V:EKN Clan Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter, August 1998 Gangrel Anti Newsletter Vol1 number 6 August 1st 1998 IN THIS ISSUE .... FICTION: The Forward March of Sadism continued ....... More story-stuff from jol79 ... thanks to Bleu [Philippe Legrand] and Michael Beer for their input to this. ON THE ORIGIN OF TOURNAMENT-WINNING DECKS BY MEANS OF NATURAL SELECTION: A functional technique for building better decks. 7/7 AND !GANGREL: Implications of the new rulings for the Beast-lovers. FICTION: The Forward March of Sadism continued ....... "WHERE IS THAT DAM'D LICKSPITTLE HUANG?????" yells Legbiter above the fracas in the maximum security wing. For a moment Korah and Lazar pause in their grapple and look up, then get on with the serious business of kicking the shit out of each other. I wrench open a suspiciously bulging locker, but it is Navar who is cowering in there. Caine's seed-drill, what a shower! "Er .. o there you are, Comrade master, I thought you might have, i dunno, nipped into this locker for a bit of peace and quiet ....." "No, I've been mimeographing all these bloody leaflets since comrade SOMEBODY wasn't available to do them!!! Now get out there and lobby, dammit!!! There's great big purple squishy things wriggling up from the depths and the WORLD must know!!!" "Um ..... get out where, comrade master?" "o, you know, ward 5, ward 11, the kitchen .... some of those sunflowers in the back porch look a bit suspicious ...."
"Dammee, i almost forgot ..... just spread these blood-bags around willya? Bit of a feelgood factor sorta thing, know what I mean???? And don't forget this second massive pile of leaflets ....." The first man Navar saw was an intern in Ward 5. He cautiously approached him and gave him a leaflet, actually putting it over the newspaper he was reading. He was about to make his little lobbying speech when the man interrupted him. - Are you the one known as Lewis? - No, I'm Navar. - Then what is this? - A leaflet, to warn you of the coming of the monsters from beneath the earth. - Oh? And prey tell, why should I bother? - I don't know, but they are great big purple squishy things wriggling up from the depths! Or so my master said. - Master! I'll let you know that I AM THE MASTER! - No you're not! - I am the MASTER, and you will OBEY me! - Yes master. What can I do to please you master? - You can first of all learn to rhyme when you speak to me. - Yes master, whatever you say master, I'll be right away master. Navar flees back to the broom locker he definitely shouldn't have left in the first place, or so he believes. Of course, his Comrade Legbiter might have other ideas about that. Navar realises that whereas philosophers have tried to explain the world, the point is to change it. He bursts out of the locker like a, well, like a blood-sucking lunatic [Malkav-Legbiterist], and makes his way to ward number 1, where he tries to implement one of our central ideas ... that electricity and sadism go hand in hand ...... Navar creeps around ward 1, happily humming The Internationale as he fits crocodile clips to all the steel bed-frames. The inmates [ragtag's herd] are all tucked up for the night in their nice cosy strait-jackets, so all they can do is watch. His work complete, the sharp-suited Caitiff draws a much-thumbed copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass from his breast pocket and coughs, significantly. All eyes in the room turn towards him as he flicks the light switch. Above the sound of chattering teeth and through the gathering smoke of burning flesh, we can hear Navar reciting: "I Sing the Body Electric! ......." Meanwhile, i hunt out the other vampire from last night ... it's Zebulon the Sabbat renegade .... and it doesn't take me long to bring him round to the Truths of Malkav-Legbiterism .... And another thing, what are all these toilet rolls doing in my suite? Warder, be so good as to clear them out! No, not those ones, leave those .. THAT is a model of the Parthenon. THOSE are an unsightly heap of toilet rolls. Thank you. Mens insana in corpore sanum, what? ************************************************************* The Cammie party of Great Britain [Malkav-Legbiterist] is holding its Congress in the theatre of Carstairs State Mental Hospital. General Secretary Legbiter is nearing the end of an 11-hour oration [at once passionate, reasonable and compelling] to the spontaneous, rapturous and prolonged applause of the democratically-elected delegates [Comrades Zebulon and McLaren] ...... " ...... and furthermore, comrades, we must continue to be vigilant against class traitors such as the Hated Huang and, in the face of the non- Camminist world's opposition, to proclaim the objective reality according to Malkav-Legbiterist principles of the giant purple squishy things that are crawling out of the earth at this very moment!!!" Loud cheers, followed by a half-hour standing ovation. After which, his hands still bleeding from his efforts, Navar starts to circulate disturbing evidence that something ancient and evil may, actually, be astir in Palestine ..... Bah! A spectre is haunting Dark Europe ..... the spectre of interfering tabloid journalism! Vliam catches Navar in the toilet, perusing for the nth time the lurid description of the GPST's imminent arising. After a brief scuffle Vliam is able to flush the leaflets down the said toilet. This takes him quite a while, and during that time Zebulon prints out a second run of leaflets, and off he goes to distribute them ..... ON THE ORIGIN OF TOURNAMENT-WINNING DECKS BY NATURAL SELECTION: Although I've been buying and playing Jyhad and Magic since they first came out, I've only recently started to play outside the circle of my immediate family and friends. In the process I've met a lot of good players and seen a lot of good decks, and I've started to think about reliable ways to design winning decks. I'd like to share with you the best technique I've so far come across for doing this. It is based on Darwinian principles of breeding from success and discarding failure .... in this case of CARDS rather than decks. Apart from being the mechanism of biological evolution, Darwinism is also used by engineers to create smart software, computer-controlled machinery and highly-specific bio-active compounds. Here is the basic idea. Start with a reasonable deck concept - either a new one, or else a concept you've seen someone else play, and that you admire. Play with that deck. Whenever you win with it, write down all the cards you had in play and in your asheap at the end of the game. Then, reconstruct the deck based on those cards - keeping the deck size the same but adjusting the distribution of cards according to what is in your ash-heap. Naturally, the same principle applies to your crypt. The idea is almost infinitely refinable. Here are some examples of other ways to work it: Have two discard piles - one for cards that you are discarding because you can't use, another for cards you are burning as you play them. Try to test your deck out against a range of deck-types and players. Otherwise you risk getting stuck with a deck that is highly-competitive only in your local environment. If, like me, you are crap at a priori deck design, start with someone else's deck. If there is someone in your group who wins all the time, try cloning THEIR ash-heap. Ironically, you may well end up with a better version of their deck than they themselves possess! 7/7 AND !GANGREL Last month i waxed lyrical about the munificent bounty of the rules team in respect of Rotshreck. This month the news is less good from a strictly-selfish clan point of view .... Gangrel fame is dead, dark brothers and sisters, and with it goes our best winning strategy. Sigh. The new ruling on Fame is that the text is altered: now, the methuselah who loses the pool when the famous vamp goes to torpor is the one who CONTROLS it, NOT the controller's prey. This doesn't matter a stuff for Fame-rush decks like Legbiter's Crusade [4VP in jolstory3, 1 so far in jol70]. But it does scotch the beautiful machinery of the Famous Gangrel loop which we talked about in issue 1 and 2 of this newsletter. So, we need to reassess where we stand as a clan. What are we good at? The short answer is that after all the new rulings we are best at out-of-turn combat. Auspex and animalism are the key disciplines for getting into combat, and Rotschreck and aggravated damage are the key cards for making it hurt. Although this is a very powerful strategy it should be noted that Rotschreck is only going to work once per turn, and so you need to be miserly with the cards. And of course, you have to have a way of whacking your torpid victim before s/he wakes up to wreak a horrid revenge on you. Parthenons and Vulnerabilities could be good here. But overall, i suspect that indiscriminate table-suppression is not going to be an option. I think from the strictly gameplay point of view the 7/7 rulings are all to the good, and it establishes a new opportunity for creative deck-building which i encourage all of you to seize. As those of you who follow the newsgroup will know, i have some reservations about the principle of changing card-texts, but this newsletter is not the place to air them. ******************************************************************* OK, another month of Legbitery ponderings draws to its close. September will be a bit late because the clan Legbiter is off to County Clare in the emerald isle for its annual furlough. If i survive 10 days of two pretty girls and 2 sport-and-warhammer-mad boys i will see you all then. Love and kisses, Legbiter.