Dictator Yuri Grom’s forces continue to show erratic behaviour and, as their consolidation bounced up and down over the 50% mark, they eventually prepared the system of Katuri. This system is so close to Grom’s HQ that its triggers are a huge 6:1 in favour of expansion, and if successful it will cost both Grom and Mahon 47 Command Capital (CC) per cycle. At the time of writing this expansion has almost no turned-in merits showing on GalNet; however, because Grom expands by combat, both sides may be holding significant off-board snipes until very late in the cycle. In addition, the top Grom preparation system at the moment is the nearby system of Meidubi which would similarly have 5:1 triggers in favour of expansion, cost Grom 49CC, and cost Mahon 24CC. It is unclear whether these are deliberate moves on Grom’s part, or if it is the result of internal strife, uncoordinated supporter action, or sabotage.


The other independent powers have been quiet for a while, letting the Imperials and the Federation slug it out, but the opportunities opened up by Grom’s large loss of systems saw some exciting action for them last cycle. The pirate forces of Archon Delaine fought a furious battle for the system of Madyanmana, which used to be an exploited system before Grom lost Boga. Both sides fought hard in the expansion, and both dropped heavy last-minute “snipes” with both sides nearly doubling in the last 30 minutes, with a combined total of over half a million merits earned. Madyanmana is a rich prize for Delaine, giving his forces 80CC profit per cycle, and also contesting 18CC with Pranav Antal’s Utopians.


At the same time Edmund Mahon’s Alliance forces secured Picunche, another ex-Grom exploited system before 26 Ophiuchi was lost. Despite difficult triggers, there was little opposition in the end. Mahon will be gaining 12CC per cycle from the system.


Federation forces also took advantage with President Zachary Hudson winning his expansion to Capricorni (previously exploited by Grom’s system of Namab). Fighting there was also fierce, although Hudson took an early lead and held on to it, eventually turning in over half a million merits into the expansion, and gaining 33CC per cycle in return. Hudson is now expanding to Mislika and hoping to pick up another 5CC from there and currently has a commanding lead.


Shadow President Felicia Winters is currently expanding to Baal, a system deep in the heart of Imperial space, and if successful it would cost her 60 CC while removing 115 CC per cycle from Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval. However, the triggers are 4:1 and at the time of writing the opposition have a huge lead of 183,000 merits.


On the Imperial side, only Zemina Torval had an expansion last week, continuing her costly push to harass Shadow President Felicia Winters. Her expansion to Amitae went through almost unopposed, costing her 59CC per cycle and Winters 19CC. Instead of receiving opposition to her expansion, seventeen of her systems reached the undermining threshold. The Senator’s loyalists were able to avoid turmoil by fortifying seven of the affected systems. She is now expanding to Areklici, a move which would cost her 37CC and Winters 39CC, though at the time of writing it faces strong opposition and trails by 22,000 merits. Admiral Patreus’s domain also saw substantial, but ultimately ineffective, undermining.


Other than the preparations discussed above, all other powers have yet to make a move, or have solidly consolidated, but it always gets interesting near the end of the cycle.


Sagittarius Eye Breaking News team 

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