In multiplayer, there is a strategy that for me has proven to be somewhat successful, the idea of forcing your bot to never take the last neutral site between you and another player.
The reasoning behind it are pretty simple :
-Most bots send more strength to attack you more when you have more fronts with them, avoiding fronts can therefor be beneficial.
-The strength that is payed to open that last barrier would be payed by your enemy, which would result on minor savings, you do give your opponent the first move though, a smart bot could set up an attack while the neutral line is in place.
Testing this strategy internally, when two bots in multiplayer both do not open that last line of neutral sites between them, it's like they cover each other's backs and their win-rate went up drastically as a result: They had to fight one less foe in the midgame and their other foe's would succumb to superior pressure (with two neighbours, 1.5 to 1 as opposed to 1 to 1). The bots would always end up fighting in the end though, one of the bot's felt at some point comfortable taking on the other or they were connected to each other through the enemies they took out.
There might not be RNG in this game, but any multiplayer free for all game is by definition randomised by the players you get matched with. I have lost countless games because of ridiculously aggressive early expansions against me, directionally biased bots or players getting out of control because their neighbour was terrible. I think this one is an interesting strategy to share, it's the same type of RNG but it can have a positive effect instead.
Tell me what you guys think...