Part 28: Turn 10TURN 10
Our military leaders are ridiculed once the public learns that a single Klingon vessel managed to kill a comparable Federation vessel along with a Scout and an Outpost. The Federation appears incapable of defending itself from this new menace on our doorstep.
The slide in our morale is so severe that Borka, one of our three starting systems, has a morale of "disgruntled". This is quite unusual--"disgruntled" is the default morale for enslaved systems. Ouch.
We'd hoped to churn out a bunch of Colony and Troop Transport ships to grow and fortify our empire, but that plan's gone out the window. On Sol, a Heavy Cruiser is ordered. This ship should be more than capable of fending off Klingon Destroyers--once it's built.
In the meantime, we are defenseless. The Troop Transports on Sol move away to an empty sector in the hopes that they don't get attacked by the Klingon Destroyer, which can go anywhere it pleases.
The only good news lately is that the shipyard built on Rhymus Major extends our ships' range just barely enough for our Colony Ship to reach Kenda.
TURN 11. Because we needed more bad news, the Cardassians have discovered us and made first contact. Now we'll have to divert even more resources to intel strength, because they'll send saboteurs after us.
The Klingon data in the left column is already out of date, but the free intel on the Cardassians shows that they are already well ahead of us in military power. In other news, the Klingons have added another system to their empire.
The new Klingon colony is Deneva, 2 sectors away from Borka. Deneva extends their territorial claims to cover the Gideon system, which is literally next door to our core systems. Up north, our Colony Ship quickly terraforms a class "J" barren planet.
Our new colony planners are salivating at the prospect of eventually grabbing the Styris system, just south of Kenda. Hopefully we can colonize and defend it before the Klingons arrive.
TURN 12. The Klingons send 2 Destroyers to check out our core systems. They must think us incredibly weak. No doubt the Cardassian Scout nearby would reach the same conclusion.
TURN 14. We've colonized Kenda and will immediately purchase wind turbines. These are like charge collectors for barren planets, but they only give +50 energy. But it's enough to power a dilithium refinery, which is why we're here.
The Klingons have a cloaked Scout looking at the Merak system. Our scan strength is good right next to our core systems because we have scanners built on the systems. If your scan strength in a sector is 30+, you can detect cloaked ships, though they'll still have a free turn in combat. Our helpless Troop Transports struggle to stay out of the Klingons' way.
TURN 15. The Klingon Destroyers raid Sol and Quazulu, stealing around 200 credits. Thanks to the 8 Orbital Batteries we have on each of our three main systems, that's all the Klingons can do for now.
We purchase a dilithium refinery on Kenda. Now, at last, we have three sources of dilithium and all three main systems can produce ships. We achieved this relatively early for the Federation, though the Romulans can do this on turn 1 with their singularity plant.
The Heavy Cruiser has been built on Sol. Now it can escort our Troop Transports as they build up our defenses.
TURN 16. The Cardassians want us to join them in a war against the Klingons. At least it's not the other way around, but we are in no shape to go to war with anyone. We ignore their proposal. Besides, our people do not believe in such aggression. The Klingons are obviously our enemies, and they have done us harm, but preemptive war cannot be justified under any circumstances.
TURN 17. Let's try this again. We'll build an Outpost and upgrade it to a Starbase on Borka, since it's the location the Klingons are most likely to strike.
TURN 18. The Cardassians are displeased by our refusal to go to war against the Klingons. Now they issue a demand for a bribe. We haven't seen them bring any military equipment into our space, and for all we know they're far away. If we won't give into Klingon demands, we certainly won't accommodate the Cardies. We ignore them again.
At least the Outpost was built on Borka without incident. We have 3 Troop Transports to devote to construction of the Starbase. Our Outpost here extends our territorial claim slightly, which makes Gideon a disputed territory between us and the Klingons. Neither side can colonize it.
TURN 19. Now that we have three systems building ships, we can get around to doing some things we had planned to do earlier. For instance, we have yet to terraform that big polar planet on Quazulu. We'll build some Colony Ships, terraform some stuff, and colonize some stuff.
TURN 21. A second Heavy Cruiser has been built on Sol and moved to guard the Transports working on Borka. The Starbase is now completed, rendering the system impregnable. Now everyone will move over to Sol and repeat the process there.
That Borka Starbase was completed with little time to spare. The Klingons have built a serious war fleet, containing 2 Battle Cruisers, 4 Destroyers, and an Attack Cruiser. If they showed up a turn earlier, they would have sent us back to square one...again.
TURN 22. Quazulu will finally reach its full potential once the terraforming is complete. Then we'll have to figure out where to send this Colony Ship to colonize. The Klingon war fleet has disappeared from our radar, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
TURN 23. As expected, the Cardassians are up to no good. Our intelligence officers report that the Cardies have been sending spies against us. This kind of counter-intelligence report indicates that our internal security is strong enough to face them. We currently have 836 intel points, all devoted to internal security.
TURN 24. The Cardassians dislike us, but they appear to be interested in peace. Perhaps they are growing alarmed, as we are, at the Klingons' growing power and belligerence. Saying we are skeptical of Cardassian intentions would be an understatement, but we believe in peace, and we will give it a chance.
TURN 25. Citizens are overjoyed by our first peace treaty with a foreign power. They are inspired by the idea that people as different as the Humans and the Cardassians could join together in the promise of staying off each others' land. Our military officers are eager to see the picture of Cardassian borders that we'll get from the treaty.
Cardassian space forms a purple blob to the southeast, and contains a half dozen systems. We can't get a full picture of Klingon space, but its rough shape is apparent. The Klingons have effectively been penned into the southwestern portion of the galaxy. Both we and the Cardassians are in their way. This is not likely to improve the Klingons' attitude toward us. A fleet of 10 Klingon ships is spotted near our core systems. This fleet contains 2 Troop Transports: It is an invasion fleet. It's particularly alarming because the whole fleet can travel 2 sectors per turn, as the Klingon Troop Transports have a speed bonus. Thankfully Sol is now protected by a Starbase.
TURN 26. The Klingons have officially declared war against us. It sends a chill down the spine of our leadership. Oddly enough, the public get a morale boost from this because it proves that we are not the immoral ones.
The good news is that the Cardassians have warmed to us and now offer us a treaty of friendship, which will allow trade. This will improve our finances. Perhaps the Cardassians reached the same conclusion we did: The Klingons are bound to come after one or the other of us. However, the Cardies sent this offer the turn before they would have discovered the Klingons have chosen the Federation as their target.
Given the fact that we're at war with the Klingon empire, it's a huge relief to see their invasion fleet drop from the radar. Now our squad of Troop Transports moves from Sol to Quazulu. The goal is to build a Starbase there before the Klingons can attack. Once the Starbase is finished, all three of our core systems will be very well-protected.
Our peace treaties with the Cardassians have greatly improved the public's outlook on the future, and the current state of morale reflects this.
TURN 27. With our treaty of friendship with Cardassia in full force and effect, we can set up trade routes between the systems of our empires. We can also sneak a peek at the populations of their systems.
The Klingon invasion fleet has appeared back on the radar, south of our core. In theory, they could move 2 sectors next turn and strike Quazulu while it's building an Outpost, so we withdraw our Transports back to Sol. If only they would give us a few more turns of peace.
On Deneva, we detect two Klingon warships: A Strike Cruiser and an Attack Cruiser. They are powerful ships, but can only move one sector per turn, and this is probably why they were not included in the Klingon invasion fleet. They want to stay fast.
TURN 28. We feared the worst, and here it comes: The Klingon fleet has arrived on Quazulu and will undoubtedly order an invasion for next turn. Quazulu is our second most productive system next to Sol, and is already the most populous. We just barely didn't have the time to build a Starbase there yet. The stakes could not be higher. If Quazulu falls, we are doomed. Everyone is on red alert. But behind the scenes, our military leaders know that we haven't got close to enough warships to knock the Klingon fleet out of the sky.