What does a Successful Alliance Need?
Some alliances win, some don't. Why? Well, because the members play well. but what is behind all that is often forgotten, and it's equally important.
In my opinion, an alliance has 5 major topics to look at:
2) Internal Organization
5) Gameplay & strategizing
When you are starting a new alliance, don't make the mistake to forget any of these topics. I will give short comment on each of these topics.
1) Recruitment is needed to give body and continuity to the alliance. You need the right type of players, that fit your type of alliance. Hint: Make it clear for yourself what kind of alliance you want to be (eg: national alliance, small club of real life friends, renegades, peacekeeping, sector or galaxy alliance), and start recruiting members that fit that role.
2) The need for good organization is obvious, but not always do people put enough effort in it. Things that an alliance definitely need are: a forum, where they can discuss in private, two IRC channels (one open and one private), and a clear command structure. Lots of alliances fall, because they simply have too many officer's positions. Make the structure simple, and make sure to be flexible. Adapt your structure to current needs from time to time.
3) Politics are very very important when your alliance starts running. Good politicians doing their stuff will guide your alliance to wars that you are prepared for, and that you can win. It helps to have bigger friends, and NAPs. Make the right friends, and also the right enemies.
4) Propaganda is something that most alliances just don't do, or only do in a passive way. The best propaganda so far seen in DG is from SK. Granted, they have been here from the beginning, but does that make them as fearsome as they are? I say it is their brilliant image. Hints: make sure you have visible members on the forums, make sure that you act sensible and calm to most situations, and talk to many people. Not only the ones in key positions, but everyone that is around. Also, giving smaller players some space or showing some helpfulness now and then can pay off big.
5) Ahhh... NOW we can actually start hitting buttons. Meet in your secure channel with all the cool people you gathered around you, scan those enemy planets together, and exchange these scans through the forums or PM. Set your strategies: let them attack first and exhaust their soldiers, or set attack yourself and set the time and place for battle? What ships to build? How to structure your account? How to build up these planets. How to attack, and where? And ultimately: Have the fun of the game :D
To all the brave ones out there that want to start the adventure: good luck, but know what you are starting. You won't make it anywhere as an alliance leader if you are not prepared to invest lots of time and effort. I'm talking about months, with 3 to 4 hours a day on average, working on the alliance alone. This can be brought down by giving the right people the right tasks, but still if you don't feel like investing that much tome, you'd better just join one of the many alliances out there.
I hope this is helping all those new people who would like to give it a shot. I wish you all good luck, and a wonderful round IV :D