RR #70: Office of the Proconsul
Office of the Proconsul
This Card-Review was written by Kathy McCracken and was published first on "Major Rakals Tal Shiar Headquarters (members.cox.net/majorrakal)" at Mar 11th, 1999.
This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:
- Previous "Romulan Review" (# 69): "RR #69: New Personnel Rating System".
- Next "Romulan Review" (# 71): "RR #71: Senator Vreenak".
Aefvadh! Since my very first glimpse of a headquarters card - the Cardassian Central Command - at the DS9 playtest, I've been waiting for the day when the Romulans would have their very own headquarters. I got my wish in The Dominion expansion...
OFFICE OF THE PROCONSUL
Like all headquarters cards, the Office of the Proconsul seeds or plays on the affiliation's homeworld. Romulus is the location of the Klingon-only Cloaked Mission. In return for the risk of getting your homeworld assimilated by the Borg, or having a Klingon opponent complete the mission before you can (with HQ: Secure Homeworld), you get a number of advantages conferred by the headquarters.
First, the headquarters allows you to report all your compatible personnel, ships and equipment, just like an outpost does. (Ships report in orbit.) Because it has no docking capabilities (headquarters facilities are located on the planet itself), it can't repair ships or extend SHIELDS to protect them. However, it has other important card-playing advantages that compensate for this: you may report certain personnel for free, or play HQ cards there for free, once per turn.
The list of personnel who report for free is so far a little short, but given the most recent DS9 episode it seems likely we can hope for at least one more (Senator Cretak). Here are the personnel who can report for free so far:
- Alidar Jarok (Admiral)
- Movar (General)
- Neral (Proconsul)
- Pardek (Senator)
- Senator Vreenak (Senator)
Mendak is not included, since his lore does not say he is an admiral. (His ship, the Devoras, identifies him as an admiral, but references to other cards are not allowed for such an identification, because the ship card may not be available to verify it.)
Of these, Senator Vreenak is by far the best, though Sela is a valuable but often overlooked personnel and Movar, interestingly, makes a good backup Anthropology for Vreenak, should you choose to build a deck around this increasingly-important skill. Tomalak, too, is coming into his own; not only is he the matching commander for both the Decius and the â�– D’deridex, he can complete Investigate Coup singlehandedly.
Any HQ card that plays on a homeworld can also play for free. Note that this leaves out HQ: Defensive Measures, which simply plays on the table. But it does give you HQ: War Room (which is not seedable) and HQ: Secure Homeworld. The first can give your Away Teams hefty boosts in CUNNING and STRENGTH, given that Romulan decks (especially classic Archaeology/Treachery decks) tend to be heavy on OFFICERs and SECURITY. The second allows you to attempt your homeworld mission without Espionage and with very easy requirements for Romulans, so the homeworld is not a "wasted" mission slot. If your opponent is foolish enough to bring an Away Team with non-Romulans in it to Romulus at the time you are ready to complete the mission, you may even acquire a batch of captives to interrogate or brainwash at your leisure.
Should you use a headquarters instead of an outpost? That can be risky; in addition to the prospect of assimilation and the lack of repairs and protection for ships, keep in mind that your opponent may also report compatible personnel to the Office of the Proconsul, including such Non-Aligned troublemakers as Lore and Roga Danar. (Good reason to beef up your Romulans' STRENGTH with that HQ: War Room.) Also, dilemmas that may be cured by returning to an outpost can't be helped with a headquarters. The headquarters makes an excellent backup to your regular outpost, however, with its own unique advantages, including immunity to destruction by The Sheliak.
The Major's Combos:
- Office of the Proconsul + HQ: Secure Homeworld: Complete your homeworld mission with requirements that are a snap for Romulans, without even wasting a seed slot for the objective.
- Office of the Proconsul + HQ: War Room + missions requiring lots of STRENGTH or CUNNING: With already high average STRENGTH and the highest average CUNNING, you'll need only a small handful of personnel to meet even requirements of > 40. And if your opponent is playing a Dominion personnel battle deck, you'll be especially glad of the extra STRENGTH.