RR #84: A Little Romulan Disruption
Romulan Disruptor Rifle
Enhanced energy rifle used throughout the Romulan Star Empire. Generates an elevated level of residual anti-protons which are detectable for several hours after firing.
This Card-Review was written by Kathy McCracken and was published first on "Major Rakals Tal Shiar Headquarters (members.cox.net/majorrakal)" at Oct 18th, 1999.
This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:
- Previous "Romulan Review" (# 83): "RR #83: Goraxus".
- Next "Romulan Review" (# 85): "RR #85: Assign Mission Specialists".
Aefvadh! One type of card that always seems to get overlooked when anyone writes reviews or card strategies is equipment. What could you say about the basic equipment cards? Most players abandoned them as soon as they got a better selection of personnel to provide the MEDICAL or ENGINEER skills they needed, and made up for lack of individual STRENGTH or CUNNING with sheer numbers. But the last few expansions have given us quite a few reasons to start toting equipment cards--dilemmas that need them to pass, extra points for having them present (or discarding them) at mission-solving time, Away Team battles that rely more on individual STRENGTH than totals, and Jem'Hadar opponents who can mortally wound many unenhanced personnel with one arm tied behind their backs. Let's take a critical look at one of the oldest and one of the newest pieces of Romulan equipment...
A LITTLE ROMULAN DISRUPTION
With the release of Blaze of Glory, the Romulans (and the Klingons) finally caught up to the other affiliations in terms of sheer firepower in their hand weapons.
Equipment, Common (Premiere)
"Directed-energy weapon used by Romulans and other races. Disruptor fire can be identified by a high residue of antiprotons that linger for several hours."
Romulan and Non-Aligned use only. Each of your personnel STRENGTH +2 where present. (Cumulative.)
Romulan Disruptor Rifle
Equipment, Uncommon (Blaze of Glory)
"Enhanced energy rifle used throughout the Romulan Star Empire. Generates an elevated level of residual anti-protons which are detectable for several hours after firing."
Romulan and Non-Aligned use only. Each of your personnel present is STRENGTH +3, but loses 1 Diplomacy unless aboard your ship. (Cumulative.)
Like all the non-Borg affiliations, the Romulans now have two flavors of disruptors (called phasers for the "good guy" affiliations, but they do exactly the same thing). Both may be "used" by Romulans or Non-Aligned personnel, meaning that if you have at least one Romulan or one Non-Aligned personnel in your crew or Away Team, all members of that crew or Away Team get the STRENGTH enhancement. So your Romulan/Cardassian Away Team under treaty gets full benefits for all the Romulan and Cardassian hand weapons they carry.
Pretty straightforward effects: the plain Disruptor gives everyone +2 STRENGTH, the Disruptor Rifle +3 STRENGTH, and both are cumulative (two Disruptors give everyone +4 STRENGTH and so on). So why would you bother with the Disruptor? Because the Disruptor Rifle makes your personnel less diplomatic if they are an Away Team--each personnel loses 1 Diplomacy (if they had any to start with) for each Disruptor Rifle in the Away Team.
Do your Romulans even need a STRENGTH enhancement? I never thought so before Dominion, because the Romulans were tied for the highest average STRENGTH with the Klingons (if you didn't consider Fek'lhr, a hologram who saw little use due to the lack of Klingon ships with holodecks). But the prospect of facing Jem'Hadar of STRENGTH 10 or 11--and Rogue Borg pumped up to 20 each with Lore and Crosis - has changed my outlook. One Disruptor Rifle can turn your normal STRENGTH 7, 8 or 9 Romulans (yes, many are that high) to 10, 11 or 12, putting you on an equal footing with the Jem'Hadar and even giving you a fighting chance of surviving those Rogue Borg long enough to bring in reinforcements.
Aside from any need for additional STRENGTH, there are plenty of other reasons to carry weapons. Here are a few:
- Captured: Lets you take a captive if you have more hand weapons present than your opponent.
- Sniper: Target one personnel present for each disruptor present, with a chance to mortally wound or stun them before the battle takes place (just having them in your deck can give you favorable probes for Sniper--an equipment icon gives you a "mortally wounded" probe).
- Kressari Rendezvous: A 25-point mission that can be worth 45 points if you have four hand weapons to discard there. (A Cardassian/Ferengi mission--use espionage or a Cardassian treaty deck to attempt it.)
- Berserk Changeling, Surprise Assault, Vole Infestation: All can be passed with one or two hand weapons.
- Common Thief: If you have an equipment card to discard, it saves you from having a personnel killed.
Your major worry will be Disruptor Overloads, which can wreak havoc with your armory.
So how do you choose which weapon to use? About the only time the Diplomacy drain of the Disruptor Rifle will matter to you is if you are carrying the rifles during a planet mission attempt where the mission requirements or any dilemma requirements include Diplomacy. (It could make it difficult to pass Shaka, for example.) If you're attempting a space mission, you're aboard your own ship where this clause has no effect; if you're participating in a personnel battle, Diplomacy isn't an issue. So the simple answer is: use both. Pack a couple of regular Disruptors down to a planet mission for fending off Berserk Changelings, while leaving the Rifles aboard your ship for heavy-duty protection against boarding parties.
The Major's Combo:
- Romulan Disruptor (or Rifle) x4 + Weapons Locker + Kressari Rendezvous: OFFICER + Treachery x2 is about as easy as they come for Romulans. Accumulate your arsenal by reporting them to a Weapons Locker aboard your ship while you do another mission or two, then head for Kressari Rendezvous and dump the weapons for an easy 45 points.