Part 41: Turn 227TURN 227
We don't have the patience or resources to put Starbases on all of the Romulan colonies we're conquering, so we'll have to move around our ships to prevent counterattacks. Some Romulan warships were spotted near the undefended Melona colony, so we'll move a group of 7 Heavy Cruisers there.
TURN 228. The Romulans keep moving non-combatants to Beth Delta. We'll hit them with 9 Defiants. Our 7 Heavy Cruisers failed to catch any warships, so we'll send them to menace the still Romulan-controlled Tohvun colony.
TURN 229. The Defiants arrive at Beth Delta. Once again, not a trap.
Defiants sport an impressive number of weapons considering their small size.
The non-combatants are wiped out before they can retreat.
On Tohvun, our remaining Heavy Cruisers may have caught more ships than they bargained for.
3 Battle Cruisers decloak and immediately unload their weapons.
The Romulans are desperate to even the odds during their free turn, and put out a surprising amount of damage.
2 Heavy Cruisers are already destroyed. The USS Young is barely hanging on, and the Liepzig has lost most of its shields. But at least it's still 5 against 3.
Battered and bruised, our Heavy Cruisers make the most of their chance to counterattack.
The Romulans understand they're outnumbered, but they cannot successfully retreat. However, they manage to kill off another Heavy Cruiser. They must have panicked, because the one they killed was not one of those damaged in the initial assault.
The Federation citizens are overjoyed by the victories. News like this makes them forget about the terrible invasions we inflicted against the Romulans.
TURN 232. Our plan to bait the Romulans with an undefended colony has failed. They maintain their defensive posture and do not decloak any of their warships for planetary assaults.
Even so, their defense force on Romulus has thinned slightly, as they're sending heavier ships to defend Blue Horizon and Tohvun. We'll take this opportunity to launch a surprise attack against Romulus.
TURN 233. We achieve surprise. The Romulans only have 14 light ships and 2 Strike Cruisers defending their homeworld. We brought 4 Heavy Cruisers and (more importantly) 9 Defiants.
The Strike Cruisers will obviously be our primary target, but we cannot attack them until after they've decloaked. All our ships have to attack the only non-cloaked thing here: the Outpost.
The Strike Cruisers pack a mean punch, and a lot of torpedoes can come out of the swarm of light ships. We have no choice but to accept some losses.
They've done serious damage to one Heavy Cruiser and killed another, but at least now we have the chance to return fire.
We still have more than enough firepower to kill off the Strike Cruisers once they've decloaked.
Our Defiants soar into action and blow up some light ships, but the Romulans scream into retreat from their homeworld.
At the same time, 8 of our own light ships--mostly Destroyers, not Defiants--arrive on Beth Delta to exact more damage against surviving Troop Transports.
Our Destroyers basically sit back and watch the Defiants show how it's done.
We have scattered the survivors from the battle on Romulus. We also note that a group of Battle Cruisers has finally moved to our deliberately undefended Praxis system. But they do not appear willing to decloak and bomb it.
TURN 234. The Romulan Battle Cruisers flee Praxis before we can arrive. But there's a very interesting Romulan ship left behind.
A single Romulan Troop Transport ship was sent in to ninja-liberate Praxis. Since we built no Orbital Batteries there and the population is small, he would have succeeded in saving his fellow Romulans. Instead, since we came to catch the Battle Cruisers, he will die here.
TURN 235. Our empire's only Dreadnought is eager to get some action. He was denied the opportunity of attacking Romulus, which is barely out of short-range. Since he desires action, he will be sent to defend Praxis.
TURN 236. Now it seems the Romulans take an interest in Praxis.
The Romulans sent a Warbird and a Strike Cruiser. During their free turn, they pummel the Dreadnought with as many torpedoes as they can. The shields are holding. A Dreadnought II actually has more shield hitpoints than a Starbase.
The Dreadnought is eager to get his chance to fire weapons for the first time, but the enemy fire won't stop.
Our Dreadnought is destroyed. Starfleet commanders are unimpressed by its performance. "Defiants are much better," they conclude.
A large group of Troop Transports has made its way from our Dulisian staging area toward Delta Rana, next door to Romulus itself. They are painstakingly escorted by Defiants, who finally live up to their technical role as "heavy escorts".
The invasion fleet, which also contains Scouts, Destroyers, and the battered remnants of our Heavy Cruiser force, comes across a single Romulan ship on Delta Rana. The trigger-happy Defiants take the lead and kill it while everyone else watches.
TURN 238. The invasion fleet arrives on Romulus. The Romulans are caught flat-footed and struggle to mount a defense with what they have left.
The Romulans may be fewer in number, but they're not going down without a fight. They take their free turn as always. As is their custom, they target the longsuffering Heavy Cruisers. But they also decide to attack some of our fast attack ships. Sadly, they still haven't a clue about the Defiants, so they target Scouts and Destroyers instead.
Some light ships are killed, and another Heavy Cruiser bites the dust. They're becoming the redshirts of the fleet.
Our own ships have the opportunity to respond, and they do so with a vengeance.
This time, we destroy every ship in sight. There are no survivors.
The second Battle of Romulus is concluded. Humanity is thrilled, getting a short burst of happiness before the inevitable letdown of a successful invasion.
Romulus is well-defended and populous, but our fleet's size is overwhelming. To the south, we can see the refugees of the Romulan fleet. They may be rushing toward the Cardassians, but they could just as easily be running away.