Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

While the Kzinti are having a hard time, with the Klingons having occupied the planet in 1105, they still hold the neutral zone planet in 1506, and the Hydrans were still disrupting three Lyran provinces and holding another at the start of their turn (worth 0.5 permanent VP) while only one of their provinces are held by he Klingons.

Both economies are in good shape and could absorb the modest number of cripples to repair with no trouble. I was surprised that Bel had no conversions this turn, but both empires paid to activate an extra Prime Team.

Kzintis: BC, CL, CLD, CLG, 3xFF, MB, PT
Hydrans: DG, 2xKN, CR, 2xCU, Convoy, MB, PT

Both raids were against Lyran territory. The Hydran one easily fought off the called up POL that responded, and disrupted a province, while the raiding Kzinti CS fought a CA that responded from the adjacent SB and was crippled, while the CA merely retreated.

I had done my best to set up so as to be able to respond to most attempts to assault my border bases, and especially the more valuable BATS, but Bel quickly defeated all of that by sending a Hydran force around the edge of the Klingon border, and hitting 1011. Late in the turn, all the major forces in Lyran space headed east, I assume towards the relatively unprotected depot in 0810. I reacted off the Enemy’s Blood SB, and didn’t have enough to completely pin either move, but Bel stopped and fought there.

The Kzintis meanwhile struck near the Lyran-Klingon border, and finally sent a force beyond the border to hit 0707. Everything else was well enough in hand that I sent a reserve there, though I’d had to send a Klingon reserve to make a fight of the BATS at 1013, instead of trying to save 1011.

The Kzinti offensive

Hydran moves in Lyran space

Hydran offensive into Klingon space

0209: SSC: Lyran: dest POL
0410: Lyran: dest FF
0502: Retreat on refused approach battle
0511: Lyran: crip 4xFF; Hydran: crip RN
1219: SSC: Klingon retreat
0512: Lyran: dest DD
0915: SSC: Hydran retreat
1013: Klingon: crip F5; Hydran: dest LN
1011: Klingon: dest BS
0707: Lyran: crip CA, DD; Kzinti: crip BC, 2xFF
0504: Lyran: crip CL, DD; Kzinti: dest CL, 2xFF
0906: Retreat on refused approach battle
0705: Retreat on refused approach battle
1105: Klingon: crip F5L; Kzinti: dest 3xFF
0803: Lyran: crip DD; Kzinti: crip FF

0511 was the large pinning battle. I went in for a round with my heaviest line with a TGC+BP, DNE, BCE, 2xCA, and then a battle group, and was still fighting 9 ComPot down thanks to how scary Hydran cruisers are. Low rolls kept anything meaningful from happening, especially as I was just short of killing a LN. He didn’t bother to pursue the heavy line when I retreated, and the cripples are now at the Enemy’s Blood SB for repairs.

Bel wanted no part of 1013 after my reserve showed up, but I challenged him to the initial approach battle. This is one of a few times lately where he’s tried to preserve his forces with a minimal line where it doesn’t make a lot of sense. He still had to put up about five ships, which is more than my force can destroy in a round, so he might as well put up a full line and do as much damage as possible in return.

0504 was a second case of this, and I ended up killing his cripples in pursuit. With a full line, I might have needed a much lighter line for pursuit (CLs to FFs) after taking the extra damage.

1105 was third time he did this. I don’t blame him for wanting out, as most of his force was FFs. I didn’t think to increase my BIR to 4, and let him off a bit easy.

Much to my surprise, Bel retrograded all but a handful of ships, leaving the Lyrans free to pick off Hydran province raiders for the first time in the game. They’ve been having to maneuver around large, aggressive Hydran fleets in their space all this time. Like me, he used almost all his forces in offensive operations this turn, and the Hydrans only have five ships in reserve, but the Kzinti Barony fleet just arrived from off-map, and formed the basis of two healthy Kzinti reserves on their capital.

The Alliance is up to 79.6 VPs, with 3.8 permanent VPs this turn, while my repairs also continue to pile up. Meanwhile, my VPs are also up slightly, to 64.75, thanks to all the ships I managed to kill. Overall, this is a Minor Alliance Victory, but that’s still eroding.