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Star Trek: Ascendancy – Borg Assimilation» Forums » Variants

Subject: Another option for solo play rss

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Steve Framarin
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Like many of us, I am disappointed in the solo play aspect of the Borg expansion. After losing my first two games, one after 5 turns, the other after 3, I started thinking about ways to make the Borg a little easier to handle. I like WildSilver's strategy that he came up with in this post https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1896170/anyone-beat-solo-ye... but I still don't like having the Borg out on the board from the beginning. I toyed with the idea of having the Transwarp hub placed somewhere in the System deck, but then realized that there is no motivation for a player to explore. Your Homeworld generates Culture, so you'd really just have to sit there for 20-some turns, do nothing, and you win!

So, how could I get the Transwarp Hub out on the table, but also be able to have some infrastructure built? After all, wouldn't that make a better lure for the Borg?

The following are just some ideas/musings and haven't been playtested at all.

Setup:
Keep the Transwarp Hub out of the System stack.
Using the standard set up rules, put 8 Planetary Systems on top of the stack. Maybe there should be some Phenomena in there, as well?
Take the top one, connect it to your Homeworld, and place all the Nodes.
Probably use the Extra Starting Resources optional rule.

Play:
The Building and Command phases play as normal.
During the Maintenance phase, roll a die. If the number is less than the number of Systems you control, the Transwarp Hub gets placed. Alternatively, once you have 8 Systems connected (not counting your Homeworld), the Hub gets placed. Not sure about this one, though.

I still haven't come up with a good way to place the Hub, though.
Should it connect to the last System placed? This may not work if the last System has no more connections available.
Should it be placed within 18" of the Homeworld?

That's all I have so far. Feel free to offer advice/comments/criticisms.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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Perhaps you could place the Hub from the start 18" away, but with a Borg spire on it.

The Hub will not generate any Cubes by dice roll until the spire has put the first Cube into play. Remove the spire at that point. The Hub now starts to work as normal.

This will delay the Borg four turns, perhaps enough to give the solo player some chance of beating the first Cube.

Note that you will also need to modify the RAW for how the Borg builds Space Lanes and systems, otherwise they will never be able to connect. Some suggestions are here: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/157956/star-trek-ascendan...
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Davon Collins
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Would this be more aesthetically pleasing if it were blue?
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Or why bother with a transwarp hub at all? Maybe try creating a Borg "homeworld," with a spire on it, as suggested by Mattias. That planet would then proceed to create nodes and, after four turns, launch a cube, which would proceed to make its way (maybe using Mattias's modified rules) to the other factions and independent civilizations. That should give player factions at least 5-7 turns to explore and build up. Also, it would incentivize the player to engage the Borg before they built too many cubes and assimilated too many independent worlds, since the Borg cubes' power markedly increases with each spire.

If I find time to try this approach, I'll report back.
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Steve Framarin
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Good ideas, both! I should have time tonight to give them a try.

Mattias - I've been following your troubles with the RAW. Here's hoping we get something from GF9 soon!
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Steve Framarin
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I tried out your ideas tonight. I think it might be a little too easy. Granted, there's a lot of randomness in this game and I did 'cheat' a bit. I rerolled a couple of times and I redrew a couple of Exploration cards. In my defense, I am probably the worst dice roller I know. Plus, I kept drawing the same cards that I had gotten in my previous games. I just wanted some more variety. Since this was a 'test' game, I really don't feel too bad about it.

Now, on to my thoughts. I believe I followed all the RAW, except I used Mattias's Borg movement and Extra Starting Resources. I also tried to incorporate WildSilver's strategy, as well. You can see from the picture linked below how everything was laid out. I had 3 Ascendancy by the time I engaged the Borg. Plus, I was able to increase my Weapons to hit on a 2+. There were 2 Fleets of 6 ships that I used to defeat the first Cube. After I built my third Fleet, it wasn't even a challenge to destroy a Cube. I did get lucky with a couple of Borg Command cards keeping them away from me, too.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fv_8V7Q5SwDsQRGXl0EE_3zBPas...

What do you think?

P.S. Let me know if the link doesn't work.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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Was this with a delay for the Borg?

I wonder how extra starting resources affected it?
 
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Adam D.
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Wait, after only two games? Have you played Robinson Crusoe or Ghost Stories? shake
 
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Sebastian Samberg
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After being massacred in the first three solo games, I realized that nothing in the rules* keeps you from swinging any system on your turn. In fact they explicitly allow it. Taking advantage of that my games became interesting. The Borg would connect in round 4-5, sometimes with a Borg World or two to back them up. From there it was a constant onslaught.

It was very tense, trying to buy time by falling back again and again. It ususally lead to a great do or die battle.

However, if I won that pivotal battle, the Borg became the hunted as I gradually advanced with my fleets, oneshoting any cubes and worlds, to eventually spawn camp the Hub. I quit playing when it became obvious that I could just sit it out. Why bother exploring more?

The command cards never have the Borg establish new ways to you once a connection has been made. They just relentlessly (or maybe stupidly) funnel to you on a single path.

So overall, as the rules stand and I play them the solo experience is sort of a mixed bag for me - tense and exciting the one moment, predictable the next.

*unless forbidden by future GF9 clarifications.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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I can't see how the rules as they stand can produce an interesting solo game. Then again there are very few solo games that are very interesting.
 
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Steve Framarin
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Mattias - Yes, I used your suggestion of putting a Spire on the Transwarp Hub. I think it may have given me too much time. Also, the extra resources helped a bunch, too. Maybe I should have just used one or the other, not both. I'll definitely be trying it out again soon.

Adam - It's entirely possible I'm missing something significant here. Maybe I just had bad luck or maybe I need to reevaluate my strategy.

The biggest issue I've found is how quickly the Borg get to your Homeworld, especially if you allow them to swing their Floating System (I'm in full agreement with you on the movement troubles, Mattias!). To me, it just seems like the Borg are too powerful against a single player. I've got a feeling the solo rules were sort of tacked on and two players should probably be the minimum. Or, the Hub should be placed further away so a single player can get a couple more turns?

I hope others try what I did and report back. I'd like to see how their games went.
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romano veronese
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Quote:
The command cards never have the Borg establish new ways to you once a connection has been made. They just relentlessly (or maybe stupidly) funnel to you on a single path.

I don't own (still)the game.
I just see some command on you tube.
I imagine that in multiplayer Borg sometimes have to change target(star base only I believe,or if the current assimilated world was of a player that has an home world more far than another player) )
I believe that this "relentlessly (or maybe stupidly) "is the thing that has to be changed to make tha Borg more unpredictable .
If a player is the target of Borg the other players could just take time to make them more stronger , waiting for the destruction of a rival.
Or not ?
By the way may I ask to know the difference betweeen one of the 5 red commands and the normal ?
I believe that to make more intelligent the use of Borg(that has to have target player n° 1 in many situations(so making the order of initiative really important) has to be helped to make NEW connections,floating the system he is leaving,not the contrary!
 
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