Last cycle news broke of several senior Pilots’ Federation members loyal to Yuri Grom deciding to focus their efforts elsewhere. More reports and interviews with Grom pilots followed, painting a confusing message about what exactly this meant, with some vowing to continue the fight against Hudson. What is clear is that Grom’s enemies both external and internal took advantage, and the Power is now in trouble with five profitable systems in open turmoil threatening to revolt. If Grom loses all of them, moderate amounts of Command Capital (CC) will be refunded to Archon Delaine (51CC), Edmund Mahon (16CC) and Zachary Hudson (17CC). The Dictator’s forces must now work hard to fortify his systems and drag themselves out of turmoil, though at the time of writing approximately a third of his systems have been fully undermined or cancelled by his enemies, and GalNet projections look grim at -2000CC. At the same time, Grom has three expansions in progress, all of them very costly to Grom, and also contesting significant CC with Mahon, Hudson and Winters. If Grom remains in turmoil all three will fail, and even if he avoids a second cycle of turmoil it is extremely unlikely he will have enough CC for any of them to succeed.
Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval failed to expand to the marginally profitable system of Belgitan. With only 26k merits earned for expansion, this was well below her usual efforts and a late snipe by her opposition was enough to deny her the system. Meanwhile the system of Caerape was prepared and is now in expansion. As the system is significantly unprofitable and appears to have little strategic value, the Emperor’s forces appear to show a similar lack of enthusiasm to win it.
Princess Aisling Duval finally won her expansion to Simyr, costing her 40CC per cycle and costing her fellow Imperial Zemina Torval 59CC per cycle. Simyr is so far from the Princess’ HQ that the effort required was huge – a massive 619 thousand tons were hauled by friendly forces, overwhelming the fairly moderate opposition. She now faces the task of hauling 24k tons of fortifications 227Ly every cycle to prevent the system being undermined by her enemies and costing an extra 96CC.
Torval also won an expansion to the system of Nanabozho with a late hard push by her haulers. This system costs her 59CC per cycle, but also contests 34CC from President Hudson. Torval’s other expansions to HIP 35209, LP 838-16 and LTT 4337 were all defeated – all were heavily “weaponised” expansions that would have cost Torval CC, but also removed income from Felicia Winters, Zachary Hudson, Edmund Mahon and Denton Patreus. Torval maintains the pressure on Winters by an attempted expansion to Mado, which if successful would cost Torval 79CC and Winters 43CC. At the time of writing the expansion is failing and the opposition is 25k merits ahead.
Denton Patreus attempted to expand to Moirai, costing himself 31CC and Hudson 42CC, but showed little appetite for the fight and was overwhelmed by the opposition, losing by 146k merits.
Meanwhile in Federation space, President Hudson has started an expansion attempt into Rati Irtii which will cost him 2CC and cost Yuri Grom 8CC, and he currently has a narrow lead. Shadow President Felicia Winters has an expansion to Malgariji and is also currently ahead. With current overheads the system would gain her 23CC.
So far all the Powers have either not put significant effort into preparation, or appear to be voting for full consolidation, channelling their CC into better defenses. This often changes near the end of the cycle, so keep your eyes on the GalNet screens!
Sagittarius Eye Breaking News team