Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG

Hopefully, everyone is as glad to be reading this as I am to be writing it. Belirahc’s life started getting extremely busy in early 2012, which led to our PBeM slowly grinding to a halt late that year. There were a couple of restarts past that, including a fairly decent one in 2013. Recently, he got back in touch, and we’ve managed to pick up where we left off.

So, where were we again?

Turn 10 marks the beginning of the third scenario, The Hurricane, and is the the turn in which the Romulans are put under player control. Often, if the Coalition invasion of the Federation does not happen on turn 7, it happens on turn 10 as a combined Klingon/Romulan assault.

However, with Bel still struggling to clean up Hydran space, he declined to declare war on the Federation, and put the Romulans on a Peacetime economy. The bad news is that they must spend at least two turns at peace, but the good news is that they won’t hit exhaustion until turn 18, even if they go to war on turn 12.

This leaves me with the decision (on my turn) of if the Federation should declare war on the Klingons. The Federation is fairly hampered in what it can do while only at Limited War, but if they declare war, the Gorns will not join in unless attacked.

However peaceful the Federation border, things were happening elsewhere. Several major fleets moved on the Hydran capital, in the long anticipated second attempt to take it. The on-map reserve was pinned again, though a couple ships reacted out of the Old Colonies, and freed up one ship to help in the capital….

There were a number of aggressive moves in Kzinti space, and I shuffled units back and forth to try and keep everything nailed down.

Kzinti front.

Hydran front.

1807: SSC: Z: crip FF & retreat; K: retreat
1105: SSC: Z: dest FF; K: capture planet
1202: Z: crip CL, FF; K: crip F5S, capture planet
1303: K: crip D6
1402: Z: crip CM, MEC, dest FF; K: crip D6, 4D5
1502: Z: dest 2xEFF, 2xPDU; K: crip F5L, 2xF5, dest 2xD5, F5; F5 captured
1504: Z: crip CC; L: dest 2xCA
1704: Klingons retreated after refused approach.
0119: H: dest CU; K: crip D5, F5
1506: Z: dest EFF; K: dest 2xD5
0617: Hydrax: 9xPDU, 2xSIDS; H: crip RN, H-D7; L: crip 2xBC, DWS, SC, dest STT, 5xCW, CVL, CWE, DWE; K: crip 2xD6, dest 2xD7C, 2xD7V, 2xD6M, 2xD6, 2xAD5, 2xF5E

Overall, Kzinti space went fairly well, but he has now killed the last PDU on 1502, which makes defending that planet more complicated, since if I want new PDUs (yes), I have to spend a turn setting up the first one.

I probably could have drawn out the fight over the Hydran capital longer than I did (six rounds before retreating out), but I’d either be crippling a lot more than I did, or I’d run out of fighters. Right now, the Hydran fleet is out of supply, so I need a good number of fighters for the journey off-map. I also could have dropped damage rather than direct killing carrier groups, which would have meant a lot more cripples and self-kills, which might have forced Bel into using the smaller ships that came in…. I might, even, have barely forced him to retreat, keeping the capital again (the fact that I rolled consistently higher would help here). But, that would leave me stuck on a shipyard with no economy available. I’ve been considering abandoning the capital as it is, I’m not going to wreck myself just to try and force a third go at the hex.

As it is, the Klingons and Lyrans both have a reserve in Hydran space, and some Lyran production was diverted down there. There’s two reserves that can reach part of the Federation border, but much of that large expanse is wide open, with only the bulk of the East Fleet in 1914 to protect it….