OFFICIAL VEKN GANGREL-ANTITRIBU NEWSLETTER VOLUME 6 NUMBER 4 APRIL 2003 ************* In this issue ...... FICTION: Call of the Hungry Dead DECKS: Camarilla Edition Happy Family decks for all the Camarilla clans. ************* FICTION: Call of the Hungry Dead As evening falls the shadows of the gravestones lengthen and the great obelisk at the top of the hill is bathed in an eerie red light. The last relatives dry their eyes and begin their long journeys back home, across the seas from this much fought-over country. Darkness creeps out from the forest to wrap the cemetery in its comforting arms, and silence reigns overall. Just at this time a figure is seen to enter the cemetery. It walks up the gravel path seeming to count the rows, and then turns off along one particular line of crosses, counting the stones as it goes. A slim and dapper figure, elegantly dressed in a long dark woollen coat, a fedora on its head, a bouquet of mayflowers and magnolias in its elegantly-gloved hand. It is, we suddenly realise, The Baron. He stops at one particular stone, to the memory of Flight-Lieutenant the Honourable Algernon Fforde-Smythe, DFC and bar, 1898-1917, places the wreath at its foot, adds a hand-written card "Rest in Peace, Dear Childe I Never Had, Yours Always, S". Then, dissatisfied with the state of the turf under which poor Algy sleeps, he busies himself with a little gardening. The Baron is so absorbed with his task that he hardly notices when a battered VW van pulls into the car park and disgorges the Angry Ones. We cannot see their faces but their clothes chink with a proliferation of badges, and they carry brushes and pots of red paint. Up the slope they toil, and then in the darkness they begin their work. "Rosbifs go home" is one slogan which is laboriously sprayed onto the obelisk. "Deterrez vos ordures, ils polluent notre pays" is another. There is a new war afoot, and the descendants of those who lie beneath the obelisk aren't on the same side as the Angry Ones. So absorbed in their non-violent direct action are the Angry Ones that they fail to notice that their number has increased by one, whose face is somehow all of their faces together, and none. But after a few minutes the new recruit withdraws a little from the crowd, pulls a jazz trumpet from its anorak, and begins to play a military air. The activists almost jump out of their skins. "What the fuck are you up to, man? What's with the fascist music?" The Baron stops playing for a moment and turns, favouring them with a full view of his remarkable face. "It's reveille, actually. You're about to meet some of my friends." The activists are already screaming, scattering, fleeing in all directions down a slope which is trembling as if with an earthquake, but they do not get far; and if their screams rise in urgency and frequency, they do not last long. Soon, those who were Called come up the slope bringing a number of dripping objects with them, some still twitching. They retrieve the Angry Ones' discarded brushes, and begin to cover the slogans with their own blood. The Baron walks around, occasionally pointing out a white spot that the Old Servicemen have missed. Only when the monument is completely red does he draw out the jazz trumpet again, this time to play taps. The Hungry Dead return to their graves, and the friendly earth draws them once again into its comforting bosom. With a smart military salute the Baron bids them farewell, turns on his heel and melts into the night. ************* DECKS: Camarilla Edition Happy Family decks for all the Camarilla clans. In this article i'm fulfilling a promise i made ages ago to several different people, which is to post my non-Ventrue Happy Families decks made solely from Camarilla edition cards. i need to spend a few lines explaining the constraints surrounding the construction of these decks and the deck-building philosophy. Despite all these years i am still primarily a collector of VTES so when a new expansion comes out my first priority is to collect all the cards. For the Camarilla edition i did this by buying 4 boxes of boosters and a box of starters, from which i stripped out all the cards that i needed for the set, initially keeping any doubles of rares so's to trade up to the full set. Having achieved the set, i took all the cards i had left over and i made clan-based Happy Family decks out of them. In building these decks i did not try to swim against the tide of the individual clans nor did i base them around individual vampires, and i tried to introduce a clan "flavour" to each deck [eg extreme violence for the Brujah, mad stuff for the malkavians]. Another constraint was that the decks had to fit into the handy mnemonic boxes so thoughtfully provided by White Wolf, so they are 78-ish card libraries and 12-ish vampire crypts. Some of the decks certainly work better than others but they all do work somewhat, and here, without further ado, they are. ***************** "If Brute Force Isn't the Answer, it Must Have Been a Silly Question." [Brujah CE HF deck] CRYPT [15 vampires] Mazz [Maxwell] Tayshawn Kearns [Jaroslav Pascek] Gengis Steve Booth Marlena Allison Maller Jeremy MacNeil Antonio Veradas Pug Jackson Arnold Simpson [Tyler] Sir Ralph Hamilton Menele LIBRARY MASTER CARDS [18 cards] Al's Army Apparatus Anarch revolt Blood Doll Celerity Haven uncovered x 2 [Information highway] [Fortitude] KRCG News Radio Minion Tap Potence Presence Secret Horde Special Report Tension in the Ranks War Zone Hunting Ground MINION CARDS DISCIPLINELESS  Arms Dealer Bum's Rush x 5 Gas-Powered Chainsaw Loyal Street Gang Mr Winthrop [Praxis Seizure: Boston] Sport bike Taste of vitae x 2 Wake with Evening's Freshness x 3 Weighted Walking Stick Wooden Stake CELERITY  Blur x 4 Flash x 2 Infernal Pursuit Nimble Feet x 3 Psyche! x 2 [FORTITUDE  Hidden Strength x 2 Unflinching Persistence x 2] POTENCE  Immortal Grapple x 3 Mighty Grapple Rampage Thrown gate x 2 Thrown Sewer Lid x 2 Torn Signpost Undead Strength x 4 PRESENCE  Aire of Elation x 4 Enchant Kindred x 4 Legal manipulations x 3 Social Charm COMMENTS: Bit of a dog's breakfast, this one .... looks alright on paper but i don't recall ever winning a game with this deck. It looks to me as though the vampires are a bit big and so feeble pool regain may well be the buggeration factor. Probably need to take the crypr down to 12, removing the three biggest vampires who aren't Menele. This would also mean that Fortitude would cease to be the fourth discipline. Remove all the fortitude cards, Fortitude, Info Highway and PS Boston. PS: Because this newsletter is a little late i've actually got around not only to doing these modifications but actually to playing the deck - it's MUCH better and i even got a VP with it last night in the pub. ************************* "It's a Mad, Mad World My Masters." [Malkavian CE HF Deck] CRYPT [12 vampire cards] Tony Uncle George J Oswald "Ozzy" Hyde-White William Biltmore x 2 Dr Douglas Netchurch x 2 Esau David Morgan, The Scourge Jason, The World's voice Persia, the Beautiful Statue Milo, the Invisible Horror LIBRARY [78 cards] MASTER CARDS  Anarch Revolt Anarch Troublemaker Asylum HG Auspex Blood Doll Brainwash Dementation Dominate Elysium the Arboretum Frenzy Game of Malkav Malkavian prank x 2 Minion Tap Obfuscate Secret Passage Sudden Reversal MINION CARDS [61 cards] DISCIPLINELESS  Deer rifle Dodge x 2 The Embrace Flamethrower Gas-Powered Chainsaw Lucky blow x 2 .44 magnum Muddled Vampire Hunter Scrounging WWEF x 3 AUSPEX  Aura Reading x 2 Enhanced Senses x 2 Fast Reaction Precognition Precognizant Mobility Pulse ot the Canaille Spirit's touch x 2 Telepathic Counter x 2 Telepathic Misdirection x 2 DEMENTATION  Coma x 2 Confusion x 2 Eyes of Chaos x 2 Kindred Spirits x 4 Mind Tricks Personal Scourge Voice of Madness DOMINATE  Bonding Conditioning x 2 Deflection Govern the Unaligned Seduction OBFUSCATE  Cloak the gathering x 2 Disguised Weapon x 2 Elder impersonation Faceless night x 2 Hidden Lurker Lost in Crowds x 3 Mask of a thousand faces Spying Mission x 2 Swallowed by the Night COMMENTS: This is a decent deck which does well against good players. Although its ousting strategy is obviously stealth-bleed it is not really a stealth-bleed deck, and this works to its advantage. i find it to be agreeably kooky and, erm, Malkavian. *********************** "Youth, Truth and Beauty" [Toreador CE HF deck] CRYPT [12 vampires] Sir Henry Johnson Yvette, The Hopeless Emerson Wilkershire the Double of Andreas Nusser Annabelle Triabell Lucina Barth Helena Ira Rivers Antoinette, She Who Watches Madame Guil Enid Blount LIBRARY [79 cards] MASTERS [15 cards] Aching Beauty x 2 Auspex Blood Doll x 2 Celerity Elysium: The Arboretum Major Boon Minion Tap Misdirection Potence Presence The Rack Society hunting Ground Toreador Grand Ball MINION [64 cards] DISCIPLINELESS  Bribes Camarilla Exemplary Change of Target x 3 Domain Challenge Dramatic Upheaval Forced Awakening x 2 Kine Resources Contested x 5 Of Noble Blood Parity Shift Praxis Seizure: Houston Praxis Seizure: Miami Scorn of Adonis Will of the Council AUSPEX  Aura Reading Eagle's Sight x 2 Enhanced Senses x 2 Precognition Pulse of the Canaille Spirit's Touch Telepathic Counter x 2 Telepathic Misdirection x 2 Telepathic vote Counting x 2 CELERITY  Acrobatics Alacrity x 2 Blur x 2 Flash x 2 Nimble Feet Pursuit Sideslip Vampiric Speed POTENCE  Thrown Gate x 2 Thrown Sewer Lid x 2 PRESENCE  Aire of Elation x 3 Bewitching Oration x 2 Charming Lobby x 2 Legal manipulations x 2 Majesty x 3 Mind Numb Voter Captivation COMMENTS: All the cards in this deck are really new and shiny. This is because it has been played with, like, twice, and IIRC it really bombed both times. Not quite sure why that should be - it's based on a rather successful !Toreador HF deck. ********************* "They Also Serve, Who Only Sit and Wait" [Tremere CE HF deck] CRYPT [12 cards] Lille Haake Anastaszdi Zagreb Lucas Halton Masika St John Valois Sang, The Watcher Virstania, The Great Mother Pieter van Dorn Cohn Rose Oliver Thrace Ehrich Weiss Kyoko Shinsegawa Eugenio Estevez LIBRARY [76 cards] MASTER CARDS  Academic HG Auspex Blood Doll Bounty Celerity Chantry Dominate Elder library Fragment of the Book of Nod Minion Tap Mob Connections Powerbase: Chicago The Rack Rotshreck Thaumaturgy Wasserschloss Anif, Austria MINION CARDS  DISCIPLINELESS  Ankara Citadel, Turkey Bum's Rush x 2 Charnas the Imp Flak Jacket Forced Awakening Harass x 3 IR Goggles Leather Jacket Trap x 4 Wake with Evening's Freshness x 2 AUSPEX  Aura Reading x 2 Enhanced Senses x 2 Fast Reaction Spirit's Touch x 3 Telepathic counter x 2 Telepathic Misdirection x 3 CELERITY  Blur x 2 Flash x 2 DOMINATE  Conditioning x 3 Deflection x 2 Dominate Kine Govern the Unaligned x 2 Graverobbing x 2 Redirection x 2 Thoughts Betrayed THAUMATURGY  Apportation x 4 Blood to Water Burst of Sunlight Theft of Vitae x 4 Walk of Flame x 4 COMMENTS: The Tremere did the best out of the CE, i believe, and though they're still not really my goblet of vitae this is a respectable deck which does what it says in the title. It usually picks up a VP or two but i personally have never won a game with it, i should add; largely due to extraordinarily incompetent play on my part, to be fair to the game-designers. **************** "Secrets and Lies" [Nosferatu CE HF deck] CRYPT [12 cards] Ellison Humboldt Khalid Alonzo Guillen Mouse Gerard Rafin Wolfgang Amelia, the Blood Red Tears x 2 Jara Drory Gemini Kurt Densch Cock Robin LIBRARY MASTER CARDS Animalism Blood Doll Bounty Elder Library Fortitude Fragment of the Book of Nod Haven Uncovered The Labyrinth Minion Tap Obfuscate Potence Secret Horde Slum HG The Spawning Pool Storm Sewers Sudden Reversal MINION CARDS DISCIPLINELESS Brass Knuckles Bum's Rush x 3 Computer Hacking x 2 Elder Intervention x 2 Gas-Powered Chainsaw Harass x 2 JS Simmons Kindred Intelligence Laptop Computer WWEF Weighted Walking Stick Wooden Stake ANIMALISM Army of rats Cat's guidance x 3 Guard Dogs x 2 Owl companion Raptor Rat's Warning x 4 Raven Spy FORTITUDE Hidden Strength x 2 Indominability Rolling with the Punches Skin of Steel Unflinching Persistence OBFUSCATE Behind You! x 2 Cloak the Gathering x 2 Disguised Weapon x 2 Elder impersonation Faceless night Lost in Crowds x 2 Mask of a Thousand Faces Spying Mission Swallowed by the Night POTENCE Immortal Grapple x 2 Increased Strength x 2 Fists of Death Mighty Grapple x 4 Rampage Thrown Sewer Lid Torn Signpost Undead Strength x 2 COMMENTS: Once again a nice shiny deck which is suspicious. i haven't, i must admit, got my head round the new nossies, so will just say that the onlt time i remember seeing this deck being played, it lost. ****************** Finally, there is of course a Ventrue deck. You will find it in the list of decks which Jeff "Lasombra" Thompson very kindly maintains for me at legbiter.tripod.com ***************** Finally finally, that's it for April, and i hope to see lots of you at UK Gencon! Otherwise, see you again in May.