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Subject: STAW Mythbusters: The Borg Sphere rss

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Richard Townsend
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I have seen at least a dozen posts about the Borg Sphere, and every one of these posts is littered with...

"The Borg are O.P. and unbalancing the game!"

or

"The Borg are perfectly balanced and you need to learn to play the game!"

I have decided, why not do a little research to prove/disprove this? And for this, I need input from the community at large. With your help, we can try and see what exactly we have in front of us, and how powerful it truely is

My first experiment is to pit a Naked Named cube vs a pair of generic B'Rel ships. They are exactly the same for point value.

Borg Sphere 4270: 6/0/7/7 - 40 points (Generic Drone)
Klingon B'Rel : 4/1/3/2 - 20 points x 2 (Generic Captain)

For the experiment, we will be taking out most of the variables...
Actions
Movement
Crits (all crits will be treated as generic Hits)

We are letting the dice do all the speaking. Even with all of this, the Sphere has the advantage in total Hull and Shields (6 to 7 and 4 to 7). The Sphere will focus to destroy one ship at a time. I will do this matchup 25 times and see where the dice lead us.

What I need from you are other scenerios to try. There are a lot of different options, but I am curious on what would best reflect the matchup.

Each Ship Target Locks? Klingons Cloak vs Borg Scan? Klingon Evade vs Borg Scan?

Give me your ideas below to test. Also, other ideas are more than welcome as well on match ups.

I would ask, however that this thread be purely about facts and experimentation. I would like to leave conjecture and anecdotes out of this. We too can playtest, and prove things for ourselves.
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Will Holsclaw
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General_Drazz wrote:

For the experiment, we will be taking out most of the variables...
Actions
Movement
Crits (all crits will be treated as generic Hits)



Wait, what?!

How is this a representative experiment? You're eliminating some of the most important variables there. Cloaking, Borg movement, 90-degree fire arcs vs 360-degree...

The way you have it set up, you may as well be testing two B'rels vs. a Jem'hadar Battleship.

I admire what you're trying to do here, but you can't ignore movement or fire arcs!
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Richard Townsend
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This is one part of the experiment, not the whole thing. please read the whole post.
 
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Richard Townsend
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Illyth wrote:
General_Drazz wrote:

For the experiment, we will be taking out most of the variables...
Actions
Movement
Crits (all crits will be treated as generic Hits)



Wait, what?!

How is this a representative experiment? You're eliminating some of the most important variables there. Cloaking, Borg movement, 90-degree fire arcs vs 360-degree...

The way you have it set up, you may as well be testing two B'rels vs. a Jem'hadar Battleship.

I admire what you're trying to do here, but you can't ignore movement or fire arcs!



You mean, I cannot ignore the human elements? Its a humans perception of strategy that decides where to move, and what action to take. Its a human element that decides which ship to attack. The Human Element is the largest variable of all of them. I am trying to start with just base facts, and work up from there. This will not be a one day thing. It will take a lot of ideas and a lot of testing.
 
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Will Holsclaw
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General_Drazz wrote:
This is one part of the experiment, not the whole thing. please read the whole post.


I did. You mention a variety of basic dice statistics to try out. Not a waste of time by any means, but I don't see how it addresses the Borg's most distinctive aspects--namely, movement, fire arc and upgrades.
 
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Will Holsclaw
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General_Drazz wrote:
Illyth wrote:
General_Drazz wrote:

For the experiment, we will be taking out most of the variables...
Actions
Movement
Crits (all crits will be treated as generic Hits)



Wait, what?!

How is this a representative experiment? You're eliminating some of the most important variables there. Cloaking, Borg movement, 90-degree fire arcs vs 360-degree...

The way you have it set up, you may as well be testing two B'rels vs. a Jem'hadar Battleship.

I admire what you're trying to do here, but you can't ignore movement or fire arcs!



You mean, I cannot ignore the human elements? Its a humans perception of strategy that decides where to move, and what action to take. Its a human element that decides which ship to attack. The Human Element is the largest variable of all of them. I am trying to start with just base facts, and work up from there. This will not be a one day thing. It will take a lot of ideas and a lot of testing.


Fair enough. But you need to consider that two B'rels might not always be able to trade shots with a Borg Sphere. A Sphere (especially with Sensor Echo) can be remarkably good at getting out of a 90-degree fire arc.

To accurately reflect this, you need to consider scenarios where (for instance) the B'rels can only get one shot for every two the Borg gets.

If you're going to scientifically test the Borg, you need to eliminate the variables common to all ships, NOT the variables that make the Borg different.

Otherwise, your experiment is flawed.
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Jared Voshall
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As the others have said, this experiment does nothing to demonstrate that the Borg Sphere is unbalanced, other than to say whether any ship of that type (high attack, low defense, high durability) is unbalanced. And, worse, you can resolve this question mathematically, as we know how many hits are scored with each attack (2.65 against the Klingons, and 2 per ship against the Sphere). This means that the Sphere will, on average, take out the Klingon ships in 4 rounds of combat, and will average with 1-2 Hull left by the end of the combat.

A better test would be a scenario where you take the appropriate number of ships (in this case, 1 V 2), and run a Tally Ho type of test, where you measure out how many tags the Sphere can get on the enemy ships (3 points for range 1, 2 for range 2, and 1 for range 3), then tally up how they compare. For a more thorough showing, you can map out all the movement setups, and compare how many scenarios work in the Sphere's favor versus the Klingon ships favor. But that takes a lot of work to map everything out properly.
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Allen Gould
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Magius wrote:
As the others have said, this experiment does nothing to demonstrate that the Borg Sphere is unbalanced, other than to say whether any ship of that type (high attack, low defense, high durability) is unbalanced. And, worse, you can resolve this question mathematically, as we know how many hits are scored with each attack (2.65 against the Klingons, and 2 per ship against the Sphere). This means that the Sphere will, on average, take out the Klingon ships in 4 rounds of combat, and will average with 1-2 Hull left by the end of the combat.

And "on average" isn't really useful - I think the number people would want to see is the breakdown (given that all ships are firing simulataneously) of how often the Borg is left standing vs. a Klingon left standing vs. simultaneous destruction.

It's obviously not the final word, but it is a good start to an objective comparison.
 
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Will Sanchez
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Theres really little point in begging the dice rolling question, because it's a thing that's common to every ship, not just the borg. If you want to bust the Borg, you have to do movement.

If you want to experiment with that, do a game on a 2ft by 2ft board with a planet in the center with the sphere setup in the center and the b'rels at varying start locations. Try to get the sphere in both of their firing arcs for 3 turns, and see how many turns total that takes.
 
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Richard Townsend
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delta_angelfire wrote:
Theres really little point in begging the dice rolling question, because it's a thing that's common to every ship, not just the borg. If you want to bust the Borg, you have to do movement.

If you want to experiment with that, do a game on a 2ft by 2ft board with a planet in the center with the sphere setup in the center and the b'rels at varying start locations. Try to get the sphere in both of their firing arcs for 3 turns, and see how many turns total that takes.


Does this not prove that its Human Strategy at the cause of it then, and not the Ship? Whats to say the Klingon Player doesn't wait for the Borg to come to them? at that point, the klingon player can very easily position himself so the Sphere is in both Firing Arcs.

Perhaps the whole thought experiment has opened up another idea. That maybe its not the Borg that are overpowered, its that we have not changed our tactics enough to fight them.

Perhaps my well intentioned thought is not as possible as first perceived as well. I see so many flawed arguements, that it just boggles the mind. I figured if we could come up with some baselines, and then work up from there, that we might be able to expose the flaws, change our thinking, and see things with fresh eyes. Both sides of the arguement.

*shrug* thought it was worth a go, as opposed to the continual flame war that has been going on for 3 weeks now.
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Jared Voshall
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anyGould wrote:
Magius wrote:
As the others have said, this experiment does nothing to demonstrate that the Borg Sphere is unbalanced, other than to say whether any ship of that type (high attack, low defense, high durability) is unbalanced. And, worse, you can resolve this question mathematically, as we know how many hits are scored with each attack (2.65 against the Klingons, and 2 per ship against the Sphere). This means that the Sphere will, on average, take out the Klingon ships in 4 rounds of combat, and will average with 1-2 Hull left by the end of the combat.

And "on average" isn't really useful - I think the number people would want to see is the breakdown (given that all ships are firing simulataneously) of how often the Borg is left standing vs. a Klingon left standing vs. simultaneous destruction.

It's obviously not the final word, but it is a good start to an objective comparison.


In the end, that is the exact information that you'll be providing. And, unless you're willing to run thousands and thousands of tests to even out the influence of luck - especially with taking out Skill options, which go a long ways toward balancing out the effect of luck in the game. The Borg ship will trend slightly closer to the average due to their higher number of Attack dice, while the Klingons would have significantly more variability in their rolls, simply because they don't have a high enough number of dice - particularly on Defense, where they'll only be rolling 1 dice because you've pulled out their ability to cloak. Given an infinite number of plays, you'll see the game play out like this:


Round Borg Klingon
1 4 2.65
2 8 5.3 (First ship dead)
3 10 7.95
4 12 10.6 (Second Ship dead)


I can say this with absolute certainty, as you have removed all variables from the equation other than luck of the dice, and over enough iterations, this is how the numbers will play out. And even if you do come up with a different scenario, you're testing the wrong part of the equation. Few, if any, are saying the Borg are overpowered due to their statline - in fact, as this shows, they are well within acceptable limits of balanced, in regards to stats alone (taking only a single extra point of damage somewhere in these four rounds of combat to lose).

So, test the Sphere where the complaints are. Map out the web of maneuvers between these ships, and show if there are more scenarios and maneuvers over this four round time limit where the Borg has a free shot on at least one of the Klingon ships - this is what it will take to say whether the Sphere is overpowered or not.

At the very least, work in the best case scenario for each ship using their appropriate skills. That, at least, would be a lot more interesting that just rolling dice to prove what a few minutes of calculation can already tell you.
 
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Don D.
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General_Drazz wrote:



You mean, I cannot ignore the human elements? Its a humans perception of strategy that decides where to move, and what action to take. Its a human element that decides which ship to attack. The Human Element is the largest variable of all of them.


Not moving at all is still essentially a decision on strategy. You haven't isolated the human element variable, you've just made it to be permanently represented by a stupid human.
 
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Jared Voshall
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dond80 wrote:
General_Drazz wrote:
You mean, I cannot ignore the human elements? Its a humans perception of strategy that decides where to move, and what action to take. Its a human element that decides which ship to attack. The Human Element is the largest variable of all of them.


Not moving at all is still essentially a decision on strategy. You haven't isolated the human element variable, you've just made it to be permanently represented by a stupid human.


There is a point to this kind of experiment - to determine if the statline for two(or more) ships is approximately equal - in this case, is the statline for the Sphere approximately equal to the statline of two B'rel Class ships - something I have hoped I have shown to be yes.

But that's not the question that needs to be asked. That is not why people feel that the Borg are overpowered.

The question that needs to be asked is, given the 102,515,625 different possible movement combinations over the 4 rounds of combat we get from comparing the stats, how many of them:

A) Disengage both sides from combat (neither the Sphere nor the Klingon ships are in a position to attack each other)
B) Give the Borg an advantageous position (able to fire on the Klingons while preventing one or more Klingons from returning fire)
C) Give the Klingons an advantageous position (should be 0, as the sphere should be able to return fire from any position that the Klingons can fire from)
D) Give neither side an advantage (meaning that both factions are able to fire on each other normally)

There should be no obstacles in this case (as those are another variable that would need to be accounted for), and this should demonstrate if the Sphere is inherently better than two Klingon ships

Although, to be conclusive, it should be run against all possible maneuver dials and opposing fleet compisitions, but that would require far more work than most would be willing to put in to something like this.
 
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Andre Evans
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Honestly this is not all that bad of an idea to an extent.
 
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