I am so glad this topic was brought up. For the past 3 weeks I have placed my headquarters, Shields, and Squad Center off to the side and not where they normally are. Furthermore, in the past 3 weeks rather than getting slammed 4 3 stars first attack, I have gone to 1 * + 2 2 Stars. It definitely makes a difference, especially if people who attacked their mirror base study that bass ahead of time and when the war starts, already have their troops loaded and go to attack immediately. I am now doing it every war. It may not be effective every time, but especially if people study your base ahead of time and load troops accordingly, they will be very surprised when they open your base to see that Italy is completely different then it was when they studied it.