Here's a hint: Don't build scouts early on, build a Warrior. Why? Warrior can defend himself and can clear Barb camps for extra gold and safety while Scouts are likely to die fast. Then when you get Iron, you can send your Warriors back home and turn them into badass experienced Swordsmen if need be - while Scouts can't be upgraded and even if you keep them alive are wasted experience points. Warriors don't explore that fast so you might be late for some ruins - but there's no assurance of being faster to ruins with Scouts either - and even if you lose the race you still will win prizes in cash and experience.