East Central Qualifier
June 7, 2003

By Josh Duffin
V:EKN Prince of Washington, D.C.

The National Capital Area VTES 2003 Qualifier was held this past Saturday, June 7th, at the Dream Wizards game store in Rockville Maryland, on a very rainy day.

I was expecting maybe 40 players at most. Imagine my surprise when we finally started at about 12:30 pm - not quite up to my draconian claim that I would start without people who weren't there at noon sharp - but not too bad, in my opinion, considering my traditional difficulty in starting on time, and the size of the event - and it turned out that 52 (!!!) people had come to play. I was totally astounded. I think Laurel (the trusty store manager) was as well - she set up extra tables in the front of the store for us and definitely went beyond the call of duty in accommodating us throughout the day - my thanks to her, as always, for being a great hostess.

I believe this is the largest qualifier tournament in North America so far this year. (OK, Montreal probably Could have beaten it if they hadn't been limited by venue Size. :-) Let me just say, way to go DC, and thanks to Everyone who came from all over the country to play... Including people from Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, North Carolina, Georgia, and of course the usual Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. I think Derek Ray and Mike Perlman win the coveted "Hardest Core" Award for driving up from Atlanta. (Jeff Thompson, David Tatu, and Robyn Tatu also came from Atlanta, but They flew, which is less hardcore. ;-) Those wishing to contest this title may burn 1 blood during each untap phase until all but one yield.

Anyway, enough preamble - to the results!

Overall---Player Name-----Prelim—Prelim—-Final—Prelim
1-----Forrest Nielsen------------2-----6.5-----2-----162
2-----Chris Berg------------------2-----6-------2-----138
3-----Colin Riggs-----------------2-----9--------1-----168
4-----Johnny Tullner------------3-----10------0-----180
5-----* David Cherryholmes----2-----8.5-----0-----144
6-----Matt Morgan---------------1-----7-------------156
7-----Nick Watkins--------------1-----5.5-----------114
8-----Tom Mickle----------------1-----5-------------138
9-----Mike Minker---------------1-----5-------------112
10----* Craig Preston-----------1-----4.5-----------126
10----* Matt Hirsch-------------1-----4.5-----------126
12----Joseph Feeney-----------1-----4-------------120
13----Shane Strait--------------1-----4-------------114
14----Tristan Asher-------------1-----3.5-----------126
14----Mike Perlman--------------1-----3.5-----------126
16----John Mickle---------------1-----3-------------120
17----* David Tatu--------------1-----3-------------118
18----Dan Scheidegger---------1-----3-------------114
18----Jason Bubalis-------------1-----3-------------114
20----Ed McGlynn---------------1-----3--------------96
21----Dave Sprout---------------1-----2.5------------96
22----Martin Henley------------0-----4-------------126
23----* Greg Williams----------0-----4-------------120
24----Jason Babbitt------------0-----3-------------136
25----Steve Holmer-------------0-----2.5-----------132
26----Huan Vu-------------------0-----2.5-----------130
27----Jim Suh-------------------0-----2.5-----------114
28----* Robyn Tatu-------------0-----2-------------126
29----* David Oros-------------0-----2-------------118
30----* Trey Morita------------0-----2-------------114
31----Robert Cooper------------0-----2-------------102
32----Amanda Shoemaker------0-----2--------------96
33----Andrew Weber-----------0-----1.5-----------114
34----John Oyerbides----------0-----1.5------------96
35----Michael Manning---------0-----1.5------------90
36----* Ethan Levi---------------0-----1--------------96
37----Peter Oh-------------------0-----1--------------94
38----Peter Kapsalis------------0-----1--------------90
38----Bill Mickle----------------0-----1--------------90
40----Nick Bollaert-------------0-----1--------------84
41----Shawn Stutzel------------0-----0.5------------94
42----* Jeff Thompson--------0-----0.5------------84
43----Gary Kwan----------------0-----0--------------82
44----Kevin Karpinski----------0-----0--------------76
45----Peter Bauer--------------0-----0--------------72
46----Dan Keller---------------0-----0--------------66
46----Nick Coelius-------------0-----0--------------66
48----John Whelan------------0-----0--------------60
48----Kurt Reese---------------0-----0--------------60
48----Derek Ray----------------0-----0--------------60
48----Marco Balaguer---------0-----0--------------60
48----Sarah Anthony----------0-----0--------------60

The asterisks in front of names denote the players who were already qualified from an earlier event (and therefore didn't take up a qualifying spot in this one). Sorry if I missed anyone who should be on that list - It wasn't intentional if I did. :-)

I didn't end up breaking ties because none of them affected finals placement or who earned qualifying spots. (I thought for a few minutes that one did and flipped a coin that I thought was telling me that Mike Perlman didn't qualify and Tristan Asher did, but I was mistaken about how far down the list the new-qualifying status extended. My apologies to both Mike and Tristan for the error.)

So, the ten newly qualified players are:

Forrest Nielsen
Chris Berg
Colin Riggs
Johnny Tullner
Matt Morgan
Nick Watkins
Tom Mickle
Mike Minker
Joseph Feeney
Shane Strait

Congratulations to all of them, and I hope to see you all at GenCon in Indianapolis! And special congratulations to Forrest on his first tournament win, particularly since it was accomplished with his Daughters of Cacophony-based "Lost Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" deck - only the second Daughters sanctioned-event win, according to TheLasombra's Website (last I checked anyway).

OK, here's my writeup of the final round game from Saturday's qualifier. Unfortunately I missed the first Few turns while handing out T-shirts to the other Qualifying players and such, so I don't know what turn I'm starting with here.

Ranking before the finals was:
Johnny Tullner, 3 GW, 10 VP
Colin Riggs, 2 GW, 9 VP
David Cherryholmes, 2 GW, 8.5 VP
Forrest Nielsen, 2 GW, 6.5 VP
Chris Berg, 2 GW, 6 VP

If I remember right, seating went like this: Chris and Forrest had (effectively) no choice in seating. David Chose to be Forrest's prey/Chris's predator. Colin chose to be Chris's prey/Forrest's predator. Johnny chose to be Forrest's prey/David's predator.

So the order, after determining randomly who would play first, was: Johnny - Smiling Jack with Basilia and friends
David - Ravnos bleed with Red Herring, some Dominate
Chris - Gangrel with Dominate toolbox/bleed
Colin - Nu the Pillar and friends rush/bleed/Enchant
Forrest - Daughters and !Toreador bleed with some bounce

When I came to the table, the vampires in play were: Johnny - Basilia, Huang Blood Cultist, Navar McClaren
David - Joaquina Amaya, Gabrin
Chris - Iliana, Chandler Hungerford, Raven
Colin - Nu the Pillar, Amelia
Forrest - Angela Preston, Sheila Mezarin

Starting from Johnny's turn - probably his sixth or so?

Johnny: Plays Smiling Jack. Basilia attempts to recruit a Renegade Garou. David's Gabrin reduces stealth with Draba and Sheila Mezarin blocks. Basilia strikes hands, Sheila Staredowns to end combat. Basilia Freak Drives And recruits Mr. Winthrop.

David: Plays Path of Paradox. Gabrin Computer Hacks for 2; Iliana attempts to block, Gabrin adds Fata Morgana for +1 bleed/+1 stealth. Iliana plays Redirection to send it to Colin, who takes 3, going to 12 pool. Gabrin Freak Drives. Joaquina plays an Army of Rats. Gabrin Plays Sensory Deprivation on Iliana; Raven attempts to Block, but David taps Fortune Teller Shop for stealth. Forrest suggests that he might be talked into lending Out his KRCG News Radio intercept to Chris, but in the End decides Chris doesn't have enough to offer to make That worth doing, and the Deprivation lands. David Burns his Dreams of the Sphinx for hand-size, and Gabrin Freak Drives again and Arsons Forrest's KRCG News Radio (not blocked). Gabrin Freak Drives for a Third time and plays Nightmare Curse at [chi] to tap Raven and untap. This isn't blocked and David ends his Turn (with Gabrin having untapped only four times).

Chris: Plays Dreams of the Sphinx. Raven goes to burn The Army of Rats; Gabrin attempts to block; Raven gets Backways stealth and it succeeds. Raven Freak Drives (popular!) and gets a Palatial Estate. Chris discards Kine Dominance.

Colin: Plays no master. Nu plays Clotho's Gift at [tem] to add 2 blood to an uncontrolled younger vamp and untaps with his own ability. Nu plays Mind Numb on Chris's Chandler Hungerford. Amelia bleeds; it's not blocked so she adds Aire of Elation to make it for 3. Forrest's Sheila Mezarin Wakes and plays My Enemy's Enemy at [AUS] which sends it to Chris, who doesn't Block, going to 11 pool. Colin transfers 1 back to His pool and discards Bum's Rush.

Forrest: No master. Sheila bleeds with Social Charm at [PRE] for 3; Johnny blocks with Huang but Angela Preston plays Siren's Lure at [MEL] to make that block Fail and tap Huang; Basilia plays Forced Awakening and Blocks. Sheila strikes hands; Basilia Earth Melds and Untaps. In the Angela/Huang Lure combat, it's hands For 1 all around. Forrest transfers to bring out Jost Werner (going to 11 pool) and uses Angela's ability to Tap her to untap Sheila.

Johnny: Smiling Jack goes to 1 counter (Johnny to 12 pool). Plays The Rack on Basilia, but Forrest Sudden Reverses it. Basilia equips with a Sport Bike (11 pool). Discards Skin of Steel.

David: Gabrin pays 1 for Smiling Jack (Gabrin -> 3). No master. Gabrin Computer Hacks; it's unblocked and Gabrin adds Fata Morgana to make it 3, reducing Chris's Pool to 8. David transfers to bring out Sarisha Veliku, Going to 5 pool, and discards a Dominate master.

Chris: I neglected to record how he paid for Jack this Turn. Plays Information Highway, uses Dreams for Influence, and brings out Haakon Mortenson, going to 5 Pool.

Colin: Amelia pays for Jack. Plays Haven Uncovered on Sheila Mezarin. Nu plays Revelations at [aus]; Sheila Blocks with Telepathic Misdirection, going to 5 blood. Nu plays Lapse at [TEM], Torn Signpost, and strikes Undead Strength for 5. Sheila prevents with Skin of Steel (->4); Nu plays Taste of Vitae on the 0 damage. Amelia bleeds; Sheila Wakes and blocks; both strike Hands for 1 (Amelia 4, Sheila 3). Transfers to bring Out Sela, going to 10 pool.

Forrest: Jost Werner -> 5 for Jack. Jost bleeds with Legal Manipulations + Aire of Elation for 5, bringing Johnny to 6. Sheila bleeds with Social Charm for 3; Johnny -> 3. Angela bleeds with Legal + Aire for 5 (overkill, yes) ousting Johnny. Forrest gains 6 to 19 pool. Forrest transfers to bring out Gael Pilet, going to 16.

David: Plays a Chimerstry master on Sarisha. Gabrin Taps Raven with his own ability, which isn't blocked. Gabrin Freak Drives and Computer Hacks, bringing Chris to 3 pool. Discards Path of Paradox.

Chris: Haakon bleeds; Sela blocks. Haakon strikes Scorpion Sting for 2, Sela hands for 1. Chandler Bleeds, unblocked. Discards Ivory Bow.

Colin: Plays Giant's Blood on Nu (goes from 1 blood to 9) then Blood Dolls one off Nu (oops). Nu plays Nose of the Hound at [aus] to rush Jost Werner, Tears a Signpost, plays Lapse at [TEM], and strikes for 3, reducing Jost to 0. Nu Tastes Jost's Vitae and untaps with Domain of Evernight. Amelia rushes Sheila through the Haven, plays Signpost and Grapples, but Sheila prevents with Superior Mettle, and Amelia Doesn't press. Sela rushes Sheila through the Haven And strikes Undead Strength, but Sheila Majesties. Nu Enchants Kindred at [PRE] and untaps with his own Ability. Nu bleeds with Entrancement; Gael blocks; Nu strikes Undead Strength for 3 and Gael hands for 1. Colin pays 1 for a new uncontrolled vamp and discards IR Goggles.

Forrest: Burns Jake Washington to give Jost 4 blood. Plays Secure Haven (not so Uncovered now, is it?) on Sheila. Jost bleeds with Intimidation for 3; Sarisha Plays Draba and blocks. Jost strikes hands, Sarisha Plays Mirror Image to end combat. Angela bleeds; it's not blocked, and she adds Aire of Elation to make it 3 (David -> 2). Sheila bleeds for 2, which ousts David. Forrest gains 6 pool, going to 21.

Chris: Plays Blood Doll on Haakon. Chandler bleeds, Unblocked.

Colin: Plays Tabriz Assembly. Nu plays Revelations at [aus]; Sheila Wakes and plays My Enemy's Enemy at [aus] to block. Nu plays Signpost and Grapple; Sheila prevents with Superior Mettle and strikes Hands. Nu presses with Grapple and strikes hands For 3 again; Sheila returns hands but doesn't prevent And goes to torpor, burning her Secure Haven. Nu Untaps with his ability and plays Enchant Kindred at [PRE]. Sela bleeds for 3 with Enchant Kindred; Gael blocks; Sela plays Torn Signpost, but Gael Majesties at [pre]. Amelia bleeds, unblocked, and Aires for 3; Forrest -> 18. Discards Bum's Rush.

Forrest: Contests Dreams of the Sphinx. Jost bleeds, Unblocked, adds Aire for 3, but is Deflected; Colin Takes it. Angela bleeds with Entrancement, Chris Attempts to block, adds 1 stealth with Missing Voice, Unblocked. Chris goes to 5 (?). Forrest pays 1 to See a new vamp and discards Marijava Ghoul.

Chris: Yields Dreams, plays Zoo Hunting Ground (-> 3 pool). Iliana hunts, Chandler hunts, Raven calls Ancient Influence, Gael Pilet tries to block with Tourette's Voice, but Backways stealth gets it by, And it passes since Chandler is Gangrel Justicar: Chris +3, Colin +4, Forrest +1, bringing Chris to 7 pool (with Haakon's back-transfer I think).

Colin: Plays Tension in the Ranks. Amelia Bum's Rushes Gael, Grapples, and strikes Undead Strength For 3, sending Gael to torpor; Amelia Tastes her 2, Forrest loses 1 to Tension. Nu puts Frozen Object in play at [TEM] and untaps with Domain of Evernight. Nu plays Enchant Kindred at [PRE] and Untaps with his ability. Nu Bum's Rushes Jost, Plays Torn Signpost, and strikes Undead Strength For 5, but Jost Majesties at [PRE]. Sela bleeds For 2, it's not blocked, adds Aire for 4, but Jost Telepathic Misdirections to Chris. Raven Wakes And blocks; hands for 1 each, Raven prevents the 1 with Undead Persistence. Colin transfers to bring out Sir Ralph Hamilton, going to 10 pool, and discards Dreams of the Sphinx (also popular!).

Forrest: Gains 1 for the Edge and taps Dreams for Cards. Plays Blood Doll on Jost. Jost bleeds For 1; Chris goes to 6. Discards Dreams, Siren's Lure, and something else.

Chris: Uses Haakon and Blood Doll. Chandler Hunts. Raven bleeds and Ralph blocks; Raven plays Form of Mist at [PRO] and goes unblocked. Haakon Bleeds for 1 as well. Discards Form of Mist.

Colin: Plays The Coven and then Blood Doll on Ralph Hamilton. Dolls off Ralph and Nu. Nu plays Enchant Kindred at [PRE] and untaps with his Ability. Amelia bleeds, unblocked, and adds Aire For 3; Jost Wakes and Telepathic Misdirects. Iliana blocks and Earth Melds superior. Ralph Ambushes Jost, plays two Signposts and a Grapple, Strikes for 3, Jost returns hands for 1 and goes to torpor (Forrest loses 1 to Tension). Nu bleeds and adds Aire for 3 (Forrest -> 12). Sela bleeds for 2 (Forrest -> 10). Taps Coven to give Nu 2 blood and discards Blood Doll.

Forrest: Taps Dreams for cards, plays Blood Doll on Angela, pushes through Dolls to Angela and Jost (pool -> 8, Jost still in torpor). Discards a Siren's Lure, Resilience, and Paris Opera House.

Chris: Uses Hunting Ground, Haakon, and two Blood Dolls -> 10 pool. Raven rescues Gael, paying the 2 blood. Chandler, Haakon, and Iliana bleed, unblocked, reducing Colin to 8. Discards Rapid Change after transferring 1 to pool (Haakon).

Colin: Might've missed something here. Ralph Bleeds; Forrest taps the Coven to get Gael to 2 Blood (Chris hadn't used the Coven) and blocks With Gael. Ralph plays Grapple and Undead Strength but Gael prevents it with Resilience at [FOR]. Ralph presses with Grapple and strikes for 1, but Gael Dodges with Staredown. Nu plays Clotho's Gift at [tem] and untaps with his Ability. Nu Bum's Rushes Angela, plays Grapple, And both strike hands for 1. Nu Tastes and Untaps with Domain of Evernight. Amelia bleeds, Unblocked (Forrest -> 7). Sela bleeds for 2, Gael Wakes and blocks; hands for 1 each. Nu Plays Enchant Kindred at [PRE]; Colin transfers 2 off.

Forrest: Uses the Coven for Gael (-> 3 blood). Burns Dreams for cards, plays Powerbase Montreal. Angela bleeds with Social Charm for 2. Haakon Plays Guard Dogs and attempts to block; Angela adds 1 stealth with Missing Voice and it's not blocked (Chris -> 9). Forrest -> 8 from Social Charm. Discards Tourette's Voice, Tourette's Voice, and something else.

Chris: Uses Hunting Ground and 2 Blood Dolls (-> 11 pool). Plays Dreams of the Sphinx (-> 10). Raven calls a vote to burn Tabriz Assembly; it's not blocked, and Chandler being Gangrel Justicar, it passes (Colin discards a Dreams). Raven Freak Drives. Iliana puts superior Mind Rape on Sela. Raven steals Powerbase Montreal From Forrest. Chandler hunts. Discards Blood Doll.

Colin: Uses Coven to get Nu to 3 blood. Blood Dolls off Ralph and plays Fame on Gael. Nu Ambushes Angela, both strike hands for 1, and Nu untaps with Domain of Evernight. Ralph Ambushes Angela; she ends combat with Staredown. Amelia bleeds with Enchant Kindred (Forrest -> 6). Nu plays Clotho's Gift at [tem] and burns a Domain at [tem] when it's not blocked. Synesios comes out, Colin burns 3 pool for Scarceness (-> 11).

Forrest: Plays another Jake Washington. Angela Bleeds with superior Social Charm; Haakon blocks And Gael plays Siren's Lure to make that fail. Raven Wakes, blocks, and Earth Melds at superior. Gael and Haakon both strike hands in the Siren's Lure fight; Haakon prevents with Rolling with the Punches. Discards Tourette's Voice.

Chris: Uses Hunting Ground and Blood Dolls. Takes Mind Raped Sela, but she has to hunt, so Isn't actually useful. Chandler and Raven each Bleed for 1, and Iliana hunts. Uses Powerbase Montreal and transfers to bring out Stanislava, Going to 4 pool.

Colin: Uses Blood Dolls. Ralph and Amelia bleed For 1 each, bringing Forrest to 2. Synesios Bleeds and Jake Washington attempts to block, but Synesios uses Domain of Evernight at [obf] for 1 Stealth, and adds Aire to oust Forrest. Colin Gains 6 pool.

Chris: Uses Zoo, Palatial, and Blood Dolls to Gain 3 pool (-> 7). Stanislava bleeds for 3 and Freak Drives. Chandler and Haakon hunt. Pays For a new vamp, Powerbases one on, and transfers it off (benefiting from Info Highway).

Colin: No master. Synesios takes the Powerbase. Sela bleeds for 2; Stanislava blocks; Sela plays Grapple and Undead Strength; Stanislava plays Bone Spur. Amelia rescues Sela. Nu bleeds; Iliana blocks and Earth Melds at superior. Ralph Bleeds; Iliana blocks and Earth Melds again. Pays for a new vamp and Powerbases on.

Chris: Taps Dreams for influence, uses Hunting Ground, Haakon, Palatial, and Blood Dolls off Haakon and Raven. Stanislava bleeds for 3 (Colin -> 8). Haakon hunts; Raven bleeds for 1. Pays for a new vamp and transfers off (Haakon), going to 9 pool.

Colin: Blood Dolls 3 off; Amelia hunts. Synesios Bleeds; Iliana blocks. Both strike hands for 1, Synesios Tastes. Nu bleeds, Chandler blocks, both Strike hands for 1, Nu Tastes. Ralph bleeds for 1 and Sela bleeds for 2 (Chris -> 6). Somewhere around here Colin's library is exhausted.

Chris: Uses Hunting Ground, Blood Dolls, etc. Bleeds with several vamps, re-steals Powerbase?

Colin: A couple bleeds are blocked, he steals the Powerbase, Sela's bleed gets through.

Chris: Iliana bleeds with Kine Dominance for 2. Chandler and Haakon bleed for 1. Stanislava Bleeds with Kine Dominance for 4; Colin is ousted.

Outcome: 2 VPs Chris, 2 VPs Forrest, 1 VP Colin. Since Forrest was higher-seeded going in, the Final ranking was:

Forrest Nielsen
Chris Berg
Colin Riggs
Johnny Tullner
David Cherryholmes

Forrest doesn't want to publish his decklist until after GenCon, in case he decides to play it in the North American Championship.

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