I actually had a ton of fun playing this game. I didn't mean for my thread to sound negative, I just find it a fun topic to think about.
If you get any of the worst Asia spots with any of the worst North America spots, you may as well surrender, your opponent can't fail that badly if they're half decent.
I disagree. I suspect it's possible to win from any two territories. Remember, your opponent doesn't know you had bad starts and may not play aggressively. Use this to your advantage.
Small Earth Auto-distribution is crap
It's OK if you don't like it, that's why QM allows you to uncheck it. But I actually enjoy it a lot! Sure, you'll lose 10% of your games due to starts, but you'll also win an equal percentage of games due to them. The other 80% of the games are determined by skill. It all evens out in the end.
In this game, I actually won by taking North America. North America is really strong if you can get it, it's just so hard to get as your first bonus.