I was really good at Endless Space. Me and my internet buds (found through the RPS community, in fact) used to while away our weekends in Amplitude's first stab at 4X strategy, embroiled in bickering over juicy planets and strategically-important hyperspace lanes. My empire would nearly always shine the brightest and the best - at least until the other galactic players would team up to take me down. Nobody knew quite why I did so well, other than it might have something to do with me taking twice as long to end my turn.
I had a secret.
The secret was a strategy guide, which looked a lot like this one - only much more detailed. I knew exactly how to build my ships. I had a firm grasp on what research to prioritise, which leaders to snag and how best to bootstrap planets into productivity. I was the maestro of micromanagement, the king of macro strategy. In hindsight, I was a jerk.
You wouldn't catch me doing something like that now, and not just because I wouldn't admit to more recent crimes. If I'd been open about my dependence on the guide, that might have been different - but hoarding a resource that essentially spelled out the path to victory was so obviously unsporting. I can't honestly say playing would have been more fun without it, because being the lord of space was a blast. That's not the point though, is it?
If you're reading this, friends, I am sorry. I hope you accept this mea culpa, somehow in the form of a feature on that cool games website we all liked.