Thanks to taking out a number of Federation planets on my turn, the overall Alliance economy was down 30 EP. 17 points of the Kzinti budget were stuck in the Barony (the Federation had been forced to deliver them there instead of to the capital last turn), which were used for repairs and building a FKE. The Kzinti subbed two FFs for a CL, but had to cancel their BC. The Federation built their full schedule, started upgrading a MB to BATS at Earth, and converted some ships to escorts, but built no new carriers.

Federation: DN+, 2xCA, 11xNCL, LTT, 12xFF, MB->BATS(F), 2xDD->DE, 2xFF->FFE
Kzinti: CV, LTT, 2xMEC, FFK, FKE, 6xFF
Hydran: KN, HN, 2xHR->NEC

The Hydrans raided two province garrisons this turn, forcing a crippled F5L to retreat, and killing an E4, eliminating Long-Term Capture in another province. The last E4 that began as a garrison in the area has to be getting nervous…. The Kzinti re-raided province 0701, killing a FF, and crippling a DW, while the other DNL picked off an E4 in 2101, also disrupting two NZ hexes. A Fed DNL hit an F5 (with a second reacting in), which retreated intact, the other DNL forced a SN and K4 to retreat, and the CF picked off a SN. In no case were Coalition ships able to even make a raider retreat (the use of DNLs, often with PTs, is just murder, even on the larger garrison ships).

Movement started with the bulk of the Kzinti navy moving out not only to re-take 1802, but hitting Klingon task forces at the edge of Federation space in 2003 and 2005. Most things couldn’t react, but the Lyran garrison on 1502 blocked a little of it. Further moves in Federation space showed that there was a broad advance against Klingon positions underway. I had expected him to toss me off both planets in the 4th Fleet zone, but he only hit one, with most of the 4th Fleet moving to hit 1807 with the combined Klingon BATS + Lyran MB. The 3rd Fleet moved to hit NZ planet 1910, with further ships hitting the two BATS nearby and a good force to  major planet 1611.

On the Romulan side, the 2nd and 5th Fleets moved to take back 3706, but nothing else happened other than moving some cripples back towards the capital, and repositioning some POLs. Hydran space saw no Operational activity whatsoever.

Activity in eastern Kzinti space.

Hitting me where it hurts.

One strike on the Romulan front….

As can be expected, all this struck into the areas without great reserve coverage, though a Lyran reserve was pinned in 1807, and a Klingon one in 1910. The only ones available to respond were a Lyran reserve, which went to aid the pinning fight in 1601, and a Klingon reserve, which went to aid the defense of 1910.

1809: Retreat after refused approach.
1810: SSC: Federation: crip FF
1811: Klingon: dest BATS; Federation: crip FF
2111: SSC: Klingon: dest F5L
2209: SSC: Klingon: dest E4
2408: Klingon: dest F5; Federation: crip FF
2007: SSC: Klingon: dest F5
1802: Klingon: dest E4
1502: Kzinti: dest FF
2409: Klingon: dest F5; Federation: crip FF
1611: Klingon: dest MON, 4xPDU; Federation: dest DE, capture planet
2210: SSC: Klingon retreat
1910: Klingon: dest D5, F5L, 3xF5, FRD, crip D5, MD5, 2xF5; Federation: dest CC, SC, crip FF, planet captured
2106: Klingon: dest F5, F5J, E4A, crip F5, F5G, E4R; Federation: dest EFF, crip NCT, DD, 2xDE, CFF
2003: Klingon: crip D5, F5; Kzinti: crip MEC, CLE
2005: Klingon: crip D5, 2xF5; Kzinti: dest FKE
1807: Lyran: dest MB; Federation: dest NCL
1601: Lyran: crip 2xCW, 2xDW; Kzinti: dest SDF, crip SDF
3706: Romulan: dest FAL, SKE, 2xSNB, K4, crip 2xK7R, SP, SK; Federation: dest CC, LSC, crip CA, CF, 6xFF

BATS 1809 had reacted out its fighters to pin a FF in 1810, so even though he only had three ships, the 9 fighter factors he had suggested to me that he’d try to at least damage the station, but instead he retreated out and into the big battle for 1910. Meanwhile, the fighter squadron managed to cripple, but couldn’t quite kill the FF. The other border BATS in 1811 faced a similar force, but with 2xFF instead of 1xCL, and this time he went in to take it out, and good rolls (4-1 and 6-1) let him take it for minimal damage.

Three good carriers was way more than a major planet’s defenses could take, though a 1-3 split at least allowed me take out a DE, and a FFE stayed behind as a garrison in retrograde, meaning there’s a CVS without escorts for the moment.

Byron tied one of the garrison F5s up with a fighter squadron strike from the 3rd Fleet SB, and after I reacted other ships in, supported the fighters with a LAV. With both sides near the top end of SSC totals, neither side hurt the other, and I retreated out, since I’d have to chew through the fighter squadrons before getting to do any real damage.

My main hope was to hold onto the forward base of NZ planet 1910, but even with two reserves present, I just couldn’t match the force Byron put into the hex (aided by a two-ship differential in the lines thanks to having an ADM, and me not having better than a D7C). The second round went decently, but I just couldn’t match the damage he was doing.

On the other hand, we were very evenly matched over 2106, and the first couple rounds were pretty even damage at low BIR, despite the Klingons being at a EW disadvantage again, but by round three, the Federation force was out of fighters, and was out-rolled. In 2005, the forces were nearly even, except for the Kzinti CV groups backed by carrier tug refills. A lucky roll got nearly even damage on each side, and I retreated. Byron failed pursuit, but considering my decent line, I think he would have paid for killing a couple F5s. Unfortunately, the battles in this region left my forward forces out of supply, and if I’d paid greater attention, I could have avoided that.

With the main portion of the 4th Fleet in 1807, I expected Byron to take out both the Klingon BATS and the Lyran MB in the hex. I didn’t hide the MB so I’d get some aid from both bases at once, and the Federation just blew the MB and retreated instead of taking the BATS as well.

The Federation arrived at 3706 with a lot more than the Romulans had, but no fighters, and the first round saw a small ComPot advantage from larger ships that quickly faded as high BIR burned through both sides.

The VPs still aren’t very meaningful at this point, but did shift in my favor over the last turn:

Coalition: 423.1 EP (x2) + 599 (bases) + 829 ships (/5) + 100 (Hydran Capital) = 1876.8
Alliance: 232 EP (x2) + 370 (bases) + 525 ships (/5) = 1044.0

This is still a “Decisive Victory”, but still does not count the Gorns, who come in next turn. Also, I don’t regard the 100 points for the Hydran capital at all stable at this point. The Alliance economy really fell off this turn (purely from Federation losses), and the Federation lost four BATS. While all three Alliance Empires gained ships (+14 Federation, +10 Kzinti, +2 Hydran), so did the Coalition to a lesser extent (+3 Klingon, +7 Romulan, +11 Lyran), which is surprising at the rate they’re losing ships.