This is Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live with a special report: The Capricorn War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!
Hello, I’m Jim Chancellite. The top news story for today is the sudden and complete absence of power shifts and starship construction within the Capricorn War. “Consolidation” seems to be the word of the day, as new starbases continue to spring up and combat losses remain low for the fourth running report cycle. With us now to discuss this event — or rather, this lack of events — is military expert and media consultant Lieutenant Colonel Tolliver South.
JC: Colonel South, how would you describe the present situation in the Capricorn War?
TS: Well, Jim, it looks pretty stable for the moment, but looks (as we know) can be deceiving.
JC: How so, Tollie?
TS: As you know, the shipbuilder’s strike is now entering its tenth cycle, so very few warships are being completed. New construction has apparently been augmented by arming freighters, but the fact remains that new ships simply aren’t being launched these days.
JC: Yes, this is true.
TS: Well, if you look back a few cycles, you’ll see here [complex incomprehensible graph] a few ship encounters. Here [points at one spot just like all the others] we see a capital ship lost by the Colonies, but accompanied by a similar loss of power by the Cyborg — most likely representing the destruction of dozens of fighters. Now, here, here and… here [pointing at three other similar spots] we see the subsequent cycles: little or no real power gained by any of the represented factions. This spike here [points at something that could possibly be a curve but never a spike] shows the parallel rise in Rebel power.
JC: How is that possible with no ship construction?
TS: When interpreting these numbers, you’ve got to remember that many of the great powers — and the Rebels are no exception — rely heavily on squadrons of small one-man fighters, based either on fixed starbases or mobile carrier groups.
JC: So… they’re building fighters, is what you’re saying.
TS: Boatloads of them, Jim. This, coupled with the massive rise in starbase counts over the last ten cycles — note that, Jim; ten cycles again — tells us that we’re entering a static phase in the present warfare.
JC: Ten cycles… So you’re saying that the rise in starbase construction is directly linked to the shipbuilder’s strike?
TS: Absolutely! People think of starbases as construction and transshipment platforms, but they tend to forget that each starbase is the battlefield equivalent of a heavy carrier.
JC: Hence the new base construction.
JC: Hmm. In that case, though, why are so few factions building starbases?
TS: Well, Jim, that really comes down to a question of logistics. With the low mineral counts that we’ve been seeing here in the Cap War, most of the factions simply don’t have the resources to put up heavy defensive lines. The few with logistical advantages — the Rebels with their Falcons, the Cyborg with their Firecloud network, and of course the Colonies with their Cobols — these are the only groups with the ability to easily create expensive strong points.
JC: I see. How is this likely to impact the direction of the war?
TS: We’re not sure yet. Three factions are growing disproportionally stronger — though you’ll notice that the Colonies, with the highest number of starbases, have one of the weakest military counts — and the rest seem rather static.
JC: But if you had to guess…
TS: I don’t like to guess, myself. On the other hand, the oddsmakers on New Lost Wages are favoring the following scenario: the Borg waiting just long enough to resupply, after which they’ll continue their advance against the Colonies. In the mean while, the Rebels will continue to grow in power — both military and logistic — until they have enough force to march to victory. Virtually unopposed, if you follow me.
JC: But with the Colonial defensive structures–
TS: –the Cyborg advance will soon bog down, yes. But don’t forget the tremendous advantage of the practically unlimited Cyborg tax base. It’s still anyone’s ball game at this point.
JC: Good to know. Thanks for your insights, Tollie.
TS: Any time, Jim.
Next, we’ll take you over to New Caprica for an inside look at the athletes competing in the Pyramid All-Star Game; then, a look at the refugee crisis at the edge of Crystal space. But first, a word from our sponsors…6