i can't find any of the old threads that aren't insane and crazy intermixed.. pretty much restart til you get one of the better bonuses on the Earth map territ/bonus wise, learn how the ai acts and reacts, don't feel bad for restarting if your doing poorly early on, esp if you see an enemy in the first couple of turns that isn't moving away from you.
Most successful spots imho; CA, West/East Africa, East China. Scandinavia can be done but is hard to expand from there often times.
If you start in one of the fail locations don't even bother. E.Russia, Antartica, Canada, Australia, South America.
course i don't spend much time on the Earth map, and others have prolly pioneered them better to give more detailed analysis'.. i think my best is like 36 on crazy