Part 12: Turn 106TURN 106
While we wait for the rescue team of Battle Cruisers to arrive, we have our Troop Transports upgrade the Tama Outpost to a Starbase. Tama is an important production center for us now in the southwest, so it deserves the protection.
TURN 107. To underscore the problem posed by Ktarian and Betazoid membership in the Klingon empire, the Ferengi take the opportunity to scout out one of our original systems, El Adrel. We don't need the Outpost on Romulus, but if the Ferengi felt like it, they could blow it up. The Ferengi have not yet declared war, so at least they can't bomb us.
The Klingons now dominate the northeast. Their Colony Ship seems poised to ninja the uninhabited system of Sigma Iotia, next door to Rubicun. Fortunately Rubicun is protected by the Edo Guardian. We had hoped to destroy the Klingon salient in the northeast to prevent such expansion in our sphere of influence.
The Battle Cruisers arrive at the Miridian Starbase and set course for what should soon be a completed Starbase on Tama. Our stranded fleet in the west awaits.
TURN 108. Terrorists strike Yridia again, destroying a factory. They also destroy the organic regenerators for the second time, causing starvation. The empire as a whole is becoming restless, but it's hitting the enslaved populations really hard.
Up in our colony Turkana, the Ferengi send 2 Marauders and a War Cruiser to flex their muscles. No big surprise since it's right on their doorstep. For now it's just a threat since they can't invade before declaring war. But it does prevent us from being able to build an Outpost or Starbase in that system.
TURN 110. One thing the Ferengi can do while not at war is attack our ships and Outposts. Torman is a system in the lower portion of the northeast. We had originally built an Outpost there as we worked our way north.
The 3 War Cruisers make short work of our Outpost, which is blown to bits before making a dent against them.
The Outpost is no more. Fortunately this does not cut us off from the rest of the northeast, since shipyards on systems like Andor and Yridia also extend our ships' reach. But we know the Ferengi are very proud of themselves: Ferengi space is in the west and here they are blowing up an Outpost on the eastern border of the galaxy. Romulan morale takes another hit, as we seem helpless.
Yridians are especially excitable. Their terrorists blow up one of their power plants. They also blow up their organic regenerators for a third time, triggering starvation once more. Maybe they'd have better morale if they stopped destroying their own food source?
We attempt to improve Yridian morale by using the tribunal system, which is something you normally only have to do right after conquering the populace. But our concern is that if their morale goes from "defiant" to "rebellious", they could have a revolution that causes us to lose the system. That would also destroy our Starbase.
The rescue of the fleet stranded beyond Draylon is still a few turns away. A group of Troop Transports will be escorted by our Battle Cruisers to Draylon, where we will attempt to build an Outpost (again).
A quick view of our systems makes it very clear we have morale issues throughout all of our empire, not just the conquered territories. This lowers our production and, in Shelia, revolution is a real threat. It's rare, but it can happen.
TURN 111. One way to improve morale is by taking advantage of the Edo's special structure. The Palace of Edo slightly improves the morale of your entire empire. We're not sure exactly what the Edo women do in that palace, but it's supposed to be quite effective. We'll buy the structure rather than spend the time to build it, and we'll power it as soon as we can.
TURN 112. The Ferengi continue their unauthorized tour of our empire on the back of their affiliate Klingon logistical network. We notice the Ferengi are getting awfully cozy with the Klingons in Ktaria, their base closest to Romulus. Various Klingon ships are also scattering themselves throughout our eastern space.
The Ferengi want us to renew our war with the Klingons. If the Ferengi had any pride, they'd declare war on us themselves, since they obviously want to.
TURN 113. One of the Klingon Battle Cruisers that was wandering through our space accidentally runs into one of our sectors with a Starbase. They will soon find out our Starbases are much more formidable than our Outposts.
The Starbase commander laughs while popping the Klingon ship. Klingon Battle Cruisers aren't nearly as powerful as the Romulan version. Next time send a fleet.
Our southwestern fleet has been stranded in Ferengi territory for quite awhile. Suddenly it is attacked by what appears to be the Cardassian main fleet.
Luckily all our ships were cloaked, so they can simply retreat during the free turn. This screenshot didn't come out right, but the Cardassian fleet is a huge blob of yellow. In addition to their Cruiser IIs, Strike Cruiser IIs and Destroyer IIs, they have several Battleships. The Battleship is the most powerful Cardassian ship and hardier than anything we're flying. The Cardassian fleet could roll over anything we currently possess.
The Yridians continue their protest against good government by destroying their own stuff. This time they don't destroy the organic regenerators--maybe they were getting hungry.
TURN 114. A squadron of 3 Klingon Destroyers and 1 Scout flies through the southeastern quarter of our empire and happens upon one of our Outposts.
The Klingons are eager to avenge their brothers' defeat at the Starbase by picking this weaker target. The Outpost fires some torpedoes, but all the Klingon ships' shields hold. The Klingons return fire and vaporize the Outpost. More Romulans begin questioning the empire's inability to protect itself.
Perhaps provoked by our stranded fleet, the Cardassians take the opportunity to declare war against us. They can now bombard or invade our systems. Unlike their Ferengi allies, however, they are not affiliates of the Klingons and do not share their extended range into our space. I have to admit, of the three enemy empires remaining in this game, I didn't expect the Cardassians to declare war against us first. We haven't even seen their space yet.
Ironically, because our stranded fleet retreated from battle, they got "warped" back into friendly territory. The rescue mission was therefore unnecessary. At any rate, we will have added protection for our defensive work on Draylon.
The Ferengi Marauders that had previously attacked us at Draylon have made their way over to Ktaria. We note that Ktaria is much less developed and defended than Acamar ever was, and its strategic location is critical--especially if the Ferengi want to use it as a hangout.
We had been gathering an invasion force at the Myrmidon Starbase to make another try against Acamar, but our priorities have changed. They will fly back to Romulus and then launch a full-scale invasion of Ktaria instead. Ktaria's lower population and smaller number of Orbital Batteries make it a much easier target. Besides, the Romulan empire desperately needs a win.
TURN 115. The Tamarians in our empire remain patriotic, despite everything that has happened. They cheer us on against the Cardassians in their own inimitable manner. Frankly we hope the Cardassians just stay away until we've dealt with the more immediate threats.
TURN 116. The Klingon destroyers that had smashed our Outpost at No'Mat have wandered into a Starbase this time. There will be no mercy.
Boom. Next time send a bigger fleet.
TURN 117. The Klingons advise us to think carefully before attacking them. We hope that this time our plans are more carefully thought out.
TURN 118. A freak plague wipes out 32 million people on one of our colonies. We don't know how the plague caused all those fires in the photo, though.
Romulan leaders are shocked to hear the worst news yet. The Sheliak have gone into full rebellion and overthrown the Romulan government. We have lost the system. For the first time, the Romulan empire shrinks in size.
The Shelia system now belongs to a band of rebels. On the bright side, we never built any defenses such as Orbital Batteries for the Shelia system so they're defenseless.
It is the darkest day in Romulan history. Political advisors to the Romulan government are unable to hide the fact that there is actually some popular sympathy for the Sheliak rebels. Meanwhile, a credit strike and starvation occur in Yridia.
The Romulan government now fears the worst. The empire's morale was already low, and things have only gotten worse. The Yridians look like they are next. If they revolt, we will lose a vital link in the northeast, and other systems could go into rebellion. The empire is on the brink.