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I have found it is a good strategy to pick a quarter of the board, and just flood it with pieces (taking the odd piece to block your opponent). You'll get lots of options, and it is tough to block all the possibilities (and I've noticed most players play in a pretty scattered fashion generally - this way focuses your efforts!). The placement of your pieces is generally based in luck, so the more options you have the better.
I'd tend to cluster pieces together. Little groups of 4 in a square work well. We shall have to face your tactic off against mine.