The last Grand Prix in the Covid-prolonged 2019-2022 season was held in Malmö, Sweden. I had never been to Malmö before, but the trip there was effortless. There is a fast and comfortable train going to Malmö right from Copenhagen airport, and CPH is an enjoyable airport to travel from Prague and Vienna. The train ride from Denmark to Sweden goes via the Øresund bridge. The bridge is stunning; during the ride, I wondered how long it would take to build something like that in Czechia. I probably do not want to know the answer.
The tournament was held in a convention center in a shopping mall/arena compound that had its own train station on the route from the airport. I was accommodated in a hotel in the same area, so the entire trip was pleasantly short: it took me three hours to get to Prague, one more hour to get to its airport, a little over one hour on the actual flight, and then around 20 minutes to my hotel in Sweden. The convention center was across the street from the hotel, and across another street was a shopping center with a large food court, allowing me to stay in the immediate area the whole weekend. I have not therefore seen anything from Malmö proper, which is a bit sad. All-in-all, this trip was the most “efficient” of all my tournament trips this summer: I went there on Friday, spent Saturday playing the game, and got back early Sunday. I guess I will need to see Malmö itself next time.
The tournament was a part of the Malmö Game Week, so there was plenty to do in the venue between rounds: I paid some attention to the coverage of the Magic modern tournament and checked out some vendors. The venue was a convention center, but the VtES tournament was held in a smaller “niche”, stylishly decorated by the organizers. The light and noise from the main venue were dampened by some soft movable walls, there was a carpet, the tables had dark tablecloths, and there were some candlesticks with candles. Pretty cool and stylish.
Even after the disappointing result on Grand Prix: Aix-en-Provence, I gave my build of V5 Ministry called Dabblesnakes another shot because I enjoyed playing the deck. I played an identical version like earlier in France.
Game 1: 0VP
Presence Weenies 4VP GW →️ Toreador Starter →️ Malkavian Starter 1VP →️ Ventrue Stickmen →️ me
My predator was very fast with
Lodin up via
Dreams of the Sphinx. I
Nonu Dis as a first guy, but my hand was very awkward: some masters I had
to play before I could get blood from Noni. I drew stealth cards, with just a
Platinum Protocol and
CrimethInc., which I hoped would get things
going. My prey played a
Mind Numb on me before I could bleed, which slowed me
down. My predator bled me for six as his first action, which I could not block.
This meant that I could only bring out two vampires instead of three.
I realized I would need a Baron if I was supposed to survive because I was also
likely to receive bounced Malkavian bleeds by Malkavian. I had no Barons in my
uncontrolled region, so I tried to play as many cards as possible to cycle to
Fee Stakes. It started to show that my cross-table allies were very
green (“playing with checklists” green), which did not really help the balance
on the table. Toreador was under weenie pressure. Malkavian bled forward, but
she got blocked and hit by Stickmen often.
Toreador was down to two pool, so the Ventrue tried to keep him alive and passed
Parity Shift moving three pool from my prey to the Toreador. I was also
getting bled but not by full force; I am unsure whether my predator wanted me to
do more damage forward or he did not have the cards. He pulled out a fourth
vampire as the only unlocked one. I still tried to go forward; my prey was at
eight, so in theory, I could oust him with enough cards (with
Club Illusion, I
had a bleed for five on the board), but I only had stealth and bounces, and I
only drew politics and more stealth. My prey ousted the Toreador in his turn
but, more importantly,
Mind Numbed the only unlocked Ventrue, who also
received one redirected bleed. Turns out that he did not have any wakes or
unlocks, so he dies with three
Deflections in his hand. So I got one more
turn, but now my prey had more pool. I drew more cards I could not play, so I
could not kill him. He then swept the Malkavian, and I just conceded.
Having slept for only three or four hours two nights before, I was sleep
deprived, and I made a million stupid mistakes in this game: I kept forgetting
to discard, I forgot that
Nonu Dis has +1 bleed, and I even forgot to use his
special. I had to compensate by trying to focus hard in the remaining games. The
rest of the day was better, but I could have done better if I had focused better
in the first game.
Game 2: 0VP
me →️ Ventrue Starter →️ Anson Guns Rush →️ !Tremere →️ Stanislava
I was first, and without a Baron in my uncontrolled region, I went for a
Jenny Silver into
Nonu Dis start. Anson had a pretty fast, explosive
start. Unfortunately, also my predator accelerated the game, leading with
Zillah’s Valleys in the first two turns and bringing out
Genevieve. He attempted to
Govern the Unaligned at superior with
Hartmut, which I would love to see. Still, I pointed out that he cannot do
that (Hartmut only has inferior dominate), so I took a big bleed instead.
I managed to get some bleeds through, but I was stuck with just two minions, and
I heavily missed multi-act, seeing no
CrimethInc.. Prey did not
block me to make me choke on stealth cards, but I was, in fact, stuck with *
action* cards on my hand (like four
The Platinum Protocol, etc.). Anson and
Stanislava started cooperating, and my predator then had an easy game because
Anson thrashed my grandpredator’s minions. The Tremere combat is no match for
Anson with guns. As a result, I started taking heavy bleeds and political hits
and died rather quickly.
Game 3: 0VP
Tero Aalto (Unnamed) →️ Do Not Remember →️ Weenie Politics →️ me →️ Nikica ( Unnamed)
What should have been a game started with a fairly easy early oust turned into a
VtES nightmare and my deck completely broke down. Both my prey and my grandprey
were playing an Unnamed deck, so neither of them had a functioning vampire for
quite a long time. My predator was a weenie-ish political deck that spent their
early games doing various political actions with
Cryptic Rider and bred votes
Praxis Seizures. Under normal circumstances, this should have been an
excellent game for me, but my deck decided to not cooperate. I have not seen a
Platinum Protocol nor any other bleed card. I only drew masters and the
“second action” cards, and I spent my turns mostly doing bleeds for one. This
was not enough, and I was ousted first by the political predator, who, for some
reason, also had very little pressure (I do not remember what his predator was
I’m pretty disappointed about this tournament. The combination of poor play (
especially in the first game) with the deck malfunction in the third one led to
an abysmal result, tough to swallow. I am still convinced the deck has merits,
but it probably needs to be tuned for consistency. It definitely needs to run
Dabblers; I think three is the minimum for the 75-card deck, but I will
probably try four. One more
Dreams of the Sphinx to increase consistency.
Villeins are also problematic, so several
Wash copies could help.