Your First Four Moves (F4M)
These are some guidelines to help you learn how we play terminator escalating games. Once you master these concepts, you'll be able to play almost any other game type. Keep in mind that you will not win every game you play with these tactics: even the best among us only win 25-30%. What we have learned is that we can make 1-2 kills per game (winning 25% or so) and that will be enough to see your score move up and your fun increase.
Conserve your troops. Escalating games are about spoils and troops, and the relationship between them. You do not want to be in a position of having lots of spoils, but few troops; this will make you a target.
Don't try for bonuses. Since this is escalating, spoils value will quickly outweigh a region bonus; so don't spend your troops wastefully trying to take and hold one. EXCEPTION: If you drop into 3 out of 4 territories in South America or Oceania, try for it; but don't spend more than one turn trying or you'll fall behind the pack. DO NOT, under any circumstances, try to take and hold North America, Europe, or Asia; Africa is usually off limits too, but can sometimes be done by a better player.
Build 3-5 stacks around the board. Escalating spoils means that if you can kill someone, you get their spoils, and can potentially cash in to get even more troops and then target another player for their spoils. Also, having stacks that are spread out makes you harder to eliminate, at the same time and giving you more mobility around the board when you want to eliminate someone. If you have several territories that are connected, bring them all into one spot. This gives you more striking power and reduces the chance of people taking them out.
Take easy spoils. Attack only if you have at least 4 against 1. This gives you the greatest odds of winning. As noted above, don't spend too much for a small reward; usually you will only roll twice per turn. If you don't win in those two rolls, end attacks. It is not worth weakening yourself in the early game to gain spoils.
Always know who is the weakest player and whether or not you can eliminate him.
Now, remembering these basics, here's what your first four moves should look like in a normal game.
Deploy only. Survey your drop and determine which territories you want to keep and which ones you want to leave alone. Do not make any attacks this turn. Consolidate any groupings into single stacks. You should have the beginnings of your 3-5 working stacks now. EXCEPTION: If you drop 3 out of 4 in South America or Oceania, deploy all troops there and try to take out the 4th spot. Then in round #2 you will be doing what is described above.
Look for prime positions to move your stacks into; begin looking as well for easy spoils to take along the way. If there are no easy spoils available, don't sweat, you're not going to be in any trouble if you don't get a spoil here.
Prime territories are places that have lots of connections and few bottlenecks; in an ideal game, you would have a stack in NA, Europe, Africa, and Eastern Asia. Below is our prioritized list of territories, but it is subject to your other placements. You don't want your stacks to be too close together or to hold ALL the prime territories because then you will be an easy target.
Move 3 looks a lot like move 2. At this point, getting a spoil starts to be a little more urgent if you haven't already earned one. Continue working toward key territories.
When make your deployments, put 2 on the territories you'll attack from and 1 somewhere else. This way you will not reduce your stack size when you attack twice for a spoil, but you still give your other stacks a chance to grow.
Now we should be able to see what the other players are up to. Before each turn you need to check and see who is the weakest player and whether or not you can take them out. Players who are fighting over bonuses will eventually weaken themselves to the point that they are an easy target for someone playing our style. Remember, we're not looking to win the game all the time, just to make a kill or two so don't be afraid to strike. There is an add-on called BOB that you can get in the tools section of the forum that will greatly help you in knowing troop strengths.[/spoiler]
Moving Into the Mid-Game - Move #5 and beyond
After this, the sequence repeats itself until you are strong enough to make a kill. Continue to look for strong points to build on; and keep track of weak players, leaving yourself an avenue of attack for when the time is right. Once the spoils value is above 12 you can consider risking more than 2 troops in pursuit of another spoil. Keep an eye on your strengths especially as they relate to opponents strengths and weaknesses.
"There is nothing sweeter than logging in to see that you are set up perfectly to take someone out." gloryordeath