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Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter, February 2005

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Anonymous
February 22, 2005 2:37:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter: February 2005

Kindred Most Wanted is upon us, and we, the templars of the Sabbat
should ready ourselves.

I. Fiction
II. KMW Cards of the moment
III. KMW Vampire of the moment: Dylan (ADV)
IV. Strategy: Bleeding with the !Ventrue

Fiction: Preamble to a Tale

Dateline: Sometime last month, somewhere in Amsterdam.

Tendrils of smoke rise through the turgid air of a nearly deserted
nightclub in the early hours before dawn. Only a few patrons remain, a
lonely man: a reporter, two drunkards well past their fifth pitcher of
the local brew, and an alabaster woman with ruby lips holding a joint.

The drunkards keep up a rousing banter with cackling laughter, taking
great pleasure in their companionship with boisterous conversation and
lively joking. Each of them has taken their turn leering at the woman
throughout the night, and she has seemed completely oblivious to them.

The reporter and the woman are deep in conversation, lost in each
other's gaze. They have been talking for hours in the whispered
language of lovers, and although the woman never takes a hit off her
expensive narcotic of choice, the smoke makes exotic patterns in the
space between her and her companion. "Yes," she says, her voice a
soft whisper, "you must uncover more..."

They continue to talk in this way for another hour, the reporter and
the vampire, until finally, in the last few moments before sunrise,
they each rise and depart: the man through the front and out the
doorway into the morning; the vampire through the back, past the
bartender, down into darkness.

Once beyond the gaze of the kine, the woman quickly descends to her
sanctum and fearfully dials a halting number on her sleek cellular.
Building up her courage, she intones, "Gustav, you must join me in
Holland. There may be a problem with Dylan."

Into the electronic static which spans the gulf of distance between
them, there is a reply made with a voice older than time might know, a
grave voice filled with dread...

To be continued next month.

KMW Cards of the moment

I thought I would comment upon just a few of the cards our favorite
clan might use to track down the anathema.

Earthshock
Combat
Cost: 1 blood
pot: Strike: strength ranged damage. This strike cannot be dodged.
Not useable against a minion with flight.
POT: As above, but for strength +1 ranged damage.

This card works well with our superstar (Lazverinus) who can deal four
points of un-dodgeable damage with it. The flight disadvantage
doesn't strike me as being too terrible a drawback. I think it's
slightly better than a thrown sewer lid, if only because it can be used
up close (in spite of not granting a press and costing a blood).

Forced March
Action Modifier
A vampire can play only one Forced March each turn.
cel/for: Only useable when an action is successful. This vampire
untaps.
CEL/FOR: +1 stealth, and at the end of the action, the acting vampire
may burn 1 blood to untap if the action is successful.

Four of our vampires can play this action modifier at inferior, which
is better than a Freak Drive at inferior due to its lack of a cost.
Add a celerity skill card to the right deck (Joseph O'Grady, Owain
Evans, Quentin, and the advanced form of Dylan all have FOR/cel), and
we finally have a stealth card we can play for free (that is useful at
inferior even without the skill card) on any action!

Scalpel Tongue
Action Modifer/Reaction
Cost: 1 blood
Only useable during a referendum.
cel/pre: Choose a vampire who has cast one or more votes in this
referendum. The chosen vampire is tapped and abstains during this
referendum (this cancels that vampire's votes).
CEL/PRE: As above, and the chosen vampire burns 1 blood.

This evil little card is Owain Evans' beauty. It works very, very
well with our already established voting strategy: vote denial; and,
hey, Owain was already good, right? Now he's deliciously better! I
don't know how I feel about this strategy being opened up to every
Anson, Arika, and Anneke on the block, since they're encroaching on
our turf now (and really didn't need the help), but I suppose I'll
live with it, since we'll just rush them into a dirt nap.

KMW Vampire of the moment: Dylan (Advanced)

Dylan (Advanced)
6-cap !Ventrue
FOR aus cel dai dom pro
Advanced, Sabbat. Red List: Dylan gets +1 stealth when bleeding. +1
strength. Infernal.

While Dylan (adv) is not the best vampire ever, and in fact has some
very drastic flaws, he's the only minion we get in this set, and
he's not that bad...really. He gets stealth on his bleeds: a very
attractive feature for a clan that has almost no access to stealth. He
gets +1 strength: always a good thing, especially considering his
inferior protean ag poking goodness. He's got seven points of
disciplines in an odd combination, and so he fits a large variety of
deck concepts. He's even got daimonion for some very interesting
infernalism tricks. Merge him and he even gets his base +1 bleed. All
of these traits are positive things.

Infernal. Well...that's bad. Hey, nobody's perfect, especially
not our little demonic pal here, right? But lets look at it as a
benefit! Hey, he can play all those cards that require the infernal
trait! Concordance, Condemnation: Betrayed, Condemnation: Doomed,
Condemnation: Languid (arguably one of the best), Condemnation: Mute
(absolutely the best one our pal Dylan can play), Contagion, and an as
yet unknown number of juicy cards from the KMW set... Those are all
really potent cards. So, sure, he costs you a pool to untap, but when
nobody can pass a vote, bleed you, or kill your minions, one pool
doesn't sound like such a bad investment each turn, and all those
things are what our clan is best at! Better yet, don't pay a pool to
untap him and Force of Will bleed with him.

Red List. Okay, this one's really, really bad. There's no upside
to being red list. Well, okay, there's one upside: you'll never
have trouble cycling your combat cards. (Two upsides if you include
the two extra votes you get in a Trumped Up Charges vote.) Dylan's
fantastic at defending himself (his superior fortitude is quite handy
in this regard, as is his inferior
protean-I-play-flesh-of-marble-so-ha-ha-ha damage prevention) as well
as going on the offensive with aggravated damage from protean or
daimonion, or just hitting several times at +strength with his
celerity. He's got some stamina and will take some killing (or bad
luck on your part) to bring down.

Dylan fits easily into almost any combat deck (except for the potence
decks: no potence for Dylan). He's also pretty darned good at
bleeding, and I hear bleeding at stealth is nice; he fits into those
obvious decks. Perhaps his best use is in a pro/dom bleed deck, since
his fortitude merges well with that archetype and he brings to it
Demonstration for some vote defense and auspex for rushing or
intercepting.

Will people play with the advanced version of Dylan? Initially
definitely; we all like trying new things. What about his staying
power after the infernal glow of newness fades (to be replaced by his
Folger's Crystals regular infernal glow)? I'm not so sure. If
time tells us that Red List will make minions into little piles of
bloody ooze, then only the most freakish and masochistic among us will
bother. If time proves otherwise, then he's a very solid 6-cap with
a lot going for him. And he's ours.

Strategy: Bleeding with the Ventrue Antitribu

Blood: "It's what keeps you going. Makes you warm. Makes you hard.
Makes you other than dead."
--Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("The Gift")

Baring the freakish Brinksmanship vote, there is only one way to win
this game: reduce your prey's pool to zero. The easiest means of
doing this (and the only way to do so without any library cards at all)
is to bleed. Our clan is a clan of bleed monsters. We have the best
bleed disciplines in the game: Dominate, Auspex, and Fortitude.
Govern/Conditioning: bleed for at least five for two blood at
inferior. Pulse of the Canaille: permanent +2 bleed. Force of Will:
bleed while tapped (for +1 or +2). Bounce: bleed for an unknown
amount for one blood (and we have all three of the bleed bounce cards
available to us).

In any given turn, Blackhorse Tanner can Pulse, Force of Will, and
Condition a bleed (for 8). Why do we not win?

Answer #1: People block us. It's true. We're not Nosferatu,
Malkavians, Setites, Assamites, or even our large Camarilla cousins:
we have no stealth. We get blocked all the time. And when we get
blocked, we really can't do much. "I hit you hands for one," we
say, dejected and despairing.

Do not lose hope, my brothers, for that is the talk of the mad! We
have stealth! Oh, we don't have *piles* of it like other clans
might, but we have a little (perhaps just enough). Bonding, for
instance, is our classic (and usually only) stealth card. It's
great, indeed, but one stealth is rarely enough. Black Hand brought us
another point of stealth! We can play Stealth Ritus to "frontload"
an additional stealth onto any action. It is blood inefficient, yes,
but it gets the job done, and bleeding at two stealth is rather good.
Of course, sometimes even that is not enough. It is during these times
we must rely upon our version of a "block fails:" Seduction or The
Sleeping Mind (and sometimes both). Even if all this is not enough,
there is hope left. Rather than using Govern the Unaligned, we might
choose to use Dominte Kine. Sure, it costs a little more, but it gives
us what we most need (stealth) and is still a base bleed of two. I
must also add to this listing Polaris Coach, which, while
disadvantageous in certain instances, provides us with much needed
stealth (which we may pay for through our Capitalist tendencies if we
choose).

And...when we absolutely have to...we can Dare the Dawn. (Or use the
Kiss of Ra, but while it's a good punishment card, it doesn't get
our bleed through, and fortitude is far more common than it should be,
IMHO. I mean, every freak'n Giovanni can start with fortitude now.)

We are also not completely hosed in combat. Our options are few, yes,
and we tend to rely on either out of clan disciplines or weaponry, but
our fortitude makes us impervious to all but the rarest of card effects
(the unpreventable damage effects or the unpreventable with fortitude
strikes) and thaumaturgy. Aura Reading makes it very annoying to block
us (I stand firm in my belief that Aura Reading is the least used power
card of our disciplines), since no one likes the whole table reading
their hand.. Sure, we're not mad combat monsters who will put you in
torpor every time we meet you, but we're hardly weaklings.

Answer #2: People bounce us. Yeah, this happens, too. Happily,
unlike some clans, we have answers to this problem. Auspex is key here
with the classic Revelations (at inferior to really annoy our prey and
at superior to strip their most potent card from them: usually their
bounce) and the less used and less valuable (since you don't get to
see all your prey's cards) Celestial Harmony. As discussed above, if
you're blocked, play Aura Reading. If people manage to deal damage
to you, play Lessons in the Steel. Deny them their hand secrecy and
their cards as often as possible. And although he is not as useful to
us as he is to the necromancers, we can always manipulate Le Dinh Tho
to our cause if we're that concerned about bounce.

Another way of handling the threat of bounce (especially if you don't
currently have your prey's hand memorized) is to use the real power
of dominate: you don't have to play a bleed modifier. Chances are
high that your prey will be unwilling to bounce a bleed for one when a
bleed for 6 or 8 is soon to follow. So let him not block you. Bleed
him for one. You've done your job and maybe even gotten a blood for
it (Capitalist: it is a good thing). Whittle away at your prey and
strike when the time is right. We can win without stealth!

Deck of the Month: Where's the !Ventrue DotM???

Folks, I'm working on a dissertation, and I don't always have time
to test out a new !Ventrue deck each month. Rest assured there will be
a prey-slaughtering deck of destruction in next month's issue after
I've had time to process some of the new KMW strategies. If you have
an interesting take on the Ventrue Antitribu and would like to
contribute your ideas or decks to the Ventrue Antitribu newsletter, you
can contact me at cmberry (at) purdue (dot) edu.

cmb
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 11:30:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

<cmberry@purdue.edu> schreef in bericht
news:1109057828.862070.220150@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
Bounce: bleed for an unknown
> amount for one blood (and we have all three of the bleed bounce cards
> available to us).
>
nit-pick: there are 4 bleed bounce cards :-) Dom has 2 (Deflection and
Redirection) and Aus has 2 (Telepathic Misdirection and My Enemy's Enemy).
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 3:03:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

cmberry@purdue.edu wrote:

> Red List. Okay, this one's really, really bad. There's no upside
> to being red list.

Oh, but there is. The fantastic 'Rebirth'. Fixed in Anathema, R in
boosters. Got it from a booster in prerelease and managed to use it on
both rounds with Petaniqua.

Card text:
Rebirth
Act mod
Requires a Red List minion. Only usable when a diablerie action is
successful.
No blood hunt may be called, and this vampire untaps. A vampire can play
only one Rebirth each turn.

It's great! Diablerie sweetness.

--CV
Related resources
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 12:29:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

I stand corrected in my oversight. I was concentrating on cards that
let you harm your prey, so MEE didn't occur to me (since it only does
so when the game is down to three players). At any rate, we have that
one too.

:) 

cmb

Jeroen Rombouts wrote:
> <cmberry@purdue.edu> schreef in bericht
> news:1109057828.862070.220150@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> Bounce: bleed for an unknown
> > amount for one blood (and we have all three of the bleed bounce
cards
> > available to us).
> >
> nit-pick: there are 4 bleed bounce cards :-) Dom has 2 (Deflection
and
> Redirection) and Aus has 2 (Telepathic Misdirection and My Enemy's
Enemy).
February 24, 2005 4:04:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad (More info?)

<snip>
| Strategy: Bleeding with the Ventrue Antitribu

Hurrah, it's what they do best.

| In any given turn, Blackhorse Tanner can Pulse, Force of Will, and
| Condition a bleed (for 8). Why do we not win?

I'd personally prefer the cost/effect ration of govern/conditioning to
this. :) 

| Answer #1: People block us.
<snip bit about stealth and combat>
| We can win without stealth!

Indeed, you can. However, you forgot the three cards that make !Ventrue
great at doing so. Namely: Pentex Subversion, Anarch Troublemaker, and
if you're playing Neally+Parthenon, good old Misdirection.

These are the cards that IMO make the !Ventrue win. Well, that and
govern/conditioning/deflection/wake/enhanced senses/hidden strength :p 

Otherwise a decent newsletter. :) 

-Bram Vink
!