Siskoid's Rolodex...................The Borg (7)

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To see the cards themselves, check out this Card list for the Borg expansion set.


#2436-Turanj, Personnel, Hirogen, Delta quadrant, TB

"Rash hunter. Grudgingly took part in a holodeck scenario of Nazi Germany's 20th-century occupation of France. Never grasped Karr's aims in studying the Voyager prey."

-SECURITY, Treachery x2, Leadership, Geology, Stellar Cartography; Command icon


PICTURE: Well, this one certainly made a big controversial splash when it was released! I know a lot of people find the swastika offensive, but it's not like it's in a good light here. Between its episode context and the uniformed Turanj next to it, I think fascism it well expressed. And there's a reason the Nazis chose the symbol - it's quite dramatic. Especially in those colors. So personally, no, I don't find it offensive, since it IS equated with WWII, and the Hollywood version of WWII at that. I understand its context and am not historically touched by it. But I don't think I'd fly off the handle each time I saw a union jack on a card either (I'm an Acadian, and our people were deported - long ago - by the British... someone flying a union jack in this part of Canada can offend some people, unless they're actually from the U.K.). Looking beyond the controversy, the pic works, with sharp colors, and a dramatic composition. Not to be insensitive, but a 4.

LORE: Turanj's attitude is well exposed in each phrase. It's one-note to be sure, but written with enough variety to be interesting. A 3.4.

TREK SENSE: Turanj's short-sightedness turns up in his low Cunning, and certainly, I wouldn't give this guy Anthropology! He's still second-in-command, so Leadership and a Command icon make sense. He's not the Alpha though, so his soldier's Security fits well. And since he is a bad guy, definitely able to wear that uniform, low Integrity and double Treachery are justifiable. After all, he turned against his own people. The other skills might well be useful in the hunt, on planets and in space, but he doesn't really make use of them in "The Killing Game". High Strength is a Hirogen trait. I've got no complaints even if some of the elements remain unproven. A 3.9.

STOCKABILITY: The Hirogen don't have enough personnel that you can dismiss any of them out of hand, especially ones with multiple skills. The Treachery x2 is an interesting element, since you can use it to download one of the Hirogen's big hand weapons (with The Art of Diplomacy). Protection Racket is an odd possibility, but a possibility nonetheless. He's protected from Sabotaged Negotiations as well. The addition of SECURITY means he can make downloads to your Brig, which is good since the Hirogen can take captives easily enough (with Relics and Rituals). He can initiate a battle, and has the STRENGTH for it, even if not at the level of some other hunters. The other skills are useful (2 for Corner Enemy Ship), the other attributes are on the low side. Overall, he's got enough tricks for a 3.9.

TOTAL: 15.2 (76%) Controversy can be healthy.

#2449-Two of Nine - Transtator Drone, Personnel, Borg, Delta quadrant, TB

"Task: Primary adjunct of unimatrix zero one. Biological Distinctiveness: Humanoid."

-Defense; SCIENCE, Physics, SECURITY; Once each turn, may discard a card from hand to place bottom two cards of discard pile beneath draw deck


PICTURE: 2 of 9 benefits from atmospheric lighting, the ruddy glow of the fire highlighting his armor and implants. You get a real sense that he's a Defense drone here. The green background meshes with the usual Borg greens, but being a natural setting add much more to the atmosphere. A 3.7.

LORE: I find Seven's "of 9" buddies incredibly disappointing. Their Tasks just don't give up the goods, and in this case, neither does the ID! What does 2 of 9 do exactly? There isn't even an attempt at putting the special skill (or any skill) into words. Even the Biological Distinctiveness is vague. At least the word "Transtator" is from Trek lore ("A Piece of the Action"). A very poor 1 (basically for the Borg lore format, which still brings a lot of flavor, and for the effort of trying to find something alphabetically suitable for 2 of 9's ID).

TREK SENSE: Chicken or egg? Were these skills part of mathematician Lansor's make-up and assimilated? Or did they become part of him while in the Collective and are left-overs on his NA card? I think both ideas are represented. As a mathematician, Science and Physics are natural enough. Computer Skill might also have been used, but it all depends what kind of use he made of his math skills. Security, however, comes from his particular set of implants when made part of the Defense subcommand. I suppose the Borg have their reasons for mixing and matching abilities like this. The primary adjuncts seem to have greater resource manipulation abilities, being higher up on the processor totem pole. That's what the special skill is about, but how it works in the "real world" is another mystery. It's too mechanical, and there aren't enough clues in the lore or source episode, to really hazard a guess. Nor does it seem a likely ability for the Defense subcommand. Bottom line, an iffy 2.7.

STOCKABILITY: 2, 3 and 4 of 9 all have similar abilities that send cards to the bottom of their player's draw deck. In Two's case, it's really a card cycler, as you discard a card to regenerate 2 cards back into your deck. It's a bit like ore processing for the Borg. With the Collective so adept at downloading (and shuffling their deck), it's not like the bottom of any pile remains the bottom for long, and Two's ability will certainly keep resources on tap for the length of the game. Two classifications and a skill round out his profile, making him pretty efficient as a mission solver too, and let's not forget his Defense icon, which gives him access to We Are the Borg, Borg Nanoprobes, Divert Power, Long Live the Queen, Bodyguards, Resistance Is Futile, and more. But it's all about that special skill when I give it 4.4.

TOTAL: 11.8 (59%) With that lore, I would have been surprised if he's made it to 60%.

#2462-Two of Twelve - Xenology Drone, Personnel, Borg, universal, Delta quadrant, TB

"Task: Assess suitability of alien cultures for assimilation. Biological Distinctiveness: Humanoid."

-Communications; Archaeology, Anthropology, Exobiology; If present where probing for Assimilate Planet, once each turn, you may discard probe card to probe again


PICTURE: The expression on this drone makes him look too human, in my opinion, like he should have a pipe in his mouth and be on a show called Father Knows Best. That kind of all-American dad kind of face. The very sleek suit and de-emphasis on the eye implant also help create this effect. The background sports some splashes of color, but the drone is pretty much awash in blue. A low 2.

LORE: Good ID and Task, quite reasonable and with a palpable link to everything in the game text. Note that he is also in the same group as the similarly skilled Network Drone (9 of 12). A good 3.4.

TREK SENSE: Since this drone assesses alien cultures, Archaeology and Anthropology are both naturals. You can't understand a species' culture without understanding its biology, since these are very much linked, and thus, Exobiology. As for the special skill, it allows for a second probe on Assimilate Planet, the very Objective 2 of 12 is conducting its assessment for. Probing again can be seen as double-checking findings, this time using the information gathered by the Xenology Drone. It's simply a matter of making the Assimilation more efficient/faster. And since we're discussing information, I'll agree he's a Communications drone. Like 9 of 12, a high 4.5.

STOCKABILITY: An immense time saver for the Borg, he allows you a second probe if the first one does not succeed on Assimilate Planet, one of the old standby Objectives. Probe rigging takes some effort, but a second chance might be all you really need (or required to counter someone countering your probe rigging). Assimilate Planet has 2 possible probe choices, Com and Def, both standards for the Borg, and easy to get, if not on the first try, on the second. It's only a 25-pointer, but can be raised with Resistance Is Futile. And of course, he also has 3 good skills to contribute and probably the best subcommand icon. A 4.4.

TOTAL: 14.3 (71.5%) A full 5% below 9 of 12, on account of his Picture score.

#2475-USS Dauntless, Ship, Non-Aligned/Federation, Delta quadrant, TB

"Unique ship constructed and commanded by Arturis. Equipped with an operational quantum slipstream drive. Designed to appear as an experimental Starfleet vessel."

-Dauntless Class[1 Command, 2 Staff] May be fully staffed by Arturis; Holodeck; SD Quantum Slipstream Drive


PICTURE: I was surprised by the picture of the Dauntless, as it's not really an angle I remember too well. Quantum Slipstream Drive is probably in my head. What we got is fine, and detailed, but not as dynamic. It does have an alien shape teamed up with Starfleet textures though, which is the point. Highlights make the Fed blue template the better of the two, but either way, this scores 3.4.

LORE: Not sure we need the word "unique" there, but the rest of the lore does a good enough job of rendering its story, capabilities and matching commander. The title and class play Arturis' game, allowing us to believe this is a Federation ship for real, which is a nice, but perhaps too subtle, point. A 3.4 again.

TREK SENSE: The ship is really Non-Aligned, but since it is disguised as a Federation ship thanks to Holodeck technology, it can be used as such (it was Arturis' goal, though they weren't supposed to keep control of it). You need a standard complement of personnel to staff the ship, especially since it is so "experimental", but Arturis was shown to fly it solo, and this is all respected here. It had a Quantum Slipstream Drive, which is its download (of course, that card fails on the basis that it is not "installed", but discarded after use, but that's neither here nor there). The attraction the Dauntless held, beyond the Drive, is that it is fast enough to cross quadrants, so the Range is way up there. Weapons and Shields are less important (and it's not really a BIG ship), but acceptable. The final sequence has Seven have to use Borg tricks to disable the Shields telling me that maybe they could have been a point more, but 8 is fine. I'd say this was a good representation, at least enough for a 4.

STOCKABILITY: The Dauntless can be used by any non-Borg affiliation, and the Feds can even turn it NA to keep themselves safe from Maman Picard (anyone use that thing?), and it's certainly a good mission solving ship for your DQ decks (including those using the Children of Light). Not much of a battler, true, but the RANGE is excellent, and the download for Quantum Slipstream Drive means you can take the ship farther than its RANGE allows at the drop of a hat. Used some RANGE already? Distortion of Space/Time Continuum is your friend. Need to go to the Alpha Quadrant for an extra mission, or to plague your opponent's personnel there? The Quantum Slipstream Drive can do that too, and it plays for free on the Dauntless even when not downloading it. Though the staffing is Galaxy-class level, getting the matching commander aboard (Plaque/Log attributes = 12-10-11) is child's play (especially with his download of Construct Starship), and he's an excellent double-ENGINEER to boot, with skills well suited to his home quadrant. A very potent 4.4.

TOTAL: 15.2 (76%) Starfleet should really start making these.

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