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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old September 6 2012, 09:26 AM   #16
Jono
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

I've never quite understood why their shields don't offer any resistance until they adapt and become immune.
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Old September 7 2012, 10:50 AM   #17
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

Several of the later VOY episodes suggest that as soon as you are assimilated, you become immortal and independent of your physical body, sort of. It could be argued that letting a Drone body die is not a loss to the Collective in any way, then: it's just a further way to make good use of the biomass. Why not let Drones die of phaser blasts, when it gives you information on the phaser types being used, information you couldn't gain if you stopped the phaser from having its intended effect?

Or it might be a fairly simple pragmatic reason: a Drone never carries "preemptive" defenses because a Drone can only carry so much, and being prepared for everything would overburden the poor thing. An energy shell might be as stifling to a Borg as a gas mask would be to today's infantryman - it would definitely stay off until absolutely needed.

As default, "shields" in the Trek universe seldom stop a determined attack by conventional beam weapons. Dukat's transport in "Return to Grace" was supposedly shielded, yet this offered no protection against the weapons of a Klingon BoP. So why did Cardassians bother to have shields on the transport in the first place? Apparently because the generic shield still stops certain threats of "lower than military level". When dealing with something stronger than that, you either need to carry hardware that costs too much (in terms of power use, weight or plain credits) or you need to tune your stuff to be of specific use.

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Old September 7 2012, 05:08 PM   #18
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

Jono wrote: View Post
I've never quite understood why their shields don't offer any resistance until they adapt and become immune.
As I said earlier, it's mainly because not all drones HAVE shields. Different drones have different sensor/tools/equipment fittings that are optimized for different situations, and not all of them are "hazardous environment" types.

The Borg adapt by changing their equipment to fit the situation, once they determine what the situation is. If you kill their first drone, they'll send one you can't kill. If you kill him too, they'll send another one even harder to kill. Same appears to be true of their ship: if their main weapon can't affect you or if you demonstrate the ability to defend against it, they'll toggle to a different weapon that's more likely to be effective.

The Borg possess such a broad arsenal of equipment that all they have to do is figure out which of their drones/gadgets/tactics will work on their adversary of the day. Their singular advantage is that they can do this instantly, by sharing information among themselves and immediately figuring out what parts they need, who has them, and where to use them.
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Old September 8 2012, 07:29 PM   #19
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I strongly believe the Queen is a relatively new addition to the collective, probably some sort of parasitic humanoid they assimilated, who has begun to drive the collective's agenda in new/stupid ways.
I agree with you there. The Borg were more imposing as a pure collective. I think a good backstory for her was for her to have been an expert in the hive minds of alien insects and to have used that somehow to gain control.
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Old September 9 2012, 12:29 AM   #20
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

^ That or she was a Xyrillian. When we meet them in the 22nd century they demonstrate an inherently parasitic nature: they leach power from other ships, they use living organisms as part of their life support systems and they reproduce by surreptitiously impregnating others. You assimilate one of those into the collective, then her biological distinctiveness becomes part of the collective; suddenly the collective isn't merely forcibly confiscating useful technology, it's dedicated to finding increasingly more asinine ways to coexist with other life forms.
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Old September 9 2012, 12:36 AM   #21
USS Excelsior
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

Apparently one would have better luck with firing bullets at the drones.
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Old September 9 2012, 03:33 AM   #22
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

The thing is, the Borg would still adapt no matter WHAT weapon you're using. If you suddenly switch to slugthrowers in the middle of the fight, then the next wave of drones that comes after you are the ones with thick armor plating and heavy kinetic barriers that your bullets can't easily penetrate. In that case you either switch to phasers and hope the reinforced drones can't shake that off too, or you find a NEW way to kill them and wait for them to adapt again.

Or, if you have the misfortune of being in TNG, your only option is to [tech] your phaser's [tech] so that it's effective again.
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Old September 10 2012, 11:35 AM   #23
Timo
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

Equipping your anti-Borg SWAT team with a wide range of weapons would be sensible if the Borg really sacrificed two drones to learn about each new weapon. Alas, our heroes can't put their trust on that. In "Q Who?", the Borg did not sacrifice several decks in their Cube to photon torpedoes like they did to phasers: they came "pre-adapted" to torpedoes and shrugged them off from the very start.

So our heroes would have to bring out a smorgasbord of only the most exotic and attractive weapons in their arsenal to keep the Borg sacrificing their Drones. Which would be to the advantage of the Collective, not the Federation...

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Old September 10 2012, 12:47 PM   #24
Tiberius
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

Use an infinite modulator...
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Old September 10 2012, 07:24 PM   #25
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

^ Then you're still killing them one at a time, which will never work. I repeat: the advantage of the Borg isn't their ability to adapt, it's their ability to continue attacking -- possibly even DEFEAT you -- no matter how much damage you do to them. With anyone else, there's a possibility for "critical damage" where you can knock out a few major systems that'll render the entire system either inoperable or at least unable to fight back. The Borg don't have this problem: you can blow up their entire ship, and the two largest chunks of its debris will still chase you around, shooting at you. If you get lucky and reduce the entire vessel to scrap, the DRONES can still salvage parts from the debris and build another one from scratch. Overall, if you somehow manage to overwhelm a Borg cube and destroy it, you have to COMPLETELY destroy it, or else the last remaining pieces of it will regenerate and two weeks later it's coming after you again even stronger than before.
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Old September 11 2012, 07:25 AM   #26
Timo
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

I'm not sure the Borg have ever demonstrated the ability to fight with fragments of a ship, or even with a seriously damaged ship. A swarm of Cubes will probably operate like a swarm of Drones, with individual units taking great risks because even their destruction will be to the advantage of the Collective. But individual ships have been disabled and negated as threats in many episodes, starting with "Q Who?", until time-consuming repairs could be effected - and extensive damage has resulted in infinitely long repair times, such as with "Unity".

As for the Borg sustaining an attack until the opponent is subdued, it's something we only hear spoken of. Our onscreen heroes have never quite had to face that yet - except perhaps in the long, strategic term. What rather happens to them is that they conduct a strike against a defensive Borg force, and attain their limited tactical goals even though the Borg defenses are not significantly weakened for the loss of half a dozen Drones or some Cube systems. When the aims are limited, a limited spectrum of "surprise" weapons is a valid way to attain them.

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Old September 11 2012, 10:10 AM   #27
Tiberius
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

Timo wrote: View Post
I'm not sure the Borg have ever demonstrated the ability to fight with fragments of a ship, or even with a seriously damaged ship. A swarm of Cubes will probably operate like a swarm of Drones, with individual units taking great risks because even their destruction will be to the advantage of the Collective. But individual ships have been disabled and negated as threats in many episodes, starting with "Q Who?", until time-consuming repairs could be effected - and extensive damage has resulted in infinitely long repair times, such as with "Unity".
"Our projections indicate that a Borg ship could continue to function effectively even if seventy eight percent of it was inoperable."

Last edited by Tiberius; September 11 2012 at 12:46 PM.
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Old September 11 2012, 10:22 AM   #28
Timo
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

...Which is fine and well, but said "functioning" in practice seems to consist of staying idle and waiting for Picard to make a move. Why do the Borg waste time unless it is because of necessarily ongoing repairs?

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Old September 13 2012, 05:02 PM   #29
Silversmok3
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
^ Then you're still killing them one at a time, which will never work. I repeat: the advantage of the Borg isn't their ability to adapt, it's their ability to continue attacking -- possibly even DEFEAT you -- no matter how much damage you do to them. With anyone else, there's a possibility for "critical damage" where you can knock out a few major systems that'll render the entire system either inoperable or at least unable to fight back. The Borg don't have this problem: you can blow up their entire ship, and the two largest chunks of its debris will still chase you around, shooting at you. If you get lucky and reduce the entire vessel to scrap, the DRONES can still salvage parts from the debris and build another one from scratch. Overall, if you somehow manage to overwhelm a Borg cube and destroy it, you have to COMPLETELY destroy it, or else the last remaining pieces of it will regenerate and two weeks later it's coming after you again even stronger than before.
Adding to this point, the Borg Collective is a logistically massive entity.

As such, if the Collective want you assimilated its just a matter of resources and time. They send one cube, you waste it.

They send 10 cubes, you miraculously waste them all with version 2.0 of your doomsday weapon. They all die,but before you have time to build a commemorative statue the Collective sends 50 cubes to your doorstep-and all of them have adapted to your technology and defenses.

Game Over.
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Old September 13 2012, 06:37 PM   #30
Dream
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Re: Borg adaptation ability

Picard gets a +20 to his Attack and +10 to his Defense whenever he gets near the Borg. I don't think he should be mentioned in these discussions anymore.
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