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Becoming One With The Borg: Two of Nine

by Niall Matthew, Guest Writer

21st March 2013

V.R. borg

IDENTIFICATION: PART TWO OF NINE
TASK: Analyse the seed phase.
BIOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVENESS: Scot.

Welcome back to Becoming One with The Borg, the extensive series looking at all aspects of the Collective.

Part One of Nine gave an overview of all the different Objectives the Borg have available to them (except two, which will be dealt with in a future article).

In this part we shall look at the seed phase in detail. Missions, Dilemmas, other seeds, strategy; all aspects of this phase will be covered to help you lay the foundation necessary for achieving perfection.

MISSIONS:

“Their space is vast, thousands of worlds...”

Star Trek CCG unfortunately can’t support a thousand Mission spaceline so we’ll begin by choosing the six that will work best for your deck. What do you choose? At first glance The Borg may seem like they’re not restricted in what Missions to select, but that is not the case. While other affiliations can simply look at matching affiliation icons, The Borg need to take multiple factors into consideration.

The first thing to consider above all else is point boxes. A non-Borg deck would typically have 35+ point missions on the spaceline to achieve a three mission win. Assimilate Planet requires a 35+ point planet to complete, so sticking to 35 point planets is a no brainer (you don’t want your opponent sneaking in a steal before you get to it).

Space missions are different. Establish Gateway does not have a point restriction, so potentially any space mission is yours for the taking. 35+ space missions are of course risky, but can be defended with cards like Sphere Encounter. Try going for low point space missions like Samaritan Snare.

Another factor to take in is span. Two of Nineteen gives you unlimited access to Transwarp Conduits, so combining this Drone with Locutus’ Borg Cube and Divert Power, you give yourself a whopping range of 24! Your opponent will be struggling through your 5 spans missions while you fly circles around the opposing ships. (Don’t forget to violently hum the action theme from The Best of Both Worlds while you move your ship, this is very important.)

V.R. borg

Now onto the Icons. This is only useful for the ‘solver’ decks. Are you using a Counterpart in your deck? Are you assimilating planets, homeworlds, or scouting the depths of space? Now is the time to consider using missions matching that counterpart’s affiliation. Service the Collective will allow you to probe on the same turn you scout as long as you have a counterpart matching one of the affiliation icons on the mission. This can certainly make a difference in winning or losing, as it saves one turn per mission, and is definitely one of the more popular strategies to use.

Remember, Borg Cubes and Spheres aren’t the only useful resources in The Collective’s vast armada; Borg Scout Vessels can create some truly unique scouting techniques. Try making a spaceline of all 4 quadrants so it’s less likely that the opponent will disrupt you while you establish a gateway or assimilate a planet. Be wary though, as Scout Vessels can be tempting targets for attack with their point boxes of five and low shields. If your opponent is away to make a move on you, return the Scout Vessel back to hand via Space-Time Portal and simply report it again on your turn (with crew). Leisure quadrant hopping shouldn’t be a problem if you have multiple Transwarp Network Gateways in play.

Another strategy that has recently gained notoriety is the infamous ’12 Space’ deck. They Will Be Coming has provided a means for the Borg to seed a ship without a facility, so it’s only natural that spacelines like this will crop up. The advantages of such a spaceline are obvious. Space can be inserted anywhere in the spaceline so the Borg can easily separate the opponents missions from 4 span to 20 span. When seeding 12 Space in the Mission phase, you need to keep a close eye on what missions to separate. You can separate them all, or you can keep them in pairs. The latter option requires more strategy. You need to anticipate multiple things; what affiliation the opponent is playing, which mission specialists does that affiliation have, can the opponent get 50 points on these Missions using specialists, and if so: is it possible to keep them in pairs and somehow disrupt those points using Dilemmas. This Mission style works best with either Harness Particle 010 or a full throttle interactive ‘let’s assimilate every personnel the opponent has’ type of deck.

In this situation though, there is a chance that the opponent will be playing 12 Space as well. I hear you ask ‘what happens in a game like this?’ (through the Ferengi Bug hidden under the table to your left). If you’d like to know what happens in such a game, please see this tournament report. Definitely the most epic, craziest game I have ever played.

It doesn’t have to be all serious with Mission selection. The fun thing with the Borg is that the opponent will not know who you are playing until the final seed phase when you reveal your Incidents or Facilities, so why not try using a standard Federation solver spaceline using Explore Dyson Sphere and the like, or a typical Continuing Mission Klingon spaceline with those planets rife with Mission Specialist points, or you can even try a Dominion Alpha/Gamma spaceline. I for one enjoy the confused looks I often get from the opponent during this phase.

But what if the opponent is playing high point Missions? Then go for the steal! Trip your own Linguistic Legerdemain or Dead End on an opponents mission so you can probe without fear of the opponent taking the points first. (Note 2: Cards like Dead End, Edo Probe, and Linguistic Legerdemain prevent players from attempting missions, however they state nothing about preventing scouting attempts.)

DILEMMAS:

Now that the Missions are selected, let’s disrupt the opponent as much as possible!

We’ll start by looking at two Dilemmas unique to the Borg due to their [square borg icon thingy] (Note 3: The SBIT looks like this: [BO] )

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Borg Servo:

Hey yeeaah I’m Captain Picaaaaard, justa washing my fac… AAAARRRGGH!!!!”

A space/planet Dilemma released in the First Contact expansion, this has always been a solid one to use. Cybernetics is one of the rare skills in the game and with the resurgence in Android decks recently with Continuing Mission, the opponent will likely not risk their report engines by sending them to attempt Missions. The MEDICAL and Cybernetics requirements mean that it will also ‘stop’ the crew/away team if failed. The obvious benefit of this Dilemma is, of course, the assimilation of an opponent’s personnel. Combined with Add Distinctivness, you can score some potentially crucial points, or give the opponent incentive to attack your newly assimilated Drone (cough cough counter-attack cough cough)

Undetected Beam-In can be combined with Borg Servo as well. This can give you 5 Drones on the planet or ship, be sure to have your Assimilate Species at the ready (Or perhaps something just as disruptive).

Contingency Plan:

He may attempt to gain control of the ship. I wouldn’t let him”

This nice wee space Dilemma was introduced in the First Contact themed boutique set Resistance is Futile. It’s a great incentive to get a nice 35 points by assimilating an opponent’s ship. To fully make use of this Dilemma, it is recommended that you use 4 seed slots for this combo. First off, you want to get some Drones on the ship to scout (avoiding Transport Inhibitor) so Undetected Beam In would be a good start. This should now follow with Contingency Plan. The third Dilemma has to be Cytherians, as this will incapacitate the ship. This will prepare the ship for assimilation. However, you will need something else under the Mission so the opponent doesn’t simply complete it. Dilemmas like The Cloud, Gomtuu Shock Wave, and damage markers like Quantum Torpedo will stall the attempt further. Meanwhile, you can assimilate the targeted ship as it travels down the spaceline. You can use the transwarp cards once it is assimilated to make the remaining journey quicker. Just make sure you probe successfully before you reach the spaceline end to avoid giving the opponent 15 points.

The downside to this Dilemma is that you can’t assimilate everything in the game. If the Kazon encounter it, that ship will be immune to attack, but you can beam on and assimilate non-Kazon if needed.

Other types of Dilemma combos that can be effective are ‘point loss’ or ‘stalling’ combos. Here is a list of Dilemma combos I used in a recent tournament as an example.

This is only an example of what can be done to force your opponent to attempt one of the Contingency Plan combos early in the game. The Microbrain combo is best placed on the mission with the most affiliation icons for a potential 5 turn stall (I’ve seen it happen more than once) Few players will carry on the attempt after encountering Edo Probe, if they’re silly enough to continue, they will no doubt lose points. If they previously encountered Dead End and try again without the mission requirements, there’s a chance they may go back below 50 points and will have to try another mission! If you can bag yourself an opponents ship, then you simply need to complete a Salvage Starship and Assimilate Planet (combined with Resistance is Futile) for the win.

W.R. borg

NIALL’S TOP 5 CARDS TO SEED WHEN PLAYING BORG

So we’ve covered Missions and Dilemmas, now for the other seeds.

For this I’ve made a sexcellent list of the essential cards needed to make almost every Borg deck work fast.

  1. Transwarp Network Gateway.
    This Doorway can seed at any spaceline end meaning you can have access to a far greater stretch of missions (Or easier access to the opponent) early in the game, great for quadrant hopping, especially when combined with Transwarp Hub.
  2. Q the Referee
    This is pretty essential in case you don’t get your Queen in the opening hand, or if your opponent is playing some sort of speed capture deck. For these above problems, Q the ref will give you access to Obelisk of Masaka, Intruder Alert, or Reactor Overload. I personally seed two of these if I’m doing heavy downloading (discussed in a future article).
  3. Service the Collective
    As I mentioned earlier, this card is invaluable for speeding up your point scoring by a good couple of turns. You just need to ensure that your Counterpart is at the location when probing (he need not be there for the actual scouting).
  4. Mission Debriefing
    This Event is fantastic for stopping the opponent with Dilemmas which wouldn’t normally stop them. Edo Probe, Females Love Interest/Garbage Scow and Cytherians are great examples of Dilemmas to combine with Mission Debriefing.
  5. WAIT!!!!
    There are a couple of cards competing for the number one spot here!
    And they cannot be in play at the same time!
    So which one will claim the top spot? In the words of a C-list Frechman who played a Scotchman “There can be only one!”

Transwarp Hub and Unicomplex VS. They Will Be Coming

V.R. borg

FREE PLAYS:
They Will Be Coming:
A basic one universal drone per turn to any Borg ship, meaning you can report directly to Scout Ships, Spheres or even the Borg Queens Ship. However, your card play is still restricted to reporting on Cubes.
Unicomplex:
Any Queen, unique ship or Borg drone directly to the facility. This means you can use a lot more of the essential drones like ‘the Nines’ or ‘the Borg children’ without them clogging up your card play too much, Third and Forth can download Maturation Chamber to add another free report engine. Oh don’t forget, FREE BORG CUBES!
Winner: Unicomplex – Stronger overall free plays.
SEED SLOTS:
They Will Be Coming
One seed slot, simples.
Unicomplex / Transwarp Hub
Two slots
Winner: They Will Be Coming – One seed slot is certainly better than two.
SPACELINE ACCESSABILITY:
They Will Be Coming
Directly in the Alpha Quadrant with the option to seed a Transwarp Network Gateway on the other side of the spaceline, you just need the Transwarp Drone to get additional transwarp interrupts and doorways.
Transwarp Hub
The ability to move to another quadrant once per turn without needing to use gateways or conduits, however you are limited to one side of the spaceline when initially moving.
Winner: They Will Be Coming – Instant access to the Alpha Quadrant (don’t forget – hum The Best of Both Worlds action theme)
V.R. borg
DEFENSES
They Will Be Coming
You will need to build an Outpost on a later turn (Spacedock is recommended) leaving your ship exposed to attack for a few turns.
Transwarp Hub / Unicomplex
Two Facilities with a horrendous amount of shields! (I dare someone to add Strategic Base to one of them and then let out a supervillain style maniacal laugh)
Winner: Transwarp Hub / Unicomplex – Two impenetrable bases to begin your assimilation tactics.
EXTRA BENEFITS:
They Will Be Coming
ANY Borg ship! Combine Locutus’ Borg Cube with Federation Flagship: Recovered and Queens Borg Cube and you have an instant spare.
Unicomplex / Transwarp Hub
You have the option of seeding Eleven of Seventeen on one of the Facilities, protecting you from Computer Crash from turn one.
Winner: They Will Be Coming – The turn one ship in the Alpha Quadrant is certainly a damn to thing to have. (Regarding Computer Crash, simply seed Quark’s Isolinear Rods.)

OVERALL WINNER: THEY WILL BE COMING

It was a difficult choice, but this card gives the Delta Facilities a suplex they’ll never forget!

They Will Be Coming is most definitely the best thing since Barber Pole.

Well, that wraps up part Two of Nine.

Until the next part, I’ll no doubt see you gentlemen on Lackey.

Coming soon: Plays Engines – We’ll look at how to get those beautiful cyberneticy people into play.


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