Part 48: The Dumbest WarThe Dumbest War
The former haunt of the Amoeba, it now belongs to us.
Not particularly impressive, but any planet is worth it for us.
We're getting large enough that this is probably worth looking at now. Starting to put more effort into research as one aspect. Lots of assimilation work to be done, esp. in Cryslon. I'm assuming it's an undocumented (or at least overlooked-by-me) mechanic, but even after assimilation I'm getting a 20% morale hit for 'mixed races' whenever I have more than one race on a planet. We don't have a good way to counteract that right now, so I've split them up. The Silicoids will occupy the rich systems, while the Humans and Klingons split up the others. Takes a good amount of cash to ship the food around but we have enough industrial worlds that putting one on Trade Goods is counterbalancing that. I'd like another agricultural planet, but how to get one and where to put the Klingons I'd have to displace is another matter.
It's working for now, but I'm not super-comfortable yet with the long-term economic picture. After this I did move to build Cloning Centers on all Silicoid-occupied planets. We have plenty of the other two species at the moment.
Pretty clear divison here; everybody's kicking our butts even with the stuff we captured.
This is a bit healthier, and we're only about at two-thirds capacity right now with a couple additional cruisers to be added soon.
Took a mere 68 turns to complete our first home-grown research. Sticking with the plan, I head for the capacitors next; estimates indicate we'll get those in less than a quarter of the time. Also, a priority now is to upgrade our design specs to outfit all ships with shielding. That'll take a while but it should have a major impact. It does mean reduced firepower; most notably our Tachi 2 cruisers will have to sacrifice a heavy mount so they'll have four heavy and five standard fusion beams now.
There's a lot going on now.
** We can now blockade every enemy world except Meklon, which is still out of range.
** All major refits have been done, and Kahless gets bored quickly. Any more time waiting is time wasted - our enemies get stronger when we aren't attacking them. And by enemies, we mean all warp-capable species of course.
** It is time to show the Alkari the foolishness of pacifism. The main battle group of 4 cruisers, 1 bomber-destroyer, along with one transport and a second on the way, heads to Lir. For some time now, the birdbrains have had a single Battleship at Altair. The hope is to smash their defenses at the other system, and goad them into a foolish attack into the bulk of our fleet.
** This does leave us vulnerable in other places, but the best defense is a good offense and the Sakkra and Darlok are embroiled in a war that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. The Trilarians seem most bothered by our blockading frigates, but relations are still just north of neutal. No one is at war with us right now - we must bring the fight to them before we are left behind.
** There's a single 'extra' Qa-Cheng frigate to allow the blockaders to come back to get refit. Additionally, any that get kicked out by the local enemy fleets also are refit before being sent back. In this way we will eventually get them all equipped with shielding. There have been some close calls, but we have yet to have any destroyed, even with multiple battleship attacks, before they could warp out.
** Any industrial planet with nothing better to do invests in Colony Ships, despite the protestations of the imperial treasury which would prefer trade goods. All uninhabited planets, regardless of value, are to be gathered for the glory of the Empire ... and more importantly, for the increase in Command Points we will get from acquiring them.
Here's an exhaustive list, with the potential to increase our capacity from four to eight active cruisers if we got them all. Only Weg I is worth a darn, a former Meklar planet taken by the Darloks and then destroyed by one of the other races - the system sits empty but who knows how long that will last. We have no ships out yet, but if it remains unclaimed we will certainly snag it.
Battle at Lir II (11:16)
That was a long and reasonably annoying fight. With the destroyer I basically was just experimenting with how much punishment we could absorb. Our fusion beams are only moderately effective against their missiles, even at point-blank range. I wonder if even those benefit from the Alkari defense bonus? Anyway, plinking down the missile base like that was far from optimal, but it just barely worked.
I meant to kill these off, but I forgot and clicked wrong so now I'm stuck with them. For as long as we hold this, the Gem Deposits will aid the economy. Additionally, we captured the local Spaceport, something we can't build. Financially this figures to be an important system.
Anyway, here's what Alkari look like and now we need to build more ships. Also, they've built a second battleship at Altair. Depending on what they decide to do with them, that could be trouble. I'm not worried about getting more blockade, assault, or transport ships up; cruisers are the priority until we get this sorted.
Their first order of business was to stay put and finally kick out our blockade. Could have been worse. The longer they are willing to dilly-dally around, the closer we get to having a full military response available. Meanwhile, the dastardly Darloks are nominated as the #2, perhaps a sign they are gaining the upper hand against the Sakkra.
Alkari (2) naturally side with Mysalveer, who has four of his own; the lizards and fish-folk abstain. Our seven votes go to the enemy as well, leaving them just one shy of victory. We officially ... by the narrowest of margins, about a third of a vote ... have a veto bloc here.
And yet they refuse to submit to the 'honorable' rule of Kahless. Fools!
The Alkari next decide to strike at Cryslon III, in full force. I was afraid of that.
Cryslon III Defense (2:41)
My goal was to take down one of them, and then hopefully survive the bombardment. This goal was not achieved. We had no chance.
We can't afford him right now. Regarding the Alkari, there was no way defend the other planet in Cryslon in time, so I didn't even try. Rather, the cruiser group left Lir and was joined by every frigate that could arrive with them, which was almost all of them. The combined force would converge on Altair itself. Either they would retreat to defend it, or find themselves without a homeworld to return to.
Clearly retreat-and-defend is not their plan. This is becoming a costly and desperate war, and right now we are losing it. The upcoming attack on their homeworld will determine everything for us. Meanwhile we colonized Weg I, but could we hang onto it?
One way or another, this would be a battle long remembered.
Assault at Altair (15:01)
It worked ... mostly. The defenses were destroyed but we didn't have enough firepower to destroy the planet.
A bomber-destroyer was en route from Kronos ... but would it arrive in time? What were those Alkari up to??
Oh nothing much ... they were just going to smash our home system. Superb. This could come down to who gets there first, and I have no clue whatsoever what the 'tiebreaker' is for that.
Here's the answer. Super-great. Pretty clear our seat of government is doomed unless I can destroy Altair right now.
You have got to be kidding me! We recolonize Cryslon III, and get a colony going on the secondary planet in Scaliger as well. But Kahless had ... other ... thoughts on his mind.
Guess how much I totally don't care right now?
I HATE YOU. We ... well, we did this.
That might have been the single dumbest war ever fought in the history of Master of Orion 2. But we 'won'. Many Silicoids died because we couldn't destroy the last living Alkari citizen on the previous turn.
We've got a lot of pieces to pick up here ... if we can. But once we do, what next? I'd like the stock exchange thingy but I think we need assault shuttles to capture enemy ships for their tech here. There's a lot of rebuilding going to happen and I'd be an idiot if I thought it would be totally peaceful.
Yep, the Antarans are on the scene now too. So ... what in the world are they doing here so soon? Accelerated due to the Advanced start?? Anyway, the Trilarians grabbed Bier out from under our nose but it could be worse. It could also be a heck of a lot better. The Klingon Empire, aka Quagmire, is a mess. From an RP standpoint, I have to applaud such a hilariously self-destructive war. From a strategic one ... eh, I think what happens next is still a very open question. I'd try to take Bier back if our situation wasn't such a mess. We need to settle and rebuild in multiple places, get blockades back in place, reconstitute the star fleet, and somehow not find ourselves in a relative stone age compared to our rivals by the time all that's done.
We're kind of going to be living on the galaxy's good humor for a while, and a new approach will clearly be needed going forward.