You have detailed every single issue tradition style must face. Fine. But for me, it's just that happiness limits how many cities you can keep happy from your city. The rest of the tradition problems derive from this fact. You may not want to continue the game until the end, and that's fine, but be aware that Authority is especially good at the early game, even without fighting, but if you fail to capitalize on the advantage, your late game will not succeed. Also remember that you are playing epic pace, while policies are balanced around standard pace. It's like complaining about the fact that the Aztecs completely dominate the early game, while Austria is crap. If you keep playing Austria until industrial age and manage to survive, you will win more often with Austria than the Aztecs. That's the thing with late bloomers, they are better suited to win if left alone, so playing an early bloomer you must be sure that you hindered those as much as possible. It comes to no surprise that many games are lost because a runaway civ out of reach. You dominate your early game, your continent, make everyone nearby a vassal, and then some civ in another continent suddenly skyrockets its techs, you try to stop it but can't send enough units in time since they are well protected in the other side of the world. I agree with you that it should be fun, and it looks like you stop having fun mid game. You think you have won, and it might not be truth (you win when the victory message appears, not before then). But it doesn't matter if you still can lose, what matters is that there's a period where you are feeling overconfident and you get bored. What this says to me is that you need to raise handicap B value.