Over time, experienced players develop a recipe of actions that they go through in every turn of every game. They perform a number of evaluations to get a feel for how the game is developing and if the timing is getting right for their plans. These evaluations are more like questions that you need to ask yourself. I have drawn up a number of standard questions that you must answer to yourself and in doing so, plan your next moves.
Can you eliminate anyone? This is your top priority. If you can ever eliminate anyone, then you should almost always try it. The more cards a weak player has, the more you should prepare yourself to eliminate him and get his cards. This is critical especially in later stages of the game as the card values go up. Remember, if you don’t get the cards, someone else may.
Are you too strong? If you are, make sure that you are not too strong to be noticed. Try to hide your strength by not cashing your cards, spending some of your armies to attack others and distribute high concentration of armies.
Are you too weak? Just the same as you always try to eliminate weak players, so do others. Try not to be the obvious target. If you have been attacked and are becoming weaker every turn, stop what you are doing and just concentrate your armies somewhere out of the way. Make yourself look too strong by having a large number of armies in a few or only one country and don’t spend armies attacking others. Just get your cards and stay out of trouble.
Do you have access to every player? Because you want to eliminate weak players as soon as possible, you need to be able to access them. Sometimes, a weak player may be on the other side of the world away from your continent. Make sure you can use your armies to eliminate anyone without going through many other players or their countries. Your intention is to reduce the cost of player elimination, because you usually become very weak after eliminating a player and are subject to attack yourself. Hence, any armies saved not fighting for the elimination are a bonus.
Are you strategically well-placed? Make sure that your borders are optimised. Sometimes, you can expand a little and manage to reduce your number of borders. You need to carefully look at the map and decide which direction is best for you to expand to and how it can benefit your troop movements. This is critical especially when you are playing on non-classic maps.
Have you thought about what others are planning to do? Make sure you look at the map from your competitors’ point of view as well. It is natural to end up focusing on yourself most of the time and ignoring what others are planning. Usually, if you look carefully at the map, you can tell what each player is trying to do. You just need to mentally place yourself in their position and ask yourself, “What would I have done if I was in control of these armies?” Once you know what they are up to, you will know what to do to stop them or disrupt their plans.
Are you fighting a war of attrition? When a conflict ensues between you and other players, it may lead to a succession of attacks and counter attacks over a small area of the map. If you carry on with this war of attrition, you will both loose many armies in the process and make it easier for other players to gain against you. Make sure that you are not driven emotionally. You don’t have to have a particular country. Sometimes giving it up and focusing on somewhere else can open up your game in a way you never imagined. Remember, the less you fight, the more armies you will have.
If you are an experienced player, what else would you ask yourself every turn before you go ahead with your moves?