First off - the goal is maximum torches. Get it? MAXIMUM TORCHES! The goal is not - NOT - being #1. There is no bonus whatsoever for being highest ranked. In fact, it actually works against the goal. A top ranked guild will be raided relentlessly by inexperienced players who do not understand strategy. That means we would be wasting our defenses (and side-lining our haulers) by stopping weak players from taking our torches.
If played well, Torch Battle actually is not an all day event at all. The best teams do it all in the last 15 minutes by raiding from the lowest ranked guilds (who usually aren't even playing) and having many people haul all at the end. The best strategy means maximizing our haul of torches while not having to waste our heroes fighting off other guilds.
Therefore - DO NOT HAUL BEFORE 20:45 GAME TIME!!! That only wastes our resources by putting us at the top too early.
Next - DO NOT HAUL FROM THE TOP 20 GUILDS! Like us, they have strong players with heroes that are probably stronger than yours. They don't want to lose their torches and (trust me) they are already ticked off that some fool in their guild hauled early and put them at the top. So you will lose your critically needed hauler and waste an opportunity for the guild.
Finally - PARTICIPATE! The more people we have hauling, the more likely we will have a perfect score and lots of goodies to share!