Great post- many of these topics are addressed, but good to see them from a long-time fan.
Cheating can be wiped out overnight by randomly placing players into games based on filter criteria. Here's another way: disclose to other players that two "Friends" are in the game at the same.
I'd love to see an "I know you're cheating" emoji (maybe pointing an accusatory finger)
I hate FOW - it's a cheater's playground.
As for going last, I just played a game (which I created and was therefore punished by the computer), where I was last of 5. We each started with 25 troops, randomly assigned, and by the time it was turn I was down to 10 troops. Needless to say I didn't last three rounds.
I feel like in those situations the loss shouldn't even count against you. The ranking programme should be able to recognise that you got randomly screwed, and finishing last was not a reflection on how you played.