Part 33: Turn 71TURN 71
We are now officially at war with the Klingons to the southwest and the Romulans to the northeast. It is difficult to imagine how we could properly conduct war on both fronts, since our entire fleet is insufficient to attack the Klingon homeworld.
TURN 72. The Ferengi have jumped on the anti-Human bandwagon, declaring "me too!" to impress the Romulans. Luckily the Ferengi are a threat to noone.
In the southern portion of Klingon territory, we have a Scout slowly working his way around, charting the space and looking for weaknesses. The Milika system has 8 Orbitals, so this must be one of the Klingons' three starting systems.
Our whole fleet was sitting at the Alpha Cygnus Starbase on the Klingons' doorstep. But as long as the Klingons remain turtle'd up on their homeworld, they can't do much. 3 Heavy Cruisers will defend the Starbase while the other 6 move back up to defend against any potential Romulan attacks.
TURN 73. Our scientists have made a breakthrough in weapon technology. We're now one step away from the Heavy Cruiser II. All of the Heavy Cruisers currently in the field will be automatically upgraded when that happens, so we're definitely looking forward to it.
Despite being sabotaged earlier, the weapon research took a bit less time than the construction research. This is because our scientific power has grown to 2,600 points. Buying subatomic simulators on all our little colonies has paid off.
As soon as we sent 6 Heavy Cruisers away, the Klingons decided to split off a huge portion of their forces. They sent an 11-ship fleet containing most of their firepower to the uninhabited Tarsus system. Among their ships is a Colony Ship. The Klingons are determined to continue their expansion, but only under very heavy guard.
We will continue our own expansion as well. We refrained from taking too many colonies early on because it would have painted a target on our backs. By keeping a modest number of systems, we made the Cardassians more willing to see us as a potential ally than as a threat. The Romulans were more aggressive, and thus we and the Cardies ended up as friends.
TURN 74. We moved our 6 Heavy Cruisers back to Alpha Cygnus so we can launch all 9 of them against the Klingon homeworld. They only have a handful of lighter ships and their Troop Transports sitting there at their Outpost. Every time the Klingons divide their forces, we can swallow them piecemeal.
TURN 75. The Klingons anticipated our attack and moved their entire fleet back to Qo'nos in time to intercept us. They baited us into exactly the kind of battle we wanted to avoid.
We have brought 9 Heavy Cruisers, but the Klingons have plenty of power of their own. They have an Attack Cruiser, 3 Battle Cruisers, 2 Strike Cruisers, and half a dozen fast attack ships. The biggest prize is the Klingon Attack Cruiser, so we will target their command ships first.
Our Heavy Cruisers fire their weapons. They are lead by the USS Yamato, the Savior of Styris. It has a very experienced crew, but the rest of our ships are pretty green.
The Klingon fleet, outnumbered in command vessels, is undaunted. They charge forward, guns blazing.
The Klingon Attack Cruiser comes under the combined fire of 9 Heavy Cruisers. As our torpedoes land, our own captains are shocked by the continued torrent of red torpedoes coming from the Klingons.
We have succeeded in destroying the Attack Cruiser, and another explosion lights up on a Klingon Battle Cruiser. But the screams of our own crewmen are heard all over the commlinks.
The Attack Cruiser was a tough nut to crack, and absorbed nearly all of our fire before dying. We also brought a Battle Cruiser down to half shields. But we paid a heavy price: 3 Heavy Cruisers lost. The captain of the Yamato encourages the fleet to keep up the attack against Klingon command ships.
The Battle Cruisers are more lightly armored than the Attack Cruiser, but we have lost a third of our firepower. And the Klingons now have fewer of us to hit.
We hit our targets and destroy the remaining Klingon command ships, but the enemy fire keeps on pounding us.
The 2 Strike Cruisers in particular are pouring out a lot of torpedoes. The Yamato's captain now wishes he had targeted them in the first place. But it is too late: His legendary ship is among those destroyed this round. Before it gives up the ghost, his last words are "Give 'em hell, boys... AAAAAAAUUUGH!"
Only 2 Heavy Cruisers remain, and both are badly damaged. The situation is grim. They order all remaining weapons to be aimed at the Klingon Strike Cruisers.
It is no use. They are torn apart by the Klingon Destroyers circling around them.
All of mankind is appalled to hear the news, especially of the loss of the Yamato. The fleet managed to destroy all the Klingon command ships, but the Federation is now without a fleet. It must be rebuilt from the beginning. A large number of Troop Transports sit at the Alpha Cygnus Starbase, but a real attack against Qo'nos--or anywhere else, is out of the question for the time being. Klingon propaganda, perhaps seizing on the Japanese ship name, calls it "a Midway against the Humans", "a truly decisive victory", and "a turning point in the war."
The Federation fleet now consists of a single Heavy Cruiser that was finishing construction during the battle. It is immediately ordered to Alpha Cygnus. Otherwise, the crucial Starbase would be undefended.
Despite the losses we inflicted against the Klingons at Qo'nos, they still have the basis of a real fleet. There is no way to spin this as anything other than a loss for us.
TURN 76. Considering our financial difficulties of late, our diplomats are thrilled to hear of the Ferengi's proposal to end their war with us. The Ferengi must have gone mad. They offer us 18,000 credits to end the war. We would have done it for the morale bonus alone. But where did such a primitive race get all that spending money?
We have been hard at work building up our intel strength, which now reaches almost 2,000. Our internal security brings word of a captured Cardassian spy. This report is swept under the rug for diplomatic reasons.
TURN 77. The Klingons launch a heavy strike force of 2 Strike Cruisers (both decorated veterans of the Battle of Qo'nos), and a newly-built Attack Cruiser. It may not be powerful enough to attack our defended Starbase, but it cannot be defeated by any of our ships operating in space. Partly this is a directed insult: Our proudest achievement in the Battle of Qo'nos had been killing the Klingons' only Attack Cruiser.
Borka has the least industry of our core systems, so it has become our dedicated intel system. We no longer build there; all available personnel must man intel centers, and the rest staff the laboratories.
TURN 78. After paying us off, the schizophrenic Ferengi promptly declare war against us. Our best theory is that the Cardassians are heavily sabotaging them and framing us for it. Thus the Ferengi are alternately enraged and terrified of us.
The Klingons 3 heavy ships fly over Deneva, the other Klingon system we currently occupy. Fortunately they did not bring any Troop Transports, otherwise they could try to liberate the system. The tide has turned, at least for now: We have no way to drive the Klingons out of the sector.
TURN 79. In an act of sheer brutality, the Klingons bombard Deneva with their strike force. They do not care that it is mostly Klingons that they are killing. It is an outrageous gesture of defiance.
We hurriedly purchase an Orbital Battery for Deneva, to be powered as soon as possible. We wish we could buy more than one at a time.
TURN 80. The Klingons sign an alliance treaty with the Ferengi. But just as with their Romulan affiliation treaty, it is useless. Klingon territory is completely locked in by Federation/Cardassian space.
TURN 81. With even one Orbital Battery now ready to be powered on Deneva, the Klingon strike force must think twice about ordering another bombardment.
Since we blew up several important Klingon ships, and since another group launched a strike against Deneva, the Klingon defenses are getting thinner. The Cardassians now see an opportunity. Several task forces of light and heavy Cardassian warships set course for Klingon territory.
A single Romulan Troop Transport is detected in the nebula near the Ingraham B Starbase and the Holberg 917G Outpost. Our previous financial difficulties and our emphasis on attacking the Klingons had prevented us from upgrading the Outpost to a Starbase. But until now, the Romulan border had been completely quiet. Just as commentators began referring to our conflict with the Romulans as a "phony war", this ship has appeared. Troop Transports cannot cloak, and we have little scan strength in the nebula, so it is entirely possible that the ship is not alone.
TURN 82. We... I...
Somebody didn't pray hard enough. The Romulans have shown up.