Part 73: Turn 305TURN 305
Our fleet moves southwest of Deinonychus again, but manages to land in the one sector that doesn't have Ferengi ships.
TURN 306. We move again, but only catch half a dozen raiders.
They don't have a chance. But how much damage are we really doing by squishing these bugs?
TURN 307. After a brief period of nostalgia, Gul Dukat loses favor among the Central Command and Damar is put back in charge. Damar believes that we were behind the whole thing, so relations with the Cardies worsen again.
The Romulans offer, "Let's you and the Ferengi fight." We are trying to attack the Ferengi, but it seems like the lack of an actual war declaration is the only thing keeping the Ferengi fleet from steamrollering Shelia.
We move our fleet further to the southwest and add a Scout to get a better look at the previously hidden Ferengi territories. We learn that there are even more Marauders and Strike Cruisers down there, and they have apparently been ferrying them up to Deinonychus.
TURN 308. Strangely, there are no Outposts down near Tessen or Harrakis either. How did they extend their range to get so far south? Perhaps they built shipyards quickly, as those extend range too. With nothing to kill in the southern reaches of Ferengi space, we'll have to move back up north.
TURN 309. All our efforts to thin the Ferengi herd have been fruitless. 106 Ferengi ships are on Deinonychus and there are more headed that way. As time goes on, we're losing more credits per turn.
TURN 310. Our fleet manages to kill a single Light Raider. The crews of our Birds of Prey trust each other. They know they can count on one ship to take care of the bug.
Perhaps merely going around blowing stuff up is not enough to stir the Ferengi into action. Our fleet is ordered to raid.
TURN 311. If disasters were considered an ally of the Ferengi, their side is winning so far.
We steal a handful of credits. The Ferengi probably don't even notice.
The Federation manages to send a Scout all the way up here, but its purpose is unknown. Besides the Ferengi, the Feds are the only empire we don't have an affiliation treaty with.
TURN 312. The Ferengi sorcerers are apparently softening up Shelia before their fleet attacks.
Our raids do not appear to be doing much harm.
On Shelia, we're forced to re-buy the shipyard. Otherwise if the Starbase on Shelia were destroyed, our fleet would lose range and everyone might be stranded in Ferengi territory. We have fewer power plants and people on Shelia for the moment, but we would still be able to power most of the Orbital Batteries.
As further evidence that our activities haven't disrupted the Ferengi fleet, they break the 110-ship barrier on Deinonychus. Meanwhile, we're losing 340 credits per turn.
TURN 313. The Caldonians remind us that we need to keep putting their system under martial law.
Next, our fleet makes a move certain to hurt Ferengi pride: Raiding their core systems.
TURN 314. We receive several raid notifications as Ferenginar and adjacent systems are raided. We get more credits this time.
The 2 Strike Cruisers stand watch at Shelia, waiting for the day that the Ferengi move against them. But it hasn't happened yet.
TURN 315. The money-grubbing Ferengi whine at us for stealing money. They threaten to take action, but that's what we were going for in the first place.
Chancellor Gowron has made a fateful decision this day: If the Ferengi will not be provoked by attacks and raids, then we will have to show them what a war with the Klingon empire really means. On Volon, 6 Troop Transports and 9 Scouts will move out, and the main fleet will move from Ferenginar to greet them south of Deinonychus.
TURN 316. Our extra Scouts and our Troop Transports will move into Ferengi territory despite the presence of a giant fleet nearby. Invasion fleets are always slow and predictable because their Troop Transports can only move 1 sector per turn. But there is one reason why it is very good to be a Klingon: Our Transports can move 2 sectors per turn. Thus our invasion fleets can move twice as fast as any Romulan, Cardassian or Federation invasion fleet. Only the Ferengi Troop Transports share this feature.
TURN 317. Our Transports get the Ferengi's attention, and they send out a fleet of 19 warships to stomp them. If our Transports went at the normal speed, the Ferengi would have succeeded. But it's impossible to chase down a fleet that can move 2 sectors per turn if your own ships move the same speed. Klingons are truly capable of blitzkrieg tactics.
And just like that, our invasion fleet is only one turn away from the Ferengi homeworld. We cannot wait to destroy the Ferengi fleet before we begin seizing their territory. We lose over 400 credits per turn now. Despite raiding Ferenginar, we've lost around 10% of our wealth since the conflict began.
TURN 318. As our force arrives on Ferenginar, we issue our long-awaiting declaration of war.
With characteristic timing, Gul Damar offers a war pact against the Ferengi. Finally we will accept one of these.
For the first time in recent memory, Qo'nos is "pleased."