I want to play a more challenging game without upping the difficulty. I usually play monarch, have won a couple emperor games but not with consistency. My question is, are certain leaders always more/less challenging to you or is it more dependant on where the map places them? For example mansa next to a warmonger is probably going to vassalize quickly, but on a continent apart from yours full of peaceful leaders he'll run away with tech. So it seems to me that the map usually plays a much greater part than the leaders. But anyway, for a real challenging game what leaders should I try playing as and against? I want to play against at least 12 civs on a large map, either continents, terra, fractal or pangea. My thoughts: Large terra map, playing as Mehmed. He is pretty balanced, fine for expansion, teching, or war with his traits. Doesn't have an extremely powerful UU or UB but both are good and useful. Opponents would be a mix of who I think are strong leaders at various points in the game and who make things difficult for me usually. Thinking Shaka, Monty, Cathy, Sury, Pacal, Elizabeth, Pericles, Hayuna, Charlemagne, Toku and Hannibal. This leans towards warmongers/aggressive civs with some techers to keep them updated. Though I'm thinking J Ceasar might be a good replacement for Pericles or Hannibal. If I get some really interesting ideas and this turns into a good game maybe I'll post it here. I appreciate any ideas!