So, the VTES 2009 European Championships are now over, and we’re back from Palma de Mallorca (Spain). Us Finns didn’t score too well this time around (with a couple of exceptions), but otherwise the trip was a blast. Flying from cold, dark and drizzly Finland to warm and sunny Mallorca was a nice beginning, and for once the hotel actually did live up to expectations and pictures. The rooms were nice (our apartment suite was close to the pools), the food was excellent, the staff friendly, and in general almost everything went smoothly. The games did have a tendency to start very much behind schedule, but since I could spend that time sipping sangrias on the sunny terrace I didn’t mind too much.
I was already qualified (thanks to running the Ropecon tournament), so on Friday I decided to play in the sideline “Friday the 13th” tournament, organized by Tiago and Teresa. Was a lot of fun, though my Akunanse deck wasn’t quite up to the challenge; managed to scrape together two half-VPs due to two timeouts. The storyline rules did slow the game down a bit, so we had more timeouts than normal. Still, had a lot of fun. I thought I was packing a lot of combat, but the first round stuck between Matt’s Potence rush deck and someone else’s celerity gun intercept deck taught me differently.
Saturday it was time for the EC day one tournament. I picked my Anarch Cry Wolf Khazar deck for this… it has a lot of bounce, some rush, and I thought it might have a chance. Well, it didn’t work out, the day ended with zero VPs. There were a few close calls where I almost got a VP, but “almost” doesn’t count. In the end, the deck (though decent) wasn’t quite resilient enough and it was simply too slow for this metagame. Lots of powerbleed, fast votes (Panders etc) and other fast, brutal decks. Oh well. The games were fun in any case, and everyone was very nice and sportsmanlike. After talking about it, I got some nice ideas from Janne and other people, and have since tweaked the deck to be more efficient – dropped it down to 80 cards, tightened up the combat module, etc.
Sunday was the First Chance tournament, where I tried out my !Toreador/Daughters tap&bleed deck. Still not all that much luck, but things went a bit better: got 1 VP on the third round, and both of the first games had me with my prey at one pool. One is unfortunately a lot more than zero, but still… I’m pretty happy with how the deck performed in general. In hindsight, I probably would have gotten another VP if I had played my hand (a combo of tap cards, Freak Drive, and Siren’s Lure) a bit differently. I’ve since also modified this deck, also paring it down to 80 cards and hopefully making it run a bit more tightly. Will need more playtesting.
Janne had better luck, he was playing his deadly Fortitude weenie horror all weekend. He almost made it to EC day 2, which is very well done. On the other hand, lots of normally high-scoring Finns ended up at around my number of VPs (i.e. zero-to-one). Weird.
As traditional, I didn’t get all that much sleep. Usually went to bed around 2am after playing all day and night and drinking quite a bit on the side…. and then it’s up before 8am, in time to register for the next day’s games and eat breakfast. Still, those 6 hours proved to be enough, I wasn’t totally zoned out or anything. We played quite a few games with Team Denmark (great guys), with some of the games held at out apartment suite – we had a fridge, lots of salmiakkivodka & beer, and two game-worthy tables. Luxury.
So. Great trip, really felt like a vacation (despite lack of sleep and little real “rest” at any point). If was great to meet and play with lots of fun people once again (LSJ&Oscar, we demand that Imbued toilet paper!). Huge thanks to Ginés for organizing this, and to everyone else who helped. Meeting the Portugese guys was great, thanks Tiago and others! Likewise for the Italians, thanks Paolo and everyone for great company and fun games. Even though not everyone could speak all that much English (hey, my Italian is worse!), things worked out.
This was probably the best EC so far, for me. The sunshine and sangria helped.
Oh, and Scott is a Cylon. Duh.