James Buckley
United Kingdom
LONDON
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Played with the Delta Quadrant variant yesterday. Decided immediately to use the house rules proposed by Mattias in his excellent "Complete" rule book (I'm really so impressed with the quality of it).
I very much understand the creation of the non-blocking path rule in the Complete rules. Otherwise with the transwarp hub the first player to be reached will just face a constant wave of cubes from the hub. However the fact that it takes a flow diagram and six different steps to explain the house rule in the Complete rule book left us wanting something more simple and intuitive, and thematic. This is not a criticism of the rule in the Complete book, it probably works fine if someone is really on top of it, but we spent a lot of time decided which step applied and why and it very much affected play time and game flow.
My simpler house rule alternative, which requires more play testing admittedly, is that each cube moves towards the *destination* of the player with the highest initiative that turn (or you could randomise the player chosen with a dice roll). So for example the Command card Move:Target would read "Move cube up to 2 systems towards home world with highest initiative". If that home world is connected the Borg will go via space lanes as normal. If unconnected it will follow the rules on P12 of the Borg rule book for unconnected targets.
I think this should solve the problem of the Borg always targeting the nearest connected player, but without having to follow lots of steps. But like I said, requires more testing.
Thoughts?
As an aside we enjoyed the extra dimension added by the Borg. They weren't so tough to defeat as we followed the house rule in the Complete rule book to wait three turns before they start moving. But they were still threatening enough to really mix up the game. Hard to see us playing without them going forward. Seem to make Ferengi even harder to play though...
 
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Maldus Alver

Washington
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Jsbuckley wrote:
_____

Seem to make Ferengi even harder to play though...

Latinum is Irrelevant...
... Profit is Futile
 
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Mattias Elfström
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I like your variant and I agree that the Borg movement rules in the Complete Rulebook may seem a bit long. In execution, however, I think they are pretty easy to implement.

A few thoughts on your house rule:
Perhaps random is better than just highest turn order. If you go by highest the Borg will attack one specific player for one turn.
A few turns into the game the Borg will probably stop exploring. This may be ok, but it will make them a bit static and probably reduce the risk they find uncontrolled worlds to assimilate.

I've been toying with the idea of making some new command cards. Perhaps that would solve the issues we seem to have?
 
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James Buckley
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Mattias wrote:

A few thoughts on your house rule:
Perhaps random is better than just highest turn order. If you go by highest the Borg will attack one specific player for one turn.
A few turns into the game the Borg will probably stop exploring. This may be ok, but it will make them a bit static and probably reduce the risk they find uncontrolled worlds to assimilate.


On your first point maybe I'm missing something but won't they just move around connected lanes towards the player with the highest initiative, so they will just stop and attack/assimilate players and worlds en route. So bidding to win the initiative can be part of a game strategy for someone who wants the Borg to attack a neighbour where that neighbour is between the highest initiative player and Borg cubes.
On your second point I think this may be where random is a slightly better.
On the highest initiative variant the Borg will explore until all players have made connected space lanes, assuming unconnected players take highest initiative. If unconnected players don't bid for highest initiative then the Borg will have no reason to explore to reach them.
On balance I think the extra tactical element the initiative order approach adds makes it more interesting. But need to play test both to see which, if either, works well.

New Borg command cards sounds like a great idea, once we are sure which is the best approach to movement to take

But why can't GS9 just issue some official clarification?!? Such a poor company in terms of PR and looking after their community, I don't understand it...
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Grade Jason
United States
Nevada
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Instead of turn order, you could also use Ascendancy level, or number of controlled systems, or number of starbases to decide which player is the target. This sort of thing could help to act as a check against players that get off to a runaway start, rather than simply being random.


Anyway, I've yet to actually play a multiplayer game with the Borg in play (i've only played solo), so I may be misunderstanding how it all would work. But it seems to me like basing the Borg target by turn order is kind of moot. In principle, I understand that the idea is probably to provide a disincentive to always want to be the first player. Bidding for first player would make you the higher-priority target for the Borg. So maybe you deliberately bid for player 2 in order to paint a target on a rival.

Personally, I would think that early in the game, the high resource cost would be disincentive enough without having to worry about the Borg.

Further, players can't bid on turn order till they've met at least one other player (or the Borg) anyway. So if the Borg start in play (via Delta Quadrant Probe), turn order (and the initial target of the Borg) is random because players can't bid on turn order yet. So the strategy of bidding to make yourself the higher-priority target becomes moot.

In games in which the Borg don't appear until later, they would only appear from exploring a new system (either a Borg disc or a Borg exploration card). Either way, the Borg would come into play with a player homeworld connected by default. In this case, again, turn-bidding to avoid being the target of the Borg is moot, and a single player is the sole target of the Borg onslaught.

At least by basing the target on some metric of player performance, there is the strategic element of deciding whether getting off to an early lead is worth potentially painting a target on your head once the Borg become relevant. The question is which of the above metrics is the most representative of the players' relative strength in the game?

BTW, where is the "Complete" rule posted? Could someone provide a link?
 
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Mattias Elfström
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Have a look here: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/159987/unofficial-complet...
 
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