Threat Assessment: The Cyborg

This is the fifth in a series of anonymous reports analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the Eleven Races. These redacted versions were approved by the Senate for immediate publication, to be read by commanders of each respective race in order that they can review their own vulnerabilities in the face of the unknown external threat that commissioned the studies. In this dispatch we focus on that faction known as the Cyborg: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

Overview

Ease Of Command: Expert
Difficulty To Defeat: Low To High
Style: Aggressive

General: The Cyborg represent an ancient species which survived galactic cataclysm by uploading their individual minds into a virtual gestalt reality.  Now they range the cluster in search of primitive natives to convert into biological hosts for the trillions in their virtual populace.  This race has access to both advanced transportation technology and massive warships, making them a potentially brutal opponent.

Identification: In the early stages of battle, the Cyborg disseminate using hyperspace probes, tasked with claiming space, annihilating natives useful to other races, and establishing forward starbases capable of constructing a Firecloud. Vast fleets of powerful warships will then arrive suddenly to conquer even the most advanced opponent. You will have little warning.

Fleet Composition: The Annihilation is the most powerful battleship in the Echo Cluster, capable of defeating any other in single combat. It pales, however, next to the might of the Biocide, which can defeat starbases and enemy fleets with equal ease. Firecloud Class Cruisers make a passable combat vessel as well as providing a local nexus for a transstellar transportation network.

Strengths And Weaknesses:

Economic: Cyborg convert native populations into their own, creating a truly vast tax base which, combined with the possibilities this grants for rapid expansion, can fund a logistics system capable of dominating an entire cluster without assistance. Add to this the incalculable fuel and time savings generated by an active Firecloud network and it can be seen that a fully-developed Cyborg is virtually undefeatable.

Military: The Biocide is uniquely deadly. It is marginally less massive than the Empire’s Gorbie, but its larger cargo hold permits a greater store of Supplies and ammunition, reducing vulnerability to Glory Devices and multi-turn warfare. The B222 and B41 make excellent lead ships against even high-end starbases for a tiny investment. Add to all this the Firecloud network’s ability to instantly reinforce any sector and the occasional Annihilation when needed, and there can be little doubt that an established Cyborg is the greatest of all possible threats.

NOTE: Advanced Cyborg factions gain access to improved Chunnel manipulation technology options as well as the Temporal Lance.

Key Vulnerabilities:

  • Cyborg reliance on Firecloud transportation makes them uniquely vulnerable to cloaked vessels, whether through infiltration combined with tow-mugging attacks or straightforward Priority Intercept Attacks.
  • Due to the relatively slow rate of improvement of the Cyborg economy combined with the high cost of top-end hulls, an early Ship Limit can be disproportionately harmful.
  • The Cyborg lack any effective mid-range warships aside from the Firecloud, which itself is the key to their success. Fireclouds, therefore, when placed in line of battle become vulnerable to capture, and even then are too light to have much utility. More to the point, there are few useful options for Priority builds aside from the Firecloud.

Trade and Alliances:

  • The Firecloud Class Cruiser is immensely valuable. Even simple access to the Firecloud network is sufficient motivation for most races to ally; Firecloud ownership is highly coveted and each can command quite a high price.
  • Colonists and other economic benefits are frequently offered as secondary inducements for permitting a Cyborg presence.

The Cyborg, while inexorable in their advance, are exceptionally vulnerable to attacks by cloaked vessels. They will, therefore, often be amenable to deals with those who possess anti-cloaking defenses. They can also use economic advantages such as free fighter construction and to even greater effect than most.

Summary:

The Cyborg, if permitted time to develop, are without exception the most deadly threat in the cluster. Even if struck early, they have been known to rebuild from even the smallest scrap.


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