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"Death... is Only the Beginning..."

by Kris Sonsteby, Staff Writer

6th September 2010

Assimilation... the very word conjures up horrific images of friends and comrades losing their identities, and changing -- in the blink of an eye -- into soulless beings bent on merciless domination. However, since the concept of taking command of personnel you do not own first surfaced in Call to Arms, the strategy has rarely been implemented. More often discussed than actually played, assimilation has long been relegated to “back burner” status for a myriad of reasons, most notably the counter-consuming setup inherently required, and the turns that are effectively wasted while beginning engagements and/or assaults. While both of these points are valid, the idea that assimilation can only work in a severely bloated, event-heavy draw deck simply isn’t true. Now that Peak Performance has been released, it can be just as effective, if not much more so, in a slimmed-down, concentrated build relying on the timely execution of an entirely interrupt-based method. As shown, with Unrelenting in tow, Borg players now have all the necessary tools to rain terror on your personnel without so much as wasting a single turn.

Utilizing a strategy that myself and fellow staff writer Kevin Jaeger have dubbed “drive-by assimilation,” the goal of the deck listed below is to catch unsuspecting personnel on a planet, assimilate anywhere from three to seven of them, and continue on your merry way with little wasted motion. To do so, you will need at least 5 points from Annexation Drone, who can either be played in your first few turns if drawn, or downloaded with Quintessence as needed. Once you have built up a crew consisting of the Borg Queen, Guardian of the Hive and roughly six to eight drones (preferably including at least one Evaluation Drone and one Preservation Drone), attempt Assimilate Resistance and interlink Biology or Exobiology to drone swap in as many copies of Harvest Drone as you can find and afford, based on the remaining personnel in your crew. Once you’ve got them in play, keep chipping away at Assimilate Resistance or your other primary mission, Find Lifeless World, all the while simply biding your time until an opponent attempts a planet mission and the trap can be sprung.

Once this happens, on your subsequent turn, fly your Sphere 634 over to his or her mission and swoop in with at least one copy of Reborn. This triggers the assimilation chain, wherein you should dump all of your Harvest Drones to snatch as many personnel present as you can, finally ending with a well-timed Unrelenting or two, which can be played off of the personnel taken via the game text on Assimilate Resistance, Dangerous Standoff, or even someone who only moments ago joined The Collective. Once that atomic bomb has been dropped, you’re free to fly back out to whichever mission you had been attempting, since few if any of your personnel were stopped in the mêlée, and resume your mission attempting efforts as normal while your opponent rebuilds. However, time will definitely not be on their side, given the game text on Transport Crash Survivor and the fact that you are now free to abuse Knowledge and Experience to overcome dilemmas while powering yourself to a two-mission win via the points provided from One With the Borg.

In summary, with the subtle boost provided by Unrelenting and all of the other tools at a Borg player’s disposal, the only safe assumption is that it simply isn’t going to be safe “out there” any more. Assimilation can hit hard and hit fast, and considering it is the only interactive strategy in the game with no currently-existing antidote, it should no longer be viewed as a passing threat, but rather as an imminent danger to all future away teams.

-djl-




Tournament Record:

This deck is currently eligible for the following family or families of achievements:

Decklist

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Missions
Headquarters
3S110•Unicomplex, Root of the Hive Mind
Planet
14U56•Ceti Alpha V, Find Lifeless World
3U99•Plot Invasion
Space
21V14•Alpha 5 Approach, Transport Crash Survivor
12U39•Wolf 359, Assimilate Resistance


Draw Deck (42)
Event
3U483x •One With the Borg
6P282x •Quintessence
Interrupt
4R893x Knowledge and Experience
4U953x Reborn
22V262x Unrelenting
Personnel
Borg
6P423x Annexation Drone
3R1232x •Borg Queen, Guardian of the Hive
3C1262x Computation Drone
3C1283x Evaluation Drone
15V273x Harvest Drone
3C1312x Invasive Drone
7U563x Observation Drone
3C1353x Preservation Drone
12R471x •Three of Nine, Tactician Drone
15V291x •Three of Twelve, Specialty Drone
12R481x •Two of Nine, Transtator Drone
16V321x •Two of Two, Adaptation Drone
Ship
Borg
14R1111x •Borg Queen's Vessel, Borg Flagship
5P393x •Sphere 634
Dilemma Pile (30)
Dual
8R11x Agonizing Encounter
10R22x An Issue of Trust
4C61x Back Room Dealings
14R12x Back to Basics
22V11x Code Forty-Seven
8U92x Dangerous Standoff
0VP92x Hard Time
22V41x Healing Hand
14C71x Moral Choice
17V91x Occupational Hazards
18V51x Polywater Intoxication
2C201x Racial Tension
3U262x Secret Identity
18V61x The Captain's "Guest"
13R201x The Dal'Rok
4R271x The Dreamer and the Dream
2C251x Timescape
Planet
12C51x Excalbian Drama
10C121x Necessary Execution
3U251x Rogue Borg Ambush
12U191x Vault of Tomorrow
Space
17V21x Causal Recursion
3R121x Gomtuu Shock Wave
22V31x Gravitational Anomaly
1R421x Personal Duty


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