[OTC] Opening tactic of temporary chems investment: a good idea poorly executed

In this clip from an Offworld Trading Company tournament, player adorfield recognizes that the neutral colony’s modules are consuming chemicals, gradually increasing the market price. Adorfield bought 60 chemicals early, knowing that he could sit on them for a period and then sell them at a profit.

This is, on its own, a sound plan. However, the plan should have been aimed at selling the chems as soon as the profits were enough to let him buy the HQ level 2 upgrade for additional tile claims. Instead, adorfield did not sell his stockpile, locking up thousands of dollars that needed to be used to jump start in the critical moments of the opening. The plan actually delayed his development rather than accelerating it.

Meanwhile, an opponent with unstifled development was able to use their faster HQ level 2 claims to snatch away the high aluminum tile adjacent to adorfield’s base. In this moment we can see how the error snowballed against adorfiel and seriously hampered his opening. Yes, the price of those chems will continue to rise, which does provide some benefit, but waiting for the price to rise further came with an enormous opportunity cost of upgrading later than his opponents.

[EU4] Reman’s Paradox analyzes the new institutions mechanics

YouTuber Reman's Paradox demonstrates a high level of game knowledge backed up by data in this assessment of the new institutions mechanic in Europa Universalis IV. He also takes the laudable step of making his data and code available for others to use.

Below, I've pulled out four short sub-clips in which Reman raises ideas that may be relevant to thinking about other games.
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[Stellaris] Macsen on the early game

YouTuber Macsen Lets Plays makes great content for single-player 4X games on high difficulties. His commentary is insightful, and his diligence with adding YouTube annotations to clarify or correct is seriously impressive. Here I've pulled out some important points from his Stellaris opening guide, especially ones that parallel ideas of strategy in other games.

Macsen starts off pointing out the importance of quick starts in 4x games:
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[AoE2] Overview of the Aztecs

YouTuber Spirit Of The Law conducts an excellent review of the strengths and weaknesses of the Aztec civilization, backed up by tests and mathcrafting. I've included the full video here, and below it I've pulled out a couple of small clips that I may want to reference later.
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[AoE2] Early and midgame commentary selections

YouTuber ZeroEmpires provides insightful Age of Empires II coverage on a game between players Skittles and Melkor. The whole cast is great, but here are a few moments of especially clear presentation.

First an assessment of Skittle's unfortunate spawn location:

The open terrain around Skittle's base enabled early harassment that in turn contributed to an economic advantage for Melkor:

Melkor's larger and safer economy is invested in an army size and upgrade advantage which in turn is used to keep some pressure against Skittle's awkward home terrain, preserving Melkor's economic advantage:

Melkor takes a cost-efficient tactical shot with a well-chosen armor upgrade to enable raiding under watchtowers. Skittles continues to lose gathering time with his villagers: