Here are some observations. These observations are based strictly on how I saw the game develop. I do not have much information regarding personal relationships between various countries, so some observations may be "wrong" in the eyes of the players because certain relationships required these decisions to be made. I'm observing from the vacuum of space, as it were.
I'm going to start with Africa because if I don't, I may explode. From the very beginning, it was apparent to me that there was a collection of African nations who had allied. In particular, Congo and Kenya were actively cooperating while Zambia concentrated elsewhere. For a while, it appeared Mali was part of the group as well, but he was never able to really get going so I think the core group decided to just cut bait. For reasons that will baffle me until the end of time, no one seemed to really take notice of this group throughout the game until it was too late. They grew, largely unchecked throughout Africa, then turned their sites on South America when they had nothing left to conquer in their homeland. Zambia made excellent use of his terrorist unit to pave the way for his invasion, accomplishing the feat far more quickly than he otherwise would have. It didn't hurt that South America was in disarray, but more on that later. If the game did not require voting, I have no doubt this force would have continued to dominate the board. As a unit, they were the most dominant "super-power" I've seen in a NWO game in a while. Unfortunately for Congo, he was unable to get into the winning coalition, but that was mostly because Cuba had better connection, and as such was a better resource for votes.
Welcome to North America, the most boring place on Earth. Seriously. I think 1% of my adjudication time took place in North America, and even that was mostly just coloring in supply centers. Canada, USA, Mexico, and Cuba were allied one way or another. To an extent, this made sense. It's been written more than once that Canada attacking the USA offers little reward. However, I would argue that the votes in Central America (Mexico and the Caribbean) are valuable and should be considered for conquest by the USA. In the end, Mexico, USA, and to an extent Canada paid for their decision to allow Cuba to prosper by not being part of the winning coalition.
I can't find which season it was, but at some point USA briefly switched sides from France to UK. The attack on France significantly hampered France's ability to grow from that point on, which presumably was the point. However, I thought it was a mistake at the time. Prior to that point, I had felt that there were two high-powered alliances forming, one between USA and France, and the other between Russia and China. Had Dario seen things the way I did, he might have reconsidered his attack on France so that he could have a strong ally to go against those two later. He was able to provide heavy strikes against China largely on his own, but he also took quite a bit, and I would say that in the end China got the better of USA in those back-and-forth lobs. Had France been stronger and an ally of the USA, I believe they could have knocked China down to the point where he would no longer pose a threat. In addition, he would have that strong, large ally to take on any small-nation coalitions that had formed. In my opinion, one AB nation has little chance to win on their own. They must have an alliance with one of the other AB nations to have a chance, even if they later stab them. To me, it seemed obvious that France should be USA's ally, but he decided to try to keep France and UK down rather than pick one definitively over the other.
As I touched on earlier, South America seemed to be in disarray throughout the game. There was no cohesion amongst any of the nations as far as I could tell. Then, at some point, the original Brazil player dropped out and was replaced. This further mucked things up, and in the end, not a single nation survived in the region. This reminded me of what happened in Africa in the last game. If a couple of the nations here could have found some common ground things might have played out differently, but alas.
Europe is my least favorite place, and that was before the hassle of having to move units around in such tiny spaces. The UK clearly made a mess of things early on, and alienated just about everyone, including those in areas outside of Europe. This ultimately allowed Canada to come riding in on his white horse to save the day....and then take over the British Isles and Scandanavia. Had Germany been less resilient, I suspect Canada would have gained even more. Poland showed some resiliency as well, though I'm not sure even he knew whose side he was on most of the time.
Late in the game, Germany and Turkey stabbed Italy. This was another stab that didn't make a ton of sense to me. It seemed over and over again, I watched the African alliance of Congo, Kenya, and Zambia get over-looked as a threat while others repeatedly stabbed their allies. I'm pretty sure there's a lesson in there somewhere.
An early mistake by Iran cost him a BB, and a concentrated effort by those around them forced Iran and Israel out pretty quickly. Iran did cleverly airlift a unit from Tehran to Azerbaijan in Fall of 2013 to delay the inevitable. I enjoyed that, but unfortunately, the end was already in sight for him. Turkey played well, but much like last game, Fred seemed to go lonewolf at the end and it ended up costing him a whole bunch of nukes up the ol' keester. For a while there, it appeared he would be a major factor in the outcome, but his focus on Europe was short-sighted I think. Had the Europeans and Turkey focused their attenion on the behemoth growing in Africa things could have been different.
As an aside, Iran, Israel, and Egypt all start with just one unit that can be used for growth. This may have to change. Early growth is such a key to longevity, that to hamper these nations this way seems an unfair burden.
Asia and the South Pacific
It was apparent early on that Russia and China had agreed to work together, an alliance I tried desperately to nurture in the last game, with little success. In this game, it worked well for a while. Both nations grew well, and then Russia stabbed Poland and the wheels started to fall off. Suddenly, instead of advancing into Europe with the aid of an insider (Poland), he was now faced with have to fight all of Europe plus Canada. In 2016, Russia got hit hard, and from that point on he wasn't much of a factor. China, meanwhile, was actually able to continue churning out nukes at a high rate in spite of getting hit hard more than once. Again, though, an ill-fated stab may have doomed him. In 2014, China decided to turn on his Indian ally. I didn't really understand this at the time. He and India were working well together, and advancing into Pakistan. Central Asia contains a number of voting centers they could easily have shared. They then could have culled southeast Asia together where Sri Lanka and Vietnam seemed to be working together, and then perhaps set their sights on Africa. I personally think this would have been a better strategy. China was really struggling in Africa, and could really have used a significant ally there, but he seemed content not to grow much there.
There's plenty more I could comment on, but I think those are the highlights. Thanks again to everyone who played.