Part 37: Turn 144TURN 144
The Cardassians' main fleet has wiped out the last trace of Klingon life on Tarsus, putting an end to the Klingon empire. For their efforts, they have created another disputed sector, because Tarsus is adjacent to the Federation-controlled Qo'nos system. There are now four different systems currently restricted from colonization due to their status as disputed territories. It is a testament to the level of trust between the Cardassians and the Federation that they are willing to share such a long and closely-woven border.
Speaking of Qo'nos, the Klingon capital has descended into a rebellious morale as the enslaved Klingons yearn for their independence. Martial law will be instituted at once.
TURN 145. Just in case martial law fails, all of the system's Orbital Batteries and defensive structures will be scrapped. Supposing the Klingons do succeed in having a revolution that throws out the occupying forces, they will not have any tools to defend themselves against counter-invasion.
Since the Klingon war is over, we will ask the Cardassians if they will join us in the war against the Romulans.
TURN 146. But the Cardassians have other plans. They will start a new war, this time against their Ferengi neighbors to the east. This has been a long time coming; the Cardies simply prefer to take their wars one at a time.
We have over 5,500 intel points and have apparently put the threats of economic sabotage behind us. The Klingons' loss is our alliance's gain: Together with the Cardassians, we control 30 systems, while the other empires have a total of 17. The Cardies have been growing through conquest of enemy systems (which is why their overall morale is apathetic--not from their own people's apathy, but from the conquered people's). We have primarily grown by colonizing. The Romulans have started running out of room for expansion, and simply cannot keep up with us and the Cardies.
TURN 147. As expected, the Cardassians' new war against the Ferengi forecloses the possibility that they will join us against the Romulans for now.
Once again, our counter-intel triumphs over the Cardassians. Interestingly, we haven't seen Romulan sabotage attempts failing. It's possible that the Romulans have gone over to internal security as a result of the Cardassians sabotaging them.
TURN 148. We must be prepared for war. This means keeping a healthy supply of Scouts to throw against Orbital Batteries.
TURN 149. Cardassian Scouts have gotten a good look at the Ferengi homeworld. They have advanced to the point of having 6 Orbital Batteries and a fair number of low-tech warships on home defense. In the far north, our Colony Ships continue filling in the remaining uninhabited systems within our sphere of influence.
TURN 154. Federation scientists proudly present another technological breakthrough.
We now have a research strength of over 4,000. All resources go to weapons research, which will be the last advance we need for the Defiant.
The Cardassians have redeployed their ships over to the east for their assault against the Ferengi. A fleet of 13 Cardassian warships has arrived on Ferenginar. For some unknown reason, several Ferengi ships manage to coexist with them.
TURN 158. The Romulans and Ferengi can no longer deny that the Federation-Cardassian alliance is the dominant power in our galaxy. With the latest Federation colonizations and Cardassian conquests, we hold more than twice as many systems as the Romulans and Ferengi put together.
President Picard proudly signs the galactic treaty on behalf of the Federation. He gives a moving speech about how the Federation's victory did not come at the expense of its principles. We have never declared war against a hostile power, we accepted every peace treaty that was brought to us, and we have never invaded foreign soil. Well... Hardly ever. Picard urges the people of the galaxy to accept each other in spite of their differences. "We must not allow mistrust to develop between ourselves and our Cardassian friends. And no matter how much pain they may have caused us in the past, we must remember that the Romulans have as much right to be here as we do." After signing the treaty, President Picard steps down from office, having accomplished everything he set out to do. James T. Kirk is sworn in as the new Federation president.
Having won so suddenly after facing such seemingly overwhelming odds, it's worth doing a post-mortem of the game to understand how it came about. First, the Cardassians' offer of an alliance treaty was a huge stroke of luck. When I began the game, I was careful not to add to many systems to the empire. By remaining smaller for awhile, it presented us as a potential ally rather than a threat. Instead, the fast-growing Romulans appeared to the a bigger danger to the Cardassians. But in selecting a few key locations for colonization, we were able to carve out the borders for a territory that would allow us to add a lot of systems later on. Still, being offered an alliance treaty involved luck.
The alliance with the Cardassians was useful for several reasons. It prevented us from worrying about Cardassian invasion or defending another front. It split up the Klingons' forces, and weakened them to the point where we could win that war relatively quickly. We did not have to take the morale hit from invading all the Klingons' territories, because the Cardies could take several. It also pretty much guaranteed that the Romulans were not going to get an affiliation treaty with the Cardassians, and that prevented the Romulans from getting extra ship range toward our core systems. And of course, it added a huge number of systems toward our goal of domination.
Second was the Ferengi factor. They helped us out by giving us a ton of cash when we were reeling from Cardassian heists. They also gave us morale bonuses each time they offered us peace and declared war, which was often.
Finally, we were able to repel our enemies in key battles and prevent the Romulans from getting enough ship range to attack our core systems with their Fleet o' Death. In the Battle of Quazulu, we suicided our Heavy Cruisers against the Klingon Troop Transports. This saved us from losing one of our three core systems early on. With the Troop Transports dead, the Orbital Batteries evaporated their first big fleet.
At Styris, the Starbase and one Heavy Cruiser were just barely enough to defeat the Klingon fleet. This bought us more time and prevented Styris from being taken. The loss of Styris would have opened up the far northern areas to further attack. After the Battle of Styris, they were not threatened again.
The Romulans did not have enough ship range to attack our core. Close, but not enough. If they had, they could have wiped us out. They made several attempts to extend their range, but were prevented each time. First, they started terraforming Largo, a system just to the southeast of Quazulu. But I sent a Heavy Cruiser to chase them away before they could colonize. Next, they sent a pair of Troop Transports to ninja an Outpost on Largo. I had some Heavy Cruisers blow up the Outpost before it could be reinforced. Then the Cardassians colonized the Largo system themselves, closing it off to the Romulans.
The Romulans then attempted to invade Holberg 917G on two separate occasions. The Outpost on Holberg was not able to kill the Troop Transport, but I had just finished building a Heavy Cruiser on Sol and was able to kamikaze it to prevent invasion. The same thing happened during the Romulans' second attempt on Holberg.
The Romulans were quite capable of obliterating everything that was within their range, which wasn't much. They had the advantage of being placed far from danger, but it wasn't enough for the Romulans to be able to peacefully expand. At least, not when there was an alliance treaty between the Federation and Cardassians, both of which were rapidly expanding.
Here's the end-of-the-game chart. As you can see, the Romulans are still almost tied with us for the number one position, far above the Cardassians.
I don't know how the scores are calculated here, but presumably it has to do with the number of systems you end the game with--hence the large galaxies being at the top.
Upon being sworn into office, President Kirk is told that there was a technical defect with the treaty that Picard signed. His advisors urge him to make a public statement that he will honor his successor's treaty. Kirk strides to the podium. "Everyone's been...asking me for my stance on the treaty. I think I'll answer that with a proverb that's been on my mind lately." He gives a wry smile to the camera. "Never...trust a Romulan."