While I can follow your argument of "it should work" I tested and if I drop 
'After=local-fs.target' I'm in bad state again. If from this state I disable 
PrivateTmp it works as well.
So it is PrivateTmp even though the documentation you linked says it should not.

I wondered if that might only be for the older systemd in Xenial, but
the related Debian bug implies that this is true for more recent systemd
versions as well (didn't try in Bionic yet).

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  Race with local file systems can make open-vm-tools fail to start

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