Card logging info: Logged by openCards team at May 1st, 2009.
This Card-Review article was written by Kathy McCracken and was published first on "Major Rakals Tal Shiar Headquarters (members.cox.net/majorrakal)" at Jan 22nd, 2000.
This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:
Aefvadh! One thing about The Next Generation that disappointed me was the relative lack of Romulan episodes and how little we saw of Romulus in "Unification." Imagine my joy when I saw "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" with the impressive Continuing Committee of the Romulan People -- and my disappointment in the realization that the Romulan headquarters card had already been made. But it turns out I needn't have fretted over it, because Rules of Acquisition treated us to a second Romulan headquarters...
The first unusual feature of this headquarters is that, unlike all the others, it does not allow free play of HQ cards. No matter, because its second unusual feature allows it to share the homeworld with the Office of the Proconsul, directly overriding the normal rule that you can't establish more than one facility at a location. So if HQ card plays are important to your strategy, you can still get those free plays by using both headquarters. Either headquarters will allow all your Romulan-compatible personnel and ships to report (ships in orbit).
Who can report for free to the Continuing Committee? Any personnel with Tal Shiar skill (plus "any Neral"), which currently includes:
- Koval (V.I.P.: SECURITY, Treachery, Tal Shiar x2 (when )., Exobiology, Your Tal Shiar may report here.
- Lovok (OFFICER: Tal Shiar, Computer Skill, Navigation, SCIENCE, Transporter Skill
- Major Rakal (V.I.P.: Tal Shiar, Empathy, Treachery)
- Neral (V.I.P.: Treachery, Youth)
- Parthok (ENGINEER: MEDICAL, Leadership, Tal Shiar, Computer Skill
- Senator Vreenak (V.I.P.: Diplomacy, Tal Shiar x2, Anthropology, Leadership, Law, Any Romulan treaty
- Telak (SECURITY: Treachery, Tal Shiar, Cybernetics)
- Vakis (V.I.P.: Tal Shiar, MEDICAL, Biology, Treachery)
Sorry, Jaron is not included; while a rank or title that is not a skill can be determined from lore for reporting to a headquarters, any card that calls for a feature that is an actual skill requires that skill be present--lore does not equal skills. (Although Second Anthology has not yet released, I've taken the liberty of including Koval, the chairman of the Tal Shiar himself, because the card has already been announced and shown.)
The weakest card is Neral, who can also report to the Office of the Proconsul. (Hopefully, "any Neral" is an indication that we'll eventually get another version of the Neral persona in the guise of Praetor Neral.) The rest... well, what can I say--they're Tal Shiar! They have six of the seven personnel types, lacking only CIVILIAN, plus lots of desirable skills like Exobiology, Biology, Diplomacy, Empathy, Navigation and Computer Skill, and even the very rare Law skill. Most have either a command star or staff star; over half have Treachery. Almost any Romulan deck can use several, so the ability to report them for free is a big plus.
Is it worthwhile to have two headquarters? As with all such choices, a lot depends on your specific strategy. But the Tal Shiar include some of the most powerful Romulan personnel, and while the free reports to the Office of the Proconsul are not as generally useful, they do include three OFFICERs to complement the overwhelming number of V.I.P. Tal Shiar, as well as three Diplomats (in addition to Vreenak who can report either place). With both headquarters and some form of extra card-drawing ability, you can easily report three personnel per turn.
The Major's FAQ Trivia:
Tal Shiar skill used to have a "built-in" function. What was that function, in which expansion set was it introduced and in which expansion set did it disappear?
In the Q-Continuum expansion, Tal Shiar skill allowed Romulans to initiate battle against other Romulans; if no other leader was present, the Tal Shiar personnel could act as a leader for battle. This built-in function was rescinded in the Deep Space Nine expansion, replaced by HQ: Defensive Measures which provided a similar function for all the "intelligence" skills.
The Major's Combos:
- Continuing Committee + Office of the Proconsul + HQ: Secure Homeworld: The HQ card itself and all the skills you need to solve the mission can play for free at the two headquarters. Add a play-for-free HQ: War Room to make the single-attribute total > 30 almost trivial.
- Continuing Committee + Koval: Once you report Tal Shiar chairman Koval for free to the Continuing Committee, take your pick for future Tal Shiar reports - to the headquarters for free or "in the field" to Koval using your card play.
- Continuing Committee + Major Rakal: Any facility that lets me report for free has to be good. :-)