The Cyborg are everyone’s favourite enemy. Because with assimilation, they can literally rebuild from anywhere, and once they are up and running, they can defeat any race in the game. The Privateers are the only ones who really give them trouble, but massive minefields can often solve that problem. The main problem the Cyborg have is getting even as far as the mid-game without someone killing them off.
Why do people hate the Cyborgs? Mainly because even if you kill them, their territory is a desolate wasteland, devoid of native life. They are also a great ally, except that they don’t need you late game – by then, the Borg has a massive economy, a strong fleet, and mobility: their Chunnel network is second to none for mobility, even across a huge empire. If a late-game ally Borg player turns on you, there’s very little you can do about it.
- Assimilation of natives. Turn any natives into “Feudal” colonists (100% rate). Turn any native world into a new home world, and enough clans to resist any ground attack.
- Cube ships: the largest battleship in the game (Annihilation), and also the 2nd largest carrier in the game (Biocide).
- Self-Repair Mission: even without supplies, repair 10% per turn.
- Firecloud Chunnel: move one Firecloud to another, along with any ships at the same location as the moving Firecloud.
- Hyper Probe: scout the opposition, or start a new homeworld anywhere on the map.
- Terrible small and medium warships. Even the Firecloud, their best medium ship, loses to most torpedo-based races’ medium warships.
- Very expensive capital ships
- Must pay full cost for all fighters
- No defenses against cloakers (other than regular minefields)
- No terraforming ability
- Get an ally: you need one of your neighbors to be your ally ASAP. Pretty much any other race can beat you until you have your Firecloud network running, and at least 2 Cubes, and even THEN some of the early-attack races (Fascists, Lizards, Birds) can still make your life hell.
- Minefields: Although it’s generally a bad idea to put a big minefield over your Homeworld and announce its location, if you find out that either of your neighbors have cloakers, I would recommend you drop a large minefield that covers your homeworld and hopefully at least 2-3 other planets. Otherwise, he’s going to use cloaker tactics to pull away your crappy defending ships, and kill your homeworld before Turn 15. Chances are, even without the minefield, he’d have found your homeworld anyway. However, don’t drop the minefield before about Turn 8.
- Start up a early second starbase quickly, preferably at the other end of your empire from your homeworld. Choose a native planet, and you basically have a new homeworld. Use two LDSFs – one with colonists to quickly assimilate most of the natives, and another LDSF as a starbase-in-a-can, to get this world established.
- Send out probes: these should find native worlds in the middle of the map, and also sensor sweep for your neighbours’ first colonies.
- Remote second homeworlds: If you try for a “second start” with nothing but a probe, your best choice is a Bovinoid world, so that you don’t have to bring supplies, a Ghipsoidal world, so if you manage to build a starbase before you assimilate all the natives, you can build a Transwarp LDSF quickly and start feeding your starbase, or a Humanoid world, so your starbase gets Tech 10 hulls for a faster Firecloud. Surprisingly, one of the best places to hide a colony is on the isolated worlds behind your neighbours. Just keep in mind that if and when they find you, you’re going to have to make friends pretty fast. You need to start these colonies all over the map, hoping that at least one will stay unnoticed for long enough to get you operational again.
- Firecloud Network: You need to use your Fireclouds to boost your efficiency, even from the very beginning of the game. One of the issues that other races have is how to move clans off their homeworld efficiently – you don’t have this problem. Instead, use early LDSFs to move minerals around to create second and third early starbases, for probe production, and if you can find an early Humanoid planet, possibly an early Stardrive 1 Annihilation for defense (fighters for Biocides are too expensive at this point).
- If you are on the defensive, try to avoid getting your Fireclouds captured and cloned before the ship limit. This generally means that you want to avoid combat with your Fireclouds for as long as possible, and reinforce with Quietus Cruisers if you need warships and can’t afford Annihilations. All your medium warships are terrible, but if you’re going to go down early, avoid giving your conqueror the beauty of a Firecloud network of his own.
Assimilation Rate & Probe Drops:
|1 clan, 1 supply||17-19 turns to assimilate; 11 turns to 100 Factories.|
|7 clans, 8 supplies||14-15 turns to assimilate, 6 turns to 100 Factories|
|14 clans, 1 supply||13-14 turns to assimilate|
A little chart to help you out.
|19||Max Pop||Max Pop|
Assimilation gives you both a boost to supplies (Factories) and minerals (Mines). Whereas most races are going to have 100-130 factories per planet, and a normal maximum of around 200 mines, you’ll be easily able to build 300+ factories and 300+ mines on any world that you’ve assimilated. Remember that later in the game (assuming you survive that long), Supplies get converted using a Merlin into minerals, and then further into fuel using a Neutronic Refinery. Having more Supplies that other players can be a BIG advantage!
Colonists vs. Natives. While other races may benefit from taxation of native populations, all your natives turn into Colonists, which are technically Feudal government clans. However, your assimilated natives also add to your capacity to build structures. I believe that this results in a net gain over other races that can only tax the natives.
For example: a 5-million native population of, say, Amphibians, with a Unity government at 9% (safe) tax, generates 810 MC / turn, plus the 100-130 Factories (typical). A 5-mil colonist population at 9% (safe) tax generates 450 MC/turn, but can also build 323 Factories, giving 450+323 = 773 MC / turn, only a 37 MC/turn difference. (Note that the 9% tax stays safe for Colonists even with the 323 Factories and 100 Mines, assuming a planet of 45-55 degrees).
Taking the same numbers (assuming safe taxes):
Bovinoid Anarchy = 120 Factories + 500 bonus supplies + 20 MC/turn = 640 MC/turn
Insectoid Feudal = 600 MC + 114 Factories = 714 MC/turn
Amphibian Feudal = 300 MC + 114 Factories = 414 MC/turn
Thus, on the “average” planet (not Bovi or Insect), we gain 773-414 = 359 MC/turn, or 86% more! Otherwise, we’re in the ballpark – Bovi planets will be better, but the Cyborg income rate ties insectoid planets when they don’t have superior governments.
So where do we start to lose out? Well, if you find a really, really good native planet, such as a 8 mil+ Bovinoid or Insectoid Unity, then you won’t be able to take advantage of it for very long. Furthermore, you will lose out on the Tech bonuses unless you drop down a Starbase within the first 12-13 turns.
Cyborg also loses out due to climate – the natives many poor-climate planets are more populous that your Borg clans can ever be at the same temperature. Thus, your clans will die where the natives would have lived, resulting in a net loss.
Really good planets (at 9% tax):
8 mil Bovinoid Unity = 1296 MC + 800 +100 factories = 2196 MC
8 mil Insectoid Unity = 2592 MC + 100 factories = 2692 MC
8 mil Colonists = 720 MC + 383 factories = 1203 MC
Thus, “really good” planets, with 2/9 chance of having the best native life and depending on the host settings for native government, you’ll get roughly half the income from those planets, but you’ll also permanently deny them to your enemies. The best of both worlds, however, is to GIVE GOOD NATIVE PLANETS TO YOUR ALLY.
Guard your major chunnel points with cubes. You do not want to accidentally chunnel some Darkwings to a well-developed area that could easily be destroyed.
If you want a bi-directional chunnel, you actually need 3 or even 4 Fireclouds. Ensure that you don’t accidentally chunnel two of them back at the same time – thus, you should have separate “leaving” and “arriving” chunnel planets, to be safe. Your “arriving” chunnel planets should be decently guarded, and protecting it with a minefield helps as well.
You can actually use your probes offensively from the beginning of the game, by sending them to the borders of other players’ clusters, and ruining the native life there. With 14 clans (and 1 supply), you only need 12-13 turns to completely wipe out any native life, and you might even be able to NUK a freighter or two with the planetary defenses, further slowing your opponent. Doing this also gives you good recon, and if you approach a player as a ally, you have a ready-made base in his territory (just don’t NUK any of his freighters first, and if you ruined his Bovinoid Unity planet, don’t expect him to thank you for it).
Ideally, you’ll pick an ally as soon as you know both your neighbors, and use your probes to help that ally find the best natives at the edge of his empire, and then give him a probe to come take the best native worlds in YOUR space before you ruin them all with assimilation. In return, he will give you the Anarchic and other crappy natives in HIS space, which you will turn into law-abiding, productive Colonists.
One of the best places to drop clans are on the remote planets at the edges of the map. These give great vision of ship movement within most clusters (especially where there’s open space to traverse), and can serve as come-back points if your home cluster is wiped out. Another good place to do this is the center of the map, where it will take most players a little while to get there – you might even have a starbase or two set up by the time they arrive! Humanoid worlds are ideal for this, as you can quickly produce a Firecloud and send more ships to develop the area – you just have to manage to do it before assimilating all the native life!
Your best allies are early-game races that agree to protect instead of kill you (Lizards, Birds, Fascists). Other good choices are Feds (super-refit of low-tech cubes), and Privateers (MBRs towing Fireclouds can really expand your network quickly). However, don’t be too choosy about your allies – if the other player is good, can win you the game regardless of his race.
What you are mainly looking for in an ally is:
- Communication (prompt, frequent, and detailed)
- Their willingness to come in second in the rankings
I would always choose an adjacent neighbor as one of your allies, no matter which race it is, because you need at least one border protected – you will easily fall if both your neighbors decide to attack, even if they aren’t actively working together. However, you can usually do decently well against ONE enemy by giving ground, laying minefields, and stalling for time until you’re ready, or until you ally can come help you.
The reason that your ally has to be okay with second place is that if you make it to the lategame, you are likely going to have the stronger position, which will allow you to take more worlds, kill more enemy ships, and thus make more ships of your own.
Pretty much everyone hates you, largely because of your assimilation ability. The hardest races to deal with are those with cloaking, as you have no specific defenses against it. One thing you CAN do if you suspect cloakers are orbiting a planet, is to use Chunnel tricks, such as having a Firecloud chunnel from that planet to one with good defenses, and within or behind a minefield. By doing so, the cloaked ship will be displaced from their hiding place, although still cloaked, but hopefully at a location where they are less dangerous to your fleet, and hopefully also trapped in a minefield.
Your natural enemies are:
… and the main reason for this is that they will (should) try to come kill you early on, and there’s very little you can do against it if they commit. What you need to do is make it as costly as you can for them, and flee with a probe into a safe allied place where you can rebuild your home world, then come back for vengeance.
Other than that, the big carrier races can threaten you late game, but if you secured a loyal ally, you should be able to roll over anything that stands in your way.
Against the Borg
The main problem with fighting the Borg is that they ruin all the native life in their developed zone. Thus, what you gain by conquering them is a moneyless wasteland, where you have to truck in all your money, or hope that you generate enough supplies to build a ship or starbase here and there.
Thus, what you really need to do prior to an invasion is send planet-killer ships, where you can repeatedly wipe out Borg colonies before they assimilate too many natives. The more you can do this, the slower the Borg will develop, and the more time you will have before the area becomes barren of life.
You need to explore ALL planets near your territory if you truly want to prevent Borg infestation. Even dropping 1 clan with scouts will give you advance warning that a probe has taken the planet and a Borg colony is forming.
Most races will have a terrible time dealing with Cubes. While they are very expensive for the Borg to make and equip with fighters, they are also very difficult for other races to destroy. Whenever possible, you want to out-maneuver cubes, and destroy their Firecloud network. Because of the extreme fuel costs of moving cubes around the normal way, the Firecloud network is critical to Borg aggression and positioning.
Do not allow Fireclouds anywhere near your territory unless you have a firm and permanent alliance with the Borg. Otherwise, Fireclouds should be killed on sight, without warning, if they approach anywhere that you don’t want cubes visiting. I would also caution you that any Firecloud should be intercepted with either something that will barely kill it, or with a fleet that will kill both it and a cube, because if a Borg “shows off” a Firecloud, it could just be a trap for you, where he immediately chunnels in a cube to destroy your interceptor.
Borg Strategy by Faqudi:
I played with Faqudi awhile back, and these are his tips:
All right. Let’s start with the basic strategy: go as wide as possible.
As Borg, keep your close planets as the second priority for the first five (5) turns and go wide – very wide. Instead of building freighters and stuff like that, spend your first few turns building B200 Probes (Transwarps preferable) and send them in every direction (try to hit a planet to keep them hidden) with 7 clans + 8 supplies. On every planet which doesn’t have natives, drop one clan and beam up fuel. When you find a planet with natives you can assimilate, drop one clan and 2-4 supplies (depending on how many you have left). After dropping the clans on a native planet, jump away to another place. Later on, send another probe with more clans and supplies there and let it scout the nearby planets for more native life.
That way you’ll end up having a planet or a few here and there, but you’ll be assimilating natives all around the map. Your goal is to have a SB which can build a Firecloud (any engines and weapons) on most of those native planets.
Near your HW, keep your ships hidden by planet-hopping. You don’t want your neighbors to know which race is there.
After building a few probes, build LDSF or two (or three, you’ll need quite a lot of them eventually) and start developing your nearby planets. If you found a planet with natives, drop a few clans and a batch of supplies there, to jump-start the process. If you find a decent mineral planet without natives, send a couple of hundred clans and supplies there and start mining those minerals as fast as you can.
About taxing: tax your natives (while they still exist) to happiness level 50, or even 40. You should probably take a look at planets.nu Planetary Management Plugin for setting the correct tax levels and building mines, factories and defense posts on all planets with just one click.
You don’t also need to let your colonists grow very much, so you can easily tax them down to happiness level 70. If there are a lot of colonists on a planet with too cold or too hot climate, don’t let them grow at all and tax them to happiness level 50.
That’s the basic strategy for the first 10 or so turns for Borg.
Next part: ships.
Your most important ships (in this order) are: B200, Firecloud, Biocide, LDSF, Quietus, Annihilation, Merlin, Neutronic Refinery.B200 is used for colonizing, money transport and scouting.
You should have a Firecloud stationed at every SB (can be low-level engines and weapons, they don’t need to move much) and one with Transwarps for every fleet you plan to make.