Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

Given how much trouble I ran into with my (unfocused) offensives, I faced the Alliance half of the turn with a fair amount of trepidation. The good news is any fighting would be away from his defenses, but there’s still a fair number of places I wanted to protect, and I was well aware I couldn’t cover them all.

The strain on the Alliance economies showed with the Federation cancelling their ECL and two DE builds, even as they converted two DDs to DEs, and three CLs to other duties. Sure, they’re inefficient to build, but they’ll run out someday. …Or so I tell myself. Meanwhile, the Kzinti did minimal repairs, and downgraded two CMs to FFs, though they did build a full number of hulls. They could have repaired slightly more, but both of us forgot about the two ships they captured (and salvaged) at first.

Builds:
Federation: CVA, CF, TG, 8xNCL, NCD, LTT, 12xFF, 2xCL->LSC, CL->CLD, 2xDD->DE
Kzintis: CV, TGC, LTT, MEC, FKE, 7xFF, FFK->FKE
Hydrans: RN, CU, Shipyard (60/90)

Overall, raids went very well for the Alliance. He hit several LTC province garrisons, allowing me to call up a POL to fight him two on one, but the quality of his raiders and rolls made up for it. The Hydrans raided with a RN and THR, while the Kzinti used their two DNLs, and the Federation used a DNL, CF, and a newly-built CF. I forced a couple of retreats, but did no damage to the raiders, lost three small ships, and the Lyrans had three LTC provinces disrupted.

Hydran movement started with a large force apparently heading around the capital hex, and I reacted out to generate a fairly large pinning battle in 0518. However, the Lyrans were unable to take part in any of this (all movement was away from them), and with all the fighters, the Klingons couldn’t even begin to match Hydran SEs or firepower, and the Hydran fleet ended up running over everything, and hitting every notable point in (former) Hydran space, including where a TGB had started setting up a MB in 1017. I had contemplated setting up a reserve in Klingon space that could reach that, or a very few targets in Federation space. But I hadn’t liked the opportunity cost of the reserve potentially being stranded far away from the action.

Meanwhile, the Kzintis sent the Marquis’ Fleet into the Fed-Kzinti neutral zone to pick on a small Klingon force there, and were joined by an even larger Federation force. I avoided reacting anything into the area, and did not react to a decent-sized force that picked on a province-raiding E4 in 2206 as I was afraid of moving away various picket forces from where they could interfere with any attempt on Klingon bases and captured planets. And the 3rd Fleet came out for a fight against the Klingon East Fleet in 2212.

On the Romulan border, the only activity was a couple ships sent out to pick on a pair of F5s that survived the raids intact, a pair of POL picking on a K4, and the remnants of the 5th Fleet shifting from the Gorn border to nearer the Fed capital.


The Hydran Ulcer


Activity in the Kzinti neutral zone.


The Klingon-Federation border.


5th Fleet, 2nd line of defense.

Many reserves were out of range of all combats, and one was pinned in the Hydran capital. Of those that were left, one Klingon reserve aided the East Fleet, while another two and a weak Lyran reserve went to 2206 to put a decent force into NW Federation space.

Battles:
3116: SSC: Romulan: dest K4
0418: SSC: Klingon: dest cripF5
0718: SSC: Klingon: dest cripF5, FRD; Hydran recover planet
1017: Klingon: dest E4, abandon setting up MB
0519: Klingon: crip F5L; Hydran recover planet
0617: Hydrax I: dest PDU; Hydrax II: dest PDU; Klingon: dest E4, crip D7, D6, 2xD5, 2xF5, E4; Hydran: dest LB, DDS
0518: Klingon: crip F5; Hydran: dest PGS
1905: Klingon: dest F5L
2212: Klingon: dest D6D; Federation: dest FFE
2206: Klingon: crip D5; Lyran: crip DW; Federation: dest DD

The last turn me and Bel got to in our main game, Bel blew several cloaked evasion rolls, and followed it up with poor SSC rolls. The shoe was on the other foot this time as I blew my only cloaked evasion roll of the turn in 3116, and then did poorly in SSC to lose a K4 without even forcing a pair of POLs to retreat.

Byron’s raids left a pair of F5s crippled in 0418, and then he sent a pair of crippled HR plus a POL to finish them off. One covered the escape of the other, but it is now 0419, well away from the last friendly house.

I had established the repair pool with the FRD on the major planet in 0718, figuring I could probably pin out most attempts to get past the major base in the capital. This is supposed to be a backwater….

Byron seems to have thought I was going to attempt to stand up to a major combined Fed/Kzinti force in 1905, but I just withdrew the LV3 (LTT+VP3) group and then sacrificed a F5L to get a D7C and F5S out.

Everyone largely retrograded back to their start positions; the Hydrans ensconced themselves on 0416 without even attempting to leave any garrisons on their reclaimed systems (despite my problems, they don’t really have the ability to protect two places at once), the Federation 7th Fleet ended up back in 2609, on the direct path to the capital. However, the Marquis’ Fleet went to the Kzinti capital, leaving no garrison in place for 1802.

The Federation naturally transferred 15 EPs to the Kzinti, but thanks to Coalition forces in the area, it had to be delivered to the off-map area, where it will probably maximize repairs next turn. Both Kzinti reserves are in the capital, and Federation reserves are all centrally located within three hexes of their capital, while a secondary force was sent to guard 3509.

Looking ahead, it’s pretty obvious the VP setup isn’t really meant for this early in the scenario:

Coalition: 429.8 EP (x2) + 600 (bases) + 834 ships (/5) = 1793.2
Alliance: 262.6 EP (x2) + 390 (bases) + 531 ships (/5) = 1127.6

This is considered a Decisive Victory, which the Coalition is actually some ways from achieving, and it does not count the Gorns, who come in on turn 12, and right now the Coalition is expending ships trying lower the Alliance economy and base infrastructure. I did do that, but the cost in ships was a bit high, and most of the easy targets are gone. At least the Romulan economy is still expanding thanks to needing to explore part of their own space.