What a Card: Keras

Being a look back at cards from the Star Trek CCG, and what I thought of them back when they were fresh and new... in EPISODE order. We've seen the ship from Balance of Terror, now for its commander.

EXPANSION: The Trouble with Tribbles

PICTURE: Purples and pinks are, as usual, terrible colors, but the red lighting on Keras' face (and the red sash) make the background less distracting, more a part of the whole. The worried face is perhaps a bit cramped, but I think it gets the Gal'Gathong's dire situation across well enough. A strong image at 3.5.

LORE: Interesting that they would call him a strategist right off the bat, rather than going into the usual rank (commander, in this case). I like it though. Both full sentences are strong, giving us not only his motivation, but also the line about calling Kirk a friend in another reality. Lovely bit of lore. Another strong feature is the name they've given to this hitherto anonymous "Romulan commander". Keras is Sarek reversed, and we all know Mark Lenard played both characters. An excellent 4.5.

Being Kirk's counterpart on the Romulan side, I daresay he deserves the Leadership x2 skill. Not only does it mirror Kirk's, but it was quite clear he could lead his men into a suicide mission without being disobeyed. The Honor he certainly showed by dying rather than surrendering, all the while respecting his opponent. That fortitude of character also shows up in his high Integrity. The other two standard skills, I don't really know about. Astrophysics may be useful in operating the cloak, but Navigation would have seemed just as legitimate. Geology? Not in his only episode, I'm afraid, unless they're talking about his destruction of Federation outposts built inside asteroids(?). These aren't impossibilities for such a character, but there's just no real proof of it. Too bad. The special downloads are sound, with Engage Cloak going to the commander of the first ship to bear such a device (to our knowledge), and the Auto-Destruct actually being used at the end of the episode. The attributes mirror Captain Kirk's exactly, again because they are basically counterparts, and since they countered each other move for move, events do support this claim. I think they went a bit far afield in the skills department, but the rest works well enough. A 3.4 here.

STOCKABILITY: A strong OFFICER, he'll legitimize any OS Romulan strategy. There are very few OS Romulans, but throw in some AUs that can report to the OS ships (with Crew Reassignment), and you could get something working. His skills will help in any number of situations, whether it's dilemma encounters (Leadership x2 is excellent), space missions (Astrophysics) or planetary ones (Geology). All of these, and even Honor, can be found on relevant dilemmas and missions. The Romulans have little need of Honor, of course, but they can find a use for it (Historical Research, Khitomer...). Skills on OS personnel aren't just skills either, they can be shared with a Classic Communicator. Oh, and Keras can give himself SECURITY (and STRENGTH 10) by using a Classic Disrutpor too. Downloading Engage Cloak saves one seed slot to be sure, though you'll need Keras out before any of your cloakables if you want to go that route. Auto-Destruct, in the meantime, is one of those cards that is over-reliant on specific circumstances, so a special download for it is the best way to get it into play. Keep it Tented for when you get boarded, for example. This brings us to Keras's ship, the Gal Gath'thong. OS ships are notorious for their weak attributes, but Captain's Log and Dedication Plaque can boost them. In this case, the small cloaker goes as high as 7-10-9 and can download Keras himself. Great attributes too, and with his friend The Centurion present, they're even better (9-10-9). Strongly skilled, though the special downloads aren't THAT interesting. I'll give it a 3.9.

TOTAL: 15.3 (76.5%) As we'll see, 0.2 more than his counterpart.



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