I'd like to comment on this: I think you are exactly right but that in this case, it makes the most sense to proceed as Atlas suggested. You are right in that the best course of play relies on information that isn't available at the time you need to choose that course of play. If we knew where all the AI capitals and strategic resources were, our course of action could be much more clearly defined. In fact, this points out the limit of the "best ball" (a la golf) analogy. In golf, the goal is clear from the moment you step to the tee so it's easy to judge whose shot is the best. Here, it's as if there are many possible places where the hole is, so if you play the multi-threaded approach (a la mutineer, and what we're going to do here), then it does remove the ambiguity: Who would judge the shot to the left as best when it turns out that the hole is to the right? This is exactly why I wanted to stop play before any strategic resources were revealed. However, in fact every turn reveals valuable information: where are the AIs, where are the huts. And not all of that information is static: If someone pops a great tech or defeats a barb, then their turnset is better even if someone else adopted a better pre-diceroll strategy. That's judging by outcome rather than by strategy, and it's something I really hoped to avoid. However, this thread drew about twice as many starting turnsets as I'd expected. And I was already worried about choosing from amongst them with just 4 or 5 expected. How do you do that when there is sincere disagreement about the best route? My initial plan was to accept and choose, disregarding dissension. But that's pretty alienating. For example, note mutineer's unorthodox start and his desire to continue it further. I'm curious to see how it turns out, even though I judge Atlas' start to be better. Also, note that at the time I made the decision to go to the multi-threaded approach, I was the only person to actually cast votes on any other saves. (To be fair, it was before my suggested deadline, and Atlas did offer opinions on other saves.) I think the truly best way to do this would be to have, say, 4 people. 3 of them try the strategy that makes the most sense to them. They then post report which include no spoiler information at all, just guidelines. Maybe they say something to each other about how big their cities are and how far their tech is. Then, a discussion ensues and a "best strategy" is decided. The 4th person, not knowing any details about any of the turnsets runs from the starting point to the endpoint using the strategy that the others have distilled from their efforts. Even that way isn't perfect. How do you choose when to stop? What do you do about disagreements, especially if not even 2 people agree about some facet? And the logistics of distilling all of these opinions into a consensus is probably less fun than actually playing the game and trying things out. I think there really is no perfect way to learn from others, but then I don't think the process needs to be perfect to be immensely helpful. I think I've already improved my start-of-game thinking as a result of the posts so far. In addition to Atlas and Kodii doing better jobs at the same start I was attempting, Voice pointed out some details in my own approach and Blake and mutineer have presented interesting starts that simply didn't occur to me. Maybe we'll try another thread soon where we do actually choose a single save and go for it. I would like to try this. Given the necessary amount of spoiler information and random results that arise with every turnset, we'll never be able to truly compare apples to apples. I agree with Atlas' thought: right now any reasonable condition--time or event--is fine.