canon borg

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canon borg

Post by geon » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:21 pm

Last year I wrote a number of articles outlining my ideas for a canon shiplist and gameplay for BOTF for a number of races. Due to the forum crash these were subsequently lost. Fortunately, I managed to save most and will now start to resend them on this forum for those modders interested in looking at my ideas, and for general discussion.

The first to be resent will be the Borg
(special thanks to Siggi for locating this article, since I was having trouble finding my copy).

Future installments will be the Cardassians, Ferengi, Klingons, Romulans, Dominion and Federation, in that order.

Enjoy!!


Canon Borg

(Apologies for the length, but as usual, I’m trying to be thorough!!!)

As the Borg appear to be the ‘flavour of the month’, I’ve decided to put the remaining ‘canon’ articles (Federation, Romulan and Dominion) on hold and concentrate on our cybernetic friends. Hopefully, the following suggestions will help allow budding modders to construct their own Collective and introduce the rest of the galaxy to a state of ‘perfection’.

Since the Borg are not an original race in BOTF, we’ll be starting from scratch with the ship list. As usual, I’ll be referring to Ex Astris Scientia to provide a template to work from, http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/schem ... _ships.htm, but will be altering this list based on screen evidence.

As many readers will probably be aware from my previous posts, I advocate an initial slow development for the Borg, changing into accelerated tech development with the adoption of tubule nanoprobe assimilation. I also view the different looking cubes in the series and movies as evolutionary developments of the cube design ie: class 1, class 2 etc.

Other readers take a different approach, and see the slow development of the Borg progressing throughout their on screen time, and see the cube as basically one ship type, the detailing differences being due to increasing funds for special effects.

So, to be fair, I will cover both points of view in this article, and allow the modder to choose which path his mod will follow (or make up his/her own tech scheme based on the information presented here).

So, let’s start with our ship list. The generic classifications in the game are as follows.

Scout
Destroyer
Strike Cruiser
Cruiser
Battlecruiser
Dreadnaught

Colony
Transport

Outpost
Starbase

Let’s see if we can fill in the ship slots. Since we’ll be looking at both theories (‘one type’ cube and ‘evolutionary’ cube ideas) concerning cube development, we’ll essentially be developing two ship lists.

Scout

The smallest Borg vessel seen on screen is the scout cube in TNG ‘I Borg’. We get to see it, or at least a part of it, when the away team beams down to the planet. The following dialogue describes a similar ship:

RIKER We've picked up a vessel on long range scanners, headed this way. Picard knows very well who it might be.
PICARD Analysis.
DATA The vessel is traveling at warp seven-point-six. Mass: two-point-five million metric tons, configuration: ...cubical.
RIKER The Borg...
DATA Its dimensions indicate that it is a scout ship similar to the
one that crashed.
http://www.twiztv.com/scripts/nextgener ... ng-523.txt

Since the small cube we see on the surface cannot weigh 2.5 million metric tons (unless made from some incredibly dense material), we must assume that what we see is a broken off fragment of the entire vessel. So the full ship might be two or three or more times larger than the ‘piece’ we see. Since it turns up near Federation space, we must assume either a long range, or the ability to use transwarp. Another possibility is that these scout cubes are carried by larger ships. Crew is at least 5 drones.

These will be the first ships available to the Borg player. They should have reasonably affordable maintenance and building costs to enable the Borg player to build up a reasonable number for defence. This gives the Borg a fighting chance in the early game. They will be superior to player scout classes, but outclassed by larger ships.

For the upgrade, I suggest the scout sphere from ‘First Contact’. Said to be also seen in Voy ‘Survival Instinct’ and ‘Unimatrix Zero’. Size is stated to be 450m, but could be smaller. Like the scout cube, the scout sphere can be carried on larger vessels.

Destroyer

For the destroyer class of Borg vessel, I suggest the probe as seen in Voy ‘Dark Frontier’. Like its name suggests, these ships are best used to probe unknown territory for new Collective members. Long range is therefore mandatory. Length is unknown, but in the episode, it looked to be about the same length as an Intrepid class, so perhaps somewhere around 340m.

In terms of firepower, it was the equivalent of Voyager.

JANEWAY [on monitor]: Is it? You've scanned our vessel. You know we can match your firepower.
http://www.chakoteya.net/Voyager/517.htm

So the Borg’s second ship class is already much more capable than player destroyer types.

The upgrade for the probe (probe class 2?) would have enhanced features in weapons, shields and range.


So far, both ship lists will be identical. From this point on, however, there will be differences (mainly due to the limited number of ship slots in the game â€" has anyone found a way of extending this?????)

Strike Cruiser

For the Borg strike cruiser class, we can choose the Diamond, first seen in Voy ‘Dark Frontier’. While used only by the Queen in the episode (perhaps a specially modified example), there is no reason why it could not also be a frontline type with the Borg fleet. It’s strike cruiser status seems confirmed by the large amount of torpedos it was firing at the Delta Flyer while in the transwarp conduit.

For the upgrade, the ‘one type’ list will have an upgraded Diamond.
For the ‘evolutionary’ list, the auto upgrade option will be turned off, and the slot taken by the large Sphere type, first seen in Voy ‘Drone’. In that episode, the type was described as:

ONE: Long-range tactical vessel. Transwarp capability. Ablative hull armour
http://www.chakoteya.net/Voyager/502.htm

So, we may call it a tactical sphere. Its characteristics include long range, transwarp and increased hull armour.

Diameter 600m.

Cruiser

In the ‘one type’ list, this is where we will put the tactical sphere mentioned above. The upgrade will be a straight improvement on the standard model (tactical sphere class 1 to class 2).

For the ‘evolutionary’ list, this is where the Borg ship seen in TNG ‘Descent’ will go. This is a massive ship, dwarfing the Enterprise in the episode, but not as big as a cube. Armaments and shielding are also superior to a Galaxy class, and it is transwarp capable. As an added bonus, you may make it able to build transwarp hubs.

For the upgrade, this ship can be turned into a multikinetic neutronic mine (see below).

Size is unknown, but judging by screen appearance, may be half as big as a cube.

Battlecruiser

In the ‘one type’ list, this is where we will put the ‘Descent’ ship and its multikinetic mine upgrade.

In the ‘evolutionary’ list, the cubes will make their appearance. The initial cube will be the Class 1 Assimilation Cube (as seen in TNG ‘Q Who’ and ‘Best of Both Worlds’). The upgrade will be the Class 2 Invasion Cube seen in ‘First Contact’.



Dreadnaught

In the ‘one type’ list, this is where we place the Borg Cube. The upgrade can either be the Tactical Cube, or you could disable auto upgrade and have both types.

In the ‘evolutionary’ list, the Class 3 Attack Cube (as seen in Voyager) will directly upgrade from the previous Class 2. The auto upgrade can be disabled, and the Class 4 Tactical Cube can be built along with the Class 3.

Colony Ship

This is a tricky problem. We know the Borg have planets (as seen in Voy ‘Scorpion’ and a borgified earth in ‘First Contact’). Do we assume that most were directly assimilated, or can the Borg colonise uninhabited worlds (for their minerals etc). We must assume that the very early Borg could initially colonise worlds on their own, before fully turning to assimilating cultures. This would provide an added safeguard in the game against being wiped out too early.

But the choice is up to the modders. If they choose not to give colonisation ability to the Borg, the ship slot can then be used for other vessels.

If colonisation is chosen as a Borg trait, what ship can we use? The only one left in the ‘Astris’ list is the borgified transport seen in ENT ‘Regeneration’.

Transport

Again, transports are up to the discretion of the modder. If used, they will act like normal transports in building outposts and starbases. Again, the Ent ‘Regeneration’ transport may have to be used (perhaps in a slightly different colour scheme).

Outposts

We don’t get to see Borg outposts in any of the series, so we have to do a bit of creative thinking. The best suggestion would be to use a small section of the unicomplex, and call it something like a unimatrix.

Normal upgrade for enhanced weapons, shields etc

Starbases

Here is where we put the unicomplex, the largest Borg space structure seen on screen (Voy ‘Dark Frontier’ & ‘Endgame’). This structure will have many unique features (see below). Being so large will also make it horribly expensive, so very few are likely to be built. But those that are constructed, will greatly aid the Collective in its development.

So, our two canon Borg ship lists look like this:

The ‘one cube type’ list is as follows:

Scout â€" Scout Cube, upgrades to Scout Sphere
Destroyer - Class 1 Probe, upgrades to Class 2 Probe
Strike Cruiser â€" Class 1 Diamond, upgrades to Class 2 Diamond
Cruiser â€" Class 1 Tactical Sphere, upgrades to Class 2 Tactical Sphere
Battlecruiser â€" ‘Descent’ vessel, upgrades to multikinetic neutronic mine
Dreadnaught â€" Borg Cube. The upgrade can be disabled, and a Tactical Cube can also be built.

Colony - Class 1 colony ship (borgified transport), upgrades to Class 2 colony ship
Transport - Class 1 transport ((borgified transport), upgrades to Class 2 transport

Outpost â€" Class 1 unimatrix, upgrades to Class 2 unimatrix
Starbase - Class 1 unicomplex, upgrades to class 2 unicomplex.

The ‘evolutionary cube’ list is as follows:

Scout â€" Scout Cube, upgrades to Scout Sphere
Destroyer - Class 1 Probe, upgrades to Class 2 Probe
Strike Cruiser â€" Class 2 Diamond, auto upgrade disabled, can build Class 2 Tactical Sphere
Cruiser â€" Descent’ vessel, upgrades to multikinetic neutronic mine
Battlecruiser â€" Class 1 Assimilation Cube, upgrades to Class 2 Invasion Cube
Dreadnaught â€" Class 3 Attack Cube, auto upgrade disabled, can build Class 4 Tactical Cube
Colony - Class 1 colony ship (borgified transport), upgrades to Class 2 colony ship
Transport - Class 1 transport ((borgified transport), upgrades to Class 2 transport

Outpost â€" Class 1 unimatrix, upgrades to Class 2 unimatrix
Starbase - Class 1 unicomplex, upgrades to class 2 unicomplex.

A note on money. We know that the Borg do not engage in trade or have an economic based society. So how do we simulate this in the game? Can we disable credits for this one race, and rename the slot as something like ‘production units’ or ‘build units’? Will this cause program problems for the other races when the computer tries to interact between the races? Will that cause more game crashes?

Or should we leave the credit slot alone? That’s a question for the experts!!

Another word on Borg weaponry. Standard beam weapons seem to be disruptors (these are mentioned in Voy ‘Scorpion’). Torpedoes are also used, but the types are not stated. Energy or plasma torps are certainly legitimate choices.

Canon Borg Gameplay

It can’t be stressed enough that with a race as powerful as the Borg (especially in the later game stages), game play balance must be paramount in every modder’s mind. Players will quickly tire of a mod where the inevitable outcome is being overrun by fleets of cubes. There must be a delicate balance between the advantages the Borg enjoy and the disadvantages that can be exploited by the other races to bring defeat to the Collective. Victory or defeat must not be subject to one side’s inherent and unavoidable overwhelming strength but by intelligent game play and the random occurrences and changes of fortune seen during every game, making each game unique. For these reasons, I think that only experienced players should play this race.

Let’s look at the Borg’s advantages:

ADVANTAGES

Borg Queen â€" The Borg Queen is described as coming from Species 125 (Voy ‘Dark Frontier’), so appears early in the Collective’s history. She acts as an Empire wide morale booster (similar to a Klingon Great Hall, Mizarian Hall of Surrender or Federation Council) except that victories or defeats do not raise or lower morale when she comes into existence. She keeps the Collective on a constant high morale plateau, allowing it to survive and bounce back from military setbacks that would cause other player races to dissolve into anarchy and rebellion. While she lives, morale is always permanently high. The difference between her and the above mentioned buildings is that she cannot be sabotaged or destroyed (with one exception, see below). If she does die in a turn, a replacement can be activated from any remaining Borg planet or unimatrix after a set number of turns (to be determined by the modder). Alternatively, a Queen chamber will have to be built before the next Queen appears.

Transwarp Conduits â€" The development of transwarp travel via conduits will give the Borg a tremendous mobility advantage over other races. They can strike at enemies from distances from which an opponent will not be able to retaliate. As stated in one of my previous posts, initial transwarp conduits could be like wormholes, being random in where they end up on the map, initially allowing only one ship transit. And probably also temporary, closing after a time. Borg attacks during this phase will be ones of opportunity ie: wherever the conduit happens to appear near a worthwhile target. Possibly, only the largest ships (ie: cubes) will be able to access them.

With the development of transwarp hubs (if this is possible with the BOTF engine), conduits will become permanent and can be anchored to where they end up. As the tech levels increase, more types of ships will be able to access them. Further technical increases may see multiple ship numbers being able to travel in them. Borg offensives would then become planned affairs.

Given that there are only six hubs in the entire galaxy (Voy ‘Endgame’), the number that can be built in BOTF should also be limited. Depending on map size, they could be:
Small map â€" 2 hubs maximum
Medium map â€" 4 hubs maximum
Large/Huge map â€" 6 hubs maximum

Assimilation â€" Assimilation is both a blessing and a curse (see below under disadvantages). As a blessing, this raises ALL tech levels of the Collective to the standard of the target. For example, if the current Borg tech stats are:
Biotech 4
Energy 5
Computer 3
Propulsion 3
Construction 2
Weapons 3

and the Borg are able to assimilate a Voth ship of stats:

Biotech 3
Energy 3
Computer 6
Propulsion 5
Construction 4
Weapons 4

then those stats superior to the current Borg figures will be assimilated to the Collective ie: the Borg stats will now look like:

Biotech 4
Energy 5
Computer 6
Propulsion 5
Construction 4
Weapons 4

Lower stats than current Borg levels will not affect the tech numbers.

Note that until a race is fully assimilated, the Borg can benefit by regularly ‘harvesting’ more developed ships from the target race (similarly to normal players waiting till a minor has fully developed before luring them into an alliance so as to benefit from their already built unique structures. The difference is that the Borg immediately benefit across the board in one turn).

Tubule Nanoprobe Assimilation - For those following my idea of tubule nanoprobe assimilation, the development of this technology will see a dramatic increase in Borg assimilation rates. Whereas before a planet or ship may take 2 or 3 turns to assimilate, it now may take 1 turn. This has a domino effect in that technology is more rapidly upgraded, leading to easier further assimilations leading to further technology and so on. This will allow the Borg to out research and eventually outbuild the other major races.

The Picard Factor - If it’s possible in the current game engine, when the Borg assimilate a Federation ship for the first time, there is a percentage chance that they make Picard a drone (alternatively, if they assimilate the Enterprise for the first time). This will last for a predetermined number of turns (depending on the modder). During this time, all Federation ship movements and fleet destinations will be visible to the Collective. This will be invaluable in planning attacks and intercepting single or small groups of ships.

Multikinetic Neutronic Mine

SEVEN OF NINE: (re: graphic) A multikinetic neutronic mine. Five million isoton yield.
http://voy.trekcore.com/episodes/season ... voy069.txt

This appears to be the most powerful individual Borg weapon. When developed, the Borg can use it to destroy whole systems and fleets. The schematic shown in Voy ‘Scorpion’ part 2, shows a similar shape to the rogue Borg ship seen in TNG ‘Descent’, with what look like engine nacelles. So this may indicate that it is a mobile weapon. It is possibly a development of the ‘rogue Borg’ ship .We never see these ships in an active capacity in the Borg fleet ever again after this episode. The ship type may have been developed into a mobile bomb when other ships, such as spheres, were able to do its functions more efficiently.

In the game, the rogue ship type could upgrade to the Multikinetic Neutronic Mine, keeping its armaments for defence, but having the capacity to detonate in a given area. This could be a planetary system, or space with an enemy fleet. If the ship survives one round of combat, it detonates in the following turn and destroys itself and any enemy fleets or systems in that space.

It could be effective against the 8472 bio-ships, but the trick is to survive the round of combat!

Maturation chambers â€" The development of maturation chambers (biotech) will increase the population growth of the Borg by a certain percentage (to be worked out by the modder).

Powerful later ships â€" The introduction of cubes will herald Borg supremacy in ship to ship combat. No single vessel of the player races or minors (with the exception of the 8472 bioship and the possible exception of the Edo Guardian) will be able to stand on an equal footing with these vessels. One cube can engage a star base with a good chance of success. This forces the Borg’s opponents to group their ships into large fleets to have any chance of survival. This in turn leaves their empires systems less well guarded, providing the Borg with increased targets of opportunity.

Surrounded by powerful minor races â€" While this is initially a big disadvantage (see below), in the later game (when the Borg are strong enough to take them on) it can be quite an asset. Delta Quadrant races on the whole seem to be technically superior to their Alpha, Beta and Gamma Quadrant counterparts. Minors like the Voth, Krenim, and the ‘Caretaker’, can bring great technical benefits when assimilated (rapidly raising tech levels right across the tech board). This, together with nanoprobe assimilation (if used) will lead to a Borg technological and territorial explosion.

Fast and long ranged Ships â€" In TNG ‘Q Who’, the cube slowly but surely overtook the Enterprise (then the fastest ship in the fleet). With the development of gravimetric drives, Borg ships will be faster and longer ranged than any of their contemporaries.

Adaptive shielding â€" I’m not sure if the current BOTF engine will be able to simulate this. With regard to ships, enemy weapons will lose effectiveness over each combat round (unless countered by rotating phaser frequencies). Adaptive drone shields, when developed, could be simulated by giving the Borg greater ground combat bonus stats (like the Angosian Super Soldier Academy). But see below on hand to hand combat.

Non dependence on food -
BEVERLY
“The Borg don't ingest food, their implants can synthesize any organic molecules their biological tissues require. What they need is energy.â€

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Re: canon borg

Post by h_w_s_b » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:37 pm

geon wrote: Scout

The smallest Borg vessel seen on screen is the scout cube in TNG ‘I Borg’. We get to see it, or at least a part of it, when the away team beams down to the planet. The following dialogue describes a similar ship:

wow dude, that is one long post. i'll have to finish reading it at a later time! :lol:

but as to the smallest borg ship: there was one in an episode of voyager that looked sort of like a hotdog that was flat on two sides. it was right when voyager started trying to steal a transwarp coil, and was only seen in that episode. if i recall, it may have even been smaller than voyager itsself. they (voyager) beamed a photon torpedo on board in an effort to disable it, but the resulting explosion was enough to destroy the entire vessel (the torp was too close to the drive section or something).


edit: ack, i see you addressed (i think) this ship in the destroyer section. please correct me if i'm wrong.

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Post by snapper421 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:12 am

wow youve done your home work i thnk tough the engine for botf probably cant handle all this its a realy old game ive worn out three disk almost four i would have to agree about the smallest vessel the trans warp probe is the smallest seen it was equle to voyager but the scout cube made the enterprise run and hide well i hope someone can work on the engine to make some of the changes youve suggested cause im still haveing fun playing this game

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Post by siggi » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:00 am

Geon,

glad you posted this one up again :-). Good work on this. There are plenty of really good ideas for developing a Mod with the Borg. Even though I must agree with snapper421 in part, there are some things I doubt can be implemented with the game's engine and mechanics. But reading your post I feel somewhat itchy to try... lol.

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Post by geon » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:51 pm

Thanks for all the support Siggi! More articles are on the way!

Hopefully, some programmers in the community will one day be able to upgrade the game engine to its full potential. I am reminded of all the difficulties with getting the phasers to work on new ship models, but that problem was eventually solved by some talented community members. Perhaps all these current game limitations will also find solutions (fingers crossed).

I understand the bulk of all these difficulties could be overcome by knowing the game source code. Any news on that front?

What about the 'Birth of Empires' engine? Is that more readily adaptable to extra race characteristics or is it as limited as vanilla BOTF??

To snapper421,
I have to respectfully disagree about the probe being the smallest Borg ship.
When we first see the scout cube wreckage in TNG 'I Borg', http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/ ... org017.jpg
it looks to be about the size of a shuttle.
Ex Astris Scientia descibes it as "a small ship of the size of a shuttle, manned with five dronesâ€

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Post by Iwulff » Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:38 am

Sorry to say, but you will never be able to overcome all the problems that BotF has. BotF2 needs to become an enhanced version of BotF, it needs to be designed with gameplay upfront. No weird ideas that sound good initially, but turn out to be bad afterward. Even if you would put the Borg in as you want to do, it would probably become an all against one game, everytime you play it.

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Post by count23 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:23 pm

What about the rogue borg ship that Lore's drones used? That was larger then a galaxy class, that could fit the strike cruiser role quite easily, turn the diamond into a command cruiser, the Cube and Tactical cube become heavy cruiser and dreadnaught respectively.

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Post by geon » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:04 am

Hi Count23,

At present, it's unclear whether the ship operated by the Rogue Borg is an actual Borg design.

As Picard notes in TNG 'Descent' Part 1,

PICARD: Number One, I want you to analyse our sensor readings of the Borg ship. Try to determine if it was something they constructed or an alien ship which they captured. Then run an analysis of this subspace distortion they used to escape

Given that it is completely unlike Borg ships we have seen on screen (ie: cube, probe, sphere, diamond), it may well be an alien ship they took over and are currently 'Borgifying' (compare the original Federation shuttle in ENT' Regeneration', and the stages of its 'Borgification').

If such is the case, then the ship becomes the Rogue Borg's main vessel when they appear as a minor race in BOTF.

We never get to see the type operated by 'normal' Borg. But it does seem to have served as a template for their multikinetic neutronic mine (as seen in VOY 'Scorpion'.

Regards

Geon

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Post by count23 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:19 am

geon wrote:Hi Count23,

At present, it's unclear whether the ship operated by the Rogue Borg is an actual Borg design.

As Picard notes in TNG 'Descent' Part 1,

PICARD: Number One, I want you to analyse our sensor readings of the Borg ship. Try to determine if it was something they constructed or an alien ship which they captured. Then run an analysis of this subspace distortion they used to escape

Given that it is completely unlike Borg ships we have seen on screen (ie: cube, probe, sphere, diamond), it may well be an alien ship they took over and are currently 'Borgifying' (compare the original Federation shuttle in ENT' Regeneration', and the stages of its 'Borgification').

If such is the case, then the ship becomes the Rogue Borg's main vessel when they appear as a minor race in BOTF.

We never get to see the type operated by 'normal' Borg. But it does seem to have served as a template for their multikinetic neutronic mine (as seen in VOY 'Scorpion'.

Regards

Geon
geon,

We've seen borg in the past willing to sacrifice their ships for the "whole", so it stands to reason that their Multi-Kinetic Neutronic mine could have simply been an armoured ship designed to disperse the nanoprobe virus to species 8472. The yield was substantially higher then any sort of conventional mine (several light years IIRC) so it stands to reason that they would need a very large launch platform like a ship rather then a simple torpedo-sized mine to disperse this.

I'd say based on what we've seen with the Borg, this can be considered a legitimate ship design of theirs, rather then one they've assimilated along the way. Borg have a tendancy to dismantle technology to rebuild it in their desired configuration. And as described by Data in Q Who, simple gemoetric shapes are almost perfect since there are no individual sections to target such as a bridge or engine room.

While that statement doesnt support this ship belonging to the Borg, the Unicomplex is an unsymmetical collection of shapes, which does hint that this kind of ship design can exist in the Borg collective.

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Post by geon » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:09 am

I am aware of only one instance when the Borg willingly sacrificed a ship, and that was in VOY 'Scorpion' when a cube rammed a bioship.

SEVEN: Lower your weapons. We are here with your Captain's consent. It was necessary to sacrifice our vessel to protect yours. We have an alliance do we not?
VOY ‘Scorpion’ part 2

Since the situation was not normal for the Borg (ie: on the verge of extinction, and with the only hope on board Voyager, and also in an alliance for probably the first time in their history), their reaction may have also been atypical ie: sacrificing a whole cube to save an alien vessel.

We have seen the Queen self destruct ships in VOY 'Unimatrix Zero' to eliminate malfunctioning drones, but whether you can say that was a willing sacrifice or the Queen carrying out 'vermin control' is open to one's interpretation.

Seven's statement that the object was..

SEVEN: A multikinetic neutronic mine. Five million isoton yield.
VOY ‘Scorpion’ part 2

seems to clearly point to a mine rather than any modified ship, though whether that mine could be remotely controlled and moved, as suggested by the engine mounts, is unknown.

As you have stated, the Borg tend to favour symetrical geometric designs for their vessels. That this particular ship is not symetrical tends to favour it's non Borg origin. The only other non symetrical Borg ship we have seen so far has been the Federation shuttle undergoing 'Borgification' in ENT 'Regeneration'.

It's true that the Unicomplex is not symetrical, but this is a non moving structure, a collection of joined structures fixed in one point in space. All moving Borg ships (cubes, diamonds, probes, spheres) have been, to date, symetrical designs.

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Post by TurboC » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:34 am

Long post is LOOOOOOOOONG. :lol: Some ideas:

* Once the Borg have large cubes, I don't think any race could stand against them. Time and again ST glosses over the massive, ridiculous tactical advantage of the Borg (transwarp + size of fleet + adaptation + unified will) for the sake of plot convenience. So if you want the player to have large fleets of cubes etc, just know that it is totally unrealistic for them to be balanced against other races and would be for the sake of fun, not "realism", whatever that means.

* Many of the game mechanics could and should be adapted (sic) to the Borg:

- Tech could mainly come from assimilation. For instance, say the Federation player has a sizable fleet which the Borg are no match for, but the Borg player encounters a scout or undefended Outpost which they can easily destroy. Instead of just being an easy victory, assimilating the scout instead of destroying it could advance the Borg's tech levels.

- Tech could come from engagements with enemy ships, even from defeats. Or better yet, code this in as crew experience. As the Borg fleet fights more battles with enemies, they gain more adaptations which becomes a new base experience level for ALL crews from that point on. Maybe even have a common crew experience level for all ships.

- Assimilating the following things could give certain kinds of tech, or lean towards certain kinds of tech, like:
Scout: Propulsion
Destroyer: Weapons
Cruiser: Energy
Colony Ship: Biotech
Transport Ship: Construction
etc.
It wouldn't be exclusive, just lean toward those fields. And larger prizes = more tech. Tech gains would be commensurate with the tech level of the captured ship.

- Borg could be adept at takeover of colonies and adept at resisting takeover of their colonies. Morale of the borg planets should always be 100 (like Unification in Master of Orion 2, no morale boosts or penalties.)

- Whether or not they need food, Borg Biotech levels should significantly boost their population growth (cybernetics / regeneration.) This would also have the effect of making them more resistant to enemy orbital bombardment.

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Post by count23 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:51 am

geon wrote:I am aware of only one instance when the Borg willingly sacrificed a ship, and that was in VOY 'Scorpion' when a cube rammed a bioship.

SEVEN: Lower your weapons. We are here with your Captain's consent. It was necessary to sacrifice our vessel to protect yours. We have an alliance do we not?
VOY ‘Scorpion’ part 2

Since the situation was not normal for the Borg (ie: on the verge of extinction, and with the only hope on board Voyager, and also in an alliance for probably the first time in their history), their reaction may have also been atypical ie: sacrificing a whole cube to save an alien vessel.

We have seen the Queen self destruct ships in VOY 'Unimatrix Zero' to eliminate malfunctioning drones, but whether you can say that was a willing sacrifice or the Queen carrying out 'vermin control' is open to one's interpretation.

Seven's statement that the object was..

SEVEN: A multikinetic neutronic mine. Five million isoton yield.
VOY ‘Scorpion’ part 2

seems to clearly point to a mine rather than any modified ship, though whether that mine could be remotely controlled and moved, as suggested by the engine mounts, is unknown.

As you have stated, the Borg tend to favour symetrical geometric designs for their vessels. That this particular ship is not symetrical tends to favour it's non Borg origin. The only other non symetrical Borg ship we have seen so far has been the Federation shuttle undergoing 'Borgification' in ENT 'Regeneration'.

It's true that the Unicomplex is not symetrical, but this is a non moving structure, a collection of joined structures fixed in one point in space. All moving Borg ships (cubes, diamonds, probes, spheres) have been, to date, symetrical designs.
geon:

In the entire history of the Borg we've seen, they've NEVER designed things to use the ships or technology of others, they've always created their own or assimilated other technology and reshaped it as their own. There is no reason they'd use an "alien space ship" that is not of their own design as a mine layout.

It is also possible that the Borg ship Hugh's rebels used was a mine layer or some sort of Borg ship that they stole. Considering how few Borg there were with Lore and how they wre trying to act as individuals, it seems unlikely they would assimilate someone else's ship and convert it to their own purposes.

Regardless, i believe the Diamond is better suited to be a command cruiser then a strike cruiser considering we've seen the Diamond carry the queen and spearhead every Borg attack, rather then firing on planet surfaces, Cubes have done the job of strike cruisers in the series. Particularly at J-25 and on the Neutral Zone, and the colony at the start of Best of Both Worlds.

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Post by geon » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:04 pm

Hi Turbo C,

You have some interesting ideas for the Borg. I would hope that if a game ever got to the stage where the Borg player was building large numbers of cubes, the other players would ally and start co-operating with each other for sheer survival. That would be an interesting game of diplomacy and shared strategy.

Hi Count23,

You are quite right that the Borg don't use the unmodified ships of other races, but modify them for their own uses. But since this particular group of Borg is not 'normal', but disconnected from the Collective, they may have lost this modifying ability.

Hugh's Borg were originally on a scout cube.

PICARD: What is it, Number One?
RIKER: We've picked up a vessel on the long range scanners, headed this way.
PICARD: Analysis.
DATA: The vessel is traveling at warp seven point six. Mass two point five million metric tons. Configuration, cubical.
RIKER: The Borg.
DATA: Its dimensions indicate that it is a scout ship similar to the one that crashed. Interference from the star's radiation will shield us from their sensors. We should remain undetected until they enter the system.
PICARD: How long do we have?
DATA: At present speed they will arrive in thirty one hours seven minutes.
TNG ‘I Borg’

This is the ship Hugh beamed out to at the end of TNG 'I Borg'. What happened next is described by Lore.

LORE: No, you did that. You and your friends. All I did was clean up the mess you made when that Borg you befriended returned to his ship.
DATA: Hugh interfaced with the others and transferred his sense of individuality to them. It nearly destroyed them.
TNG Descent’ Part 2

LORE: What's important is what I've done here. How I found my calling. I know now why I was created. No one can ever take that away from me. Without me, they would have perished. When I stumbled on their ship, they were lost, disoriented, they had no idea how to function as individuals. They couldn't even navigate their own vessel. They had lost their sense of purpose. I gave them their purpose. And they gave me mine.
TNG ‘Descent’ Part 2

This seems to indicate that their were heavy losses in drones and material on this ship. Their ship was barely functioning. Perhaps they had lost the ability to interface with the ship's systems, like regular Borg. If this is true, they needed a ship they could fly manually.

Whether their original scout cube was discarded or incorporated into this new ship is unknown.

We simply don't know the origin of the ship used by the Borg in TNG 'Descent'. It may be as you say, a Borg design (which is why I've used it as a cruiser or battlecruiser in the canon Borg shiplist). However, if Hugh's Borg did lose their ship interface function, it is unlikely they would be able to operate another Borg vessel. It's non Borg origin may also be indicated by the fact that it has windows and viewports, which are not seen on any other Borg design.

But being so different in design from other Borg models we have seen compels me to look at possible alternative explanations.

We do know that this ship did NOT come from Ohniaka Three.

RIKER: We've received a distress call from the Ohniaka Three Outpost. They said they were under attack.
PICARD: Ohniaka Three? There's no strategic value to that outpost. Were they able to identify the attackers?
TNG ‘Descent’ Part 1

Ohniaka Three is a Federation outpost, so that is definitely not the ship's origin.

We can only speculate on how Lore and these Borg comandeered such a large vessel. Perhaps it answered a distress signal sent out by the crippled scout cube, and was overcome. Lore has been shown to be extremely devious in taking over ship systems. Even though these Borg were limited in number, their new ferocity in battle may have been enough for victory. The fate of this ship's crew is also unknown. If Hugh's group retained their assimilation knowledge, they might have turned some into drones to pilot the ship. Or they could have beamed them down to a planet. We just don't know.

I've also had another look at the similarity between this ship and the multikinetic neutronic mine seen in VOY 'Scorpion'. The general shape is similar, so there is some kind of relation between the two. But the main hulls are totally different. The 'Descent' ship is angular, squarish, with viewports and windows, like a regular ship. The 'Scorpion' mine design's hull is more rounded and fully solid, like a Borg hull.

We can go two ways with this. We can say that:

a) The Descent ship is a bona fide Borg design, and that the differences between it and the mine are due to the different roles each vessel performs (ie ship and mine)

or

b) The Descent ship is a vessel from a race that has previously been encountered by the Borg (hence its appearance in their databases). The mine is a 'Borgified' version of one of their ships. This would explain the differences between the two (and satisfy the modifying rule for captured non Borg technology). The non symetrical shape might be rationalised by the fact that it is a weapon and not a crewed vessel.

The choice is up to you the reader. These are just guidelines. If you have your own theories, by all means use them.

I placed the Diamond as a strike cruiser because it's size was intermediate between a destroyer and cruiser. Also, the large amount of torpedoes it was firing during VOY 'Dark Frontier' satisfied a strike cruiser's characteritics in the game of having a lot of topedoes.

That I don't consider it a command cruiser is for the simple reason that it is not normally used as one. In VOY 'Dark Frontier' the Queen states categorically that their presence is not really required for the attack, and that she is going only to show Seven of Nine the assimilation of new drones. This is in fact the only time on screen that a Diamond has been seen in a Borg attack.

The Queen doesn't seem to normally leave the unicomplex that often, so an intermedaite size vessel like a Diamond, rather than a cube, would be more 'efficient'.

Cubes could certainly function as strike cruisers (I'm assuming that by the term 'strike cruiser' you refer to their specific anti planet characteristics). But battlecruisers and dreadnaughts work just as well in an antiplanetary role in BOTF (better in fact).

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