Battle Strategies and Tactics.
Razorgirl has a great little rundown of the various battle "strategies" one might use in M:AA. She has broken each down into various categories like "Aikido", "Glass Cannon" and "Hammer Time." Others adding to the discussion of her article have contributed other takes and methods. These ideas and those like Skeetabyte's "Class Warfare" and an unknown contributor's "bases covered" are problematic. Where these all fail is that they are not strategies. They are tactics.
Sure, strategies and tactics desire the same result - goal achievement - however that's where the similarities should effectively end.
What's the difference between a tactic and strategy? Duration.
Tactics and Strategies are generally parts of a larger goal or objective. A tactic is often an idea to cover a short-term goal that is required to achieve a larger one. Strategies are more of a long view aspect within a goal or objective. Because of the nature of strategies being medium and long term, it's easy to see how there may be confusion about where they fit in the grand scheme.
So, where do these terms apply properly within the world of M:AA?
Simply put - Aikido, Glass Cannon, Bases Covered and the rest, are tactics within a player's goals and objectives when playing PvE/PvP. They are the ideas and methods a player uses to succeed in the task of winning battles. Tactics can be even simpler still. Using a weapon that does > 1000 damage when your enemy has <100 hp to get an overkill, is a tactic.
So where does the term Strategy work in the game? A strategy, as explained is a long view approach (i.e. requiring a few days/weeks/months to achieve). Most players have or use the same strategies (as they apply to the game), which involve accumulating consumables [CP, SP, Gold and Silver] and/or stars OR completing tasks that result in something like weapons or heroes. I would add in Weapons as well, except that they bridge the gap between tactics and strategies (more on this later).
Quite possibly the most discussed strategy is CP Farming. As far as I'm concerned and depending on your level within the game, CPF is typically a medium to long-term strategy. What I mean by this, is regardless of your level, you want to acquire heroes and the only way to do that is to accumulate CPs. Where the demarcation occurs between medium and long term hero acquisition lies in which hero(es) a player wants to obtain next. Unless they are patient, most new players will collect their CPs for "cheaper" heroes, like the Fantastic Four or X-men. Older players will go for the more "expensive" heroes like Deadpool, Psylocke, Cable and others.
Once a player acquires a hero, they begin to build a place for that hero as far as their battle tactics go.
Because heroes require training and training requires silver (and shield points), I consider building your silver stockpile as a strategy as well.
As I mentioned above, Weapons bridge the gap between tactics and strategies. They do this by allowing you to win battles, which in turn, allow you to achieve medium and long-term goals. When a cool weapon enters your inventory, the first thing you want to do is try it out and see how it works for your tactical approach. How you combine your weapons with your agent and hero abilities is where they make the transition into strategy territory and allow you to achieve goals, like... acquiring the next hero or cool weapon.
And we're back to tactics again... as part of a new, larger strategy to achieve a new goal.
Tactics and strategies within the M:AA universe are circular thanks to the continuous introduction of new PVPs and Spec Ops. It just helps to keep in mind that no matter where you're at, your likely long-term goal will always be to accumulate consumables and obtain heroes.
Next Shedding Light: How to achieve goals, SMARTLY. ;)