❖ Chief O'Brien
Rule hint for this card
This card has an clarification:
See once per turn.Taken form Glossary - Version 1.9.5.
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 Nov 27th, 1999.
This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:
- Previous "Romulan Review" (# 88): "RR #88: Senator Cretak".
- Next "Romulan Review" (# 90): "RR #90: Understanding Artifacts".
Aefvadh! Much to the chagrin of my friend Tomek, I've never been much of a fan of holographic personnel. The only Romulan holograms available, Tomek and Jera, were too much trouble to use in premiere days, with no Romulan holodeck-equipped ships (the Husnock Ship was the only choice) and no sure access to Holo-projectors in time to make hologram use predictable. The appearance of the Decius in Alternate Universe made it a little easier, but only the advent of Q’s Tent in Q-Continuum made holograms really easy to use, by making it fairly certain that you could get the ship, the staffing and/or the Holo-projectors event early on. But by then, I was too set in my ways and never felt much incentive to work with the holo-people - after all, only the Federation had holograms with enough skills to make it worthwhile. Until Blaze of Glory came out, that is, with the most highly-skilled hologram yet...
If you weren't looking carefully at this card, enough to notice his holographic icon and universal symbol, you'd think this was a normal personnel card. With two highly-sought-after personnel types, three other useful regular skills, a "once each turn" download, and even a staff star, this green-bordered knock-off of a Federation main knocks the holographic socks off any Federation hologram. None of his skills have even been seen on a hologram before!
His ENGINEER classification is matched by Dr. Leah Brahms, but the Chief's SECURITY skill is a more useful complement than Leah's second dose of ENGINEER skill - since they're both universal, just play more copies for more ENGINEERs, and get more SECURITY at the same time. You'll be glad you have both for all the Berserk Changelings, Center of Attentions and Gravimetric Distortions you'll encounter these days.
Transporter Skill becomes more vital with every expansion; it's the only way to avoid ship damage from Orion Syndicate Bomb (at least until we get some Orian Syndicate personnel). And a glance at dilemmas like Stellar Flare should convince you of the necessity of multiple Navigation skills in any crew. The Chief has one more "hidden" dilemma-passing skill; the new definition of "any" in the Current Rulings says that Chief O'Brien, despite the lack of "Miles" in his name or lore, is still "any Miles" and can nullify "Pup".
His most unusual skill, for a hologram, has to be Music. It could prove useful for passing space-borne Crystalline Entities, especially if Lore is in play - you may not have SHIELDS > 12, but with few other sources of musical Romulans, a couple of Chief O'Briens could save your entire crew. Of course, the first thing anyone thinks of in connection with Music skill is Ressikan Flute. The Flute deck, once the exclusive province of the Federation, who had the only universal Music personnel, became a little less "blue" when the Bajorans and Cardassians came along with Rase Norvan and Ghoren, and now can be pure green with an unkillable universal Music.
His staff star is only the second staffing icon found on a hologram (Paul Rice has a command star) and since a Romulan fleet usually consists of C/S/S warbirds, an extra staff star will always come in handy.
Finally, his special skill will give your Romulan capture deck a special touch: each turn, he can download Brainwash to a captive at his location ("here"). No brig needed. Put a Chief O'Brien on each of your ships, and no matter who picks up a captive, you can Brainwash him on the spot to start working for you.
Now, just let me blow the dust off my Decius and Holo-projectors...
The Major's Combos:
- Chief O'Brien x3 + Taris + Tamarith + Galen + Ressikan Flute: The five big personnel types, with all sorts of useful skills like Archaeology, Navigation and Biology, and 30 Ressikan Flute points to boot. (Not quite pure green, but Galen fits a Romulan Treachery-Archaeology deck so well.) Add more O'Briens for more points.
- Chief O'Brien + Security Sacrifice: Sacrifice nothing (except an interrupt)...the Chief's SECURITY lets him substitute for any personnel present randomly selected to die. But as a hologram, he just deactivates instead, and pops back to "life" next turn, ready to repeat the process.
- Chief O'Brien + Holo-projectors + Romulan Shuttle + Brainwash + Prepare the Prisoner + capturing dilemmas: Take a captive with Cardassian Trap, then send the Chief on a shuttle to fetch him back, downloading Brainwash at the first opportunity. He can even capture a Kidnapped victim or a crew that had to Abandon Ship.