Part 23: Turn 212TURN 212
Our Battle Cruisers from the stepping-stone Starbase hope that a quick attack against Delos will crush the remaining Ferengi fleet in the west and free themselves for future attacks.
TURN 213. In the northwest, the large convoy headed toward Cardassia runs into one of many Cardassian ships patrolling the area.
It is a Battleship. We want to eliminate as many of these as we can, preferably in ones or twos.
The Battleship decides to retreat rather than attacking our non-cloaked Troop Transports. This simply means he dies in vain.
In former Federation territory, elusive Ferengi are caught in their Delos system by the Battle Cruiser squad.
The Battle Cruiser pilots are eager to escape the prison of the stepping-stone Starbase, so they go ballistic.
But these Battle Cruisers have spent much time together, and they know how to work as a team. One of the remaining Ferengi ships is very casually popped.
The outpost-building convoy in the northwest reaches its range limitation, two sectors from the probable Cardassian capital. Just behind it, another convoy races to catch up.
TURN 214. The straggler convoy gets intercepted by two Cardassian command ships. Unfortunately for them, every Romulan convoy is equipped with lots of cloaked firepower.
We're pleased to see it's two more Battleships. If we're able to lure in and ambush many more of these, the Cardassian fleet will lose most of its real strength.
The Battleships attempt to retreat, but are beaten into dust when the escort decloaks.
Some punk in a Battle Cruiser has to get in the last word, and fires his disruptor after everyone else.
Romulus finishes building the last of its ships. Because we're losing several hundred credits each turn in maintenance costs, even Romulus itself will become devoted to intel. In the build list, Romulan engineers are surprised to realize that our Imperial Senate had been blown up a long, long time ago by Klingon agents and never rebuilt. Romulan politicians are so used to meeting at bars that they too had forgotten. This structure would have been useful back when the empire had morale issues.
The Outpost is finished two sectors from Cardassia's reported location. Our medium-range ships are now capable of accessing virtually the entire galaxy. There is only a small pocket of space remaining in the north-central and a few sectors in the extreme southwest.
Catching all the Ferengi ships is like trying to pin jello to a wall. There is even a Ferengi Marauder hanging around his empire's former capital. But we have Starbases everywhere and most of them have a dedicated defense force capable of repelling one or two such ships.
TURN 215. Pathetically, 2 light Ferengi ships attack Ferenginar. But why bother?
Our Battle Cruisers left at Ferenginar are so used to dealing with these guys that many of them don't even bother to fire their weapons.
We have a number of Troop Transports collected at Sol, where they will remain for the moment. A group of Destroyers will be redeployed to the stepping-stone Starbase to defend it; the Battle Cruisers there will be freed to roam.
The Cardassians have a fleet of 34 ships sitting at their Outpost on sector c1. We could wait for more reinforcements to attack it, but our Battle Cruisers are chomping at the bit, and are ordered to strike. A handful of Destroyers will be joining them for this glorious operation.
TURN 216. We know the Cardassians have a lot more ships circulating, but crushing their home defense fleet would still be a decisive blow. We bring 13 Battle Cruisers and 18 Destroyers. The Cardassians' numbers are not terribly worse than ours. Their problem is that they're Cardassians, and we are Romulans.
We are not intimidated by their fleet in the least, even though their gray Troop Transports make it appear bulkier than it is. Our Battle Cruisers will target their command ships first, because we really want to knock out all the Battleships. Our Destroyers will primary their Strike Cruisers to dull any counterattacks.
Our entire fleet decloaks at once and opens fire.
The Romulan crews try to launch as many weapons as possible during the free cloak turn. We must inflict serious damage against their fleet if we are to avoid taking serious casualties.
Our view lights up with several purple explosions. But we can still see a lot of yellow ships out there, and we must wait until the dust settles to see how well we did.
It appears our Destroyers succeeded in killing at least 2 Strike Cruisers. We did a lot of damage to their command ships, but we did not manage to kill all of them. In fact, at least one of their Battleships is untouched. All ships are ordered to primary the command ships and wipe them out before they can retreat. We will ignore all of their light ships and Transports.
Our ships, no longer cloaked, open fire. We do not see any return fire, so it appears we inflicted enough damage to induce the Cardassians to retreat.
Most of their command ships were damaged, and the addition of our Destroyers to the attack against them makes the scene ripple with explosions. We believe all of the Cardassian command ships are destroyed, along with the Outpost. The Cardassians' light ships and Troop Transports escape, for now.
The roster of confirmed kills fills nearly two pages on our Event Report.
The successful battle at Cardassia fuels the Romulan empire's enthusiasm to new heights. The build summary makes it very clear where our priorities are. Romulans are eager to become spies before the war is over.
During all the blood-spilling, we managed to make first contact with a new alien race living in Cardassian territory. They look suspiciously like Humans. (Nice job makeup artists, don't work too hard!)
Sector c1 is indeed the location of Cardassia, which we view for the first time. It is the most populous of any of the empires' capitals. After crushing most of the Cardassian fleet, our warships decloak so they can prepare to bombard the system next turn.
We left our Troop Transports at the nearby Starbase, and it's time to get them moving. They are escorted by even more Destroyers. Some ships from this group are tasked to catch the Cardassian ships still floating around the area.
TURN 217. Sadly, our ships came up empty-handed, as the Cardassians remain elusive. Hearing of the deaths of all their friends in the Cardassia defense fleet has made them shy. Luckily the people living on Cardassia have nowhere to run, and our Destroyers--along with 5 Battle Cruisers--are ordered to bomb. They will try to avoid hitting our spies.
TURN 218. Extraordinary devastation is inflicted, especially upon the Cardassian defenses. Their Orbital Batteries are all stripped away. 8 of our Destroyers fall victim to them, easing our fleet's total maintenance cost.
While Cardassia was being blasted, our Troop Transports arrived. They are now ordered to begin the invasion of the last remaining capital not flying the Romulan banner.