Kappys, you're way over my head. Thanks for all of the advice.
I like the Byzantines (from the five civs I've tried so far). They have the Dromon - a galley that throws Greek fire (I usually like to play 70% archipelago). I can just sail along torching all their coastal cities while my cavalry attacks from within. Then, if I take a coastal city, I can put the Dromon in it and if they try to counter-attack, I bombard them. So, before any other civ can even build a catapult, I'm blasting away. The Byz wouldn't work too well in Pangaea, I imagine.