The settings I liked best were; Landscape type: Land. Nature of ground: Plain. Initial Resources: Normal (1,000) Minerals: Lean. Map Size: Large (2x) Start options: Default (18 peasants). Balloon options: No balloon. Cannon Options: Expensive cannons Peace time: No peace time 18th C options: Defualt Captures: No peasant captures. Autosave options: 10 mins. Preferred additional rules by agreement: No diplomatic units. No reverse trading. No shipyards. No multi-barrell cannons. No use of geo upgrade. No attacking with officers only. No building a 2nd nation with captured peasants. Limit wood walls to about 220. Limit stone walls to about 220. Of course, OC Mod built in some of these extra rules. Reasons. Plain land is best for long games and big armies. Maps with mountains or plateaus are too blocked and too easy to defend. The 2x map is enough to reduce early raiding along with banning the diplo units. The 2x map also means less real need for peace times. Low initial resources and lean mines make the struggle to build an economy more challenging. It also means upgrade decisions have to made carefully and prioritized. No balloon keeps the fog of war which makes the game more challenging. Expensive cannons reduced cannon streaming. Building a second nation spoiled the game in my opinion as it gave a whole second population cap as well as new unit types. Diplo units worked against formation play and building positions. Geo upgrade made it too easy to find enemy base. Walls needed to be limited or people could make multiple walls and defend forever. You might guess that I liked land games and didn't really like fishing boats and navy. These were too overpowered compared to land units and spoiled a land game with lakes. Continent games are different and of course need navies but I think the shipyard / navy system needs major re-design and reduction in shipyard and ship numbers.