Ever since I heard of the idea of playing VTES for ante using easter eggs on the #vtes IRC channel, I've been keen to try the idea locally. So this year, I bit the bullet and generally chivied things along to get the event to happen.
We ended up with 8 players, although 2 only arrived late, so the first two rounds were 6 player games.
In the first game, I tried my weenie DEM/obf bleed deck, which didn't quite run properly. The table was Richard (Ahrimane wall) bleeding Dave (!Ventrue grinder with guns) bleeding me bleeding Simon (Black Hand bleed) bleeding Kevin (Enkidu) bleeding Hendrik (Osebo with 419 operations). I didn't draw any minions with obf or any obf masters for some time, and, combined with several Ministy's from Simon, that caused slowed down my deck considerably. I also lost a minion to a Kiss of Ra on an ill-thought out block attempt. I was able to oust Simon, but then, with the combination of some rushes from Enkidu, DOM bleed and a Smiling Jack in play, was duly ousted. Kevin failed to any significant damage to Dave's minions with Enkidu, and duly fell to the !Ventrue. Richard and Hendrik had spent most of the game tangling with each other, with Richard gradually losing to the potence combat, so Hendrik was able to oust Richard eventually. The end game got a little tight, ass Hendrik put a couple of minions into torpor, but ultimately wasn't able to get the critical action to burn Smiling Jack through and Dave took the table.
In the second game, I tried the Arika High Stakes deck I put together. The table was Richard (Group 4+5 Kiasyd) bleeding Dave (Group 4+5 Kiasyd) bleeding Simon (samedi wall) bleeding me bleeding Hendrik (Group2+3 !Tor with guns) bleeding Kevin (Group 2+3 !tor vote and bleed). The table was made interesting as Dave & Richard risked contesting, as did Kevin and Hendrik. Simon, at the end of a bounce chain, and with a wall'ish deck, walled up throughly, which caused me issues as I never got to cycle bounce out of my hand. I got a decent start, with Arika and an early Minion Tap, but drew few aggressive votes (although all the High Stakes), and, although I got Hendrik quite low on pool, I couldn't quite get what I needed to finish him off. Dave got a couple of bleeds on Simon, but failed on a lunge with Song of Pan and then failed to draw bounce and was ousted by Richard. I was able to minion tap a couple more times, and a voter cap off a High Stakes meant I was up to able to keep bringing minions out, and keep a healthy pool buffer. Hendrik ousted Kevin, thanks to a steady supply of Palle Grande bleeds, and then Richard was able to top-deck enough stealth to oust Simon. I was able to finally bounce a bleed from Richard onto Hendrik, and banish one of Hendrik's minions, but this was not enough to save Richard's Kiasyd from the !tor. At this point, I finally found my decks ousting package, and I was able to chomp through Hendrik's pool very efficiently for the last 2 VPs.
Caitlin and Adrian arrived for the final round, which saw us play two tables. Table 1 was Richard (Ahrimane wall) bleeding Dave (!Ventrue) bleeding Hendrik (Assamite) bleeding Adrian (Simon's Black Cat deck). I saw little of the game before the end game, but Hendrik held off Dave for quite some time before being ousted, while The brujah were able to tool up to a fair degree. Adrian then drew a couple of Frontal assaults which allowed him to put down Richard's minions and oust him. Adrian decked himself shortly afterwards, but with the hunting ground and the guns down, was nicely setup. In the end game, Dave was unable to cycle intercept to draw prevent and was thus on a losing proposition on every combat, and, after losing 3 minions to the Brujah guns, conceded.
The second table was Kevin (FoS temptation) bleeding Caitlin (Akunase wall'ish) bleeding Simon (DoC Choir / Bleed / Vote) bleeding me (Arika). I had a tricky game. And early Lily Prelude and bleed from Simon meant I only got Arika out, and, as I didn't see a Minion Tap or a Govern until quite late, I was stuck on 1 minion for most of the game. I did get a Legendary Vampire on Arika, which was very important, and, by steadily bleeding of 5, and a couple of votes and voter caps, was able to oust Kevin. Caitlin failed to do any significant damage to Simon, unable to get past the Daughters prevent and access to S:CE, and I was able to Minion Tap Arika and lunge with a Govern bleed for 7 to oust her. At this point, I erred, and decided to bring out a second minion, which left me too little pool to survive the daughters. I should also have remembered that I could have voted away the Command Performance, which would also have helped me. Still, 2 ousts with a single minion on the table was rather satisfying.
Overall, I think it was a success, and fun seemed to be had. I'll probably try to arrange something similar again next year.