The name conjures images of planets laid to waste by fleets
of cubes while natives are cruelly assimilated into the Collective.
Most players loath going up against a well heeled Cyborg player
because of the awesome combat power of the Cube ship. Yet,
this race is by far the most difficult to play, since before
the borg can ever become a threat the player must develop
a superior economy and build an effective fleet.
pages to follow Ill examine some basic strategies that
will help the Cyborg player achieve dominance.
Economics and Assimilation
key to survival and eventual domination is for the Cyborg
to expand rapidly and in all directions. Probes should be
built liberally and sent into every corner of space while
your first few freighters are colonizing your local area.
When colonizing with probes, two school of thoughts prevail:
drops: The mix I use on Probes is 10 colonists and 5 supplies.
Every planet I find that has natives I will drop 2 colonists
and 1 supply to begin the assimilation process. Normally I
will skip non-native planets early on unless the planets has
very good mineral potential.
wait: Another method is to dump all of you colonists and supplies
at the first native planet your probe finds. This jump starts
the assimilation process but you have to wait to re-supply
your probe with colonists and supplies before moving on.
method will work and which one you use depends on the length
of the game, proximity of your neighbors, and the quality
of planets you find. Using both types can also be a good way
to rapidly expand your empire.
should be built liberally and normally be equipped with only
Nova 5s or HV 6 engines on them. Putting transwarps
on probes should only be done when you are forced to move
often without Hyperjumping. This can happen when you attempt
to colonize multiple planets that are fairly scattered from
your original hyperjump point. On occasion I will even arm
them with blasters or disrupters to take undefended planets
or freighters. Sometimes X-rays just dont cut it, especially
when you have only two.
I made when I first played the Cyborg was to recycle my probes
later in the game. Keep them and use them for Intell gathering
or harressing enemy shipping (or whatever else you can think
of). You really dont want to build them later in the
game, so keep the ones you have built handy.
and Empire building
your probes have been built and dispatched youll want
to start building up your local space by producing freighters.
As the Cyborg, you can not have too many freighters! The build
of choice is the Large Deep Space Freighter, which youll
need plenty of. First, you want to get you local space developed,
keeping the money and minerals flowing to your homeworld.
Dont give in to temptation and build a Cube ship too
early. Nothing will slow you down faster then building a Cube
when your infrastructure isnt ready for it. While you
are building up your local space, make sure to dispatch a
freighter to areas recently colonized by your probes. You
need to do this early, since it is usually a long trip. The
reason for this is that most planets will not have enough
of minerals of each type to build a starbase. Without a freighter
to pull resources in, youll be stuck with clusters that
should have a starbase, but cant because the minerals
are just sitting on each planet. Also, to get the native advantage
for you starbase youll have to build a starbase before
the natives are all assimilated. This isnt as easy as
it sounds, since most planets dont have the optimal
mining rates or minerals to get your there alone. Missing
out on a native race advantage will cost you time and money,
neither of which you can afford to lose.
reason for the heavy building of freighters is the voracious
need for minerals, money and supplies to fuel the Cyborg War
Machine. You have to constantly move these resources to your
starbases from sometimes distant planets to keep cranking
out ships. Also, since the Cyborg assimilate useful natives,
such as Boviniods, you will have to rely on high factory and
mine counts to make up the difference. Except in certain cases,
I always max out the number of factories on every planet I
own. Mines are a different story, as you should build mines
to optimize the mine rate of the planet as well as the quantity
of minerals in the ground. For example, if a planet has a
90 mine rate in all the available minerals, but has only about
300 of each in the ground, it would be a waste of money and
supplies to build more then 100 mines on the surface. Conversely,
a planet with a low mine rate and high quantities screams
to have as many mines as possible. Use common sense and long
range planning to find the optimal mine count for each planet.
that will hold your starbases wisely. Youll need at
least two other planets to support one starbase, especially
if that starbase is low in any of the elements (I usually
use at least 4). You should be constantly hauling in minerals,
money and supplies into your starbase, even if you dont
need it at that very moment. All it takes is one or two cube
builds to suck the resources out of even the best stocked
starbase. Dont overlook climate either, since even the
biggest assimilated population will die off in droves if the
climate is lousy.
the Cyborg do not have a fuel hauler in the normal ship build
list, I use a Super Transport Freighter to haul fuel. These
ships arent cheap, but they do have large fuel tanks
and can be used for normal freighter duty if needed. Also,
chunneling the STFs will eliminate a lot of fuel loss, especially
when the fuel is destined for a waiting fleet (not to mention
the fact that you can load up minerals, colonists and supplies
too!) Normally though, I will go out of my way to trade for
a Neutronic fuel carrier, since you will soon have a pressing
need to keep those cubes ships fueled, especially when your
opponent is using a scorched earth defense. They are cheap
to clone and will allow you to move fuel more efficiently.
basic tenant of Cyborg empire building is to never overlook
a planet! Its easy to pass over a planet that isnt
in a big cluster, but if you dont take it, your neighbor
will. The Cyborg is a race who must constantly expand to survive
and overlooking what could be a well stocked planet may come
back to haunt you later
bit of advice: Avoid an early fight! When exploring beyond
your sphere of control use a warship such as the Quietus or
Firecloud (good cargo hold and good fuel tanks). The Cyborg
need to concentrate on infra-structure and logistics first
before they can deploy a fleet to strike fear into the hearts
of inferior species. Getting into an early fight will only
distract you from this, eventually paving the way for your
Ships (or lack thereof)
of the list of Cyborg ship builds will reveal a very important
fact: They have no warships below Tech 9 that pose an offensive
threat. This is why I stress the importance of infrastructure
and logistics in Cyborg strategic planning. Fortunately, the
Cube ships are extremely powerful, albeit expensive to build.
With this in mind, I will point our the low tech warships
that are actually useful to build.
good as the Empire probe, but crucial too the Cyborg strategy
anyway. You should know why these need to be built in force
during the opening stages of the game. If not, reread the
the Economics and Assimilation section.
okay scout ship, but when you have a Hyperjumping probe,
why waste the money on building one?
a good combat ship, but this is the only fighter freighter
the Cyborg have. Youll need a couple for resupplying
your Biocides with fighters since an aggressive player will
chew through their fighter supply fairly quick (and you
dont have the luxury of building free-fighters). I
recommend 1 to every 5 Biocides you build.
redeeming qualities (in other words, dont build them,
they are worthless). Klingon translation: A dog is a dog.
seven beam ship, this hull can be useful for minesweeping
duties or as a cheap lead in for chewing up fighters. The
low mass makes it a suspect choice for either, as they are
destroyed by a single mine hit and get fried pretty quickly
by fighters. Building this ship is a tactical decision based
on your game conditions.
fuel, good cargo, poor armament. Best suited for long range
exploration or minelaying, but anything a Quietus can do,
the Firecloud can do better. This is an essential build
if your game has Race Plus running since the Super Tractor
beam can only be used by this ship. If not, build fireclouds,
since you get an extra tube, more beams and a larger cargo
bay (not to mention the ability to chunnel).
versatile of the Cyborg ships, the Firecloud has a good
fuel tank, lots of cargo room and ok armament. It suffers
from a low mass, but at least it can take a mine hit and
survive. Best of all, the Firecloud has the ability to Chunnel
ships. Ill discuss chunneling a bit later, but the
quick overview is that "Chunneling is the process where
a Firecloud Class Cruiser uses a temporal rift in the subspace
time continuum. This rift is a maelstrom of tachyon energy
formed in the shape of a tunnel." (WinPlan Help Docs).
In other words, you can move a fleet from point A to point
B in one turn as long as you have a firecloud at each point,
both have at least 50kt of fuel, and neither of them is
being towed. This gives the Cyborg a mobility that other
races lack, allowing you to put fleets instantly to any
spot. These ships will become the lynchpin of both your
colonization and military strategy. Sending out a Firecloud
will not only let you have a armed ship for forward scouting,
but you will then be able to project force into that sector
at will (as long as your firecloud stays alive).
a Firecloud is a mult-mission ship, including mine laying
and mine sweeping. Dont skimp on beams and torpedoes
if you can help it.
AND ANNIHILATION (THE DREADED CUBES)
Biocide in the undisputed Queen of Tech 9 Ships. This is
an awesome 10\10 carrier and is only rivaled by the Gorbie
and the Golem. You will need to build Biocides in force,
but beware, a fully equiped Biocide comes with a high price
tag in both minerals and money. You have not cheap means
of producing fighters, so equipping these behemoths will
be tough. The upside is that you dont have to raise
a starbase to Tech 10 to in Hulls, Torps or Beams to produce
and effective fighting machine. In fact, putting X-Rays
on a Biocide is perfectly acceptable, though I prefer disrupters
or better yet, Heavy Blasters.
Annihilation is the largest torp ship available and though
it is tech level 10, costs about half the price of a Biocide
to fully equip. Ive noticed many Cyborg players who
do not build Annihilations, choosing to concentrate only
Biocides. To me this is a grave mistakes, since the Annihilation
take out any other torp ship and all but the largest carriers
(Automa, Rush, Virgo, Golem, and Gorbie) and is much more
economical to build and use. Every race can build torpedoes
from raw materials, which means you can restock you Annihilations
on the spoils of war. Also, the Annihilation makes an outstanding
platform to sweep mines (including webs) and should always
be equipped with the best beams possible. Finally, the large
cargo hold makes the Annihilation a superior minelayer.
rule of thumb I build 1 Annihilation for every 3 Biocides.
If minerals and money are tighter, then the ratio goes up
to 1 to 2. In any case, you should always include Annihilations
with your Biocide task force. Their mult-mission capabilities
will only enhance your overall firepower.
biggest weapon is not the Cube ship, but their ability to
move via Chunneling. A rule of thumb I use is to keep one
Firecloud at EVERY starbase I have. Optimally I will keep
two at each starbase and use the rest with my fleets. The
reason for this is to have a rapid means of moving newly
built ships off the starbase and to the area they are needed.
If you have no Fireclouds, you will be forced to expend
fuel and time to move your ships around. This is counter
productive and will cost you in the long run. With at least
one Firecloud at your base, you'l be able to chunnel
in a second firecloud to move your fleet with. With two
Fireclouds available, youll be able to move out that
same turn as the build occurred. In VGA planets, mobility
is one of the greatest keys to victory, especially when
you need to bring fresh ships to a battle. As the Cyborg,
youll be able to rapidly assemble large fleets and
meet new threats with the proper use of your Fireclouds.
This should allow you to maintain local fleet superority,
even while deep in enemy territory. Fireclouds will also
allow you to stage a force close to enemy territory without
them detecting your movements or the size of your fleet
till it is too late. If you are not familiar with the mechanics
of Chunneling, I suggest you review the help section of
WinPlan carefully. An improper chunnel (which I have done
on more then one occasion) can really screw you up. Always
double check the warp setting and friendly code of the Fireclouds
doing the Chunnel. This will save you a lot of grief the
Coming in Part II: Assimilate your Neighbor for Fun and Profit
up to this Article will discuss various Cyborg strategies,
including specific race strategies. Until then, start warming
up you phasers and polishing your fighters.