Part 69: Turn 232TURN 232
Losing Volchok to the red star nova was painful. We need a replacement. Sadly, the only remaining uninhabited system within our defensive perimeter is Sigma Iotia. It is puny, but we'll have to colonize it. The system is notable for being accidentally ceded to the Ferengi during tense negotiations in the early days. Because the Ferengi lost Shelia, they lost their claim to Sigma Iotia.
TURN 235. The Ferengi have taken up war games to entertain their bored fleet. Occasionally these games assist us in keeping track of their fleet composition. Here, the Ferengi have sorted their light attack ships into one fleet of 25 ships.
TURN 237. We have no treaty with the Feds at the moment, but we are not at war. President Picard is on the warpath today, but he'll get no money from us. Go ahead, Humans, declare war and take your morale hit like a man.
TURN 239. Either the Cardassians or the Romulans has taken up espionage. Espionage differs from sabotage in that it merely attempts to collect information about the enemy-- or possibly copy research--but not to destroy. Critical intel about our empire has been leaked to a Let's Play thread on Something Awful.
TURN 240. At last, we have invented the Starbase mark II. This is the kind of structure that the other empires would have been able to build from the very start. Our defensive power is slightly increased.
Next on our list is the Heavy Cruiser II (aka Bird of Prey mark II). Their defensive and offensive powers are enhanced, and they can move 3 sectors per turn instead of 2. Not bad at all. We'll need two more level-ups in propulsion, followed by additional weapons research.
TURN 242. We have been relatively well-protected from sabotage, but it seems the Cardies are piercing the Ferengi security and blaming us. So we'll suffer for the Ferengi's incompetence in the form of worse relations with them.
The Ferengi have massed their biggest fleet yet, 45 ships, on Deinonychus. The cold war has left both sides skittish and paranoid.
TURN 243. The Ferengi are purple with rage, thanks to the Cardassian frame job. The Ferengi propose another war pact. This time, we had better do what they ask. We will declare war against the Federation. It's not like we have to break a treaty to do it.
As if we didn't have enough incentive to comply, the Ferengi have blown all our assumptions out the airlock. In addition to the giant fleet already on Deinonychus, the Ferengi have brought another fleet of 40 ships toward us.
TURN 244. Our morale is enhanced by another meaningless war declaration. Let's hope the Federation doesn't take this too seriously.
Even Worf is shaken by the news of the Ferengi's fleet of 85 ships sitting next door to Shelia. Our defense network of 31 Orbital Batteries on Shelia suddenly doesn't look all that impressive. If we refused the Ferengi war pact proposal, this abomination could be headed straight for Qo'nos.
TURN 245. The Klingon astronomer has a new name for our colonies: Comet magnets.
TURN 246. The Federation will pay us off with 5,400 credits to make peace. We'll take a slight morale hit, but we got boosted from the war declaration earlier, so who knows?
TURN 247. Some of the Federation's cash will go to pay off the Romulans. Their demands are always modest, since their empire is of a modest size.
Tempers have cooled slightly thanks to our recent obedience to the Ferengi. They will attempt to lower tensions on the border by sending away part of their 85-ship fleet. Just because they can, they make a spin-off fleet comprised of 35 light attack ships.
TURN 254. Ferengi war games have an interesting effect on Deinonychus this turn. They have left behind only their Troop Transports--24 of them. A Pearl Harbor style attack against all of those undefended Transports is a tantalizing prospect. But it's not very feasible. We would have to take a turn to announce the termination of our treaty, and then attack. This would take 2 turns total. Since the Ferengi fleet is likely to move back toward Deinonychus the same turn we terminate the treaty, and also the turn that we strike, we really need their slow ships to be at least 3 sectors away for a surprise attack to work. And their faster ships would be able to get back in time to defend Deinonychus no matter what.
TURN 256. Our scientist makes one propulsion breakthrough, but we need to get another propulsion level-up before the Birds of Prey can be upgraded.
TURN 258. We have nowhere left to grow our empire, short of colonizing on our enemies' borders or conquering them. Our enemies, meanwhile, are adding new systems in all the empty space they control. We have 13 systems, the Federation-Cardassian alliance has 17, and the Ferengi also have 17. The Romulans are stuck.
TURN 259. The Ferengi have completely lost their patience with us, but they won't tell us what we've done. They make a demand that we've long awaited: They want the empty sectors next to Shelia. We gladly accept, and in so doing hopefully avoid war again.
This time no uninhabited systems will be ceded to the Ferengi. They actually just want those empty spaces to be shaded in yellow. To the southeast, the Federation have pushed their borders northward. They colonized the Merak system. They're likely to take New Halana next. Once they build a shipyard there, our southern systems will easily be within their striking range.
TURN 260. But time has done wonders for our fleet-building. We now have 18 Birds of Prey. Since they've been training on the academy at Volon this whole time, some have even graduated to "Elite" status. Even so, it's almost pathetic that our empire boasts of less than 20 ships while the Ferengi fleet is more than quadruple the size.
We have also built up a nice little treasury, especially since enemy saboteurs have been unable to raid it lately. We'll treat ourselves to a Bird of Prey purchase.
TURN 261. The Cardassians certainly are persistent, and they skillfully drive a wedge between us and the Ferengi again. Too bad we don't have any more empty sectors to give them.