RR #21: Garak | openCards

RR #21: Garak

Garak

Cardassian male. Virtual player in the Vorta scenario testing the resolve of Alpha Quadrant species. Risked his life in the defense of his comrades.

Cardassian Cardassian icon & Non-aligned Non-Aligned icon  Personnel Personnel
Gender: male. Species: Cardassian.
Command & Staffing abilitys: Staff Alternate Universe
Classification: CIVILIAN
Skills:  • SECURITY  • Computer Skill  • Honor  • May replace anyone present randomly selected to die.
INTEGRITY: 7  CUNNING: 8  STRENGTH: 6

Characteristics: "Reshape the Quadrant"-related cards, Affiliation Cardassian affiliation, Affiliation Non-Aligned "affiliation", any Garak, Cardassian species.

Rule hint for this card

This card has an erratum:

Errata of his special skill: "present" instead of "here".

Game text of special skill before errata: "May replace anyone randomly selected to die here."

Taken form Glossary - Version 1.9.2.

Card logging info: First edited by at . One quality log by eberlems at Jul 28th, 2012. Please support openCards and validate game text of this card a second time!
 

This Card-Review was written by Kathy McCracken and was published first on "Major Rakals Tal Shiar Headquarters (members.cox.net/majorrakal)" at May 25th, 1997.

This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:

Aefvadh! While we're waiting for the final details of the Anthology preview cards to be officially released, let's take a look at the one card we've already seen. He has a completely new affiliation and a lovely bluish-purple border, both of which promise to complement Romulan green perfectly...

GARAK

Garak's first notable feature is his unusual dual "affiliation"- something of a misnomer, as "non-aligned" is, by definition, not an affiliation. But it has the advantage of allowing the early introduction of a lone character from a new affiliation, who is also usable by any of the existing afiliations, and can even be used to augment an all NA Away team for Qualor II Rendezvous. And given Garak's exile from Cardassia, it's even a logical choice for his card (he would repatriate to Cardassia if he could, but is non-aligned by necessity), not just expedient for gameplay. When the DS9 expansions appear and the Cardassians arrive as a full-fledged affiliation, he will be just as usable as any full Cardassian. His NA icon will also allow his inclusion in other affiliation decks, switching him for Cardassian "espionage", just as a Federation deck can now use Major Rakal plus NAs to "espionage" against the Romulans.

Since at the moment he can really only be used as non-aligned, how do Garak's skills shape up as advantages for the different affiliations?

He's another dual-classification personnel, both ones that are badly under-represented among the Romulans and, to a lesser extent, the Klingons. Garak is the first non-aligned SECURITY genuinely worth using since Roga Danar. The Feds are already well-equipped with strongly-skilled SECURITY personnel and so benefit little from Garak, but he's a real boon to both Romulans (1 decent unique, 2 so-so universals) and Klingons (2 good uniques, two universals with only Honor as a skill).

The Romulans have only two CIVILIANs (D’Tan and the fairly useless Stefan DeSeve), so gaining one that can double in such a crucial area as SECURITY is very important to tight deck-building. The Klingons already have 6 CIVILIANs, of which Kahlest, with MEDICAL skill, and K’chiQ, who can be given SECURITY, MEDICAL, or almost anything else, are probably more useful than Garak. Though the Federation has relatively few CIVILIANs, Lal (with her ability to double two other skills and he android capabilities) or Nikolai Rozhenko or Vash (with the rather uncommon - for Feds - Anthropology and Treachery) may be more useful.

Computer Skill is uncommon among Klingons and therefore quite useful; Romulans usually have plenty, but can use him in a deck with a lot of redundant mission requirements. On the other hand, the Klingons hardly need his Honor, while that skill is solid gold to the Romulans. His built-in "Security Sacrifice" should help either of these affiliations, who gain the function of that card without taking up a card slot, always helpful for affiliations who have trouble building a tight deck. He would also be a good backup SECURITY for the Feds if you want to be able to sacrifice one and still keep Worf's and Tasha's other skills.

How about stats? His INTEGRITY is as high as any Romulan's to date, and is even pretty good for a Klingon. CUNNING is high, excellent for the dullard Klingons and better than the average Romulan. STRENGTH is only moderate - it would be considered "good" only for the Feds - but Romulan and Klingon average STRENGTH is high enough that it won't hurt them, and the other stats more than make up for a lack here.

His AU icon, as usual, benefits Klingons and Romulans the most (with only 3 native AUs each) and Feds little (they have 9). He'll be a welcome crewmember aboard either the Decius or the Fek'lhr.

Garak finally gives the Klingons the ability to seed a Neutral Outpost (for his Cardassian affiliation) without wasting a card slot for an unusable personnel, as he will actually be used as non-aligned. Note that he gains nothing for the Feds and Rommies, if they are already using Rakal for that purpose; you are only allowed to substitute a Neutral Outpost for one affiliated outpost in the seed phase.

On balance, I give the nod to the Romulans as having the most to gain from Garak, with the Klingons close behind.

The Major's Combos: