with a gathering of 32 gamers for an outdoor Warhammer 40,000 event. Played in a campsite beneath a shady canopy of trees, 4 rounds of games were played. Armies were crushed, food was served… and an idea for something new began to take shape.

The NOVA Open 2010 was the inaugural launch of this new experimental format. 114 players from around the country came to Chantilly, VA to test their skills. With positive post-event feedback and hard-won experience, planning began for a more ambitious event for the following year.

2011 saw over 400 attendees participate in various game systems during a 4 day event in Arlington, VA. The massive increase in attendance only galvanized organizers into redoubling their efforts. Considering that a major hurricane that weekend wasn’t enough to deter the vast majority of gamers, we couldn’t do any less!

When the idea of the NOVA Open began to materialize, lists of critical elements for improving the way hobbyists compete, and for running a seamless tabletop wargaming convention for player enjoyment, were developed. These simple concepts continue to be the primary motivations behind the NOVA Open.