Ropecon 2009 Finnish ECQ, July 31


Before the tournament

Even though I've been running annual VTES tournaments at the Ropecon games convention for… lots of years, this year was special, since we actually had LSJ as a Guest of Honor at the con. Since Janne and I had met LSJ before (at the ECs), we volunteered to help the GoH team out and help show LSJ the sights. And the pubs. Let's not forget those.

Wednesday saw a somewhat jetlagged LSJ blinking in the bright nordic sun, being herded via car to first see a few city sights, and then to Zetor to eat & have a few drinks. After that, some more drinks at Kappeli, and we finally split ways sometime a bit before midnight, with Juki taking LSJ to the hotel and also dropping us home (nice).

Thursday… the guys did something, not 100% sure what, but it probably involved food, sun, and some drinks. I joined them for a while later in the evening at Kaisla, where out normal weekly VTES pub game was going strong – had to miss out the day's events due to being at work. Jobs, those boring things that get in the way of VTES and pubs. Anyway, many of the locals did the “oh, that's LSJ” routine, and much beer was consumed.

Friday, again a working day, after which I packed up my stuff and headed for Dipoli, the home of Ropecon, with backpack full of tournament tracking stuff and my trusty (& pink!) netbook. Real men use pink laptops.

About the con and LSJ: since he has to do a lot of tournament judging in his work, we decided to not ask for anything even remotely like that from him here. This time, LSJ got to play the game he designs… and play he did, quite a bit over the whole weekend. I think everyone appreciated that format. Playing with the designer of the game was a nice perk for local players, too.


After the normal initial hassle, things got off to a smooth start… and actually, it wasn't even much of a hassle. Everyone who had pre-registered showed up (a few latecomers kept me well-informed via phone), and people helped out nicely in organizing the tables etc. The grand player total this year was 85, which isn't bad; 2 more than last year. On the other hand, we had a small Swedish group of visitors (who also kicked ass in the tournament), so we actually had a few less Finns this year. It's always a bit random. In any case, a nice turnout.

There's really not all that much I can say about the three preliminary rounds, except that “things went well”. The only negative was the usual lack of oxygen and ridiculous humidity in the main games hall, but that's not something we can do much about. People coped with it nicely, even though it got a bit “tropical” at times. Thanks, everyone.

Even though LSJ had threatened (in the pub) to ask nasty rules questions from the tournament judge (which would be me), he managed to contain himself. Maybe it was the threats of physical violence, or maybe it's just the fact that he's a nice guy. Or both. In any case, it was very nice to able to ask LSJ for rulings directly – though I ran into only one question where I had to resort to that, everything else was fairly straightforward.

I would like to say something about the decks people were playing, but I really can't. Even though I spent quite a bit of time wandering the tables and looking at the games, there were just some many deck types being played that nothing rose as “the” deck type this year. I guess it's the sign of a balanced game: people play all sorts of decks, and get points with them.


As I said earlier, the Swedes kicked (our) ass. The final round had two (Adam and Michael), and two other Swedes were also very high on the score list. Well done guys!

The final game was a long and (at times) tense, Dominate-heavy slug. Adam was playing a deck based around Gabrielle di Righetti, Pauli had a Mata Hari deck, Antti had Settites with Dominate & Enticement, Michael was playing a Vignes deck, and Antero had a finely-tuned !Ventrue deck. Pauli (the only one not fielding Dominate) got ousted quite quickly, after which things seemed deadlocked for a while… fortunately not forever, though. Adam finally took the win, with about 5 minutes left on the game clock.

See further on in this document for a transcript of the game.


The tournament started at about 18:15, which meant that the prelim rounds & qualifier t-shirt handouts were done around 1:30… so the final round ended at around 3:30 (yes, AM). Which in turn meant that people were starting to be a bit frazzled around the edges and most headed off somewhere to sleep. I didn't have that luxury, I had info desk shift until 7am… but after that, I did finally stumble home and sleep for a few hours.

I won't write much about the rest of the Con here, that's a separate subject really. LSJ gave a GoH speed on Saturday and told us about how he came to be the head designer of the game, what his design workflow is, about his priorities in designing cards… interesting stuff. Well, interesting to us VTES players anyway.

On Sunday we had a small private “VTES brunch”, in which LSJ and some of the high scorers from the tournament got served a luxury brunch (thanks, Katri & gang!) at a rooftop sauna place, and then got to play a game of VTES. It was an idea that came up during Con planning, and I think it went well and everyone had fun. Not to mention the pancakes, bubbly wine and the most necessary ingredient for surviving Ropecon: strong, pitch-black Finnish coffee, in industrial amounts.

In sum, everything went great and LSJ seemed to enjoy the visit – and I know the local players loved the opportunity to play a game with him. I was a bit sleep-deprived after the weekend, but that's par for the course. An extra thanks to the Swedes for making their way here, we haven't had too many non-Finns at the tournament so far (bar Hugh, but he's an honorary Finn anyway). Hope this becomes a regular event; we were also talking about going to Sweden to play at some point. We'll see.

A huge thanks to the players from me, there is no way in hell I could run a tournament of this size “solo” without players who are high on sportmanship and long on patience. Also a big thank you to Janne, Juki, Katri and all the others who did a ton of work in organizing the VTES & GoH events at the Con. Especially Janne; in addition to keeping LSJ company he also organized and ran heroic numbers of VTES demo games during the con. Awesome work.

See you all next year. Or at the EC.

-Petri “Orava” Wessman


Rank Name Prelim GWs Prelim VPs Final VPs Deck/comment
1 Adam Esbjörnsson 3 10 3 Tutte bjuder till fest
2 Pauli Kiova 2 9.5 Mata Hari shifts you!
2 Antti Horelli 2 9 Team !deflection
2 Michael Holmström 2 9 1 Vignes deck
2 Antero Leppänen 2 9 1 The !Ventrue do not sleep. They Wait.
6 Seppo Lipponen 2 8
7 Are Vaskela 2 7
8 Jussi Ranta 2 7 Well, Dog Tired to Bleed (eh?)
9 Erik Torstensson 2 5.5
10 Kari Mäkinen 1 9
11 Mika Nurmikolu 1 7 MC Shamblers & friends from beyong the veil
12 Isak Esbjönsson 1 6.5 <3 Dom
13 Tommi Hakomaa 1 6 Pirates, YARR!
14 Mikko Hyvärinen 1 5.5
15 Tuomas Nyberg 1 5.5 Guruhi
16 Marko Lindroos 1 5.5
17 Marko Saari 1 5 Pahan Markon paluu
18 Veijo Fiskaali 1 5
18 Antero Hakala 1 5
20 Akseli Jalava 1 5 Vittu teitä tulee vituttamaan
21 Matias Hurme 1 5 Malk '94
22 Mika Uusi-Kilponen 1 4.5
23 Romeo Leinbaum 1 4 Backoust GG
23 Ville Saaristo 1 4 obf+DOM
25 Tuukka Kallas 1 4 Eurobrujah
26 Timo Rekola 1 4 Stolisnaja
27 Matias Frosterus 1 4 Big Hand
28 Johan Wahlström 1 3.5
29 Ville Kaijasaari 1 3.5
30 Tom Lindberg 1 3 Spam, spam, spam
31 Otso Saariluoma 1 3 Nu Ventrue
32 Toni Karjalainen 0 4
33 Otso Turunen 0 3.5 Peruspeukku
34 Jussi Hattara 0 3 Hardestadt & co., Mk III
35 Matti Palomäki 0 3 Käykö täällä Visa Electron?
36 Aleksi Nuora 0 3
37 Peter Kaario 0 3 3rd
38 Juri Juskevits 0 2.5 lol
39 Miika Karmitsa 0 2.5 Suuta korviin ja persettä polviin
40 Joonas Sahramaa 0 2
41 Jukka Karvonen 0 2
41 Jussi Koskimäki 0 2
43 Teemu Sainomaa 0 2
43 Juho Vuorikoski 0 2
45 Tommi Ketonen 0 2 Lupus in Tabula
45 Juha Ivanoff 0 2
47 Pasi Karjalainen 0 2
48 Otto Kukkasniemi 0 2 Conglomerate of the People's Republic
49 Kimmo Pekkola 0 1.5
49 Ari-Pekka Alestalo 0 1.5
51 Joni Huumonen 0 1.5
52 Juhani Puska 0 1.5
52 Jyri Puhakka 0 1.5
54 Antti Iivari 0 1.5 If you can't win, you can hurt
55 Janne Lönnqvist 0 1
56 Anssi Herranen 0 1
57 Kirmo Lassheikki 0 1 Back from Hell
57 Juha Nyholm 0 1
59 Lasse Pöyry 0 1
60 Raymond Mäkeläinen 0 1
61 Jaakko Liemola 0 1
62 Jari Vulli 0 0.5 Okon vinot hampaat
63 Touko Kästämä 0 0.5
63 Kalle Cederström 0 0.5
65 Aleksi Kivilahti 0 0.1
66 Kari Vieno 0 0 Vittu joo!
67 Samuel Mäenpää 0 0 Sauli & co.
67 Mikko Laine 0 0
67 Johannes Leppä 0 0 Magic of the Mic
67 Markku Puska 0 0
71 Arsi Järvinen 0 0
71 Tuomas Hallgren 0 0
71 Sami Dadu 0 0 Eyessamites
71 Lauri Keinänen 0 0
71 Taija Kanerva 0 0
71 Niko Heinonen 0 0
77 L.Scott Johnson 0 0 Ravnos
77 Jani Anttila 0 0
77 Arto Heinonen 0 0
77 Jari Mäkikyrö 0 0
77 Heikki Parviainen 0 0
77 Teemu Aro 0 0
77 Ari Lensu 0 0 Deadsong
77 Teppo Aro 0 0
85 Jani Nokkanen 0 0 perinteinen


Tournament Winner

Deck Name: Tutte bjuder till fest

Created By: Adam Esbjörnsson

Description: The deck is best slow-played, not to show off too much dominate to keep the table guessing at whether you play combat or votes. Using mirror walk and obedience to never get into a combat you don't want to enter. Just wait the game out and take the last two VPs before anyone knows what's happening (at least that's the idea ^_^). Works really well in a combat environment, would probably be weak against vote decks with stealth - but thankfully I never had to face that.

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 23, Max: 40, Avg: 8,08)
  1 Andrew Stuart AUS DOM THA 5 Tremere
  1 Claus Wegener aus for tha DOM 5 Tremere
  1 Dr. John Dee chi ANI AUS DOM THA9 Tremere
  5 Gabrielle di Righetti obf pot ANI AUS DOM THA10 Tremere
  1 Graham Gottesman obf pre tha DOM FOR7 Ventrue
  1 Muhsin Samir aus pot DOM THA 6 Tremere
  1 Preston Varrick aus nec DOM OBF THA7 Tremere
  1 Troius cel AUS DOM THA 8 Tremere

Library: (76 cards)
Master (8 cards)
  2 Anarch Troublemaker
  1 Arcane Library
  1 Metro Underground
  2 Misdirection
  1 Monastery of Shadows
  1 Pentex Subversion

Action (15 cards)
  13 Govern the Unaligned
  2 Mind Rape

Action Modifier (23 cards)
  2 Bonding
  6 Conditioning
  1 Enkil Cog
  8 Mirror Walk
  4 Seduction
  2 Veil the Legions

Political Action (2 cards)
  2 Parity Shift

Reaction (26 cards)
  8 Deflection
  8 Obedience
  10 Second Tradition: Domain, The

Ally (1 cards)
  1 Ponticulus

Equipment (1 cards)
  1 Heart of Nizchetus


Deck name: “The !Ventrue do not sleep. They Wait.”

By: Antero Leppänen

Crypt (12)
2 Owain Evans, The Wanderer 
2 Blackhorse Tanner 
1 Jefferson Foster     
2 Neighbor John      
1 Jephta Hester             
1 Louis de Maisonneuve        
1 Ulrike Rothbart           
1 Lana Butcher 
1 Tupdog             

Library (79)

Master (15)
2 Anarch Troublemaker
2 Blood Doll
1 Direct Intervention
2 Dreams of the Sphinx
1 Pentex Subversion
1 Powerbase: Montreal
1 Rumor Mill, Tabloid Newspaper
1 Sudden Reversal
2 Vessel
1 Wall Street Night, Financial Newspaper
1 WMRH Talk Radio

Action (11)
2 Abbot
1 Aranthebes, The Immortal
8 Govern the Unaligned

Action Modifier (6)
3 Bonding
3 Conditioning

Combat (17)
4 Hidden Strength
5 Indomitability
2 Rolling with the Punches
2 Target Vitals
4 Weighted Walking Stick

Equipment (2)
1 Bowl of Convergence
1 Ivory Bow

Reaction (28)
7 Deflection
1 Delaying Tactics
2 Eagle's Sight
2 Enhanced Senses
4 Eyes of Argus
2 Forced Awakening
3 My Enemy's Enemy
3 On the Qui Vive
1 Precognition
1 Spirit's Touch
2 Wake with Evening's Freshness

Settite Enticement “Team !deflection” deck, created by Antti Horelli

2 Amenophobis           7 dom OBF SER
3 Halim Bey             6 DOM obf SER
1 Ankh-sen-S            6     obf SER
2 Black Lotus           5 DOM obf ser
1 Ahmose Chambers       3     obf ser
1 Bloodfeud             2     obf
1 Denette Stensen       2     obf
1 Old Neddacka          2     obf

1 Crocodile Temple
1 Opium Den
1 Temple Hunting Ground
2 Obfuscate
1 Barrens
2 Dreams
1 DI
1 Sudden Reversal
2 Wash
3 Tribute to the Master
1 Villein
1 Slave Auction
1 Momentum's Edge

1 Priestess of Sekhmet
2 Mokolé Blood
4 Waters of Duat
2 Far Mastery
3 Temptation
6 Night Moves
8 Enticement

4 Conditioning
3 Cloak the Gathering
3 Forgotten Labyrinth
3 Faceless Night
1 Marked Path
2 Lost in Crowds
2 Swallowed by the Night
2 Domain of Evernight
2 Veil the Legions
2 Spying Mission

6 Deflection
2 Redirection
4 Wake
4 On the Qui Vive
3 Delaying Tactics

3 Dodge

Edward Vignes deck, played at Ropecon 2009 by Michael Holmström

Author : Graham Smith

Michael's comments: I just want to thank ruben feldman for his determination and stamina for playing this deck over the years, and being an insperation overall.

Crypt (12 vampires) Capacity min: 3 max: 7 average: 5

3x Edward Vignes          6  DOM PRE for               Ventrue:3
2x Ranjan Rishi, Cama     5  DOM PRE for               Ventrue:2
1x Gracis Nostinus        7  DOM PRE aus for  primogen Ventrue:3
1x Boss Callihan          5  PRE dom for pro           Ventrue:3
1x Catherine du Bois      5  DOM for obf pre           Ventrue:3
1x Elena Gutierrez        4  aus dom pre               Ventrue:3
1x Ingrid Russo           4  DOM for                   !Ventrue:2
1x Pieter van Dorn        4  dom pre tha               Tremere:3
1x Diana Vick             3  dom pre                   Ventrue:3

Library (70 cards)

Action (20)
  4x Entrancement
  11x Govern the Unaligned
  5x Mind Numb

Action Modifier (20)
  4x Bonding
  7x Conditioning
  3x Daring the Dawn
  2x Foreshadowing Destruction
  4x Seduction

Combat (8)
  8x Majesty

Master (12)
  1x Anarch Troublemaker
  5x Blood Doll
  1x Coven, The
  1x Giant's Blood
  1x Jake Washington (Hunter)
  1x Misdirection
  2x Pentex(TM) Subversion

Reaction (10)
  7x Deflection
  3x Delaying Tactics

Crafted with : Anarch Revolt Deck Builder. (Fri Aug 14 15:19:35 2009)

Deck Name: Mata Hari shifts you!

By: Pauli Kiova

5x Mata Hari
2x Karen Suadela
1x Benjamin Rose
1x Victor Pelletier
1x Mukhtar Bey
1x Victor Dodaldson
1x Dmitra Ilyanova

1x Barrens, The
1x Black Throne, The
1x Demonstration
1x Ferraille
1x Fortune Teller Shop
1x Framing an Ancient Grudge
1x Mausoleum, Venice, The
2x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Perfectionist
1x Secure Haven
1x Waste Management Operation
1x Ventrue Headquarters
3x Villein
1x Blessing of the Name
1x Bujo
2x Sensory Deprivation
3x Sibyl's Tongue
2x Sudario Refraction

4x Forgotten Labyrinth
20x Freak Drive
4x Lost in Crowds
3x Draba
1x Ambrosius, The Ferryman (Wraith)
1x Asanbonsam Ghoul
1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1x Felix "Fix" Hessian (Wraith)
1x Herald of Topheth
1x Nephren-Ka
1x Ponticulus
1x Tye Cooper
1x Ankara Citadel, Turkey, The
1x Shilmulo Tarot
1x Treasured Samadji
1x Unmasking, The
Political Action
3x Kine Resources Contested
4x Parity Shift
3x Reckless Agitation

Final round transcript

This is based on my personal notes, made in a somewhat tired state between 1:30 and 3:30 am. In other words: a lot of detail into is missing, some details are possibly wrong, and so forth.

The players were (in seating order): 1) Antti (Horelli), 2) Antero (Leppänen), 3) Michael (Holmström), 4) Pauli (Kiova), 5) Adam Esbjörnsson.

Round 1

(just transfers from all)

Round 2

Antti: bring out Ahmose Chambers

Antero: bring out Jefferson Foster

Michael: bring out Gracis Nostinus

Pauli: bring out Mata Hari

Adam: (transfer)

Round 3


  • Obfuscate on Ahmose
  • Ahmose bleeds Night Moves
  • bring out Halim Bey


  • Blood Doll on Jefferson
  • J bleeds with Bonding


  • Gracis Governs down, Seducing Jeff
  • bring out Edward Vignes


  • play Black Throne
  • Mata Hari gets Ankara Citadel, Freak, summon Nephren-Ka, Freak


  • bring out Gabrielle di Righetti

Round 4


  • play Barrens
  • Halim plays Waters of Duat (with Obf master)
  • WoD hunts
  • Ahmose bleeds, gets bounced to Adam (with stealth)
  • bring out Denette Stensen


  • Vessel on Jeff
  • bring out Owain Evans


  • Pentex on Mata Hari
  • Gracis steals Nephren-Ka with Entrancement
  • Edward bleeds GtU + Conditioning = 6
  • bring out Pieter van Dorn


  • bring out Benjamin Rose


  • Gabrielle gets Heart of Nizc… err, Cheating
  • bring out Claus Wegener

Round 5


  • Denette removes Pentex
  • WoD bleeds, ends up in torpor


  • Owain GtU down
  • Jess does same
  • bring out Neighbor John


  • Gracis bleeds with GtU, block attempt, Daring the Dawn + Foreshadowing = Pauli is ousted
  • Edward rescues Gracis, NeighborJ blocks, Majesty from Ed
  • Ed GtU down, NeighborJ wake+block
  • Dieter tries to rescue Gracis, NeighborJ blocks (Eyes of Argus)
  • bring out Elena Gutierrez


  • play Metro Underground
  • Claus diablerizes Gracis
  • Gabrielle GtU down
  • bring out Andrew Stuart

Round 6


  • play Opium Den
  • Ahmose rescues WoD
  • WoD hunts


  • play Dreams, but gets Washed by Antti
  • Jeff plays Aranthebes
  • Owain GtU down
  • bring out Lana Butcher


  • Blood Doll on Edward
  • Elena bleeds w/Entrancement, bounced to Antti, blocked by Denette


  • Andrew fetches Ponticulus
  • Gabrielle calls Parity Shift, 4 from Antti to Adam

Round 7


  • play Crocodile Temple
  • Denette Night Moves Adam for 1
  • WoD hunts


  • Jeff hunts
  • Owain bleeds for 1


  • Nephren-Ka rushes Jeff, Owain wake+block
  • Edward Mind Numbs Lana, NeighborJ blocks, Edward plays Majesty
  • Edward removes Aranthebes (w/Seduction)


  • play Arcane Library
  • Gabrielle GtU down

Round 8


  • Denette bleeds, NeighborJ wake+block
  • WoD bleeds, Lana bounces to Michael


  • Owain gets Bowl of Convergence
  • bring out Jephta Hester


  • Elena hunts


  • Gabrielle GtU down
  • bring out Dr. John Dee

Round 9


  • Denette hunts
  • Halim tries to steal Ponticulus w/Far Mastery, Gabrielle tries to block w/2nd trad, stealthed, success


  • Japhta bleeds, Ed blocks and plays Majesty
  • Owain bleeds w/Conditioning, gets bounced to Adam, bounced on to Antti, blocked by WoD


  • Blood Doll on Elena
  • Nephren-Ka rushes NeighborJ, Lena blocks


  • Gabrielle bleeds w/Bonding, plays Enkil Cog

Round 10


  • WoD hunts
  • Denette hunts


  • Jeff bleeds, blocked by Elena
  • Lana bleeds, blocked by Edward


  • Elena hunts
  • Nephren-Ka rushes Owain, Jephta blocks, N-K burns


  • Claus bleeds, Ahmose blocks
  • Andrew bleeds, bounced to Antero
  • Dr. Dee bleeds

Round 11


  • Ahmose hunts, NeighborJ blocks, stealthed


  • play Powerbase:Montreal
  • Lana hunts, Ponticulus taps to give Michael's Pieter van Dorn intercept, Pieter blocks, Lana goes to torpor
  • Jeff hunts
  • Jephta gets Abbot
  • Owain GtU down
  • Jephta rescues Lana
  • bring out Blackhorse Tanner


  • Misdirection: tap Andrew
  • Pieter hunts
  • Edward bleeds w/Foreshadowing, bounced to Antti, Denette blocks, Ed plays Majesty
  • Elena bleeds w/Conditioning, bounced to Antti, WoD blocks
  • Gabrielle uses EK to bleed for 2, bounced around a bit, finally lands on Michael


  • Misdirection: tap Halim
  • Claus bleeds
  • Andrew bleeds, bounced to Antero, Blackhorse blocks
  • Dr.Dee bleeds
  • Gabrielle steals 1 life from Ponticulus, P burns

Round 12


  • Denette bleeds, bounced to Adam
  • WoD bleeds
  • Ahmose bleeds
  • Halim bleeds w/Conditioning, bounced to Adam, bounced back to Antero, DI on bounce, Adam bled for 4


  • Lana hunts
  • NeighborJ bleeds
  • Blackhorse bleeds
  • Jeff bleeds


  • Pentex on Gabrielle
  • Edward Mind Numbs (someone, missing info?), Dr.Dee blocks with 2nd trad
  • Pieter bleeds w/GtU , Dr.Dee blocks with 2nd
  • Elena bleeds w/Entrancement + Conditioning, bounced to Antti, Denette wake+block


  • Pentex on Owain (contest)
  • Claus GtU bleeds
  • Andrew GtU bleeds, bounced to Antero, Owain blocks
  • Dr.Dee bleeds w/Conditioning, bounced to Antero, Owain wake+block

Round 13


  • play Dreams
  • Denette bleeds
  • WoD bleeds (Night Moves)
  • Halim bleeds with stealth and Conditioning
  • Ahmose plays Enticement


  • Pentex on Gabrielle (triple-contest!)
  • Blackhorse gets Abbot
  • Lana bleeds
  • Jephta bleeds
  • NeighborJ bleeds, Michael is ousted


  • play Anarch Troublemaker
  • Dr.Dee hunts, Owain blocks, Dr.Dee into torpor
  • Claus bleeds w/GtU, Antti is ousted
  • Gabrielle bleeds w/GtU, Blackhorse blocks

Round 14


  • Blood Doll on Blackhorse
  • Blackhorse bleeds, (someone) blocks with 2nd trad + Obedience


  • Use Anarch Troublemaker to tap NeighborJ and Owain
  • Gabrielle Parity Shifts 2 pool from Antero to Adam
  • Andres GtU bleeds, Jephta blocks
  • Claus bleeds w/Conditioning

Round 15


  • play Rumor Mill
  • Lana bleeds, Gabrielle blocks 2nd trad & Obedience
  • Jephta bleeds, Gabrielle blocks 2nd trad & Obedience
  • Gabrielle uses EK to bleed (for 2), Blackhorse blocks


  • Andrew bleeds w/GtU, Jeff tries to block, Andrew gets stealth (Mirror Walk), Antero ousted

Pictures (by Marko Saari)

tournament/ropecon2009.txt · Last modified: 2019/07/06 14:08 by
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