I have played Civilization games from the very beginning. My confession here is that I don't think I've ever played with starting games in later eras aside from pre-fab scenarios. I had been avoiding playing many civilizations because their Uniques don't come in to play until later eras. My example here is Hungary. I wanted to play with their Civ State bonus and make Thermal Baths. But the TB and their two UUs are not in play until about the Renaissance. I figured what the hell and set the starting era to Medieval to give myself a running start to the Renaissance and wondered how the game would set up. I can't recall all the details but I was given 2 Settlers, 2 Skirmishers and a bonus population and free ancient walls, etc. when founding my first cities. After these 2 Settlers there were still a sub-set of bonuses for any new cities I founded. Well I guess if you've done this before you are aware of this mechanic but I quite enjoyed how it played out to 'discover' the world at this era along with the AIs; it was a land rush. What I also found was that the way in which Religions were founded was much different in so much as now I, the human player, could compete with and beat the AI to founding religions, the good Evangelical bonuses, all of that. This change alone made me much more competitive from the start and I was able to flex a lot of Religious muscle in a way I rarely can with an Ancient Era start and no cheats. There are a number of other facets I'm just finding out but I made this post to say "I'm a believer" and to maybe nudge anyone else who, like me, had been ignoring this feature since about forever. Good stuff. 10/10 Will start later era games again.