Shadow President Felicia Winters faces her fifth column again this cycle, as three of her four active expansions are lossmakers and threaten to dig a hole in her default balance worth 163 Command Capital (CC) at maximum overheads. The lossmakers are very difficult to oppose, requiring 4.37 to 5.79 times more opposition merits than expansion merits. If all four expansions succeed, Winters loses overhead discounts worth 146 CC.

 

These expansions were prepared by saboteurs late in the prior cycle and were accompanied by an unexpected shift in the polls, as preparation soared to 60%, allowing the top four preparations to become expansions. Had this not occurred, the Federal Liberal Command’s only expansion would have been Velnians, which could earn Winters 17 CC at maximum overheads.

Meanwhile, Winters’ expansion to Albicevci succeeded without much opposition, earning her 16 CC at maximum overheads while also contesting Torval for 31 CC. At her currently reduced overheads, the system is worth 47 CC to Winters.

 

Dictator Yuri Grom continues to see saboteurs use remnants of his fleet like rebelling warlords, harming neighbouring Powers and the EG Union itself. The expansions to Eta-1 Pictoris and Belu have completed, costing the fleet 128 CC at maximum overheads and contesting Lavigny-Duval for 34 CC, Mahon for 29 CC and Patreus for 15 CC. The expansions to Likohochna and San Guan failed, with the former being a relief to Winters who it would have contested for 30 CC and the latter being a +56 CC powerhouse previously controlled by Grom, before he was turmoiled following the news of several high-ranking EG Pilots retiring.

 

This cycle, the warlords are expanding to LTT 9810, which was prepared with an unusually low 7,800 merits. The system would cost 59 CC at maximum overheads, reduce overhead discounts by 114 CC and contest Grom’s Imperial allies Torval and Aisling for 28 and 20 CC, respectively.

 

These acts of sabotage yet again prove that the consolidation vote has not solved the issue of fifth columns forming within Powers, preparing and expanding loss-makers which inflict nigh on permanent damage on a Power’s economy. Some argue that fifth column activities were the most significant factor to Winters’ and Grom’s decline over the last year. However, it is undeniable that the vote is a useful tool against saboteurs, as Powers which are able to achieve consolidation of at least 50% have been able to counter fifth column preparations by putting merits into blocker systems which are easier to cancel in the expansion phase. Other Powers are even able to cancel all unwanted preparations by achieving 75% consolidation or higher.

 

Senator Zemina Torval completed her weaponized expansion to LP 849-20, costing her 38 CC at maximum overheads, reducing her overheads discount by 25 CC and contesting Winters for 14 CC. It was a quiet affair, with only 2,880 merits put into the opposition by the end of the previous cycle. This cycle, Torval is expanding to BD-17 6081, which costs the senator 45 CC at maximum overheads and contests Hudon and Kumo for 49 and 29 CC respectively.

 

Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval failed in her weaponized expansion attempt to L 206-187 which would have contested Hudson and Grom for 101 and 6 CC, respectively. Similar to previous attempts, not much effort was put in by the Emperor’s forces and it was opposed by a large margin. This cycle the Emperor is attempting to expand to HIP 38747 which was recently lost by Winters. If she is able to overcome the trigger ratio requiring her to work twice as hard as the opposition, her default deficit will be eased by 22 CC.

 

President Zachary Hudson also failed his weaponized expansion attempt to Chun Tstar which would have contested Aisling and Lavigny-Duval for 42 and 10 CC, respectively. Similar to previous attempts, not much effort was put in by the President’s forces and it was opposed by a large margin.

 

Princess Aisling Duval is repeating her weaponized expansion to Areklici, which has also often been attempted by Torval and Grom previously. It contests Winters by 43 CC but would also cost the Princess 109 CC and has difficult triggers which make the expansion unlikely to succeed.

 

SiriusGov CEO Li Yong-Rui failed his loss-making expansion to Baliscii, which would have cost him 14 CC at maximum overheads. It was prepared to block worse expansions from being prepared and was opposed easily due to the opposition-favouring triggers. This cycle, SiriusGov is expanding to Alexis Centauri which would cost 25 CC per cycle at maximum overheads, but is similarly intended to fail thanks to its opposition-favouring triggers.

 

Sagittarius Eye Breaking News team

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