In Y140 the Romulans instituted the latest in a series of upgrades to their fleet. To test the new designs, they conducted a recon in force along the edge of Federation space, heading towards the Klingon Empire. In one of the increasingly rare cases of amity between the two governments, they sent a small joint force to halt the incursion.

Well, not really, if the Enterprise is to be mystified by Cloaking Devices and Plasma Torpedoes in about 16 years, but I wasn’t going to have two entirely new races in one battle (the Romulans still occasionally fight the Gorns in this period). The point was a tactical exercise with plasmas and sub-light ships (which I’ve never used before).


Romulan Fed+Klink
VUL 77 CL 98
WB 51 FF 71
WB 51 D6 113
H-S 47 F5 71
H-S 47
SNS 40
SNS 40
Total 353 353

With 10 heavy plasmas (4 Rs), the Romulans had a lot of ability to cause hurt. It may also be that the Romulans ‘stack’ well in a fleet action in this case. But when things go wrong there’s just not much they can do.

On the first turn the Klingons did a range 15 pass (to get the F5 in range), and the VUL bolted an R, hitting and knocking down a shield on the D6. I really hadn’t expected the hit.

Two volleys of proximity torpedoes from the Feds hit 4 for 4, which combined with the Klingons started seriously eroding the front three shields on the VUL. This forced me into the expected tactics with Romulans: cloak most of the time to force the enemy close, and maintain flexibility with Impulse Tac. I initially avoided this, I think from instincts learned on the KR, which only cloaks in emergencies.

Our final close pass of the day ended up with the CL taking internals (another bolted R hit and went right through the shields and armor), and light damage to the F5 (a pair of Gs), vs. three internals (taken on armor) on a Hawk. I got lucky on the internals and did good weapon damage.

It was fun, different, and interesting, but I think that’s enough of that. Probably should have gone for a lower-BPV fight, but I wanted to make sure that everyone had something to work with, which made it hard to keep the Klingon/Fed force total down. Technically I won, and the Mark and Patch think that it was weighted in my favor. Maybe it was. But more effort on getting same-shield, same-ship shots would probably be worthwhile. These ships do not have many internals for their size, once you get through some excellent shielding.

Mostly, the Romulan ships do very well with the options they’ve got. Fire, cloak, turn off fire control to recharge batteries (needed for the R on the War Bird), and do some shield repair. Even the diminutive Snipe does very well at this.

Not the Vulture. With 18 power, it needs 1.5 for life support, 4 for shields, and 6 to cloak. This leaves 6.5 to pay for two Rs (4) and everything else. If it repairs a shield box and charges both Rs, it has 0.5 to trickle back into the battery. About the only way I can see to keep it from eventually running out of battery power is to wait a turn on starting one of the Rs, which means the VUL is flirting with a 4-turn arming cycle. Or maybe decloak it for an entire turn when it fires. (An option denied to me by my attempt at running mostly uncloaked at first.)

There’s a couple of one-on-one actions at this point in the history that we’re going to try to do on-line. So right now we’re in Y141 and the Klingons are field-testing ph-1s. We figure our next face-to-face meeting will be set in Y143 and will be a fight to show off the new Command Cruisers that the Klingons and Federation get in that year.