Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter


In this Mad-as-a-March-Hare Issue ……

FICTION: Saturday Night in the City of the Damned.
GANGREL ANTITRIBU STRATEGY ARTICLE: Town and Country: Two sub-blood-lines
of the Gangrel antitribu as the basis for theme decks.
PREACHER’S CORNER: Spreading the Bad Word: Vampiric Magic and Pokemon
decks for working among the Unbelievers.

FICTION: Saturday Night in the City of the Damned.
Genevieve discreetly hitched her miniskirt a little higher and crossed
her legs, then inhaled deeply on her powerfully-scented cigarette. She
knew that in the flickering red light cast by the disco-ball she looked
simply wonderful, and that it would not be long before she would be able
to start a fight among the Anarchs for her favours, a fight whose
consequences would severely inconvenience the shadowy presence behind the
City Gangrel. Only a matter of time, if no-one came to interfere …. Ah
good,  there’s a face I recognise …. "What you doin’ here, bitch?" "And a
very good morning to you, too, cousin! But what happened to your poor
face? O, nothing, I remember now. Tell me, how did your parents ever get
together if they were anything like as UGLY as you?" Zachary’s face was,
in fact, changing, becoming more bestial … with a gesture he whipped a
magnum out of the shadows but as he closed with the beautiful Priscus it
was with his claws outstretched …. Meanwhile the other vampires, sensing
the approach of the dawn, were screaming in panic as they surged towards
the exits. Almost on her ….. she stepped off the bar stool and her high
heels sank into the tiles … then her legs … and Zachary took a despairing
swipe as she sank into the earth. Behind the mad beast in his brain the
tiny voice of his remaining humanity was shrieking in terror "Follow
her!!! FOLLOW, you great hulking monstrosity! We’re going to burn!!!"
Rays of sunlight were criss-crossing the club and smoke was indeed
beginning to pour from Zachary’s clothing ….. with a mighty effort the
sane part of Zachary took charge for long enough to meld with the earth,
and blackness engulfed his mind.

Early the next night, Genevieve arose, armed with a spade. Ugly he might
be, but Zachary was a tough fighter, and could be of use to the Country
gangrel, if properly motivated … let’s see …. Gotta be around here
somewhere ….

GANGREL ANTITRIBU STRATEGY ARTICLE: Town and Country: Two sub-blood-lines
of the Gangrel antitribu as the basis for theme decks.

It’s now three years since I started writing these newsletters and at
long last I am getting round to writing about the Gangrel antis as a
clan. Actually there are two quite separate Gangrel anti factions – the
City Gangrel [cel/obf/pro, hate werewolves and in fact just about
everybody] and the Country Gangrel [ani/for/pro, live like nocturnal
plains indians, hate werewolves [therefore like the Black Spiral Dancers]
and quite like the camarilla gangrel too].

With that information it’s pretty easy to see how the available Gangrel
antis divvy up, and to illustrate this I’ve devised the following two
Happy sub-Families decks, each with a nice little combo ….. DotB/Dawn Op/
Form of Mist or earth Meld for the Country deck, and Earth Meld/Psyche
for the City deck.

Country gangrel-antitribu Deck. [12 vampires, 70 library cards]

2 Shane Grimald
2 Leon
2 Monique
2 Caitlin
2 Luther
2 Genevieve
[average 5.33, opening uncontrolled 12-34 blood capacity]

14 masters:
Giant’s Blood
Twisted forest
Gangrel Conspiracy
2 Blood Doll
2 Minion Tap
Campground HG
KRCG News Radio

13 Disciplineless cards:
Black Spiral Buddy
2 Leather jacket
Sports Bike
Bastard Sword
JS Simmons
Tasha Morgan
Bum’s Ruch

13 Animalism
4 Drawing out the Beast
Tier of Souls
4 Guard Dogs
Army of rats
Shepherd’s innocence
2 Aid from Bats

9 Fortitude
3 Skin of Steel
4 Dawn Op
2 Skin of Rock

9 Protean
4 Earth meld
5 Form of Mist

6 Auspex
Pulse of the Canaille
3 Aura Reading
2 Telepathic Misdirection

6 Dominate
2 Govern the Unaligned
2 Grave Rob
2 Deflection

City Gangrel Antitribu deck [12 vampires, 70 library cards]

2 Sadie
2 Pieter
3 Zachary
3 Samantha
[Average 6.25, opening uncontrolled 11-37]

13 Masters:
Festivo Dell’ Estinto
Hungry Coyote
Haven Uncovered
2 Blood Doll
2 Minion Tap
Campground HG
Mob Connections
City Gangrel Connections

14 Disciplineless Cards:
2 Computer Hacking [Sabbat version – read flavour text to see why]
Taste of Vitae
2 .44 Magnum
Changeling Skin Face Mask
Shadow Court Satyr
Bum’s Rush
2 Ambush
Leather jacket

13 Protean
7 Earth Meld
4 Rapid Change
2 Homunculus

10 Obfuscate
2 Disguised weapon
4 Hidden Lurker
4 Swallowed by the Night

8 Celerity
4 Psyche
2 Blur
2 Flash

6 Fortitude
2 Skin of Steel
2 Skin of Rock
2 Freak Drive

6 Thamaturgy
3 Walk of Flame
3 Burst of Sunlight

PREACHER’S CORNER: Spreading the Bad Word: Vampiric Magic and Pokemon
decks for working among the Unbelievers.

Ethan Burrow’s February !Toreador NL contained a moving little piece
about how good, in the long run, Pokemon will be for the CCG hobby. I
think he is right about this, and it’s a good opportunity for me to
restate my opinion that engagement with competing CCGs is a good idea for
Vampire players, since those are the areas we are going to recruit from.
What this actually means, again in my opinion, is that we have to play at
least some of these games at some level so that we can meet the people
who currently play them with a view to winning them over in the future.

With Magic it is also possible to have genuine good role-playing fun in
the process. Sarah and Michael and I play quite a lot of fun-deck Magic,
Michael tending to play with Goblin or Robot [artefact] decks, Sarah with
garden- or nature-themed decks, and I of course with some manifestation
of the undead myth. Magic may not be as deep or interesting as Jyhad, the
rules and timing are a mess, the steady stream of broken cards is a pain
but, crucially, you don’t HAVE to be a vampire in Magic, though you MAY
be. Furthermore, you can explore aspects of the vampire myth outside the
rather narrow conceptions of the World of Darkness [itself an emanation
of Bram Stoker’s ideas].

I would really like to be complimentary about Pokemon, so let’s start
with the positive aspects. Although superficially similar to Magic, this
game has a weird integrity about it – it links to vibrant themes in
Japanese popular culture, such as Manga and the Godzilla movies,
themselves rooted in wider Japanese culture and history. The individual
Pokemon [it’s short for Pocket Monster and not, as I originally thought,
for stealing the kids’ Pocket Money] are characters so the game has some
of the same focus on more-or-less-believable personalities which is a
strength of Jyhad. Evolution is a novel idea for a card-game and I’m told
that the links to the playstation game are close. The rule-book is
beautifully written, carrying on the high standards set by Netrunner [an
EXCELLENT game, to boot] and Battletech [not so good]. The foils are
quite pretty, some of them – not Classic rage standard but not the boring
oily things in the current Magic expansions.

Where this game unfortunately falls down is in actual play. You bring out
a Pokemon. You evolve it. Your Pokemon bashes your opponent’s, and vice
versa, until one of you falls over. Then you do it again. There is some
scope for graveyard manipulation and for tactical play but basically this
is a five-way rock-paper-scissors game, and in my experience rather
boring matches tend to be the rule, the more so if you are losing. Of
course you do get boring games of Magic, and very very occasionally even
of Jyhad, but dullness should not be the rule in any game that you are
going to play more than once.

Here are my current vampy Magic and Pokemon decks. In home play they are
pretty effective, and with the Magic deck I have also beaten a good
player in the form of John Eagles.

Magic Deck: Jyhad: The Gathering

Keeper of the Dead
3 Urborg Panther
3 Breathstealer
3 Feral Shadow
Urborg Stalker
4 Sewer rats
2 Blood Pet
3 Barrow Ghoul
2 Spirit of the Night
2 Hidden horror
Skyshroud Vampire
2 Vampire Hounds
4 Bog Rats
Stronghold Assassin

4 Dark Ritual
Spinning Darkness
4 Drain Life
Bad Moon

16 Swamp

Pokemon Deck: Insufferably Cute Blood-Sucking Monsters of the Night

4 Mysterious Fossil
3 Kabuto
2 Kabutops
4 Zubat
3 Golbat
2 Venonat
2 Porygon
2 Koffing

2 Gambler
Computer Search
3 Recycle
Professor Oak
2 Gust of Wind
3 Potions

13 Grass Energy
13 Fighting Energy

And that’s it for another month, making it exactly three years since I
first started chronicling the misdeeds of the sabbat gangrel. Or not, as
the case more frequently is. See y’all in April!