The recent Alliance Ultimate Battles confirmed a hunch I've had for a while.
English-based alliances aren't as strong (in terms of AUB strength) as Asian alliances.
My first though was that the AUB times favored Asian alliances. If they were flipped, surely English based alliances would outperform them, right? Maybe not. Rounds 1 and 3 occur 11 hours apart, and we'd expect to see a reversal of results if timezones were the only contributing factor, but rarely is this the case.
Someone in my alliance suggested that jewels/rods are cheaper in China and Japan. I don't know. If someone can confirm or refute this, that would be cool.
The third and most likely scenario is that Asian gamers as a whole are more intense than their Western counterparts. If that's the major reason, there's not much English alliances can do.
What are your thoughts on this? If we gathered the top 10 English alliances and pitted them against the top 10 Asian alliances in an AUB, what would the score be?