Part 49: Turn 1THE KLINGON EMPIRE
...and we go back to the options for starting a new game. We'll be doing a game similar to the Federation run: Impossible difficulty, domination victory (~75% of systems conquered), and a medium-sized galaxy.
There are a few differences. The Minor Races are back, but not as many as the Romulan run. And the Random Events are enabled, so resume praying that the Borg don't show up.
But here's the big difference this time: I'll be on civilization level 4, and the other empires will be on level 5. We'll find out what that means soon enough.
We are the Klingon empire. You know how the Romulan summary said they're good at intel, research, and all their ships cloak? Remember how the Feds are good at science and diplomacy? The Klingon advantage is...We take a morale hit for signing peace treaties.
We get the Klingon video intro to put us in the mood. At least we get morale bonuses for war and conquest, that's one advantage to being Klingon. But that's only helpful if your empire is powerful enough to actually win wars. I believe the Klingons also get a bonus for ground combat.
And now prepare yourself for the beautiful Klingon user interface.
TURN 1. Our first job will be to have a look at our surroundings. Since we're starting at civilization level 4, we have a lot less cash. And I notice that our homeworld, Qo'nos, has only 4 Orbital Batteries. But that's not a big deal.
And this is Volon, our other core system. We only start with two instead of three. But what a system! It's got a population of 340, and that's before we terraform that desert planet that will bring us to over 400. It doesn't get much better than that. This is actually what I was given when I started the game--I didn't restart over and over to draw this.
Zooming the map out, we're also lucky in our location. Our homeworld is on an extreme edge of the map near a corner. We want to go as long as possible before encountering other empires because we'll have to devote resources to internal security. They'll also want to stomp on us. Assuming a typical "spawn" pattern, the other empires shouldn't be too close to us.
As Klingons, it's important to note that we can't build phoenix facilities (+100 intel) like the Romulans/Cardies can; we can't build subatomic stimulators (+150 research) like the Romulans/Feds can; and we can't build trade centers (+50% credits) like the Feds/Ferengi can. The special structure we can build on all our systems is the theoretical stimulator. It's only +100 research. But the bright side is that it only requires 20 energy.
Qo'nos will build some Colony Ships. We only have one dilithium source for the moment, so Volon can't build ships. We'll spend the first few turns building some basic structures. I was a little surprised to see that all of our stuff is tech level 5 (out of 9). Civilization level 5 gives you everything tech 8.
At civilization level 4, we cannot build Starbases yet, not even the mark I version. We must invent these ASAP to avoid invasion. We'll need to level-up in computer, construction and weapons sciences. Fortunately Qo'nos does get a special structure that you can activate for a 100% bonus to weapons research. For now we'll start researching construction tech.
After we've invented Starbases, we'll research for the Attack Cruiser, which is kind of our version of the Battleship. We'll need energy 6 and propulsion 6 when we're done inventing the Starbase.
Our long-term research goal is the Heavy Cruiser, or Bird of Prey. It can cloak, so we'll definitely want to make an attack fleet of them. Once we've invented Attack Cruisers, we'll need to research propulsion 7 and (thankfully) weapons 7.
TURN 2. We're only going to explore a small area around our systems so that we minimize the chance of running into our enemies. We've already discovered the sign of a Minor Race, the Sheliak. As I recall, they are hostile little buggers, so we'll avoid them for now.
Next door to Qo'nos is the Evadne system. It's not great since it's not that big and it lacks a native power source, but it does have dilithium, which makes it useful. Once we've colonized this system and powered a dilithium refinery, both Qo'nos and Volon can build ships. I'll use this Colony Ship to explore a little more to the east first. It's called an "Armed Colony Ship" because it technically has weapons. The Klingon Troop Transports also have some weapons. I guess this is another advantage Klingons are supposed to have. Maybe it's more useful at the lower tech levels.
TURN 3. We're near the northeastern corner of the galaxy, so we'll orient ourselves to the east. We shouldn't come across enemy empires over there. We come across another Minor Race ship, belonging to the Yridians.
Next door to Evadne is the Torman system. It's just big enough to be worth colonizing (eventually) and it has a barren planet which will provide it with wind turbines for free energy.
We've just started and our systems are already "apathetic". The people want to fight.
Looks like I'll need to keep the Great Hall active for the duration. It provides morale to every system in our empire.
TURN 6. I've explored about as far as I dare. Volchok is at the eastern edge of the galaxy and looks worth colonizing. But first I need to terraform that big desert planet on Volon and get the dilithium from Evadne.
As far as ships are concerned, I'll build some Transports so I can put Outposts on my two core systems.
TURN 8. Evadne is terraformed and ready to go. The people will at least be happy to hear of an addition to our empire.
TURN 9. Since Evadne has no polar or barren planets, we'll have to build a power source the old-fashioned way. I'll spend some money on purchasing power plants until I have enough energy for a dilithium refinery.
TURN 11. Volon is fully terraformed and has a population capacity of 420 million.
TURN 12. I've purchased and upgraded a power plant for Evadne, so it's just a matter of buying the dilithium refinery and we're good to go.
TURN 13. Now that Volon can build ships, I'll want more Transports so I can build an Outpost on Qo'nos. The Starbase is still not available to us. Research is moving slowly, even at low tech levels.
We have an extra Colony Ship left. Now we begin the process of terraforming Torman.
TURN 15. We detect a Federation Scout near the edge of our empire. Since we're so far out of the way, I was hoping we'd go a bit longer before running into anyone. At least the Federation is known for being peaceful.
TURN 16. Sadly the Federation Scout is eager to make first contact with us and it pushes into our territory. The diplomat brings us tidings from President Picard. Go away, Humans.
The few intel centers available are now active. We have an intel strength of 400. The Feds are not known for their saboteurs but we can't be caught flat-footed. The intel report reveals exactly what we feared: Our empire is deeply inferior in every way. Klingons take pride in the military above all else, but that's where we fare the worst.
Surprisingly, the Feds have already expanded to 5 systems, and they have as many dilithium sources as we have systems total. Our morale is apathetic, and theirs is "pleased". Well, we could tell that much from the self-satisfied smirk on the Federation diplomat.
The Klingon leader, Chancellor Gowron, curses his people for being so backward. If he is to realize his lifelong dream of ruling the galaxy, things will need to improve somehow.