Part 19: Turn 177TURN 177
We were looking for one decisive battle with the Klingon fleet to determine the course of our war. By attacking their homeworld, we have forced them to provide it. None of the Klingons' affiliates provide them any support. The Ferengi already lost 2 Marauders trying to save the Klingons from the Betazed invasion, but they learned their lesson.
The Klingons have 2 Attack Cruisers--very powerful ships. They've also got 3 Battle Cruiser IIs, an array of Scout ships, and a type of ship we haven't seen them field before: 3 Strike Cruiser IIs. As for our side, we've brought 9 Battle Cruiser IIs and 9 Destroyer IIs. The rest of our force had gone to another system in case the Klingons had decided to scatter.
For our decloak round, all of our ships target the most valuable prize: the Attack Cruisers.
We have killed both Attack Cruisers and 2 Battle Cruisers during our free round. Next, we order an assault against their 3 Strike Cruisers. They should constitute the remainder of the Klingon fleet's attack power.
Their Strike Cruisers try desperately to do damage against some of our Battle Cruisers, but they don't have much time--they're being overwhelmed.
The Strike Cruisers are eliminated from the field before they can do enough damage to knock out even one of our Battle Cruisers. Our Destroyers finish off the remaining Klingon Battle Cruiser.
Only the lowly Klingon Scouts remain on the field to protect their homeworld.
The Battle Cruisers casually send them to their deaths. We control the space over Qo'nos.
Even though our saboteurs are focused on military sabotage, they occasionally take the opportunity to do something else. This is a heavy sabotage attack against Cardassian science infrastructure.
TURN 178. Having essentially eliminated the Klingons' ability to control space, we are on clean-up duty. Here, a Klingon Battle Cruiser either flies to or is built on Qo'nos. Our 9 Battle Cruiser IIs remain in orbit to patrol the area, and deny the Klingon the privilege of life. Klingon space is a no-fly zone.
In the eastern portion of our empire, a stray group of 6 Destroyers decide to look for a target of their own. But they run into our bug zapper: the Volon Starbase.
The Klingon Destroyers desire a glorious death while their empire still exists. As they approach the Starbase, a couple of them are killed by a volley of torpedoes and others are damaged.
The remainder of the Klingons are destroyed on the second volley. After we had taken Acamar, there was no reason to have a Scout spying on it, so the Scout was sent to park at this Starbase. He watches the fireworks with amusement.
We have crushed the Klingon salient in the northeast and crushed their fleet. Only a few annoying Klingon ships buzz around, but they are no longer a threat. The northwest remains unexplored, but our Scout has reported the first signs of the main body of Cardassian space (shaded in purple).
We're rolling out the Troop Transports leftover from the Acamar/Arvada invasions, along with new ones built on Acamar. Destroyers are assigned to escort them toward Qo'nos. We will get right to the point.
TURN 179. The Klingons are enraged by our blockade over Qo'nos. They must have no hope of stopping us, but their remaining ships cannot bear the dishonor of not doing anything about it.
The Klingons brought a Scout, a Destroyer, and more interestingly, an Attack Cruiser. We thought we had killed the last of those.
Our Battle Cruisers decloak and fire upon what we believe to be the final Klingon Attack Cruiser.
These Battle Cruisers are becoming very experienced now, and they take the initiative by killing the light ships in the same round. Are the Klingons' actions heroic if they never get the chance to fire their weapons?
Cardassian space is still far from our grasp, but that doesn't mean they get to keep all their ships. An agent destroys a Cardassian Scout south of their probable HQ.
Our spies also bring down 3 Orbital Batteries on an unexplored Cardassian system. We'd do the same to the Klingon systems we intend to invade, but they're much more resistant to our sabotage efforts. We'll soften up the Cardassians for now.
South of Klingon space, we have been gathering vast quantities of Destroyers on Benzar. Though it's on the Ferengi border, we've heard nothing from them lately. Pentarus is a Klingon system that's separated from the main body of Klingon space, and we have enough ships to try an invasion. All available Destroyers and Troop Transports in the area ship out.
In the southwest, we have a third fleet gathering with increasing confidence. Having spotted some Cardassian heavy ships on Umoth, our Battle Cruisers are ordered to clear the path for future invasions here.
TURN 180. They'll have plenty to clean. The Battle Cruisers encounter 2 Battleships and a Strike Cruiser II. The Battleships are impressive, but our crews are well-trained.
Our ships target the Battleships during their free turn. Killing both of these will be a major dent in Cardassian military pride. It takes everything they have, but our 5 Battle Cruisers manage to kill both Battleships during their free round.
The Strike Cruiser panics after watching his mighty comrades bite the dust. He tries to flee, but doesn't have enough time. This squadron of Battle Crusiers has become the undisputed master of former Federation territory.
Malcor is home to the Malcorians, the last Minor Race that we bribed in the southwest. Given its close proximity to our Draylon and Thalos mustering points, it is a logical site to begin producing Troop Transports. The demand is high, as our southwestern fleet is tasked with the eventual conquest of the already enslaved Humans.
There is another shift in our overall colonial management. Now more systems have sufficient industry to begin mass-producing intel centers, which will then be upgraded. Once these intel centers are finished, the population will quit construction work and become full-time spies. Each time such a shift happens, our intel power will increase dramatically. We're already at more than 4,000 points of intel, not counting bonuses.
We have command of the space around Sol, and we've built enough ships to seriously consider an invasion effort. Destroyers escort the Troop Transports closer to the target area.
TURN 181. The Klingons managed to develop Pentarus with decent speed. It's got as many as 4 Orbital Batteries. That's not bad for what we believed to be a random colony. 9 Destroyers are assigned to overwhelm the Batteries and 9 Transports will invade. We also have 2 Battle Cruisers that will follow up the attack for added support--but we do not believe they will be hit by the Batteries because they're last on the list. We've brought a lot more ships than necessary, because it is hoped that this fleet can move onward toward the Klingons' main space once we're done here.
The invasion of Qo'nos is ordered. Well, not exactly. Because Qo'nos is such a large and well-defended system, and because of the Klingons' reputation for ground combat skill, we have decided to first strike the system with 17 Destroyers to soften up the target. Once we've dropped their population and number of Orbital Batteries a bit, we'll feel more confident sending in the Troops.
TURN 182. Pentarus is taken like clockwork, with minimal collateral damage. But the empire is too preoccupied with the Qo'nos assault to pay much attention.
As expected, Qo'nos is a much harder nut to crack. Their Batteries manage to down 7 of our Destroyers, but we have plenty of extras. We have eliminated 3 of their Batteries, bringing Klingon defenses down to a more manageable level.
The remaining Klingon fleet--if it can be called a fleet--either had insufficient ability or stomach to do anything about this assault. The Klingons' main space has several very big systems with lots of defense. But everyone believes that if Qo'nos falls, they're essentially waiting to die.
The Ferengi have not made a peep during all of this. They're leaving the Klingons out to dry. Most likely they are busy preparing for the defense of their own space, because they know they're next.