Hello Rhys -The 3 tile distance has always been something the AI loves to do in civ5. The AI expand more in the mod. The number of crappy cities should be lower in the next version though. -Yes that is the purpose of this pantheon. It's a short term good bonus. On the other hand you have a weaker chance at a religion. A pantheon like god of the sea has a long term benefit with hammers giving you a great midgame advantage and more potential if you get enough sea tiles. Remember that work boats are cheaper in the mod and the next version will make coastal cities smoother. Of course you have a point if you have not many sea tiles or pastures in the case of open sky. -Yes Warrior Code can allow you to quickly grab a capital through an early rush. That is fine in my book and really diminishes in potential in the higher difficulties. The game is far from won after this investment. It slowed down your early development and you get a puppet city out of it. Tradition is still strong because of the risk you have by overexpanding with another tree. Those early wars are scary and if you are still spamming cities at turn 60 you have a chance to die there. You sometimes don't even have the room to put many cities down. Tradition offers a safe 4 strong cities opener. It's true that lately I haven't open Piety much directly but it's an incredibly efficient secondary tree and does wonders with a 6+ cities empire. And wider empire are almost a must in the mod, regardless of what you opened with. The next update boosts tradition's landed elite slightly by the way. My next update will be released soon as the same time as a new let's play on Demigod featuring a tradition + piety mix. I open with 4 cities then use cataphracts to conquer more. A very strong religion and piety+tradition's gold allow me to sustain 8 cities pretty efficiently. The midgame is a bit troublesome because of a carrolean army attacking me but it's not really a problem with the policies and more with how tough Demigod can be.