I lost the space forces data from last update so I can't do the direct comparisons this time.
Lots of expansion by existing empires and several new empires going big-time in the past 5 days.
Concerning established powers:
- Terran is setting up another cluster in the dark nebula between Boycott and Reformed.
- Big expansion by Finnian in the Southwest
- RoR's new cluster in the NW building a ton of Gorgos, as usual.
- The embattled Klingons have pulled back from the brink of oblivion and rebuilt or captured a new Eldritch jumpfleet, but it seems like they might still be slugging it out with Henry VIII (things are kind of confusing in the shattered south right now). Their economy has broken up and they've fallen back to the L&O sector capital carpet defense while their capital seems to have shifted a couple of times.
- Trade routes in Henry VIII's southern cluster have broken up and he's using the sector capital blanket defense too- never seen it tried by an S&H empire. Honestly I'm not sure who's fighting who right now but things look pretty bad down there.
- Some old names coming back in new form, including HOA0004 and evil space pirates
- A big entrance by wesnoth in the Southeast, who has 74 worlds and is only 5 cycles old. Watch out for those space orcs!
- With the nebulas becoming more populated, will we see ramjets return as a major force in galactic power? I haven't even been tracking them since only Reformed has building them in any numbers lately, but they played an important role in the Second Galactic War and a few other conflicts like nor-vs-ESP. I built a lot of Cyclopses and Cerberuses back when I was Hallucination, but I'm not convinced that their labor-cost-to-damage ratio is very good.