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A Reappearance in the Neutral Zone

by James Cream, Staff Writer

4th November 2015

In the finale to the first season of The Next Generation, way back in 1988, we got our first glimpse of the Romulans as they would appear in the 24th century. "The Neutral Zone" revealed both the new Romulan ship design, the now iconic D'deridex class ship, and the design change of the Romulans themselves.

Thei

Two Romulans, in particular, featured prominently: Tebok and Thei. Where Tebok was the ship's commander and Thei was the second in command, ranked as a sub-commander. Both can be seen sitting side by side on the card We Are Back, which was their first appearance in Second Edition. Tebok appeared as a personnel card three sets later, in Strange New Worlds, but until today Thei has been mysteriously absent from the newer game.

Having them both together again, I really want to build a theme deck around this pair. It's too bad that they don't have a named ship to command, we certainly saw a ship (the universal D'deridex uses it's image) and not having it named on screen certainly hasn't limited design in the past. But Decipher didn't give Tebok the Commander keyword when he was released, so we would likely need a new version of Tebok to make this happen.

Stats wise, Thei is fairly impressive. At cost 2, he brings a decent amount of Cunning, at 6, and a decent amount of Strength as well, at 6 again, and then 5 Integrity. This last is mediocre, but still rather high for a Romulan. He'd likely work well as a supplemental personnel in any Strength or Cunning based Romulan deck. He also has a big star to help staff those big D'deridex class ships. But it's the ability that reveals what type of deck Thei is meant to be in.

Thei's abilty is to make player's choice selections on dilemmas be random selection instead. He does specifically state that this ability is used when your dilemma is being encountered, so this means that he needs to be at the opponent's mission using this ability on their turn during their mission attempt. This is very specific to the 'park a ship at an opponent's mission and obstruct them' type of interaction deck, but it also makes sense as so many of the D'deridex class ships work with that theme.

I personally like this ability a lot. There are many good dilemmas which have a good cost but allow the person attempting the mission to choose who is stopped, dilemmas like Pitching In, Command Decisions, and Kolaran Raiders. That's a major drawback of using those dilemmas as not only does that mean that the stop is less likely to be effective but there are many personnel in the game which can be unstopped or gain some benefit by being stopped. This is were Thei can really help out, making a good number of low cost dilemmas that much more effective.

My only real disappointment in this card, after not having a corresponding ship, is that there is no real benefit of playing Tebok and Thei together. Their abilities couldn't be more dissimilar. Tebok's ability, triggering when he is played looks more like a TOS ability to me, though it at least helps with manipulating the opponent's deck, a different Romulan deck theme. But perhaps that's just another reason to make a new Tebok.

 


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