I have found that in the majority of my games, when I tried to not make waves and just keep the balance, I ended up losing because I didn't make the aggressive move at the right time. What separates the good players from the great, on escalating games, is of course knowing the right time to make that aggressive move. Still, I'd rather go down swinging and trying to win, than passively sitting there as I am killed. Yes, you will get called names if you make a move that ends up losing, or handing someone else the game, but ignore the whiners and the name callers. You don't play this game for their benefit.