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Subject: If the Borg were banned... rss

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Daniel van de Laar
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Unless you're living under the kind of rock where the Borg are routinely banned/limited at your OP events, you're probably seeing more Borg faction in your OP events than any scatter chart or Bell curve would allow. Borg ships (the ones that couple their PAV of 6 with a 360 degree firing arc at least) are unquestionably over-represented in the top five "goto" ships being played in most open or even partially open metas.

The reason for this is self evident, and has been discussed ad nauseum already, so I won't reiterate what we've all heard before.

What I wanted to discuss was the "Bizzaro/What If" scenario of the Borg being banned.

If the Borg were banned, wouldn't all the recent Federation "power ups" make the Feds the new "Borg"?

Think it through.

The Dominion's "Dorsal Weapons Array" can throw 3 dice in any direction (up to range 3) when you disable the card. But the Federation's new Dorsal Phaser array, while only reaching out to range 2, can toss as many dice as the ships PAV will allow, without requiring the card to be disabled.

The Federation already have the most ships and subsequently, the most upgrades (almost twice as many upgrades as the next nearest faction). This translates into a wacky synergy of combos and discards that allows a dreadnaught to not only be as strong as any Borg ship, but also be as more defensive than even the most dressed up Romulan.

In a word, without the Borg, the Feds would dominate the meta, and with the new Dorsal Phaser Array, I think even with the Borg, Fed Dreadnaughts are going to begin reclaiming that dominance that the Borg have enjoyed to this point.

Unfortunately, that means that unless you're (a) a masochist, or (b) don't play to win, the rest of your collection is only going to see casual play. That's kind of sad really.

Anyway, it was just something I thought about. Banning the Borg at this point wouldn't re-balance the meta, it would just shift the balance in the Federation's favor, and probably more so than is presently felt with the Borg dominating.



 
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Reldnahc
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The Feds are already becoming the new Borg with their 7 - 9 defense die ships, Ahab Picard, and Dorsal Phasers. Yes, there are build to counter them, but they seem to be the new hot builds.
 
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Daniel Adams
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The TO at my "main" venue has banned Borg and 8472 since the Sphere came out.

The first time, when we got wave 4, the entire wave was banned in its entireity as we were still on the Dominion War OP6, and it was felt that the ships weren't thematic with the setting.

Our TO buys two and sometimes three OP kits, the "main" strand tends to be Borg Banned. The second strand tends to be anything goes, and the third is thematic (we will be looking at TOS pure for Tholian and Arena, Fed Only for the collective)

That being said, he mentioned that he was probably going to end the ban with RIF. I think Ship Pure will stay in place though.

Just to add the second venue has no such ban, and at COP2, hardly anyone chose Borg.

 
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Penguin Bonaparte
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I suppose I'll be finding out soon, since my venues banned all the big Borg ships. We just had a Collective OP3 and the top 2 of us were using super Voyagers, and I expect to see a lot of Sovereigns for the other one coming up. That one's going to be faction pure 120 with no blind booster though, for some variety. Just to be different I'm thinking about using the two Borg ships I can take, the Soong and the Scout Cube. It'll probably be a disaster, but aside from one guy who just runs Klingon swarms I can't imagine seeing many non-Fed builds.
 
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Justin Hare
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In ship pure, I can still beat Fed consistently with Klingons. Fed has the most good options but are not unstoppable.
 
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Daniel van de Laar
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Church14 wrote:
In ship pure, I can still beat Fed consistently with Klingons. Fed has the most good options but are not unstoppable.


Have you played against a Fed Dreadnaught using all the officer cards and the Dorsal Phaser Array?

I got my Klingon butt handed to me on Saturday by a Sutherland.

A SUTHERLAND!??! soblue

I won our last Dominion OP, taking the DS9 home after playing all six events with a pure Klingon fleet. I love the Klingons, and I have played well enough in the past to win all but four rounds in the whole Dominion Campaign. I am not suggesting that I am a great player, but I am suggesting that I know how to play Klingons as well as the next guy, so that when I say this about the Feds, I am not ignorant of the strength of the Klingons (traditionally) against the Feds.

I honestly don't think I could win consistently against that Sutherland (Good job Mark, by the way). My fleet was wiped out, he didn't take a single damage to his hull, though I did manage, with all guns every round, rolling four or five hits with each ship, to take away three shields or so.

Edit: added these last to paragraphs for clarity.
 
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Reldnahc
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Church14 wrote:
In ship pure, I can still beat Fed consistently with Klingons. Fed has the most good options but are not unstoppable.


I agree it's not unbeatable, but it is the new easy go to. I think you will agree we have seen it a lot lately.
 
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Joseph van der Jagt
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I've actually been thinking about variations on this idea quite a bit lately. Of course, without playing in an environment I'm far from sure, but these are my best guesses:

In a faction pure environment in which the Borg are completely banned:

Here I think the Federation would become the new monster given their many options. It would be hard for the Klingons or Romulans to deal with 8-9 defense dice with conversion using only their own cards. I suspect maybe the Dominion have enough Jem Hadar to get rid of the crew? It would be more manageable than the Tactical Cube stuff because you could try and force bumps (other than if they are playing Ilia, which I guess they certainly would be) and if you do manage to take away their actions or do something clever, one round of fire from three Klingon ships is probably enough to kill Voyager (or whatever Fed ship) instead of just being a good start against a Tac Cube. Still, this is a situation where I think you are killing one monster to create another, but, as I said, I'm not sure.

In a cross-faction environment with the Borg completely banned:

This is the situation I find the most favourable, not because it's mixed-factions (I play pure faction at home) but because I think the strength of the Federation are in its crew and captain upgrades. The DPA and Transphasics are certainly two great upgrades among great Fed only upgrades but when all of their captains and crew become available to crew up my Valdore I feel a lot better about things. The only thing is that Picard on Voyager, the Valdore, a solid Klingon ship with a few upgrades are all getting up to somewhere around 8+ defense dice with excellent conversion. I'm not sure how to combat that effectively without the Borg, other than forcing bumps, which Ilia takes care of anyway. So I'm not sure exactly what kind of meta we would see.

In a cross-faction environment with Borg upgrades allowed:

I almost feel like this solves the problem of the environment above. With Crosis and Third of Five and the others, super ships that rely on a lot of crew are in a bit of trouble. In this situation, I see ships using half (or whatever) their upgrade slots to boost their ship or action economy or what have you and the other half for gankers and other disruption. If that's the case you're not getting the number of defense dice that smother even the chance of a successful attack. But maybe you could just make a super Voyager with Borg Alliance, Koss, and Dispersion Field?

In a cross-faction environment with the Borg ships faction pure (I know it's technically outside the bounds of your original question):

I'm not sure that the other ships can balance out the Borg even if they get to cross faction. It feels that way...sometimes. I'm just not sure though. That being said, I wish that was the case because then I believe we are approaching an actually diverse meta. Super defensive builds like Voyager are not viable against ships that have access to Borg Missile and Magnetometric Guided Charges. Meanwhile, a Janeway-captained Enterprise seems to laugh at both those cards and honestly the aux tokens are bad but if I'm cloaked with a Valdore and have an Advanced Cloaking than I'm still in the fight--though the Guided Charges are still the stuff of nightmares.

I still think making the Borg ships faction pure while allowing Borg crew on other ships is the closest to a balanced environment. But once again this is based only on speculation. It's fun to consider though and hopefully leads to a set of house rules that allows the game to breath.
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Trueflight Silverwing
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This is why the whole banning something doesn't work. As soon as you remove something, another thing just takes its place. I will agree that the Borg are a bit overpowered (but thematically they should be). In an ideal environment, maybe they should never have become a playable faction, but its a bit late for that.

In the beginning it was Cloaked ships that were overpowered. People learned ways to deal with it and new upgrades came out to help and it went away.

Then Cloaked Mines ruled the day. They still are around to some extent, but even these people learned ways to deal with them and overcame.

The Borg are powerful, and played by a skilled player with a good build are super tough to defeat. It's not impossible, but it is hard. New upgrades keep coming out, as with things in the past, to help mitigate their advantages. Eventually it will level out.


I still agree that they are overpowered and wouldn't be against some ruling to nerf them a bit in op play, but outright banning will only lead to something else taking their place as the overpowered and broken thing. I think the Federation are already well on their way.
 
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charles skrobis
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Yeah, I've seen mixed factions a wonderful times. One of my favorites was a Collective month 3 where someone loaded up a Khazara with Federation crew and Dukat, and then proceeded to be able to generated 11 evades against the BCT every turn. Now without the +1 for being closest, that's still 10 evades, 2 of which come from Data that gives evade tokens, so that if I translate it, it's resistant to Borg Missiles and such.

Now as much as the ignores defense dice is there, if I use a bunch of cards to generate evade results, that stops Borg Missiles and Magneto Guided charges. So if I only need to get to 2 Enhanced Hull Plating, or Enhanced Hull Plating, Data, and refit scotty, and hell even stuff like Hoshi Sato, and I can stop Borg Missiles and Magneto Guided charges, then I already have answers forming in federation faction pure. Already tried it months ago, and getting that 4th evade before needing defense dice is where just about everything doesn't hit.

Alternate ways to stop crew ganking. Stex, cause on 2 defense dice, I can roll an evade 75% of the time, and cancel all effects of a crew card targeting my ship. Can easily be better than Koss, but it's more about pushing your luck vs consistent programmed moves.

Lastly, this is it for the Borg as it is. There is no more retail releases planned out right now. There are only prize ships through resistance is futile. Once RIF3 is done, I think that might be all they get. Then I look as the Federation starts up again later, or even has possible hands in other expansions, and watch as it can keep growing. It's all like a later version of the Klingons, cause they maxed out Wave 0 with ships, and just traded around effects till they started falling off come later expansions.
 
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charles_skrobis wrote:
Lastly, this is it for the Borg as it is. There is no more retail releases planned out right now. There are only prize ships through resistance is futile. Once RIF3 is done, I think that might be all they get.


Almost - they get the BIG Cube sometime before the end of the year.

Could have some crazy cards with it, or it might just be a display piece.
 
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Andre Born
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I find this reasoning that, were the Borg banned, the Federation's dominance in a post Borg environment means banning the Borg is pointless to be confusing! (That said, I don't favor banning the Borg. I favor some variation of faction/ship pure etc.)

For example, if the Romulans and Klingons etc are not more successful against the Borg than they are against the Federation, it's not clear to me that having the Borg as the top dog, and the Federation as 2nd, helps the Romulans and Klingons etc out at all. If the other factions struggle more against the Borg, than they do against the Federation, then not having the Borg around still seems like an improvement for those factions... even if it is a minor one.

(This all said, with the advent of the E, and to a lesser extent the Dominion buff that was the cruiser, I am hopeful that upcoming releases will help bring some of the struggling factions up to par. We do have a bunch of Romulan ships releasing in a relatively short amount of time!)
 
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David Griffin
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Think of the current meta like a car. There are a lot of things wrong with the car -- the transmission is shot, the heads are blown, the radiator has a leak, there is a smooth spot on the starter, etc. Do all those problems mean you can't get the car working? No you concentrate on the hard parts first, you rebuild the engine and the transmission.

Assuming you think the car is worth it (or the game), you now have a car that runs, but occasionally overheats and has some trouble starting. Ban the Borg and the infinite attack cancellation and you have a working game again and now the biggest problems are smaller than the biggest problems were before you fixed them.

The perfect is the enemy of the good enough. And you can fix those other smaller problems too. What you get is a meta that is constantly changing, giving all the factions a shot at dominance ... for a while. Maybe dorsal phaser array leads to new upgrades in the other factions, or nerfing the card a little in OPs.

The only other alternative is to quit the game or play the Borg ... permanently. Not my preference. I don't think even most Borg players like that option.
 
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Joseph van der Jagt
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I'm just curious how far we'd have to strip things away until we got to a diverse metagame. Certain aspects of the Borg partake in balancing the game even as other aspects of the Borg seem to totally unbalance it.

I fear the Federation in a world without Borg Missiles and Magnetometric Guided Charges, or, at least without Crosis and Third of Five or Assimilation Tubules. I also fear the Romulans and the Klingons from the world before Voyager and the turrets came along.

This would certainly need to be refined if not outright changed but this is how I see it:

Infinite attack cancelling on a Borg ship is the obvious best strategic choice.

Then we can go two ways right?

One, if we get rid of infinite attack cancellation is there a de facto best build? Are the Borg still the best (with Picard and Dukat or Double Tactical Drone and Borg Missile) or does Voyager become ascendant? This I'm not sure about. This is somewhat interesting to me, especially if you take it a half-step further and make the Borg faction pure. I almost feel like there are quite a few builds of equal strategic merit.

Two, if we get rid of the Borg what becomes the best build? A dreadnought Voyager build? What can beat that without Borg Missiles? This seems like a bad situation but I could be way off base.

Following the second line of thinking though, if we ban Voyager what happens then? Can the Ent-E work as well as Voyager? I'm not sure. Having the Dorsal Phaser Array as an upgrade that can be disrupted really makes a big difference. Also, it has one less crew slot (which brings up the conversation about how dramatically resources effect this discussion).

So do we have to keep going after the Borg are gone? And for the sake of clarification, I'm not advocating this I'm just interested in the thought experiment. What exactly would we need to make, say, four or five significantly different build archetypes viable?
 
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Eric B.
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Ender02 wrote:


Then Cloaked Mines ruled the day. They still are around to some extent, but even these people learned ways to deal with them and overcame.



If the errata that said that overlapping cloaked mines counted as the same minefield and therefore only hit a ship once counts as "learning how to deal with them," the sure I'll accept your ST:AW history lesson.
 
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Jon Ginever
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Ender02 wrote:
This is why the whole banning something doesn't work. As soon as you remove something, another thing just takes its place. I will agree that the Borg are a bit overpowered (but thematically they should be). In an ideal environment, maybe they should never have become a playable faction, but its a bit late for that.

In the beginning it was Cloaked ships that were overpowered. People learned ways to deal with it and new upgrades came out to help and it went away.

Then Cloaked Mines ruled the day. They still are around to some extent, but even these people learned ways to deal with them and overcame.

The Borg are powerful, and played by a skilled player with a good build are super tough to defeat. It's not impossible, but it is hard. New upgrades keep coming out, as with things in the past, to help mitigate their advantages. Eventually it will level out.


I still agree that they are overpowered and wouldn't be against some ruling to nerf them a bit in op play, but outright banning will only lead to something else taking their place as the overpowered and broken thing. I think the Federation are already well on their way.


At the end of the day this is just a phase the game is going through, remember that we have retail fighter swarms just around the corner which could wreak absolute havoc on Borg dreadnought builds and mix up the meta significantly.

I'm fairly sure we'll be having the "OP" discussion about some completely different aspect of the game in 6 months time, the rate of releases means that the meta does move pretty quickly.
 
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Evan
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RogueThirteen wrote:
Ender02 wrote:


Then Cloaked Mines ruled the day. They still are around to some extent, but even these people learned ways to deal with them and overcame.



If the errata that said that overlapping cloaked mines counted as the same minefield and therefore only hit a ship once counts as "learning how to deal with them," the sure I'll accept your ST:AW history lesson.


Just so I'm clear on this, you're accusing him of revisionism on account of the fact that your venue--unlike everybody else's--ignored the mines' day-zero clarification for two months? Wow. Just wow.
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Wake Drannor
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Maybe my shop is weird, but we've got a variety of pretty good players and in our faction-pure environment, in the now 10 or so events we've run, we've had winners from Borg, Federation, Klingon, and Dominion, all faction pure. Romulans haven't quite pulled it off yet, but they've placed top 3.

I also will point out that you've got to play the game ('cause it is a GAME) with the objective of your opponent having fun, too. Nobody wants to flail ineffectually at a Voyager dreadnought for an hour. That's not fun- and if you care more about winning than you care about your opponent ALSO having a good time, you've lost sight of the point of playing in the first place.
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Will Sanchez
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WakeDrannor wrote:
Maybe my shop is weird, but we've got a variety of pretty good players and in our faction-pure environment, in the now 10 or so events we've run, we've had winners from Borg, Federation, Klingon, and Dominion, all faction pure. Romulans haven't quite pulled it off yet, but they've placed top 3.

I also will point out that you've got to play the game ('cause it is a GAME) with the objective of your opponent having fun, too. Nobody wants to flail ineffectually at a Voyager dreadnought for an hour. That's not fun- and if you care more about winning than you care about your opponent ALSO having a good time, you've lost sight of the point of playing in the first place.


So you're saying any fleet can win as noone's actually trying to win
 
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David Griffin
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delta_angelfire wrote:
WakeDrannor wrote:
Maybe my shop is weird, but we've got a variety of pretty good players and in our faction-pure environment, in the now 10 or so events we've run, we've had winners from Borg, Federation, Klingon, and Dominion, all faction pure. Romulans haven't quite pulled it off yet, but they've placed top 3.

I also will point out that you've got to play the game ('cause it is a GAME) with the objective of your opponent having fun, too. Nobody wants to flail ineffectually at a Voyager dreadnought for an hour. That's not fun- and if you care more about winning than you care about your opponent ALSO having a good time, you've lost sight of the point of playing in the first place.


So you're saying any fleet can win as noone's actually trying to win


Judging from what I see on your very entertaining YouTube channel, you are a super competitor so the idea of not trying to win is pretty alien. I confess that though I don't have much competitive instinct, even I TRY to win when I'm playing. It's a hard habit to break. But I DO try to see if my opponent seems to be having fun too, and if he isn't it usually means we're going to be playing that game less, so it's in my best interest too.

I started out playing the OPs, but the scenarios and the Borg soured me on the idea. I didn't want to compete, I just wanted to play but the kind of games I see are just too un-fun, primarily because of the competitive pressure to play anything that will win. I don't want to play the Borg or against them unless I have a heck of a big point advantage. If I play casual I can just say NO. I wish there was a "league" nearby so I could play more casual games. Maybe Vassel will be a possibility at some point.
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Evan
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delta_angelfire wrote:
So you're saying any fleet can win as noone's actually trying to win


You must be a real hoot in the prisoners dilemma
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