I can beat the game with my eyes closed on immortal by playing a 4 city Tradition empire, and simultaneously playing a game of table tennis against my brother. Then I sit down and try to play the game using a different strategy cuz, you know, replay value? I've tried and tried and tried to make Liberty work and it's complete trash every time. The thing that it is supposedly good at - rapid expansion - it fails to do in any meaningful way. I don't know what settings people play, but I play on standard sized maps with the standard number of civs, everything is standard standard standard, and even going Liberty and rushing settlers ASAP it's extremely unlikely that I have room for more than 4 good cities anyway. So if I'm study with 4 cities, why not just go Tradition? Or if I'm going to settle 4 myself and then go to war, why not just go Honour? To make matters worse, the second city you settle is always the most important. You always find good city spots halfway between you and an AI right at the beginning of the game. There is always this mad, mad rush to get out that first settler and grab that beautiful spot before the AI does. It literally happens every game. Does Liberty help you do this? No. I'm talking about that beautiful spot halfway between you and an AI, the ONLY way you have a hope in hell of getting it is to pump out a settler right away, like right after your scout. You can't afford to sit there and wait for the free settler from Liberty. So by the time you get your free Liberty settler, most of the great city spots are already gone. Maybe... just maybe, if you play on a large map with only 1/2 the standard number of civs, then MAYBE Liberty would be an option to consider, but on standard settings it's just complete and utter trash every single time. Game after game after game I try to make it work and it's always underwhelming crap. Hell, I even installed mods that make wide empires better, like Acken's mod, and Liberty is still garbage. Maybe it's just the maps, I don't know, but they are extremely crowded on standard settings.