Part 5: Turn 37TURN 37
One of our new Destroyer IIs has stumbled into a Minor Race system with a defending ship. Minor Race ships tend to be very weak. The Destroyer is ordered to decloak and fire.
Both ships are diminutive. The Destroyer instantly destroys its enemy.
The ship belonged to the Ktarians. It's an awkward way to make first contact.
Here it is, the most beautiful sight you will ever see in this game: The invasion victory screen. You cannot control or even watch an invasion take place, so your first indication of how things went is to see whether it succeeded or failed. We have conquered the Bandi's system while doing minimal collateral damage. (1 million population is the same as 1 population unit.)
Our splendid little war with the Bandi is over. We have become conquerors, and we rather like it. According to our pollsters, people are "relieved that there will be no more trouble in Deneb." You have to love that Romulan patriotism.
The Bandi's only system, Deneb, is now ours. It is not powerful yet, but more advanced than our colonies.
The Bandi's morale is "disgruntled", which is common for a newly-conquered race. It's not dangerous yet, but we'll use a special "tribunal" process to keep things in check. It will take a few turns. And we'll send a Colony Ship to Deneb to terraform those extra planets.
With the trouble in Deneb ended, we can build an Outpost with our extra Troop Transports to extend our reach to the north. The Yridians are next on the chopping block.
TURN 38. We receive the Bandi's last diplomatic message, sent just before their leaders were assassinated. There is some truth in it: We will never be rid of the Bandi. After all, we'll have to tell them what to do for the rest of the game.
The Klingons issue another demand that we'll ignore. The demands are useful in one way: You can tell how wealthy they are by the size of their demand. Their demand is fairly small, so the Klingon economy can't be that robust.
The Andorians live only a few sectors away from the Bandi, and have drawn the correct lesson from recent events. The affiliation treaty itself is mostly meaningless, but it's the final step before annexation.
TURN 39. We have sent a Scout ship into the Rubicun system in order to make first contact with the Edo. Our Scout ship is not in harm's way, as it uses its free turn to retreat. It's silly, but it's the only way to open communication with the Edo.
Meanwhile, a Klingon Scout has flown into one of our new Starbases. Unlike Outposts, the Starbases are extremely well-defended. The Klingon ship is just a speck compared to the Starbase, and it runs away while cloaked.
After dealing with the likes of the Zakdorn and Yridians, our diplomats are abuzz with news of the new Edo diplomat.
The Edo live in the Rubicun system, near the northern border of the galaxy and just north of Klingon space. Their Edo Guardian keeps them practically invincible. If we bribe them into joining our empire, we'll have a very defensible system on the Klingons' northern flank.
On the other end of our empire, our new Scout makes first contact with a race to the southwest. You could play a game of checkers on these guys.
A Ferengi Scout is spotted at the southwestern edge of our empire, near the Takarans. We also spot a Minor Race ship at the southern border of the galaxy.
Back up north, we have finished building our victory Outpost on top of the Bandi's system. The invasion force picks up another two Troop Transports and sets course for Yridia. We know the Yridians are in a similar state to the Bandi: a low population and no Orbital Batteries. We'll repeat the procedure that worked so well before.
One of our younger diplomats insists that a woman like the Edo diplomat is likely to get credits from all sorts of people, so we should distinguish ourselves by subtly insulting her instead. However, we follow the normal bribing protocol and begin a series of gifts.
TURN 40. Oh. These guys. They say "Shaka, when the walls fell" and other such things. Imagine, an entire civilization based on spouting memes.
Oh. These guys. We finally make first contact with the second empire, the Ferengi. I suppose it was inevitable. Time to begin building more warships.
Before even receiving our first bribe, the Edo offer an affiliation treaty to us, skipping the "friendship" stage. It may seem a little forward, but perhaps the Klingons have been hassling them. Our diplomats send a response that we are indeed eager to "share infrastructure"... If you know what I mean... And I think that you do.
The picture of the entire empire. We are almost to the north and we are creeping along the southern edge to the west. Directly to the west is sort of a neutral zone between ourselves and the Klingons. Now that so many ships are being sent around, it's becoming difficult to keep track of everything. The Vulcan ship is scrapped to remove one more ship icon from the map.
TURN 41. We send our new Destroyer II to deal with another Minor Race's ship, a Sheliak Raider.
The Destroyer decloaks and quickly charges toward the Raider, expelling as many weapons as it can.
The Sheliak Raider is sturdier than the one owned by the Ktarians, and barely survives the first round of punishment. But its shields are down and it is quickly destroyed in the second round.
Having made first contact with the Ferengi, we now receive announcements of all their new treaties. They have signed a friendship treaty with the Cardassians, who are still nowhere to be seen.
Our intelligence reports will give us an accurate snapshot of the state of the Ferengi's economic, science and military power, along with an always-current number of their systems held. The Ferengi have a superior economy to ours; their science level is about the same. More surprisingly, their military power is much greater than ours. And that's counting all of our Outposts and Starbases as military assets: The Ferengi fleet is therefore a real danger. On the plus side, the Ferengi have only 9 systems to our 19: we outnumber the Klingons and Ferengi put together. But the Ferengi morale is "pleased."
We made first contact with the Sheliak during our battle. What...are they?
In another diplomatic coup, the Andorians voluntarily join our empire.
Andor is even less impressive than Deneb, but with some good terraforming they could grow to a decent size.
Our three Troop Transports are one turn away from Yridia. This time we remember to declare war first so we can attack as soon as we arrive.
We get our first glimpse of the Sheliak's system, which looks pretty decent. It would be a decent stepping-stone as we crawl along the southern edge of the galaxy to the west. Even better, they have a low population and no Orbital Batteries. We could easily invade them, and we've got Troop Transports conveniently nearby!
Our state department is pleased that we can announce two new wars in one turn.
The northeast has largely been scouted out already and the best systems are taken. A lot more ships are being sent to our southwestern front, which seems open to more growth.