This video has singlehandedly changed the way I look at the franchise. I know it's annoying to ask that people watch something for ten minutes instead of a written post, but it's worth it: Spoiler Comments : I think of myself as a diehard Civilization 4 fan, but it's been years since I've played a game in vanilla. The mods that I use - Fall From Heaven or Dawn of Civilization - all completely alter the way the game is played. I do in fact love the core gameplay model, but not the actual gameplay. Even though civilizations do play differently, it's almost completely a result of their leaderhead's AI. When was the last time you saw an AI civ carrying out a successful invasion, building an unstoppable tech lead, or otherwise changing its situation purely on the strength of its unique unit/buildings? Most of them are, as he says, little more than modifiers. Some of them were important in pursuing specific strategies (such as the Quechua rush), but only the Praetorian or Fast Worker ever really changed things in a general way. The only one that could have been radical was the carrack, which gave the Portuguese ocean transportation long before anyone else, but colonization was never a viable strategy next to conquest or cottage cheese. All this applies to Civ 4 only. I welcome your thoughts on the other installments.