Last cycle saw Imperial forces brought to a standstill by both Federation and independent forces. There was a lot of fighting in both Winters and Hudson’s targeted expansion systems. Winters-aligned cargo haulers faced their most significant resistance in a while and had to be quick on their feet, calling in frequent support from fighting ships to help clear the skies.
“There’s nothing like jumping into a system to see a radar full of enemy blips to get the adrenaline pumping. Call me crazy, but it sure livens up a haul,” said Cmdr Foursyth of the Winters Resource Management Division.
With Imperial forces split opposing both Federation expansions it was always going to be a tough fight, but in the end, Federation groups managed to take both systems they had prepared for expansion. Albicevci became part of the Shadow President’s territory, while Hudson narrowly managed to gain control of Mombaluma.
In addition, both Federation groups have profitable expansions underway. At the time of writing, Winters has a strong 350,000 merit lead in Lulua, while Hudson’s expansion into Hyades Sector GH-V d2-135 is currently too close to call.
The only Imperial expansion in progress last cycle was Emperor Lavigny-Duval‘s attempt at the ex-Winters system of Simyr, which appeared to fail by a significant margin. No Imperial forces have any expansions underway this cycle. This loss of momentum, and the failure to stop enemy progress, will no doubt cause consternation in the Imperial court.
While the focus was on the Imperial versus Federation fight, independent forces were also hard at work taking control of highly profitable ex-Winters systems. Mahon took Xiriwal and its surrounding sphere (+28CC), and Li Yong-Rui took Hyades Sector EB-X d1-110 (+39CC). Li Yong-Rui is currently expanding to Xang Tzu; however, this system is unlikely to make them any profit and contests significant territory with Hudson. Their consolidation at the end of the last cycle was seen to fall only just short of the 75% required to avoid this expansion, so it is suspected this may be an act of sabotage, rather than Sirius Corporation trying to provoke a costly war.
Looking at the systems being prepared for expansion so far, Mahon and Patreus have both consolidated already and look unlikely to change their minds. Grom has a loss-making preparation that is most likely the work of rogue agents and will need to consolidate or out-prepare it with another system. Aisling Duval is in a similar spot, but appears to be throwing some late weight behind the system of Runo. While this system would be revenue-neutral, it would be better than her loss-making current top target of Nakaruwuti. All the other powers have either no significant preparation targets, or they have ones from the usual troublemakers and saboteurs, and will likely make moves later in the cycle.
As always, the last day of the cycle is expected to see some dramatic changes, so keep your eyes on the GalNet power boards.
Sagittarius Eye Breaking News team