8

Though Borg Cubes are extremely powerful and durable, it seems that having shields would add even more to this. And yes, the Borg have their EM field, but why could they not use this in tandem with shields? Heck, even Pakleds use shields!

Also, undoubtedly the Borg have assimilated Klingons, Romulans, and other species that employ a cloaking device. Why not implement this into their ship designs? Is it too much of a power drain? Seems like if the Romulans and Klingons can manage it, so could the Borg.

I suppose the Borg believe that such technology is unnecessary, but I don't see why they wouldn't try to increase their efficiency by whatever means necessary.

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    A cloaking device and shields would have been helpful against Species 8472 and "Endgame" Voyager, though! – user30592 Aug 20 '14 at 21:11
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    The species 8472 weapons tore through voyager's shields as if they where nothing. if i remember correctly. – Himarm Aug 20 '14 at 21:33
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from Memory Alpha, episode "Q Who"

Worf then tries to stun it with his phaser, to no avail, and is forced to increase the phaser to full power. They successfully destroy the Borg, but almost instantly another is beamed aboard in its place. Worf again attempts to destroy it, but shields form around it, protecting the Borg. It tampers with the same engineering console, then turns and removes some components from the dead Borg before it is beamed back to the cube and the corpse "

later,:

"They increase to maximum warp, but still have no success in escaping. Riker orders them to arm photon torpedoes, and Picard gives the order to fire, but the torpedoes have no effect. Q appears on the bridge and informs Picard he does not have a chance. The Borg ship, after getting within firing range, fires a shield-draining missile twice and the Enterprise, now with very low shields, fires torpedoes again, with the same result. "

The Borg obviously have shields, both for individual drones and for their ships.

I don't see anything in canon about the Borg and cloaking, but cloaking seems to run against the basic Borg philosophy. They don't care if you see them or not - resistance is futile. Since they assimilated at least one Romulan colony (episode "The Neutral Zone"), it's presumable that they have cloaking technology, they just don't care to use it. It's not mentioned in canon, but since they probably had cloaking tech they probably tried it against species 8472 but it must not have been effective.

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    They want you to see them coming. They want you to attack them with everything you've got. They only gain XP through battling – Valorum Aug 20 '14 at 21:57
  • I only meant shielding for their ships, of course. Also, I'm not sure how what you've written above proves that the Borg do, indeed, have these sorts of shields. – user30592 Aug 20 '14 at 22:22
  • Memory Alpha lists "shields" as part of the technical specs for Borg Spheres, but just says "fields" for the cubes. I think it's just been assumed that all Borg ships have shields, even though it's not specifically mentioned in-universe. – Joe L. Aug 20 '14 at 23:19
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    Also, isn't pretty much every cloaking technology presented in the series a large power drain for larger ships? Cubes are many times larger than a starship... – Brian S Aug 21 '14 at 14:45
5

The other commenters and answers basically cover it.

Cloaking Device: You only need stealth if you engage in reconnaissance or sneak attacks. You could argue the Neutral Zone attacks by the Borg were sneak attacks but they were so effective that clearly they didn't need a cloaking device.

The series has also been consistent in implying that cloaking devices take large amounts of power (TOS, TNG: The Pegasus, Romulan Warbirds quantum singularities as power source) and that Borg cubes are huge, so we can imagine the power drain would be astronomical.

Also, remember the purpose of Borg cubes, they are tactical, they are for attack and they can use their transwarp conduits for tactical surprise. If the Borg were to employ cloaking technology you'd imagine it'd be on smaller things like probes.

However, I think the best is simply it's against their philosophy. Resistance is futile. (the hammer that see's everything as a nail; no matter what you say or do, we're going to attack you with overwhelming force, no need to hide)

Shields: Clearly the Borg have a form of "shielding." Their adaptive fields quickly render the phaser attacks from the Enterprise ineffective. More importantly, though, you have to remember that cubes are designed to be extremely reliable through awe-inspiring redundant systems.

I believe it was the Best of Both Worlds, Data commented on the decentralized nature of the cubes (no bridge, no engineering) and how they could sustain massive amount of damage and still remain functional. Unlike all other vessels that have sensitive areas (take out their weapons, phasers, thrusters, warp drive, etc) the Borg have no "pain points."

The power expenditure necessary for shielding such a large vessel seems less justified when so much of the vessel can be sacrificed (and regenerated) for relatively cheaper. Whereas other Trek species rely on their vessels remaining whole (or at least critical areas being shielded).

In general, it seems very unlikely that the Borg encountered many species where shields would be the most effective defense given the power drain. That said, you have to wonder why they didn't have something to suppress transporters.

For that, I'd simply suggest a more common natural phenomenon: arrogance.

  • The Borg don't do sneaking – Valorum Jan 8 '15 at 11:01
  • "That said, you have to wonder why they didn't have something to suppress transporters." Because being boarded is irrelevant? The boarders will be assimilated, killed or forced to attempt a futile retreat. – CyanAngel Jan 8 '15 at 17:01
  • @CyanAngel Right, intruders were viewed as so insignificant as to not be a threat until they took threatening actions. Cool premise but how many times did Starfleet prove that assumption wrong? :D – Captain P Jan 11 '15 at 16:39
  • You say that but how many times has an away team achieved their goals on a Borg ship? Only times I can think of is late VOY and by that point the Borg had been neutered by the writers anyway – CyanAngel Jan 11 '15 at 16:44
0

The Borg are so powerful that stealth / cloaking technology isn't needed. While it's true in some cases it could make attacking a different species easier, it could also prove to be their undoing.

Correct me if I'm wrong but in order to cloak, shields have to be down leaving the Borg vulnerable to attack.

It is possible that they could find a way to have both shields and cloak on at the same time however it seems a bit wasteful considering how overwhelming a force the Borg are.

One could assume that since the Borg are already so powerful the show's creators thought it be best to not give them even more power than they already have.

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