The Borg Collective
Borg game play differs a lot compared to other factions. Instead of big fleets, the Borg use small fleets of very powerful vessels. Clump your units together so they minimize your radar profile and look much less menacing to your opponent. This is especially important with Scout Cubes and Assimilators, because they will spread out considerably when placed in a fleet. Likewise, putting units close together will ensure that the enemy has to approach all of your vessels at the same time. Thus you expose enemy ships to the maximum possible amount of firepower. When hiding in nebulas, it becomes even more important to minimize your radar profile because the nebulas are small. However, it is important to note that minimizing the radar profile of a large fleet can have the repercussion of area of effect special weapons hitting all your ships at once, so keep a lookout for enemy support vessels.
The Borg do not build mining stations. To mine a moon, you must first build a mining ship. After you have your mining ship next to a moon, you can place a resource node with your mining ship. The mining node works exactly like a mining station.
The Borg Collective has an additional resource called Collective Connections. Collective Connections slowly accumulate over time and building vessels uses a certain amount of Collective Connections. The generation rate (or an instant lump) of Collective Connections can be increased by researching the appropriate researches at the Conduction Matrix. You can also purchase a lump sum of Collective Connections at the Conduction Matrix for a certain amount of resources as many times as you wish.
Some useful information until the database is complete:
|Collective Connections Level costs and accumulation rates||
Time until an Energy Nodes Level is cheaper than "Resistance is Futile"
|Beginning rate: 3/min|
|First upgrade (364d / 208t): 9/min||Energy Nodes 1: 2.8min|
|Second upgrade (960d / 549t): 15/min||Energy Nodes 2: 7.5min|
|Third upgrade (1694d / 968t): 21/min||Energy Nodes 3: 13.2min|
|Fourth upgrade (2534d / 1448t): 27/min||Energy Nodes 4: 19.7min|
|Fifth upgrade (3463d / 1979t): 33/min||Energy Nodes 5: 27.0min|
To build Borg ships (except constructors, mining ships and Probes) you need only the Conduction Matrix. After that the construction ship must build a Collective Uplink, which is used to build a Borg vessel. Only one vessel may be built with one uplink. If your first Conduction Matrix is destroyed, you cannot build more Collective Uplinks. Protect it well. You will not lose already researched Collective Features if the Transmission Matrix is destroyed. A Borg player has huge freedom to customize vessels for each situation. Each Borg ship must be equipped with a certain amount of modules (depending on the chassis type). The modules can be, for example, beam, torpedo, holding beam and/or regeneration modules. There is a limit to how many of the same modules can be incorporated into a certain vessel. Each module type improves and/or adds a different ability or system value. Some special abilities require certain modules, like the auto-assimilation beam or regeneration special abilities. The costs of the module depend on the avatar, researched collective features and chassis type.
Borg vessels do not have any shielding. Their hull strength is, on the other hand, extremely high. The Borg do not have repair facilities for their own ships, but their ships regenerate quite quickly. A captured construction ship of a non-Borg player can allow you to build an Adaptation Matrix that serves as a repair yard for assimilated vessels. It also unlocks new modules for the Adaptor.
New special abilities for Borg vessels can be researched at the Transmission Matrix. The research is free, but the amount of new technologies you can research is limited by ten slots and each research uses a differing amount of slots. Some abilities may be only for a certain ship class, but most are available for many different Borg chassis. To make the best use of all non long range Borg units (aka, most of them), you must close with the enemy. Slicer is a short-range ability, while Devastating Attack is medium-range, and many Borg units have Beam Modules that are shorter range than their torpedoes as well. Likewise, because Borg units are slow and big, by practically appearing on top of your opponent’s fleet it means that his/her units will have little to no chance to retreat and it will also be hard to micro individual units because they are being obscured by huge Borg vessels. Despite this, when you only have a few powerful vessels (such as Cubes), it is far better to constantly retreat from your opponent’s fleet so that only a few of their vessels will be able to target your ship at a time. In this way you can pick off individual vessels with greater ease.
Although the Refresh Cycle ability available to all Borg units may not appear to have much use, remember to use it when attacked by gravity mines and other special weapons that last indefinitely.
As most Borg vessels build slowly and are slow once built, it is highly advised that you move your Assembly Node close to expansion points or points of interest to build additional Collective Uplinks. If there are nebulas nearby, make sure that you place your Assembly Node within nebulas which render your ship invisible, to ensure your opponent does not find your lone constructor. Likewise, make sure that you build Collective Uplinks out of the way so that your opponent does not find them while attacking your expansion (or flying through space as normal).
Remember that because Borg units are powerful, but few in number and cannot be repaired in a shipyard, conserving vessels is of the utmost importance. Although a non-Borg faction can lose a few units and lose little sleep as it will only decrease firepower by incremental amounts, the loss of a single Borg vessel can be very hard. Consequently, judge your opponent's firepower accurately, and retreat your damaged vessels (don't retreat your entire fleet as your opponent will likely be able to pursue your damaged ship with ease in this case - unless of course you have to) before they take critical damage. Only in the rarest of circumstances will Borg vessels lose subsystems, so do not worry that a ship with only a few hull points might lose engines and fail to escape. In fact, Borg ships will never lose their weapon systems. Obviously this stems from hearing that a Borg Cube could remain operative even if 78% of it was destroyed. Of course there are balancing reasons too, as Borg have no shields, and losing a Cube's weapons equals to losing the weapons of a whole fleet for other factions - that's just a bit too painful.
If you are “starving” for resources because you just want to finish that last Torpedo Module, you can always dock your freighters manually to allow them to dump their dilithium/tritanium prematurely (this works because they have huge capacities compared to the other factions). However, this has the ramification that because your freighters are very well synchronized (so that one is unloading while the other is gathering resources) you will upset the balance and will gain resources slower until the next load (as the Resource Assimilator that just unloaded half or more of its load will have to wait for the other freighter to finish gathering). Note that in a battle, if you wish to stop a Resource Assimilator from unloading its resources, it is often quite wise to simply decomission the Resource Node - the Node decomissions very rapidly and will allow you to retreat the freighter to safety.
The only way a Borg player can get supplies is to build Incubation Centers. Those who selected the Optimize avatar have the possibility to increase an Incubation Center’s efficiency. When your supplies descend to around 100 it is necessary to start building Incubation Centers if you are expecting an extended game. Otherwise you can continue building until zero supplies, save the resources and hopefully win.