The Federation’s push continues, with both the President and Shadow President taking control of systems at the end of cycle 206 and both preparing systems for expansion in 207. Winters took control of Lula for 44 Command Capital (CC), while Hyades Sector GH-V d2-135 now gives Hudson an extra 40CC, although it also contests 8CC of Mahon’s income – a move which may cause some tension down the road. At the time of writing, Winters has a huge 450,000 merit lead into their expansion of Mbambiva, potentially earning them 28CC if they succeed, but possibly more significantly robbing Patreus of 22CC and Mahon of 6CC. Meanwhile Hudson has a rather puzzling expansion in Lenty – one that would actually lose them 3CC, while apparently not contesting or blocking anybody else. We’ll let you know if we discover more on Federation thinking in this area.
Li-Yong Rui faced probable sabotage last cycle that forced Sirius Corporation to start expansion into the system of Xang Tzu – one which would have heavily contested Hudson territory. The situation was resolved by a large about of undermining, throwing the power into turmoil, and aborting the expansion. The turmoil appears to have been precisely calculated to stop the expansion but otherwise cause minimal collateral damage, with only one system in potential revolt. With strong fortification so far this cycle, LYR seems likely to retain the system, emerge unscathed, and without contesting any Hudson territory.
Exactly who caused this turmoil is unclear, as Sirius rules of engagement forbid friendly fire. However SAGi reporters did talk to one battle-scarred veteran in the lobby of the Federation Office of Plausible Deniability who growled:
“Look, the President says shoot somebody, I shoot them, even if they do sell nice cheap ships. The way I hear it, we started a battle to prevent a war.”
We also hear reports from last cycle of a strong attempt to undermine and turmoil Zemina Torval’s forces. However a solid defence and counter-fortification meant that the Imperial forces held, and turmoil was avoided. Fingers were pointed towards the Federal United Command of Hudson and Winters pilots. The response to our inquiries has been waggled eyebrows and grins from Federation pilots, so we’ll take that as a ‘yes’.
Arissa Lavigny-Duval is once again attempting to expand to Simyr, but at time of writing is trailing by nearly 100,000 merits. However, being a combat-expansion power means the Emperor can hold huge numbers of merits in reserve until late in the cycle, so GalNet does not reveal the full picture — and things could change rapidly here.
Meanwhile, her niece Aisling Duval is attempting to expand to Runo. This system would be income-neutral and appears to make her no CC, nor does it contest any other power’s plans. Possibly as a result, action on both sides of the expansion has been slow, and currently there is a lead of only 27,000 merits – a relatively tiny amount compared to the massive hauling potential usually available to the Princess.
Looking at the preparation status so far this cycle, Lavigny-Duval and Yuri Grom both have significant unplanned pushes that they will need to address before cycle end. Mahon, Duval, Antal and Patreus have all fully consolidated already, while Hudson, Winters and Torval have yet to make a decisive move with their lists filled by low-volume random choices; no doubt they will also make choices later in the cycle. And finally, Delaine’s pirates continue their regular activity of prepping and then failing to expand to the system of Atata.
Sagittarius Eye Breaking News team