Friday, 1 November 2019

We Are Borg: Faction Pack Part One

Deadlier, stronger and with some new twists, the Borg Faction Pack returns one of Star Trek's greatest foes to Attack Wing.

This time, of course, it's personal with one of the most ferocious line ups of all time - a Scout Cube and a Sphere now joined by a Borged USS Voyager and Assimilated Target Prime, a Borged Galaxy Class starship both of which we'll cover in Part Two.

First up lets tackle the updated Borg Scout Cube 609. Carrying screenshots from I, Borg, the ship packs three dice for attack and defence alongside two hull points and four shield points. Its basic actions are Evade, Scan, Target Lock and Regenerate while the four upgrade slots provide one for each of the available categories - Weapons, Crew, Tech and Borg. Offering some form of defence for the horribly under-defended Borg ships, the Scout Cube can regenerate one shield and one hull point as its Action. 

It can perform this when at Range one and might be a big help to the Sphere as a support craft since it has no dice to roll in defence.   As for speed and movement, the Scout Cube can punch up to speed four along with a reverse pace of three. As with all Borg ships it can only perform right angle turns at speeds one to four with all moves at four or reverse three incurring an Auxiliary Power Token. Given the size of ship this is pretty impressive maneuverability to be offered up especially from the Borg which already have significant advantages.

Also note that the cost of this ship for your fleet - 22 points is not double the total of the four ship stats. The generic Scout Cube is also a bargain at a mere 17 points offering strong upgrade possibilities sacrificing a Weapon upgrade and a shield point for the price.

In terms of the model, it's a slightly lighter shade of grey than the solus edition we have reviewed previously and carries exactly the same details; no big improvements here and nor are there any changes when it comes to the model of the Sphere - even down to the idiotic way it's been orientated. The Sphere is still 90 degrees incorrectly aligned with the panelling running front to back rather than top to bottom. With a minor adjustment, some filler and a drill you can have the Sphere the right way up in about ten minutes...

Sphere 634 packs a bigger attack loading up six dice on the offensive although there is nothing to counter an assault with zero for defence (so keep the Scout Cube close to hand). 

Additionally, the Sphere bears seven hull and seven shield points so its going to last a little longer than the Scout Cube. It only has built in Actions for Target Lock, Scan and Regenerate which could leave you desperately needing some assistance.   As for cards you can equip up to two Borg, one Weapon, Crew and Equipment upgrades onto the Sphere to make even more of this dangerous ship.

During Combat, Sphere 634 can spend a Target Lock to discard a Scan, Evade or Battle Stations token from an enemy craft within range two, thus depriving it of means of additional defence or attack. I've always felt this is one of the criminally overpowered ships in the game and one that is a hard target to eliminate. Even the generic version losing a Borg upgrade and a shield point barely has an effect on its dominant presence in the game. 

As with the Scout Cube its movements top out at speed four and bottom at reverse three. The left and right turns at speed four and reverse three will lead to an Auxiliary Power Token while forward speeds one, two and three are ranked green. The movement plus high attack make this a difficult option to ignore in a Borg fleet.

The pure named Borg captains in the faction pack are just as hardcore as the two ships. The Borg Queen and Locutus both pack a nine Captain skill with the former costing five points to the latter's four. Looking at the abilities of both it's clear why one is more expensive. Both are set up with nine Drone tokens however the Queen can be any other captain ability in your fleet that requires spending at least one Drone Token. 

That's a bonkers ability giving you the chance to play any Action in your fleet wherever that ship is on the board since it's not range limited. The Borg Queen is also able to field am Elite Ability. Pick wisely...

Then there's Locutus. A much wanted card since he's only appeared in the original Oversize Borg Cube pack in retail stores but don't get too excited for to see his visage. His abilities aren't as useful as the Queen as he only provides the chance to add an extra two Crew slots on your ship and cannot be equipped to a fleet that also has Picard onboard. No faction penalties are caused when equipping Crew upgrades here so it's a good card to let you take full advantage of your collection. Picard will also allow the addition of an Elite Action. Bit of a downer in my opinion and should have had some form of ability to predict movements if the opponent was Federation.

Kathryn Janeway (Borg or Federation faction) starts off with a Captain Skill of eight with a cost to your fleet of five points. Each time an opposing ship within range two performs an Evade, Scan or Battle Station Action, one of the Drone tokens can be used and the opponent ship can be targetted. The Action it performed can then be completed as a freebie and leads to your opponent gaining the joys of an Auxiliary Power Token - so a win, win situation for your team. 

The final captain option is the Operations Drone costing a more affordable/reasonable three points. Initially working with a skill of six, the Drone can target a ship at ranges one or to during the Planning Phase of the game and lumber that craft with an Auxiliary Power Token at the cost of one of its Drone Tokens. 

All of the three would be a good punt to team up with the Borg Queen although my personal choice out of the box would be to link up the Queen and Janeway to nullify any Action effects across the board.

If you've got the Elite Action slot in play then the pack provides three new options to play with. The five point Collective Consciousness is effective between ranges one and three and incurs three Time Tokens to target all Borg captains. The result is pretty hardcore especially if it's coupled with Crosis and/or the Borg Queen/Locutus meaning potentially all your Borg commanders could be punching with a skill of up to nine allowing for some early attacks.

Root Command is our first look at a discard feature in this pack with a cost of four and useful up to range two. Initially it's not the greatest but for the chance to select which one of your ships gets attacked could well extend the life of your fleet - however it will rely on there being another ship in range to use to take the heat off your ailing ship for instance. I can get the use but it's very selective when it could be played - maybe one for those who fancy a good bit of close combat.

Third up is another Elite Action costing four points with Ocular Implants. Offering up the chance to spin out a free Scan Action when you perform Target Lock it's one that can be played every single round and if you can twin it with a Target Lock Action this could being a nice series of combos.

Crew slots on your ships can be filled up with five possibles - Three of Nine and Tuvok cost five points a piece with Crosis and B'Elanna Torres costing three points and finally Seven of Nine costing two. 

Three of Nine Is well worth purchasing for your vessel as his ability means the Regeneration function will repair a Hull and a Shield point at the same time plus there's no loss of attack from using the Action and it's neither a discard or a disable. For five points you can't do any wrong with this card as it'll certainly provide lasing benefits for any Borg ship especially those with zero natural defence ability - we're looking at you Borg Sphere.

Tuvok can be equipped either as a Federation character or a Borg crewmember. During the modifying of your attack dice step of an attack you can use the assimiliated Vulcan to spend a Drone token from your captain stopping the opponent from rerolling any dice and if the attacking ship carries any Federation Weapon upgrades it will flip a Damage or Critical Damage result over to a blank. Wow - Tuvok is rather useful and moreso to the Borg than the Federation in faction pure situations.Utilising the Drone tokens does mean this becomes a multiple use card over, potentially, consecutive rounds to beat down heavy attacks from Battle Station use in particular.

With Crosis, this character pumps your Captain Skill up by a point (useful if you have an opponent throwing another nine out there) but also means that a Borg Captain can go up three skill points which can make this a very cost effective addition to your fleet. The extra benefit with Crosis is that he can take over as captain if your ship's commander is discarded and starts out with a skill of five.

Certainly a good and multi-use card in this but B'Elanna can operate as either Federation or Borg. Not too hot an option initially but consider this - she'll let you add a Borg Tech slot to your ship and for each unused slot it'll cost a point less. Now here's a thing - if you're playing faction pure this is a non-starter since Borg upgrades are always Borg faction. B'Elanna is one of those specific use cards if you're chucking in anything to make the perfect combos but will be of more benefit on a Borg pure ship to reduce your outgoings.

The surprisingly low priced Seven of Nine is cheap for a reason - she adds a Borg Tech upgrade to your bar and reduces the cost of all your Borg upgrades by a point.... and that's it. Very direct use but really one that you'll be leaving in the pack unless you're really, really really desperate to fill a slot.

In the second part of the Borg Faction Pack review we will be taking a look at the two new starships plus the Weapon, Borg and Tech upgrades...

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