Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter
October 2005

Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter, October 2005

Introduction
The Scourge of Nergal
How KMW Can Help Us
Special Look:  Archetypes of the !Ventrue

Introduction

It is time again for me to take a small break from the dissertation and
write another Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter.  This week I make my plea
to you for the !Ventrue in the Nergal storyline event.  I'll also
probe into KMW for a few choice cards and then look at some useful
archetypes that work well with the clan.

The Scourge of Nergal

My friends, my enemies, the demon Nergal has been loosed into the world
and we must put him down.  Who better than us to do so?  We are the
templars of the Sabbat, its warriors, its salvation!  Also, we could
use a little love from the design team.  :)

So, yeah, it can be a little difficult working with our clan to achieve
victory.  We aren't very intimidating with our Auspex, Dominate, and
Fortitude.  We have virtually no stealth, and arguably the weakest
combat among the Sabbat.  What does the clan have going for it?

-- Great vampires.  Although our clan disciplines (outside of Dominate)
are slightly less than spectacular, we have some of the greatest
vampires in the game.  Take the "classics:" Lazverinus and Quentin
- both these guys are simply amazing at what they do - and the
*stellar* !Ventrue mid-caps.  You just can't go wrong with minions
like Vincent Day, Marlene the Infernalist, or Gerard.  We're one of
the only Sabbat clans that can make a fantastic storyline legal Anarch
deck due to the strength of our small and mid-capacity vampires.  And
the Group 3 vampires are no chumps either:  Owain Evans is just a
fantastic vampire (as are Edward Neally, Joseph O'Grady, Katherine
Stoddard, and Blackhorse Tanner).  The !Ventrue specials are some of
the best around.

--Easy access to excellent disciplines.  Dominate and Fortitude come
built in to virtually every vampire we put on the field.  Want to
bleed?  We've got it in spades.  Want to hurl minions into torpor?
We've got Kiss of Ra and the good old standby of Trap/Undead
Persistence.  Sure Trap/UP is sort of twinkish, but it works!

--Defense, defense, defense.  Auspex, Dominate, Fortitude:  these are
our disciplines.  Add to this defensive trifecta our profoundly
annoying ability to make just about any vote that gets past our blocks
fail, and it takes some amazing amount of power to oust us from a
table.  If any clan can endure Nergal's wrath and triumph, it is us!

So if you could find it in your black hearts to help or clan gain back
our rightful place among the Sabbat, play the !Ventrue and thrive!
Send Nergal screaming back to Hell.

How KMW Can Help Us

Alas, our clan did not get much love from KMW:  no new vampires
(although Dylan ADV is diabolically hot when you merge him), and very
few discipline specific cards that improve what we can do already.  But
do not despair, my brothers and sisters, there are several choice cards
to assist our nightly Jyhad.

The Beretta 9mm:  Less pool than a .44, and with some easy presses from
either Ecstatic Agony or Fortitude combat, two 9mm's are a very good
deal.  To get the Berettas, use Pier 13, Vast Wealth, or Concealed
Weapon (whichever seems to work best for you:  this author prefers a
combination of Pier 13 and Vast Wealth).  Jack of Both Sides can be
useful here, as well, but it has the same combo disadvantage of
Concealed Weapon (you must have two specific cards in your hand), and
it's not that difficult to block a two stealth action.

Learjet:  Wow!  This card is simply amazing for clans that burn a lot
of cards when they take actions (and, boy, do we ever burn through a
deck of cards).  The Learjet can help to increase the probability you
draw into a combo when you're acting or that you draw those crucial
reactions you will need before you chose to end your turn.  Once you
have your combo or reactions in-hand, you can simply stop taking
advantage of your Learjet's ability.  This lets us have the
Seductions and Kisses of Ra we need, or the Trap/Undead Persistence
that will cripple our prey.

Dr. Marisa Fletcher, CDC:  Again, wow!  We're one of the few clans
who can set ourselves up to rarely (if ever) have to hunt while also
being able to easily block hunt actions of whoever we like.  And if you
thought Owain was a good deal before, then throw this beautiful event
down on the table and watch people *beg* you for that one blood.
(There is a risk of invoking the wrath of the table, so do take care.)

Shared Strength:  This is simply an amazing and beautiful card.
Several of our very, *very* good vampires suffer from a lack of
superior Fortitude (*cough* Kyle-our-Cardinal *cough*).  This card
enables us to play those large-caps without superiors safe in the
certainty they can be boosted up by a less-noble, though heartier,
member of our clan.  It also allows us to protect some more
"squishy" vampires we may choose to pair ourselves with in the
Storyline tournament.  (Note that should you willingly choose to pair
our hale and hearty !Ventrue with a small handful of pitiful squishy
vampires, this author takes no responsibility for their being squished
in spite of Shared Strength; unless you're using Fredrick the Weak,
who with Shared Strength becomes an un-killable nightmare beast of
legend.)

Special Look:  Archetypes of the !Ventrue

There are many archetypes our clan can make good use of.

Capitalist:  Free blood for bleeding my prey.  I'll take that deal
any day.  This archetype, sadly, isn't a trifle, but it also
doesn't suffer from Perfectionist's reaction-card weakness.  Of
course, some will (perhaps rightly) argue that if someone is playing a
reaction card when a !Ventrue is acting, it's likely going to be
blocked or deflected, so you might as well run with Perfectionist, but
I still like Capitalist quite a lot.  Note:  will not work with
Anarchness.

Conniver:  Hrm, free blood for bouncing or making cross-table vote
deals on someone else's turn.  Again, I'll take that deal any day.
Still, I wish it had been printed *slightly* differently, but then I
suppose it would have been far too good.  This is an excellent
archetype for our clan since we react much, much better than we act.

Curmudgeon:  In the right deck, this is just FANTASTIC.  It's a
trifle, so it's even better.  The strategy to maximize this card
would be to put a Curmudgeon on each vampire.  Each Curmudgeon declares
the same vampire.  If that vampire's blocked, every one of your
Curmudgeons gain a blood!  Since we do react much, much better than we
act, this card is a decent way to either gain blood or force your
prey's minion to either move forward with a D action or do nothing.

Perfectionist:  This archetype arguably corner-cases all others (Guru,
Loner, Bravo, Sociopath, and Capitalist most of the time) due to its
virtual guarantee of free blood on non-threatening actions (any action
that no one cares to throw a reaction card at).  Sadly, your action
does need to be successful, and we have trouble in that regard.  But
Perfectionist is, well, perfect.

What?  No Deck of the Month???

I'm writing a dissertation.  What do you want from me?  Blood?

On second thought, that's likely not a good question to ask around
this group . . .

Conclusion

This ends the October issue of the Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter.
I'll try not to make this the *only* one for the fall.  Please do
consider playing this remarkable clan in the storyline tournament.
Also, if you'd like to try your hand at writing the !Ventrue's
Newsletter-of-Indeterminate-Timeperiod, just let me know!