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Impressions Day 2 and Final Thoughts on the EC

This year I played the First Chance Qualifier, and oh boy, the meta game surely is different to the other tournaments during an EC. Everybody seems to pack their favorite wall or combat deck and enjoys bashing other players decks. Lots of Animalism and Celerity combat decks, lots of Auspex Walls and the occasional what-the-f…-deck at the tables. Of course, this is my impression based only on the tables I played. Since the judges enforced that players after being ousted must remain at their tables or leave the room, I wasn’t able to get a better overview of what was played. I had three very interesting games on Sunday, even though my results were not really good during this day (and the EC in general).

Overall the European Championship was very good event. Johannes,Andreas and Erol managed to organize this event were efficiently, even though the very small organization staff led to some small delays here and there. Many, many thanks to both them (and every other player who helped with the organization. The tournaments on Sunday had the highest attendance rate with 130 players in total (90 players in the FCQ and 40 players in the Day 2 tournament). This was more than I expected, because the overall number of active players in Europe has been declining in the past 2-3 years (see Hungary for example). The catering during the event was very good, given the fact that the lunch was included in the registration fee, and there was food and drinks available on location from the morning to the evening with very reasonable prices. The only real drawback was that the location was closed somewhat early in the evening, and you had to resort to playing elsewhere (e.g. the hotel).

Noteworthy Things

  • The Danish players and the (now former) European VTES Champion decided to play boardgames on Friday instead of VTES. This is nothing I condemn. On the contrary it shows that there’s a bond and share of common interest between the VTES players all over the world. Ben Peal was quoted “I swear…V:TES is less of a game and more of a weird-ass fraternity.” just before the EC. Generally I agree, but I’d rather call the Continental Championships a gathering of friends and families. Sometimes you meet with the weird friend or a rather distant relative, but otherwise it’s a really pleasant experience.
  • The presentation of The Unaligned set was really pleasant. Mike and Ben not only showed the cards, but also gave some background information why they had chosen a particular angle for that clan, or from which canon context a particular crypt or library originated.
  • I really appreciated the prize support given to each winner of the tournaments. Each of winners received a custom made wooden deck box in the form of a coffin. See pictures below.

More Thanks
Special thanks to the Portuguese players with whom I shared a nice dinner on Saturday evening, to the three Italian players from Brescia (three very interesting, very different games on each of the three tournaments I played) and of course everyone who made the effort to come to the European Championship this year. We’re all getting older, having more responsibilities compared to like 10 years ago, so making it possible to come to the EC is no small feat.

I hope to see you in Warsaw again!

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Results EC 2014: First Chance Qualifier

Copied from http://www.sevenoaksart.co.uk/flags.htmHere are the results from the First Chance Qualifier tournament that was played during the VtES European Championship 2014 on October 5th, 2014 in Mannheim, Germany. 90 players participated in this EC tournament, the standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:

1. Fabien Garcia (FRA) — 2 GW 7.5 VP — 4 VP — Maris/Lutz Vote
2. Kasper Kristensen (DEN) — 2 GW 6 VP — 1 VP — Lasombra Big Cap?
2. Alessandro Donati (ITA) — 2 GW 8.5 VP — 0 VP — Tzimisce War Ghoul
2. Emiliano Imeroni (ITA) — 2 GW 8 VP — 0 VP — Rachel Brandywine Bleed/Block
2. Alain Greiner (FRA) — 2 GW 6.5 VP — 0 VP — Goratrix Anarch Wall

Congratulations to Fabien for winning the First Chance Qualifier tournament of the European VtES Championship 2014.

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Results EC 2014: European Championship (Day 2)

Copied from http://www.sevenoaksart.co.uk/flags.htmHere are the results from the European Championship (Day 2) tournament that was played during the VtES European Championship 2014 on October 5th, 2014 in Mannheim, Germany. 40 players participated in this EC tournament, the standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:

1. Arnaud Baigts (FRA) — 2 GW 5.5 VP — 1.5 VP — Tzimisce feat. Lambach Wall
2. Erol Hammer (GER) — 1 GW 6 VP — 0.5 VP — Ventrue Prince Grinder
2. Nicola Lonardi (ITA) — 1 GW 5.5 VP — 0.5 VP — Giovanni Shambling Hordes
2. Ruben Feldman (SUI) — 1 GW 4.5 VP — 0.5 VP — Legacy of Pander w/ Gehenna Events
2. Martin Weinmayer (AUT) — 2 GW 6.5 VP — 0 VP — Stanislava & Friends Vote/Bleed

Congratulations to Arnaud for winning the European VtES Championship 2014. The first French player to win a Continental VTES Championship.

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EC 2014 Day 1 Impressions

The EC Day 1 tournament was a tough competition as it usually is. 111 players qualified for the Continental Championship tournaments played, and the landscape of decks played was more varied than during the LCQ. More wall(ish) decks than before, quite a few ally decks around, which often had the habit of wandering to other players. The big guns were around, Anson, Lutz, Cybele, Arika, you name it there to be some at some table. Ruben won the final of the EC Day 1. Again with 3 GW and 13 VP, but this time he played his (well-known) Nosferatu G1/2 Royalty with Fortitude Vote deck. He now has won every single (official) game that he has played during the EC. I am very interested to see what deck he will play, and if he can keep up his astonishing performance when the competition toughens even more in the Day 2 tournament.

After the end of the Day 1 tournament, the design team (represented by Ben and Mike) showed the bulk of the new VTES expansion The Unaligned, which was officially released during the EC event. The crow was pleased to the see the results and there were some oohs and aahs during the presentation.

In parallel to the Day 1 tournament, there was VTES draft tournament with 18 participants. The draft consisted of boosters of the 3rd Edition, Sword of Caine and Black Hand expansions. In the end, Alexander from Germany managed to win the tournament. Exact information on the results will follow (I hope).

Oh, and the National Coordinator meeting had a vote on the place where the next European Championship will be played. Proposal given the VEKN were Columbus, Ohio and Warsaw, Poland. The later choice received the vast majority of votes. So the EC 2015 will be held in Poland!

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Results EC 2014: European Championship (Day 1)

Copied from http://www.sevenoaksart.co.uk/flags.htmHere are the results from the European Championship (Day 1) tournament that was played during the VtES European Championship 2014 on October 4th, 2014 in Mannheim, Germany. 111 players participated in this EC tournament, the standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:

1. Ruben Feldman (SUI) — 3 GW 13 VP — 1.5 VP — Nosferatu G1/2 Royalty /w For
2. Otso Saariluoma (FIN) — 3 GW 9 VP — 0.5 VP — Weenie Auspex
2. Patrick Benoit (FRA) — 2 GW 8 VP — 0.5 VP — Euro Brujah
2. Ivan Marin-Rivas (SWE) — 2 GW 8 VP — 0.5 VP — Unmada/Lutz Vote?
2. Kim Nilson (SWE) — 2 GW 10 VP — 0 VP — Ventrue Grinder?

Congratulations to Ruben for winning the Day 1 tournament of the European VtES Championship 2014 (his second tournament win of the EC 2014). 40 players qualified for the Day 2 tournament. You needed 0 GW 3.5 VP for qualification.

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EC 2014 LCQ Impressions

Some quick impressions of the first day of the EC 2014 in Mannheim. 93 players participated in the EC 2014 LCQ tournament; 7 nations with 3 players each joined the Nations Cup tournament. So 114 VTES players in total. Not a bad turnout, especially considering, that some more players will join the EC tomorrow. The LCQ tournament were dominated (and I mean that literally) by Dominate (more) (Lasombra, Kiasyd, Malkavian, Tremere, you name it ..) and Dementation bleed decks, and also a reasonable number of vote decks (all sorts). A few selected outsider deck were also present, like two Qawiyya el-Ghaduba rush combat decks, two Blood Brother decks.

It will be interesting to see how the players will react on tomorrows day tournament to the metagame of the LCQ. Even more bounce? More wall decks (there were some in the LCQ tournament, but not overwhelming many).

The nations cup was won by the Belgian team (I don’t have exact final results). Present in the finals were Italy (Danilo playing Cybele deck), France (Romain playing a Ravnos Ani deck), Germany (Erol playing a Dmitri Bordin Wall deck), Spain (Jorge playing a Nana/Nanglia Pot/Ani Rush deck) and finally Belgium (Bram playing Osebo 419 Operation deck). Bram eventually won the table, about half way in the game he had six(!) 419 Operation in play, and complaining that he’ll never oust his prey. Talking about understating one’s position ..

There’ll be presentation of The Unaligned set tomorrow evening. Sort of a raffle is also tomorrow where you can buy some Heirs to the Blood starter/booster display as well as Twilight Rebellion display.

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Results EC 2014: Last Chance Qualifier

Copied from http://www.sevenoaksart.co.uk/flags.htmHere are the results from the Last Chance Qualifier tournament that was played during the VtES European Championship 2014 on October 3rd, 2014 in Mannheim, Germany. 93 players participated in this EC tournament, the standings after 3 rounds and the final were as follows:

1. Ruben Feldman (SWI) — 3 GW 13 VP — 2 VP — Weenie Dementation
2. Benoit Moyen (FRA) — 2 GW 7.5 VP — 2 VP — Euro Brujah
2. Jakub Hrbacek (CZE) — 2 GW 8 VP — 1 VP — Gerald Windham & Friends
2. Caroline Hyll (SWE) — 2 GW 11 VP — 0 VP — Toreador G4/5 Pre/Pot/Dom Vote
2. Ben Peal (USA) — 2 GW 10 VP — 0 VP — Malkavian 94′ (Jyhad Only)

Congratulations to Ruben for winning the Last Chance Qualifier tournament of the European VtES Championship 2014. This time there was not cut off quota like in the previous years, but you needed a Game Win to qualify.

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And So It Begins ..

And so it begins ..” — A certain ambassador in a distant future.


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EC 2014 Schedule (Update)

When I posted the schedule for the VTES EC 2014, it was still April. So it’s time for an update, which is for a practical purposes a copy from the official blog/website of the EC (vtesec2014.blogspot.com), The update has nothing dramatically new, but the schedules are no exact and the side events have been named.

  • Thursday, October 2nd 2014 (casual gaming)
    • 12:00 – 18:00 — VTES at Wizard´s Well
      S4, 23
      68161 Mannheim
    • 20:00 – Open End — Welcome Party at “ZumTeufel
      U3 16
      68161 Mannheim

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Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Maerz1848_berlinSince the VtES European Championship 2014 is taking placing in Mannheim, Germany this week,  it’s about time to learn some of the more important phrases commonly needed in game of VtES in Deutsch:

  • “Wir sind doch Verbündete.” — “But we are allies.”
  • “Ich breche niemals Absprachen.” — “I never break deals.”
  • “Es wird nichts gegen dich sein.” — “This won’t be against you.”
  • “Ich bleede dich für acht mit zwei Stealth.” — “I bleed you for eight with +2 stealth.”
  • “Bitte rush mich nicht” — “Please don’t rush me.”
  • “Ich lenke den Bleed auf mein Prey um.” — “I bounce the bleed to my prey.”
  • “Wo ist die Edge?” — “Where is the Edge?”
  • “Ich stimme dafür.” — “I vote in favor.”
  • “Ich stimme dagegen.” — “I vote against.”

.. and most importantly:

  • “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” — “Do you speak English?”

If you know more valuable bits and pieces of VtES lingo in Deutsch, please feel free to comment.

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Poetic Ossian


The people bend before me. I turn the battle in the field of the brave. I look on the nations, and they vanish: my nostrils pour the blasts of death. I come abroad on the winds; the tempests are before my face. But my dwelling is calm, above the clouds; the fields of my rest are pleasant.” — The Poems of Ossian

A different kind of Ossian ..

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Participants Breakdown by Country (Update II)

The pre-registration for the VTES EC 2014 is now almost over (only 5 days to go until the EC begins). Now 114 registered participants have already been registered for the event. Here’s the breakdown by country as of 28/Sep/2014:

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Travel Tips for the EC 2014 in Germany

Originally I wanted to present some tourist information just before the VTES EC, but it turns out that I haven’t prepared anything beforehand and now I am running a bit out of time. So instead I have put together some travel tips suited for fellow players who haven’t been to Germany yet.

    • Nebel_AlleeWeather & Clothing: Don’t be mistaken, it is Autumn in Germany already. Mannheim is in the southern part of Germany, but the weather forecast for that weekend is about 20°C during and just above 10°C during the night. On the other hand, it seems the weather is going to  be dry, that is little or no precipitation during the weekend. So beside your favourite VTES t-shirt, you should pack some warm clothes like a sweater and full length trousers. A winter jacket is not really necessary yet, and depending on your personal temperature tolerance you may not need a jacket at all.
    • Shopping:  This can be problematic if you’re not familiar with the typical German opening hours. If yo want the short version, then I’ll advise you to do your shopping on Thursday or on Saturday, otherwise it will be difficult.
      • On Friday (October 3rd) almost all the shops will be closed (restaurants and bars are opening like usual), because that Friday is a German National holiday, namely the German Unity Day (“Tag der deutschen Einheit“). So if you want something from the supermarket better do your shopping on Thursday or Saturday, since only gas stations, shops in train stations and other shops in travel related facilities are open.
      • On Saturday (October 4th), all shops are open, it maybe even really crowded in the pedestrian shopping areas. But since it’s Saturday shops will close earlier than during the week. Smaller shops might close as early as 2 PM while supermarkets typically close between 6 PM and 10 PM.
      • On Sunday (October 5th) (like almost all Sundays in Germany), almost all shops are closed; again with the exception of travel related facilities. During the morning a couple of bakeries may be open as well, but in a typical German bakery you will find little else than bread, rolls, and cake.
  • EuroCoinMoney: German’s currency is the Euro as with most countries in the European Union. Hotels, restaurants and other facilities usually accept any credit card, but many shops, especially the smaller ones only accept cash. So it’s generally a good idea to carry some cash around (like 20 EUR I’d say). On the other hand, ATMs are around every corner, so getting cash is usually not a problem.
  • Language: While English is usually the first language children learn in school, and a lot of people speak English, the language is not as widely spoken as for example in the Nordic or the Benelux countries. One reason is that virtually all the movies and TV shows shown in German cinemas and television are dubbed in German. And most importantly: Don’t  mention the war!


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VEKN Tournament Rules 2014

800px-Law_gavelFor a rather large event like the European VtES Championship 2014, a framework is required for providing the necessary infrastructure in terms of rules, responsibilities and procedure.

Beside the actual VtES rulebook the second most important document for running a VtES tournament are the VEKN Tournament Rules. While VtES rules provide the necessary rules for running a single game of VtES, the VEKN Tournament Rules provide the necessary framework for running whole tournaments.

Furthermore the VEKN website hosts the following documents/information:

  • The V:EKN Judges’ Guidelines help judges resolve play errors and determine the appropriate penalty for infractions that occur during the course of a game or tournament.
  • The VtES Rulings is a list of general and card specific rulings, that have been accumulated over the past 15+ years.
  • The Complete Rules Reference gives a tabular overview of the game with special emphasis on the the different phases with a game turn.
  • The list of banned cards for VtES tournaments is part of the VEKN tournament rules, but deserves a special mentioning here.

For those not playing tournaments on a regular basis, please take note that Danse Macabre is legal for this year’s EC tournament! On the other hand the latest set The Unaligned is only tournament legal on November 5th, 2014.

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City of the Squares

Stadtplan_Mannheim_1880Mannheim, the host city for this year’s VTES European Championship, is quite unique among German cities, because the city center, or more precisely, its streets and avenues are laid out in a grid pattern. This lead to the nickname “City of the Squares” (Quadratestadt). A fitting name as you see on the historical city map from 1880 (on the right).

The city is first mentioned as “Mannenheim” in a document of 766 AD, making the city more than 1200 years old. In the early 17th century, the Elector Palatine, Frederick IV, started building the fortress of Friedrichsburg and the adjacent city center with its grid of streets and avenues. The civic symbol of Mannheim is a Romanesque water tower (Wasserturm) completed in 1886 that rises to 60 meters above the highest point of the art nouveau area, the Friedrichsplatz.

Ehrenhof_Statue_Schloss_Mannheim_Ansichtskarten_1900One of the main sights is the Mannheim Palace (“Mannheimer Schloss“). Build in the early 18th century, it is a large Baroque palace. It was originally used as the main residence of the Prince-electors of the Electorate of the Palatinate. Now primarily it is primarily used by the University of Mannheim.

Today, Mannheim is among the twenty largest cities in Germany with a population of approximately 295,000 inhabitants (as of 2012). Beside it’s baroque history, Mannheim has also a substantial industrial base with companies like ABB, Alstom or Bombardier.

References (in English):