Powerplay Powerplay needs a proper mechanic to dispose of bad systems.

Yes, it's possible to shave them off by undermining and turmoil mechanics. But the problem is, it's basically self-harming and if it's left uncontrolled, it will cause all sorts of other problems. There are several methods to address bad systems in different stages of expansion.

Preparation

1. Outpreparing it with other systems. This is generally the most straightforward way but it also entails several difficulties which are most noticeable in powers which have regular preparation numbers that exceed 30000. Suppose a power can prepare 5 systems this turn with a bad system sitting at #1 with 30000 points in it. That power would need to put in more than 30000 points in 5 other systems (each) and keep them above the bad system they want out. Now that 30000 points in the bad system will not sit there and watch those 5 other systems exceed it and it will only increase as time passes, making this method increasingly difficult.
2. Countering it with another system within the 15 ly bubble. This was one of our (Aisling) favorite types of strategies in prior turns. The problem is, bad system do not always have an adjacent high profit system - in fact, they hardly do. Sometimes, we prepare a system that is less horrible than the system we want out. But that doesn't change the fact that the replacement system is still a bad one.
3. Getting another power to outprepare our system. Whether this would be done in cooperation or though defection, the bad system will remain a bad system and will only harm the other power involved. Even if the expansion will not likely succeed, the external power involved would still spend their own valuable CC making this less than ideal.

Expansion

1. Directly opposing the system. This is what we (Aisling) are focusing on this turn. The problem is, it's strictly a domestic problem and other powers have nothing to gain from helping oppose our system. What we're doing this turn with Operation Nemain is to defect to Edmund Mahon (non-imperial power with the closest system) to be able to oppose our own expansion. While it's possible to succeed, the problem is that it requires pledges to defect from Aisling sacrificing the benefits they worked hard on.
2. Precision fortification. This is what we did last turn when we faced 5 horrible system due to prior bugs (yeah the CC cap was fixed but it was fixed too late). This involves fortifying to a very low CC reserve preventing any deficit expansion from succeeding. While we were able to show that it was possible to do this, the amount of coordination this required across ALL pilots pledged to the same power is insane. There isn't even an in-game way of communicating to inform all players of the strategy. There is too much risk in this option. Risk would not be a problem if we had control of the situation but the problem is control is extremely limited (You guys can only imagine how unnerving it felt planning the precision fortification - fortifying an extra system would have meant success of a bad expansion, coming out short would have meant turmoil)
3. Turmoil. Fail all the expansions instantly at the cost of your highest upkeep systems being at risk and limiting gameplay for the next turn. It works but it's very damaging.

Control

1. Targeted undermining. Like direct opposition, this will require cooperation of other powers or defecting to undermine your own systems. It works but it's very limited. For one thing, bad systems (at least in our case) are mostly very close to HQ with the lowest fortification requirements. You can undermine your own systems but uninformed pilots will try to fortify them. Without cooperation from other powers, it's basically pitting allies against each other. Another limitation would be in the case of Shapsugabus - it's undermined upkeep is 41. Kalana has a standard upkeep of 41 and Kelin Samba 46. Those two systems always get canceled week in and week out and for us to lose Shapsugabus, we need to lose Kelin Samba and Kalana first.

Oh hey, there's also the problem with OVERHEAD expenses being HIDDEN. If I was a walk-in commander I would think that taking that 50 radius income red system will help our power overall. Unless someone tells me, I would not know that each new system would cost 62.1 in additional overhead.

In summary, there are a lot of ways to deal with bad systems but they all require a degree of self-harming or require extreme coordination. This is difficult for powers who are comprised of several player groups with a plethora of other pledges who don't even know of the avenues available for communication. Your own power may be organized due to your limited numbers but think of the people who have a lot of commanders we can't reach.

We need an intuitive method to deal with bad systems in any stage (prep/exp/control). The kind a walk-in commander can identify as a viable method to play powerplay without the need to defect to be effective.
 
That's a good summary GNThrone.

I'm pledged to a different power from you but that doesn't matter - Powerplay would be more fun for all of us if Frontier were to address some of these issues.
 
I agree with the above.
It seems that Wolf 412 has become the 5th columnists play toy.
Each one trying to out prep the other.
 
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