Grom’s turmoil

Dictator Yuri Grom’s domain fell into turmoil at the end of the last cycle when he was 385 Command Capital (CC) short of paying for his upkeep. His default surplus is currently the highest of any Power at 650 CC, but ten systems being undermined cost him 1,128 CC in upkeep. Grom’s supporters fortified only four systems, saving 93 CC in upkeep. No systems were cancelled as the undermining merits were redeemed late in the cycle. In other words, they were ‘sniped’.


So far, no group has taken responsibility for the attack, but many Powers had an interest in it. Grom’s four active expansions last cycle would have contested 84 CC from Hudson, 45 CC from Mahon, 10 CC from Winters and 8 CC from Lavigny-Duval. The turmoil caused all four expansions to fail.


In addition, three valuable control systems are at risk due to the turmoil: Frey, San Guan and Garm. Frey was previously held by Hudson, Garm by Torval and San Guan by Delaine and Mahon. They are worth a combined 127 CC at maximum overheads or 160 CC at current overheads. If Grom’s forces do not fortify to a high enough ending balance, these systems will revolt and become available for preparation by other Powers.


Despite the turmoil, four new expansions have been prepared: Xi Ophiuchi, Gatorma, Ninsun and LHS 3705. Only Xi Ophiuchi was prepared throughout the cycle and received 33,432 merits. The other three were added on the last day with less than 2,000 merits each. If Grom comes out of turmoil and completes all four expansions, they will cost him 222 CC at maximum overheads and contest Hudson, Delaine and Mahon for 122, 76 and 19 CC, respectively. It would require a lot more work than Grom’s supporters have put in since EGP’s decision to focus less on Powerplay.


Control activities elsewhere

Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval again closely avoided turmoil as six undermined systems costing 489 CC took her ending surplus down to 115 CC. Due to a similarly low ending balance for cycle 228, consolidation has not strengthened her undermining triggers this cycle. Her forces will need to be extra vigilant this cycle and the next, as the Emperor will be more vulnerable than usual.


Simguru Pranav Antal’s supporters were able to end on a much safer 665 CC ending balance this cycle, which will provide them with the maximum 50% defense bonus in cycle 231. However, due to cycle 229’s ending balance of 32 CC Utopia will be more vulnerable this cycle with minimal undermining triggers.


President Zachary Hudson continues to endure undermining activities in his space as seven systems reached the undermining threshold. Hudson’s forces fortified the affected systems, resulting in a safe ending balance of 583 CC. In total, it cost 102,262 merits to undermine the systems, while their fortification cost only 45,547 merits.


Expansions or the lack thereof

Senator Zemina Torval failed her weaponized expansion attempt into Biham last cycle, which would have cost her 63 CC, contested Delaine for 54 CC, and contested Hudson for 21 CC. She prepared a new weaponised expansion, this time to Eitha Di. It seems to be an alternative to Areklici, the system 8.33 Ly away which she attempted to expand to in cycle 228. Triggers in Eitha Di are more favorable than in Areklici due to the loss of corporate governments in the latter sphere. Otherwise, the expansions are very similar. Eitha Di costs Torval 56 CC at maximum overheads and contests Winters for 34 CC.


Shadow President Winters and Emperor Lavigny-Duval were the only other Powers with expansions last cycle. Both were weaponised expansions, likely intended to both distract the opponent and block fifth column expansions. Winters’ Baal was easily opposed with only 13,590 merits due to triggers heavily favouring opposition. Lavigny-Duval’s LHS 184 on the other hand was opposed with an impressive 426,166 merits. With this feat, Hudson’s supporters proved to be wary of the expansion as the triggers slightly favoured expansion.


Aside from Grom and Torval’s expansion, no other Powers prepared any expansions for this cycle. Lavigny-Duval was mechanically unable to due to her low ending balance from cycle 228. Hudson, Winters and Delaine had started preparing contesting expansions to block those from the fifth column, but decided to consolidate by the end of the last cycle.


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