Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter


FICTION: UNDEATH OF A SALESMAN [something which just came to me as 
                                I was driving home one night].
TEACHING DECKS [Well, everyone else seems to be doing it!]
                                     from my Famed French Fiend Friend]

"And this model is the Gti. Actually just for once the definite article 
is entirely justified - they only built the one. So it's a bit pricey, 750k."
"Still not bad for a unique! I, er, don't suppose a test drive is on?"
"You're having a giraffe, right? The boss would KILL me. No, you can look, 
but you can't touch."
"Shutting up now boss!"
"OK, thanks .. We'll be out in a sec ... scuse me, I have to lock up the keys."

Leslie Cantor nods, and lights a cigarette while his friend goes into 
the office and puts the ignition keys into the safe. He adjusts his 
spectacles and only a VERY astute observer would notice that the right 
lens conceals a tiny camera. Clic .. clic .. Clic. And after goodbyes 
and a visit to the darkroom, Leslie Cantor visits another specialist in 
the motor trade, a Universal Broker. Armed with the combination, this 
shadowy figure is to be seen entering the garage late at night, opening 
the safe, selecting a key and then proceeding to the gleaming automobile 
which is the object of his employer's desire. He settles into the leather 
seat and breathes in the scent of MONEY. The engine starts, and the car 
purrs out of the automatic gates and onto the highway. It's a dozen or 
so miles to the pick-up point and he savours the sheer power of the machine, 
the way it seems to simultaneously mould itself to his body and to be an 
extension of it. Cheap at the price, he thinks, as he pulls into the lay-by 
where Cantor is waiting. A sum of money changes hands, and the Universal 
Broker pats the warm body of the car. "See you later, old chap". Then he 
is gone, and Cantor can look at his prize. Of course it will have to go 
abroad, but Arabia is FULL of open roads and it won't rust there, either. 
He gets in and restarts the engine. Glorious! Shifting gear he is soon 
cruising along at 70, carefully obeying all the traffic laws. What a 
fabulous car, is nearly the last thought of his life.

But in fact the last thought of Leslie Cantor's life is Mother. It nearly 
always is, for men. Previous to that there was surprise, at the tickly 
feeling on his back and legs . anguish, as the sharp bony prongs which 
had emerged from the seat penetrated his flesh, wriggling into his blood 
vessels and draining him like a thief siphoning petrol from a car ... 
confusion, disbelief, shrieking terror as the Thing enveloped him with 
its hideous remorseless inhumanity .. and almost finally insanity, as the 
most terrible fears of humankind, those of being eaten alive, were realised 
in his brain.

Later that night the car returned to the garage and purred smoothly 
through the gates. The Universal Broker is waiting for it. When it stops, 
he opens the door and removes the slumped remains of Cantor from the front 
of the car. This takes a while because the skeleton has got a bit 
disarticulated, but at least there is no mess this time - usually they 
shit themselves, you see. A quick spray with the airfreshener and hoopla! 
into the incinerator with the two plastic bags. While they burn, the 
Universal Broker goes round the car with his chamois, humming happily 
as he removes the mud-flecks. O dear, the poor number-plate must've 
got splashed! Don't want that, do we? He polishes for a while and then, 
satisfied, admires the gleaming plate upon which the beautiful old car's 
registration number appears:

The motivation for this article comes from a conversation about teaching 
decks that David Tatu, Derek Ray and I had in the car going through Georgia 
last summer: and more recently from something David Zopf alluded to on 
the NG, namely the desirability of balance within playgroups. I think it's 
an unusual Methuselah who would dissent from this latter proposition - nobody 
likes losing all the time, and wise methuselahs do not like winning all the 
time either, because it puts a big fat target sign on their back, and that 
constitutes a huge disadvantage in tournament play. Be that as it may, 
balance is, I think, particularly important when one is teaching new people, 
and with all that in mind I've designed the following two "basic" decks 
for balanced duels. Because they are duel decks there is no politics to 
speak of and no bleed-bounce either; nor is there much in the way of 
wake-up. I've been using them for games with Lady Legbiter when Anklebiter 
is away or otherwise engaged [believed to be a euphemism for playing 
Diablo II], and also for helping my neonate Marianne to be a bit more 
confident about the game. As a further balancing factor, we play a handicapping 
system which basically is that one player has x extra pool, where x is 
the difference between the number of games they have won and the number 
of games their opponent has won. Finally, we take it in turn to play the 
decks: monkey-see, monkey-do sorta thing.

DECK NAME: "Darling, you were WONDERFUL!"
[first of two teaching decks: !Toreador bash/bleed].

CRYPT [12 cards]
Donatien x2
Jost Werner x2
Sheila Mazarin
Mercy, Knight Inquisitor
Miller Delmardigan x2
Victor Revell, loyalist
Greta Kircher
Matteus, Flesh Sculptor

LIBRARY [78 cards]
Enhanced Senses x5
Precognition x5
Pulse of the Canaille x2
Spirit's Touch x2
Telepathic Counter
Telepathic Tracking
Alacrity x2
Blur x3
Fast hands
Flash x4
Lightning Reflexes x3
Preternatural Evasion x2
Rapid Thought
Sideslip x3
Side Strike x2
Vampiric Speed
Aire of Elation x3
Catatonic Fear
Legal manipulations x4
Media Influence x3
Social Charm x2
Staredown x2
Blood of the Sabbat
Cardinal Sin: Insubordination
Crimson Sentinel
Leather jacket
The Art of Pain x3
Blood Doll
Effective management
Fetish Club HG x2
KRCG News Radio
Minion Tap
Purchase Pact
The Rack
Short-term investment
Sudden Reversal

DECK NAME: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if the big bleeds don't 
            get you, the big biffs must."
[second of two teaching decks: Lasombra bash/bleed].

CRYPT [12 cards]
Antonio Delgado
Aaron Duggan
Aurora Van Brande
Guido Luciano

The Barrens
Blood Doll x 3
Effective Management
Elysian Fields
Haven Uncovered
Information Highway
Minion Tap
Mob Connections
The Path of Night
Political HG
Political Seizure
The Rumor Mill
Sudden Reversal
Tomb of Rameses III
Ambush x 3
Blood bond
Bum's Rush x 2
Computer hacking x 2
Gas-powered Chainsaw x 2
Hand of Conrad
Leather jacket
Command of the Beast
Scouting Mission x 4
Slaughtering the Herd x 3
Arms of the Abyss x 3
Darkness Within
Eyes of the night
Shadow Body x 2
Shadow Play
Shadow Strike
Decapitate x 3
Fractures Armament
Increased Strength x 2
Pushing the Limit x 7
Sacrament of carnage x 2
Thrown gate x 4
Thrown Sewer Lid x 2

This is a deck that I've long admired and thanks, Pierre, for letting 
me post it in this NL. Pierre points out that this deck is experimental 
and in practise I've yet to see it do REALLY well but the concept is 
very neat.  Furthermore, it's a City !Gangrel deck. On topic or WHAT?????

Deck Name: RPG? Isn't that Role Playing Games??? 
By Pierre Rebstock

Crypt (12)
1x Daliyah PRO obf (4)
2x Darrell Boyce PRO CEL OBF (6)
2x Ellen Fence PRO CEL OBF (8)
2x Pieter PRO OBF (6)
1x Samantha PRO CEL OBF (10)
2x Tansu Bekir  cel OBF (4)
2x Zachary PRO CEL OBF (7)

Library (90)
Master (18)
Campground Hunting Ground x1
Fame x3
Festivo dello Estinto x1
Haven Uncovered x5
Heidelburg Castle, Germany x1
Humanitas x1
Minion Tap x4
The Rumor Mill x1
Vast Wealth x1

Equipment (7)
Catacombs x1
RPG Launcher x6

Combat (36)
Blur x4
Claws of the Dead x2
Disguised Weapon x3
Dissolution x2
Flash x6
Flesh of Marble x6
Form of Mist x1
Psyche x3
Pursuit x2
Rapid Thought x2
Taste of Vitae x5

Action (14)
Ambush x2
Bum's Rush x2
Sacrificial Lamb x3
Shadow of the Beast x7

Action modifier (12)
Earth Control x2
Faceless Night x2
Lost in Crowds x2
Spying Mission x2
Swallowed by the Night x4

Reaction (3)
Wake with the Evening's freshness x3

This deck seriously lacks tweaking, I'm sure this deck could be 
tournament material but not without some improvements. If I was 
going to play it again I would certainly remove the following:
Fame x1
Haven Uncovered x1
RPG Launcher x1
Flesh of Marble x1
Sacrificial Lamb x3
Spying Mission x2
Flash x2
Form of Mist x1
Rapid Thought x2

And add the following cards instead:
Path of the Feral Heart x3
Body Flare x4
Homunculus x2
Lost in Crowds x2
Dissolution x3

In the crypt, I might replace the two Tansu and Daliyah for 3-4 weenies 
with obf, simply to diablerise vamps when needed. 

Ideas I'm still considering:
-Gangrel Conspiracy
-Mob Connections
-More stealth?

Shadow of the Beast is absolutely vital for the deck, you need one! 
Transient maneuvers and presses will only go so far. The stealth must 
be kept for the SotB, In heavy intercept environment, use the Disguised 
Weapon for the RPGs, and shout Surprise! to your friendly Tzimisce 
player.  Ideally you would like to get two vamps tooled up with RPG+SotB. 
Oh, and never use the maneuver from SotB in the first round, take the 
damage (Flesh of Marble helps for that), maneuver away with a card if 
you have backup, but have the maneuver always ready for the second round 
as people, if they have some, will use their own maneuvers in the second 
round to prevent the use of the trusty RPG. 
Comments more than welcomed. 

And that's it for April. Unusually, I find myself with a LOT of stuff 
left over and maybe I will write an Ahrimanes Newsletter this month with 
the extra stuff in it, or possibly hold it over for next month. But now 
I have to build decks, and buy food so that the Eichlers do not starve 
when they are here. I hope to see a lot of you on Saturday the 7th April 
at John's shop for the monthly tournament!