Part 15: Turn 133TURN 133
We're bombarded by a half dozen different notifications about Klingons raiding our systems and stealing various quantities of credits.
The explanation is that the clever Klingon raiders manage to position themselves next to three different Romulan colonies. Our Scout sits to the west, patiently waiting for the effect of the radio pulsar to shift so we can see what is happening in Acamar and Arvada. We have no other ships in the area, so the Klingon raiding continues unabated.
The Ferengi diplomat is embarrassed by the news that his empire already declared war against us just a few moments ago.
TURN 134. Three Ferengi raider ships fly across the border into our territory, inadvertantly running into our newly constructed Warbird. The Warbird was on its way to join the rest of the fleet and is given a free training exercise, courtesy of the Ferengi empire.
The Warbird decloaks and destroys two of the raiders outright, leaving the third with just the barest sliver of armor. With more practice, the Warbird would have been able to pop the three ships more efficiently. The Warbird finishes off the ship the next round.
We receive excellent news from our saboteurs. They have destroyed the shipyard on the Cardassian homeworld. It will be rebuilt of course, but this proves our spies have what it takes.
In the southwest, we have long since conquered the Sheliak and bribed the Tamarians and Takarians. We have thus far ignored the Malcorians completely. But our empire's treasury is flush with cash and growing with our colonies' size. It's time to bring the rest of the Minor Races into the fold.
Oh, so those are the Malcorians. Like I said, they're pretty forgettable.
Recent victories have lifted everyone's spirits. Several more phoenix facilities are in the works to improve our intel power even more. Less developed colonies are upgrading their industrial capacity.
TURN 135. The time has come to get serious about scouting out the main body of Klingon space, which is to the west of Acamar. The Doraf system is massive and well-defended with Orbital Batteries. It's not even the Klingon's home system; they got lucky on the draw.
The Bolians are the remaining Minor Race of the four in no-man's land. They absolutely hate us because they're friends of the Ferengi. But with enough bribes, perhaps they will join us anyway?
TURN 136. We've built basic structures on Ktaria, including a shipyard. Now it is ready to build Troop Transports, though more slowly than other systems. This is the first time we have built ships using a territory we conquered from another empire.
Rhymus Major is almost done with the second Warbird, so we will let it finish. But Romulan scientists are eager to test a new theory related to Orbital Batteries. We noticed that regardless of Battle Cruiser IIs or Strike Cruisers being used, one ship was destroyed per Orbital Battery. What if the same is true regardless of the ship's size? Rhymus Major is capable of producing a Scout per turn and orders a bunch of them.
In the southwest, Troop Transports being build on Tama/Takara have been ordered to move to Draylon. We've been eyeing the neighboring Secarus and Thalos. They're both systems the Ferengi took from the Federation. Both are small and undefended. We have fewer ships in the southwestern theater, but perhaps they can be used to open up a second front.
TURN 137. Our Scout gingerly continues his work mapping Klingon space. Having a cloak is a huge advantage: If he runs into any enemies, he can simply retreat during his free turn. Omicron Ceti is another big, well-defended system. But it's not the Klingon homeworld.
TURN 138. It was inevitable, but we are nonetheless disappointed to hear that the Cardassians and Klingons are finally in an affiliation with each other. Now the mysterious Cardassians can fly all the way to Klingon territory.
Did the Klingons bribe the guy in charge of the celestial lottery? Dimorus is another big, well-defended system. The Klingon homeworld is in another castle.
The Scout in charge of watching Acamar reports a disturbing buildup of Troop Transports. The Colony Ship is obviously there to terraform the two polar planets, but where are the Transports headed? If given proper escort, they could attack any number of undefended northeastern colonies. Or they could make another run at Holberg 917G next door. Our 5 Battle Cruiser IIs from the Betazed invasion fleet are ordered to get over there, posthaste.
TURN 139. We've managed to get the Bolians from enraged at us to merely hostile. The Ferengi have obviously been telling all sorts of lies.
TURN 140. Our financial relationship with the Bolians will not continue, however, as we see the Ferengi have beaten us to the punch. The Bolians joined the Ferengi empire voluntarily. We curbstomped the Klingons in this section of space, but the Ferengi are making inroads only half a dozen sectors away from Romulus.
For the entire game, they were tasked with keeping our enemies at bay, holding the line and winning time for more important actions in the east. Now, our southwestern fleet is eager to prove its worth in combat. An invasion fleet of several Troop Transports and 2 Tamarian Defenders is ready to roll. The Battlecruisers will remain cloaked and only intervene if hostile fleets approach.
TURN 141. Our intelligence operatives are giddy over their latest exploit, destroying a Cardassian Troop Transport. We make a point of remembering the location of the target as sector c1. This is in the extreme northwest of the galaxy, and could very well be the location of Cardassia itself.
A powerful detachment of 3 Cardassian Battleships park on the colony of Turkana. They have the option of bombing the system, but choose not to do so. For now, they merely prevent us from building an Outpost there. However, we've always considered Turkana the solar equivalent of a human shield.
TURN 142. In the northeast, our Battle Cruisers arrive at Acamar and surprise the Klingon non-combatants, chilling at their Outpost.
The Battle Cruisers are powerful and experienced, and make short work of all the Klingons. The Klingons are surprised by such a show of force in the northeast, which had been abandoned for so long.
Having cleared out Acamarian space, the Battle Cruiser squadron feels invincible. To test this theory, it is ordered to go directly into the heart of the Klingon space and blow up whatever dares to stand against it. Based on what our Scout has seen, nothing the Klingons have can match its power.
The Tal'Shiar and Obsidian Order continue to duel. The Cardassians manage to destroy 2 level 6 science buildings in Tama. What the Cardassian intelligence services doesn't know is that we have abandoned our scientific pursuits entirely. Their efforts are wasted.
Our own agents destroy a lesser target. But it's worth pointing out that "shadow teams" are the Cardassian equivalent of our intel centers. This falls under the category of military sabotage. By focusing on this field, we can destroy the Cardassians' very ability to defend itself from further attacks. Our saboteurs are kind of like HIV.
The 2 Tamarian Defenders and 6 Troop Transports are ordered to invade Secarus, which could have at most a single Orbital Battery. The system is inhabited by enslaved Humans, but because the Federation is dead we can only conquer them, not liberate them. If our theories about Orbital Batteries are correct, the invasion will be successful and result in exactly one dead Tamarian Defender.
TURN 143. News of the successful invasion is passed along to our eastern command. It is a small victory over a small system, but it tends to confirm our invasion theories. But the real test will come when we use even smaller ships; the Tamarian Defender is technically a "command" ship.
Thalos is next door and is also a small, poorly-defended system. Our Secarus invasion fleet will be recycled as the Thalos invasion fleet. But because we lost the Defender, we will also send our 2 Destroyers from Draylon.
A large number of ships has gathered at our Starbase on Betazed; not all of them can be pictured here. The fleet includes a large quantity of Troop Transports, and all are ordered to roll out for Benzar. All eyes are on the new collection of Scouts. It is hoped they can swarm and kamikaze into the 2 Orbital Batteries known to be on Benzar.
TURN 144. The 2 Destroyers join the Defender on Thalos and are ordered to begin an invasion. If the system is taken, we will be in spitting distance of Sol, the fallen Human capital. Nary a Ferengi nor Cardassian ship is in sight. It is readily apparent that they don't take this section of space very seriously anymore.
TURN 145. The back-to-back invasions bolster the reputation of the southwestern fleet. Once again, exactly one ship was destroyed by an Orbital Battery.
Our squadron of Battle Cruisers arrives at the Klingon homeworld, Qo'nos. The cowardly Klingons have scattered, so no combat takes place. Disgusted, the Battle Cruisers are happy to receive the order to head toward Benzar. If taken, it will be the first major system we've stolen from the Ferengi. The Battle Cruisers will be needed to face any reprisals.
The Benzar invasion fleet is guarded by the only 2 Warbirds in our fleet. Luckily the Ferengi did not have much time to develop Benzar, which only has 2 Batteries. We order 6 Scout ships to attack the system while the 9 Troop Transports unload their troops. This is a prototype of sorts. If Benzar is taken under these conditions, and if exactly 2 Scouts are killed by the Batteries, expect a large increase in the number of Scouts being built very soon.