Last night I played a game of BE that was actually on par with the level of fun and interesting game play that Civ V offers. Basically all we did was ban artists and the African Union. With these two things banned everything else in the game suddenly becomes far more meaningful. All your choices matter much more when you're not getting virtues left and right. I'm not sure if this will work in a single player game since the AI will be able to get artists but it did wonders in MP. I am not exaggerating when I say this made the game twice as good.