Crossposted from the SFU blog on BGG.

Turn 5 is never pleasant for the Alliance. There’s been plenty of time for the Coalition’s material and economic superiority to be felt, and there’s another two turns until the Federation gets involved, one way or another. However, last turn’s twin capital assaults did a lot of damage… to the Coalition fleets, and it was possible I was looking at a respite because of that.

The relatively low number of things to spend EPs on means Belirahc is still trying to find things to do with the Lyran economy. The Lyrans overbuilt another 3 DWs this turn (they also overbuilt 3 on turn 3), and he’s finally taking the Lyran ability to convert catamaran to trimaran ships seriously. He also accelerated next turn’s CA, which leaves me wondering what he’ll do next turn….

The Lyran mobile base in 0902 is now set up, which finally puts most of Kzinti space in supply range of Lyran units. He immediately paid to upgrade it to a BATS, and paid for two PDUs. From our conversations, he’s obviously planning on handing planet 1001 over to the Lyrans and setting up the PDU there.

Meanwhile Klingon production is fairly boring, other than the fact that they built three PDUs of their own.

Movement concentrated entirely in the Hydran theater at first, before switching over to Kzinti space. Not entirely sure of his intentions, I mostly stayed on the capital, with only minimal defenders on the two remaining starbases. While he didn’t go for the capital, he is pressing into the backfield, and the link between the Old Colonies and the capital, which I did my best to defend against. He also gave me a couple of small opportunities. A stack of crippled Lyrans passed back out of Hydran space, and I pinned one with the fighters of a BATS they were passing near. After everything else was committed, he moved a Lyran DD into 0816, possibly meaning for the Lyrans, instead of the Klingons, to claim the province. I detached a RN from the captial to squash that.

Kzinti space got very messy as he finally started trying to disrupt the provinces that he was unlikely to be able to control (such as the one the Kzinti capital is in), and tried to cut off the Marquis area from the main grid. This was a problem for me, as I didn’t have much in the Barony to react with, and some of the action was out of range of the capital, leaving me to dole out ships from the fleet sitting on the major planet in 1502. By the ending parts of movement, I was surprised when he actually sent Lyran and Klingon forces into the capital, I had managed to convince myself that this going to be a purely regrouping turn.

Kzinti front

Hydran front

0114: Hydran: dest BATS; Lyran: crip DD, 2xFF
0315: Hydran: dest BATS; Klingon: dest 2xE4
0515: Hydran: dest BATS; Klingon: crip F5
0714: Hydran: dest BATS; Klingon: dest F5
1303: Kzinti: crip CL
0415: Hydran: fighters (independent squadron); Lyrans: dest cripFF
0816: Lyran: dest DD
1701: SSC; both sides retreat.
0117: SSC; Hydran retreat.
0215: Hydran: dest SB; Lyran: crip STT, 3xCW, CL, DW
0519: Hydran: 2 PDU, crip AH; Klingon: crip 2xF5L, 2xF5, capture planet
0716: Hydran: dest HR, SB ; Klingon: crip D6, 5xD5, dest 2xD5
0319: Lyran: dest CW, DW
0718: Hydran: crip HR, 2xTR, dest HN; Klingon: crip E4, E4A, dest 2xD7, D6, dest E4
1301: Kzinti: dest CLE, EFF; Klingon: dest D5, F5L
1702: Klingon: crip 2xF5
1601: Kzinti: crip BC; Klingon: crip F5
1502: Kzinti: crip CM, dest 3xPDU; Klingon: crip D6M, D5, dest 3xD7, 2xD5
1401: Kzinti: Kzintai: FRD; Keevarsh II: 2xPDU, devastated; Vielsalm II 2xPDU; crip MEC, dest CL, capture DW; Lyran: crip CW, dest CA, 2xCL, 2xDW, DWS, DD, 3xFF; Klingon: crip D7C, D5, E4A

Overall, things went well on the Hydran front—if you can call losing most of the fixed defenses on the cheap ‘going well’. The biggest problem is that I didn’t have enough to keep the Klingons from taking 0519, which makes the connection between the Old Colonies and the capital tenuous at best. At the moment, it is intact, but something is going to have to be done.

Kzinti space was a real mixed bag. I wasn’t able to keep him from disrupting every province on the board (other than 1801, which he can’t go into), but the connection between the Marquis area and the main grid (via the Barony) is intact. He managed to kill an FRD (oops) and devastate another planet, while knocking the defenses off yet another, but the cost in ships is high, and he’s already not doing too well in that department.

Belirahc still needs to figure out his carrier doctrine. He’s using them, but often he’s not taking damage on the fighters. Certainly, he has no reloads available most of the time, which means once the fighters are gone, the carriers are not of much use. However, with the current escorts, the ComPot density of the groups are low enough that the only real point of the carriers is to absorb damage and not need repairs afterward.

During retrograde, I’m gratified to see a nice backlog of cripples moving back to Coalition space, but this turn has pointed up that I need to do something about my backlog as well. Outside of carrier groups, the Kzintis do not have very many intact ships left.

Belirahc is getting quite serious about holding the space he has taken. The Lyrans are now setting up a MB and a PDU at 0416, and are also setting up a MB at 1001. Meanwhile the Klingons are setting up a PDU and MB each at 1202 and 1504.

At the moment, most new Lyran forces are headed for Hydran space, while Klingon builds are going to Kzinti space. It will be interesting to see what he does next turn, because if he wants to do a Turn 7 invasion of the Federation (which I’m guessing is unlikely), a lot of ships may need to pull out of other areas.