Faced with the Lyran navy solidly packed behind it’s defenses, and the Klingons massing on the border, Belirahc didn’t make any attacks on his half of the first turn, making it very fast to go through.

At least his raids went better than mine. He picked on little out of the way places with no defenders, and handily defeated the police ships that I called up to defend myself. As a result, two Lyran provinces are disrupted for the next turn (lowering their economic output).

And now a few words about new toys:

The Kzinti are the primary carrier-using race. They start off with more carriers than anyone else, and can be counted on to build at least one carrier per turn. So, they rely on using fighters to take (free!) damage on, as well as to keep their offensive potential up. Once the fighters are gone for the turn, the Kzinti navy isn’t nearly so much of a threat.

The problem is, even with all those carriers to operate as spares, it only takes a round or two to start running out of fighters.

So, Advanced Operations introduces the FCR, Fast Carrier Resupply ship, which can carry, but not operate a squadron of fighters. These provide reloads, allowing carrier forces to operate longer, and the Kzinti to fight longer while only burning fighters which are replaced for free after combat is over.

Of course, the Kzinti aren’t the only ones to get them. The Klingons find them every bit as useful, for instance, though it takes longer for the Klingon carrier force to really become worthwhile.

I was slightly surprised at Belirahc’s actual builds:
Kzinti: CV, CLD, DD, FFE, FCR, MON, 4xPDU

The CV and the FCR are there, but he didn’t bother building a full escort group for the carrier. The Kzintis start the game without enough heavy escorts to go around, and this is putting himself further behind. I’m guessing he’s planning on just putting everything on MECs as fast as he can after they start showing up next turn, but it takes a while to get enough medium cruisers to go around. In the mean time, I’m going to have to lean on his escorts as hard as I can.

On the other hand, his only light cruiser was built as a CLD, which is about as good of a EW platform as he’s got right now. It’s still only 2 EW points, but he just doesn’t have anything better at the moment.

(I should also note that he didn’t get any new heavy cruisers either.)