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Becoming One with the Borg - One of Nine

by Niall Matthew, Guest Writer

28th February 2013

V.R. borg


"Fascinating Isn't It? Not a he, not a she, not like anything you've ever seen. An enhanced humanoid..."

The past year or so has been good to one of the oldest affiliations in First Edition.

Making their debut in the 1997 expansion First Contact, The Borg changed the game forever. Abduction and assimilation, erasing Federation history, powerful ships and enhanced interaction, nobody was safe from one of the most iconic villains in Star Trek.

Fast forward 15-16 years and The Borg received a new lease of life. Shades of Grey introduced the first printable version of the Borg Queen (giving easy access to a fundamental play/draw engine) Resistance is Futile gave new incentives to assimilate ships and counterparts, allowing The Borg to potentially win a game without ever scouting a mission. Her Majesty even reappears in her original (and best) First Contact persona in Homefront III, fully functional (I mean printable.)

However, the latest expansion from the Continuing Committee, Engage, witnesses the release of yet another game-changer: They Will Be Coming. Complimenting the TNG themed sets of recent, The Borg are now directly in the Alpha Quadrant. A juggernaught from the edge of charted space, now one step closer to achieving their single minded goal: Assimilate Earth and all those who stand in their way.

This series of articles will look at all aspects of The Borg affiliation. It will include the seed phase, their unique draw/play engines and their many strategies of assimilation. I will cater for new and experienced players alike, showing first timers of The Borg how to go round building their first deck, and hopefully inspire veterans of the affiliation to think of new exciting ways to cause mayhem on the spaceline.

Part 1: What to play?

"The Borg don't investigate... they assimilate..."

Just like many other affiliations, The Borg have multiple unique ways to win the game. Unlike other affiliations, they depend on Objectives to ensure victory. We'll start off on the basics and look at the different deck themes available.

Let's look at the standard 'solver' objectives. big dilemma

Basic Mission Scouting: Assimilate Planet, Establish Gateway, and Salvage Starship.

These are the three basic Objectives for The Borg and an ideal strategy for beginners to start. Establish Gateway seeds on the table so you're good to start scouting from turn one. A handful of missions can be targeted by Salvage Starship and 78 missions can be targeted by Assimilate Planet. Be wary of what missions you choose, a smart opponent will always take full advantage of mission stealing.
TIP: Complete one of each of the three above Objectives and then use Resistance is Futile on them for a 100 point win.

Harness Particle 010

This Objective targets your Outpost rather than the mission directly, and doubles the point boxes of subsequently completed Borg Objectives. Be aware though that if you don't stock enough of the correct 'probe' cards in your deck, the location will be slightly inconvenienced by the explosion of the Omega Particle.
TIP: Use 12 universal Space missions for 010, It may cost some extra seed slots and card plays to set up, but there will be fewer dilemmas to encounter. Complete 3 of these Objectives for a 150 point win.

Assimilate Homeworld

The nastiest of the 'solver' Objectives. By completing this, you assimilate any Headquarters the opponent played there AND any personnel matching the Homeworld's affiliation may not report to any outpost for the rest of the game. This can hurt the TNG Ferengi the most, as Ferengi Military Operations allows reporting to Outposts only. In order to complete this Objective, you will require a matching Counterpart at the Homeworld (they need not be there for scouting, remember this). Currently, the Borg have three printable counterparts; conveniently, one for the Ferengi and two for the Federation.
TIP: Assimilate Earth using either Locutus of Borg or Data of Borg, flip Population 9 Billion - All Borg, and then target Wolf 359 with Salvage Starship for the 2 mission win.

Of course, The Borg are more known for their need to assimilate all things biological and technological, which brings us to the 'Intrusive' Objectives used for victory.

Assimilate Counterpart

This Objective can potentially earn you up to a whopping 45 points, if you target the right personnel. You don't even need to stun the target in order to abduct them. Throw in A Willing Companion or two and you'll potentially be earning standard mission points per counterpart.
TIP: Have Borg Data Node at the ready to keep track of your current target moving around the spaceline.

Assimilate Starship

O face Resistance is Futile introduced a nice incentive to use this formally redundant card; Contingency Plan. This Dilemma allows you to score 35 points if you successfully complete this Objective. However, Transport Inhibitor is popular at the moment so it is best paired with Undetected Beam In to bypass that nasty piece of Equipment.
TIP: Combo Contingency Plan with Undetected Beam In and Cytherians. Use UBI to Download (In this order) two STRENGTH + 2 drones, First and finally Third and Fourth, then Special Download Maturation Chamber to the ship to report reinforcements if needed.

Reassimilate Lost Drone

This Objective is somewhat a wild card, as you are not guaranteed that the opponent will have a non- [Borg] Borg in play. However, being worth 5 points per skill dot and the Delta Quadrant relying on such personnel (Seven of Nine, One and the Borg trio) it's certainly worth a slot in your tent. Oh, did I mention that you don't even need to battle with this Objective? You just need to be at the same location as the target.
TIP: Be aware of persona rules when targeting with this Objective.

Assimilate Species

Is your opponent playing too many Personnel with Continuing Mission? Then this card is the solution. Ensure you 'have the bigger stick', then unleash a personnel battle against the opponent. If you probe correctly, then all those stunned personnel of the target species are yours.
TIP: Combine this with the Incident Add Distinctiveness to earn points for each skill dot on all personnel you assimilate. This Objective even compliments with Contingency Plan.

So there you have it, a brief outline of the many available ways that The Borg can assimilate their way to victory. You can stick to one way, or you can mix and match the Objectives as you with,


Part 2: The Seed Phase
We shall look at the setup of the spaceline, Dilemma combos fit for a Queen, and the top 5 must have seeds you need to include in every Borg Deck.

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