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Subject: What has your Solo Borg experience been? rss

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Arthur
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For those who have played Solo with the Borg Expansion, what are your experiences and thoughts?

I personally felt it was a bit linear, and way too luck based.

For example, here's a summary of a game I got destroyed in, pretty quickly. I was Feds in all my games.

Borg comes out from Hub, and starts its way toward my home planet. Along the way it pulls a couple of civilizations, which they easily assimilate. A couple more turns and now there's 3 Borg cubes on the table, because it's so easy to roll for a Borg to appear at the Hub in early game. With some bad Borg command pulls their Spires fill up quickly, and by the 6th or 7th turn, there's already 5 Cubes, going straight for my Homeworld.

Due to the "Collective Efficiency" rule, some of them end up giving the next cube extra Activations. Pretty much on the 6th turn, they're at my doorstep. Would've been sooner, but I started off with their Hub on the farthest end of my map.

Due to some bad Hazards destroying my ships, I couldn't colonize quickly enough to build more production, so my ship building was extremely slow. Definitely no where near enough to take on 5 Cubes in a nearby system. Game was lost, I think around the 8th or 9th turn.


-------
Here's a game I won.

Pulls weren't so bad at the beginning, and Borg only had one spire as they didn't discover any developed systems along the way. So slightly slower progress for them, but they were still able to get 5 cubes on the table relatively early in game, thanks to Hub rolls.

At least this time I had a little more colonization and all I concentrated on was building production nodes, and kept building ships. Planted a Starbase at the one connected system to the Borg's lane, and warped all my ships at that system, while building more there. This keeps the Borg at that bottleneck all the time as their rules don't give them a choice to make any new lanes. Once I was able to consistently keep 12ish ships at that spot, and researched my weapons to hit on a 3+, I was able to reliably destroy Borg cubes within the first 2 rounds of combat. Casualties were at most 1 or 2 ships, which were easily replaced on next turn.

By keeping that bottleneck, I was able to win all Borg battles, collect a bunch of Borg Research, making battles even more easy, and it pretty much became no contest with an easy win to 5 Ascendancy.

------------

So I'm curious if Solo play for others have been similar, with little variation. If you plan enough ahead, and your card pulls and rolls aren't completely horrible, and you get a good bottleneck, it's pretty much an easy win. Or you have bad early game results, and there's pretty much no stopping them. It didn't feel like much in between.

Thoughts?
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Trueflight Silverwing
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It does come down to random draws a lot of the time. Depending on the systems that you find and the exploration cards that come up, you can win or lose without much chance of changing things. The strategy does play pretty much the same every game though in solo play.

That said, changing up the race that you play can make the game a completely different experience. Each one has strengths and weaknesses that change things up just enough to make things feel different.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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Thanks for an interesting post.

I really can't see how playing solo can be anything but random. There is almost no correlation between what the player does and how the Borg react.

The RAW also lack a lot of little details that have to be house ruled in solo play.

In my view this game is not very well suited to solo play since it is a negotiation game above all else.
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Grish
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artt3k wrote:
So I'm curious if Solo play for others have been similar, with little variation. If you plan enough ahead, and your card pulls and rolls aren't completely horrible, and you get a good bottleneck, it's pretty much an easy win. Or you have bad early game results, and there's pretty much no stopping them. It didn't feel like much in between.

Thoughts?


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Arthur
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Ender02 wrote:
It does come down to random draws a lot of the time. Depending on the systems that you find and the exploration cards that come up, you can win or lose without much chance of changing things. The strategy does play pretty much the same every game though in solo play.

That said, changing up the race that you play can make the game a completely different experience. Each one has strengths and weaknesses that change things up just enough to make things feel different.


Thanks. I definitely do plan to try the different races. However, it seems that the key to winning is to simply strategise to bottleneck the area that connects to the Borg's only lane to your system. I'd imagine that would be fairly easy for the Ferengi to do since it's all about Production. You can pretty much put everything else on hold until you set that bottleneck up.

Mattias wrote:
Thanks for an interesting post.

I really can't see how playing solo can be anything but random. There is almost no correlation between what the player does and how the Borg react.

The RAW also lack a lot of little details that have to be house ruled in solo play.

In my view this game is not very well suited to solo play since it is a negotiation game above all else.


I agree. I was hoping for a little more variation and strategy when fighting Borg, solo. And I'm perfectly fine with randomness, but it just seems so one sided for the good or bad. In multiplayer, even with some bad draws, if someone implements a good strategy, they have the potential to bounce back. In this solo case, if you can't produce enough ships within a certain point of the game, you're potentially toast.

With that said, the strategy to win seems to be purely on building ships and research Weapons first. Everything else later. Once that bottelneck is established, you can take your sweet time on everything else. The exploring part of the game felt like it took a back seat. Yes, you still explore and expand to get the production, but it's just a rush to build production nodes. Instead of finding new civilizations or discoveries that I can read and appreciate, it became, "Can I produce here? No? moving on. Can I produce here? No? moving on".

Even with Multiplayer (which I haven't played yet with Borg), I would theorize that if everyone agrees to quickly warp to the Bottleneck location and just leave all their ships there to defend it, there really isn't much of a Borg threat.

Actually, I may take that back. In theory, badly placed Transwarp Conduits, or Cube crisis could give Borg another path, so some further coordination is required. I'll have to play a few full games out.

I'm tempted to Houserule some method of having the Borg randomize a new path, and create a new Lane. Or somehow make finding Transwarp Conduits more consistent. It's all about giving Borg more paths to its Destination that should make it more interesting, I think.
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Mattias Elfström
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I share many of your thoughts!

I have tried to come up with a few ideas here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1924538/varying-borg-target...

I think the best solution (for multi player) lies in a simple rule that makes the Borg explore a little more.
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Played against them, several times each, with all three 'basic' races.

All were assimilated by turn 6 or so.

The Feds were the only ones to destroy a cube, but didn't have time to build ships fast enough.

The Romulans were as bad as the Feds. Their initial ability is pretty useless against the Borg.

The Klingons were the only ones who managed to put up a decent fight. However, I played them last, so I had several games with the other two, and knew much better how to handle them. Still I lost, mainly due to lack of a decent number of production nodes.

Lessons learnt: Go for Weapon upgrades as soon as possible! Don't use research for anything else!

I did not follow your experience of building only production nodes, but I will try it the next time. It seems that this might be the way to stop them.

In any case, thanks for sharing your experience with them! Live long and prosper!
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Angelus Seniores
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The cardassians can have it easy going, their hunter killer fleet with 3 assured hits in round 1 go a big way towards setting up a borg cube 1-round killer fleet, which reaps borg tech after tech easily regardless of nr of borg cubes.
Also their overseer fleet is a big help to get much needed early production while not having to risk exploring beyond the first 2 risk-free systems.

The randomness of it is getting enough production to be able to set up a big enough fleet and hoping the borg dont get too many borg worlds on the way to your bottleneck.

A big risk is if the borg can open up a 2nd lane of approach due to your own exploration as setting up a 2nd bottleneck can get difficult and snowball defeat from there.

All in all, the borg are a threat but once you get a handle on them they are just a nuisance.
The borg cannot get past a 1-round killer fleet unless you forego on the first strike rule.

The fun of solo play is mostly in the opening turns where you have to manage the risks with little resources, but once further in it will be apparent wether you are set up to win or lose
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Mattias Elfström
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I'd be very interested in hearing about what rules you had to make up to get the solo game to work!

For example:
How do you determine the nearest cube when all are disconnected?
How do you handle cards that refer to the player to your left/right?
How do you handle the turns when the Borg get turn order 1?
How do you handle the Borg when they swing systems?
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Davon Collins
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The danger - or the excitement, depending on your view - is that even after you establish your bottleneck if you keep exploring you'll discover a transwarp conduit. All of a sudden, your bottleneck may not be a bottleneck anymore!
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Arthur
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Mattias wrote:
I share many of your thoughts!

I have tried to come up with a few ideas here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1924538/varying-borg-target...

I think the best solution (for multi player) lies in a simple rule that makes the Borg explore a little more.


That's a great idea for multiplayer. Roll dice or something to determine random player and force the Borg to possibly find another path. If they develop too many paths, then a lot more team work will be necessary to fend off the Borg.

For solo play I was considering maybe rolling to see if the Cube follows an existing lane, or must create a new lane, or perhaps even a way to randomize the direction they must take. Much to experiment with.

bubblewrap wrote:
Played against them, several times each, with all three 'basic' races.

Lessons learnt: Go for Weapon upgrades as soon as possible! Don't use research for anything else!



Precisely! Researching other advancements that doesn't directly benefit battle, didn't seem to be very useful at the beginning. Although, some research that gave me either an extra Command, or more warp did help me get my ships to the necessary sector, a bit quicker... particularly if I needed to block the Borg for an extra turn or so.

Of course, if you have that last Command Token that might go to waste, then it's probably worth it to see what advancements you might get. I think having at least one advancement going is useful because it's pretty much a free on-going development. Just don't add research tokens to it from your stash, as that's better served upgrading weapons.


Angelsenior wrote:

All in all, the borg are a threat but once you get a handle on them they are just a nuisance.


Very much agree. I'll have to try the Cardasian fleets against them.


Senatus1980 wrote:
The danger - or the excitement, depending on your view - is that even after you establish your bottleneck if you keep exploring you'll discover a transwarp conduit. All of a sudden, your bottleneck may not be a bottleneck anymore!


That's true to an extent. At least the first time you find a new Conduit. Afterwards, if you survive the initial split of cubes, that hub will be the shortest route and you can then bottleneck at the hub, or the spacelane next to it.
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I got smoked twice as the Feds. Not sure I made it to turn 6 either time.

Tweaked the rules a bit to get more playtime. Place the Borg starting space out as usual at the start, but the Borg do not start on the first turn.

Seed the Green Borg Exploration cards in the Exploration deck.
Make 10 piles of exploration cards each with one Green Borg card in each stack. Size of the stacks will vary depending upon how many expansions you have, and if you got the 50th anniversary pack in your base game.
Leave the Red Borg cards out for the start.
Shuffle each stack then add into a single exploration deck.

That way a Borg card can come up anytime in the first 7 or 8 worlds explored. Consider this the Borg Discovering your faction and deciding to come for you.

When a Borg encounter card comes up the Borg start to play on the Next Turn. At this point take the Red Borg Exploration cards and shuffle them in to the Exploration Deck.

Could give you a few turns to build up, or Borg still could start on turn 2 if you flip a borg card with your first couple of worlds.

Played with this and won with the Cardassians...though i did get some very handy worlds and exploration cards to start. Borg didn't show up until turn 5, and started on turn 6.

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meeple There are session reports on my first three solo games on the expansion thread, if you are interested.
 
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On the Borg Expansion forum someone has been putting up their battle reports with each of the factions. I think he has finished the Romulan one.
 
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