Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

With the various problems Byron’s been handing me lately, the Alliance economy grew 20 points for this turn. That was mostly from the Federation, which is getting (devastated) income from two minor planets again, and controlled another 6 provinces than last turn. The Kzinti and Hydrans were up slightly, while the Gorns are suffering a couple contested provinces to make up for the NZ hexes they’re grabbing.

Federation: DN+, 10xNCL, LTT, NSC, 14xFF, CP, NCL->NSC, DD->DE, 4xFF->FFE
Kzinti: 3xCM, LTT, 3xFFK, 5xFF, BC->CV, FFK->FKE
Hydran: TG, RN, 2xHR, LTT, 4xCU, 3xHN
Gorn: CCH, BC, CM, 2xHD, LTT, 2xBD, 3xDD, CP

That said, there’s still enough pressure on the Alliance to suppress expensive ship builds. The Kzinti didn’t build any of their large ships, and kept producing regular FFs and MCs despite having DWs and NCAs on the schedule, though they did convert a CV. The Hydrans finally have a shipyard again, and are spending their way through their stockpile.

The Hydrans did their usual two raids in the east end of their space, but I finally had things set up so that he couldn’t knock out my control of the provinces, and I forced a RN to retreat, maintaining full control over that province (crippling a F5 in the process). Both Kzinti raids were successful, and knocked the Lyrans out of a province again. The Federation only performed two raids, but knocked out the garrison of just recaptured 1910 to make that planet neutral again, as well as killing a province raider. The Gorn raids hit Romulan province holders, and again, both of them blew their cloaked evasion rolls, but he only crippled one in combat.

The Hydrans, possibly emboldened by having proper ship construction, came boiling out of their on-map planet, and pinned all the in-theater Lyran forces on the way to sending a large force to the Lyran SB in 0411. Actually, this is probably a consequence of not having any reserves in the area, but with how bad things are going elsewhere, there was too much need for the reserves elsewhere. The main Kzinti fleet also moved out (complete with auxiliaries) to retake 1202. Other elements stuck into Lyran space to take out a border BATS, and of course re-take 1802.

The latter included the Marquis’ Fleet, pulling the Kzinti back from their involvement in Federation space. The Federation struck at NE Klingon space again, attacking the Klingon supply tug for the area. A major portion of the 3rd Fleet headed to the interior of Federation space to confront various Klingon forces I’d left there, and I reacted onto the BATS that had been damaged last turn, which developed into a fairly major action. Forces in that area swept up other forces, and struck at the major Klingon staging point of 2715.

Offensives in the area of Romulan space were more subdued. The only major move was against the planet in 3711, though strikes were also made against the NZ planet in 3912 and two border BATS.

Hydran revenge.

Kzinti-Federation offensives.

Against the Klingons.

Strikes along the Romulan border.

My main central reserves on the Northern Reserve SB paid out, with one going to help the fight over the supply tug, and the B10 going to a small battle to get it as far into Federation space as I easily could. The Romulans sent a reserve to save the NZ planet, and everything else was pinned in place, with the exception of a Lyran reserve near the 3rd Fleet SB, which was out of range of everything.

0211: SSC: Lyran: dest POL
0312: SSC: Lyran: dest CONV, POL
0317: SSC: Lyran: dest DW
0702: SSC: Lyran retreat
1708: Klingon: dest CONV
2008: Federation: dest CFF
3311: SSC: Romulan: dest SNB
3510: SSC: Romulan: crip K5L; Federation retreat
3809: SSC: Romulan: dest K5, crip SK; Federation retreat
3912: Federation: dest FF
5010: Romulan: dest BATS; Gorn: crip HCD
4808: SSC: Romulan retreat
0411: Lyran: dest SB, FF, SAV, FTS, FRD, crip 2xCW, 4xDW; Hydran: crip TR, 2xLNH, DDS
0116: Lyran: dest CW; Hydran: dest HR
0415: Lyran: dest CA, DWE; Hydran: dest 2xLN, capture DWE
0412: SSC: Lyran: dest POL; Hydran retreat
0502: Lyran: dest BATS, POL; Kzinti: crip MEC, FKE
0602: Lyran: crip CL; Kzinti: crip FF
1202: Lyran: dest FF, LAV, SAV, FTS, crip 4xCW, 6xDW; Kzinti: dest 2xBC, crip MEC, capture planet
1802: Lyran: dest CWE, crip TCB, CV, CWE, FF; Kzinti: dest EFF, crip FKE, capture planet
1702: Kzinti: dest POL
1601: Kzinti: dest cripFF
1809: Lyran: dest STT; Federation: dest FFE
1907: Klingon: crip F5E; Federation: crip 2xFF
2705: Klingon: dest F5L; Federation: crip FF
2609: Klingon: crip D7C, 3xD5, 2xF5; Federation: dest BATS
2712: SSC: dest F5
2810: Klingon: dest cripD6, cripD5, 2xcripF5; Federation: crip CFF
2715: Klingon: dest F5L, FRD, crip 3xD5, 2xF5; Federation: crip NCL, DE, 2xFF, 2xFFE
3207: Romulan: crip SUB, KE; Federation: crip CL, FF
3711: Romulan: dest KRM, SPC, crip SP, WE; Federation: dest SWAC, crip DN+, FFE; Gorn: dest BDE
4010: Romulan: dest KE; Gorn: dest BC, crip BD

4808 was an odd fight, as he pinned a province raiding SNB with a POL, giving me a slight edge in the battle. But I still rolled a ‘2’ to retreat while the POL was unharmed.

With just a few more ships the Lyrans could have held SB 0411. The Hydrans brought enough spare fighters for a couple rounds, and by the time they were out and losing fighter power on the line, nearly the entire Lyran fleet was already crippled. With some fresh ships, it would have started hurting.

I had a POL with the BATS in 0502, which I used to force an extra round of meaningful combat with the BATS, and he directed on the POL rather than let it retreat behind the base. He then did a fighting retreat over my province raiders from 0702 which had retreated into the NZ, but could only force a cripple on the CL, which I’ll try to get back into service as something bigger….

I had left too many big ships in the small garrison at 1802, so I had to fight it out a round, or throw away one of the big ones against a solid Kzinti fleet. The CV may get converted to a CVD, or just repaired and returned to the front. In the meantime, I did a fighting retreat over a POL and FF to destroy them for fighters, and ended up on 1502, which will allow the cripples to Strat back to real facilities.

As expected, Byron hit the supply tug in 1809 hard, but there was also a pinning battle in 1907, with a TAV3 (TGA+2xVP3) group, and I expected he’d retreat onto that. He didn’t, to stay in 1907, which allowed me an almost-even battle there (helped by having fighters to absorb damage).

I had reacted a bunch of ships onto BATS 2609, which I had damaged on my turn, and finished if off here. Byron wasn’t sure if he was happy that I’d had to fight the BATS twice, or upset that he’d let me take it out on his turn. The downside was it had meant abandoning a pile of cripples in 2810, which he wiped out.

2715 was another case of catching me with too few ships available, and he killed a forward FRD that I’ve been counting on. I was worried that he might try to take out the BATS there as well, but he would have completely wrecked his force in the attempt.

Byron more-or-less just pinned the trapped Romulan force in 3207, and realized later that he needed to pay more attention to it, as even out of supply it still had decent ComPot (26 to his 41). Crippling the SUB wasn’t what I really wanted, but it’s a single ship to repair, it’s buried in an intact group, and it was already out of fighters.

After discounting the 100 points my tenuous hold on the Hydran capital, the VPs for the turn show just how much my grip is slipping:

Coalition: 429.4 EP (x2) + 589 (bases) + 841 ships (/5) + 100 (Hydran Capital) = 1884.2
Alliance: 324.6 EP (x2) + 500 (bases) + 715 ships (/5) = 1435.2

That’s still a Decisive Victory, but it goes down to Major without the capital, which I probably won’t have next turn. The Alliance still has some major problems to overcome, but Byron is prying the strategic initiative from me all over the board. The Romulans are in many ways my best hope, and their navy is a bit fragile yet.