In the spirit of thawing recent hostilities among alliances that has spurred lately and the pesky bugs found out only after the wars have started I recommend making preparation phase more fruitful by conducting friendly wars in this phase.
Alliances can choose one alliance who they wish to fight to test their own mettle.
These wars will not merit trophies or torches and will last for a shorter duration ~ shorter strikes.
You developers can observe if things need to tweaked out before actual wars begin.
Thanks for reading