Situation: Imperial player decides to retreat all ships + ground units from combat. According to the Rules Reference, he can choose between two valid systems:
a) One adjacent system with Imperial loyalty
b) One adjacent system with Imperial ships, which in our game also had Rebel loyalty but no ground units of either side
By retreating to b), the Imperial player actually profits from his defeat at combat in two ways: 1) By retreating his ground units to a Rebel system, as a result he subjugates it. 2) By seeking combat with the sole intention to retreat, the Imperial player was able to "move" to and subjugate a system two spaces away from his original position in a single game round.
My question: Was that really intended by the game designers? While I do see good pro-arguments, it somehow feels like breaking basic game mechanics.