To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Borg expansion set.
PICTURE: I liked the original FC version a lot, but it's been outdone by the Voyager version. Again, we have three Borg in the frame (one for each subcommand), but they're very active instead of plugged to wires and unmoving. That alone is a plus, with the green smoke providing good atmosphere. I like the guy on the left with his crakced skull, but the Christmas lights have got to go :-). A little out of focus, but not too much, for a well-balanced 4.1.
LORE: Again, a fairly technical text, but a lot more specific than the original. We get a figure on a Cube's crew complement, and the mention of alcoves complements the already on-target lore, which does deal with the card's game text. Another good effort at 3.5.
TREK SENSE: Nothing's changed on this end. The card has always been rather simple in the execution of its title, downloading one of every subcommand possible, but it's not particularly effective. In reality (I use the word lightly), a Borg ship would not be run this way. Instead, reacting to aggressors would just activate the Defense subcommand, etc. And never in such small numbers. Then, again... It's so paired down, it's hard to say. Keep it at 3.
STOCKABILITY: Not only has this always been a staple of Borg decks, allowing you to play 3 drones for the price of one card play, but it's also a great probe result (all three subcommands). With a few of these, you can staff a Borg Cube in no time, and it has great flexibility in your choice of which drones to download (even more with the release of The Borg). Its slow playing (but the new Borg Queen downloads it!) and Computer Crash sensitivity (seed Complink Drone!) are what keep it at 4.8, but it's still a 4.8!
TOTAL: 15.4 (77%) Up 2 percent!
PICTURE: I complained bitterly of the FC version that it was a shame they couldn't have used the much better Dune-type polygonal shields seen in TNG, and I'll do so here, but to a lesser extent. At least here, you can see the weapon blazing and the shield's shimmering effect. Unfortunately, the buck stops there. The two drones are lighted totally independently of their surrounding which makes them look like CGI inserts, and the background itself looks like obvious set pieces as the amber sections are devoid of any detail. Better than the original, but it looks so fake. A 2.
LORE: I liked the original, and though this one is phrased differently, it offers the same information, and just as well. I thought the original's mention of Remodulation was cute, but it's missing here. A 3.7.
TREK SENSE: Everything I said last time stands. On the surface, it seems to make sense: A Communication drone (which can transmit information to other Borg) gets hit by a particular type of particle weapon (phaser/disruptor) and the Collective adapts and becomes immune to that kind of weapon. At the mantle, you have to admit that most drones getting shot will be Defense drones. At the core, the fact that discarding the weapon nullifies the Adapt card (yay, Kressari Rendezvous or Disruptor Overload) makes no sense at all. (Discarding could infer that a new Borg-busting model is then issued, but it shouldn't help the hand weapons already in play.) Nothing has really come along to fix these problems, but nothing's made it worse either. Still a 1.5.
STOCKABILITY: Again, not much of a shift even if the environment has changed somewhat. Most drones are still stuck with 5s or 7s in the STRENGTH department, which gives an advantage in battle to your opponent. If they know your total STRENGTH simply by paying attention, they can better assess if it's safe to attack yout Hive. Reducing the need for the card is the variety of ways to now increase your drones' STRENGTH. Countermeasure drone can download the card (and more than once), as can any Communication drone using Borg Data Node. If a player is using multiple copies of the same hand weapon, well, this assault team's STRENGTH may take quite a dive. Where there is a score shift back down is in the fact that some affiliations now have a large number of hand weapons to choose from, and many of them non-disruptor/phaser. The Klingons in particular. It's also easier to get rid of a hand weapon (hope you didn't seed a Common Thief!) than it used to be (Kressari Rendezvous was just one example). From its former 4, the still very useful card gets a 3.8.
TOTAL: 11 (55%) 0.5 more than its predecessor. At least it's progress.
PICTURE: First thing I notice is the shift in Borg colors from the FC purplish gray to the Voyager green. Did the Collective assimilate a new interior decorator or what? I like that the theme of looking through a drone's eye(s) continues with the new version of the card, but some might say that the "obstruction" isn't nearly as difficult to overcome as the original's (screaming guy versus Starfleet assault team). The real obstruction though, is Unimatrix Zero, something beyond the Borg's power originally, and to which they adapted nonetheless. Makes the pic quite appropriate given its setting, and it looks pretty nice as well, luminous, hazy and with good contrast. A 4.
LORE: This explanation of Borg adaptation is well written and very sensical. Trivia buffs will enjoy learning the (albeit approximate) number of species the Collective has encountered (though not assimilated, since they numbered the Kazon and Species 8472). A very good 4 here too.
TREK SENSE: No change since the original was issued. Following the lore's logic, we see how this card can exist in the first place. A Communication drone is required to pass the relevant information on to the other drones, even as it's slaughtered by the dilemma. Adaptation works the same way as it does against weapons, with the dilemma affecting drones the first time, but not again. Q-dilemmas are a different matter because you can't adapt to Q. His powers are well beyond those of the Collective. I gave this a 4.8 originally, and that's where it's gonna stay.
STOCKABILITY: Because this card is a must-stock in a Borg deck, I gave the interrupt a 5. And it's since gotten a little better! It was always essential because, for one thing, the Borg are missing some skills which may appear on dilemmas. Treachery and Honor, for example, and Empathy. The Queen can choose one of these skills, then share it (multiply it) via Interlink drone, but she isn't always there, and it doesn't always help. The Adapt makes you wait a turn, but you can charge through the wall after that, or even nullify non-walls that have been seeded at various locations. Now, a couple things have made the card less necessary, such as Youth now being a legitimate Borg skill, and the new planetary scouting rules which make drones more likely to survive initial attempts. On the other hand, a few things have made it a better card as well. It was always downloadable by Countermeasure drone, but now it can be downloaded by the Borg Data Node as well. The Scout drone replaces any nullified Adapt back into your deck, so that an Amanda-happy opponent can't lock you out of your missions for good. Can't go over than 5, of course.
TOTAL: 17.8 (89%) Not making as much of a splash as the original, but still a staple.
PICTURE: A great mirror to Alas, Poor Queen from First Contact, the image is not too gruesome despite its subject matter, and there's a strange but effective romantic bent to the soft lighting and wistful gaze of the Queen. I don't much like the slimy green suffusing the new Borg cards, but it doesn't keep this card from getting a 4.2.
LORE: Again, kudos on mirroring Alas, Poor Queen, this time, in the title. Star Trek and Shakespeare have been joined at the hip since the original series, and it's always great to see that honored in some way. I think the lore itself does a reasonable job of trying to explain the game text's Trek Sense, is well written, etc. A 3.6.
TREK SENSE: The idea is to destroy/dissect drones (even in an inactive alcove, i.e. your hand) to gain information, information represented here as card draws. In other words, the information gathered gives the Borg the knowledge to build a ship, report a necessary personnel, or plan an objective. But Unimatrix Zero aside, how could dissecting a drone accomplish anything? Well, maybe the Collective sacrifices a drone from a certain species to download data from a nether-part of its brain or something. Pretty thin, I know. Maybe their parts are recycled into other drones or ship components. Better, but follows a different logic. There's no reason beyond game balance, by the way, why Navigation drones cannot be scrapped as well. The Queen's doubling effect makes sense since she's the brain center of the Collective, and seems to be more intelligent than your random drone (despite their all sharing a same consciousness). The card walks a tight rope between conceptual and factual, but I think is more of a win than a loss at 3.2.
STOCKABILITY: Easily gotten into play with the new Borg Queen, this event gives the Collective even more cycling power than before. They can get rid of a stray drone (even from hand) to draw another card. Better yet, scrap a drone from the Queen's location, and you can draw 2 for the price of 1. Borg decks are big on Regenerate anyway, so you can "reabsorb" all those drones later. If you're looking to swap drones, go for the Heuristics Drone of course, but when you just want to cycle through your deck as fast as possible, Alas, Poor Drone is quite useful. Drones really are a dime a dozen, and the Borg thrive on card draws since they can often convert them into specific downloads (Adapt cards, A Change of Plans, other drones, Transwarps, etc.). I think this card draw tool could be worth 4 to them.
TOTAL: 15 (75%) Another winner for the Borg, cards for which really should be compared separately from the "normal" affiliations.
PICTURE: There's something odd about Tassoni's image, like a few other people were taken out of the pic. Am I imagining this? Or was he taken from the lineup at the end where Janeway absorbs them into her crew? Either way, the image is a little dull, with some blurring. As with Ayala, the blue border is the better one, offering more contrast and variety to a card that already has a patch of yellow. Overall, a 2.4.
LORE: Makes me chuckle. The first sentence gives us just about the only thing known about the guy (his one scene, and he was an extra). The second is a cheeky way of saying we never saw him - or the other Equinox crewmembers - again. One of the major Voyager flubs, paid excellent and understated lip service here. A 3.7.
TREK SENSE: Well, what do we really know about Tassoni? Nothing that really appears on the card aside from his classification which matches his uniform color (he could still have been an Engineer). Security and Navigation are an odd, but not impossible mix, but the skill is sheer invention. At least, in the Delta Quadrant, people had to go in strange directions as other crewmembers died and their shoes needed to be filled. While universailty is outright acknowledged by the lore, he must be typical of no-name Equinox crewmembers. Low Integrity makes sense then, as even would the lukewarm Cunning. Strength at 7 makes sense given his classification. The Federation/Non-Aligned nature makes more sense for Equinox personnel than it does for Maquis personnel, since they really would work with anyone if it got them home faster. That said, they are can more ably switch to Non-Aligned when they need to, where Maquis personnel simulate more of a NA then, Federation now kind of relationship. So Tassoni makes some measure of sense, not contradicting anything seen onscreen, though as a Navigator, you'd have expected him to be in Paris' spot from time to time. A 3.5.
STOCKABILITY: A mission specialist that can actually be used by any non-Borg affiliation, and though native to the Delta Quadrant, can be downloaded via AMS to ANY quadrant. The Feds already have a Navigation mission specialist in Gibson, but she can't score points for both instances of Navigation on Study Badlands (for example), a universal mission grouped in a region and attemptable by anyone. The Klingons have plenty of such mission specialists, but Tassoni can be added to any deck to do the same job. As an Equinox crewmember, he also adds +4 to that ship's RANGE, though chances are you've got other Equinox personnel aboard. Let's not forget the SECURITY classification which is getting more and more use, sometimes on the same missions as Navigation. 3.5 for the generically useful specialist.
TOTAL: 13.1 (65.5%) Not impressed, but not disappointed.
PICTURE: While usually problems on other cards, the blur and distortion here is perfectly suited to the violence and surprise of a Spirit attack. I like that we see their dimensional apertures and the in-focus teeth, as well as Janeway's fish-eye point of view, so the only thing that works against the image is the rather dark color palette. A strong dilemma nonetheless, putting you in the hotseat. A 4.3.
LORE: Cause and effect are both explained (and taken up in game text as we'll see), and in colorful fashion. Too bad about the relentless techno-babble, but that's Voyager for you. A good 3.4.
TREK SENSE: Interesting. The "Spirits" don't attack you at all unless you molested them first, and plenty of Honor coupled with high Integrity makes sure you don't. The Equinox crew wasn't so nice, so they had to deal with a place-on-ship dilemma, which causes relentless attacks that kill 2 personnel each turn with their dessicating attacks. I'd say the body count on the Equinox would bear this out, but 2 is perhaps a bit much when you consider that some of the casualties were undoubtedly ensign Bobs. Shouldn't the crewmembers be allowed to defend themselves with hand weapons? The cure requires both understanding of the creatures' physical make-up (Exobiology) and a way to set up a forcefield to stop their extra-dimensional attacks (3 Engineer). Both parts of the card make sense, with some questions as to the exact ramifications of such a powerful effect. Of course, Janeway went for a more Diplomatic solution. An even 4.
SEEDABILITY: Watch out, Romulans and other Treachery-laden affiliations! Honor was never that useful in passing dilemmas until now. Ouch. If you don't have 3 Honor (a lot for some affiliations, though the Klingons will certainly have no trouble) and a good INTEGRITY base, the "Spirits" kill 2 personnel right away, then 2 more at the start of the next turn, making it unlikely that the crew will be able to come up with the cure (not that ENGINEER and Exobiology don't often share the same skill box, so this requires at least 3 personnel in most cases, if not more). After 4 deaths, are you really going to keep attempting the mission here? Time to jump ship as fast as you can - launch a shuttle, move to a planet and beam down, get yourself picked up by another ship in the fleet. There's a point to be made that armadas aren't just for battling. A very strong 4.5.
TOTAL: 16.2 (81%) New school dilemmas tend to have some teeth to them.
PICTURE: The very simple image from First Contact is replaced with a much busier, even baroque one, and not to its betterment. Sure, the planet is nondescript where the original card showed an inappropriate homeworld, but there are just too many elements present, and in no particular composition. The Queen and Seven are down there, the Queen's elevator and various Borg control panels too, but everything is dark, indistinct and haphazardly placed. A poor 1.7.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: Nothing's changed since the last review, as far as I'm concerned, except maybe how scouting planets is done, and that's not something inherent to the card itself. So what we have here is a common enough Borg objective, and with the Borg so inscrutable, is a Hidden Agenda. A planet you can assimilate cannot be a homeworld, which does make me wonder what the Borg consider homeworlds. After all, lots of regular planets are SOMEbody's homeworld. The Borg don't really get political, I don't think. The number of points the mission must be worth is just a matter of play balance and totally artificial. Points = mission difficulty/importance, and the Borg don't actually attempt missions (and certainly don't use the requirements). No problems however with the probing icons. Communications might be needed to give the population the "Resistance is futile" speech, while Defense is required to fight that population. Navigation isn't a must because any planet will do, no course to chart. Conceptuals are respected. Once the Borg are done here, another objective would obviously be next - they've always got something else up their implant. No win, no loss over the original, so the same 2.8.
STOCKABILITY: As a staple objective, I'd given this card a 4.8 before, and it's actually gotten a little better. With scouting attempts now possible with a full Away Team, rather than one by one, it's a little quicker and more effective. Add to that the various enhancement cards given the Borg with Enhanced FC, and probing can also be quicker (Service the Collective) and the objective more lucrative (Population 9 Billion). Of course, these incidents aren't available in the Voyager-only environment which this card was specifically created to support, but your Xenology Drone CAN be used here to re-probe. Excellent. Probe rigging is as easy as ever, and the two icons pretty common, thanks, and though a low-yield objective, it's not like there are homeworlds in the Delta Quadrant. And there's always a way to trap personnel on a planet, assimilate it and them with it. Even more a staple in the DQ, at 4.9.
TOTAL: 12.53 (62.65%) The pic drops the card a number of points.
PICTURE: If us boys can have those nudy pics of Lwaxana, then I guess the gals can drool over this card :-P. Seriously though, while the "Queen looking at holographic representation of her target" motif the Assimilation objectives in TB have going is interesting, I equate the set used with those terribly bare black studio locations in TOS, like in "The Empath". Total darkness with a panel fixture here, and another there, everyone pretty small in the frame... Composition-wise, it's pretty haphazard, and Seven's presence reduces drama (she's not on board with the objective). At least we can tell what we're looking at, and I'll admit this is the least frustrating of the new Assimilation cards at 3.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: Ooh, a new Borg objective! It's one that makes sense as a goal since the Borg are always out to add any species' distinctiveness to their own. I guess the main problem is that you may target a species of which you already have a member (and its distinctiveness), either assimilated through an earlier version if this card, or as a former species on a drone or counterpart. Ignoring that, targeting a species allows you to attack Away Teams and crews (with the invasive beam-inery we've all come to expect from the Borg) which contain the target species. They are on an assimilation run, so do not mortally wound, only stun. I understand not wanting to damage the goods, but what about non-target personnel? Aren't they just in the way? Anyway, when the battle is over, you probe and discard the objective, whether you were successful or not, which sounds wrong. Would the Borg not try again? The only good probe result is a Defense icon, and that works with the personnel battle nature of this objective. If successful, the target species is indeed assimilated, all members that were disabled anyway (translated into the game term "stunned"), but only if you won the battle as a whole. Repulsed Borg do not have time to assimilate anyone properly. You'll also need one of two possible pieces of equipment to pull this off, because your drones aren't all Talon drones with inbuilt assimilation capabilities (if they all are, this of course causes a problem). The idea is that you're going after all members of a species (or as many as possible), so all available drones are put in use. They either strap people to an Assimilation Table or infect them with Borg Nanoprobes (but here without the usual delivery device, Assimilation Tubules, but that's really a matter to be discussed in another review) where they are standing. Why not assimilate everyone while you're at it? Well, the effect can be achieved using other cards in combination with this one, but the objective is meant to simulate an imperative such as "Get me that Mindmeld thang!" from the Queen. Who can really know the mind of the Collective? Does pretty well with the space it has, though there are some plot holes. A 3.9 should do it.
STOCKABILITY: Any reason to give the Borg attack capability is welcome, though they are a little less fearsome in personnel battle than they are in space battle. Be that as it may, Assimilate Species has the potential of robbing your opponent of a large number of personnel each time it is successfully used. Assimilation always does that, even keeping personnel away from their rightful place in the discard pile, plus has the advantage of augmenting your own forces. The card allows you to beam personnel to a planet or ship without any other cards, so it's also an excuse to partake in a little sabotage operation. Some affiliations are so species-pure that attacking them will yield high results (Kazon without the Collective incident, Vidiians, Romulans, Cardassians, Bajorans...well, almost anyone but the Federation, Dominion and possibly Ferengi and Hirogen). Other times, you might want to make sure you get specific important personnel, such as androids, changelings, etc. Non-Aligned decks carry the smallest risk of assimilation, though the obective could almost be opponent's choice in its resolution. The card is certainly a nasty surprise for intruders (frequent in the Delta Quadrant) as A Change of Plans or Fifth get rid of that dummy Assimilate Planet for you. The main problem with the card of course, is its requirements. To make it work, you must win the battle (only killing the one booty personnel since you did not mortally wound anyone), so be sure to attack in droves and/or augment your STRENGTH through various methods. You must also be carrying either an Assimilation Table or Borg Nanoprobes (more on them a bit later), which shouldn't be a problem thanks to some drones' special downloads. And finally, you must probe for a Defense icon, no other choices. With such a limited probing palette, might I recommend some kind of probe rigging? If any of these elements is not possible, the objective is discarded without effect. That's terrible. But if you make it work... Ahh, there's lots more you can do with it. Add Distinctiveness will add points for each new assimilate. Don't content yourself with the target species either. Borg Nanoprobes present also assimilate a stunned personnel, regardless of species. Talon drones can still do their dirty business as well. Just make sure all your Defense drones aren't out and about - you'll need some to maximize your probing results. A little hard to pull off for my tastes, but pretty rewarding. A 4.1.
TOTAL: 14.67 (73.33%) A good card for assimilation strategies.
PICTURE: In the original review, I said that were it not for all FC card pics coming from First Contact, the best image for this card would have been an assimilated Voyager. Now that we CAN use Voyager images, well... it's still not the picture they picked. What's still strong though, is the theme the assimilation cards in The Borg have going, namely that they offer a view from inside a Borg ship of said assimilation instead of showing things from the outside. What's not so strong is the composition, which is haphazard (the tractor beam and shaft of light crossing each other, for example), and the big screen tv itself, which doesn't render a clear image of its subject. 2.2 is all that's here.
LORE: N/A (score will be adjusted accordingly)
TREK SENSE: Nothing much has changed on this front, with the card making as much sense as it did before. The Borg select a ship, and this allows you to beam to it and try to assimilate it (scout it). Beaming is pretty limited, but that's pretty much how the Borg did it in TNG ("Let's send one drone, and if it doesn't succeed, then another, etc."). We've seen others ways of doing it, but that's the reason for other cards. You need Computer Skill to get into the ship's systems of course. The probe icons are pretty standard, and I've always thought that the Navigation subcommand should have been there instead of Communications, since you can more readily draw a parallel between a Starship and Navigation than you can with Communications, but then again, you're not piloting it here. Defense is cool though (you have to fight the crew). One thing that HAS changed is the wording on the card. This one's clearer, and that's gonna help, but it does falsely imply that it allows beaming which it doesn't: a 4.
STOCKABILITY: Its lack of a point box handicaps it some, but you can still make some point off of it with Add Distinctiveness. Simply allow your drones to be attacked aboard the opposing ship as an excuse to beam over a rettaliation team (with Transport Drone or Annexation Drone). This gives you a chance to assimilate personnel and score points from them. Otherwise, the only rewards for assimilating a starship are 1) a ship which is no doubt less powerful than a Cube and 2) taking a ship and crew away from your opponent, which could also be achieved with Eliminate Starship, though the discard pile isn't as permanent as it used to be. This is a lesser Borg objective that nonetheless can be interesting to use, mostly as an excuse to form an Away Team. It hasn't gotten any real boost in The Borg, unlike its FC brethren. A 3 should cover it.
TOTAL: 12.27 (61.33%) Not very far from its twin.
PICTURE: I gotta say that 1) I really liked the First Contact version, and 2) the whole slime green lighting on Voyager Borg never worked for me. So the new version of Awaken is facing a couple of problems. Here, the awakening is from farther away, accompanied by smoke that makes it look like the drone was in cryogenic suspension. The odd angle has it reclining a bit and adds to the drama, but the green is a little overwhelming, and the pose is stiff. A 3.
LORE: While it uses very different phrasing, this version is just as spot-on when it comes to describing drone activation. The original focused a little more on the technical aspect, and this one on basic Borg behavior/strategy. I like: a 3.5.
TREK SENSE: No change from the original. We already know Cubes are chock-full of drones (that's why they report - or activate - directly aboard), so it makes sense for them to be activatable as a reaction (Interrupt) to something. The Hive might require a Communications drone or a Navigation drone. Defense drones are of course activated when your ship is under attack, whether from without or within. When in more eminent danger (represented by your opponent actually initiating the battle), you may download two. My only beef with this card is that, given the variety of Defense drones, I could come up with scenarios in which awakening a Def drone for something other than battle would make sense. Still a 4.
STOCKABILITY: A Borg staple of old, it gets you a drone of whatever type you choose without costing you a card play, and available on your opponent's turn. Defense drones can only be downloaded at the start of a battle, but most of the time, because of your attack restrictions, it'll be your opponent's initiation, and you can download two. These are a great boost to your forces whether fighting intruders or ships, boosting STRENGTH, WEAPONS and SHIELDS, assimilating passersby, etc. The unique drones now available make these downloads even more potent. And guess what? Awaken is one of the best possible probes with its three subcommand icons. As a sheer reporting mechanism, it's lost some shine to the new Borg Queen/Activate Subcommands combo, but not much. It's still a great reactive tool at 4.5.
TOTAL: 15 (75%) What it's lost, it's lost to Picture.
PICTURE: Aboard the Liberty, hair tussled, perfectly focused on the task at hand - which is getting out of deep trouble - I like this version of B'Elanna better than the Voyager one! Great close-up with a lot of contrast with the light background. Just dirty enough to be Maquis too. Two thumbs up... um, I mean, 4.
LORE: Though this version of the persona uses a more conventional species mention, it does a good job of giving details from B'Elanna's early life. Using the Maquis card title "Captain Chakotay" feels a bit stilted in my opinion, but may turn out to be useful in combination with a future Maquis incident, in the style of The Kazon Collective. The card title has a more informal feel by listing the given name only, which suits the Maquis. I'd have to give it at least 3.5.
TREK SENSE: The early B'Elanna is still an Engineer, and you might have argued, was still a super-Engineer, but they had to make room for other stuff, namely, the Security which can be associated with her fighting duties. She does retain Computer Skill x2 (she reprogrammed Dreadnought, after all) and Astrophysics. Ah? I don't doubt that Astrophysics could be useful to the Maquis living in the Badlands, but I think Transporter Skill would have been a better skill to give her (not enough space?). If you'll remember, she once told the captain she'd done a dangerous stationary-to-warp transport before (admits this in "Maneuvers"). Astrophysics should have been relegated to the same place as Cybernetics, as skills she used more once she was part of Voyager's crew. Special skill? As a prime Maquis Engineer, she kept their ships working, no doubt modifying them, etc. Representing this as a +2 to all attributes is perfect for her. Attributes are similar to her baseline (later) self, but with one point less in Integrity, normal given her lifestyle. No lower though, because the Maquis are basically altruistic (depending on their exact motivations). Though the Astrophysics chaffes a little, she's generally quite well done: a 4.
STOCKABILITY: She'll become more important when the Maquis do, but she's not bad as is. ENGINEER/SECURITY is an excellent classification combination, and not very common. Computer Skill x2 is great for a number of missions and dilemmas, and makes her downloadable via Quark's Isolinear Rods. Astrophysics is a good skill too. For now, only the Liberty counts as a Maquis ship, a ship she can report directly to (even without Crew Reassignment) no matter what quadrant it's in (it may seed in the DQ at the Array), and which she can boost to 10-8-8. Throw in Captain Chakotay, and not only can the ship be made a 12-11-11, but it makes B'Elanna's attributes hit 8-10-10. And let's not forget she's a version of the B'Elanna Torres persona, so it gives you an Alpha Quadrant personnel who can turn into the multi-skilled baseline version (ready to help report Alpha Quadrant androids), or she's just as easily reported aboard Liberty in the DQ where she can turn into her older self for extra skills and the ability to solve more than one mission by herself. Primarily using the other B'Elanna aboard Voyager or a native ship? Turning her into the Maquis version may not get you as much bang for your buck (a lot to sacrifice for an extra SECURITY). More specialized than the Voyager version, but can be pretty useful too, in either quadrant. A 3.9.
TOTAL: 15.4 (77%) 0.6 (3%) below the original.
PICTURE: In the FC version's review, I said it was the best of the 3 Cubes. Is it the best of the 5? Well, it hasn't been dethroned by the Voyager Borg Cube quite yet. While the background is spectacular, the Cube itself is far from as good. It's blurry, patched with green blotches that are a far cry from the energy crackling out of its FC cousin, and its dead-on pose lacks the drama of the overbearing original. It's a good thing it has that great background! Hits 4.3.
LORE: Instead of the short and chilling "Assimilate", we get a longer form that bears some interest, though the word "culture" is far from my mind when thinking of the Borg. And the almost poetic second sentence is a slight departure in tone from the original, but quite good, and puts forward the idea of Cubes as the building blocks of the Collective. Or am I seeing symbolism where it ain't? 4.1 from me.
TREK SENSE: Nothing's changed on this front... or has it? Bottom line, the ship is the same as the FC one or the Borg Ship dilemma (as far as stats go), but really, if the Collective keeps adapting, each successive Cube should probably be a bit better, just like each successive Enterprise. Bottom line though, Cubes are huge ships so should have immense staffing needs and outrageous Weapons and Shields. These are big enough to be "colonies" in and of themselves, so personnel and equipment can report aboard (or, in Borgese, "be activated" there). Destroying a Borg ship is quite an endeavor, so it's point-worthy, no problem (points in line with the dilemma). The Tractor Beam was seen on the show. The only real point of contention is the rather low Range. Even when you consider Transwarp technology, the Cube in "The Best of Both Worlds" could easily overtake/distance the Enterprise. Range 8 just wouldn't cut it. Then again, that Cube is now known as Locutus' Borg Cube and rated much faster. I don't really have a reason to take this card down from its 4.
STOCKABILITY: As the Borg get more and more options, the importance of certain cards tends to diminish. Case in point, the universal Borg Cube. Used to be, you either swarmed the spaceline(s) with Scouts or Spheres, or you scouted locations with huge crews or Away Teams from the relative safety of a Cube. Now there are more mid-sized Borg ships like the Borg Probe and Queen's Ship, so that you can use strong ships with less staffing. Cheaper and faster, these ships still don't have the firepower of the Cube, but if battle isn't really in the cards, you won't need the huge 24/24 advantage. If you do plan on kicking serious butt, or are afraid of major enhancements, then a Cube isn't the worst of ideas. It may be worth 45 points to your opponent, but it's really hard to destroy, and many drones can boost YOUR attributes too. Then again, the Tactical Cube has similar staffing and better fighting attributes. Being universal, it's of course a good bet for Spacedoor, and it replaces the Borg Ship dilemma in one fell sweep using Retask. Down a bit to 3.9.
TOTAL: 16.3 (81.5%) 0.3 down from the #1 ship, that's not too bad.
PICTURE: A good clear shot of some of the worst-looking Borg equipment ever. I mean, it looks like somebody assimilated RadioShack and threw all sorts of little springs and cables into the giant soles of some Spice Girl footwear. All that to say the Nodes look a little mechanical. But good crisp shots with plenty of detail and good color, though the background as seen through the glass shelf is horrid. 3.1 to my eyes.
LORE: A good description, technical but not technobabble, I'm happy with the lore except for the finger-pointing "these". Sure, the explain the picture, but such links are clumsy. Plus, it's not clear if they're talking about a probe or a Probe (the ship). I'll say 3.2.
TREK SENSE: Data Nodes are apparently akin to sensor logs, logs which can be accessed by, who else, Communication Borg, even if they are out of the Collective (thanks to knowledge and implants). They contain information that spans the Collective, so it has stuff that may have been scanned some time ago, by any number of Borg ships. Sine the Nodes are no doubt part of the Borg's adaptive abilities, they can be used to download Adapt cards. Good enough, though the download isn't reflexive. It downloads to hand which is more nebulous Trek Sense-wise than into play. I take it as meaning that with Data Nodes, the Borg are always ready to Adapt. Fine. The Nodes may also contain scans of ships in play, so that you can take a peek at who's aboard. That has the same problem Long-Range Scan does, namely that unless you're looking for specific species, scans don't really give you information like "Janeway, Chakotay and Ayala are aboard the Delta Flyer", especially when these aren't your own personnel. Finally, the Nodes may also be able to scan the top of the draw deck. What does this mean? They can see into the future? A little harder to justify even if it's sometimes TACTICALLY possible. And there's the matter of the card only marginally really being "equipment". They can be ripped out of a ship and be used, but they appear to be components akin to consoles, computer processors, etc. They certainly aren't carried around, and only Voyager made use of them in "detached" form. A good basis for a card, but it doesn't always work. A 2.2.
STOCKABILITY: Only the Borg can use the first ability since Adapt cards are Borg-use only, but the rest will function with former drones like Seven and her breed. It's still way better overall for the Borg. On the one hand, you need never run out of Adapt cards, whether to beat dilemmas or hand weapons, thanks to the once per turn download to hand. In the Voyager environment, they replace the Countermeasure drone, but are a little better since they don't cost you your card draw. The card replaces (read: kills off) Long-Range Scan by giving the Node the ability to glance at a ship's crew. This can help in determining Yuta numbers and the like, though it's never been a very important ability. As a stand-alone interrupt, it was close to useless, but the Node stays in play and is way more effective. Finally, the Node can peek at the top card of any player's draw deck. While this is fine for checking out your opponent's cards, it's great for checking your own top card to figure out the best time for your Borg to probe. Should I probe now or initiate a download that will shuffle my deck? The Borg can definitely use this continually renewable ability, and it's not that bad for other affiliations either. As side-bonuses: the Connectivity Drone can download it, and it allows for a card draw each turn if Cortical Node Implant is present. A batch of functions that are unduplicated in the Voyager environment, but that also better some old card effects from FC and Premiere. A 3.8.
TOTAL: 12.3 (61.5%) A cool shortcut to a number of effects which beats reprinting some older cards.
PICTURE: Screen shots are usually a bit boring, but this one isn't. I've always liked the graphics of Nanoprobes attaching themselves to blood cells. It's a bit cartoony, but a very clear representation of what's happening at the microscopic level. The shot also contains a rather blatant "47", and has plenty of color to go around. A likeable 3.5.
LORE: Does a good job of showing how both the Borg and other affiliations may use it, though the term "submicroscopic" is technobabble. A fairly good 3.4.
TREK SENSE: While the Nanoprobes are a good deal smaller than most Equipment, they CAN be carried around (in your bloodstream apparently), so do qualify in a strange sort of way. Of course, you might think all Borg drones would have Nanoprobes in their bodies, and I think you'd be right, so turning them into transferable, sometimes-they're-there-sometimes-not devices goes against what we know of the Collective. For other affiliations however, a hypoful of Nanoprobes would be a valuable commodity, so it works fine for non-Borg in that respect. The effects are fine no matter the card type however. The Borg use them for assimilation, of course, and the mechanic works like most other assimilation procedures. A Defense drone injects the Nanoprobes when it stuns an opposing personnel. The Nanoprobes then "abduct" (was this terminology necessary? it's silly) and assimilate the target. The Voyager crew managed to turn Nanoprobes into a weapon that could target Species 8472 and their ships, weapon which later fell into Borg hands. That's the other effect afforded by the card, that of nullifying relevant dilemmas. Gravimetric Distortion, which, in the Voyager environment, is an 8472 dilemma, of course has nothing to do with 8472 biology, so it cannot be targeted. The rest? Well, let's see: Nanoprobes can be used to combat 8472 DNA infection (Your Galaxy Is Impure); The Weak Will Perish seems to be a more generic "8472 Attack" dilemma and would also be covered. That's all for now, and you could argue Nanoprobes should negate any DNA-related dilemma, and I think you'd be right, but the card sticks to events from "Scorpion". (Other cards make mention of Nanoprobes to extend its uses, such as Hunt Alien and Assimilate Species, but I'll leave the commentary for those reviews.) If 8472 personnel ever become something other than dilemmas, perhaps Nanoprobes will be mentioned on them, we'll see. The effects seem to work well, though perhaps the card is a bit limited, and its two-fold function does bring up questions. A still good 3.6.
STOCKABILITY: The Borg can use all effects, so let's start with them. Borg Nanoprobes make a fine addition to any assimilation deck. Such strategies already use Defense drone assault teams to attack and stun opposing personnel in the hope of making them your own. Nanoprobes does for one Defense drone each turn what the Talon drone can already do. This allows you to diversify your Def drones while keeping the same agenda, and also enables such strategies in a Voyager-only environment. The Antitoxin drone can download the card instead of your normal card play, so you need never be without it. And though Nanoprobes only assimilates one stunned personnel, using it with Assimilate Species' successful probe assimilates ALL stunned personnel of the target species. Assimilate Species will do this using the Assimilation Table too, but unless you're going for Counterparts, Nanoprobes will usually prove more useful (and even then). The second function is good for all affiliations, including the Borg. Nullifying 2 dilemmas (for now) may not seem like a lot, but these are devastating dilemmas to be sure. The Weak Will Perish can kill off wide amounts of personnel, taking advantage of any low attributes, and in the Borg, will kill all universal drones with no chance of Adapting. Very bad mojo. Your Galaxy Is Impure conjurs up one opponent's choice death per mission/scouting attempt which can really derail said attempt. Again, the Borg may not Adapt to it. The existence of these dilemmas alone often warrants your bringing Nanoprobes along for the ride. Non-Borg can also look forward to attempting Hunt Alien without the STRENGTH requirement, but given that the mission is Klingon/Kazon/Hirogen, affiliations with plenty of STRENGTH, that's not much of a bonus. The Ferengi can download the card using Yeggie and a Non-Aligned Borg, which is a cute shortcut, but not much of one. At this point, about a 4.5.
TOTAL: 15 (75%) Look for this one to get more and more uses in future expansions.
PICTURE: Where the original looked like a foreboding wave, this one's more vivacious, looking like an ancient tree pulsing with green energy. But the fruits it sustains are Borg drones... Close to as poetic as its FC counterpart (and a great effect), it's still not really a facility, but the core of a Borg Sphere. Of course, Borg facilities could also have these structures, so... A still beautiful 4.6 here.
LORE: Because of the longer revised game text, the lore's been curtailed quite a bit. I don't dislike the unimatrix mention, but this is really bare bones. Maybe a 3.1.
TREK SENSE: Now that we've explored Borg space a bit more, I remain unconvinced that they have actual outposts. Unicomplexes, Transwarp Hubs, sure, but we've never seen anything akin to the generic Outpost. From what we've seen, it looks like the Borg basically use their Cubes as travelling facilities (and indeed, the game allows you to report your personnel and equipment right aboard). The conjectural Outpost, then, can be seeded at any "Any crew may attempt" space mission in the DQ. The reasoning seems to be that attemptability icons denote territorial ownership, and since the Borg do not have attemptability icons, a place where there are none can be laid claim by the Collective as part of the ever-growing "Borg space". The reasoning has always been flawed though since, for example, you can build an outpost at opposing affiliations' worlds, etc. Missions may not be in your space and often aren't. Same for the Borg here, though the relevant DQ missions tend toward the non-aligned type. In the case of universal missions, it's not much of a leap at all, but other places are a little more "aligned", like Prison Break. The Outpost also has the usual cheat of allowing a lone Engineer build an entire facility, but we're used to that by now. He can build it at similar missions or assimilated planets, and indeed, that's the way for the Collective to lay claim to those types of missions. No real equivalent exists for space, so I guess the tack taken by Decipher works relatively well. The download makes sense (even if it remains conjectural) since it should be some kind of nexus of Borg activity. Shields being way up there is as sensical as can be due to Borg technology. It's a 3.3.
SEEDABILITY: There have been a number of changes made since the original Borg Outpost came out in First Contact. The greatest of these is that the BO has been brought in line with other outposts and must now seed at an actual location. Fair enough, but it becomes much less protected as a result. Still, with SHIELDS rated at 48, it's got plenty of protection, you might say. It's easier to build than before however. You need not assimilate a planet to build an outpost in another quadrant, but only really have to seed a "Any crew may attempt" mission there. When your Scout gets to that part of space, it's an easy matter of having a drone with ENGINEER build you a facility. The special download could well be saved for when you get that second outpost to get a Doorway to its location, though you could also scout it with Establish Gateway and get your TNG that way. The download works just as well early on, since you no doubt seeded another at one spaceline end. That's a direct path to any quadrant or to the farthest reaches of the DQ on round one. Aside from that little ditty, whose usefulness really depends on your strategy and what ships you'll be using, Borg Outpost has been totally outclassed by its two newer cousins. The Unicomplex and Transwarp Hub are both outpost too (so Complink Drone can seed there, and I think Unicomplex can work with Population 9 Billion if you haven't already played it), but with even higher SHIELDS and late play that does not require an ENGINEER. The Unicomplex further has free plays for some personnel, and the Hub incorporates its own TNG, never mind the download. That really sinks the baseline model to a low 2.
TOTAL: 13 (65%) Oh, how the mighty hath fallen.
PICTURE: The Probe being in sharp focus while the stars whiz by is quite dynamic which overcomes the ship's basic shape's dullness thanks also to sparkling color dabs. That sense of movement is worth a 3.7.
LORE: Begs the question - What exactly ARE unimatrices? I always thought they were some kind of organizational component of the Collective, but here, the lore makes reference to exploring distant ones as if they were areas of space. Borg space MIGHT have been divided into unimatrices, but then, why send Probes to explore your own space, even if it is the border? "Patrol" might have been a better word there. I'm sorry, but my 3-dimensional mind doesn't really understand what the deal is. The last sentence is, by now, standard Borg rhetoric. The confusion (or at the very least, inconsistency) keeps the score at 2.
TREK SENSE: What Borg Scouts were to First Contact, Probes are to Voyager. The Probe is bigger however, so its attributes are thus a bit better, and its staffing a bit larger. A Navigation drone is still necessary to pilot the thing (especially on the edges of "known space"), but another Borg, any Borg must also help (simply for the size of the thing). Range is the highest attribute because scouting is its principal objective. You want to cover as much space as possible. The thing's still large enough to have Miranda-level Weapons and Shields, which is probably less than the real thing would have given the level of Borg technology, but since it's not a vessel meant for battle, Borg effeciency might also dictate that these attributes are appropriate. Since these things are out exploring the Delta Quadrant (the borders of Borg space), they can report there instead of your outpost. With crew? Well, all ships that report "out there" must have had a crew to get there. The personnel limit is meant for balance, but respects the ship's size. You also need the Borg Queen in play to do this, and this is more conceptual than anything, and probably based on the fact that the Probe made its appearance in her first Voyager appearance, "Dark Frontier". The ship's big enough for a Tractor Beam and a bounty of 10 points, ok on that, and that brings us to the final score, a good enough, but not spectacular, 3.4.
STOCKABILITY: The Probe is more than just a Voyager version of the Scout and Sphere from First Contact, though it has the former's long-range capability and the latter's battling attributes. It's actually a bit faster than the Scout and has more flexible staffing requirements than the Sphere. Its best feature is no doubt its ability to report with crew (the 2 Borg required to staff the ship and an extra) if your Borg Queen is in play. Now, who doesn't use a Queen, I ask you. It can only report to the DQ, of course, so doesn't really unseat the more Alpha Quadrant-friendly Scouts, but for a DQ deck, they're quite good as smaller swarming ships. In the DQ, you also won't need a personnel reporting function like a Cube's as much, because your facilities should be closer. The bounty isn't so high as to break the game in your disfavor should one be destroyed, but it's pretty easy to do so, and that remains one of the ship's enduring disadvantages. For one staffing icon more, the Queen's Borg Ship is much tougher, but it's not universal, and for long-range tactics, you'll prefer the Probe. Not only has it got very good RANGE, but it can report as far as you need it to go. If using more than the DQ, just report it directly to a Transwarp Hub and move to the AQ from there. A good, fast support craft for the Borg, so a 3.9.
TOTAL: 13 (65%) Ah, the Borg and their probes ;-).
PICTURE: Nothing against Susanna Thompson in other roles, but I was never enamored of her portayal of the Borg Queen. Perhaps it's not possible to outdo Alice Krige, but I also don't think the make-up worked as well on her. Or maybe it's the lighting. Here, it certainly is, as that stark yellow does nothing for me. The Queen's regal enough in demeanor, and she's at her assembly array or whatever you call it, but the environment's too hazy and doesn't seem to share the same lighting she does. Far from as good as the original at 2.9.
LORE: The First Contact Queen used an enigmatic quote instead of the robo-speak used on other Borg, and that suited her fine. Here, they've again used a quote, and though less poetic (a bit more toward the end), it's fun and informative. We even get her original species (is this the watermark at which the Borg got their "voice"?). Good work: 4.3.
TREK SENSE: Not a reprint, this is a new version of the Queen from FC. They still have a number of identical characteristics. She's still an enigma, one of the things I lauded the original on. She represents all Borg and can "return from the dead" so to speak since you can't destroy the entire Collective (unless you're Janeway apparently), but she's also a unique individual in her own right and there's only ever one of her at any one time. She still has all three subcommand icons because she's a nexus for the Borg consciousness and can draw on its entire resources. Similarly, they had to leave her the ability to select any skill at the start of each turn, grabbing whatever is required from the entirety of assimilated experience. Of course, that skill doesn't quite work right, because all skills would no doubt be in the Queen simultaneously. As it is, she can't conduct assimilations and chew gum at the same time. I know that can't be done on a card (well, there's a way, but it still destroys game balance), but they could have let her "Interlink" most skills while still keeping a couple around like Leadership or Cybernetics, which are more natural to her as an "individual". Her attributes haven't changed either, with computer mind Cunning and Strength that, though presumably cybernetically enhanced, really isn't made to fight either Picard or Janeway. We're still saddled with semi-high Integrity, which does express the Borg's ambiguous morality, but should still be way lower. All that's changed really is the second special skill. Before, it was download A Change of Plans or a drone for a card draw. Now, it's a Borg event or interrupt for a card play. Well, the original worked better, and this one seems more mechanical, but it's not a total write-off either. Borg-use only cards include such Queenly commands as Awaken and Activate Subcommands, Alas, Poor Drone which was kind of her thing, one Implant, etc. Nothing that seems out of line, though the open-ended nature of the text may cause problems later, and the timing restrictions take away a number of fine options (see below). There's no real reason why this ability is more suited to Voyager than to First Contact (indeed, there are far less downloadable cards in the Voyager environment). A bit less than the original at 4.2.
STOCKABILITY: The Borg Queen has always been an important part of your Borg deck, and it's not always even a question of which one you'll use. Such an important personnel card requires a backup anyway, and on a collector level, it may be easier to get your second Queen from another expansion, and with slightly different abilities to boot. They're versions of the same persona, and you can easily switch back and forth between them depending on the downloads you actually need. And if one dies, the other's in your hand to play on the next turn anyway. This Queen keeps that all-important flexible skill which allows your Borg to have non-Borg skills like Diplomacy, Treachery and Mindmeld to share through the Interlink drone. The Borg expansion gave us some Borg with atypical skills, granted, but it's still easier to have a one-stop shop for any skill you need. The Queen can usually stay safe somewhere in the Hive and share whatever's needed with the rest of her drones. The big difference between the two is the downloads. Mechanically, the original converted card draws into downloads which takes away a little flexibility from your hand. This one converts card plays which limits the number of cards that hit the table. The "of Nine" family of drones can help you manipulate all this, but the exact formula is up to you. The original Queen could download A Change of Plans, and this one still can (it's a Borg-only interrupt). What the new Queen can't download is drones, though she can do it indirectly with We Are the Borg, Awaken and Activate Subcommands. Instead, she can grab events and interrupts of the Borg persuasion. That doesn't mean they're all fair game, since some can't be played at the start of your turn as your normal card play. That eliminates the Adapt cards, Borg Kiss, 3D Thinking and Assimilation Tubules. Events generally fare better than interrupts obviously (which suddenly slow down to event speeds). It still allows her to grab drones through other cards (including Retask), but also to recycle them with Alas, boost them with Cranial Tranceiver Implants, have them play for free (or get yourself more card draws) with We Are the Borg, and more. The Queen is now also matching commander of the Borg Queen's Ship (which she fully staffs) in addition to her Cube and Sphere, so she can Ready Room Door to any of the ships, select ENGINEER and Construct the Starship of her choice, or just plain Plaque & Log them to boost their stats. As the Queen, she can still pass Executive Authorization, be transported from a destroyed ship through Three-Dimensional Thinking, keeps A Change of Plans in your hand instead of the discard pile, doubles Alas, Poor Drone, reports for free to the Unicomplex, may be downloaded by Long Live the Queen (which also protects her from capture), allows Borg Probe to report with crew, and is required to successfully Reassimilate Lost Drone. Still have to watch out for Queen-hunters out to destroy your Collective with Alas, Poor Queen though. Let's not forget the Enigma icon which not only protects her from a host of dilemmas like Cardassian Trap and Framed for Murder, but also the nasty Tantalus Field. It's also one of the probing icons Harness Particle 010 looks for, and that's an important point-getter for the Borg. When comparing the two Queens, I'd say the original is probably better early in the game when you want to get personnel out, but the second has more flexible abilities in the later part of the game. Hard to peg which is better, but in any case, BOTH have grown in power thanks to other cards. So both have also become more obvious targets. I'll stick to 4.9 on this one.
TOTAL: 16.3 (81.5%) As useful as her former self, but other design elements weren't as strong.
PICTURE: Beautiful! The ship has real dimension in no small part thanks to the planet in the background. I like the model shots as much as the next guy, but I'm real glad Decipher's not shying away from letting ships share their space with other structures. It looks mighty fine! This is especially true of a Borg ship like this, since they're usually a bit darker and could easily melt into the usual black sky. A very strong 4.4.
LORE: Not only does it have a boring title (Borg Diamond, Lozenge or Diadem would have been MUCH more interesting), but it also uses words like "assignments" and "personal" which are really not Borg in connotation. The Queen's matching commander status is stated unobtrusively and more naturally than on her Cube and Sphere, but that's the most that can be said about it. A rather poor 1.7.
TREK SENSE: A smaller Borg ship, the Queen's Ship gets more conservative attributes which could still do plenty of damage to an unenhanced Voyager (for example). It's always hard to gauge such stats for the Borg, but they seem about right given the speed, power and resistance shown onscreen. It's the Queen's ship, and she can apparently fly it on her own if she needs to. This isn't too hard to swallow, since there are precedents for Borg using all three of their subcommand icons (Seven of Nine). The Queen somehow contains the entire Collective, so should have access to all of its capabilities, right? But it's still big enough to have plenty of alcoves for you to activate drones from, and so personnel and equipment can report directly aboard, just like a Cube. And big enough to have a Tractor Beam, of course. 20 points for its destruction? Yeah, sounds about right, being halfway to a Cube in general ability. It all works, though nothing really stands out as too original, nor can it all be proven from onscreen evidence, sometimes only inferred. Giving it a 3.8.
STOCKABILITY: A good mid-sized ship for the Borg, who are often saddled with either very large staffing requirements, or puny attributes (deadly since the ships are worth bonus points). With the Queen's Ship, they get a vessel that not only has a reasonable 3 staffing icons, but can also be staffed by a single personnel: the Borg Queen! Hey, your arm doesn't even have to be twisted for you to include her in a Borg deck. She can download aboard with Ready Room Door, build the ship with Construct Starship by giving herself ENGINEER as a skill, and Plaque & Log it to 11-17-17. That's better than your usual Galaxy-sized ship (if we go by similar staffing icons). Seven of Nine could also theoretically fly it alone, so you never need a large number of Borg aboard. Still, it can't hurt, and the Borg can report directly aboard, regardless of distance from outpost, quadrant or time period. It can definitely do the job without your resorting to the larger Cubes, and with its 20 point bounty, won't be such a game breaker if it is destroyed. Intermix Ratio should still be considered, people. A strong addition to your Collective at 4.5
TOTAL: 14.4 (72%) Gee, and it had to be the only non-ultrarare card from The Borg I couldn't get or trade for.
PICTURE: As cool as it was on the show, the Tac-Cube benefits from clear focus, a tight shot (makes it look bigger) and neat design. The big "shuttlebay access" cut into the front hull armor gives it a lot of personality too. A good 3.8.
LORE: Quite ruthless with the usually futile "resistance", its Tasks are very appropriately listed. Another good effort at 3.5.
TREK SENSE: This type of Borg Cube is for defense, and it shows. Weapons and Shields are higher than your standard Cube (with appropriately higher bounty points), but Range has been cut down a little. These respond to incursions in Borg space, they don't go gallivanting across the spaceline assimilating as they explore. The staffing also shows the defense bent, dropping the Communications subcommand icon entirely in favor of another Defense. Shoot first, give the "You will be assimilated" speech later. Furthermore, while personnel and equipment can still report directly aboard as usual (activating from their alcoves), Defense Borg do so for free. It's really a battle-ready ship. A great adaptation of an already sound design. As much as 4.5.
STOCKABILITY: Cubes are staffing-intensive, but the Tac-Cube is a great alternative to the universal Borg Cube. Sure, you sacrifice a point of RANGE and have a bigger bounty on your head, but the benefits reaped are more than worth it. It's still a Borg Cube, so it still can't be commandeered with Commandeer Ship, can use Maximum Firepower, and Harness Particle 010. But where the regular Borg Cube has to do its best to slowly get its 7 staffing icons, the Tac-Cube can report more than half of it (if the generic Borg icons are Defense drones) for free, speeding up the process considerably. That's a huge advantage. Too bad Seven can't be as much help though, and note that it makes the Tac-Cube a poorer probe card. To make things worse for your opponent, the ship's WEAPONS and SHIELDS are the highest of any ship in the game. Come and get your 50 points, if you can that is! The only reason I'd ever use the other Borg Cube now is that I might not have enough copies of Tac-Cube by virtue of its being rare. But in a perfect world... (The first Spacedoored one should be enough to last me the game anyway.) Borg Tactical Cube tactical evaluation: 4.5.
TOTAL: 16.3 (81.5%) In the same range as its brethren.
PICTURE: While I'm always impressed by CGI that eliminates characters from a relatively busy background (here, Tuvok and B'Elanna are supposed to be at the back right console), it turns the Vinculum image into a boring set shot. The Vinculum looks cool, sure, but Engineering does not. The episode had dramatic close-ups, and one image of the thing floating in space, why not use those? A somewhat disappointing 2.2.
LORE: The initial "Functions" puts us in the efficient Borg mindset, and uses pretty much the language used in "Infinite Regress", right down to the Queenly riff about bringing order to chaos. A well done 3.6.
TREK SENSE: Usurping the function of the Interlink Drone, the Vinculum as presented here works more or less as described by the episode. It takes the knowledge of all drones in the Hive (which should actually be of the entire Collective) and disseminates it among all others, as long as a Communication drone is present at all ends. That's not stated in the show, but makes sense within the subcommand structure established in the game (based on information acquired in "The Best of Both Worlds"). As Equipment though, it leaves a little to be desired. It's just too big to be carried around, even if we saw it was transferrable from ship to ship. Well... The one we saw would have been plugged into a Cube's systems if that ship hadn't been destroyed. So you don't transfer it from ship to ship after all. They HAVE made it immune to Disruptor Overload which is a sound precaution given that the Vinculum has numerous safeguards protecting it, but with drones technically beaming it to planets with them, or to enemy ships, it should have been another card type. As is, I see it getting a 3. No more.
STOCKABILITY: In the Voyager-only environment, the Vinculum takes the place of the Interlink drone in allowing your Hive to share skills. With Borg now being able to beam to planet locations with more than one personnel per turn, the problems this overcomes may not seem as large, but there's no mistaking that skill sharing is useful in most situations. It multiplies any skill at the location by the number of Borg at that same location. So when your Queen selects Diplomacy as her skill, for example, she need only be present with 2 other Borg to pass the Dip requirements of, say, Nagilum. And here you thought the Borg didn't have much of that skill. You need not even risk your Queen or Counterpart in mission attempts. Having a Vinculum with a Com Borg (which the Counterparts and Queen are) will share their skills with any Away Teams or crews that also have Com Borg. Mega-Away Teams made easy if you ask me. The Vinculum can come into play rather easily too: The Connectivity drone (11 of 12) can download one in place of a card draw. This is not a special download mind you, you can do it as many times as you want. And with many cards downloading the drones of your choice, that 11 of 12 can come into play just as easily too. Oh, and the Procurement drone does the same thing (but can also get an Assimilation Table). And it can't be nullified by Disruptor Overload? I tell ya, the operative word is EASY. A strong 4.8.
TOTAL: 13.6 (68%) Even if they ever make dilemmas requiring 6 Empathy...
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