Episode 1: Surprise a superior opponent
When an opponent consistently beats you more than he loses to you, more likely than not, it‘s mainly becuase he is superior to you in skill. As your general approach to the game has failed, this situation requires you to think out of the box and apply strategies beyond what you normally do.
The key to beating a superior opponent is to be unpredictable and do something he doesn‘t see coming. It‘s completely fine if this goes at the expense of a high degree of safety in your position, because playing it safe is exactly what is not working for you, trying to beat the master at his own game. Why play chess against Magnus Carlsen if you can start playing checkers instead out of nowhere? Warzone is a game that lets you do something of that kind.
Leaving first turn bonuses aside, many templates have small bonuses that can be completed turn 2 with their own pick alone and bigger bonuses that can only be completed turn 2 with a connecting outside pick at hand. However, sometimes situations arise when the best bonus on the board can only be completed if you invest all your three picks. This is an option that is usually not considered by top players because it reduces your map coverage to a normally unacceptable level and makes your position vulnerable to nearby picks.
This is where the surprise effect plays in your favour. If you opt for a tactical option your opponent has not at all considered, you can compensate an initial disadvantage, if any. In the described example, this is especially true on templates with maps so small that map coverage is easy to accomplish, especially if they have a globe-like functionality where the east and the west are connected, like on Battle Islands V in the example game below.
Now, take a moment to consider this and check out the game. You will find that my opponent Rufus, arguably the best player of all time, has had no idea what I was doing until the very moment he bordered me. By that point of time, it was too late to react and the game was effectively over.
Looking forward to your comments!
Reference game: https://www.warzone.com/MultiPlayer?GameID=32908411