I wonder how many people actually factored HQ level into this poll. I can see people saying the empire is stronger all the way up to HQ 8 because honestly, it was easy for me to win offensively and defensively at that point. Once I hit HQ 9, the game seemed to become exponentially more difficult and at HQ 10, brutally difficult with most wins in the 1-2 star range and a defensive victory ratio of 1:4. I started a second empire account and now have it leveled to HQ 9 with the same setup as my HQ 10 base. I can 2 star most bases and occasional can get a 3 star win. My succesful defense ratio is 3:5. Honestly, the game is still difficult, but feels better balanced with the HQ 9. I'm a very experienced player and target well-defended HQ 10 bases (1m alloy+) and tend to win, albeit barely using maximum trickery and lots of starships. Rebels on the other hand seem to be able to "bash" their way through most turret combos simply due to their medic doids allowing their infantry to shrug off most turret fire, far more effectively than IA droid + heavy combos. At HQ 10, many empire players, including myself have gone to an infantry-based attack out of necessity as it's virtually impossible to win against the average HQ 10 rebel base with umhcs, tx-225s and e at-at. Besides the slow speed, most turret absolutely maul vehicles, even with repair droids attached. I was more likely to win using extra heavies and regs with the UC cost even before IA was unlockable. In a nutshell, even imperial vehicles suck and having a faction that's supposed to be based around them and not have the ability to effectively heal them as rebels can heal their bread and butter units is downright frustrating. The low surviveabilty makes any range advantage worthless as most turrets will not kill even our longest range vehicles before they reach the second or third turret. They worked great at HQ 8, but sure as hell not at 10. IMO, I feel like the rebels get an edge over the empire at HQ 10.