General notes & tips:
If I don't respond immediately to your vote, don't worry. Sometimes, I won't resond at all. I will PM anyone whose vote I have questions about before the tally.
On Alliances: these are two-edged swords. If you are in one, you can make yourself a target. They also restrict your choices. But if you aren't in one, you can make an even more attractive target, becase you can be attacked without fear of retribution from your pals. And you can have different "levels" of alliances.
You can play dumb. Act like you're busy. Pretend you're confused.
But information is power.
Lack of information is vulnerability.
If no one is PMing you, you're probably the target for a dogpile.
If they are PMing you, they are probably setting you up.
It's always a bad sign when someone's mailbox is full.
Be careful what you write in PMs. Some people will save or forward what you wrote (after a certain amount of creative editing, of course)
You can always solicit alliances right on the main thread. That's a good way to get allies.
That's a good way to become ground zero, too.