If I look at starcharts of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, the Romulan Star Empire is east, somewhat north east of Federation space (as viewed from above the galaxy). Now this corresponds with the destruction of both Federation and Romulan outposts by the Borg.

Did the Borg ever attempt to assimilate Romulus, because that planet is closer to Borg space than Earth is?

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    As I understand it, the destruction of the outpost was, not exactly retconned away, but ignored because it didn't fit in with the way the writers decided to take the plot. It basically became just an anomaly, something the Borg did for reasons never explained. I'm not sure whether the motivation behind their attacks on the Federation were explained, hopefully someone will address that in an answer. I assume it was because the Federation, while largely non-aggressive, was actively exploring and expanding as well as rapidly developing technologically, and might therefore pose a future threat. Sep 19, 2017 at 1:07
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    Because the Borg Queen has a thing for Picard. Or that ship was simply closest to the Federation, and didn't have to pass through Romulan space to get there. But I think it's the Picard thing.
    – Tim
    Sep 19, 2017 at 1:07
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    NB: since the Borg typically travel by subspace conduit, crossing Romulan space wouldn't be an issue. Also, you should keep in mind that all the Borg attacks against the Federation were minor efforts - never more than a single ship, IIRC? - nothing like the Borg attacks against, for example, Guinan's people. Sep 19, 2017 at 1:08
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    Maybe the "Subspace Corridors" used by the Borg are like Interstate Highways and the Federation just happened to be closer to the "off ramp". (My comment, while phrased humorously, is intended to offer serious conjecture.) Sep 19, 2017 at 2:24
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    The Borg have time travel and an enormous astrophysical knowledge set. Either way, they maybe know that Romulus is not a profitable long-term investment.
    – Gaultheria
    Jun 23, 2018 at 5:06

1 Answer 1


Borg knowledge base about alpha quadrant came from Picard. Picard knew of and respected the romulan cloaking device, thus Borg chose 'easier' target of Federation. Also, assume Borg had no knowledge of Q, the 'escape' of the Enterprise from their first meeting was the impetus for the Borg to seek out Picard exclusively.

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    This seems backwards of how the Borg approach things. They don't pick easier targets. They pick targets that make them stronger. If the Romulan cloaking device were a real danger to them, then they would have been more likely to assimilate the Romulans first. That way they'd have cloaking with which to fight the Federation.
    – Brythan
    Jun 23, 2018 at 11:47
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    there is also quite a bit of material, in books and online play, which indicates that the borg made strategic alliances with romulan factions following their failures vs the federation. This not generally accepted as canon however. My personal belief is that the fact that the enterprise somehow escaped them in the J-25 system(they had no knowledge of Q) represented a mystery that they were compelled to solve.
    – Alan
    Jun 24, 2018 at 10:39
  • They abducted Picard after entering the Alpha Quadrant, as part of their plan. They only got the knowledge from him after assimilation. This wouldn't answer the original question of why they went to Federation before Romulan Empire. Jul 24, 2018 at 0:31
  • @Alan even more so than your existing answer, your comment would make a great answer. That they worked out the mysterious ship they encountered at J-25 came from this 'Federation', and thus focused their attention on them. I'd suggest making this an answer (or I will! ;) ) Jul 24, 2018 at 0:33

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