VTES Austria 2024

This event was played in Vienna on June 8 with 30 players. Reported by Richard Unter, with comments by the champion:

Comment by Paul Direktor:
“Returning the Austrian championship title to a Viennese player feels great and fitting for a first tournament victory. After playing competitive VTES for almost exactly a year (my first tournament on June 10,2023), this was my second national championship. Gaining some experience in Grand Prixs and some successes (one final, almost another one in my last 4 tournaments) in previous tournaments, I was looking forward to this one. It was great to see so many players (30) from nine different countries around. This community is the main reason I've stuck with the game. Everyone is welcoming and helpful to new players, which is fantastic.

I decided on the deck at the last minute, after some fine-tuning (thanks to Tero for his assistance!) the night before. I hadn't tested that deck version yet; the first version had been crushed in our weekly Thursday night games the day before. I expected a decent amount of combat from our eastern european neighbours and decided that eliminating them before they could harm my vampires was a viable strategy.

VTES Austria 2024
Round 1 (5 players):
I had a great start to the first game, quickly eliminating my prey (Giovanni combat). Following intense pressure from G1 Malkav powerbleed, my predator (Ventrue multi-act) was swiftly removed. After my second prey (Massassi combat/wall) proved hard to oust, I got some help from the Malkavian. Two back-deflects and one Direct Intervention from Massassi brought him down to 5 pool. One Week of Nightmares and a bleed for 4 later he was killed by the Famous Royce in torpor, allowing me to finish the Malkavians off and getting my GW and 4 VPs.

Round 2 (5 players):
Weenie Animalism's Deep Songs destroyed my vampires after a very strong Round 1. I was ultimately expelled following a few cross-table rescues and assistance from my own prey. The final player on the table was dispatched quickly by the Weenie animalism Deck, earning them 1 GW and 3 VPs.

Round 3 (5 players):
The third round proved to be really important in the end. I encountered two finalists (Martin and Lukas), and learned about their decks. I decided to try to oust Martin as soon as possible, which proved very hard. He stayed in the game longer than I had anticipated thanks to his strong pool gain and crosstable assistance with votes and rushes (at one point, he had to play an alastor on my grandpredators Banu Haqim deck in order to rush my vampires).
    After ousting Martin with my Week of Nightmares, I needed to deal with Lukas Unnamed Platinum Deck. I came very close to ousting him, but with an unlocked Unnamed and Carlton he would have blocked my ousting bleed, as I had no stealth on hand and no way to cycle. After that, i lost to Igor Beslin's Stanislava, but the 1 VP from ousting Martin proved to be enough for the final. 1GW 5VPs.”

Standings before the finals:
1. Lukas Simandl 2 GW 7.5 VP
2. Florian Koller 1 GW 6.5 VP
3. Martin Weinmayer 1 GW 6 VP
4. Milan Popovic 1 GW 5 VP
5. Paul Direktor 1 GW 5 VPVTES Austria 2024

“As the last seed, I didn't get to choose my position anyway. Martin was fortunate enough to be seated behind the two Unnamed decks, who started contesting right away. Since there was just one vampire in Florian's crypt, this was the only thing he did for the remainder of the game.
    Fortunately for me, aside from a few Platinum Protocol bleeds, I was under minimal pressure.
My best chance was to oust my prey as soon as possible, before they could build up their Emerald Legionnaires. The free "influence" on Breaking the Bonds proved invaluable; I quickly gathered five minions and ousted my prey. Meanwhile, Martin managed to oust Flo.
    Lukas crumbled under the pressure of votes and bleeds, without the pool gain of The Unnamed he got ousted and it was only me and Martin, who was on 26 pool at that point.
    By then I had a Week of Nightmares and a Heart of Nizchetus, but I still saw my chances very slim since Martin could deal a lot of damage.
    Bringing Martin down to 14 pool, I passed the turn and hoped for the best. He only managed to bring me down to 2 pool, having 16 himself and gave me one last turn. I got a Club Illusion on hand, so I used my second to last pool to play it. Having 4 ready minions, Sreelakah bled him for 7, three more bleeds for 3 and Martin was suddenly and to my own surprise at 0 pool, which gave me the second VP and the gamewin as last man standing.”

Final results: Martin Weinmayer 2 VP, Paul Direktor 3 VP. Congratulations Paul!

The tournament winning deck: “Breaking the protocol”

Crypt (12 cards)
2x Phaibun 5 OBF PRE ani Ravnos:7
2x Roberto Rivamonte 6 ANI OBF PRE Ravnos:7
2x Sreelekha 8 ANI FOR OBF PRE Ravnos:7
1x Doc Martina 6 ANI OBF for pre Ravnos:7
1x Gathii 5 ANI PRE obf Ravnos:7
1x Jean-François 4 ani obf pre Ravnos:7
1x Luciano Carvalho 6 ANI OBF pre Ravnos:7
1x Oleg Kaprizov 3 obf pre Ravnos:7
1x Zafira 4 PRE obf Ravnos:7
Library (80 cards)
Master (17; 6 trifle)
1x Anarch Railroad
1x Club Illusion
3x Dabbler
1x Direct Intervention
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Fortune Teller Shop
1x Garibaldi-Meucci Museum
1x Giant's Blood
1x Park Hunting Ground
3x Villein
2x Week of Nightmares

Event (2)
1x Bitter and Sweet Story, The
1x Narrow Mind

Action (18)
12x Break the Bonds
2x Field Training
2x Platinum Protocol, The
2x Public Trust

Equipment (2)
1x Heart of Nizchetus
1x Treasured Samadji

Action Modifier (25)
4x Elder Impersonation
3x Faceless Night
4x Lost in Crowds
3x Power of One
2x Spying Mission
1x True Love's Face
2x Veil the Legions
6x Visions of Gehenna

Action Modifier/Combat (2)
2x Swallowed by the Night

Combat (4)
4x Majesty

Reaction (10)
3x On the Qui Vive
2x Party Out Of Bounds
5x Visions of Zapathasura

With 30 players from 9 different countries this event was a real blast. Thanks to everyone who participated and big thanks to the whole VTES community which never spares costs and efforts to support local tournaments and events.