They did do things on their own. In the Swedish version of MGA we didn't have that metagame strategic game. That was added to the English version.
We in our group (loosely) did that in our campaign. The players did their own little quests to aid the resistance and to help their main objectives and I as the GM, planned the sessions ahead with my guys. I did that to get some structure on the watchers. I was positively surprised when we (Swedish backers) got the English campaign and saw that FL had added a system to get some structure on the "tactical/strategic" parts of the campaign. This strategic phase of the campaign can help players in what to do if the players have trouble coming up with their own ideas.
All campaigns that FL writes can easily be shortened if the GM feels that is needed (if the players starts to loose interests). And players that have a good time usually have no problem to come up with things that lengthen a campaign.
"War, war never changes" - Lone Wanderer