This section is a collection of bits of information and advice derived from players' actual experience playing Xconq.
Informal alliances frequently happen in games involving more than two
people, so I have a few words of advice. First, an alliance between two
of the players is almost certain in a three-person game, and inevitably
results in the "odd man out" being quickly defeated. In four-person
games, the alliances could be decided after looking at the map via a
command-line option such as
-v, so that one pair is not
hopelessly separated. Five or more players is going to be a
free-for-all of formal and informal alliances. Some scenarios are
designed with a particular number of players in mind.
When you set the advantage, Xconq multiplies the desired advantage with the normal number of starting units, then divides by the default advantage and ROUNDS DOWN. This means that you might end up with fewer units than you thought. For instance, suppose that you have a game where each player starts with one large city and five towns, and this is considered to be an advantage of 10, because one large city is worth about as much as 5 towns. Then if you select an advantage of 8, and your opponent selects 14 (because you're a better player perhaps), Xconq will give you 8/10 of the normal setup, which means four towns and NO large city. Your opponent will get 14/10 of the setup, which works out to one large city and seven towns, which is really a 1 to 3 disparity, much more than the planned 4 to 7. This is not a bug, just a limitation of the method.
The correct strategy for a game will depend on the game; some are deliberately designed to encourage or even force you to adopt a particular strategy. In general however, classic principles of strategy apply perfectly to Xconq. First, the words of an ancient master:
Generally in war the best policy is to take a state intact; to ruin it is inferior to this. -- SUN TZU
Attack where he is unprepared; sally out when he does not expect you. -- SUN TZU
There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. -- SUN TZU
The most important consideration is to conceal your own forces and movements as much as possible. Decoys and feints are worthwhile, but only if they don't draw critical strength away from your real purpose.
Don't rush to attack with weak forces. Especially over long distances, the defender has the advantage. Wait until you have assembled enough to take and hold a piece of territory, then allow some extra, just in case.
Have a plan, and have some contingency plans ready as well.
Be ready to take advantage of opportunities.