I seem to vaguely recall that the 2 scout start was intended as a sort of risk/reward power limiter. Elves+leaves religion was(and probably still is) a very powerful combination. The Ljosalfar are very well placed to found leaves early and get one the earliest national heroes. 2 scouts forced you to be very careful in the initial stages or risk elimination but have a very strong game if you survived. But yeah AI doesn't know what to do with this particular piece of balance.