HamzaSToor is entirely correct. No matter how boring it may be, we need researchers to win. A good setup is 8 level 9 cities and 5 level 9 launch sites. In addition, I can confirm that muhammad, along with everyone else on Hamza's list, are the same person, and the main threat.
For fighters, start off with 13 cities, then slowly level them up evenly until they're all level 9. After that, get 259,999 coin, then buy an armory and get 27-99 portable tanks. Once you get 259,999 coin again, you can build your empire. Strongholds adjacent to the center is a popular setup, but you'll need spy hubs if you want them to be useful.
Further reading: http://www.kongregate.com/forums/136-war-of-the-web/topics/319041-war-of-the-web-kong-guide-updated
It may be from Kong, but we don't have a choice.
Also, it has come to my attention that most people don't know what sabotaging is. When you spy on an enemy's empire, there's a chance of sabotaging and making their strongholds useless for one attack. Spy Hubs lower the chances of being sabotaged and raise the chances of sabbing an enemy empire.
We used to be powerful, and enemies would think twice before attacking us, afraid of our revenge. If we're destroyed, it's not all over yet, since once we rebuild we'll have wonderful +50% Personal Revenge and +33% Neo Revenge bonuses.
Pick your fights; stay away from those stronger than you and fight when you think you can win. You'll have bad days, but don't think it means you're terrible at the game. Experience is the best teacher, and all of us could use some experience losing. Now get out there and destroy Kong.
(Personally, I don't believe in guides, so I can help if something seems unclear.)