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BEWARE THE BEAST
by Witness1

BEWARE THE BEAST - Hunter Newsletter, May 2006 Edition

I. BEWARE THE BEAST (Prologue)
II. THE HERE AND NOW (Introduction)
III. SURVIVAL GUIDE (General tips and strategies)
IV. I HAVE HEARD THE MESSAGE (Focus on the Crypt)
V. THE HUNTER'S EDGE (Focus on the Virtues)
VI. TOOLS OF THE HUNT (Focus on the Library)
VII. ON WHOSE SIDE DO YOU STAND? (Mixed crypts)
VIII. TAKE BACK THE NIGHT! (Decks)

I. BEWARE THE BEAST

Francois Loehr let out a sigh as left his office. He'd been hunting
for nearly a year now, with the help of one of his guards and (to his
eternal chagrin) two of the prisoners. He had nearly gotten used to
the idea that monsters were real; he had even begun to get an idea of
how they might be classified, what the strengths and weaknesses of
various creatures were. He had built up a network of contacts
throughout Europe, and many terrible predators had been destroyed.
Surely, the price was high in blood and sanity, but he'd almost begun
to feel like he and his companions had made a difference.

Recently, though, he'd become aware that, despite his best efforts,
rots and bruises had apparently infiltrated high positions in both
NATO and the European Union. Had they always been there, or had he and
his fellows let down their guard? Had the monsters just grown wiser
and begun to corrupt those already there instead of trying to get
their existing minions in? There was no way he could know for sure.

He'd read the postings on hunter-net, but his grasp of English was
not very good. Several members had posted about terrible experiences
all across the middle east, as if an entire army of fangs and rots had
gone to war with one another. The authors often spoke of demonic
beings, which the fangs had apparently intended to destroy. From all
accounts, they had failed, and the cost to the mortals (and hunters)
in the region had been terrible. It was becoming more apparent every
day that the problem was spreading - it couldn't be too long before
the threat, whatever it was, reached Europe.

When he reached his car, the warden noticed a piece of paper tied to
the trunk. "A gift, for the coming storm. - A.S." Beneath this
was the sign for cooperation and the quote "We also serve who watch
and wait."

Francois waited to open the trunk until he got home. He'd requested
aid on hunter-net, and several Americans had volunteered on
hunter-net.  He just hoped that the weapons delivered each week would
be sufficient to the task ahead.

II. THE HERE AND NOW

Welcome to the Official V:EKN Hunter Newsletter for May 2006. Nights
of Reckoning is tournament legal as of today, so be ready! This month,
we're going to look at how we might hunt monsters and live to tell
about it. The eternal struggle is a dangerous place for mortals; even
those imbued with strange powers. Few if any are powerful enough to
stand toe-to-toe with even moderately powerful creatures, so they need
all the craftiness they can muster. This month we focus on how to stay
alive when facing off against the children of the night.

III. SURVIVAL GUIDE

"Nothing evens up the odds like a piece. The enemy may be able to
change shapes, hide in people's bodies or claw you open, but a bullet
makes a statement - and from a distance." - Hunter: The Reckoning

Imbued have little trouble slipping by inattentive monsters, but have
a hard time generating heavy stealth. Likewise, hunters have easy
access to bleed enhancement, but have a much harder time generating
heavy bleeds. Because they can't rely on speed to oust their prey,
anyone playing an imbued deck has to be prepared to block at least
some of their predator's deadlier actions. Put these together and soon
you'll come to the conclusion that the imbued will end up in combat a
lot, even if they aren't trying to. Imbued are also more fragile than
vampires, as they cannot hunt and are incapacitated instantly at zero.
While several of their powers and other virtue cards can help them
survive and even beat down their opponents, some virtues don't provide
much help. Thus, imbued will often need to rely on equipment or
disciplineless combat cards for both protection and offense. So how do
you keep your imbued alive against the fearsome array of disciplines
and other combat options that your opponents' minions will surely
marshal against them?

One of the simplest forms of defense is controlling the range of
combat. Some of the deadliest combat in the game comes from powered-up
hand strikes; likewise, many devastating strikes are only playable at
short (Entombment) or long (Sewer Lid) range. Simply outmaneuvering
your opponent will defend you against the most basic of combat
packages. While the imbued have limited options of transient maneuvers
(Fake out is the only one they can ride to close range with if
desired, and it's not replaceable), there are a host of permanent
maneuver options. Among the best of these are those guns which have
maneuvers built in. These come with drawbacks, of course - primarily
that you become locked into a gun strike once you use that maneuver,
leaving you vulnerable to effects like Immortal Grapple or Darkling
Trickery. IR Goggles is another good permanent maneuver, but will be
quickly burned if you're relying on Smite in your deck. All equipment
is vulnerable to strikes and other effects that may burn or steal it.
Two imbued come with built-in maneuver capability (Jack Harmon and
Peter Rophail), and Imprison (a judgment combat card) stops the
opposing monster from maneuvering at all, in addition to stopping
presses to continue and making non-S:CE strikes cost an additional
blood or life.

Imprison [NoR:R]
Cardtype: Combat
Cost: 2 Conviction
Virtue: Judgment
Only usable before range is determined.
For the remainder of combat, the opposing monster cannot maneuver or
press to continue, and strikes other than strikes to end combat cost
the opposing monster an additional blood or life.
Artist: Brian LeBlanc

Another defensive option that's open to all the imbued is
damage-prevention. Equipment like Leather Jackets and Flak Jackets can
absorb quite a bit of damage over the course of a game, and can be
used by nearly any minion. Additionally, Surge (a vengeance power),
can prevent up to three points of damage each time around the table,
which is often superior to the jackets (though it also supplements
them nicely). Memories of Mortality is another way to simply eliminate
many ways that vampires can hurt the imbued. Combining damage
prevention/reduction with Pulled Fangs can make vampires really think
twice about tangling with your minions.

Surge [NoR:R]
Cardtype: Power
Virtue: Vengeance
[COMBAT][REACTION] [1 CONVICTION] Put three surge counters on this
imbued. This imbued may burn any number of surge counters to prevent
that amount of non-aggravated damage. Burn all surge counters on this
imbued at the end of the action.
Artist: Heather Kreiter

Dodges are another good defensive option, especially if you're the
blocking minion more often than the acting one in combat. You can't
play a dodge if you're already locked into a gun strike or under an
Immortal Grapple, however, so this is best paired with some form of
range-control. A dodge also fails to protect your minion from any
additional strikes played by the opposing minions.

Strikes (and other effects) to end combat can be quite potent for the
imbued. Flash Grenades leave vampires tapped for a whole turn after
combat, and Rotschreck can be useful when a Smite/Crusader
Sword/Flamethrower deck runs into trouble. As for the virtues,
redemption is king when it comes to ending combat, with both Shame and
Abjure. Vision has Foresee as well. Each of these comes with their own
disadvantages and costs, but none of them are strikes, so they can be
played even under threat of Immortal Grapple.

Name: Shame [NoR:C]
Cardtype: Power
Virtue: Redemption
[COMBAT] [2 CONVICTION] Only usable before strikes are chosen.
Burn this card. The opposing monster takes an amount of damage equal
to his or her strength, then combat ends. Not usable on an infernal
minion, a vampire with capacity above 7, nor a vampire who has
Memories of Mortality or Humanitas.
Artist: Brian LeBlanc

Simply including ways to recover your life points can give you a fair
advantage over decks with little combat. Vagabond Mystic, Rejuvenate,
and Respire all allow you ways to do this, as can many Obeah or
Valeren cards like Healing Touch, Panacea, or Rayzeel's Song. Other
options, like Bond or Jennie Orne's text, that allow you to pull
imbued out of the incapacitated region quickly, are quite good as well.

Name: Rejuvenate [NoR:C]
Cardtype: Power
Virtue: Defence
During your untap phase, if this imbued has fewer life than his or her
starting amount, he or she gains 1 life.
[ACTION] [1 CONVICTION] +1 stealth action. Add 1 blood to a vampire or
1 life to any other ally, not to exceed starting life.
Artist: Peter Bergting

Finally, many decks out there ignore combat, and even many combat
decks aren't prepared for serious hitback. Add to this the fact that
vampires can't play Taste of Vitae against allies (nor Fame or
Dragonbound, or even Tension in the Ranks without burning the imbued
in combat), and sometimes just having a weapon or showing some red in
your hand will be enough to convince other players not to tangle with
your minions. Great virtue options for hitback include Smite, Inflict,
and Cleave. Ammo cards can also increase your punch, especially
Caseless Rounds (to date, the only way for the imbued to gain
additional strikes). Strike With Convicition is also quite effective
when used well.

Alternatively, one can simply avoid combat. Cards like Secure Haven,
Hide, or Lock can frustrate decks that want rely on combat to destroy

IX. I HAVE HEARD THE MESSAGE (Focus on the Crypt)

Imbued of the Month:
Inez "Nurse216" Villagrande [NoR:U]
Cardtype: Imbued
Creed: Innocent
Group: 4
Life: 3
Virtue: inn
When Inez enters play, you may search your library (shuffle afterward)
or hand for a power that requires innocence and put it on her.

Hellooooooo Nurse! Inez Villagrande comes into play with your choice
of powers.  Hide, Inspire or even Illuminate could tip the scales in
your favor depending on the game state - early in the game, she can
grab an Inspire and start helping you pull out additional imbued. If
you don't see her until later on, she could find a Hide to supplement
Second Sight pseudo-stealth, especially if you already have several
imbued with Inspire in play. If she turns up at a time when you're
desperate to shore up against a vote deck or other moderate to heavy
stealth predator, or just want to block some mandatory hunts without
spending your Second Sight, pulling Illuminate by surprise could make
a pretty big impact, in a low-intercept environment.

If you can find a way to put her in and out of play multiple times,
she can theoretically gain multiple powers (although she still can't
have more than one copy of the same power). Currently, I think this
could only happen if she came back into play after being contested, so
it's not something you'd plan for.  Still, be aware of the
implications, so you can take advantage of them if the situation comes up.

The Nurse is also the only imbued to have only one virtue, but with
her special and the innocence cards available, she's still a nice fit
for many imbued decks. Many could include just one copy of her and a
single Inspire for her to retrieve from the deck when she enters play.
Paying 3 pool for a minion who just takes an action to gain a pool
each turn is not terrible compared to the hunting Blood Doll tactic
employed by many players - and it doesn't even take a master phase
action. She could still employ some of your other tricks just by being
an imbued, and Edge Explosion can let her play with some of the more
exclusive toys in your deck.

X. THE HUNTER'S EDGE (Focus on the Virtues)

Virtue of the Month
Name: Inspire [NoR:R]
Cardtype: Power
Virtue: Innocence
[ACTION] [1 CONVICTION] +1 stealth action.
Add a counter to an imbued in your uncontrolled region or move the
conviction you paid for this action from your ash heap to any imbued
in play.
Artist: Thomas Manning

The imbued can often have a hard time bloating. Two of the best pool
gain cards, Blood Doll and Minion Tap, only work with vampires. The
imbued have other tricks, however. This card parallels Fourth
Tradition and Founders of the Ebony Kingdom, though for obviously a
lesser effect (one counter instead of three or four). However, it's
reusable, has a dual purpose, and is not restricted to "younger"
imbued. The cheap imbued can help bring out the others and then devote
themselves to pool gain (much like hunting blood dolls in other decks
- but with no Master slots devoted to it).

In addition to pool/transfer gain, you can transfer conviction cards
to other imbued, allowing you to build up one minion with enough fuel
to use an expensive power or take on an elder vampire in combat.

XI. TOOLS OF THE HUNT (Focus on the Library)

Library card of the Month:
Name: The Church of Vindicated Faith [NoR:R]
Cardtype: Master
Cost: 1 pool
Master: unique location. Requires a ready imbued.
When an imbued successfully performs an action, tap this card to move
1 blood from the blood bank to an imbued in your uncontrolled region.
Artist: David Day

As Inspire compares to Fourth Tradition, so does The Church of
Vindicated Faith compare to Ecoterrorists or Arcane Library. The
Church is cheaper, but the counter gained is dependent upon a
successful action each turn. The Church is also not creed-specific,
which is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you can tap it to add a
counter to an imbued of any creed. On the other hand, if more imbued
decks begin see the light of day, it will contest across the creeds as
well.

XII. ON WHOSE SIDE DO YOU STAND? (Mixed crypts)

Traitor of the Month:
Name: Alan Sovereign [Promo-20051001]
Cardtype: Vampire
Clan: Ventrue
Level: Advanced
Group: 3
Capacity: 6
Discipline: for pre AUS DOM
Advanced, Camarilla:
While Alan is ready, you may pay some or all of the pool cost of
equipping from any investment cards you control.
[MERGED] During your master phase, if Alan is ready, you may move a
counter from any investment card to your pool.
Artist: Leif Jones

Alan Sovereign has a great asset to the Ventrue and loyal to the
Camarilla during the recent storylines, but since Nergal's recent
victories he may be willing to seek alternative means to end the
infernal threat. His ability to finance equipment directly from
investment essentially cuts the cost of those cards in half. With the
Angel of Berlin offering an opportunity to equip without an action and
Vast Wealth or Moise Kasavubu to find them out of your library,
several of your imbued can be quickly armed with potent weapons at
minimal cost.

Alan's merged abiliy also helps you to gain pool directly from the
investments, and his basic text adds an extra counter to each one,
allowing you to gain even more power for your pool. Combining him with
Wall Street Night turns Secret Horde into a potent bloat tool.

Alan can also play Deflection and Conditioning, as well as Telepathic
Misdirection and a variety of other cards to further your strategy. He
can commit diablerie, burn Smiling Jack, and prevent you from losing 5
pool when Ancient Influence is called. All in all he works wonderfully
well with the imbued.

XIII. TAKE BACK THE NIGHT! (Decks)

Decks of the Month:

Deck Name: Hello Nurse!
Description: Heavy bloat and weenie swarm with Donate for heavy
hitting.

Crypt [12]
------------------
2x Travis "Traveler72" Miller  4 mar def  Martyr:4
2x Jennie "Cassie247" Orne 5 inn jud vsn Visionary:4
2x Inez "Nurse216" Villagrande 3 inn  Innocent:4
1x Liz "Ticket312" Thornton 2 inn red Innocent:4
1x Leaf "Potter116" Pankowski 4 inn red vsn Redeemer:4
1x Xian "DziDzat155" Quan 4 def inn Defender:4
1x Maman Boumba 	 4 inn mar Martyr:4
1x Earl "Shaka74" Deams  6 jud mar vsn  Visionary:6
1x Pedro Cortez 	 4 mar ven Avenger:4

Library [90]
--------------------
Conviction (18)
React With Conviction x6
Strike With Conviction x6
Second Sight x6

Masters (18)
4x Angel of Berlin
4x Effective Management
2x The Church of Vindicated Faith
2x The Barrens
2x Information Highway
1x Vox Domini
1x Secure Haven
1x The Rose Foundation
1x Unity

Events (5)
2x Edge Explosion
1x Nightmares Upon Nightmares
1x Torpid Blood
1x The New Inquisition

Powers (28)
16x Donate
2x Illuminate
6x Inspire
1x Project
3x Hide

Ally (4)
1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1x Vagabond Mystic
1x Moise Kasavubu
1x Wendell Delburton (Hunter)

Equipment (4)
1x The Crusader Sword
1x Meat Cleaver
1x Laptop Computer
1x Orb of Ulain

Action (2)
1x Arson
1x Bond

Combat (6)
2x Fake Out
2x Inflict
2x Boxed In

Reaction (5)
4x Determine
1x Poison Pill


Decks of the Month:

Deck Name: Weapons Cache
Description: Alan Sovereign supplies the imbued.

Crypt [12]
------------------
2x Travis "Traveler72" Miller  4 mar def  Martyr:4
2x Jack "Hannibal137" Harmon 4 def jud Defender:4
2x Francois "Warden" Loehr 3 def jud Judge:4
1x Marion "Teacher193" Perks 4 red jud Redeemer:4
1x John "Cop90" O'Malley 4 jud ven Avenger:4
4x Alan Sovereign (Adv)  6 for pre AUS DOM Ventrue:3

Library [90]
--------------------
Masters (17)
6x Secret Horde
6x Angel of Berlin
2x Illegal Search and Seizure
2x Church of Vindicated Faith
1x Blood Doll

Conviction (16)
4x React With Conviction
6x Strike With Conviction
6x Second Sight

Event (8)
3x Dragonbound
3x Edge Explosion
1x The Unmasking
1x Torpid Blood

Power (14)
2x Champion
4x Rejuvenate
4x Vigilance
4x Discern

Equipment (9)
2x Leather Jacket
4x Assault Rifle
2x Submachine Gun
1x Crusader Sword

Ally (4)
3x Moise Kasavubu
1x Political Ally

Action (8)
2x Arson
3x Bum's Rush
3x Ambush

Combat (9)
3x Imprison
2x Boxed In
2x High Ground
2z Caseless Rounds

Action Modifier (1)
1x Conditioning

Reaction (4)
2x Deflection
1x Poison Pill
1x Delaying Tactics

Thanks for reading!

Witness1
-ItE





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