It was a second successful year of KidsHammer at the NOVA Open! We had eight kids, aged 7-15, turn out this year for the event. It was particularly gratifying that five of the participants returned from last year's event.
The event kicked off Saturday morning, with a morning of "open gaming", where the kids paired off and played games against each other. There were adult coaches from the local Victory Gamers club at each table to provide guidance and rule support, particularly concerning the changes to the rules brought by the new edition.
Saturday afternoon started with an hour-and-a-half painting session. NOVA reserved tables for us up in the Hobby Hangout, and Sean McAfee organized and led a fun session of painting models that were generously provided by Games Workshop.
Afterwards was the narrative portion of the weekend. There were two specially crafted missions that focused on telling stories. The first was a wizards' duel where each player had access to all the Endless Spells in the Malign Sorcery box. The second was a"Beast Hunt" where the players first had to kill the objectives before they could claim them - not so easy when the objectives were an Arachnarok Spider, a Colossal Squig, and a Hellpit Abomination.
But the biggest narrative event was an epic D&D-style dungeon crawl led by Brian Orban, lead of the AoS Narrative at NOVA. The dungeon crawl played out on two custom-built tables, with the kids selecting heroes in their armies to explore an abandoned monastery and the caverns beneath it. It was a lot of fun!
On Sunday, the kids returned to play a friendly three-round tournament, or to play more open games if they preferred that. The tournament saw some great play and was highly contested throughout. In the end, congratulations to Michael Klofft, Leo Conca, and Adam Foster for finishing first, second, and third respectively.
Thanks to Peter Noone and Kevin "Bogo" Bogecki for being coaches, to Sean McAfee and Brian Orban for taking the lead on painting and the dungeon crawl, to Jesse Gaskins, Michael Hayes, and Matthew Foster who helped out with the planning, and and to all the parents who supported their kids and the event before and during the weekend.
We are already planning future mini-KidsHammer events in the DC area this fall and next spring, and hope to be able to return for NOVA Open 2019!
Steve Duall is the father of three, a government lawyer by day, and the husband of a very patient woman. He founded the Kidshammer club in summer of 2015. He headed up the first ever Kidshammer event at a major convention - the 2017 NOVA Open - and is very excited to bring it back in 2018.