CEO Li Yong-Rui’s Sirius forces returned to normal business with no further loss, retaining the two profitable systems that were in turmoil, with a significant net gain in profitability after a well-managed shedding of loss-making systems. After the excitement comes a calm, with no current expansion, and at the moment no strong move towards preparing new expansions.

 

Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon is expanding to Lundji, a system only just shed by Felicia Winters’ large turmoil a few cycles ago (after being removed from Yuri Grom’s control in cycle 226). Should it succeed it will be worth 16 Command Capital (CC) per cycle to him, and with expansion triggers almost exactly balanced, he currently has a slight lead of 5000 merits over his opposition.

 

Princess Aisling Duval’s expansion to the distant system of Wilintae was defeated last cycle by 22,000 merits. Since the system would have been a massive 67 CC lossmaker, this will no doubt come as a relief to her treasurers.

 

Shadow President Felicia Winters is still reeling from the turmoil that saw the loss of fourteen profitable systems, and is expanding to the system of Andavandul. While it is a profitable system at current reduced overheads, there are more profitable choices nearby, and our accountants inform us that this was likely the best system she could begin expansion in with the limited amount of CC at her disposal at the time. The expansion is currently almost unopposed and has a lead of 15,000 merits.

 

Last cycle President Zachary Hudson secured the system of Mulungu, creating an extra 25 CC in profit per cycle. Although the fighting was extremely fierce with nearly equal triggers, Hudson eventually won by the substantial margin of 280,000 merits. This cycle Hudson is expanding to LHS 1681, a barely-profitable system, but the triggers are massively in his favour and he currently has a large and almost unopposed lead. If nothing else, it will fill a hole in his defenses that might have been used against him in future.

 

Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval is doing very much the same thing expanding to Yab Cameni. It is also barely profitable, but fills a hole in her borders, and with very favourable expansion triggers it too has a strong lead.

 

Senator Zemina Torval successfully expanded to the system of Hesa last cycle. Expansion triggers were against the Imperials, but with sparse opposition they did what was needed to secure a narrow victory. The lack of a solid Federation opposition was puzzling to onlookers. Maybe they were focused on Hudson’s fight in Mulungu, but another factor may have been the system costs. While Hesa contests 26 CC of Winters, it also costs Torval 66 CC per cycle, and exactly which power came out worse in that exchange is unclear. This cycle, Torval once again tries to expand into LHS 184, which would cost both her and Hudson around 55 CC. Previous attempts have been defeated by extremely narrow margins, however during this cycle changes in local government alignments have doubled Torval’s expansion triggers, dropping her from a 4:1 advantage to only a 2:1 advantage.

 

Dictator Yuri Grom suddenly dropped consolidation from over 50% to below 30% at the end of the last cycle, and is preparing four systems – Xi Ophiuchi, Yimanbin, Areklici and Soch. The first three are all net-negative-weaponised systems, costing Grom more than they hurt his opponents — together they cost a total of 184 CC while contesting 39 CC with Winters, 38 CC with Torval, 26 CC with Hudson, 11 CC with Mahon and 4 CC with Patreus. The fourth system, Soch, costs Grom 24 CC and contests 48 CC with Lavigny-Duval and a further 12 CC against Torval – both his allies in the ZYADA pact. If there is any coherent plan being executed by Grom’s forces, it is not apparent, and suspicions remain that Grom’s ability to meaningfully direct his forces remains severely limited. Most of these expansions should be reasonably straightforward to oppose with triggers either equal to or strongly against Grom. However Xi Ophiuchi has triggers 6:1 in favour of expansion, and will be extremely difficult to oppose.

 

Sagittarius Eye Breaking News team

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