xiangwang wrote:6. Think of your armies as bargaining tools[/b]
Please don't waste your first cash-in on suicidal attacks, think of your armies as bargaining tools in a world of diplomacy to co-hoerce, threaten, etc. Aka, you got a region you want to keep, but has too many borders? Take the 3rd crusade map for example. Spain can be defending by placing all your troops on Castile (need min 15+ to be effective deterrent) and leaving 1s everywhere else. By leaving 1s on your opponent's borders but with a large army behind it, most players won't bother breaking your bonus because they are not threatened by 1s nor will they want to see 15+ troops potentially crashing into their bonuses. This strategy we'll call the arrow because you are threatening anyone who comes in range (aka breaks your bonus).
I would like to point out another reason why the arrow strategy is good is most players break your bonus just for the sake of breaking your bonus, not to eliminate you. By having your borders lightly defended and one strong stack, also prevents unnecessary loses to your fighting capabilities as opposed to guarding all your borders strongly.
Assume u have 3 borders to ur bonus (take west africa in 3rd crusade) and extra 30 armies, instead of defending tunis, balearic islands, and sirt with 11 troops each, u can guard each of them with 2-3 (enough to cause some damage to atackers that they won't attack just for free cards) while putting the remainder on algiers. Most players will not attack ur stack on algiers after they break ur bonus, they would usually retreat to their borders and fortify up. You only lost 2-3 troops defending ur borders and one round of bonus with the ability to counteract. If you defended ur borders with 11 troops each, you are threatening other players on ur borders possibly creating an arms race and if they do break ur bonus, u lose 11 troops and have no ability to counterattack.
Also with 2-3 troops defending, ur opponent won't have much troops on ur borders either so they will be using those armies attacking other players which is good for you