Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter




FEATURE: A deck-clinic in Dixie
My ears are still not quite right from the flight back, but i had a
great time in SE USA at the end of October. Thanks to all who were
kind to me and/or with whom i played but especially to David Tatu and
Robin, to David Zopf and Amy, and to Jeff "Lasombra" Thompson.

i booked my ticket just after September the 11th [not ENTIRELY as an
act of defiance, since this trip had been long-planned] so i got the
most AMAZING deal - round trip to Atlanta for 220 GBP or about 330 USD
[North West Airlines]. On the down side i had to go via the Twin
Cities [Minneapolis/St Paul's] rather than direct to Atlanta, and the
plane was a DC10 rather than a jumbo, so it was quite a journey. On
the Gatwick-Twin Cities leg i sat next to a nice American man who was
into radiotherapy for cancer. We talked a bit of shop, a bit about
sons and a bit about the international situation, and then i watched
as we passed over Greenland and Northern Canada in sunlight. i hadn't
realised how very intermediate between land and water that part of the
world is, and how beautiful.

Landing in America i passed through the EFFUSIVELY friendly
immigration and customs control, narrowly managing not to mention the
J-word when asked about the purpose of my visit. The customs man was
particularly amused by the notion that i had come to america to play
cards, but not for money. There was a two-hour wait for the plane to
Atlanta, so i nipped out for a cigarette and then had to stand in the
security line for half an hour. They discovered a ten-kopeck piece in
my coat, which must have been there for at least a year, and had lain
undiscovered by numerous airport metal detectors in that time.
Security was impressively tight overall, and a couple of middle
eastern gentlemen on the Atlanta flight got about 15 minutes worth of
it before they were allowed on the plane. Also on that plane were a
gaggle of rather silly girls, one of whom annoyed me intensely by
revealing to the person next to her, in a loud voice, that she and a
girlfriend had CANCELLED a long-planned trip to the Munich Oktoberfest
in the wake of the terrorist attacks on America. Maybe she wasn't
paying attention when they taught her the national anthem in school.

David T was waiting for me in the airport and after marvelling at the
Fire Ant sculpture and collecting the luggage we drove back to his
place where Robin, Prescott, Jeff and Ben Peal were At Play. i joined
in for the next game [Jeff had to go before that, unfortunately],
fielding an exact clone of Joscha Duell's Euro-winning deck [its first
outing in my hands]. It was now midnight my time and the game went on
until 3 my time so i played like a complete moron, but still got ONE
VP [David T; Prescott got the rest]. Then Ben and i had a long
argument about strategy and table-balancing, and so to bed.

Next day we argued for a bit more and i showed Prescott how to play
Zoon which he enjoyed. We also ate breakfast at the Waffle House and i
awed Ben with my ability to not only eat but also enjoy a full
Southern Breakfast, even the grits. Then we all went to a party where
we played ENORMOUS numbers of games and i got to catch up with a lot
of old friends and to make some new ones. A lot of eating and drinking
and sleeping also went on. i won ONE game of VTES [out of, i dunno, 3
or 4; 3 to me [Prescott, Derek and last Man Standing], 1 to Derek
[playing a very neat Mythic Form deck which i hope to feature in a
future newsletter, and taking out David Zopf with it]], plus Chez Geek
and Munchkin, and i learned the Art of the Chinese Yoyo. Connor, Jeff
Dai, Todd and i played a fun game called History of the World which
went on for about the same time as the REAL history of the World -
Connor won, but this is one of those games where that doesn't really

Eventually we got back to David's house and next day i was due to
leave which was fairly melancholy. So i wasn't TOO unhappy when i
turned up to the airport and was told that my flight had been
cancelled. The earliest i could fly was next day afternoon so it was
back to David's house for the legendary Monday afternoon/evening
Atlanta session of VTES. On the way we picked up some REAL Suthran
Fraad Chick'n which was, well Fraadfully good.

i actually did quite well in this session where the competition was
REALLY intense, winning two out of four games and only losing one of
the other games 2-3 to Ben Peal [i bottled out of a game-winning bleed
at one point, so Ben got Jeff and me, and i got Pat and Chas]. Maybe
this had something to do with me playing my Really Fierce decks, one
of which was robust enough to give me the game despite some EXECRABLE
play on my part [3 to me [Ben, Jeff and Last Man Standing], 2 to Ben
[Robin and Prescott - apologies to both of them since i was MORE than
instrumental in their demise]]. But really i think a major factor was
that i listened and learned during my trip to America, and then i
acted on what i had learned. In short, i Tatu-ised my Temptation of
Greater Sleaze deck, GREATLY to its benefit. i played this deck three
times over the weekend, with the following results:

Pre-Tatuisation: 0VP [David tatu was my prey, then Ben, then Derek,
then Robyn - Robyn swept].
Tatuisation stage 1: 2/5 VP [the game described above]
Tatuisation stage 2: 4/4 VP [Jeff was my first prey, then David Tatu,
then Prescott].

[Of course, such a limited data set is not conclusive and there's an
element of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy here - but see below
for the tools to try the experment yourself.]

For those who don't know, ie everybody, since i just made the word
up, Tatuisation is the process of trimming your deck down from the
ritual 90 cards to as close as you can get to the legal tournament
minimum and still have your deck Do Its Stuff. There are lots of
excuses for initiating Tatuisation and we had some rather lengthy
debates about whether and when it is worth doing. But rather than go
into these i'ld like to invite you to look at, maybe even play, the
pre- and post-Tatuisation versions of the Temptation of Greater Sleaze
deck, and judge for yourselves whether it was worth doing in this
case. If you decide that it was, maybe you should try to implement it
on some of YOUR decks. Probably i should add that i also Burrowised
the deck, that is to say broke it down into modules, before i Tatuised
it. See Ethan Burrow's !Toreador newsletters for what this means.


The original design principle of this deck was to include as many as
possible of the cards that make your heart sink when they hit the
table. It was thrown together one saturday morning when Sorrow and i
were about to go to a Watford tournament. It took third place there
[Martin Cubberley won], and the largest number of VP of any deck that
played in that tourney.

CRYPT [12 vampires]
      Zebulon [replace with Mariel]
      Leandro x 2
      Lucian x 4
      Greger Anderssen x 2
      Gilbert Duane x 2
      Mariel, Lady Thunder


      Direct Intervention
      Dreams of the Sphinx
      Giant's blood
      Golconda - Inner Peace
      Information Highway
      Legendary Vampire
      Minion Tap x 4
      The Parthenon
      Pentex Subversion
      Temptation of Greater Power x 4
      Tomb of Rameses III x 3
      Secure Haven
      Sudden Reversal

      The Fifth Tradition: Hospitality x 3
      Govern the Unaligned x 2
      Kine Dominance x 2
      Pulse of the Canaille
      Revelations [remove]

VOTES [18]
      Anarchist Uprising x 2
      Ancient Influence
      Banishment x 2
      Dramatic Upheaval
      KRC x 5
      Parity Shift x 4
      Political flux [maybe remove]
      Political Stranglehold
      Rabble Razing [remove]

      Deflection x 4
      Forced Awakening
      Obedience x 4
      The Second Tradition: Domain x 2
      Telepathic Counter x 3 [not sure. Maybe remove].
      WWEF x 6

      Cloak the Gathering x 4
      Conditioning x 3
      Elder impersonation
      Faceless Night x 4
      Forgotten Labyrinth
      Lost in Crowds x 4
      Spying Mission 
      Swallowed by the Night x 4


Leandro x 2
Lucian x 4
Greger Anderssen x 2
Gilbert Duane x 2
Mariel, lady Thunder x 2

LIBRARY [70 cards]:
MASTER [15]:
Direct intervention
Giant's Blood [or Blood Doll]
Golconda: Inner Peace
Legendary Vampire
Minion Tap x 4
The Parthenon
Secure haven
Sudden reversal
Temptation of greater Power x 3
Tomb of Rameses III
Anarchist Uprising
Ancient Influence
Dramatic Upheaval
The fifth Tradition: Hospitality x 3
Forced Awakening
Kine Resources Contested x 4
Parity Shift x 3
Political Stranglehold
The Second Tradition: Domain x 2
Wake with Evening's freshness x 4
Telepathic Counter x 2
[could be an argument for some aura readings in here, just to make
Mariel's ability even MORE annoying]
Conditioning x 2
Deflection x 3
Govern the Unaligned
Kine Dominance x 2
Obedience x 3
Cloak the Gathering x 3
Elder impersonation x 2
Faceless Night x 5 [change one of these to an Elder Impersonation and
this deck becomes legal for those who like 4CL. This should probably
be done anyway].
Lost in Crowds x 4
Spying Mission x 2
Swallowed by the Night x 4

Once the serious gaming was over the serious drinking began,
interspersed with much discussion of politics, culture and how to fix
some intriguing but overall unsatisfactory games that we had
encountered over the weekend [Zombies and Chrononauts]. We also
continued our discussions about the VTES community, and one upshot of
this is going to be a PROCESSION of American players over to Europe
for various tourneys and related fun, hopefully matched by increased
traffic in the opposite direction, too. And finally, the next day it
was back to Blighty. LOTS more security checks, and on the flight from
Atlanta to Detroit the captain gave an at first very funny and then
very moving little speech about flying in the face of terrorism. He
got a round of applause from the passengers, and i got a free beer
from one of the flight attendants basically because i was British,
probably. At Detroit it was back onto the DC10 but this time in first
class which is, i now think, the whole point of DC10s. As we flew down
the St Lawrence and out over Labrador the lighted cities began to
shrink and then fade away. i know this is Canada but just at this time
the last line of the American national anthem came into my head, and a
lump into my throat. Goodbye for now, American friends! Thank you all
again, and see you in February for the NE regionals, provided i can
manipulate my timetable around them.

BLOODLINES PREVIEW: AHRIMANES [taken from the WW site,].

Golly, less than a month to Bloodlines and of all the clans we're the
only one with a DEDICATED bloodline - the Ahrimanes. Their symbol is a
fierce beasty head, maybe a tad more feline than the normal
gangrel/gangrel anti wolf. Here is what the game-designers have to say
about our new little baby sisters, together with a description of a
new and rather interesting master card:

Disciplines: Animalism, Presence, Spiritus
Sect: Sabbat
Nickname: Cats

The Ahrimanes originated with the Sabbat Gangrel. The founder of this
bloodline was a Gangrel antitribu named Muricia. When Muricia utilized
the thaumaturgic powers of the native North American shamans, she
effectively separated herself from her clan and her blood forever

Muricia tried to create others like herself, but soon discovered she
could not, for her vitae was infertile. She learned she could choose
existing Gangrels and, using the same ritual the shamans used on her,
make them like her

The Ahrimanes have a new discipline: Spiritus. This discipline comes
from the spiritual forces existing in nature. This discipline is
versatile, giving Ahrimanes a strong edge over other Kindred in the

-- Storytellers Handbook to the Sabbat 

V:TES Notes 

The Ahrimanes cards mix well with the Gangrel and (to a lesser extent)
the Toreador and Brujah (as well as those clans' antitribu
counterparts). Although their numbers are small, you could also play
the Ahrimanes by themselves. They're stronger when mixed with other
clans, usually.

New Term:
Sterile vampires cannot take actions to
create other vampires (e.g., cannot
perform The Embrace action, The Third
Tradition action, etc.). These vampires
cannot perform the Revelations of the
Sire or the Abomination actions, either. 

Card Preview 
Feral Spirit
Put this card on any Gangrel or Gangrel antitribu you control. This
vampire is now an Ahrimane (and Sabbat). This vampire has
Spiritus; if the vampire already had Spiritus, he or she now has
superior Spiritus. This vampire is now Sterile.

[Editor's note: Monique is absolutely wetting her panties over this
one. Yeeha!]

This is another card designed for mixing Bloodlines clans with other
With Feral Spirit you can turn one of your "basic" vampires into an
That vampire will then be able to play cards that require Ahrimanes as
well as cards that require Spiritus. (If you change his clan back to
Gangrel with Clan Impersonation, you could then play another Feral
Spirit to give him superior Spiritus. A complicated way of simulating
a Master: Discipline card, but it's there if you want to try.) Since
there's no clan requirement on this card, you don't have to control
your Ahrimane vampire first. You could even play this card with no
Ahrimanes in your crypt at all (and "build your own" Ahrimanes from
the plentiful Gangrel and Gangrel antitibu vampires)."

i wouldn't dissent from any of that but feel compelled to add that the
Ahrimanes' presence ability could radically change the perception that
the gangrel in general and !gangrel in particular kinda, well, suck at
votes. Zachary, Bear Paw and a few Ahrimanes .... hmmmm tasty. Also,
it'll be VERY interesting to see how Spiritus pans out as a
discipline, since it sounds a bit like Viscissitude and obtenebration
which have turned out to be great toolbox disciplines. Finally, what
fun it could be temporarily to take over a prey gangrel/gangrel anti
and somehow contrive to turn it into an Ahrimane using Feral Spirit,
so that you could clan loyalty its sorry butt! i actually managed to
play Clan loyalty against Rob Grau in a sealed deck game, much to the
amusement and amazement of the rest of the table.

Alright, that's it for this rather long issue. For Christmas i might
get you the Ditchwitch deck, if you are good. You will have to
preorder your bloodlines if you want ANY presents or food from Santa,
that's for sure. Seeya later!