Also tried the free weekend to see if it got any better since the previous one, and I don’t… hate it? It still has many, or all, of the issues it had before. But the ride is smooth enough that I want to see what happens in another decade of in-game time, or in the next game with a different set-up. It’s satisfying even though I could write a good few paragraphs about it’s problems and much less about what does work. And the AI works as a challenge, though it doesn’t do much diplomatically.
(I did write those paragraphs before realizing most folks here have been playing for years and don’t need me to explain the game).