Since you’re playing lategame scenarios only bronze and up matters, you don’t have to worry about weak/strong tool(Not that any of the civs mentioned have trouble with that.)
Swordsmen are very viable, the enemies are not that far(usually) and even if they are, you can always build your barracks closer. A couple of sneaky villagers(early scouters, transport ship) behind enemy lines can make a few barracks and soon your enemy’s base will be flooding with swordsmen. Of course if you’re defending, they don’t need to run far in the first place.
BABYLONIAN lategame will be mainly Priests + Catapults + Scythe Chariots. If you’re against a civilization without any decent archers you can also do Legion but missing armour+shield techs hurt them a lot. Horse Archers are your best fighting unit in iron but you don’t get Heavy Horse Archers so they don’t scale up. Still they are often your first choice instantly after reaching iron for that power spike. Can do Tower push with Priests and Catapults as well, very strong but requires a bit of planning.
Bronze is everything goes, you’ve got full tech tree and can do literally anything you like. Very versatile.
Gold Heavy if going priests, otherwise very little gold required.
Good boom, good eco
Example strat: Walls --> Chariot Archers --> Horse Archers --> Priests
MINOAN lategame will be Centurion+Composite Bowmen+Siege without exceptions.
Bronze is more interesting because you can do cavalry rush or swordsman spam instead of only compies, still not great variety though.
It is also very gold heavy in the lategame because both siege and academy units cost a lot of gold. Not really a problem in 4v4, just be smart with your dock placement and you can keep generating that gold. Trade with your enemy docks as well if he doesn’t destroy them once you’ve won the navy(which you will, because Minoan.)
Excellent boom on water maps and great economy with farm bonuses.
Best Navy in game
Example strat: Cavalry Rush --> Composite Bowmen --> Phalanx --> Siege
PHOENICIAN lategame is almost always Elephants with or without Priests. You do have Scythe Chariots, Legion and Centurions as well but lacking armour and damage upgrades for them means they are going to lose out to pretty much everything. No siege also sucks big time.
Bronze is full tech tree and thus free to do whatever you wish. Very versatile.
Elephants are really cheap in gold so not a gold heavy civ unless going priests.
Good boom with great eco.
Example strat: Cavalry Rush --> Chariots Archers --> Elephant Archers --> Armoured Elephants
SUMERIAN lategame should always be Heavy Horse Archers + Catapults. It’s a mixed bag of fun and fail. On one hand you get Heavy Horse Archers, Centurions and Scythe Chariots but on the other hand all of those are missing some upgrades, Craftmanship(+1 Range), Metallurgy(+3 attack) and shields. The Catapults are really good though and should always be included.
Bronze is missing the improved bowman line and cavalry so it’s not ideal either. Chariot archer spam is the most common way because it continues straight to Horse Archers but you can also do Chariots, Swordsmen, Hoplites and Camels, even Priests can be made if necessary. Still pretty interesting.
Can be really gold heavy if mixing Heavy Horse Archers/Centurions/Catapults but if just spamming Scythe Chariots and Catapults you can make do with very little.
Great boom with amazing eco because of the farm bonus, even stronger vils for easier time vs raiding parties.
Example strat: Swordsmen Rush --> Chariots --> Scythe Chariot --> Heavy Horse Archer
SHANG lategame is usually Cataphracts and Scythe Chariots, possibly with Priests but Heavy Horse Archers and Helepolis are also pretty common. Both of those lack their most important upgrades(Alchemy, Ballistics, Engineering) so they’re not the primary option.
Bronze age tree is again perfect. Very versatile.
Great opt out of gold economy by going Scythe Chariots(Full upgrades!) but otherwise relies on gold quite a bit.
Best boom in the game due to cheaper villagers and good economy.
Really Bad Navy
Example strat: Cavalry rush --> Chariot Archers --> Horse Archers --> Scythe Chariots
CARTHAGINIAN lategame is Centurions/Armoured Elephants + Elephant Archers/Helepolis but you can also do Horse Archers or Heavy cavalry in iron if you wish. It’s an interesting civ for sure but it’s countered really hard by Priests so be aware of that. You also don’t get Catapults which is a pain.
Bronze is lacking both Chariots and Composite Bowmen so archers is pretty much out from the get go. Hoplites are really good if mobility is not an issue. Swordsmen and Cavalry are both an option but the Camels with their extra hitpoints are where it’s at. The only thing fast enough to catch your Camels are Cavalry and other Camels, both of which you are going to beat in a fair fight. Also do surprisingly well vs Chariot Archers but kinda pricey for that. Chariot Archers can become a problem on certain maps.
Not too badly gold dependent, elephants don’t cost a lot of gold. A bit more gold heavy if doing Centurions and Helepolis.
Okay Boom, good economy
Example strat: Camel Rush --> Swordsmen --> Elephant Archers --> Centurions
THE THREE WEAKER ONES:
Carthaginian definitely has the most issues with both chariot archers and priests but if your allies are taking care of those, it can be really strong. 25% hitpoints for already strong units is nothing to scoff at.
Babylonian lategame can be a huge problem if you’re not a priest/tower person. When everyone else has heavy horse archers or elephant archers and you’re stuck with legion with only one shield upgrade it’s not a fun day should some centurions block your scythes without armour from reaching them. The solution is of course to learn how to push with towers and priests so it’s a matter of preference/skill, not weakness.
Problems with navy though.
Sumerians are also a bit weird, your farm economy is great but your combat in late iron relies on catapults shooting at the enemy and not you so if you’re not very good at managing those cats it can be though. Again, a problem skill can solve.
THE THREE STRONGER ONES:
Shang is undoubtedly one of the strongest civs due to that villager bonus, you save 1000+ food in a full length game with it. The biggest problem is missing engineering for catapults, annoying if you’re playing against choson sure but not that big of a deal.
Does suck in naval fights though.
Phoenician is also very versatile. Lack of siege can sometimes be frustrating but it’s still one of the strongest civs out there.
Minoan is one of the best civs as well but the can be boring as there isn’t a lot of space for variation.