What tier do you put South USA in?
I have had good experiences with that country. I played SOuth USA 4 times,and once,I won and the rest of the time I didn't (Because I was too lazy to play those rounds). If you pay a lot of attention and get good allies,Southern USA is really nice. If Morocco or West Algeria are your allies and dont want French West africa,or are fighting each other,you can go and grab French West Africa for the oil.
Funny that you posted. I was inspired to make this thread because of your best countries in the 31 player thread.
South USA is a solid C-tier to me. I think it belongs higher up in C-tier but doesn't break into B.
The only thing that stops it from being an S-tier like North Canada and Arabia (two of the other corner countries) or A or B-tier are it's bad options in many situations.
Like you said, "if you pay attention and.." Southern USA is situationally good. But here is the kicker: what you described is the best possible situation for Southern USA other than conquering all of North America. But, even what you described is highly suboptimal. Reason being, you must cross the Atlantic to get to your African provinces. This causes them to gain morale at a devastatingly slow rate. Let's just assume for the sake of argument that your allies in North America are competent and will not betray you (in this situation, this need for trust alone makes SUSA suboptimal).
So in this hypothetical situation you leave your ally Central USA alone to take over the continent slowly. You send everyone over to Africa to capitalize on the rich provinces there. You conquer FWA and secure it against the Africans.
What do you think the chances of sending your army home are? They will probably never see Florida again. That is, unless you are under attack or betrayed, but back on point. Those troops will conquer the provinces and they will go to 25% morale. And, since the distance from Tallahassee is around 3 days (iirc), those provinces will gain their morale back extremely slowly. Every day your troops are stationed in one of your African provinces is a day where it loses 15% of the difference between it's current morale and that province's morale. So, assuming everyone is doing early expansion in the most optimal possible way, you will have the weakest troops in the game by strength points.
That is the major flaw of the SUSA player. If they decide to expand in North America and wait to go to Africa late game, they will still be disadvantaged. A strong Africa player is the bane of Southern USA. And, if you are in a coalition that has split up North America, none of you individually will have enough resources for X-TREME Battleship Rushing (patent pending).
In the late game where a strong coalition dominates Europe and Africa and a strong player or coalition dominates North America, North America is easier to attack than Europe and Africa. It's because Europe and Africa are have an irregular horizontal shape and North America has an irregular vertical shape. ie. Europe and Africa are fat and North America is tall. If the North American players don't control the Atlantic with an iron fist, it will be extremely difficult to see where the enemy will invade at because there are numerous options with the most obvious being Richmond, Miami and Halifax.
Conversely invasions against Europe and Africa are very, very predictable, even without deep scouting. Portugal, FWA double fish, Ireland, England. 95% of the time, the invasion will go to one or more of these points. If they are crafty, they may sneak guys from Greenland above everything and land in Norway. But when was the last time you saw a NA player land in France? If they are crafty, they may also try to go to Casablanca or Tangiers etc.
So all they have to do is move their troops westward and stock up on railguns and bombers in the critical invasion points to ward off battleships and suddenly Europe and Africa are impregnable. Conversely, North America will have a hard time choosing exactly where to build aerodromes and railroads and where to place the railguns.
What's my point in all this late game strat? I was beginning to ask the same thing. It's that North America is faaar better to dominate with one person than to have a coalition splitting it up. With a coalition, you are pretty much guaranteed to be unable to produce enough iron to make 3 battleships every 3 days. But as a solo that is very possible. The players might feel disheartened at not having enough resources and opt to build subs or cruisers, but North America cannot afford to pull punches with their navy late game. They absolutely need it to breach the heavily defended Europe of the late game (this is all assuming optimal play).
So in summary, the way to get the most out of Southern USA's lack of good options is to exploit Central USA and not ally with them. Just wait for them to attack the AI day one like they always do. Once they have it all conquered, strike at the weakest point and mop them up while you control your border. In this way, I think Southern USA may be an A-tier because it leads to a very strong start. But, thinking about their lack of options puts them in C-tier. For whatever reason, the CUSA invasion may not be possible because of diplomacy or great play by Central USA or maybe they just go inactive after building forts and offices. Even if they build nothing at all, attacking them day one without them being weakened by the AI will weaken you very badly so that North USA will have an easy time taking the entire USA. For a Northern USA player, this prayer is the absolute best case scenario (but even then they still need like 5 forts with South Canada with garrisons). Yea NUSA is really bad.
Great things about SUSA (you already know) position, AI double to take, resources, oil province in North America.
Jesus that was an essay. What am I doing with my life?