I really like the look of France's UA, especially since I recently had a blast playing Japan and France looks like a similar concept. However after numerous attempts I'm really having trouble getting off the ground. I've been picking Authority and trying some early warfare, mostly with spearmen + archers, but the UA seems rather ineffective in the early game when I don't have enough ranged units to get many successive attacks. I can only get up to about +30% which isn't much. At most I can take one border city before the AI produces a carpet of units and/or gets walls up and I have to go on the defensive. This only nets me about ~3 turns of bonus culture and hammers, which doesn't seem worth it given the hammers I have to invest to go to war. I was wondering if I'd be better off doing something like Tradition -> Artistry -> Imperialism and leaving war until I get musketeers or even later. Maybe capture a city state or two in the meantime. This could also have some nice synergy with the extra great people you're going to be generating from the UA. I recently increased the difficulty from Emperor (which was feeling a little too easy) to Immortal (which is feeling maybe a little too hard). Japan should have similar issues, but my Japan game was on Emperor, and on top of that I feel the UA with Goddess of Protection offers a stronger early game than France. Also, Japan's UU and UB come online earlier. So my question is: how do you guys think France should be played early on? What policy trees do you pick and what would be your general timing for your first war? Any other general tips etc.