Captain's Blog: The Neutral Zone
Posted February 16th 2020 by Rahvin

“Matters more urgent caused our absence.... Yes, we have indeed been negligent, Captain, but no more." – Tebok, ‘The Neutral Zone’.

Welcome to my latest article on my Trek through Star Trek Customizable Card Game First Edition as I develop and test a solo version. This week, as I finish off my first ‘season’ of topics, I’m taking a D’deridex cruiser to Romulus as I discuss all things The Next Generation Romulan, from the Affiliation in general, to base Missions and other important cards. 

Romulan Affiliation: Romulans have existed in almost all the various incarnations of Star Trek, appearing first in The Original Series with ‘Balance of Terror’ where the Romulan Commander was played by Mark ‘Sarek’ Lenard. They are most prevalent in The Next Generation and then Deep Space 9, and are hugely popular. This is especially true after they were re-imagined for TNG and evolved into a culture that is all about subterfuge and manipulation.

In the CCG they are represented with Personnel that have fairly high STRENGTH, very low INTEGRITY but very high CUNNING. They have a good range of skills and Classifications, especially OFFICER and Treachery, although like Klingons, can be short on MEDICAL. The Romulan Affiliation has standard attack restrictions to other Affiliations so can be aggressive when they wish.

Romulan Personnel: A massive selection, from the unique Personnel that have Treachery, such as Tomalak or Sela, to members of the Romulan Dissident movement of Ambassador Spock, such as Kharic or D’tan, with higher INTEGRITY. There are lots of standard OFFICERS such as Toreth or Taris (amusingly played by the same actress, Carolyn Seymour) and some very useful universal Personnel such as Mengran.

Romulan Ships: The The Next Generation standard is the D’deridex cruiser which matches the Federation USS Galaxy or the Klingon Vor’cha, and there are some unique versions that are even more powerful, such as the Khazara. Apart from this however, the Romulans only have a few smaller craft such as the Science Vessel or Scout Vessel. This means that the staffing requirements to get your Romulan fleet moving are greater than usual.

Romulan Base Missions: To maximise the commonly available Romulan skills of OFFICER and Treachery, I often use Covert InstallationSteal Technology, Investigate DestructionAdvanced Combat Training and Recover Prisoner. Cloaked Mission, set on Romulus, is also good with HQ: Secure Homeworld and although not sourced from The Next Generation, Supervise Dilithium Mine, set on Remus, can be excellent too.

Romulan Incidents & Objectives: There are 2 great ‘warp core’ cards in Always a Chess Game, or for fans of the Dissidents, The Romulan Underground. Both can seed at the start of the game, along with We Are Back. If you want to get the most out of espionage, then Plans of the Tal Shiar is an excellent Objective to see play.

Romulan Events and Interrupts: Some great choices that provide theme to Romulan decks and make you enjoy you subterfuge and manipulations, such as all the various Romulan Espionage cards that can play on virtually any Affiliation, but also Explain Your PresenceRomulan Ambush and Romulan "Reunification".

Playing Romulans: It’s very easy to play Romulans thematically by playing either: Office of the Proconsul or Continuing Committee (or both) on Romulus to get free Personnel for your Romulan Ships. A solo game pitting the traditionalist Romulans versus the Dissidents could also be very interesting...

If playing a traditional Romulan Opponent deck (Dissidents are not really ‘Opponent’ deck material), Romulans are the least reasonable Affiliation, particularly against the Klingons who (unless you’re playing those duplicitous Romulan conspirators Lursa and B’Etor) are their mortal enemy. I always examine the skills of a ship’s Commander (OFFICER with highest stats or Leadership) and if they include Treachery (which can be quite often) decide they would probably be offensive rather than attempting to complete a Mission – although this doesn’t always mean a direct attack... When it comes to battles, I think that Romulans are more inclined to stay in their superior D’deridex cruisers than go hand-to-hand and beam down an Away Team.

Next time, I’m embarking on a new ‘season’ of slightly longer articles, my versions of the Season 2 The Next Generation Bridge Crew and a discussion all about the Youth skill in the CCG...

My re-watch of Star Trek continues and I’m currently in the middle of Season 7 of The Next Generation and Season 2 of Deep Space 9. I Tweet my episode reviews on Twitter- so if you're interested in what I think about either, Follow me - @DWSSG01. Check out CardGameGeek for all my blogs in stunning colour too!

“Make it so...”

Captain's Blog is a weekly series on Star Trek Customizable Card Game First Edition Solo Play. Read the whole archive here.