This is both a question and an update proposal.
ASAIK most build orders are mainly centered around the first two ages (like resource crates or logisticians for age 2, exiled prince for age 3, etc.). When it comes to age 4 the choice becomes a little more arbitrary (maybe 2 falcs?). For age 5 the game has reached a scale that a few age-up rewards would not create a strong timing, so maybe permanent buffs like the age 5 mercenary contractor are always preferred, at least for me.
Asians and native Americans are a little more straightforward because the options are limited, and all American and African options offer much greater variety so there may be builds evolving around them.
I know I’m kind of bad at this game, but do late game age-up politicians/councils really matter that much, and are there good criteria for choosing them?
Considering (1) most games do not reach age 5 or fully utilize age 4, so balancing is not a big problem here (2) age 4 or 5 options, especially politicians, do not make big impacts on the gameplay as earlier ones (correct me if I’m wrong) (3) newer civs especially American and African ones have a lot of options for age 5 but older civs almost have nothing new, I think the late game age-ups can be improved for Europeans and native Americans as listed below:
- More options that offer permanent buffs.
- Some additional options that may change the playstyle a little more like this one:
- Unlock some (maybe very expensive) techs in the capitol/community plaza (or whatever building you find appropriate), depending on the choice. They can even cost shipments as was done in the NE mod.