Part 21: Turn 193TURN 193
The Doraf system is the newest addition our empire. Its industry is impressive, and it will have plenty of population to spare--once it regrows. We notice a lot of class 9 research facilities. Disappointingly, it seems every system we conquer has no intelligence structures. Are we destroying them in the bombardment while somehow sparing the rest?
The Ferengi are still producing new copies of their most powerful ship, the Marauder. We are forced to send all available ships in our western fleet to defend Sol rather than cause trouble elsewhere.
Rivers of new Destroyer ships roll off the line and assemble at Benzar. Will the Ferengi be able to guess our intentions?
TURN 194. The Ferengi strike force we spotted is attacking Sol. Humorously, there's a Klingon Troop Transport with them for some reason. Likely a refugee.
We will do to the Ferengi Marauder what we have done to all of his friends. A cloud of our Troop Transports sits nearby. They're the only non-cloaked ships here, but perhaps the enemy will be distracted by the Starbase and leave them alone.
Our ships decloak to strike. Our Destroyers are targeting the Klingon Transport to make sure it doesn't escape and try to invade one of our undefended little systems in this area.
The Ferengi ships are easily destroyed by our Battle Cruisers. The Ferengi should have saved that Marauder for its home defense fleet.
TURN 195. News of all the recent events have driven the Romulan populace into ecstasy. With more intel centers, more Romulans can fulfill their life's dream of becoming a spy. A spy Romulan is a happy Romulan. Everyone assumes that the Romulan empire is guaranteed to conquer the galaxy. All main production systems are ordered to finish off their batch of Troop Transports or Destroyers and start working on more Battle Cruisers.
We have some breathing room near Sol now. Our warships are ordered to move to Delos, a Ferengi system of the old Federation.
TURN 196. Massive numbers of ships gather at Benzar. There are 25 different task forces there. Some are individual ships, but others are groups such as 9 Destroyers. The ships that had previously assembled near Pentarus are moving south to join them, along with many ships that had attacked Qo'nos and Doraf.
TURN 197. Our spies are still getting some kills. Another Scout is blown up at sector c1, the putative HQ of the Cardassian empire.
Our warships decloak and bombard Delos, as the Troop Transports from Sol rush forward to join them.
TURN 198. Our strike force at Delos wastes no time in stripping the system clean of all defenses.
Obviously, our Troop Transports will order an invasion of Delos now that they have arrived. But wait--why are they still moving northward?
Massive fleets slowly move out toward Ferenginar. The Ferengi homeworld still has its defense fleet of 23 mostly light ships, and the Cardassian Troop Transports huddle under them for safety.
We decide it is high time to deliver an ultimatum to the Ferengi: They give us 10,000 credits and cede disputed territories, or else. Our enemies make demands all the time, so why not us? Just because we're at war doesn't mean the Ferengi can't spare some change.
TURN 199. In the northeast, a small pocket of Klingon space remains. Qo'nos still maintains a small number of guards to quell any Klingon uprisings. Next door, a squadron of 7 Destroyers stands watch over Omicron Ceti. This is the Klingon system that is still capable of producing ships. However, they are immediately killed by our Destroyers. We are simply farming the Klingons for morale. They are no longer capable of taking any actions. In effect, their war is over.
The western fleet of Romulan ships springs a surprise on its enemies: It had no intention whatsoever of taking the puny Delos system. Instead, it will build a Starbase on an empty sector just north of it. Why? To extend our range further to the north. Romulans have grown tired of allowing the Cardassian homeland to stay safely out of the war. Now we are gunning for them.
The warships are ordered to attack Ferenginar. They hope for one decisive battle to settle things, just as we did with the Klingons at Qo'nos.
TURN 200. The fleet reaches the Ferenginar Outpost. We have 15 Battle Cruiser IIs and 27 Destroyer IIs. They are all cloaked, but the Ferengi saw us coming a mile away. Instead of giving us a decisive battle and preserving some honor, the Ferengi have taken the opposite approach: They flew the coop just before we arrived. But they didn't tell the Cardassians, who left their Troop Transport ships behind.
Not that we can blame them, of course. The Cardassians have been suffering so much from our spies lately, it's hard to imagine the news wouldn't leak somehow.
The Ferengi respond to our demand with impudence. They will pay for this.
The Ferengi fleet, formerly their home defense fleet, has scattered into a few different pieces. Apparently they intend to conduct some kind of guerilla warfare. Our fleet captains are furious that they lost the chance to knock them out in one blow.
TURN 201. Extended range in the northwest means it's time for our Scout to begin charting Cardassian space. The objective: Find Cardassia Prime.
17 Destroyers are ordered to bombard Ferenginar, to be followed up with attacks from our Battle Cruisers. This is a courtesy to our Troop Transports.
TURN 202. A new race is discovered by our Scout exploring Cardassian space. With our treasury at over 100,000 credits, we're looking for new races to bribe.
The Caldonians are receptive to us, and we'd love to bribe them right out from underneath the Cardassians, but there's no mailing address to send the money. This can only mean one thing: the Caldonians have been enslaved by the Cardassians. The monsters! This is the first time we've encountered a race that is known to be subjugated by another empire.
We have 77 different ships in orbit over Ferenginar now. 6 of them have been blown up by the downed Orbital Batteries. The invasion is ordered.
TURN 203. At Sol, a Ferengi War Cruiser randomly appears. Nearly all our warships have left Sol already. It is protected by our empire's only Cruiser, and a group of Destroyers that swarm to kill it.
Our spies blow up a Cardassian Troop Transport in sector c1. Our Scout will soon be in a position to confirm that this is indeed Cardassia.
Another empire's capital falls to the Romulans. Ferenginar suffers a fairly small amount of collateral damage.
Ferenginar is the least-populous of the imperial capitals, but it will produce more dilithium and more ships. Once again, a capital with research facilities but no intelligence.
Our brave Scout has penetrated deep within Cardassian space. He has reached his range limitation, but is able to detect an Outpost with lots of ships at sector c1. Cardassia's location is confirmed.
A sea of green blankets most of the galaxy. The conquest of Ferenginar punched a hole in the middle of Ferengi space. Our navy is itching to catch all of those Ferengi ships moving off to the west, but Ferengi space must be crippled as the Klingons' was. Cardassia dominates the northwestern corner of the galaxy. Our western fleet aims to do an island-hopping campaign to get Cardassia within reach, but it is surrounded by hostile ships.