I'm in the middle of my first Earth 18 civs map, playing as China, and loving it. Is there a list of game mechanics? It seems like there is no unhappiness for war, and no maintenance for colonies. Definitely a new favorite game.
Capac has a pretty good start actually. You just need to move to the coast and then beeline sailing. Unfortunately the AI settles in place and has no idea how to get through the mountains. It's Mansa who has the horrible start.