TheBaron wrote:What is the best counter-strategy when your opponent takes the initial advantage on the first turn by holding Australia or South America?
If we are talking about a 6 - 8 player player escalating Spoils setting then the best strategy is the strategy of the stacks. That's where you would ignore the Bonus Zone player and in fact stay away and avoid any engagements or conflicts with the Bonus Zone player while you concentrate on building up anywhere from 3 to 5 stacks in different parts of the game map.
The reason is that the escalating spoils would soon out number the troops received from any BZ (Bonus Zone) so that if you just build up the stacks and card on easy spots to conserve troops then you would soon be at comparable troop strength with the BZ player. In fact playing for a BZ in most cases only weakens your overall position and troop strength capability.
Keep in mind that you are not the only player disturbed by the BZ player and most likely some one else will fight against the BZ player. So owning a BZ actually weakens a player because in most cases he has to spend his time defending the BZ while the escalating spoils continue to increase and making one strong for the end game playing position.
This is the Strategy taught by the SoC if you are interested in learning it. You can learn this strategy by reading the SoC Manual by clicking (Click Here for the SoC Manual, The First Four Moves
) <--- on this link. Or you can contact dhallmeyer
directly and just join the SoC which is my best advice to everyone who is interested in learning this strategy.
If the setting is no spoils then learning how to use the game chat and being diplomatic and making suggestions to the other players would be ideal. Obviously in a no spoils game you don't want to waste time and energy on a BZ player because you only weaken yourself in the process making it easier for another player to eliminate you from the game.
And if the setting is Flat Rate spoils or Nuclear spoils then being tactical or strategic is the key. Being patient and bringing a plan to unfold where you position yourself against the other players and lie in waiting ready to take advantage of your positions on the board. The best plan and position will usually win despite the BZ because if it is Nuclear for example then some one will eventually nuke the BZ. And if it is Flat Rate then again just being in a good position will more than outweigh the BZ's normally. No matter how many troops your receive per turn, it wont matter much if you are in no position to do anything with those troops.
I wont go into Trench Warfare settings because really it's all strategy there. Knowing when and how to attack and build Trenches to keep opponents at a distance from your main troops force until you are ready to attack.
Hope this was helpful. If you ever need help with your games and if I know the settings you can count on me to mentor you (give you advice) in your games. But my best advice is that you join the SoC and learn the strategy of the Stacks first. And then learn all the other settings and strategies.