These days I'm basically playing in this setting, which is quite fun, somehow more balanced in difficulty, I mean, not too easy and not too hard. Settings: Open multiplayer--> local network, then start a game. In multiplayer it is allowed to group up things, just set yourself to group 1 and all AIs to group 2. And set everything to deity difficulty. Basically I take the "no trade" rule in my games, that I cannot trade with anyone, including making peace deals. Since grouped AIs are really bad dealing with peace deals, so I just ban it. When AIs being grouped, there are a little difficulty in handling victory conditions. For example, you are forced to either expand quickly enough or start your own religion, since whenever you follow any AI's religion you instantly lose. When grouped AIs are a little stronger than when they are separated, so this brings some fun. City-States don't start with walls in this setting, so they're easily eliminated early. If you play Australia it is a very good chance to liberate them. Also, since it is a "multiplayer" game this means you cannot save/load, at least no autosaves. A good place to practice robust strategies. Strategy: Despite a little harder than Deity, since Deity itself is too casual the Deity 1 vs 7 is still a casual one (although not THAT casual) so you can enjoy using different kinds of strategies, or playstyles.