Part 7: Turn 47TURN 47
Rubicun, the home of the Edo, is not well-developed as we hoped. But our purpose for acquiring the Edo was its strategic position rather than its resources.
TURN 48. We encounter yet another Minor Race. Their initial assessment of us is unfavorable, so we won't bother trying to bribe them. Our total credits are now down to just over 8,000.
Benzar, the Benzites' system, is right in the middle of the galaxy, near two other "B"-named Minor Races, the Betazoids and Bolarians. Our Scout has located a small corridor of unclaimed space between the Klingon empire and what we can see of the Ferengi empire. This section of the galaxy is no-man's land.
The Ferengi demand money for their "indirect services." We have no idea what they're talking about, so they're just making stuff up. Their demand is revealing, however: 7,000 credits. By comparison, the Klingons had demanded 1,500 a few turns ago. The Ferengi can be presumed to have an economy around four times the size of the Klingons'.
At least one Klingon Colony Ship is up to no good and poking around near our territory. There are a few unclaimed systems around, and we certainly don't want the Klingons ninja'ing them. Theta, just northwest of our original three, is unclaimed. A Colony Ship currently on Rhymus Major will colonize it before the Klingons can arrive.
TURN 49. We've accidentally routed a Troop Transport through Acamar, the home system of the Acamarians. Both Acamarian and Klingon ships are there to ambush it. The combat notification indicates "Klingon and Minor Race" ships together, telling us that the Acamarians and Klingons have an affiliation treaty.
Our Troop Transports cannot fit cloaking devices. The Klingon Destroyer zaps our ship before it has a chance to retreat. It is the first time we have lost a ship this way. Increasingly, the Klingons are becoming a nuisance.
We continue our step-by-step advancement in the far southwest. Draylon, a nice system that is just outside of our range, is the goal. Since Tama, Takara and Malcor are owned by Minor Races, we'll set up an Outpost on Tyrellia to bring Draylon within reach.
TURN 50. The Ferengi sign a non-aggression treaty with the Klingons. The Klingons are opposed to peace, so this is an obvious move for the Klingons to be able to focus their aggression against us. The Ferengi and Klingons had such a treaty earlier, but it expired. (You can offer treaties that last only 25 turns.)
We have an increasing interest in the Acamar system. We previously ignored it, as we gained Andor by bribery and Deneb (where the Bandi live) by conquest as we moved north. Since we last checked, the Acamar have been busy, terraforming most of their planets, increasing in population, and putting up an Orbital Battery. Not only has the system become more valuable, but it is strategically located. Klingon territory is just a few sectors to the west. If the Klingons gained control of Acamar, it would create a salient into our northeastern holdings. They would undoubtedly use it as a launchpad for further attacks. But if we control Acamar, it will round out our gains and keep them at bay.
As such, a Battle Cruiser is being sent from Romulus up to Acamar to keep the Klingons away for now. An invasion fleet will be assembled at the earliest opportunity. Unlike the Bandi, Yridians and Sheliak, however, Acamar has a big enough population to require a sizable invasion force.
TURN 51. We are maintaining a bankroll of around 9,000 credits, so we only have funds to spend on bribing one Minor Race for now. Our work with the Takarans in the southwest proceeds apace.
It seems all of the Minor Races are now advancing in development. The Takarans should be useful as soon as we've finished bribing them.
Yridia will be an important base of operations in the far north, so we're upgrading our Outpost into a Starbase. Once we're done, we can redeploy some of those Troop Transports to help form the invasion fleet against Acamar.
TURN 52. Likewise, Shelia will be the site of a new Starbase. Those Battle Cruisers would be useful against Acamar, but there is such a distance now between the two fronts. Ships really have to be committed to one or the other, as it takes too long to transfer them.
The Klingons have colonized the previously empty Arvada system, beginning a salient toward Acamar. We consider this to effectively be a ninja'ing by the Klingons. To add insult to injury, we had previously terraformed those planets but had not yet colonized since the Colony Ship was needed elsewhere at the time. Thus, we unintentionally did the Klingons a favor. This development has rankled the Romulan high command.
TURN 53. Our Battlecruiser arrives on Acamar, along with one of our Destroyers. The Acamarians have built two Raiders now to face us.
We decloak and obliterate them both easily. We control the space over Acamar now; these ships will wait in orbit while we gather a bunch of Troop Transports to take the system.
TURN 54. In the southwest, we have detected our first intergalactic traveler: a Chodak Juggernaut. It is impressive, and will hopefully not cause much trouble. We'll need both Battlecruisers in the area to deal with this new bull in the china shop.
The completed Outpost on Tyrellia puts Draylon within the range of our ships.
TURN 55. Bad news on the southwestern front: Attracted to shiny objects, the Juggernaut has wandered over to Shelia, where a Troop Transport was busy upgrading an Outpost into a Starbase. We have a Battlecruiser, but it will not be enough to destroy it. All of our ships must retreat. Since the upgrade was in progress, the Outpost will be lost. If the Starbase upgrade had been completed, the Juggernaut would be no match for us. It is a bad stroke of luck.
A weird quirk of the game: retreating ships get warped to another location. For some reason, they got sent to an area of the Klingon empire. But it useful in one way: They're closer to Acamar, and can be sent there to join the fleet.
Our people have become to accustomed to victory, and view our retreat as "a disaster." We lost an Outpost, sure, but it is an overreaction.
The Tyrellian Outpost makes a rare sighting of the Ferengi, and a new type of ship: A Federation Scout, which they innocently call a "Science Vessel" instead. We are not surprised they are operating near this area. After all, the galaxy is running out of unexplored sectors.
Rhymus Major, our second-biggest production system, has joined Romulus in producing offensive warships. Lately people have been getting the idea we're a giant with clay feet: The debacle with the Chodak Juggernaut, random Klingon incursions, and the earlier Yridian invasion that was held up by a Scout ship all reinforce this impression.
TURN 56. En route to Acamar, one of our Battle Cruisers has intercepted a Klingon Colony Ship and obliterates it. It is high time the Klingons learned to back off.
The Federation Scout flies right into our Outpost at Tyrellia, which happens to be guarded by a Battle Cruiser and 2 Destroyers.
After a brief salvo from our weapons, a blue explosion illuminates the area. Our preferred method of making first contact. Our pilots also stay on the lookout for the Juggernaut, but it has moved on, out of scan range.
If the Federation is anywhere near as pompous and condescending as their diplomat looks, we're not eager to deal with them. But how powerful are they?
Our free intelligence report on the Federation reveals an empire much weaker than our own. Their economy is barely half ours, though their military power isn't far behind us (which just shows how little we've emphasized military growth). Amusingly, these masters of diplomacy have failed to recruit even a single Minor Race. The Federation only has five systems total. We note with some pride that the Romulan empire has more systems than the Federation, Ferengi and Klingons combined!
The latest news drops onto our political analysts' desks like a grenade. The Ferengi have signed an alliance with the Cardassians. Not a non-aggression treaty, not a friendship treaty, not an affiliation treaty, but an alliance. They share everything now. (Even where the "dominance" victory condition is concerned, their empires would be added together and they would share victory.) We were told that such a move was unthinkable, yet here it is. This can only have been motivated by our own empire's growth.
TURN 57. Our diplomats receive even worse news. The Klingons, uncharacteristically, have achieved a diplomatic coup and persuaded the Acamarians to join their empire voluntarily. We had positioned a fleet to prevent the Klingons from conquering them first, but they have taken Acamar right from under our noses! This was exactly what we wanted to avoid. The Klingons' acquisition has created two disputed sectors where our empires' borders meet.
In the southwest, we are moving to Draylon, and our Scout has detected one Federation system nearby. But for the moment, all eyes are on Acamar and the new Klingon salient in the northeast. We needed Acamar, but before we could assemble a big enough invasion fleet, the Acamarians sought refuge by hiding behind the Klingons.
But we still need to take Acamar. Something's gonna have to be done about that.