I wrote this up several weeks ago and forgot to add it after the forums came back online...
This was a game of a lot of logistics, a bit of diplomacy, and a few tactics thrown in for good measure.
The Klingon HW was located at planet 127 “Hercules” (2614, 2199). Initial emphasis was to get scouts out to identify my neighbors and push for the eastern edge of the map while expanding as far north and south as possible. Klingon shiplist is great, but the economy has to be there to build the really good ships.
First contact was to see the Tholian near the edge of the map to my SE. I aggressively pushed as far as I could and started dropping a few minefields along where I wanted to establish a border. Attempts to reach the Tholian went unanswered, but he seemed content to not push it across the border I laid out.
Soon after I noted the Tholian, I saw a Fed Kearsarge Crusier and a freighter headed my direction from my SW closer to the center of the map and a few Romulan freighters several hundered LY to my north. The Fed and I got in a race to grab planets and eventually a quasi-border was established. I approached the Fed about establishing a border/NAP to allow us to focus in other directions as well as the possibility of some trade (refitting ships in exchange for some cloakers). I offered to build and supply a SB for the Fed if he would provide refitting services and, in return, I provided him with a few very capable cloakers. He agreed and we established the NAP. As a part of the negotiations, the Fed revealed that he had a border NAP with the Orion to his west and wanted to focus his attention on the ISC and Gorn to his S and SW. My intent was to focus on the Romulan to my N and possibly the Tholian to my SE. This trade arrangement and the NAP/alliance with the Fed that followed was the key negotiation which led to this victory. Wolverine (Fed) has my stamp of approval as a great ally and covered my SW flank for the duration of the game.
After a bit working with the Fed within the NAP and reaping the benefits of the trade agreement, I approached the Fed about joining in a full-blown alliance with the intent of conducting combined Fed/Klingon operations. He agreed with the alliance and then I got a surprise… He was already allied with the Tholian! (Note to players… The fact that you are already in an alliance is noteworthy in any future negotiations about alliances! This is the third time I have had this happen to me in a VGAP game!) Though surprised, I offered to ally with the Tholian as well, but he wasn’t interested (which was fine with me). Through discussions with the Fed, the Tholian and I agreed to honor our existing border and fight our separate wars. This secured my entire southern border which only required minimal picketing from that point on using new production ships as they moved toward the front.
While I was negotiating with the Fed, I was conducting a run-and-gun battle between Klingon and Romulan ships to my north. He scared the crap out of me when a Condor Class Dreadnought appeared a couple of hundred LY north of my HW. He missed a turn as I dumped several minefields around the cloaking Dreadnought then I hit it with two popping D6 Cruisers to damage it for a follow-up kill. I had ships inbound and was about to pop another D6 when I realized his ship hadn’t moved… He had overextended and run his strongest ship out of fuel! I towed the Dreadnought to a nearby SB and gained a VERY heavy scout.
By this time, my heavy scouts had reached the NE corner of the map and I was pushing west until I hit firm resistance near the Romulan core planets. My heavier forces (my first Carriers, Dreadnoughts, and BattleCruisers) were following up from the south toward the Romulan HW. I noted that the Hydran (Robot) was attacking the Romulan from the west so I got in a race with him to see who could grab the most Romulan real estate. We met near the Romulan HW and I grabbed about a dozen planets from the Hydran in short order with cloakers. In his defense, the Hydran was fully engaged against an enemy to his west and was slowly getting pushed back toward Romulan space. Over about a dozen turns, I saw that the Andromedan (Borg) and Orion, with some support from the Gorn were methodically sweeping and pushing into Hydran space. It became obvious that the Hydran was going solo against a “Gorn/Orion/Andromedan Triad” (GOAT). Can’t remember if I mentioned, but Hydran minefields are VERY impressive. He used them to an excellent tactical advantage throughout the game.
After some gunboat diplomacy where I had grabbed that dozen Hydran planets, I approached him with an offer… He could fight both the GOAT and the Klingon Empire, or he could ally with the Klingon Empire in a regional alliance so we did not do the work of the GOAT for them by decimating each other (I did inform him that I was allied with the Fed down south). I also offered the dozen planets back to him as tribute and would need one of his core worlds as a forward logistics base. He provided me with a high-population Amorph planet which later I popped a low tech D6 over for the supplies. At this point the Hydran was able to shift his eastern forces back to face his GOAT threat and I reorganized my scattered ships to traverse Hydran space undetected.
Once I exchanged .rst files with the Hydran, I noted that the Andromedan was pushing across the north side of Hydran space with a Dreadnought and a couple of Borg Transports (Fireclouds). My immediate concern was that the GOAT may chunnel in a significant force to the north of the Hydran and pincer him before I could get sufficient forces in place to assist him. My first action was to attack with the only ship I had near the north side of Hydran space. One Andromedan Dreadnought and one Borg Transport had penetrated almost to my border across the north of the Hydran to a position near the center of the top edge of the map. What I intended to be a delaying action sure to gain final honor for the crew of the lone BattleCruiser in the area resulted in an attack on an Andromedan Dreadnought with no torps left onboard and destruction of both the Dreadnought and Borg Transport! Great valor was shown and appropriate honors were bestowed on that BattleCruiser crew!
I proceeded to send one Battle Group in a race across Hydran space and a smaller force across north of Hydran space to push the Andromedan back and remove the threat of a multi-front battle for my new ally. My forces arrived just as the Andromedan was making his final push on some key Hydran planets. The dispersed Andromedan force of several Dreadnoughts, Carriers and Borg Transports were introduced to the Klingon Imperial Navy in a dramatic fashion. One Klingon ship attained the ultimate honor that day. There were no Andromedan survivors. Following that ambush, the remainder of the fight getting to the NW corner of the map was a large-scale withdrawal action for the Andromedan with multiple planets per turn falling to a four-pronged assault by Klingon and Hydran ships. The B10 Battleships (SSDs) were most effective at capturing planets with the Starbase infrastructure intact which allowed for immediate ship production… often using components meant for Andromedan ships.
Once my forces reached the NW corner of the map, all Klingon forces wheeled to the south and started attacking south through the remainder of Andromedan space into Orion territory. My Hydran ally wanted to continue his attack to the western edge of the map so I was in the process of transiting across his targeted space and about to start the attack on the Orion territory in force when the Gorn proposed an end to the game.
About the time the Andromedan and Klingons were first getting introduced, a problem arose on the Federation front. My Fed ally and his Tholian friend had hastened the destruction of the ISC and were now fully engaged with the Gorn along the center of the southern edge of the map. The Fed had the problem that, while the Orion had agreed to not attack him, Orion sensibilities had no issue with allowing Gorn ships to attack the long western Fed flank from Orion space. The Fed did not want to counterattack back into Orion territory and bring the Orion into open conflict with his western flank so exposed, so we decided both sides could use the same tactic. I diverted a Battle Group headed toward the Hydran front across Fed space and captured the first line of Orion planets on the Fed border. After liberal use of minefields and the picketing of a full Klingon Battle Group, the threat to the Fed western flank was no longer an issue and he was free to concentrate his forces in his fight against the Gorn down south.
In an effort to push this game along, I finally changed tactics and assembled a large force on the Fed border to drive through Orion space toward Gorn territory. No idea if they ever would have made it, but they promised to make a mess on the way! So… The game ends with five large Klingon Battle forces attacking north-to-south across the remains of Andromedan territory into Orion space. Two large Klingon Battle forces were starting to drive through Orion territory from Federation space to open a new front against the Gorn. My Hydran ally was mopping up the remains of the Andromedan territories in a RGA frenzy by conducting RGA attacks over numerous planets simultaneously while slowly capturing the remnants. My Federation ally continued in his slugfest with the Gorn at the southern edge of the map. Once I allied with the Hydran and introduced the Hydran and Fed, the Fed’s task was to keep the Gorn occupied while the Klingon and Hydran ran rampant through Andromedan and then Orion territories. He (and the Tholian) fulfilled that mission with aplomb.
1) Trade agreement with the Fed for refitting services! That one decision allowed me to focus on building Starbases and getting them to hull tech 8/9 for Dreadnought and Carrier hulls. For about 30 turns, I had a ship being refitted at two or three different Starbases I set up for Fed Refits. I don’t know how many capital ships and cloakers I gave Wolverine for that service, but it wasn’t enough. By turn 100 or so, all my SB tech levels were high enough that this no longer was necessary.
2) I committed to clan growth taxation early on and stuck with it… Even when I felt like I needed more cash NOW! At the end of the game, about half of my planets have more than 1,000,000 colonists and more than 20% have over 5,000,000 colonists. I have one planet with over 250,000 MC waiting to TX$ to any newly captured planet for immediate upgrade to a tech 10 Starbase.
1) Scout early… Scout aggressively. Every planet you capture becomes another intel sensor.
2) Secure a boundary if possible to focus your fight. Especially if you find yourself in the middle of the Echo Cluster.
3) If someone approaches you, talk to them (having a public e-mail on C-M helps a LOT with negotiations. It takes too long to work out details over game chat.)
4) I have little respect for folks who quit to start another game once they know they are in a losing situation. Some of my most fun games have been when I was getting my butt kicked. That allows for daring tactics and “forlorn hope” attacks. Once things were headed south, the Romulan departed without comment and then the Andromedan handed most of his ships off to his Gorn ally to use against the Fed down south while leaving his territory largely unprotected.
5) This game became one of three regional alliances against a triad. The southern regional alliance (Fed/Tholian) kept the Gorn so involved in a meat grinder action that he was not able to effectively contribute against the Klingon/Hydran up north. The Fed/Klingon in the center watched each other’s backs and covered our borders to allow the other parts of the actions to work. This dispersed approach negated the advantages of the Andromedan Borg Transport network by keeping the pressure on across the entire front. They could never focus on one area without putting another at risk.
6) The old adage about, “Tactics win battles, Logistics win wars” was once again proven true. I focused on my economy early on and it paid off in a big way once I was steamrollering across Andromedan territory. Without the resources to immediately put SB back in place and get more capital ship builds, my fleets would have effectively ground to a halt.
7) Offensive mining works! Defensive mining work too! Minefields took away my enemy’s mobility across all my battle fronts. Hydran (Robot) minefields are a beautiful thing to behold if he gives you a pass to drive through them… Otherwise, they are a nightmare!
Mining doesn’t work if you don’t keep the threat of a mobile force capable of crushing anyone who messes with your minefields.
9) Grab opportunities when they pop up, even if there is a cost! Twice my cloakers caught the Orion with a stack of ships sitting over one of his border planets getting ready to go cause mayhem. Both times cost him over 20 ships to the loss of my one pop ship and a carrier. Interestingly, the first time was a carrier name “Guardian Attack” (All my carriers were named “_____ Attack”… Made for some pretty stupid names eventually). I named another new construction ship after that one on the turn it was destroyed. The second time was by the second ship with that name
There will now always be a ship with that name in any Klingon fleet I play with…
This was a great game overall. Lots of stuff to keep me occupied for a year and a half… (Much to my wife's disappointment!) I wish the opportunity had come up to cross swords with the Gorn in a force-on-force battle, but it was the only the second time I got to mix it up with some of the recent transplants to C-M and they proved themselves to be great allies and opponents. (My first No Frills game against the new folks in town didn’t turn out so well
I'll see if I can capture a few screenshots to add.