Ali, I disagree with you regarding gifting. The coins you get from the AI civs give you a big boost in incremental partial rush building. Even infrastructure can be rush built with enough coins. Getting MP as early as possible can create a coin flow that is nearly as good as van deliveries, and definately provides free coins to help build "stuff". As for seeing the map at the start of the game, I still maintain that that would remove the fun of exploring for no real gain, especially with this map. Reading between the lines in the discription of GOTM58, and considering the demenions of the map, it was readily apparent that the only option was to go East.