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Promo-a-Week - A Tale of Two Telaks

by Paddy Tye, First Edition Creative Manager

2nd November 2020

Telak

First released in Q Continuum back in 1996, Telak seemed unassuming at first. Just a way for Decipher to add unusual new skills into the game. He was the second personnel to feature Tal Shiar (after Major Rakal in Alternate Universe) and was part of a wave of cards in Q Continuum to use a brand new skill: Cybernetics. Both of those skills had "baked-in talents", but we'll come on to those later...

Then in 1997, First Contact released, and that Cybernetics skill gained more use - defending against the Borg, as it was a requirement on the dilemma Borg Servo. Now stocking Telak could help you fight off assimilation!

Then in 1998, Deep Space Nine released, including HQ: Defensive Measures. This brings us to the first of those "baked-in talents". The Q Continuum Rules Supplement had stated: "Intercepted transmission indicates that Tal Shiar personnel allow Romulans present to initiate battle against other Romulans. Also, if no other leader is present, a Tal Shiar personnel may act as a leader for battle." ...HQ:Defensive Measures printed this talent directly onto a card, instead of being a "loaded rule". Telak could now be a leader in battle, and initiate battle against other Romulans!

Then in 1999, Rules of Acquisition released, and his Tal Shiar skill meant he was now a free play at the new Romulan Headquarters: Continuing Committee.

Then in 2000, The Trouble with Tribbles was released. Because he had SECURITY, Telak could now be downloaded using Defend Homeworld, so you could have him available from turn one!

Then in 2001, Holodeck Adventures released including Cybernetics Expertise: a new incident which "unbaked" the other previously hidden talent. The Q Continuum Rules Supplement had stated: "When Cybernetics skill is present where you report an android for duty, that android does not count as your normal card play for that turn." ...with this function now clearly printed on a card, Telak became more useful! With two free plays at Headquarters and a third with an Android, Romulan/Android decks had some decent tools available to them!

Then in 2003, Telak was the victim of identity theft! Decipher released a Second Edition set called Energize, featuring a card called Toraan - but that was the same guy as First Edition's existing Telak! As Toraan wasn't compatible with First Edition, it didn't really pose too much of a problem.

Then in 2012, the Continuing Committee released The Next Generation and Engage. Now TNG property logo decks were now seeing play - and given you could stack Telak's free Android ability TNG Romulans, those decks gained increasing popularity! But Engage also brought a First Edition version of Toraan. To solve the "re-used character" issue, Toraan was made the twin brother of Telak! So Telak gained a family member!

Earlier in 2020, the addition of Star Trek: Picard has left many fans scratching their heads. If Romulans hate androids so much, why would the Tal Shiar have an "Android Research" section? Well, clearly it's hard to defend against a threat if you don't know anything about it!

So now, as part of the Promo-a-week series, we see more of the continuing evolution of Telak, with the arrival of a new printable version of Telak with a high quality image for all you Romulan fans to enjoy!

Jolan Tru!


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