Guys, please, stop whining about VP based matchmaking. Just upgrade your primary offense, put only magma and dark statues, forget about resource bases for the time being (because you do not need them anyway), make a long term plan but be open to adjust your strategy as the things change, and enjoy the game! After all, power powder cannot be purchased in the game and that levels up the ground for fat wallet and regular players.
I've been playing this wonderful game since March 2015 and just crossed XP 58 a few days ago. Since the last update I dropped from 840 VPs to about 700 simply because it currently makes no sense to clear the map more often than once in about 3 days.
I never paid a dime for the game and by now I have all troops except tanks and all attack support except med kit maxed out. All my LCs except one are level 22. I am also sitting at about 650 power powder, which is more than enough to cover current needs, and tons of parts for prototypes because my base is raided many times a day with no losses regardless what I put on it. And so I don't even bother to put prototypes anymore. The players on my map are usually at XP 60-64 with at least two ice (sometimes more and sometimes boosted) and two prototypes. Well, that does not help them to defend their bases.
All of the above is not to boast but to illustrate that the game is definitely playable, at reasonable efforts (I attack players and NPCs once in about every three days), and with no money spent. There are many others free-to-play games, which are not playable. So, as the ad says "come with the plan or leave in defeat"!