This is my report from the VTES European Championship in Stockholm, Sweden. I arrived two days before the actual tournaments started to see a bit of the city, play some games with the Swedish vtes crew and to try if I can afford a Swedish hangover (I can, yay!)
Wednesday, october 2
Arriving at Arlanda airport, I get some swedish cash and jump on the express train to Stockholm central station. It turns out that Team Great-Britan was on the same train (Hugh, Mike, Matt) so we shared a cab to the hotel. After a hug from Randy, we drop our bags and take the subway to the Dragon's Lair, the Stockholm hangout for VTES.
1. Hugh (lutz) 0
2. Rudolf (tremere) 2
3. Me (reanimated corpse) 1
4. Randal (Aksinya vote 'n bleed) 1
Hugh and myself were sitting ducks for most of the game. My first RC was stolen the turn after it came into play
Game 2: my only gamewin during the whole event (also documented here:
1. Rudolf (Thetmes) 0
2. Me (vic/dom) 4 GW
3. Maso (petaniqua) 0
4. Ober (war ghoul) 1
5. Randal (torrie small voters) 0
Masso never really got it going with petaniqua. He was either rushed to torpor by the war ghouls, or sent there by me. He was ousted too fast, which meant that I had to start worrying about the war ghouls. Rudolf sending people to torpor was nice for me. When he rushed Ana Rita Montana (who had a camera phone) I was able to burn her with Breath of the dragon (getting rid of Thetmes for a turn) so that she could not be robbed from the grave.
This is a nasty deck and can win games, only because people don't expect much from it (decklist:
1. Hendrik (weenie DEM) 4 GW
2. Ober (anson) 0
3. Me (enticing the off kilters) 0
4. Rudolf (setite multi-act machinge) 1
5. Jan Erik (Guruhi are the land) 0
Hendrik was the only one who had something to say in this game
1. Jan Erik (nanamalism) 0
2. Me (muddled vampire hunter + improvised flamethrower) 0
3. David (euro brujah) 1
4. Brian (Synesios) 0
5. David's girlfriend (OBF/PRE bleed) 2
In the first combat between Douglas Netchurch and Fish, the first one is burned and Fish ends up empty in torpor. I didn't stay untill the end, but I think the OBF/PRE won. Had to catch the last metro back to the hotel.
Thursday, october 3
Missing breakfast - partly hung over - sightseeing. In the evening there was the welcome party at the Skybar. Didn't play vtes, but I started a game of Twilight Struggle with Ralf.
Friday, october 4
10 players showed up for Hugh's draft tournament. We all sat at one table for the drafting round. It turns out 10 players is excellent for that setup. From each booster you can choose the best card, and you already know what card you will get back when the booster is done (yes, No Confidence, it's you I'm talking about).
We drafted five 3rdEd and three Twilight Rebellion boosters.
1. Jukka 2
2. Kristoffer 0
3. Marko 1
4. Me 0
5. Eliseu 2
I have a good opening crypt but I forget to influence on turn 3. In the mean time my prey had Neighbor John with a baseball bat. I'm ousted by a bleed for 5 and Anarchist Uprising.
1. Eliseu 3
2. Mike 0
3. Me 1
I have the perfect start and soon I get to do this trick:
- Lord Vauxhall with Crimethinc at tha
- Anarch Manifesto and Steely Tenacity
- some minions with dominate
So I can bleed for 2 or more at 1 stealth 2 times per turn and have always an untapped minion at the end of the turn.
At the very last minute, all I had to do was bleed for 1 two times. I had 3 minions, Eliseu 1 untapped minion. I bleed, get blocked. But instead of just hitting for 1 and bleeding with the other two, I decide to play a crappy multiline text combat card. The moment eliseu says 'can you read the card to me', I know it's done.
Casual Game 1
1. Kristoffer (Lasombra & Lorrie)
2. Sebastian (Harbingers w Keystone Kine)
3. Ralf (anson bleed & vote)
4. Me (Daughters choir) GW 4
Perfect game for me. When the cards come right, they come right.
Casual game 2
1. Kristoffer (Settites breed)
2. Sebastian (Khazar's Diary) 3
3. Ralf (nosferoyalty) 1
4. Me (vic/dom)
I never have a chance here. Ralf keeps con-booning my prey and ousts me in the process. Meanwhile the Khazar's Diary is ready to read.
Saturday, october 5
I decide to give my Lutz Anarch Revolt another go in the Day 1 tournament. At last year's EC it didn't bring me much luck, but it was fun to play.
1. Tiago (ventrue bleed) GW 4
2. Ralf (Kiasyd)
3. Andres (Ravnos Toolbox)
4. Me 1
5. Kalle (OBF/PRE bleed)
Things go rather well for me, but with my prey at 3 pool, I decide to call a vote with Lutz 'to use the voter cap' instead of just bleeding for 3. I manage to oust Kalle the turn after anyway, but Tiago is already in my neck by then.
2. Gergo (Nanamalism) GW4
3. Peter (Pander)
4. Dany (Karsh)
5. Sergio (Lasombra SB) 1
Horrible game from me and for me.
1. Lucie (Lasombra bleed)
2. Pascal (!tor palla grande)
3. Me 1
4. Gines (!tor palla grande)
5. Julien (!ventrue, not sure though) GW 4
This is a #vtes-table! Pascal and Gines talk early about not contesting. I draw very few Anarch Revolts at the start, and I am under immediate pressure from Pascal (mostly from the bleeds he deflects to me). Then, when I get some revolts in play, a Neonate Breach in hand, and Gines with a 4-cap, Pascal contests the 4-cap 'par accident'. So there goes my chance of ousting Gines that turn and put Pascal under more pressure too. Lucie's undirected actions were almost all blocked bu Julien. I still manage to oust Gines the turn after (banishment on his anarch) but Julien is already rolling up the table by then.
In the evening I attend the presentation of the Design Team.
Sunday, october 6
One GW means qualification with the new system. So I add two touch of clarity to my weenie DEM and wobble to the FCQ tournament
1. Gabriele (nephandus)
2. Timo (Marcus Vittel and Huitzi) 1
4. Marko (Nahir) GW 4
5. Sebastion (Nephandus)
My crosstable buddies start contesting Antonio from turn 1. I made again many stupid mistakes (using vessel).
One cool thing here was: Jake Washington goes bleeding for 0 (I have the edge, and leverage in my hand). Marko doesn't trust Jake and decides to block the bleed for 0. Jake dodges and survives combat.
In the next turn I play Archon Investigation on Marcus, but get ousted by an even heavier bleed from Huitzilopochtli.
1. Nicolas (lasombra SB)
2. Andres (Huitzi)
3. Mario (Nanamalism)
5. Kalle (weenie POT)
Mario brings out Stick first, so I decide not to bring out any minion on my first turn. That proved to be a wise decision as Kalle spawns two minion with pot in his first turn. I coordinate with Nicolas to bring out a maximum number of minions in one turn. A few turns later and after a lot of bleeds for one, Nicoals puts out 3 lasombra with DOM and I put down 4 dementation bleeders. Kalle manages to put one of my guys in torpor, but doesn't manage to harm Nicolas. The lasombra's then go bleeding for 6 at stealth 3 times and huitzi is off the table. From then on it's downhill for the rushers. In a wicked moment, at 6 pool and with an untapped Jackie, I decide to attempt to block a bleed. Of course, Nicolas then cycles into a Foreshadowing destruction and ousts me. Once again, I gave away an almost certain GW.
2. Stefan (Leandro)
3. Ivan (Nana, Urraca) GW 4
4. Akseli (Marcus Vittel)
5. Marcello (weenie computer hacking)
I don't have enough punch to survive the computer hackings. Leandro's special also makes me burn an awful lot of pool. From the start Ivan and Marcello are dealing to split the table between them. Although it was pretty obvious that Ivan would pick up 4 points after I was ousted, but Marcello noticed that too late. Both Ivan and Akseli would later play the final round of the FCQ (with each 2GW8VP).
Watching the final of the Day 2 tournament.
There were a lot of spectators for the finals. No wonder. Two former european champions, Hugh, Vincent, a Reversal of Fortunes deck. The play was mostly flawless from all players at the table. In the end Hugh won his 43rd tournament.
This was a very good EC. Well organised, nice atmosphere, tense games.
For me it is clear that I need to play more to make less of the obvious mistakes in playing.
Next year's EC will be in Mannheim Germany. I expect a large Belgian delegation to be present there (it's only 450 km driving).