So how do you get a good game in a non-rated room? Well, one way to get at least a decent game is to take on clans. Clans tend to be reasonably discriminatory and, while standards vary, most folks at least have read and can practice the crappy bronze strategy. In order to get good games and good partners I joined Phantom. We go around to the extent possible challenging other clans in order to get "good games".
I acknowledge that there are a ton of "independents" out there many of whom are better than most of the clan members. I don't believe any of the RoR finalists was a clan member. However, these folks are hard to pick out simply by looking at their names. If you didn't know who Kleitus was could you tell how tough he was by his name?
Anyways, clans are easy to pick out by their names. Even if you have only one buddy you know and can count on you can go around trying to kick clan butt. Independents love to do this - as in "We kicked clan butt - 9 9 9". (course, if you get together with the same guys all the time to do it, you are a clan, just without a name).
Heck, come to Quirinal and take us on. We are around pretty regularly and have played a few hundred games each. You may find the game entertaining.
Phantom_Beowolf (aka Space Viking)