Byzantium, Spain and Aztec have very unique Uniques: Insanely cool if you can make them work, with a chance of being completely useless depending on gamestate and preferred playstyle. Byzantium is most likely for me to be a total miss (I'm very much into whipping and generally appreciate the tactical applications of Jaguar Warriors. Spain has some interesting opportunities for a Renaissance-to-Industrial push; stronger siege is good and with a GLH-fueled economy I might wish to avoid the Economics/Corporation line anyway). Still, a solid military edge that you can get by trading (no need for a tech lead for your game-deciding push) and the ability to gain any amount of happiness don't seem bad; chances are I simply suck at breaking these advantages. In the hands of the AI, Justinian is quite solid. Good for me: Darius, followed by Pacal. Solid economy traits, boring-but-practical cap raiser UBs and in the case of Darius an excellent rushing unit. Good for the AI: Willem and Gilgamesh. CRE is a great trait in the hands of the AI; Willem gets bonus points for being opportunistic and, by AI standards, actually playing to win. Gilgamesh gets extra points for being bad news if he's my neighbour. Good for both: Zara Yaqob. I love half of what he has to offer (Oromos have a huge time window - worth a beeline, and I might postpone Rifling until I can upgrade them straight to infantry for second wind. Organised is my favourite trait.) but don't appreciate the culture-related bonuses. The AI is again helped out a lot by CRE and he's balanced enough to be a long-term contender.