The ultimate achievement in the game is when you build your own team. I am not there yet. But right before that comes the home territory. My definition of a home territory is an area where the majority of portals are your submissions. Your home territory can be as small and as big as you want it to be. And there can be much overlap. The same 10 portals might be in the home territories of three different agents: very possible.
The number one advice I would give to any agent on both sides anywhere in the world at this stage in my game is start making portal submissions right away. Each agent deserves to have at least 20 portals that they can walk over to any time they want. Niantic does not care if you are a Level 1 agent or Level 8, if you meet the criteria your portal submissions will go through. My first portal that went live was one I submitted when I was a Level 1 agent.
You build a home territory by making strategic portal submissions. Assume it takes two months for your portal submissions to go through. If you made your submissions as a Level 1 agent it would be great if they showed up on the map by the time you hit Level 8.
Another mark of a home territory is that you manage to own much of it for your team. The top blue agent in NYC right now got there by simply making sure his home territory always stayed blue. Here's looking at you Kimon of Columbia/Grant's Tomb.
Next is the local team. It is my hunch that the game gives you local agents if the other side is seen dominating the territory. When new agents in the area sign up the side that is seen weaker is given as the first choice. Just guessing. My area was a green SRC territory. Then I took over and blue became dominant. Then the game gave the other side chicory, and I have been trying to reclaim dominance ever since. During that period the game has given me two to three local blue agents who are all leveling up right now. By the time they hit Level 8 blue should be dominant again.
A home territory is nice to have. You can attempt some complex fielding. You get your exercise. It really makes you see your neighborhood. I thought I knew my neighborhood well, but this game has really opened up the place for me.
Reaching out to local agents who are trying to level up is part of building the home territory. Soon enough in the game you realize the most scarce ammo is not Level 8 bursters, but time. A team with two active Level 8 agents will dominate one with only one Level 8 agent. 24 hours times two is 48 hours. Most active agents seldom lack for ammo. But do you have the time to show up? That ends up being the differentiating factor.
Comment by Michael Giusto:
The game has not changed how YOU CHOOSE what side to be on since it was first released, they do not offer suggestions to players to pick a particular side, so this hunch of yours that they alter the selection screen based on which team needs players is mis-informed and just plain wrong. You should delete that section from your blog post it is completely incorrect.