What I liked less was the low effect of the revolt markers (admittedly we played these wrong for the first year), the rice part of the equation seems a little limp.
What did you guys do wrong?
(In addition to the possibility of losing important territories at the end of the year, there's also the effect that territories with unhappy-farmer markers are easier to attack.)
Hence the strategy of staying out of combat was the most sucessful one.
What! I thought you said the guy who won did so by stomping the other players and taking their buildings!