Part 39: Turn 188TURN 188
Our Troop Transports and Scouts were scattered by the Romulan Battle Cruiser during our last attempt to invade the outlying colony of Dulisian. We ordered them back to Dulisian, where they met up with 9 Heavy Cruisers and 5 Defiants. There was no attempt by the Romulans to interfere, so they are ordered to invade. All but one of the Defiants are sent back to the Ingraham B Starbase for safekeeping.
TURN 189. At the last moment, the Battle Cruiser returns to offer some resistance to our attack.
This is an important test of a single Romulan command ship's ability to cause damage during its free turn.
The Battle Cruiser opens fire, aiming at 2 Heavy Cruisers. One of them is nearly destroyed, but the other simply loses some of its shields.
All of the Heavy Cruiser captains are salivating at the prospect of actually getting to fire on one of these infamous invisible ships. The Battle Cruiser attempts to retreat but is crushed.
The Federation cheers news of the downed Romulan warship, but is unnerved by the fact that we have invaded one of their colonies. President Kirk receives the news cheerfully. "Now we just have to do that a few more times and we'll be in business!"
A Starbase will be constructed on our new foothold at Dulisian. We'll need it for protection, extra ship range, and more scan strength to probe cloaked ships. With Ingraham B no longer serving as our frontier, the group of Defiants move to protect Dulisian.
Buying ships produces them in one turn, but it is costly. A compromise is to build a ship for a few turns, and then buy it at reduced cost.
TURN 191. Everyone is relieved that the Starbase is not attacked while under construction. The Romulans could appear at any time. But because we've now taken one of their systems, they're increasingly likely to defend what they have left. They may be less inclined to gamble everything on one attack as they did back in the Holberg bombardment days.
TURN 193. President Kirk was caught on camera making some stereotypical comments about Cardassians, but the alliance is as strong as ever. There are trade routes between the two empires criss-crossing the galaxy. Some have termed this "mutually assured economic destruction." War between the Federation and the Cardassians is the furthest thing from anyone's mind.
TURN 194. The Romulans have mysteriously trotted out a big group of Troop Transport ships to Beth Delta, a well-developed colony two sectors from Dulisian. This move is puzzling because they have no escorts. Our scan strength is sufficient to confirm the presence of no cloaked ships.
TURN 195. Dulisian, like any other system with a native energy source, will get extra sensor upgrades that we're buying everywhere.
TURN 196. The Cardassians have managed to send a Scout all the way up north, right next to Romulus. This can only be the prelude for a Cardassian war. After all, they've already eliminated the Klingons and Ferengi.
TURN 197. All the sensor upgrading is having a good effect. We've detected a cloaked Romulan Battle Cruiser guarding Zytchin, another nearby system. In fact, Dulisian is in an interesting position. We're two sectors away from four different Romulan colonies.
The unguarded Troop Transports on Beth Delta are too tantalizing to be ignored. We will send a pair of Heavy Cruisers and a Heavy Destroyer to attack them, but we will not risk any Defiants.
TURN 198. Fortunately, it looks like it was not a trap after all.
As most of the Romulan Troop Transports go up in flames, we can't help but wonder what was the point.
The Cardassians have made their long-awaited war declaration against the Romulans.
TURN 199. A group of light cloaked warships appear at Beth Delta a turn too late, after we return from the attack. Were they trying to bait us?
TURN 203. I guess the Romulans paid them off.
TURN 204. There is so much focus on the Romulan northeast that special maps are made to zoom in on the theater. We sent forth an invasion party from Dulisian. It will make a two-pronged attack against Zytchin and Melona. This reduces the odds that the Romulans can guard both.
TURN 205. Our strategists are pleased. We had considered just attacking Melona, since the Battle Cruiser was guarding Zytchin. But somehow the Romulans anticipated that very move.
Melona was the destination for our Heavy Cruisers, while the Defiants went to Zytchin. Once again, a Romulan Battle Cruiser very nearly kills a Heavy Cruiser and wounds another.
The Romulans' effort was in vain. We lost no ships, and when they attempt to retreat, they are destroyed.
Zytchin offers no resistance, and a standard invasion plan is made for the small colony.
Melona is more advanced, but we have more than enough ships to attack it, too.
TURN 206. The Romulans make no further effort to stop these attacks. Zytchin is taken, with the requisite loss of Scouts from Orbital Batteries.
Simultaneously, Melona is also captured with minimal losses.
The citizens of the Federation are horrified to learn that not one, but two systems have been brutally subjugated at the same time. The people are demoralized when President Kirk makes a victory speech. Some say he has lost touch.
Romulan space is shrinking. The Romulan colony of Exo is now isolated from the body.
The Romulans are enraged by their inability to defend the whole empire. They finally send a massive fleet to defend Beth Delta.
A counter-attack by the Romulans against Dulisian could be in the works. A Starbase will undergo construction on Zytchin, but only a token force can be left behind to defend it. Everyone else converges on Dulisian.