I've been struggling quite a bit with recent versions but got some inspiration from some of the write ups. I play authority/king/epic, just swapping from left to the right side of authority helped a lot. My two recent games also had some seriously op units. Mandekalu cav, going for early military theory a 2-3 warriors and 2 Mcav took almost out poland peaced out, build 2 more took out and denmark and then back to kill poland. The no penalty vs cities and high stats makes mince meat even of spearmen. Tabya helps with buildings. My second game with Denmark I went Glib ->sailing and then Metal casting. Runestones are so rediculous when going wide everything gets built everywhere in no time. And berserkers, oh my they are strong, I upgraded a few to tercios but most of them stays as berserkers, that seems better for the extra movement. (Both games would of course look different if I had run into a wall of higher difficulties.) I know it is a luxury the times when you have a lot of options for beliefs. In the first game I missed on god of war but went for god of protection had early fountain of youth and took defender of the faith. The vikings went god of war -> holy law+inspiration -> tithe/clericalism -> crusader spirit. I was surprised that I got really fast reformation without building cathedral of StB. Is Zelotry good? I usually I don't really need that many more units, do the Zelotry recruited get full exp? Does the strategic resource bonus make me get monopolies easier? then it's looking better. What about Hero worship? Looks useful for combination with zelotry or why not jesuit education. Or maybe best reserved for civs that benefit from golden ages like Persia for example? Any other civs that makes for good early wars. Inca looks sort of ok but mostly for upgrade -> later game op ranged. I've failed with Persia and should probably try again, immortals are so annoying to fight against but I wasn't able to push it well enough. Boudicca and Zulu should probably be on the list as well.