Surviving the middle?

So. Brand new player here, really enjoying my first two games - one real-time, one turn based. However, I have observed that, in both 8 player games, I’ve started at a map edge with nobody behind me, which has given me a distinct advantage over players starting in the middle. I wonder if anyone is interested in discussing/sharing ‘middle map’ strategies? If this has been covered elsewhere, please do link to the thread - I did try a search before posting, but it’s entirely possible I will have missed something.

Players in the middle have an advantage in many cases because they make for better allies. Solidarity in “poor” positioning. Every position has strengths and weaknesses. Largely dependent on the other players.

Central positioning is often more advantageous in larger games, but even in the 8 player games it can be better, another player with only 1 direction for expansion is less trustworthy…if you’re his neighbour. So you ally with the guys on the center and push outward.