My favorite variant is always war (AW). This is where you must declare war on every major civ the first time you meet them and can never make peace. I am having some fun with the new civs in GS. For the older civs the Aztecs are outstanding. I have beaten deity continents and Pangea with them all standard size maps. Have also won @ deity with Persia and I think Rome. BTW for purists I usually set legendary start and roll to get a great start. 2-3 lux and good production. For the new civs I have won with Ottomans continents deity using the warrior/sword rush with that new gov. that gives +10 on city attack. Tried Hungary @ deity and got crushed as I had no CS around me so cut to Immortal and had 6 CS right next to me. I built almost no military, and marched through the AIs, it was absurd. I literally built like a scout, 1 warrior and 3 slingers for land units in an AW game. Had to build a bit of a navy as it was continents. This is ridiculously overpowering if you meet a bunch, or even a few CS’s early. Free upgrades, no unit costs, no resource use, 2 envoys and most importantly extra movement speed for levy units. Finally, my favorite new civ is Maori, played @ deity AW arch map. This is also dominant on this map. You meet most CS first for nice capital boosts, have naval tech lead, can sit in ocean and have extra movement. You can take a couple cities early with just galleys. And with Toas the steam rolling begins. Won 1 straight up easily and then did an AW OCC. Not really OCC but can only keep capitals. This was more difficult and fun but also won. Anyway, do others play this? What is your experience? If you haven’t tired it you should. I know the AI is terrible at war but it is not that easy. $$ can be a problem as you must earn it all yourself, no trades no gouging in peace. Happiness is always an issue because of WW so watch your city count and grab the luxes. I do tend to keep most cities. I have found the key is getting rolling soon so something with an early advantage is critical.