With the collapse of the Kzinti front, I had a lot of problems to address….

Coalition income was at its lowest ebb since the scenario began, with most of the loss coming from the Klingons, who also had poor survey rolls for the third turn in a row.

Klingon: D7C, D7V, D6M, D5W, 7xD5, AD5, 3xF5W, 4xF5, 2xF5E, E4R, C8->C9A, D6->D6D, CL-K-CL, FFE->K-FFE
Romulan: CNV, FHF, SPC, 3xSPM, 2xSK, SKE, SEH, WE, SNB, WE->KE, BH->BHF
Lyran: BC, STT, NCA, 2xCW, CWE, DW, 2xDWE, 2xFF, FCR, FRD, FTM, CV->CVD, 2xFF->DW, BS(F)->BTS(F)

Repairs also hit an all-time high, though I managed to miss a couple Lyran DWs waiting on BATS for repairs. The Klingons alone spent 48 EP on repairs, and still had some backlog. The Lyrans are still struggling to get their repair cycle going. Since I was repairing a C8 anyway, and had a spare SFG kit, I converted it to a C9A, who will presumably only use the SFGs in relatively low-density battles. The Klingons also converted two captured Federation ships to their service to help with ship count (especially since one was already a light escort, so I could build fewer of those), while the Lyrans converted their one CV up to a CVD.

The Lyran raids hit a HN blocking supply in Hydran space, and crippled it, and Kzinti POL, which drew a DN(!) in reaction (I didn’t think he’d burn the reaction on it), which crippled the Lyran DNL. The Klingons hit a Fedeation POL & crippled FF, which escaped, another POL, which died while crippling a D5W, and raided a province near the capital. The Romulans went after two Federation, and one Gorn province, only one of which worked (two cloaked evasion rolls failed, and the Roms accepted a battle against Gorn BATS fighters, but the fighters survived while forcing the FFH to retreat).

The big goal for the turn was one I’d looked at two turns previous, but had to reject. The 3rd Fleet SB is in range of the major planet I hold in 2306, but with that area semi-permanently out of supply, the forces there can’t make it back. But this time, the partial grid was able to spend 7 stored EPs to supply 35 ships to move down, and move against the forward reserve in 2509. I needed to be able to hit the other reserves in the area, but just couldn’t find a way to do it that wouldn’t divert too much away from the SB.

Meanwhile the Romulans mostly pressed on Federation space, sending large forces to 3210 and 3509 (I hoped that the former would draw a reserve to help the Klingons… but no), as well as taking on another Gorn BATS behind the east border. I decided to leave the small Federation force on 1611 alone, hoping to cut them off by putting a small force on 1910. The major forces still in Kzinti space hit 1504, while another force hit 1407 to pin it down. The Klingons moved in on the Hydran capital again, though the Hydrans were able to react reinforcements in, and still keep enough on 0416 to keep the Lyrans from trying it.

Stepping carefully around the Hydrans.

Limited goals against the Kzinti.

Taking on the 3rd Fleet.

Renewing the Romulan drive into Federation space.

The Gorn Reserve on the Federation capital went to 2509 to free up a few ships in the reserve there, which then went to take 1910. The other two Federation reserves in the area went to the 3rd Fleet SB, while the 4th moved out of Gorn space to help 3509, and the Gorn reserve went to pound a SNB vs POL battle. The two (two-ship) Kzinti reserves went to help 1407.

1805: SSC: Kzinti: dest FF; Klingon: crip F5
1806: SSC: Federation: dest cripFF
1808: SSC: Federation: dest FF; Lyran: crip JGP-C
1910: Federation capture planet; Klingon: dest F5
0519: SSC: Hydran retreat
0515: SSC: Hydran: dest cripHN
0212: SSC: Hydran: dest HN
3808: Romulan: dest SNB
5006: Gorn: dest BATS; Romulan: crip K5
3314: Federation: dest FF; Romulan: crip SNB
3313: SSC: Nothing
3210: Federation: dest NCL, crip NCL, FF; Romulan: crip KRM, SK, capture planet
3209: SSC: Federation retreat
3509: Federation: dest FFE, 2xPDU, MON, SWAC, crip 3xNCL, 3xFF, planet devastated; Romulan: dest SP, SPF, SE; crip: 2xKE, 4xSP, SPF, SK, SKG, K5, BHE
2509: Gorn: dest CCH; Klingon: crip 2xD5, 3xF5
2408: SSC: Federation: dest POL; Klingon retreat
2407: SSC: Both retreat
2211: Federation: 2xSIDS, dest BT, DE, 3xFF, FFE, 2xSWAC, crip 8xNCL, DD, 4xFF; Klingon: dest SAF, D6J, D6S, AD5, F5L, F5, crip B10, D7C, 2xD7, D6M, 6xD5, AD5, F5L, 2xF5E, F5S; Lyran: dest STT, 2xDW, crip STJ
2210: SSC: Federation: dest POL
2108: Federation: dest FFS, crip DN+; Klingon: dest cripF5, E4, crip AD5, D5S, F5S
2007: SSC: Federation: dest cripFF, POL
1407: Kzinti: dest cripBC, crip CC; Klingon: crip D7, D5
1504: Kzinti: dest EFF, crip MC, 2xMEC; Klingon: dest D6D, crip F5, capture planet
0617: Hydran: dest DG, DWE, CU, crip CU; Klingon: dest D7, LTG, E4A, crip 2xD6, capital captured

The Federation left a tug near the Romulan border, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. After a CL reacted in, it was just above SSC level, but the Feds lost a FF, and then did a Fighting Retreat over 3313, where low rolls kept anything from happening there.

The Federation went a round over 3210, in an unequal fight that still cost the Romulans a shocked KRM, while the fight for 3509 went four rounds, with two of those with a bad split on rolls, and one with a blown offensive cloak attempt. The Romulans chewed through ~60 fighters, and took a lot of cripples, and suffered more mauler shock. The good news is that the fixed defenses are gone (on the second attempt here), which makes the planet more vulnerable in the future.

We both knew the 3rd Fleet SB fight was going to be nasty going in. I had a decided advantage in number of ships, but the Federation could out-ComPot me even without the SB, mostly due to being willing to put up plenty of CAs, and three battle tugs (one of which I mauled). Despite using a CP against nothing for the Feds, I was taking a lot of damage, and 100+ fighters lessened the pain, but still melted away too fast. I made some errors, such as assuming he wouldn’t direct to cripple the B10 when it was up unprotected (and there were rounds when he might have killed it), so it wasn’t available on the round when the SAF went in. I figured to max out minus points, sacrifice the D6J, and send in the SAF while the B10 froze a few ships for cheap mauling. Well, that didn’t happen, the disrupted SAF did no damage, and my troop assaults (which I should have started earlier), didn’t get anywhere, despite there being no backup troops in the hex for him, and the maulers generally shocked on the first roll. I might have been able to force the assault, but I’d have nothing left at the end of it.

The battle for the Hydran capital went three rounds. I was willing to kill as many Hydran ships as I could even if it wore out the West Fleet, but generally couldn’t do the damage for the cruisers. I was a bit surprised when the Hydrans retreated with a number of spare fighters left. I guess they figured there’ll be another day to keep me busy, and Coalition forces aren’t likely to get much stronger.

The failure at the 3rd Fleet SB puts the Coalition in an even bigger hole than it already was. The large concentration in NW Federation space that I was bleeding with also made sure that the 4th Fleet was stuck near it’s SB. Now that’s largely evaporated, and no doubt I will lose that foothold completely. Finally knocking out the 3rd Fleet SB would have been worth it, and opened other opportunities. Now I have the worst of both worlds, as I can be sure that the SB will be much better protected next turn; the 3rd Fleet had been bleeding ships, as I wanted before doing this push. But I just couldn’t keep the reserves out/away, and the only positive results are that the Romulans are in range of Earth, and they finished stripping the defenses off a major planet in front of their advance (if they could afford to advance…).