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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 2,000 gamers attended in 2017. 

2018 will see the 9th year of the NOVA Open, whose origins are traced to a 32-person outdoor charity BBQ tournament held in 2009 in Springfield, VA. Its legacy events include a 256-slot Warhammer 40,000 GT, 256-player X-Wing Championship, and 100+ player events in Warmachine, Malifaux, as well as large organized play tracks in numerous other game systems. 

The convention has grown to host some of the world's best hobby instructors - Roman Lappat of Massive Voodoo, Alfonso "Banshee" Giraldez, Wes Cogdal (Stiff Neck Studio), Matt DiPietro, and many more. Seminars are offered all day, every day of the con, and include a new Massive Voodoo 2-1/2 day workshop Sun-Tue ahead of the convention. 

The NOVA Open partners with the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation (NOCF) , a formal 501(c)(3) charity, and its sister organization.  NOCF has been raising funds and awareness on behalf of critical causes around the world. Its mission is to focus on leveraging the compassion of fellow wargamers and hobbyists worldwide to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Fisher House Foundation, and more. In a single day at NOVA Open 2017, $5,000 was raised in the wake of Hurricane Harvey on behalf of the Houston Food Bank.

Since inception in 2013, the NOCF has donated over $130,000 as representatives of the Worldwide Tabletop Wargaming Community. This is primarily achieved through the generosity and compassion of an international consortium of brilliant miniature figure artists who collaborate to create world-class pieces of miniature art, full armies, display boards, and individual show pieces. These are raffled and auctioned off through a combination of world-wide online raffles and onsite NOVA Open raffles and silent auctions.  NOVA Open attendees themselves help raise tens of thousands of dollars each year "drinking for charity" in the NOCF-run Foundation Lounge, occupying the rooftop venue at Hyatt Regency called "Chesapeake View."  

Information on the NOVA Open event, tournament rules and the Washington D.C. area can be found throughout this website and at the NOVA Open online store.  For the most up-to-date information and early access to hotel room block and more, subscribe to the NOVA Open's Biweekly Newsletter.  QUESTIONS? Contact us: 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 experience gained from steep climbs up ever-expanding learning curves, planning began for a more ambitious event the following year.

In 2011, NOVA Open moved to the Hyatt Regency Crystal City - where it has taken place ever since.  Over 400 tough attendees participated in various games and tournaments during this 3- day event . . . while the now-infamous HURRIQUAKE of 2011 - a rare DC earthquake, which combined with the remnants of Hurricane Irene - crashed in around them. The massive increase in attendance served to galvanize organizers into redoubling their efforts. If a hurriquake wasn’t enough to deter these gamers, NOVA Open wouldn't be deterred!

As the idea of NOVA Open continues to materialize, lists of critical elements for improving the way hobbyists compete - from running a seamless tabletop wargaming convention for player enjoyment to adding the Capital Palette Miniature Art Competition and dozens of seminars each year to ensuring a family friendly welcoming environment unlike other similar cons - the all-volunteer staff has never wavered. When the 2017 NOVA Open hosted over 2,100 attendees, an overall feeling of "having arrived" served only to breathe new life into the staff. These simple concepts - serving charitable efforts, growing to include activities for hobbyists and gamers alike, and motivating a healthy atmosphere where good sportsmanship and social bonds can only improve - continue to be the primary motivations behind the NOVA Open. We look forward to meeting you!