I would highly recommend the mod, although it does change the base game pretty drastically. If you are looking for only improved AI and quality-of-life level improvements, I think the Community Patch Project (which is integrated into the VP mod) covers it without changing the base game too much. I don't think the turn times really differed that much at all, but you can make a better call if you experience it firsthand. Gimping the AI to make the game easier and more accessible to most players is fine. But I think there should be an in-game option to toggle the AI difficulty outside of the existing settings, where the AI just gets bonuses without playing better. That said, I had to level-down from Immortal in vanilla BNW to Prince in VP, so the increase in difficulty is noticeable. EDIT: I believe that the Community Patch also solves other problems with 1UPT, such as civilian traffic jams, by allowing infinite stacking of non-military units.