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Tayler - ranking is explained here http://smgstudio.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/11000025021-how-is-my-risk-rank-calculated-
Your best strategy is to battle players of an equivalent or ideally higher rank to gain more ranking points. Losing to players of a lower rank will mean you can potentially lose more ranking points as well.
Briand, the delay is to allow players who drop out sufficient time to reconnect to the server and rejoin the game. If we did not have the delay, and the AI took over the instant someone disconnected, we'd be swamped with complaints :)
John - it's impossible to show you your rank position during a game. It's is not determined by just the outcome of the ranking points lost or won from that single game alone. It's affected by the outcomes of other players, playing other matches at the same time as you and calculated at the end of the match. It's adapted from the ELO chess system. All of this is explained in the FAQ here. http://smgstudio.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/11000025021-how-is-my-risk-rank-calculated-
(1) A player of similar rank scored more Ranking Points in a separate game.
Let's say you defeated 5 mediocre players of a much lower rank in your game. At the same time, in a separate game, another player (1 rank below you) beats 5 players of a much higher rank. In this case, he/she would receive more Ranking Points from their win, which could be enough to move him/her above you in the ranks (and push you down).