TL;DR: Is it better to have your strongest defense up front or in the back? What other defensive strategies do you use?
I'll start with a couple premises that I think are solid:
1. Always fill all defensive slots. This way, if you both clear each other but the other didn't fill all slots, you still win on points. (This has happened a couple times for our guild.)
2. It's best to start attacking first in the top territory and work back toward ships.
For reference, I'll label the left-side territories thusly:
T1 T2 T3 T4
B1 B2 B3 B4
These are just mirrored for the right-hand side.
Until now, my guild has made B1 our Alamo, placing our strongest defense there, and then we placed our medium and weak meatshield squads elsewhere. Our thought was that since it's so easy to overkill squads on offense, the opponent will have gone through 7 ground territories worth of overkill before getting to our last territory and finding they don't have enough big teams left in the tank. Since we'd almost always managed to clear our opponent, we were prepared to concede all other territories in order to hold on to B1. And this worked the first four times.
But we lost this fifth TW. Our opponent had much stronger defenses that we'd fought before, and so we only managed to clear T4–2, M2–1, and B4. Our opponent did the same but also got B3 and B2. Yes, our B1 held, but we'd conceded more territories than we could afford to because our offense stalled earlier against their strong defense. Maybe conceding so much territory early on isn't the best option?
What do you think is the optimal defensive layout? Do you think it's better to have a stronger defense up front and early? Or down and further back? What other TW strategies have been successful for you?