Part 88: Turn 394TURN 394
The Calamarian, a "gaseous lifeform" has been detected northwest of the center of the galaxy. This is also roughly the location where the Borg were first spotted. We had always operated under the assumption that intergalactic travelers can only travel into the galaxy from its borders, but this appears to be false. (In games like these, "monsters" coming from the borders of the map are sometimes considered a counterbalance to the advantage you have of not needing to defend the map's borders. I don't know why they're popping up in the middle.)
We ordered our Birds of Prey to intercept hostile vessels, but it looks like the Romulan Battle Cruisers are about to make a clean getaway back into their space.
The rest of our fleet has the more glorious assignment of invading Peliar Zel, the last of the Cardassian territories.
TURN 395. Gul Damar is captured alive. As punishment for his cowardice, Damar is forced into a bat'leth duel with Worf. The odds are against Damar. After spending all day drinking, Damar is fairly well hammered. He also lacks the experience with the bat'leth that Worf has--the closest he's ever come to a bat'leth duel is watching a few rounds on YouTube.
Worf stabs Damar with a bat'leth and the Cardassian empire falls.
Klingons now control all but the southeastern quadrant of the galaxy. Two enemies remain: The Romulans and the Federation. The Romulans' raid against Yridia has provoked Klingons into demanding swift retribution.
The invasion fleet on Peliar Zel and the Scouts in the area are ordered to meet up inside Romulan territory. All warships will cloak in order to avoid giving the Romulans a free turn.
TURN 396. A funny thing happens on the way to Romulan space. A Federation Outpost is detected on Zadar, the new western edge of Federation space now that Vulcan is ours. It hosts 23 Troop Transports and no warships of any kind. 8 of our Birds of Prey are ordered to Pearl Harbor them while everyone else continues onward.
We have a few Scouts who already made it to Romulan space. They detect the Romulan fleet: 20 cloaked warships of incredible power, and one Colony Ship that couldn't bring itself to colonize Mintaka.
TURN 397. The Birds assigned to attack the Federation Transports have achieved complete surprise.
The Birds decloak and open fire. The Transports are very lightly armored, and they explode instantaneously.
Every Transport is vaporized. This likely represents the bulk--if not the entirety--of the Federation's Troop Transports. They can build more, but this will set them back if they intend to liberate the Vulcans.
Chancellor Martok doesn't mess around. He wants to send a clear message to the Romulans: We are not afraid to fight without the advantage of our cloaks. The cloaks of both fleets will cancel each other out and enable them to fight on even terms. All of our Scouts and Birds of Prey in the area are set to converge on Romulus and take on the entire Romulan fleet.
TURN 398. The Romulans are prepared to give battle. We have 17 Birds of Prey (somewhere along the way some of these must have been destroyed, as we started with 25). We also have a ridiculous 31 Scouts. For their part, the Romulans only have 2 light attack ships, but they have 7 Strike Cruisers and 8 command ships.
We outnumber the Romulans in command ships, but 4 of theirs are the dreaded Warbird II. Every ship in this battle is cloaked, except for the Romulans' Colony Ship. In the opening round, we can only target that unlucky ship.
We instapop the Colony Ship. Across the field of battle, the Romulan warships stare us down from behind their cloaks.
...Uh oh. Something has gone wrong. Contrary to expectations, we are unable to target the Romulan ships. We expected our cloaks to cancel out the Romulans', but that is not what happened. If all of the ships were cloaked, they would cancel each other out. But the Romulan Colony Ship threw a wrench into the works. We had to decloak to attack it. Meanwhile, we had no non-cloaked ships of our own for the Romulans to decloak and attack. Our enemies remain cloaked.
Thus, having a fully cloaked fleet actually put us at a disadvantage. Since the Romulans haven't decloaked yet, they get a free cloak turn! We watch helplessly as the torpedoes pour out of the enemy warships. Those crafty Romulans have screwed us again.
For reasons unknown, the Romulans decided to target our Scouts instead of our Birds of Prey. Maybe they are attempting to maximize the sheer number of kills they will get during their free turn.
The Romulan strike was devastating. We can hardly see the surviving Scouts for all of the explosions. Klingons on the other ships are furious to watch their comrades die in such a fashion. Now who's going to kamikaze the Orbital Batteries?
At last we get the chance to attack our enemy. About a third of our Scouts survived, and they will target the enemy Strike Cruisers. Our Birds of Prey demand the opportunity to attack the fearsome Warbirds and prove which bird is better.
The Romulans continue their attack, but they are surprised by how quickly a Klingon ship can slice through a Romulan one.
The Romulan Warbirds and Battle Cruisers go down swiftly. In fact, it is the Strike Cruisers who have the best chances of survival, since they are only targeted by our Scouts.
Finally, all ships are ordered to eliminate the Strike Cruisers. By this point, the Romulans have inflicted serious damage against our Scout fleet, but have hardly touched the Birds of Prey.
In the end, one last Klingon ship explodes. We are victorious, but many brave Klingons have died this day.
We lost one Bird of Prey and 19 Scouts. There's no telling how many lives would have been saved if not for the infernal Colony Ship that got everyone to decloak. But the end result is that the Klingons hold the field. The Romulan fleet has been wiped out, their small empire defenseless against an angry Chancellor Martok.