If you check the opponents in many HoF games for say a diplomatic or spaceship victory, you'll find that the opponents have the scientific trait. A lot of 20k games have a bunch of scientific opponents, though there also exist some 20k games where the opponents seem like weak researchers. Some of those principles might usefully get applied to some other games... say pangea games at a level where you struggle with the tech pace or where you want to decrease the tech pace. One principle in selecting your opponents might lie in maximizing your tribe's benefits with respect to your opponents. Specifically you might want to maximize the advantages of your starting technologies to hope you can trade for more ancient technologies with less resources. So, as an example, let's say that you want to play with Rome on a standard map with 7 opponents: 1. You have Alphabet and Warrior Code as your starting techs. So, you don't want to have any Militaristic, Commercial, or Seafaring tribes to start with. An exception though is Japan. This way, the AIs will either have to research your starting techs for themselves or get them from you. 2. Say you also want to eliminate the scientific trait also to hopefully give you more time to build up an economy. Then your opponents could be Egypt, Japan, Maya, Inca, America, the Celts, and Arabia. A potential downside might be that the AIs will have less commerce than if you had selected more Seafaring and Commercial opponents. For such a list, Japan also has a unique position in that they make for the only tribe that starts with a unique tech. As another example, let's say you pick Germany as your tribe. Then, you don't want anyone scientific or militaristic... except possibly for Japan. But, let's say you also want to maximize the number of tribes with Alphabet in hopes of trading for it early on. For your opponents then you could have The Hittites, The Iroquois, England, France, Carthage, India, and Spain. If you use that principle of always having your opponents not have your starting techs, then every time you play a different tribe you can have different opponents without selecting random opponents. Tribes with Alphabet and Pottery have the least number of possible opponents when using that principle. Japan has the maximum number of possible opponents.