The Austrian National Championship 2023, also known as “Middle European Cup” was played with 24 players at Salim’s Cocktailbar Vienna on November 25.
Standings after round 3:
1. Milos Krstic (Serbia)
2. Martin Weinmayer (Austria)
3. Peter Talmacsi (Hungary)
4. Lukáš Simandl (Czech Republic)
5. Arnold Riegler (Austria)
Congratulations Milos Krstic of Serbia, getting 3 victory points in the finals!
Finalist Martin Weinmayers comments: “It was basically decided by me avoiding the combat deck sitting crosstable, and Milos was naturally forced to do the same, sitting as my prey. which left me in a difficult position, but then again, I built that deck to work against stealth decks. It turned out I was a little too overconfident.
I played highly aggressively to deny Giotto any resources while trying to soak or deflect the unnamed deck behind me. Unfortunately, Turn 4 Secure Haven crushed my hopes of getting help from Massasssi. Giotto playing Maris Streck and getting Giants Blood on her kind of sealed my fate in this final. (The intercepts denied me my ousting chance with Legionnaires.) About 1:30h into the game, Ventrue Royality managed to oust Massassi with heavy bleeds. Despite having a decent fight, I finally crumbled under the pressure and got ousted second. Giotto managed to soak up the unnamed bleeds long enough to finally oust the Ventrue royalty. The Unnamed conceded to 8 Legionnaires with 5 minutes on the clock.
• The legionnaire denial was real on this table. They didn't see any relevant play until Giotto swarmed seven of them in the last five minutes of the final.
• First turns with Secure Haven and Enkil Cog were nearly enough for Lukas to defend his Austrian Champion crown from last year's victory. (playing the same deck)
• Don't block The Unnamed if you have only one Legionnaire. (Lukas used his two aggravated damages to great effect.)
• Direct intervention is a game-winner. (used by Milos on Lukas Form of Mist following an Entrancement action to deny his swarm oust)”
Milos Krstics tournament winning deck: “99 Problems”
Creator comment: "Son, do you know why I'm stopping you for? Are you carrying an Ashur Tablets on you, I know a lot of you are?"
4x Giotto Verducci 7 DAI OBF for pot pre Baali:2
3x Maris Streck 9 AUS OBF ani dem dom justicar Malkavian:3
2x Rachel Brandywine 10 AUS DEM OBF PRO ani prince Malkavian:3
1x Victoria 5 AUS cel obf Malkavian:2
1x New Blood 2 san Blood Bro:ANY
1x Anarch Convert 1 Caitiff:ANY
1x Archon Investigation
12x Ashur Tablets
1x Asylum Hunting Ground
1x Coven, The
2x Direct Intervention
1x Giant's Blood
1x Information Highway
1x Jake Washington
1x Madness Network
3x Parthenon, The
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
2x Unmasking, The
1x Army of Rats
6x Clan Impersonation
4x Unleash Hell's Fury
7x Emerald Legionnaire
5x Kaymakli Fragment
Action Modifier 
4x Elder Impersonation
1x Enkil Cog
4x Faceless Night
8x Freak Drive
4x Lost in Crowds
Action Modifier/Combat 
4x Swallowed by the Night
2x Delaying Tactics
5x Telepathic Misdirection
Martin again: “Traditionally, we had a lot of nationalities joining us in Vienna. 24 players hailing from Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Austria. Thank you all for coming and making this such an enjoyable event.
Big thanks to our Artists Noora Hirvonen and Markéta Munduchová and our sponsors Ultra Pro and Arthur Machac.
Last but not least, big thanks to Richard Utner and Arnold Riegler for organising the 4th Middle European Cup. I hope to see some of you at the Milan GP December, 9th. If you are not able to travel, join Igor Beslin and me Online on LackeyCCG in the December League. Let´s keep bleeding!"
The finalists, with champion second from the left.
Played with 20 players in El Club Juegos de Mesa, Mexico City on November 26. Reported by Omael Rangel, National Coordinator of Mexico:
A great event with some old methuselah freshly awakened from torpor, with older decks that shake the metagame. Amazing tables, very intense but at the same time people never stop joking and have fun between them. Incredible plays that define the results of every game and we are very happy for our new champion who right after his journey to the EC in Barcelona came back to claim the big win!
Note the commemorative package which was used to fund the event: playmat, Edge counter and mug, and the presence of artist Alan Mayoral (in the image next to judge Luis).
Standings after the preliminary rounds:
1. Carlos Escobar 2 GW, 6 VP
2. Rodrigo Corona 1 GW, 6 VP
3. Boris Huerta 1 GW, 5 VP
4. Juan Chacón 1 GW, 5 VP
5. Eduardo García 1 GW, 5 VP
Congratulations Eduardo García, with 4 victory points in the final. Rodrigo Corona got 1 point.
Eduardos tournament winning deck: “Nocturnos new age”
2x Alicia Cortez 8 CEL DOM OBT prince Lasombra:4
2x Conrad Adoula 8 DOM OBT POT ani cel Lasombra:4
2x Badr, Shadow of Granada 7 DOM OBT POT Lasombra:5
1x Lord Vauxhall 7 DOM OBT POT THA Lasombra:4
1x Onaedo 6 DOM OBT aus pot Lasombra:4
1x Virginie, Prodigy 6 DOM POT obt bishop Lasombra:4
1x Andrew Emory 5 OBT aus dom pot bishop Lasombra:4
1x Ermenegildo, The Rake 5 DOM OBT pot Lasombra:4
1x Lucy Markowitz 3 dom obt Lasombra:4
Master (12; 2 trifle)
1x Anarch Troublemaker
2x Blood Doll
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Elysian Fields
1x Information Highway
2x Path of Night, The
1x Political Hunting Ground
1x Sudden Reversal
1x Bitter and Sweet Story, The
1x Far Mastery
12x Govern the Unaligned
Action Modifier (26)
4x Command of the Beast
4x Empowering the Puppet King
2x Foreshadowing Destruction
6x Shadow Play
4x Shroud of Absence
2x Tenebrous Form
2x Shadow Body
1x Delaying Tactics
6x On the Qui Vive
1x Pulling Strings
Thanks to players and organisers!
27 players turned up at Patriot Games in Leeds to determine who is the best VTES player.
Standings before the final:
1. Tibor Morocz 2 GW 7.5 VP
2. David Sykes 2 GW 7.5 VP
3. Tommy Hayward 1 GW 6.0 VP
4. James Freimuller 1 GW 6.0 VP
5. Mikey Ferguson 1 GW 5.0 VP
Congratulations Mikey Ferguson, new champion with 4 victory points in the final. Tibor Morocz got 1.
A report by the champion himself:
I must admit, I had ABSOLUTLEY NO RIGHT to win this game.
Allow me to set the stage for you... After battling my way to the final table, my fellow finalists strategically chose their seats, aiming to maximize their chances of victory. As a Stanislava Vote and Bleed player, I am accustomed to being avoided when it comes to seating arrangements. However, the UK V:TES National Championships showcased some incredibly powerful decks.
Let's discuss my two "Allies" across the table... Although I use the term loosely.
Firstly, there's Tommy Hayward with his Queen Anne Baltimore Purge deck. Yes, you read that correctly, and yes, the deck is as ruthless as you can imagine. Even before taking our seats, I knew Tommy's plan was to torpor the entire table, diablerize as many vampires as possible, and steal my high capacity support vampires like Xaviar or Hartmut Stover to use them against me. Not exactly an ideal situation...
Then we have Tibor Morocz, a skilled player with an impressive tournament record. Not only was he a formidable opponent himself, but his deck presented a fresh twist on an old concept: Weenie Dragon Breath Rounds. His strategy involved using 1 and 2 capacity vampires to torpor higher capacity ones, and trading them off for each other through blood hunts. Of course, I had 5 Earth Meld in my deck, but missing it just once could cost me my 11 capacity Stanislava. To make matters worse, Tibor was seated two places to my right, and his plan was to quickly accumulate victory points. Once he dispatched his prey, I was the next likely victim.
It seemed that I wouldn't receive much assistance from across the table...
Perhaps my predator would be a more manageable challenge?
(Insert "FALSE".Gif here)
To my right sat James Freimuller, the Prince of Norwich. A truly great guy, except when you find yourself sitting next to him at the V:TES table. James brought a deck that none of us at the tournament were familiar with, and throughout the day, whispers about its dangerous nature grew louder. His plan? To gain the Edge and burn it using Inside Dirt. This proved to be quite daunting considering my only defence was Deflection.
So... an undefendable predator... Fantastic...
Well, maybe I would have a prey that I could attack?
(Insert "FALSE".Gif here)
Oh joy, it was David Sykes and his MMPA, Life-Gaining, Aksinya Daclau wielding, intercept-heavy, mass deflecting deck. Wonderful. As a stealth bleed deck, I couldn't bleed my prey because he could effortlessly deflect me using one of his 44 Master Cards. And even if he didn't, he could simply block my attempts and laugh as I suffered from an excess of Carrion Crows.
Two cross table "Allies" who showed no interest in aiding me.
A prey I couldn't bleed.
A predator I couldn't defend against.
Well, maybe I would at least draw some Information Highway or Zillah's Valleys to give myself an explosive start and potentially eliminate Dave quickly, followed by Tommy...
(Insert "FALSE".Gif here)
I got what was possibly the worst start. With no acceleration, I mustered up a turn 4 Stanislava having been a victim to James’ uninterrupted bleeds for 1 and Inside Dirts taking me down to low pool. By the time I got my second vampire out, I had 3 pool to my name. My predator James was having to push for the oust as Tibor was putting him under a lot of pressure himself.
However, a couple of timely Villiens later, and with James both running out of steam and falling victim to some Dragon’s Breath Rounds, I managed to get myself back up on my feet. Yes, James had spent the last 7 turns mercilessly draining my pool, but I had to quickly learn to forgive and forget as the threat of Tibor ousting James seemed imminent.
So, the unlikely happened. I cut a deal with my predator and prey to help us deal with the threats and turned my weaknesses into strengths.
Oh yeah, and whilst all this bloodshed was happening, Tommy had set himself up perfectly with two, YES TWO, Baltimore Purges.
If I couldn’t bleed I could call votes. My next few turns would see me Banishing Queen Anne, calling multiple KRC’s with Tibor receiving the 3 points of damage each time. Then, I spoke to Dave saying I WANT him to deflect my bleeds to Tibor.
It is a little ironic that the Stanislava deck was the only one doing anything about the table threats!
I managed to weaken Tibor enough to slow him down a lot, however, it wasn’t enough and soon after he ousted James. Tommy also got Baltimore Purge to trigger, devastating the table, Queen Anne had a fine feast, and a grave robbing meant he helped himself to my Xaviar making me lose Vote Control.
My only option was to turn to Tommy and try and cut yet another deal. I was in his good graces though, after all, I had done more damage to his prey in the last 5 turns than he’d done all game! I managed to convince Tommy that allowing me to oust Dave would be enough to allow me to put up a decent enough fight against Tibor. My table talk sold it to Tommy that with Tibor already being on 1VP, we couldn’t risk him gaining another in quick succession as he’d be 1 oust away from becoming National Champion for the second year in a row. Tommy voted with me on 2 KRCs to gain me 6 pool from Dave and the oust.
Then disaster… Tommy called a reigns of power despite the fact that if it passed he would be left on 0 pool himself. We’d already gone through all the talk of whether or not there were any blocks from me or Tibor, and the votes would be counted regardless. Tommy had to vote down his own referendum. The turn passed to Tibor and he used the turn to try and recover some of his own vampires from Torpor.
Now… If any of you reading know your Stanislava decks well, you’ll know that all this deck needs is a tiny window of opportunity.
This was my moment.
When you’re a stealth bleed deck, a habit you get into is noticing when decks that can deflect bleeds don’t, and on the previous turn Tommy took a bleed for 3 to the face without even flinching. Also, I think Tommy had been playing quite insularly, so I think he may have forgotten that earlier in the game I had attached a Signet Of King Saul to Stanislava. I untapped, used my usual hunting grounds, and I simply Govern the Unaligned bled for 5. Tommy scooped up his cards. I gained my 6 pool, and that would then be enough to help me survive my own Ancilla Empowerment that would hit Tibor for his last few drops of blood.
And that was it! In the blink of an eye I went from an impossible situation to National Champion. Anything… ANYTHING can happen in V:TES, and this final goes to show that winning is always on the cards when you keep your wits about you and take the opportunities that are presented to you.
Mikey Fergusons tournament winning deck:
5x Stanislava 11 ANI CEL DOM FOR PRO inner circle Gangrel:2
2x Ingrid Rossler 9 ANI FOR PRO dom prince Gangrel:2
2x Hartmut Stover 10 CEL OBF PRO dom for archbishop Gangrel antitribu:3
2x Xaviar (ADV) 10 ABO ANI FOR PRO aus cel pot justicar Gangrel:3
1x Mark Decker 8 CEL PRO ani for obf pot prince Gangrel:3
8x Zillah’s Valley
2x Information Highway
1x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x The Barrens
1x Giant’s Blood
1x Monastery of Shadows
1x Zoo Hunting Ground
1x The Coven
1x Scourge of the Enochians
6x Govern The Unaligned
3x Scouting Mission
Political Actions (12):
6x Kine Resources Contested
1x Ancilla Empowerment
1x Anarchist Uprising
1x Reins Of Power
1x Political Stranglehold
1x Ancient Influence
1x The Signet of King Saul
1x Seal of Veddartha
Action Modifier (16):
6x Earth Control
3x Forced March
3x Freak Drive
3x Instantaneous Transformation
1x Enkil Cog
Action Modifier/Combat (2):
2x Rapid Change
7x Form of Mist
5x Earth Meld
2x Second Tradition: Domain
2x On The Qui Vive
More is written about this tournament at the Captain Thalco blog (Note especially the witty deck names!)
Thanks to all the players, organisers, sponsors and the venue Patriot Games Leeds!
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