What made the large alliance so powerful in the last MTDG was tech trading on. Without tech trading on I believe large alliances are no longer as powerful. Obviously we can't be allied and friendly with everyone, and most importantly we cannot be friends with all our neighbours as that will leave us without room for expansion. Considering this is a toroidal map, we can assume that we have one team around 20 tiles north of us, and one team around 20 tiles east of us. South I am not sure, because of the tundra/ice - the team in that direction may be farther away, or may even be the very team we have north of us (although unlikely considering the map size). My guess is that plako has placed the teams in a 3x3 grid, and considering the tundra south my next guess is that we are in one of the lower parts of that grid (view the map in your heads without considering the wrap, just the flat layout of the map as laid out in the world builder). So there's some thoughts about alliances, and some speculation about the map from my part that can be taken into consideration when continuing the discussion.