Let’s begin by talking about some general Romulan gameplay elements. In Version 4, The Romulans operate much differently than the Federation. Whereas a Federation player can only expect to field special technologies after producing a number of vessels, a Romulan player has no such predicament.
As mentioned in previous newsposts, the initial Romulan technology tree is relatively flat. Most of the technology options you need to build a strong base fleet are available from the start. Of course that doesn’t mean you can build every option – ships, refits, and technologies still cost resources and time, Centurion!
But Praetor, you might ask, why does a Centurion get access to such gifts so early? The answer lies with your combat ships. Romulan combat vessels are built for specialized tasks, granting them superb strength and purity. With a large advantage in the form of that pre-installed cloaking device, arrogant Romulans don’t need to worry about having generalist, master-of-none, warships. Instead, particular ships are built so that you can pre-determine the course of a battle.
The unrefitted Generix for instance comes equipped with a special passive - Falcon Doctrine. We’ll go into the faction-specific Doctrines in more detail in later newsposts, but for now all you need to know is that this passive enables the Generix to deal 100% increased damage to long-ranged units. Consequently, if you predict your opponent is going to build some longies, field some Generix!
Cloak and powerful specialized passives come at a cost however. Most Romulan vessels are relatively slow or have weaker baseline offensive capabilities than you might expect. This is where the strength of the flat technology tree comes into play.
The allround Generix is as fast as a Saber. However, the Generix is medium ranged and has a limited arc. Once the Saber gets access to Hyper Impulse Drive, good luck keeping up with the Saber for long. As a consequence, the Generix has quick access to the Arlterium Burst special technology. It’s in fact not uncommon to have access to this technology by the time you have just a few Generix. When triggered, this unique device hits up to four targets, creating a build-up of unstable particles within plasma conduits and other critical engine technologies. This build up lasts for 15 seconds (numbers always subject to change). If any of those targets happens to fire a weapon while in close range of its target during this time, particle instability will reveal itself and generate an engine core shutdown.
This technology thus allows a Generix to catch its prey, even if the quarry might originally be faster. Like most powerful Romulan abilities, however, Arlterium Burst is not a sure-fire victory. If you aren’t close enough to your target, or don’t get close enough before the build-up is dealt with, you aren’t going to trigger that catastrophic engine failure. Furthermore, your opponent can simply choose to go to Green Alert, disabling all weapons and preventing the overload from ever triggering.
Next time we’ll discuss the role of the unrefitted Rhienn!