Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter


IN THIS ISSUE ........
FICTION:  Wolfen
STRATEGY AND TACTICS: The new Camarilla base set and the !Gangrel
DECK: Happy Camarilla-Edition Families Ventrue deck
OFF-TOPIC CORNER: Spoof Gothic and other good new Games

FICTION: Wolfen 

As night falls on the island of Corsica, a figure is plodding along the
track that leads out to Capo Rosso, the strange granite lump at the end
of the ridge upon which lies the pretty little town of Piana. A summer
storm mutters and flashes out to sea, and by the intermiitent
illumination of the lightning we seem to see the faces of robed spectres
or tortured souls leering and screaming frozenly on the rock-face. But
it's only the remorseless action of the tramontane and the mistral,
shrieking down each winter from the mountains of Italy and France to
batter at the rocks of Corsica, that has made these startling faces: the
REAL evil is onward and upward, and that is where the figure now bends
its steps.

At length the figure reaches the top of the rock and looks upward at the
ruined tower of the Orchinu. Built by the Genoese, it still stands after
three centuries, though the plasterwork has crumbled enough now that
it's an easy climb up to the second floor. Inside things are trickier
and there's a certain amount of wriggling and squeezing through narrow
spaces to be done before the second floor is attained. There, the figure
draws a lock-kife from its pocket and cuts its own wrist, meditatively
allowing the blood to spill on the stones. There's a hissing noise and
the rock of one of the walls bulges, writhes, and then FLOWS; a second
figure coalesces out of the liquid rock, totters a little and then bends
down to suck greedily at the red pool on the floor. At length it rises,
wiping its mouth and gazing around it with wondering eyes.

"Legbiter. Name of a Dog! It has been a long time, By My Faith!"
"Indeed. And you are needed again. The Black Spiral Dancers are
under-employed, a situation i want you to rectify."


A few weeks later, Sebastian Goulet is threading his way through the
stagnant pools of the Langstone Marshes on the South coast of England.
Here the hulks lay at anchor waiting to take the human refuse of Britain
to Australia; here the Mulberry Harbours lay in modules, waiting to be
shipped to the Normandy beaches. But now it is a bird sanctuary, and a
rubbish-tip on its edge is home to something else .......

The Den of the Black Spiral Dancers is a subterranean cavern, but you
wouldn't know that from up above because you enter it through a dirty
caravan with a satellite dish on the roof. In the early autumn moonshine
Rends-the-Treehuggers is sitting on the step of the caravan picking his
teeth; soon he is joined by Craps-on-Sidewalk, Paints-the-Lampposts,
Snarls-at-Postmen and Buttons, who all yawn and stretch in a
disturbingly-toothy fashion. Eventually, supper appears, born in the
not-so-fair hands of Pack-Mattress, the clan's only adult female; term
having started, most of the cubs are at the Springfield School for the
Dangerously Insane. As they devour their bacon and eggs a car pulls up,
and Sebastian Goulet emerges from it. The Werewolves watch him
distrustfully as he approaches the caravan.

"Whaddya wan', lick-boy?"
"Sacred Blue! Have i not the honour to address the renowned
"Yeah. Now YOU answer MY question."
"Dear Sir, i wish to recruit you for the cause, the struggle, what you
"It'll cost ya. We're expensive. But y'know, for some weird reason i
kinda like you. Tell ya what : 25% discount, only available to you.
Paints, Snarly, stand aside a bit and let the Frog-lick in."

Sebastian bows, with a secret smile, and enters the lair. All the Black
Spiral Dancers are impressed by the combination of his blue-gray face,
barely-repressed savagery and cute French accent. Hmm, Pack-Mattress is
openly DROOLING with lust. That could prove a problem later, but for
now, there is his mission to attend to.

STRATEGY AND TACTICS: The new Camarilla base set and the !Gangrel

It will sound awfully churlish of me to say i wasn't expecting much of
the Camarilla set but, from the strictly-newsletter point of view, i
really wasn't.  So it was a specially-nice surprise to find Sebastian
Goulet, a city gangrel with indifferent cost/in-clan discipline ratio,
but two excellent off-clan disciplines and two nice specials, included
in the new set. Sebastian has cel pre pro DOM OBF, can burn a blood for
+1 bleed, and pays one less blood or pool to employ/recruit retainers.
One INSTANTLY thinks of the Black Spiral Buddy and the Shadow Court
Satyr, perhaps giving the latter Disguised Weapon [shooting for Ivory
bow or a Flamethrower later]; one imagines these allies rampaging around
sticking folks into the bin so that Sebastian can superiorly Grave Rob
them back again, with added Raving Goddness from the Werewolves and
Blood Dolls for relatively-reliable pool-gain. Fun! But perhaps not the
best use of his abilities, i suggest, particularly if one looks at what
ELSE is in the set.

That's right, it's my view that there is a LOT for the City Gangrel in
this set and that one strategy in particular, namely politics, has been
given a significant boost. In part this boost comes about because of the
change to Majesty. Majesty is now worse, but Earth Meld remains the
same, and repeat actions that aren't politics or bleed or doing EXACTLY
the same card-[including in-play-card]-based thing twice ARE now allowed
in tournament play. But the other part of the boost comes from the
collection of new vampires who have two of the City Gangrel disciplines
and EITHER presence OR static votes, or both. Hrothulf, Ellison
Humboldt, Lucian, Maxwell, Rachel Brandywine, Steve Booth, Suzanne Kadim
and Tayshawn Kearns - to say nothing of reprinted Zoe, Victoria and
Leandro, for whom we are grateful but who don't really create a new
strategic opportunity for the clan. In short, the City Gangrel finally
have their connections!


DECK: Happy Camarilla-Edition Families Ventrue Deck.

i bought three boxes of boosters and two of starters, and when i had
finished sorting them i was 9 cards short of the full set. i kept one of
the boxes of starters intact for casual play, and with all the cards i
had left [except for most of the extra rares i had - i'm keeping an
extra one each of those in the folder until i have traded up to the full
set] i built Happy Family decks for the 6 surviving Camarilla clans.
These decks are therefore ALL group 3 vampires, since the group twos are
all in the starters and they all went into the collection. Last night we
played a 4-way game in the pub and we each chose one of these CE Happy
Family decks. i had the Tremere, Matt had the Nosferatu, John had the
Ventrue and Mark had the Malkavians. John won with 3 VP and Mark got the
other 1. Here is the Ventrue deck which i built and with which John won.

CRYPT [13 vampires]
Lana Butcher
Gracis Nostinus
Elena Gutierrez [ i ASSUME there should be a little 3 there]
Catherine du Bois
Lucinde Alastor
Ilyana Ravidovich
Marcus Vitel
Diana Vick
Katarine Kornfeld
Edward Vignes
Horatio Ballard
Alan Sovereign

LIBRARY [75 cards]
Blood Doll
Effective management
Elysium: The Arboretum
KRCG News Radio
Minion Tap x 2
Powerbase: Washington, DC
Short-term Investment
Uptown Hunting Ground
Ventrue Headquarters
Conservative Agitation
Elder Kindred Network
Fifth tradition: Hospitality x 2
Fourth Tradition: The Accounting
Kine Resources Contested x 2
Kindred Restructure
Parity Shift
Second Tradition: Domain x 3
Third Tradition: Progeny
Wake with Evening's Freshness x 2
Aura Reading
Enhanced Senses
Spirit's touch
Telepathic Counter
Telepathic Vote Counting
Bonding x 4
Deflection x 4
Govern the Unaligned x 4
Seduction x 2
Dawn Operation x 2
Freak Drive x 3
Rolling with the Punches
Skin of Rock
Skin of Steel x 3
Unflinching Persistence
Bewitching Oration x 2
Charming Lobby
Dread Gaze
Majesty x 5
Voter Captivation x 3

These decks played really well, even the Tremere - i made a gross error
in not realising that Thingy Valois the Watcher only has inferior
thaumaturgy, which basically destroyed my otherwise-sound position. We
found that there were SUBTLE differences in the way these new Camarilla
clan-based decks work compared with the old ones, but these added spice
to the game rather than constituting a radical change. We all felt the
change to Majesty and Second Tradition restored balance without nuking
the clans who make heavy use of them. So overall very well done, Scott,
great set and a tonic to the game.

OFF-TOPIC CORNER: Spoof Gothic and other good new Games

There's been a real explosion of good new games recently, and a
surprising number of them are spoof Gothic Horror games. i personally
amn't a big fan of Zombies!!! and i'ld even argue that Zombies!!! isn't
the prototype of these games - Games Workshop's long-out-of-print Curse
of the Mummy's Tomb is the same kind of thing but better IMO [none of
which stops me from acknowledging that everyone else thinks Zombies!!!
is great]. So it was in a moment of weakness that i bought When Darkness
Comes, a game which is similarly-packaged and produced to Zombies!!! WDC
however is a seriously good and quite original game, which can be played
in lots of different ways, ranging from board/skirmish to role-playing;
in Corsica we played this and VTES to the absolute exclusion of ALL
other kinds of games, and the experience actually galvanised me into
starting to paint my Gothic models again once we got home. Exactly WHY
it is good is a little hard to put one's talon on, but it has something
to do with needing to cooperate but not TOO much, and a rather cute
Yahtzee-like method for resolving combat and the like. Also good are The
Hills Rise Wild and GraveRobbers from Outer Space; Gregory House of
Horror is grimly-cute though i can't yet decide whether or not i like
it. Finally Wizkids new MechWarriors: Dark Ages is a wonderful
two-player game, Michael and i both think so after only two "serious"
goes at it.  Naturally, i play the Highlanders, while Michael is the
Steel Wolves. This game however only counts as Gothic because of the
Dark Ages bit, a shade tenuous i agree.


Apologies if this lands twice - Google and i are having a bit of a
lover's tiff at the moment. And that's it for September, rather late i'm
afraid and almost time to start on the October NL. Sigh. See you then!