STO Academy Legion Training – Task Force Omega Extension Program. Course Instructor - General Eranta Mon'T.
“I've been asked by Admiral D'Vak from Task Force Omega to help captains prepare themselves for facing The Borg in combat – ship-to-ship and on the ground.
“The Borg are sending an endless tide against us, always adapting. We are the only line of defence between our homeworlds and and an army of mindless drones. Personally, I think it's worth taking my crew and I off of the front lines now and then to make sure that this line of defence has a better chance of holding. The Admiral agrees with me, so here we are.”
“I'll start with talking about space combat, as that's how most captains fight The Borg. There's no dishonour in that – taking the Borg infantry on is not for the faint hearted. It is a shame, though – it's much more satisfying killing one drone face-to-face rather than a few hundred in space combat..........”
Borg Weapons -
“The Borg have a variety of ships, but they tend to have similar weapons – disruptor energy and plasma torpedoes. They also use Tachyon Beam and Shield Neutralisers to take out a targets shields. These can be very effective.
With this in mind, it's worthwhile having crew members with skills that can repair your hull, cleanse the plasma fire, stop the shield attacks. So Hazard Emitters is very useful, as is Engineering Team, Transfer Shield Strength, Science Team and Reverse Shield Polarity.
The Borg also use tractor beams, often to very good use. These can be countered a number of ways, such as Polarize Hull. This will also give your hull increased damage resistance – and resistance is certainly NOT futile!
Don't forget – we work as a team in Task Force Omega. If a cube is targeting another ship in your fleet, it might be useful to help keep them in one piece. Send an Engineering Team over to them, or boost their shields with Transfer Shield Strength. If the enemy is focussed on them and not you, you have more freedom to do damage..........”
Your Weapons -
“This is often the first question I'm asked, which some people say shows a warrior spirit. Personally, I like to fight with people that also want to survive. Otherwise just ram The Borg ship and let your warp core explosion do the damage!”
“How a captain sets up the weapons on his ship is as varied as the ways an Orion can entertain you! But often the discussion on what works best on a ship configuration gets more heated. There are very few 'right' answers but a lot of good ideas. Find what works for you and your ship and crew.
“The Borg targets that we face often have shields, but many do not, so I would generally suggest taking at least 1 torpedo-type weapon if it fits. Even if you fly a cruiser with a slow rate of fire, it might be worthwhile having a slow fire-rate but high damage torpedo for those moments when you can bring it to bear. I have a torpedo launcher on my destroyer, the Ing'Wer, that comes from Task Force Omega. On my carrier, the Lor'Beer, I have another one that the Romulans made available because of some work I did for them. Both work with other components to give me an advantage in battle, and that is also a benefit of having a torpedo launcher on board that should not be overlooked.
“Energy weapon type is a bigger mine-field than even the Gorns can think of. Here again there are no real 'right' answers. One thing I will say is this – when I was fighting the Borg Queen, we were unable to reduce her shields very much. I was in the Lor'Beer which carries plasma energy weapons which were damaging her hull even with her shields up. If I was in the Ing'Wer which runs disruptors, I would be reducing her resistance
to damage – which is never a bad thing – but I wouldn't be doing much damage to her. Other than that, I won't speak here about this. It's up to you to find what works best for you. Just don't kill any friends of mine when you argue about it.”
“When it comes to ground combat, The Borg should be treated like any other piece of machinery – stick your bat'leth in to it repeatedly until it does what you want it to. Don't tell my chief engineer I said that! But in the case of The Borg, what you want them to do is die and there are many ways of killing them. The trick comes in killing them before they kill you!”
Frequency Modulators -
“One of the most important items you need when fighting The Borg on the ground is a way of remodulating your weapon. The Borg will adapt over time and become immune to ranged weapons and ALL Borg will be immune – this can only be overcome by remodulating. You and your away team will need them if you want to used ranged weapons. There are 3 sorts of remodulator:
Frequency Remodulator – this is a basic tool. It can be produced for free from your replicator. It takes 4 seconds to use it, during which time you will be unable to fire or to run. You can still move, but you also need to allow the 4 seconds time for the process. This remodulator can be used again and again – ideal for your away team.
Presequenced Frequency Randomizer – this gives an instant remodulation to your weapon, but is consumed on use. It can only be crafted with materials collected on Defera in the Borg Invasion areas, and can only be crafted in the Task Force Omega base camp on Defera. It is a good idea to have a some of these for when you need an instant remodulation but can be time consuming to craft enough for regular use, especially if you give them to your away team, too.
Integral Frequency Remodulator – members of Task Force Omega can obtain personal shields, weapons and armour. There are also sets made up of a shield, weapon and armour that, when combined, give you extra abilities and bonuses when fighting. One ability is the Integral Frequency Remodulator. It gives an instant remodulation and can be used time and time again. It has a 10 second cool-down between uses, so bear that in mind when in combat. This is the best method for remodulating your weapon to overcome adaptation.
Another thing to know about with Borg adaptation – it isn't based on damage dealt but on number of 'hits'. So a mini-gun will hit many times to achieve the DPS stated by the manufacturer, whereas a pulseweave rifle only has 1 hit. As it's hits that affect how quickly The Borg adapt, pulseweave-type weapons are the ones that do more damage between remodulating. They also damage multiple targets with every shot. Pulseweaves lack range, though, and sometimes you want to keep some distance. So it's also an idea to take a second weapon with a sniper mode for those times that you want to shoot from a longer way away.
Taking two weapons with different damage types is a good idea as you can swap to another weapon instead of remodulating if you don't have time. Of course, you'll need to remodulate once the back-up weapon is adapted to, and you'll need to remodulate your primary weapon. No one said saving our way of life was going to be easy! It's also an idea to equip each member of your away team with a different damage type, just to delay the adaptation as long as possible.
Melee weapons have 1 big advantage and 1 big disadvantage. The Borg cannot adapt to melee attacks, meaning you never need to remodulate you bat'leth or lirpa. However, if you're toe-to-toe with a Borg they will try to assimilate you by injecting you with nanites. If they succeed, you will temporarily be under the control of The Borg and will attack your team! You will also be vulnerable to attacks from your team for this time. If you are going to get up close and personal with a drone, you need either -
Immunosupport Nanite Injectors – these are consumable devices that counteract the assimilation nanites that you get injected with. Using this will reduce your run speed and also your melee damage for a short time.
Medical Nanite Cloud – by working hard enough for Task Force Omega, you may one day be eligible for the Medical Nanite Cloud ability. This cloud affects you and your team (up to 10 people) and part of the result is that it removes all assimilation nanites. It has a 10 minute cool down, though.
Another option is to kill your target before they can infect you. This is easier said than done, and should certainly not be the only method used until you are very good at close quarter combat with The Borg.
The Borg are slow and, despite their collective mind, they are quite stupid. They tend not to use tactics other than to try to overwhelm by sheer weight of numbers. The majority of drones have no shields and only melee attack, giving you plenty of time to take them out. Some of the more advanced Borg have shields and ranged weapons – when The Borg assimilate a particularly skilled warrior, they turn them in to a powerful Borg with the most advanced weaponry and defensive systems.
The way that we defeat Borg in the STO Academy Legion is to have pulseweave weapons and get The Borg in the cross-fire. No matter which way they face they are getting hit by multiple people and are also being flanked for extra damage. Whole groups of Borg can be taken this way. It requires some coordination and training, but it is deadly. If you have mines to lay or plasma grenades, these can be used to damage any Borg that get too close. Once you have taken out the majority of Borg with this method, any that remain can be easily taken care of.
Do watch out with grenades and other Area of Effect (AoE) weapons such as pulseweave rifles and Orbital attacks – The Borg will often ignore you if you're not a threat, but these weapons can spill damage in to other groups which then attracts more attention. So keep alert and be mindful of where your next shot is going to. I've been in many situations with the mighty Patroq where we have fought wave after wave of Borg for this very reason, and we have learnt how to control our attacks so that we are not overwhelmed – something that can happen all too easily to an inexperienced captain with a shiny new Pulseweave rifle.
There are many holographic training missions that are worth looking over to get experience. Also, the attack on Defera is great experience of fighting Borg but without the danger of mission for Task Force Omega. If you're a member of STO Academy, STO Academy Militia or STO Academy Legion, there are many people who can help with you starting out on Defera and then on to some Task Force Omega missions.
Hopefully something here will help when you are out there fighting The Borg – one thing I can't give you is experience, it's something only you can get for yourself. But you're not alone in this fight, so learn from other captains who are experienced.
Who knows – maybe we'll find ourselves fighting side-by-side some time. Fight well enough, and you might even earn the right to have a Borg trophy on your wall, too.