RR #43: Assimilating Homeworlds for fun and profit - part 2
This Strategy-Note was written by Kathy McCracken (aka Major Rakal) and was published first on "Major Rakals Tal Shiar Headquarters (members.cox.net/majorrakal)" at Jan 7th, 1998.
This article is part of the article serie "Romulan Review" from "Major Rakal (Kathy Mc Kracken)". Also see:
- Previous "Romulan Review" (# 42): "RR #42: Assimilating Homeworlds for fun and profit - part 1".
- Next "Romulan Review" (# 44): "RR #44: Timeline Disruption in 2063".
Aefvadh! Last time, we examined Assimilate Counterpart, the necessary preliminary step to assimilating a homeworld. Now let's move on to the second step in...
ASSIMILATING HOMEWORLDS FOR FUN AND PROFIT: PART 2
So you've got yourself a counterpart, either the pre-assimilated Locutus of Borg, or one of your opponent's personnel, transformed with Assimilate Counterpart. That's one of the targets you will need in order to assimilate a homeworld. The other target is, of course, the homeworld itself. Let's look at the objective:
Objective, rare, 40 points
Plays on table. Target both an unassimilated homeworld on spaceline and your matching counterpart. Your Borg may scout that homeworld. If your counterpart is at that spaceline location, you may probe: : Assimilated. Place on homeworld. Cards of that affiliation (except cards) may not report to any outpost for rest of game.
This looks very much like Assimilate Planet, except that it's worth an extra 15 points, and may target only the very planets that Assimilate Planet must ignore: homeworlds. What is a homeworld? It is a planet mission whose location is designated in its lore as being the homeworld to a specific affiliation. So far, there are homeworld missions corresponding to each of the three fully-realized affiliations.
- Cloaked Mission: "Romulus: Secretly escort covert operatives to the Romulan homeworld."
- Expose Covert Supply: "Qo'noS: Uncover covert supply lines supporting rebels on the Klingon Homeworld."
- Espionage Mission: "Earth: Infiltrate Starfleet Headquarters and compile an intelligence dossier on this Federation homeworld."
Note that homeworld missions are not normally attemptable by that homeworld's affiliation (except perhaps by Espionage or some other workaround). The Romulan homeworld is a mission that only Klingons can attempt; the Klingon homeworld is a mission that only Romulans can attempt; and the Federation homeworld is a mission that can be attempted by anyone except the Federation. The practical result of this is that your opponent will rarely, if ever, include his homeworld mission among his own mission cards. Therefore, if you plan to assimilate your opponent's homeworld, you will have to include the homeworlds in your own missions, and you can never count on your opponent to clean the dilemmas out for you.
Once you have your counterpart, play the Assimilate Homeworld objectiveas your card play. Assimilate Counterpart does not allow you to download your next objective, like Assimilate Planet does, so you either have to draw it normally, retrieve it from Q’s Tent, or, if you have the Borg Queen (FC) in play, go through a two-step download: use the Queen's skill to download A Change of Plans at the end of the turn when you assimilate the counterpart, then use A Change of Plans at the start of your next turn to download the Assimilate Homeworld objective.
When you play Assimilate Homeworld and activate it, you name the homeworld that matches your counterpart's former affiliation. As noted in the last review, with a multi-affiliation counterpart, you could select any of the matching homeworlds. Now you may scout that homeworld. Scouting proceeds exactly as for Assimilate Planet; you may send down one scout at a time to encounter dilemmas and Q-Flashes, sending another as each one gets stopped, killed, etc. Be extremely careful with risking your counterpart; if he is killed, your objective must be discarded. When all dilemmas and Q-Flashes are eliminated, scouting is complete.
On your next turn, if your counterpart is present at the homeworld location (he may be aboard your ship) and assuming you have not battled at that location in the meantime, you may begin to probe for a successful outcome. The probe requirement is more stringent for Assimilate Homeworld: only a subcommand icon will do. However, as it appears on most of the Borg objectives, on Borg Cubes, and on a third of the drones, it should not be too difficult to get.
When your probe is successful, place the objective on the homeworld to mark it assimilated and to score the 40 points. The final effect of the objective is the one most devastating to your opponent: he may not report any cards of that affiliation, except those with an icon, to any outpost for the remainder of the game. He will be limited to the personnel and ships he already has in play, plus any or non-aligned cards he may have in his deck. He may also use a Devidian Door to bring a personnel into play aboard a ship or on a planet. This restriction should hamper him enough to allow you to complete one or two more objectives to reach 100 points.
One advantage to using Locutus of Borg as your counterpart - even if your opponent is already playing Federation - is that you should be able to assimilate Earth much earlier in the game, before your opponent has time to get most of his personnel and ships in play.
You aren't strictly limited to assimilating only one homeworld, either. A multi-affiliation counterpart would allow you to assimilate both homeworlds in succession. Or, in a more timeconsuming process, you can turn your counterpart into a drone with He Will Make An Excellent Drone, assimilate another one, and assimilate a second homeworld. This works best against a non-Federation opponent, where you use Locutus of Borg first to assimilate Earth, turn him into a drone, then assimilate another counterpart who will be worth points to you while you assimilate his homeworld.
But Assimilate Homeworld doesn't have to be the end of this strategy, especially if your opponent is playing Federation. It's only the preludeto the even nastier strategy of timeline disruption...next time, right here in the Romulan Reviews.
The Major's Combos:
- Assimilate Homeworld + Revolving Door on opponent's Alternate Universe Door: Hope you have lots of non-aligned personnel.
- Assimilate Homeworld + all three homeworlds: You're prepared for three-quarters of your opponents.