I would love to see a Beta update that allowed multiple types of wars. A team could declare a 50 vs 50 war, a 25 v 25 war, or a 12 v 12 war. Each war would be worth fewer points.
A team with less than 50 players could ONLY have 25 v or 12 v wars declared ON them, but would have to fight more wars to earn the same amount of rank.
And regarding the wager system, this would be determined by the team DECLARING. If you declared a war against another team, you could wager the amount of rank/wood/gold/whatever that you were willing to risk. The team getting declare ON could choose to accept the terms and risk the same amount, or decline/forfeit and give up a much smaller amount of rank/etc.
These TWO minor tweaks (50v. 25v, 12v, and wagering) would give teams with fewer than 50 players a fighting chance to stay alive while recruiting. It would also allow for fully formed, solid-50 teams to progress much faster and leap ahead into higher leagues.