Cycle 241 marked a significant change in the world of PowerPlay. Over the past few years, a large number of systems had used the significant bureaucratic inertia inherent in the Galactic Powers to leverage more Command Capital (CC) than their system populations merited. Other systems were able to avoid responsibilities, providing their Power with less CC than appropriate. Despite numerous protests of inequity over the years, these CC values seemed to be stuck at archaic levels.
However, the hugely influential accounting firm of Braben, Walsh & Watts performed a stealthy census and audit of all concerned systems and in a masterstroke of paperwork calculated and enforced corrected CC values for almost all the controlled systems. The SAGI accountants report that a few anomalies still remain, but on the whole the systems are far closer to the CC expected from their reported population levels than before.
As a result, all Powers lost CC midway through cycle 241, ranging from Dictator Yuri Grom who lost 35 CC up to Senator Zemina Torval who lost a significantly larger 283 CC. For the most part, these losses were taken into account by the Powers, who were warned of the changes, and did not affect the wider state of PowerPlay, although they will require powers to fortify more to preserve their status and avoid turmoil. The notable exception to this was Shadow President Felicia Winters, who as described below tripped over some of the hidden red tape on the way.
The big news of cycle 241 was that Dictator Yuri Grom was deeply turmoiled to the tune of -2,141 CC. He has 12 systems threatening to revolt with radius incomes ranging from highly profitable 114 CC down to the unprofitable at 52 CC. With almost no fortification seen at time of writing, and some systems already undermined, GalNet predicts Grom will end even deeper in turmoil than he currently is, losing all of the systems on the list, and placing some more in danger. Time will tell if Grom can marshal his forces into some semblance of order to save the day.
Also in turmoil is Simguru Pranav Antal, however this appears to be a far more controlled affair with only two systems, both unprofitable, close to revolt. There is a lot of combat action in Antal space, with 22 of his 55 systems cancelled or close to being so, and GalNet predicts Antal will lose his two turmoiled systems and remain in this fairly mild turmoil next cycle. Speculation is rife how much of this was deliberately planned, and how much is a robust and shrewd counter to a hostile attack.
President Zachary Hudson failed to expand to the system of Caspatsuria, a weaponised expansion that would have cost him 36 CC, but cost Duval 55 CC, Lavigny-Duval 6 CC and Torval 8 CC. Action was fierce on both sides with nearly half a million merits earned total, but the Empire managed to squash the expansion by around 100,000 merits. This cycle Hudson is attempting to expand to the system of Chun Tsar which is almost an exact copy of Caspatsuria in CC terms, although the expansion triggers are less favourable to him than Caspatsuria, and at time of writing he trails by around 100,000 merits.
Senator Zemina Torval is expanding to LHS 184 which costs her 50 CC at maximum overheads and costs Hudson 55 CC. Expansion triggers are nearly 2:1 in her favour, but so far both sides are hard at work, earning nearly quarter of a million merits, and the race is still too close to call.
Shadow President Felicia Winters put very little effort into her “safety expansion” to Lazdongand that would have cost Duval 65 CC, and it was easily defeated as expected. Of more concern was her list of expansion preparations. Before the audit of Braben, Walsh & Watts, her available CC was shown as 507, enough to afford three expansion targets – HIP 53719 (a simple +9 CC profitable), Selkande (a “safety” weaponised attack on her Imperial foe Duval), and Wolf 555 (a rather poor weaponised attack on Mahon). After the audit, available CC had dropped substantially, to 392 CC, which meant that Winters could no longer afford to expand to Wolf 555, no doubt much to the relief of both Winters and Mahon, who while they have never been exactly friendly, have not engaged in open conflict in many years.
Unfortunately, once the cycle rolled around to 242 it became apparent that Winters had activated all three expansions. The only way this could have happened is if the previously-calculated, but erroneous, value of 507 CC was used to pay for expansions. Why these systems would accept “obsolete” currency without solid assets to back it is a mystery, and it is possible that the information from the audit had not fully percolated through the various offices of these outlying systems. Winters is now faced with an unwanted expansion into Wolf 555 that they thought they had carefully avoided. If the expansion succeeds, it will cost Winters 58 CC per cycle at maximum overheads and increase her overheads by another 60 CC. Appeals are underway to the various accountants, ombudsmen, assayers and treasurers to confirm what the actual status of the Galaxy is, but it may be several cycles before the truth is resolved, if ever. Meanwhile, HIP 53719 appears to have a large and safe lead, while Selkande is being heavily opposed and is likely to fail.
Sagittarius Eye Breaking News team