OFFICIAL VEKN GANGREL-ANTITRIBU NEWSLETTER VOLUME 2 NUMBER 7 JULY 99 [ACTUALLY POSTED SEPTEMBER 99] This is a very late newsletter, for an enormous number of different, and mostly boring, reasons. But rather than waste your time and mine apologising for that, and particularly given that i have to write THREE newsletters now, let me pass straight on to the Vitae of this particular offering from Legbiterland. In this issue ...... FICTION: IN THE BEGINNING ....... [First of a three-parter about the April Jyhad tournament here] A TOURNAMENT QUALITY GANGREL-ANTI DECK [A Legbiterised clone of Greg Faulkner's excellent weenie animalism deck] MORE SEALED-DECK THOUGHTS FROM PORTSMOUTH [What it says]. FICTION: IN THE BEGINNING ....... A spring night in southern England, and we see two inconspicuous figures picking their way among the rusting tanks and submarines to the sea's edge, where they pace up and down for a while, talking. One figure stops, and offers the other a cigarette, which it takes. In the flare of the lighter we see their faces .... one bearded and grave [though with a mad glint in its eyes], the other misshapen to the point of monstrosity. Dani snaps the lighter shut, and Legbiter gestures over the water, and speaks: "Portus Castra, the Romans called it, and it was the headquarters of the Navy of the Saxon Shore. How well i remember their beautiful triremes, all Terracotta and white! They used to be anchored in great shoals over there, just where the mudflats are, under the fort. Such nice, fat sailorboys! And when they sallied forth against the jutes and the saxons, it was as if the sea trembled under the remorseless advance of giant beetles. Ah, happy nights. But the plague, you know, and the pirates, and then of course the Picti .... well, suffice it to say that the next half- millenium or so was a good time to be torpid. Yes thank you, i will have another cigarette. And then dear Alfred, and Henry V, reestablished the English navy, and once again there was food. Of course, after Henry sailed to Agincourt the inner harbour became too silted up for naval use. Nowadays the naval port is over there, to your left, where the big cranes are. And the navy is smaller, but now Portsmouth is the most densely populated area in Europe, after Genoa, and it has the highest density of pubs and nightclubs in Britain, after London. A good place to be dead in. Unfortunately the others know that, too. That is why the Jyhad is so intense in these parts. And tonight, i fear, the gathering stormclouds betoken more than rain. My spies tell me that the Despicable Rebstock has already begun establishing his influence in, let us say, the Highest echelons of gangrel society. My own progeny, Anklebiter, has shown himself far from reliable of late. We must clip his talons a little. And yet, he may serve our own purposes, if he can defeat the encroachments of the Vile Coupe, beneath whose Iron Heel the Kindred of Central England nightly groan. At least we have one friend in the gathering conflict - i refer, of course, to Cantlow the Beastmaster. You are not yet convinced? Come, dear little bloodsucker, taste a little of the power that courses through these old veins. i have need of your skills, and you shall be rewarded for your loyalty. Come!" The old devil bares his chest and draws a claw across it. For a moment Dani hesitates, then feeds, greedily. When he judges the moment right, with the merest tap Legbiter pushes the young Nosferatu away, and he cannons back against the hulk of HMS Stealthy, which resounds with a doleful clang. In bars, clubs and crypts all over the island that sound is heard by ancient ears, and they know that they too must prepare for the fray once more. A TOURNAMENT QUALITY GANGREL-ANTI DECK This deck is basically a clone of the Gangrel deck which Greg Faulkner posted in one of his NLs, but it is anti-fied [resulting in even smaller vamps], and i have slipped in a smidgeon of dominate for GtU or deflection, depending on the environment [in this version it is GtU]. i've played it in two tournaments and it came second in the first tournament i played in [April], didn't do so well in the second [May]. It kicks bottom in the local playgroups, and as Greg says is really a VERY strong concept. CRYPT [13 vampires] Bear Paw Nigel the Shunned Navar McCLaren Luther Leon Tommy Laurent de Valois Vliam Andor Shane Grimald Anastasia Grey Gillian Krader Caitlin Dani LIBRARY [90 cards] 17 MASTERS Animalism x 6 Blood Doll x 2 Slave Auction Guardian Angel Direct Intervention KRCG News radio Campground HG Anarch Troublemaker The Rumour Mill Tribute to the Master x 2 9 ACTIONS Tier of Souls x 3 Atonement Army of rats x 2 Shepherd's innocence Govern the Unaligned x 2 11 EQUIPMENT Leather Jacket x 6 Saturday Night Special x 2 Flak Jacket Ivory Bow Palatial Estate 28 COMBAT Carrion Crows x 10 Canine Horde x 3 Song of Serenity x 6 Trap x 4 Aid from bats x 4 Song in the Dark 6 RETAINERS Raven Spy x 2 Murder of Crows x 2 Dog Pack Mr Winthrop 19 REACTIONS Rat's Warning x 6 Cat's Guidance x 10 Forced Awakening x 3 MORE SEALED-DECK THOUGHTS FROM PORTSMOUTH You'll all be happy to hear that i am still top of the local Sabbat League, but actually it has been in abeyance for the past three months or so while we all brush up our constructed-deck skills. Repeated experience of having our bottoms smacked in constructed deck play by our Scummer Brethren [Portsmouthians call the denizens of Southampton Scummers, and vice versa], though we more than hold our own in sealed-deck, has reinforced the important point that the two forms of play are VERY different. My own, often-repeated, view is that Sealed deck is just plain better from the point of view of Fun, a view which in no way prevents me playing in, and greatly enjoying, constructed-deck playgroups and tournaments. It's the difference between randomly rolling up a character for an RPG [as used to be done for old-fashioned D&D], and customising one, as is done for Vampire: The Masquerade. I'll do the August and September newsletters after i get back from Gencon. i don't think i need to say any more about sealed deck, which is now a regular feature of comment and debate on the NG - Good! - so i will move on to some other topics which have been interesting me lately, including the concept of a GUCCG, and some interesting new Gangrel anti- ish combat decks. Two, anyway, one of which is basically Philippe Richer's invention. i hope he will let me publish my particular spin on his VERY clever idea, but if not, i will have to fill in with a Werewolves are Coming deck.