Part 24: Turn 219TURN 219
Just south of Cardassia, another Cardassian Battleship is caught alone by 5 cloaked Battle Cruisers.
Another one bites the dust. The Cardassians are afraid to risk all of their Battleships in one massed battle (well, besides the one at Cardassia), so they're losing them all in small ones.
The capital of the Cardassian empire falls before the sheer weight of our bombardment and Troop Transports.
Yet again, we capture a system with no surviving intelligence structures. But we can build them. The Cardassians invented the type 9 intel center (for all the good it did them).
TURN 221. A bunch of orphaned Cardassian Troop Transports are caught by some of our Battle Cruisers arriving in the northwest.
With no escort, they certainly won't be launching any counter-invasions any time soon.
Our saboteurs score a coup by destroying the Orbital Battery defenses of the Lamenda system. Unfortunately we have no idea where that system is, so we can't take advantage.
The northwestern corner of the galaxy looks awfully Romulan these days, with all our ships around. The only Cardassians take refuge on Angosia. Impatiently waiting for Troop Transports to arrive, a strike force will bombard Caldonia.
TURN 222. Speaking of Cardassians on Angosia, they are not safe from the relentless pursuit of our Battle Cruisers.
Another pair of Battleships. They are sunk.
Caldonia's defenses are swiftly stripped from the system.
TURN 223. This time, Romulan spies manage to destroy the Orbital Batteries on a system that we've located. It's the remaining former Federation territory controlled by Cardassia.
Conveniently, we have a small fleet still sitting at Sol, next door. The Troop Transports and a token group of weak warships will just slide on over there before the Orbital Batteries can be rebuilt.
Our Troop Transports arrived on Caldonia, the Minor Race system that the Cardies conquered. We have the option of liberating them. Since we're merciful, and because it's kind of a novelty, we will do so.
Angosia is another Minor Race system enslaved by the Cardassians. While we wait for Troops, our Destroyers will knock out the Orbital Batteries. It's all very procedural now.
TURN 224. The Caldonians are rescued by brave Romulan troops. They had better be grateful.
On Angosia, however, our Destroyers only manage to kill one Battery. What gives?
We feel the Caldonians should be more than receptive considering what we have done. We offer them membership in the empire. If they join, their morale will be better than if we had enslaved them.
TURN 225. We assign some Battle Cruisers to assist the remaining Destroyers in bombing Angosia, and it works better.
Ledonia had no Orbital Batteries thanks to our spies, so it's a simple matter to ninja-invade them. This is the Romulan way to take a system.
The Caldonians offer a condescending message to us after we saved their lives. The blood of the Romulan populace boils.
Worse yet, the Caldonians ignored our membership offer and sent us a watered-down proposal for affiliation instead. This is intolerable. The Caldonians fundamentally misread us.
This is the last time we will stomach the Caldonian ambassador. We see their affiliation proposal and raise them a war declaration. Not since the Ems dispatch has there been such a thorough blundering of diplomacy.
Yet because the Romulan people are a good and righteous people, we decide to try liberating the Angosians from Cardassia as well. Will they learn from the Caldonians' mistakes?
TURN 226. It's been so long since we declared war against a defenseless Minor Race that it's kind of got a nostalgic feel.
The Angosians are set free. But do they know how much the galaxy has changed since they got conquered by the Cardies?
Diplomacy is confusing. We withdrew a membership proposal in favor of a war declaration. They withdrew an affiliation proposal which we managed to reject anyway. Basically all this means that the Caldonians are toast.
We now control 52 systems, while the rest of the empires have less than half of that combined. They should be giving up any time now.
We sent the Caldonians a document with a picture of a big bird on it, so it's legal to send troops to their planet.
TURN 227. The Caldonians are added to our empire, bringing us to the threshold of galactic dominance. The Cardassians, Ferengi and Klingons are unable to deny our dominance now. We graciously accept their surrender.
A parade of our only two Warbirds flies around, admiring our galaxy. Even our enemies have to admit that these ships look pretty cool.
Somewhere, someone looks through a high-powered telescope. They might be looking at our galaxy. Who knows? We must find this person and invade their galaxy.
With no enemy empires to sabotage, the Tal'Shiar is rededicated to internal security. Unfortunately there are also no more enemy empires to defend against. But the spying must continue, because most of the galaxy's citizens are employed as spies. Are you still a secret agent if everyone knows you're an agent because everyone else is one, too?
Our empire longs for the day that we discover some enemies to send these detailed war declaration paintings to. But we are cursed with peace. We accepted the surrender of our enemies, so there is nothing more to do.
Having retired, we are treated to this graph, which charts the power of each empire over the course of the game. One can see the early demise of the Federation, the early lead that the Ferengi enjoyed, the period where Romulus' power was in question, the moment at which the Romulan economy really took off, and the fairly quick decline of the Klingons, Ferengi and Cardassians each after the other.
...But what if we didn't accept the galaxy's surrender?