Part 8: Turn 57TURN 57
The Ferengi approve of our "aggressive actions" against the Federation. But all we did was blow up a Federation Scout that intruded on our system. Or are they trying to get us to be a lot more aggressive? Maybe they're trying to make us think we've gone further than we intended to. What kind of mind games are these Ferengi playing?
The Federation is really overreacting to that Scout kill. Apparently the Humans have wanted a strong relationship with us ever since they met us two seconds ago. We agree to a temporary peace, if only for the extra intel we'll get.
TURN 58. The Bandi are the unluckiest people ever. Their home system, now part of our empire, gets hit by a comet and much of its population is killed instantly.
A non-aggression treaty is signed between us and the Federation. Here's the legalese.
The real benefit to us is that we can now get a glimpse of the Federation's location. Several systems that we didn't explore are now revealed in the far west, just north of Draylon. In a way, it's the end of an era. Our peaceful expansion will end with Draylon, as there is no more empty frontier.
Our forces gather around Acamar. It appears an extra Orbital Battery has been built since the last we saw it.
TURN 59. The Federation immediately request a permanent friendship treaty. How bad must things be for the Federation that they're so eager for our involvement? Why don't they hate us like the other empires do? Obviously they are not getting along well with the other empires. We'll accept the treaty and get some trade revenue, along with more information about their systems.
A Colony Ship arrives at Draylon to begin the terraforming process. Once it's done, it will colonize the system. In the meantime, a Troop Transport will build an Outpost and some warships will stand guard.
On the northeastern front, the Klingons are becoming more active. They've got a fleet of 5 Destroyers just a few sectors away from our Outpost at Myrmidon. We've been using that Outpost as an impromptu mustering point for the fleet against Acamar. If the Destroyers arrive, they will be able to destroy that Outpost.
We've got a number of ships ready to roll sitting on the Acamar system. The Klingons recognize the strategic significance of Acamar, so they're building more Orbital Batteries. Given that, along with the threat to the Myrmidon Outpost, we'll move these ships to Myrmidon and upgrade that Outpost to a Starbase while we wait for the rest of our fleet to be built.
TURN 60. Our friendship treaty is signed. Here's the legalese. In order to select Federation systems for trade routes, we are given the ability to take a look at their populations, even though we've never explored them. This won't put the systems in scan range, so we can't see the ships, but this is still a good opportunity to evaluate their empire's strength.
The Federation has four different systems, labeled in blue. Their home system is Sol. It's... Wait a minute... Labeled in yellow... You maniacs! You blew it up! It's the most chilling sight we've seen yet. The Ferengi have conquered Earth and enslaved humanity. They still have systems, but if the Ferengi are able to take Sol, the Federation is a dead empire walking. We must reassess our view of the Ferengi's strength, especially since they're in an alliance with the Cardassians.
TURN 61. Quite randomly, terrorists blow up a power plant in one of our many little colonies.
Speaking of random, the Ktarians, a Minor Race that lives three sectors to the west of Romulus, has declared war against us.
The Ktarians, along with the Bolians, Betazoids and Benzites, live in roughly the center of the galaxy, where the territory of three empires (Ferengi, Klingon, and Romulan) don't quite intersect. It's no-man's land. The Ktarians pose no threat to us, and all of our attention is focused on gathering a fleet to take Acamar. We'll simply ignore the Ktarians and allow them to rage against the machine.
TURN 62. The Outpost construction on Draylon is right on the Federation's southern border, which peeves the Humans.
The Federation also demands some money in order to "overlook our behavior." Hey, you Humans knew what we were like when you proposed that friendship treaty. In any case, we ignore their demand, since that money will end up in Ferengi hands in no time.
After seeing the display of Ferengi power on Sol, we're starting to become more aware of our need to make use of the colonies. Yridia is fully terraformed and will have some basic structures added.
Until now, we have essentially ignored the micromanagement needs of all our colonies, and have simply allowed them to have enough food to prevent starvation. The colonies will not be very useful until their population increases. Here is the summary screen which lists the vitals of our systems. El Adrel, one of our original systems, continues to build Troop Transports.
...and the rest of our systems. Rhymus Major also builds Troop Transports for the impending Acamar invasion, while Romulus continues to build Battle Cruisers. Our hope is the Vulcan will eventually have enough industry to join them in producing ships, but it will need more factories (assembly yards) first.
TURN 63. Our enemies continue to develop diplomatic ties with each other. The Klingons and Ferengi will be able to send ships into each others' space. This means that every one of our systems within Klingon range can also be attacked by the Ferengi, and vice-versa. Typically, this is the highest level treaty you will ever see between two empires; the Ferengi-Cardassian alliance is an aberration. It's hard not to view this new treaty as anything other than a hostile move against Romulus.
...and yet the Ferengi offer a non-aggression treaty to us. At first this seems bizarre, but our political scientists eventually figure out what they're up to. The Ferengi plan on swallowing the rest of the Federation and want to keep us out. We have neither the means nor the motive to save the Federation, so we accept.
We almost forgot about the Takarans, but they surprise us by offering to join our empire. We will accept, of course.
We have enough cash to start bribing another Minor Race to join us. Our best opportunities are in the southwest. Takara will join our empire this turn, so we look at the Tamarians. Their system is well-developed and will be of decent size once the large polar planet is terraformed.
Satisfied that Tama will be the best choice, we instruct our diplomats in the use of Tamarian memes.
On Acamar, the Klingons are building Orbital Batteries faster than we can build ships to destroy them with. Fortunately they seem to be stopping with 6 of them, but we're going to need a sizable invasion fleet.
TURN 64. Having signed the treaty with the Ferengi, we can focus all our attention on the Klingons. For now.
Now this is more like it. The Takarans have joined our empire and their system is much more developed than all our other colonies. Our first step will be to redistribute the population from farm work to construction work, as they have an overabundance of food. Perhaps we'll upgrade the factories a bit, and then start producing ships. This will greatly strengthen our southwestern fleet, which has begun to feel like a sideshow.
We're finally able to colonize Draylon. We notice that Thalos, a Federation system, has also been conquered by the Ferengi now. It won't be long until Draylon will become threatened by Ferengi expansion.
TURN 65. The Klingons now have a non-aggression treaty with their natural enemies, the Cardassians. Aside from the dying Federation, all of our enemies are at peace with each other.
The loss of the Federation's latest system to the Ferengi has encouraged them to offer an affiliation proposal, despite their "iciness" toward us. We will accept. We have no strategic purpose in affiliating ourselves with the Federation, really, it's just a novelty.
TURN 66. Here's the legalese on that affiliation treaty. We won't be surprised if the Federation send some of their ships like refugees to our territory, where it's safer. If they still have ships that is.
The latest view of the galaxy. As you can see, the Ferengi are devouring the Federation. The blob of yellow near the middle of the galaxy represents the current extent of the Ferengi empire, revealed to us when they signed the non-aggression treaty.
Looking around the map, we notice the Chodak Juggernaut has returned and wandered over to Takara, but poses no threat for the moment. Some Ktarian ships are still sitting on Ktaria, despite their supposed war against us. Our invasion fleet against Acamar is still slowly coming together and meeting at our Myrmidon Starbase, two sectors southwest of Acamar.
For their part, the Klingons have erected an Outpost in the system directly northwest of Acamar. Most of the eastern half of our empire is within Klingon (and therefore Ferengi) striking range. We're eager to pinch off and destroy the Klingon salient, but their increasing defenses on Acamar itself have been slowing us down.