Simple answer is no.
1. You have few active or just few off players
2. Enemy has more active or just more off players
Conculsions are like you said:
1. Enemy has more res for off - snowball effect
2. This will result probably in more advantageous artifact result - more snowball effect
But that does not prevent you from:
1. Searching for coss-quad alliances or staying neutral and wait for opportunity.
2. Prepearing cata-villges for most potent artifacts
3. Prepearing WW hammers for lategame
4. Stacking up deff.
Smart and active leadership is what you need, if servers were won by farm, bots would rule the game. So cheer up mate you can win the game.