This took me a while to get started on. The Klingons have been pounded, and I wasn't seeing anything useful they could do. Of course, this is the turn where 75% exhaustion kicks in, but I almost consider that the least of my worries, though with all the backlogged repairs finally hitting the system, money got tight real fast. Gross income was 417, down just 0.9 from last turn, though the Klingons had a ~6-point drop that was being made up by the other two. However, after exhaustion, this was a mere 312.75 EP. The Alliance's recent income is ~360, so this has taken me from solidly ahead to solidly behind in real money.
Klingon: 3xD7, D5W, 6xD5, AD5, F6, 3xF5, F5E, F5J
Romulan: NH, VHK, SP, SPC, 2xSPM, SK, 2xSKE, SEH, FAL, SNB, WE->KE, BH->BHF
Lyran: STL, CA, NCA, CW, CSV, CWE, 2xDW, DWE, 3xFF, CL->BC
Repairs were at an all-time high of 121.5 EP, nearly half of that being from the Klingons, who consequently had a very tight budget; but it doesn't do a lot of good to build new ships if I can't use the ones I've got.
For the first time the Klingons did not build any new fighter capacity this turn. I expect there won't be any new carriers for a bit, but I should be converting the last D6V up to D6U next turn, and I hope to convert a D7V to D7U at some point soon; they're expensive, but with how Byron's been beating me up in the EW war, a scout carrier seems like a very handy item to have. Hopefully, I'll get to see the Lyran CSV in action soon (also my first heavy fighters, something I'm sure we'll see a bit more of).
This is the turn where the raid pools expand, but I didn't want to pull a bunch of ships off the line to go raiding, so the only addition was the Romulan SHR, which I had retrograded into the capital last time specifically to be come the third Romulan raider. The Klingons and Lyrans each sent a raid into Kzinti space, disrupting a provinces now out of easy reach. There were five raids in Federation space, which disrupted three provinces, with one failure crippling a D5, while the last was a successful attempt to kill a Federation Tug (though a Prime Team was wounded in the process). The Romulans tried a similar raid on a Federation LTT on a supply mission just inside the Gorn border, but a DNL reacted to chase the SHR away, and the final Romulan raid in Gorn space also failed.
While the main Federation front was a series of problems with no solution, there was still room to maneuver elsewhere. The Gorn SB in 4206 was relatively lightly defended, and there were no reserves in range of it. First though, the Romulans worked on a plan for another offensive in Federation space, which led to a constant stream of move and counter-move as I tried to pin the 3rd Reserve in 3212, and elements of the 5th Fleet reacted in to keep some of it mobile.
Meanwhile, the Lyrans finally attacked 0416, a project that I'd been meaning to get to since Turn 11. With a large chunk of the Hydran fleet now on the capital, it wouldn't be as punishing, and I had hoped it would draw some Hydran forces away from the capital, but nothing moved. They also pressed forward in Kzinti space, to help the Klingons regain their border from them. The Klingon North Fleet stayed inactive to block any access of the Kzinti reserves to planet 1407 (where the guard FF was assaulted by two ships), while larger forces challenged 1202 and 1506. A bunch of small fights developed in Federation space as I tried to clean things up a bit, and finally, I made an attempt on planet 2509, though there were enough non-reserve forces nearby to shut down some of my moves. The Romulans also sent their large West Fleet to 3509 again, which had had its last defenses knocked out last turn.The Lyran's turn in Hydran space.Back into Kzinti space.Activity, but not a lot else.An important gap.
Naturally, the two Hydran reserves (four ships total) went to the only fight in Hydran space, while the Kzinti reserves went to 1202, though the DNLs that had been leading them stayed behind in the capital. The Gorn and Federation reserves on 2610 both went to the planet in 2509 (though he thought of sending the Gorns to 2011 to kill my crippled D6M in that combat). The Federation 2nd Reserve went to smash a small battle in 2207, and the rest were already pinned.
4008: SSC: Gorn: dest POL
1611: SSC: Federation: crip FF; mutual retreat off of captured planet
1407: SSC: Kzinti: dest FF; Klingons recapture planet
1506: Kzinti: dest FF; Klingon capture planet
2207: Klingon: dest E4
2110: SSC: Klingon retreat
2011: SSC: Federation retreat
2609: SSC: Gorn: crip LTT
3213: SSC: Federation: dest NCL; Romulan: crip SKF
4208: Gorn: dest BATS; Romulan: crip SK, K5S
3212: Federation: dest ECL, crip FF, FFE; Romulan: crip SP, SK
3509: Federation: dest CA, crip 2xNCL, FF, FFE; Romulan: dest FHF
4206: Gorn: dest SB, DN, HDS, 2xBD, 2xDD, 2xDDG, crip 2xBC, TG, 3xHD, 5xBD, 5xDD, SC, K5 captured and expended for combat bonus; Romulan: dest SUP, SKE, 4xSEH, 2xKR, KRM, K5L, K5, K4, 4xWE, FAL, 2xSN, SNB, crip CON, FH, R-CLE, 9xSP, 2xSPF, KR, K5, 4xKE, 2xWE, CE, 2xBHE, BHF
2509: Federation: crip 2xNCL; Klingon: dest MD5
2510: Federation: dest NCL; Klingon: dest D6D
0416: Hydran: dest 2xPDU, DWE; Lyran: dest CW, 2xDW, crip DN
1202: Retreat after denied approach
My offensive towards 2509 included an over-ambitious strike by two D6s at a Gorn LTT+TPOD by itself in 2609. Byron simply reacted a CM into the hex for a slightly better force with a size advantage. But the rolls were 12 to 3, for the D6s to cripple the LTT for no damage, though they then retreated to 2510 to keep from being alone and cut off. The captain in charge of the strike will be promoted to squadron command in a D7C.
The battle for the SB went longer and bloodier than I had hoped (as ever). The Gorn fleet had a natural firepower superiority the entire way, and started with a large EW advantage that I kept to a -1 shift by killing the HDS. The Romulan fleet on the Gorn border is light on carriers, which aided the carnage, and die rolling was relatively even, though I had a 6-2 split late in the battle that certainly helped. It took six rounds to wear out the Gorn fleet and get him to take 6 voluntary SIDS. I then directed the last two SIDS and the crippled base over the next three. Thankfully, he got a minimal roll in pursuit so he couldn't do more than kill the two big maulers. The Romulans will be very thin until the repairs get processed, and still thinner than I'd like with all the ship losses. But the Gorn fleet there is smashed (9 uncrippled ships, including 2xSAS), and the one on the other SB doesn't have a lot of things it can immediately do.
Things are still bad, and the fact is, I'm unlikely to ever have another chance at the 3rd Fleet SB, which is way too close to too much. But, even if a bit late, the Romulans have managed another step towards the goal of pushing Gorn bases far away from the original frontier. There's one border BATS left, and now only two of the backup bases remain.
No doubt, there will be increased pressure on the Romulans after this. But that hopefully means less Gorn involvement in the Fed-Klingon theater.
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