Part 10: Turn 78TURN 78
The Ferengi have maximum hate for us, but continue to demand that we declare war against their enemy. We ignore them, realizing full well that we're next on their chopping block.
We make first contact with the Cardassians. They will have the ability to send spies against us now, but we're eager to see the free intelligence report on how powerful they are.
The Cardassians are moderately less powerful than we are in economic terms and military terms (if you include all our Starbases as military assets). The Cardies have control of two Minor Races and own ten systems, same as the Klingons. For purposes of the victory condition (owning 75% of all systems), the Cardassians and Ferengi are counted together as an alliance. Even then, we have more systems than they do. However, our three main rivals do have a total of more systems than us.
We have assembled our sizable invasion fleet over Acamar and give the green light.
TURN 79. The Edo diplomat grabs some pom-poms and entertains the troops.
Welcome to the worst screen you will ever see in this game. The Romulan invasion has failed. We have no contact with our generals during the attack, so we have no idea what went wrong. All we know is that this is a disaster, and all our hard work putting together an invasion fleet was for nothing.
All of our Troop Transport ships have either been shredded by Orbital Batteries or expended their troops in a failed land assault. Incredibly, the Orbital Batteries seem to have been untouched by our warships. It will take awhile to gather enough Troop Transports to replace all those that have been lost, and the public expects victory now. Our warships are ordered to bomb all life on Acamar out of existence. If we can't have the system, noone will!
Our Scout in Klingon space detects a strange lifeform known as the Calamarian. It's nice to see that intergalactic travelers are hassling the Klingons, too. Our Scout also spies a bunch of Ferengi Troop Transports still there, along with more heavy Klingon ships.
TURN 80. Our fleet of warships expels its wrath against Acamar, but does little damage. Only 2 of the 6 Orbital Batteries are destroyed. Worse yet, the Batteries managed to knock out 5 of our 9 warships.
The five dead ships include 2 Destroyers and 3 of our precious Battle Cruisers. All of the Romulan military leaders are without explanation for this fiasco. Our formerly acronym-less armed forces now mutter references to "SNAFU" and "FUBAR".
TURN 81. It seems we're not the only ones the Ferengi have been pestering to join the war against the Feds. It's likely the Klingons accept as a token gesture to their friends.
The Acamar debacle has reached legendary status. Not only are our 4 remaining Battle Cruisers dead, but they didn't even do a shred of damage to Acamar. No Orbital Batteries destroyed, no people killed, nothing! Our fleet is in ruins. Only one Battle Cruiser remains anywhere nearby.
The Ferengi are very good at finding something to complain about. Once more they pretend that they're not best buddies with the Klingons.
Contrary to all expectations, Acamar is victorious. We barely even scratched them.
Romulan military experts rethink the empire's entire approach to warfare. Now they are pushing production of the Strike Cruiser II, a ship designed specifically for planetary assault. It is hoped that these ships will be more effective against Orbital Batteries.
It was hoped that the northeastern Klingon salient could be burst quickly so that we could deal with the threat of Ktaria, which is so close to Romulus itself. The construction of the Starbase on Draylon to the southwest nears completion. One positive note is that our economic situation is much improved. We are gaining about 1,000 credits per turn now (although some of the increase is due to dead ships we no longer have to maintain). Formerly we maintained a treasury of around 10,000 credits, but now we're almost double that.
TURN 82. Not you too, Cardassia. Give it a rest.
The Cardassians have a nasty reputation, thanks to their Obsidian Order, which specializes in sabotage. But they have failed to breach our security thus far.
TURN 83. Just before the Draylon Starbase can be completed, the Chodak Juggernaut suddenly appears. We have a Battle Cruiser and a regular Cruiser, along with 2 Destroyers to defend it. This time, we intend to fight.
The Juggernaut is massive, but we believe we can destroy it. The question is how much damage it will do to us before we take it down.
Our ships unleash all of their weapons against the Juggernaut. Our Troop Transport, which is busy upgrading the Starbase, attempts to withdraw, but is destroyed by the Juggernaut just before the Juggernaut itself is shattered. The Chodak are now dead. But that's two Starbases they managed to scuttle! The Outpost that was being upgraded is now gone.
Our counter-intelligence agents are appalled by a chilling new development. Foreign agents (obviously Cardassian) have managed to breach our security. But it is the sheer extent of the damage that grabs everyone's attention. Nearly 8,000 credits were stolen--around 40% of our empire's treasury! Any more of this, and the Romulan empire could find itself bankrupt.
All Romulan agents are re-assigned to internal security. The very life of the empire depends on preventing another theft.
We're starting to reconsider all those demands for us to join the war against the Federation.
With the Outpost on Draylon destroyed, getting another Troop Transport into action is one of our top priorities. From now on, the Takarans will be put to work building ships. It's another milestone: This is the first time any system other than our original three of Romulus, El Adrel and Rhymus Major has done so.
With the total destruction of our main fleet, the Klingons have become more confident in throwing around their ships in the northeast. Even the Ferengi decide to send a Scout over here, taking advantage of the Klingon affiliation treaty which extends their range to wherever Klingon ships can go.
TURN 84. A Troop Transport has been purchased on Takara and has been deployed to Draylon to rebuild an Outpost. Before we make any more Troop Transports, we'll have a Colony Ship built to terraform the last of Takara's planets and find somewhere to colonize in the southwest.
TURN 85. The Klingons now hold the initiative in this war. With all of the northeast open to attack, we must anticipate where they will choose to fight us. Our Scout spots an Assault Transport ship near Acamar. The Klingons could strike anywhere, but we believe the colony of Holberg 917G is their most likely target: It is small, undefended, and right next to Acamar. Holberg has no Orbital Batteries, so even the Klingons' one Transport could take it. Our lone Battle Cruiser is ordered to leave the Myrmidon Starbase and protect Holberg.
TURN 86. The Battle Cruiser nears Holberg 917G. The Klingon ships have dropped off our radar, due to interference from the pulsar and nebula. Our scan strength is limited in this area.
TURN 87. Combat occurs on Holberg. The good news is that we correctly anticipated the location of the Klingons' next target. The bad news is we didn't realize how much strength they would have.
Our Battle Cruiser is in the horns of a dilemma. There are three Klingon ships here: An Assault Transport, a Destroyer and an Attack Cruiser. He could target the Destroyer and get at least one guaranteed kill, but then the Attack Cruiser would kill him. He could target the Attack Cruiser, but that probably would not be enough to destroy the ship and protect him against the combined weaponry of the Attack Cruiser and Destroyer the next round. He could target the Assault Transport and kill it, but then he would be killed by the other two ships. Or he could retreat and save himself, but that would still be viewed as a defeat and lower morale, plus the Klingons could invade Holberg.
The captain chooses to target the Assault Transport. Any choice results in a military loss, but at least killing the Transport ship will prevent an invasion and loss of one of our colonies. The Battle Cruiser decloaks and destroys his target.
Once decloaked, the Battle Cruiser becomes easy prey for the Klingon Attack Cruiser and Destroyer.
The Battle Cruiser RNS Death Raven A did its duty, sacrificing itself to defend the Romulan empire. But the people are outraged by another in a series of military defeats.
The last of the Battle Cruisers in the eastern half of the empire has been destroyed. Invasion has been prevented for now, but the Klingons continue to hold the initiative. Nearly our entire empire is open to the threat of future attacks. The Klingon base at Acamar can cut off the far north, and their base at Ktaria is only three sectors from Romulus and two from El Adrel. The Cardassian attack on our economy has left everyone feeling vulnerable. Romulus and Rhymus Major work furiously to produce the new Strike Cruisers, but people are losing faith in their government.
Elsewhere, the two remaining Federation systems hold out against the Ferengi-Cardassian alliance, but not for long. Once they are gone, there will only be one enemy left to attack: the Romulans.