Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

And with turn 3 this truly becomes the Four Powers War as the Lyrans attack the Kzinti in support of the Fourth Klingo-Kzinti War.

Thankfully, the Lyran border with the Kzinti is in much better shape than the Hydran border. The Count’s Fleet is in position, but everything else has been needed against the Klingons, giving a much better fleet ratio. The opposite is true for the Hydrans, with the bulk of the Hydran navy sitting in or near Lyran space.

The Lyrans are still struggling with a lot of cripples, though the last of the repairs from the recent civil war are done, and a DD from the Far Stars fleet became active (now that the entire fleet is repaired, one random ship from it becomes available each turn). Meanwhile the Klingons have enough extra money to start the process of turning various inaccessible base stations into battlestations (which is worth VPs… or rather, not doing so is worth VPs to the other side).

Klingons: D7, TGA, F5L, F5, 3xE4, E3, D7->D7C, D6->D6D, BS-BATS
Lyrans: BCE, CA, 2xCL, 2xDD, 2xFF

Raiding continued to go poorly for me. I put repaired both ships from last turn and sent them raiding into Kzinti space. Despite attempting to stay away from heavier ships, a Kzinti CC reacted to the Lyran BCE and destroyed it while the CC was crippled. The Klingon D6 only had to deal with a called up POL, and successfully disrupted a province.

The Klingons counterattacked at four Hydran bases along the border, while Lyran efforts focused on getting at the logistical train that had moved up to 0513 (a convoy, FRD and TG hauling the parts for a mobile base).

On the Kzinti front, I spent a lot of time and effort trying to avoid confronting all the Kzinti forces on the Klingon border while still conducting an offensive, but couldn’t manage it. Bel aggressively reacted to all my province raiders, which helped dilute the base defenders, but not by enough. I ended up by concentrating on the west side of the border, with the real drive at Zelkrat in 1105, while Lyran forces took on two border bases unopposed.

Combined assault on the Hegemony

Counterattack into Hydran space

Limited operations in Lyran space

0703: Kzinti: dest BATS, crip CL; Lyran: crip FF
0803: Kzinti: dest BS; Lyran: crip FF
1004: SSC: Kzinti: crip CL, retreat; Klingon: crip E4, retreat
1205: SSC: Klingon: retreat
1105: Kzinti: dest FF, 2xPDU; Klingon: crip D6, F5, capture planet
1304: Kzinti: 2xSIDS, crip CL; Klingon: crip D6, D6J, F5, F5S, dest E4
1605: Retreat on refused approach
1219: Hydran: dest BS; Klingon: crip F5
1217: Hydran: crip SA, dest BATS; Klingon: crip 2xF5, F5G, E4, E4J, dest E4
1116: Retreat on refused approach
0915: Hydran: crip HNG, dest BATS, POL; Klingon: crip D6, D6J, 2xE4, dest F5
0211: SSC: Lyran: crip CL, dest FF, retreat
0513: Hydran: crip TEM, RN, dest 2xLN, FRD, Convoy; Lyran: crip CC, 2xCA, CL, dest DD, FF
0412: Unopposed defender withdrawal
0512: SSC: Hydran retreat

Both 1004 and 1205 were province raiding missions gone bad when Bel proved more willing to react off of bases than I had supposed. Neither of us rolled very well in either of them, which was fortunate in 1205 since I was overmatched.

Our lack of experience with the ground attack rules showed at 1105. I sent in the D6G, and directed on a FF. Bel took some of his leftover damage on a PDU, which gave the defense gap needed for a bonus on the ground attack. If we’d looked at the modifiers, I’d have directed on the PDU. As it was, the ground attack took out the remaining PDU, and Bel retreated out.

I’d sent a reasonably sized force to SB 1304, which drew the Kzinti reserve. Without that, he only had a pile of cripples stationed there. I went in for one round, then retreated, but between cripples and SIDS, his repair capacity is overloaded there….

1217 had about half a line protecting it, which with all the fighters was able to do a good amount of damage before retreating out right before the BATS blew.

Bel was determined to make my raid on his support units as painful as possible, and succeeded. We went five rounds, increasingly desperate to keep a viable force together while I tried to kill the valuable units. Eventually, he retreated out, and I was just able to kill the FRD and Convoy in the slow unit battle. (For some reason, hauling around a MB doesn’t make a tug slow….)

0512 was another in a chain of SSCs with low rolls. I did one casualty to him, which he used to retreat out. However, he’s stuck against the edge of the LDR, and was forced into 0511 and out of supply.

Killing five bases this turn does a lot for my score, as does capturing a Kzinti planet. My VPs are up to 63.25, and a healthy percentage of that is in points that can’t be taken away later. The Alliance is up to 73.2, thanks to the ships I’m loosing, which shifts me up to a Minor Defeat.

A big problem is that just to do this much, I had to use just about all my available ships, and my reserves are small for the upcoming turn.