I like the family system*, there’s interesting decisions and trade offs to be made: E.g. on potential spouses, do I go for the stats or take the general archetypes? Powerful generals can make a big difference, especially in the early game for Civs that don’t have steadfast or sniping as automatic promotions. Clearing out barb settlements is crucial to establishing a sound base which can be done with one unit and a capable general. Otherwise waiting 8 years for a city to build a unit more often than not results in tribes taking them over - and there are times that being surrounded by Numidian or Scythian tribes can kill a game right quick (worse even than a major civ.) I do wish the tribes waited a few more years before they start taking over everything, I’ve been tempted to turn them off but then since they’re a major thematic portion of the game that feels wrong.
(*But I’m also a fan of CK2 and “roleplaying in my head” where I spin little stories for different characters. I know that’s a sub-optimal and marginal play style but eh. That said I absolutely loathe the illegitimate child event that I get almost every damn game if the primary heir is female. )