Part 61: Turn 112TURN 112
Though morale still isn't great, it's a lot better now that we've won a decisive battle against the Cardassians.
The Ferengi are building up a big war fleet in their system closest to us. There's no reason why they shouldn't be trying to force the Sheliak back into their empire right now. We could just be paranoid--for all we know, the Ferengi have an even bigger fleet next door to the Cardassians.
Yridia is our other system most likely to be within range of the Cardassians/Romulans' medium range ships. We'll build a Starbase there as quickly as possible. If the Cardies need time to regroup, we'll put it to good use.
Our overall plan is to create a defensible ring of Starbases around our empire. As we saw on Caldonia, a Starbase is even more effective when it has at least a ship or two to help pick off the stronger enemy ships. Since enemy fleets must charge toward the Starbase in their first several turns, we'll make Strike Cruisers our watchdogs. They have few hitpoints but a lot of weapons. While they're being ignored, perhaps they can score some critical hits.
Volon has more population and will be our primary ship producing system. But it suffers from poor morale for some reason. We'll scrap some morale-boosting structures that came with Qo'nos, and put them on Volon instead. The tactical college provides an experience boost to all ships made in the system, so that should be on Volon. You only get one per empire, so the one on Qo'nos will be scrapped. Enjoy a rare look at the "structures" screen!
We need more intel power than Volon and Qo'nos can provide. We had been using our colonies primarily for research, but now we'll start building some intel centers on them. Sadly the Klingons are incapable of building phoenix facilities.
The Caldonian energy supply is just over 200 points, so we can rebuild their special structure for a research boost.
TURN 114. We are still caught between the Ferengi on one hand and the Romulans on the other. They want us to choose sides, but choosing would inevitably result in our bearing the brunt of either side. Chancellor Gowron continues to ride the fence.
Our intel reports over the last few dozen turns indicate the Cardassians are a continual security issue. But we've been preventing most of their attacks.
We bought out the rest of the building turns for our first Strike Cruiser, which will be stationed on Caldonia for the foreseeable future.
The Ferengi are massing ships next door to Shelia and grouping them in various ways. Of greatest concern are their Marauders and Strike Cruisers, which would cut through our Starbases like a hot knife through butter. But the Ferengi honor our treaty because we're the closest thing to friends they have.
TURN 115. Hmmm. Is this President Picard playing nice, or the prelude to something more permanent?
TURN 117. At long last, we have invented the Heavy Cruiser, better known as the Bird of Prey.
The next ship on our list is the Strike Cruiser II. We'll need several more upgrades for this, and we'll start with construction level 7. Even the mark II version only travels one sector per turn, so they will always be better suited for defense.
TURN 118. Having constructed Strike Cruisers to babysit our most vulnerable Starbases, we now turn to the Bird of Prey. These ships will form our fleets from now on. They are similar to the Romulan Battle Cruiser: Roughly the same hit points, they cloak, they're medium-range and they travel 2 sectors per turn. With enough of these, we could launch devastating attacks. But they will take a long time to build.
TURN 119. Buying Birds of Prey would speed things up, but the Cardie spies still peck away at our economy.
The Starbase has been completed on Yridia. We remain on the lookout for enemy fleets, but we're in much better shape to defend our empire than we were a short time ago.
TURN 120. The mighty Cardassians, who used to throw around the most impressive fleets, randomly send a pitiful Destroyer near our border. Perhaps the Ferengi are keeping them busy in the southwest? The Cardassian Union's Central Command announces they have done some internal reorganization. Gul Dukat has been removed from authority and departed for parts unknown. He has been replaced by Gul Damar, who promises a new era of competence and clear-thinking.
TURN 121. If only we were as protected from fate as we are from the Cardassians at the moment. A major catastrophe occurs on our most populous system. The 42 million people killed will repopulate themselves before long, but we've lost no less than thirty-four structures!
Nearly all of our farms have been destroyed, creating mass starvation on Volon. We must cancel a Bird of Prey in progress and rebuild all of the basic structures that have been destroyed.
The scanners of our Yridian Starbase detect a gigantic fleet headed toward our empire. This time it comes courtesy of Picard himself. The 25-ship fleet includes at least one Troop Transport, so invasion is intended. It looks like the Federation pulled out all the stops on this one: even the Vulcan ship is in attendance. At the moment we cannot tell whether the fleet is headed for Yridia or Caldonia.
The Federation's show of force has made us take the new Cardassian leader's offer of peace more seriously. We don't mind Damar's free credits, either.
Yridia has never been attacked before, so we'll have to build Orbital Battery defenses from scratch. The skittish Yridians underwent civil war and almost broke away from our empire just from watching the Mintakans get attacked. Will they be able to stand up to the pressure when it's their own system on the line?
It's a desperate act for any Klingon to actively pursue peace. But we offer the Federation a basic non-aggression treaty. We could use a lull in the violence while we build our Birds of Prey.