Why did the Borg only use one cube to attack Earth?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Swarm Emperor, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Swarm Emperor

    Swarm Emperor Ensign Red Shirt

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    Even with their superior technology and adaptation abilities, to use only one warship to attack the capital of one of their chief opponents strikes me as extremely illogical. Even with Picard's knowledge of Borg defenses, just an extra cube or two could have lost the battle for the Federation. I know there was the backup plan of rewriting history, but to put so little resources into such an important campaign seems counterproductive. It may have been due to the attacks from Species 8472 that forced the Borg to reduce their attack forces in distant regions of the galaxy, but all in all, the battle was the Borg's to lose, both in the main space battle an in the conflict in the 21st century.
     
  2. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I can't explain that.

    But the mistake is rectified in other works. In the Star Trek: Armada series, the Collective dispatches whole fleets to deal with the Federation in 2376 and 2377, including a Fusion Cube (that's eight fused cubes), and with the option of building Tactical Fusion Cubes.

    In TNG: Before Dishonor, Starfleet repels a Supercube in 2380, and 3000 Borg cubes attack the local powers in 2381 in Star Trek: Destiny.

    By 2409, Borg are techonogically inferior to the Federation, but threaten it by sheer numbers, in Star Trek Online.
     
  3. Swarm Emperor

    Swarm Emperor Ensign Red Shirt

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    Interesting. The idea that any galactic power, save maybe Species 8472, could repel that many warships is incredible, and that's only because 8472 is immune to assimilation. Also, I would imagine that after such heavy fighting, the Borg would have adapted to and outmatched Federation technology. That's what I think is the sword of Damocles hanging over the finale to Voyager; while the Borg suffered unparalleled losses and infrastructure destruction, if they survived, they could simply adapt and come back even nastier. To truly defeat them, I would think would require a crushing, lightning assault; a long war might cause them to suffer setbacks, but they'd only become tougher as time went on, eventually outmatching their opponents.
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Budget. For whatever it's worth, the early First Contact script floating about the Web (then called Resurrection), had a whole Borg fleet getting smashed in the opening battle.
     
  5. Vger23

    Vger23 Captain Captain

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    I certainly think "budget" is a good answer, but also "plausibility" would have to factor in. The last time we saw a Borg Cube in Federation space, it destroyed ~40 starships at Wolf 359, and the only reason they defeated it was they had a link to the collective in the form of Picard as Locutus.

    To send eleventy billion Borg Cubes to Earth may be fun and fanwanky for the "Trek Wars" crew...but there's no plausible way they could have been defeated in a 5 min plot segment so that the remainder of the movie could be gotten on with.
     
  6. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    It's a big Galaxy out there. Earth and the Federation is worthy of assimilation, but there could be millions (if not billions) of other civilizations in the Galaxy that rank higher on their list. Even the multiple defeats the Borg suffered at the hands of Federation forces may not be enough to elevate Earth above "mostly harmless" in their guide book.

    Of course, if the Borg ever did decide to get serious with the Federation, it'd pretty much be the final Star Trek story and the start of a new Battlestar Galactica series.
     
  7. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It may simply not be the way of the Borg. Think of all the hapless neighbours Voyager encountered that would have made easy targets with a cube or ten.
     
  8. Tenacity

    Tenacity Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Depend on how much was shown on screen, as opposed to dialog or a Captain's log.

    A force of dozens of cubes being systematically damaged and destroyed by hundreds of starships would have been believable if you can buy that Starfleet has been improving their weapons tech and getting ready for just such an attack by the Borg for a decade.
     
  9. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    The other cube was in the garage.
     
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  10. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's madness to attempt to explain the Borg's motivation in First Contact. :)

    If they're going to attack Earth, why send one cube?

    If they're going to deploy a time sphere, why deploy it 1) as a last resort and 2) within sight of ships that can destroy it?

    If they're going to deploy a time sphere, why do it right there above Earth? Why not do it from a fair distance from Earth? Why not do it in the Delta Quadrant?

    If they're going to attack Earth in the past, why 2063? Why not 1945? Why not 1066? Hell, why not 5000 BCE?

    Even though this temporal attack on Earth failed, why haven't the Borg attempted more?

    When you really start to think about it, what the Borg attempt in First Contact is inexplicable and arbitrary.
     
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  11. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe the Borg did try different periods in time, but they were stopped there as well. Maybe the Borg were even one of the other unnamed factions in the Temporal Cold War.
     
  12. Balok's Decoy

    Balok's Decoy Captain Captain

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    This is my big problem with the Borg. The writers just made them so incredibly overpowered that they require plot holes and inconsistencies just to tell a story that doesn't begin and end with "The Borg show up with a million cubes and assimilate the Federation in a week."

    I like FC, but boy howdy do you have to give that movie leeway.
     
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  13. Smellmet

    Smellmet Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    These are pretty massive plot holes. FC gets a big pass from fandom despite it, it makes shinzon's muddled motivations in nemesis a lot easier to defend in my view.
     
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  14. Spot261

    Spot261 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the difference is that FC was generally considered to be a much more exciting and engaging movie, thus people tend to overlook it's obvious flaws. Nemesis was weak from the ground up which makes people less forgiving and more inclined to find fault.
     
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  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    First: Normally, a single Borg cube is powerful enough to assimilate or wipe out an entire planet. One cube made mincemeat of a fleet of 40 starships at Wolf 359. A cube is as powerful as a whole armada; it's just that the Borg are a collective society by nature, so they put their whole armada in a single box, literally. One cube would've been more than sufficient to assimilate Earth if the Enterprise hadn't had the benefit of Picard's inside knowledge to find its weak spot (in both BOBW and FC).

    Second: The Federation is not the center of the universe. From the Borg's perspective, it's a remote, distant society on the far fringes of the galaxy. As the Borg expand through the Delta Quadrant and beyond, they're no doubt constantly warring against dozens of other civilizations on their borders. Presumably it's those immediate enemies that take priority in their planning and use up most of their resources -- as we saw in VGR with the Borg's war against Species 8472. A much more remote civilization like the Federation might be worth investigating considering its level of advancement, but as far as the Collective's overall priorities go, the Federation would be pretty low on the list. So it wouldn't be worth sending more than one cube, since normally that would be more than enough. If that cube got defeated, they could just send more when it was convenient. It wasn't until Voyager ended up in Borg territory and started to inconvenience them more directly that the Collective started to see the Federation as a more serious threat -- and any large-scale invasion plans were scuttled when Voyager destroyed their transwarp hub in "Endgame." (Although both the Destiny novel trilogy and the Hive comic-book miniseries show the Borg launching massive invasions of the Federation some years after "Endgame," though only Destiny is explicit about it being in retaliation for the hub's destruction, which elevated the UFP from a nuisance to a major threat.)
     
  16. Balok's Decoy

    Balok's Decoy Captain Captain

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    Yeah, you make a solid point. It's almost anthropocentric to think "We're so valuable and so unique, why don't they expend every resource to assimilate us?"
     
  17. Swarm Emperor

    Swarm Emperor Ensign Red Shirt

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    Some pretty good ideas. I agree that, since we know very little about the galaxy, for all we know, there could have been threats a thousand times more dangerous than the Federation. Another possible theory is that since the cube we saw was carrying a queen, maybe that enhanced the Borg's fighting capabilities, leading then to believe that only one ship was needed. Or possibly there was a large armada that attacked the frontier to draw out the bulk of Starfleet while a lone cube was sent in to infiltrate and carry out the assimilation.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Or just closer. The Federation is very far from Borg space. And as I said, given the sheer size of their territory, they're probably in ongoing conflict with dozens of immediate neighbors at any time, so those would have to take priority over a more remote power like the UFP.


    As I said, though, it's a mistake to think of a Borg cube as one ship. A single cube is the equivalent of a large armada -- just all in one integrated package because the Borg think collectively instead of individually.
     
  19. Tenacity

    Tenacity Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This makes the assumption that the Borg had more than one time travel device, or that they know how to make more than the one they had.

    The Borg assimilate technology, they might have come across the time device and it was the only one they had. The cube was carrying it, but the Borg didn't intend to use it (expend it) unless they had too.
     
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  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To the contrary, that last question would seem to offer an obvious and straightforward answer. Since the Borg can travel in time, and thus can select Retry over Quit every time, we can assume that they got exactly what they wanted, and we thus only need to watch how ST:FC ends to expose the whole Borg plan.

    What did happen? Why, Cochrane made a warp flight at just the right moment, Earth got Vulcan protectors, and the Federation got founded. Without Borg help, this probably wouldn't have happened. But the Borg tricked Picard into flying into the past and ensuring that Cochrane's contraption worked and flew. Thus there now exists a wonderful multicultural think tank in the 24th century, bursting with interesting stuff to assimilate, when otherwise there'd just be stupid old Vulcans who won't even have the imagination to invent time travel for the Borg.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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