Part 31: Turn 52TURN 52
A fleet of 14 Klingon ships arrives to attack and invade Styris. Defending the system are a Starbase and a single Heavy Cruiser that was able to make it there in time. The Klingons have exactly one Troop Transport. Though it has no combat value, we must destroy it to prevent Klingon troops from landing on Styris. The Starbase will target this vessel.
The Heavy Cruiser USS Yamato looks upon the array of Klingons. There are 3 command ships and 10 fast attack ships. The command ships are the primary threat to the Starbase, since they will have longer-ranged weapons. Thus, the Heavy Cruiser will target these.
The Klingon ships start spreading out as the Yamato fires on a Battle Cruiser. The Klingons' fast attack ships are attempting to circle around the Starbase to reduce the chances of being hit by its weapons as they close in. But the Troop Transport that the Starbase is actually targeting is destroyed, and the Yamato puts some hurt on the Battle Cruisers.
The Yamato is determined to put the Battle Cruisers out of business. But the Klingons see the Starbase as their own priority, firing right past.
The Klingons' decision to race by the Yamato is tested when she score a direct hit on their remaining Battle Cruiser, creating a fantastic explosion.
The Klingons' light ships finally reach the Starbase and open fire. For now, the Starbase's shields are holding. The Yamato chases them and opens fire from behind. The Klingon Destroyers are so focused on their goal that they hardly notice.
The Starbase and the Yamato begin hitting their targets, desperately trying to thin the Klingon ranks before the Starbase's shields fail.
Explosions light up as the shields on various Klingon ships disintegrate.
The Klingons are poised to assault the Starbase at their ideal range. But with the loss of some of their ships, they now they realize that the Yamato is a more serious threat than they thought. They switch targets under fire and begin aiming at the less shielded Heavy Cruiser.
The swarm of Klingon ships score several direct hits against the Yamato one after the other. The Yamato's shields are buckling under the weight of the assault. The Yamato is undaunted and, along with the Starbase continues firing upon the Klingons. Several more Klingon ships bite the dust, putting the odds back in favor of the Federation.
Klingon firepower diminishes after the loss of each ship. At last, the Klingons are no longer in a position to threaten the Starbase. The Yamato, exhausted, sees the last Klingon vessel go up in flames. The Battle of Styris is over. The Federation is victorious.
News of the victory is transmitted all over the galaxy. Humanity is jubilant after hearing of such unmitigated triumph. The Federation's other Heavy Cruisers are envious of the decorations and experience points rewarded to the Yamato.
They may hate peace, but apparently that only applies to us. The Klingons sign a pact with the unknown Ferengi empire.
Fear of Klingon fleets has once again been lifted from Federation space. The Heavy Cruisers assigned to defend Borka are directed south to Caldos to prevent the Klingons from colonizing there. To the southeast of Quazulu, the Cardassians have colonized Largo. This was the system that the Romulans had terraformed and built an Outpost for before being scared away. We're not thrilled that the Cardassians are colonizing so close to our border, but hopefully this will drive a wedge between them and the Romulans.
TURN 53. Counter-intelligence is disturbed to hear of the disappearance of our Scout in the west. It has apparently been blown up by saboteurs of unknown origin. It is a sad fate for the Scout that had reported the Klingon invasion fleet in time for the Yamato to defend Styris.
Duly chastened by the loss of their latest invasion fleet to us, the Klingons sign an affiliation treaty with the Ferengi.
Apparently the Ferengi are buying peace everywhere, and the Cardassians sign on.
TURN 55. The Romulans are impressed by our military victory against the Klingons. Now they offer a non-aggression treaty. Perhaps they wish to take our measure--we're certainly interested in the information that this treaty will provide. More likely, the Romulans wish to use this as a device to bide their time while the colonize in the east.
Our fleet of Heavy Cruisers is slowly growing in size. As a show of force, we will send a group of 5 Heavy Cruisers for a forray into Klingon space.
TURN 56. A bit less than 5% of our treasury has been stolen by foreign agents. We'd like to believe this is the hostile act of Romulan spies, but they could just as easily be Cardassians, despite our alliance. We need more protection against sabotage, but our intel centers are already operating at maximum capacity.
The non-aggression pact between the Federation and the Romulans is activated. We now get a general picture of the extent of Romulan space. It is a huge mass of territory covering the northeastern quadrant of the galaxy. The Romulan core must consist of three adjacent systems. Thus, Romulus is somewhere among the cluster in the far northeast corner. We could not reach Romulus if we wanted to. For their part, the Romulans are probably less concerned with attacking our border if they only have small colonies to defend over there. We also observe that the Romulans have plenty of room to expand to their south.
TURN 57. Our 5 Heavy Cruisers move a little further into Klingon space and encounter an undefended Klingon Outpost.
The Outpost frantically fires upon our fleet, but is easily smashed.
Our Heavy Cruiser fleet thus discovered the Klingon system of Alpha Cygnus. The Klingon homeworld is believed to be nearby and much better defended, so our fleet returns home. To the south of our core, we begin colonizing Arcturus. We seek to prevent the Cardassians from gobbling up all of our potential territories.
Our protocol for all new colonies is pretty simple. Build structures to get free energy if possible, then activate trade centers for 50% more cash and subatomic simulators for +150 research. Cash has become an issue, because we're taking in barely more than the maintenance cost for all our ships and Starbases. We have no intention of limiting our fleet or scrapping Starbases, so we must expand our colony income.
TURN 58. We will also need to build more intel centers on our core systems. Counter-intel is stunned by a report about 40 million people being poisoned by enemy agents. That's almost the entire population of the Kaelon colony. Publicly, we declare this to be the work of the Klingons. Privately, we hope it is the work of the Romulans. But we cannot be certain.
Our diplomats are fascinated by the Cardassian navy's behavior of late. They have launched an extremely powerful fleet of 6 command ships with an unknown destination. The Cardassians are also fanning out across the northern territory of their affiliate, the Klingons. It's almost as if they're gearing up for war, but they are at peace with all four other empires.
TURN 59. We're not surprised to learn of the affiliation treaty signed between the Romulans and Klingons. Obviously both powers hate us. According to our analysts, the treaty is unlikely to have any effect because the Romulans' and Klingons' territories are too far apart. Their ships are unlikely to be able to reach each others' empires.
It is only a matter of time before the Klingons build another fleet. We fully intend to use this time for further colonization. We're netting an income of only +42 credits this turn. We need more taxpayers. Several more colonies are in the works, with priority given to systems with free energy (i.e. systems with polar or barren planets). Meanwhile, we and the Cardassians each have Scouts charting the southeastern quadrant of the galaxy. Thus far it appears to be pretty empty.
TURN 60. Our Scout makes first contact with the Ferengi. They are harmless and should be good for a few laughs from time to time.
The Ferengi are a primitive race, far behind us in every aspect of development. They have only two systems. We note that despite our colonization of late, the Romulans are still in the lead because they've also grown. Even so, because we are in an alliance with the Cardassians, one could say that we're part of an entity with 16 systems.
The Romulans think they're crafty, but we see right through them. They ask us to join them in a war against the Cardassians. This would involve us going insane and stabbing our friends in the back while we're still at war with the Klingons. It is an unthinkable proposal.
Our Scout landed on the homeworld of the Ferengi, but no ships are detected. The amused Scout reports that the Ferengi have not a single Orbital Battery. If we were them, we'd be afraid of the Cardassians. But the Cardies are sending warships northwest, not east.
TURN 61. The Battle of Styris may have resulted in the destruction of the Klingons' medium-range fleet, but they still have quite a bit of firepower defending their homeworld. This is partly because they had some short-range command ships that were never sent to attack us.
TURN 62. The Ferengi offer us a peace treaty. Since we are absolutely committed to peace, we will accept it. The Ferengi will also give us a bribe if we accept. Perhaps the rumors about the Ferengi are untrue, because they're already our second-favorite race in the galaxy.
TURN 63. Our diplomats are surprised and delighted to learn that the Cardassians have broken their affiliation treaty with the Klingons and have declared war against them. It is a brutal act of treachery to be sure, but for once it is in our favor. We are no longer alone in this war. With the Cardassians' help, perhaps we can finally go on the offensive against the Klingons and achieve our dream of peace.