Part 78: Turn 341TURN 341
The only Ferengi ships we can pick up on scanners are the 2 Marauders still lurking around the territories we conquered. We'll need to send a Scout to the south: We know the Ferengi have a lot more waiting for us.
Those Marauders could attack the Starbase under construction just south of Ferenginar. We know how much our enemies love aborting those things. Our Birds of Prey will guard it until it is complete.
TURN 342. The Marauders are difficult to catch because they can move 2 sectors per turn. They're also good at catching other ships.
A Scout was ambushed by the Marauders before he could join the rest of our fleet. Unlike our Troop Transports, however, the Scout has a cloak and can slip away. Klingons are not happy to hear about this cowardice, however.
TURN 343. Now the Marauders have split up for some reason. One of them goes north, the other goes toward Shelia.
TURN 344. Determined to make a nuisance of itself, one Marauder attacks the Starbase on Ferenginar. Luckily we left a pair of Birds there while the rest defend the new Starbase being built next door.
Our cloaked ships are a nasty surprise for the Marauder. The Starbase, 2 Birds, 6 Scouts, and even 3 Troop Transports fire their weapons at the fearsome Ferengi capital ship.
Yet their combined weapons are unable to pierce the Ferengi's shields before he slips off into warp. Those things sport a mean tank.
President Kirk is pressured by the doves to sign a higher-level treaty with the Ferengi.
We have a Scout on Harrakis still trying to get a glimpse of Ferengi activity to the south. We can see more Ferengi ships flying out from that direction, but no sign of the main fleet. Our own main fleet moves south to the Bynaus system, 2 sectors south of Ferenginar.
The Bynaus system is home to a Minor Race, the Bynars. They cannot build ships, and they were enslaved by the Ferengi long ago. They will remain such.
Like a lot of Ferengi systems, Bynaus has a decent-sized population. That's why we always bring 9 Troop Transports along.
TURN 345. Vice Chancellor Martok is still trying to work his "computer machine" in an appropriate manner. Today, he fails. Martok accidentally forwards a contingency plan for invading the Romulan empire. It ends up on the desk of Senator Vreenak.
Our warriors conquer Bynaus, making sure to inflict the requisite collateral damage.
The Bynars' special structure is a decent one: A 100% empire-wide bonus to computer research. However, we have no further interest in research. Instead, we impose martial law on the system to prevent them from doing what the Anticans did. If the Bynars revolt, they will become immune.
Bynaus is just 2 sectors from Harrakis. With our speedy Troop Transports we can strike immediately.
We now have double the number of systems as the next-largest empire, a tie between the Ferengi and the Feds. The Ferengi have not managed to locate another source of dilithium. Harrakis is all they've got.
TURN 346. All of our Birds of Prey have left Ferenginar to support the attacks on Bynaus and Harrakis. A Ferengi Marauder makes his move.
Still, the Marauder alone will not be enough to take on the Starbase and the handful of small ships we have there. He shrugs off some damage and retreats.
Meanwhile, another Marauder has ambushed one of our Scouts.
These Marauders are a nuisance. Luckily our Scout had his cloak enabled so he can safely retreat. But it's technically another battle in the "loss" column.
A handful of light Ferengi warships form a token defense on Harrakis. The Ferengi are no more willing to make a last stand here as they were on Deinonychus, but this time they at least leave something for us.
Red lasers everywhere.
It appears the Ferengi are reaching out to everyone now. Before long they will be popular guys.
The small system of Harrakis is the Ferengi's last dilithium rich system, and we have wanted to grab it for a very long time. The Ferengi defense fleet is nowhere to be seen, so the order is given to invade.
TURN 347. Several of our Birds decline to bomb this time so collateral damage doesn't cripple the system. Harrakis swiftly joins the never-ending list of captured territories. The Ferengi fleet is still out there, but they have lost the ability to add more ships to it. The Ferengi's empire is paralyzed.