Looking for help on Powerplay during consolidation

I've just started powerplay on Wednesday night pledging to Denton (for the APA). I'm trying to figure out what options I have to earn merits other than shipping 10 garrison supplies (or paying for more) back and forth. It gets boring after the first shipment.

I'm rank 1 so no voting power and I saw that they voted for consolidation. This means there are no systems to prep and there are no expansions queued either. It seems as if all I can do is fortify which is shipping 10 measly supplies every 30 minutes or pay 10k to ship more when I can easily haul 200 in one go. The control Ethos is combat but combat apparently equals shipping combat supplies...

So is there a way to earn merits via combat excluding PVP or is shipping my only option here during consolidation?
You can undermine Patreus enemies in their control systems or oppose other powers' expansions. Depending on which power it is you decide to attack, there will be specific ships you need to kill. Interdict them in supercruise or jump in and out at a nav beacon / resource extraction site (resets spawns). You'll know they're the right target because the ships will have specific names and be tagged with that power. Each kill gets you 30 merits. Back in the day, some Patsy guys wrote up a guide. I think it's still largely accurate.

I also recommend getting in touch with the organized commanders managing Patreus. You can find their discord here. It's often more fun to work with a wing and, as you've seen, powerplay is not really all that well designed. It helps to have some people make sense of the whole mess for you.
If you are shopping:

For 3 weeks do nothing, then before the 4th cycle make 750 merits. The most direct way is undermining (UM) in a rival power (not Imperial) control system. To find these go to the Powerplay tab on the map and click control and pick one. Shoot down that Powers (not anyone else, they don't count!) ships at navs or in supercruise (each is worth 30 merits so kill 25) and then return to a Pattyland control system and cash them in before the tick.

Bear in mind this will unlock the APA for a week. If you want more access you'll need to keep rank 3 which is the special module unlock threshold.

If you want to help out:

Go to Pattycakes Discord and say hello. Voting prep might mess up Dentons master plans (if he has any) run by the larger groups, so I'd ask first and use your votes constructively when you get them.
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