Part 11: Turn 88TURN 88
The invasion of Acamar did not go as planned, obviously. The population they lost in our bombardments has already replenished itself, and Klingon warships stand watch. These ships chose not to bomb Holberg after we prevented their invasion of that colony. A few of our own leftover ships that were not built in time to join the Acamar invasion sit at our Starbase on Myrmidon.
TURN 89. The Klingons have no idea how undefended our empire is. They not only offer a peace treaty to end the war, but they actually bribe us with 4,000 credits! If they only knew. Political analysts suspect the Klingons are biding time until the Federation is dead so they can join a new war against us with the Ferengi-Cardassian alliance by their side.
The Chodak Juggernaut is dead and gone, thankfully. Now a new attempt at building fortifications at Draylon begins. We hope to have a Starbase on Draylon before the Federation dies. Our 25-turn non-aggression treaty with the Ferengi has expired, opening the border and increasing the need for defense.
We see a Cardassian sector of space for the first time: The Cardassians have enslaved the Human system of Umoth. Now the Federation is down to one sector. This shows that the Cardassians are serious about their alliance with the Ferengi; they're doing some of the heavy lifting in that war, too.
TURN 90. Our war with the Klingons comes to an end with a temporary non-aggression treaty. We have no intention of real peace with the Klingons. We still need to deal with the northeast salient as well as the new threat in Ktaria, just a few sectors from Romulus. When our fleet is rebuilt, we will break the treaty.
The Ferengi still hate us, and demand money. Their demand is incredible: over 11,000 credits! This demonstrates that the Ferengi economy is growing huge. Recall the Klingons most recently demanded around 1,500 credits. Obviously we ignore the demand. It would take most of our treasury to pay it!
TURN 93. The Cardassians also make a demand for money. Their demand gives us a picture of their economic position, which is middling.
All of the data about economic, science and military standing is out of date, but we check in on the figures about systems. We have not grown, but our enemies have. The Ferengi-Cardassian alliance totals 25 systems, and the Klingons have grown to 11. We are embarrassed to see that our empire-wide morale is now "Apathetic." Any lower and it would become dangerous. Production is inhibited.
Our diplomats inform us that the meme-spouting Tamarians are almost in our camp, so we look for another Minor Race to bribe. We've long ignored the Zakdorn, a race that is actually to the east of Romulus and unreachable to other empires. Now we'll exploit this resource.
It seems we're not the only ones involved in aggressive diplomacy. The Klingons have gotten quite adept at it, as well. They have convinced the Betazoids to join their empire. It is an advanced and extremely well-defended system only a few sectors away from Romulus. Now even if we took Ktaria, the Klingons and their allies would still have a good launching base against our main systems. Of the no-man's land Minor Races, only the Bolians of Bolarus are unclaimed, though they have a friendship treaty with the Ferengi.
TURN 95. We had a spare Colony Ship in the southwest, so we decide to be a bit provocative and start terraforming the system of Turkana, which is just south of the main body of Ferengi space. We have no real prospect of defending it, but we'd like to have a buffer between the Ferengi and our more important holdings.
TURN 97. Terrorists in Yridia destroy the organic regenerators, leading to the threat of starvation. We'll simply buy a replacement. We are told that this was not the work of foreign saboteurs, but in fact a home-grown plot of dissidents. The morale of Yridia is "defiant", which is one step above the worst, "rebellious". This is a dangerous sign.
The Ferengi inform us they are not happy about our encroaching on their territory by building in Draylon and terraforming Turkana. In other news, the Klingons demand the disputed sectors next to Acamar. In the interest of playing for time, we actually accept their demand.
As you can see, the disputed sectors are worthless. At Acamar, the Klingons have finished rebuilding their Orbital Battery defenses, erasing the last traces of our failed invasion.
TURN 99. We receive news that the Cardassians have conquered the last remaining Federation territory. The Human empire is now forever gone. There are only three players left in this game: The Klingons, the Cardassian-Ferengi alliance, and us. And judging by the current treaties, we are the odd empire out.
We previously popped a Cardassian Scout that wandered too close to one of our Starbases. This amuses the Klingons greatly. We know the Klingons are in bed with the Ferengi, but perhaps there is a division here after all?
The Klingons' opinion of us improved dramatically since our non-aggression treaty and our giving them the disputed sectors. They are actually "receptive" now. Is it possible they will accept a friendship treaty? If they do, we'll break it once it's convenient, but it would be interesting.
The Tamarians send a message which we interpret to communicate a willingness to join our empire. Now let's see what these guys give us. Their system should further strengthen our southwestern holdings.
The Tamarians' system is very advanced, and will be a production powerhouse once we reallocate its population from the farms to the factories.
We'll build some basic structures first, including the Tamarian Mythology Library, which will increase our science power. Each Minor Race comes with one special structure like this. Afterward, we can create Troop Transports at a rate of one per every two turns. This will be helpful because we want more Starbases in the southwest.
TURN 100. Until Tama starts pumping out those Transports, we only have this one in the area. We begin the process of upgrading our newly rebuilt Draylon Outpost into a Starbase. With the death of the Federation, the Ferengi are bound to come knocking on Draylon's door. Just to the northeast, the Colony Ship colonizes Turkana.
TURN 101. That's more like the Klingons we all know and hate. The demise of the Federation has emboldened them.
TURN 102. Volon, the location of our first colony and Starbase (just north of Romulus/El Adrel/Rhymus Major), has been paid a visit by a Ferengi command ship.
It is merely a Ferengi War Cruiser II, and is easily destroyed. The Ferengi were using their affiliation with the Klingons to head eastward into our space. They have learned their lesson, hopefully.
Tama's industrial power is significant. We could upgrade it further and produce warships at the same rate as Romulus or Rhymus Major, but for now we'll use Transports to build more defenses.
TURN 103. It seems the Ferengi have come knocking on Draylon's door early. It seems they don't like the idea of a Starbase being built on the border, and they seek to abort it. We have a Battle Cruiser, a Cruiser II, and 2 Destroyer IIs. The Ferengi have brought 3 command ships, but are they War Cruiser IIs or something bigger?
Uh-oh. The Ferengi mean business. They brought 1 War Cruiser, but they also brought 2 Marauders. These are battleships, the biggest ships the Ferengi can build. They are more powerful than Romulan Battle Cruisers. If we try to fight, the Marauders will annihilate us. Our warships are forced to use their decloak turn to retreat from battle. The Troop Transport is destroyed. For the third time, a Starbase upgrade has been aborted and our Outpost is killed by default. This won't help morale.
The Klingons are back to their old selves again. As expected, the downfall of the Federation will allow them to focus on us, along with their allies. The Klingons have terminated the non-aggression treaty. We're not technically at war, however, we simply have no treaty.
The Ferengi have taken an interest in our audacious little colony of Turkana (not to be confused with the nearby Tama and Takara, which belong to Minor Races that joined us). They send 3 War Cruisers over there to make a statement. We have no means of defending the colony, something we hope the Ferengi won't realize any time soon. They cannot bomb the colony until they declare war.
TURN 104. Adding insult to injury, the ships that retreated from the Draylon battle are stuck. They retreated to a sector that is out of their range, so they cannot move. Their orders say "eta 1 turn", but they're not going anywhere. We must either scrap them or rescue them by building a new Outpost nearby and bringing them back into range. For now, they're sitting cloaked in Ferengi territory.
TURN 105. We can't afford to scrap what few warships we have, so we plan a rescue mission. Some Battle Cruisers that we've been building in El Adrel and Rhymus Major will be sent to the southwest. Troop Transports built in Tama and Takara will join them along the way and build a Starbase on Draylon, thus freeing the fleet. We will continue to build Strike Cruisers on Romulus in the hopes of putting together a new invasion fleet.
The combined Klingon and Ferengi presence at Ktaria is of primary concern to us now. It is very close to Romulus, and the Ferengi really have no reason to keep the peace anymore. A campaign against Acamar is out of the question for the foreseeable future. The northeast portion of our empire will be left to fend for itself. Rubicun is invulnerable thanks to the Edo Guardian, and Yridia at least has a Starbase. As for the rest, they will be defenseless.