I should probably try to stretch myself a little with this game. I've been doing the thing I usually do when I start a new 4X, where I play on the easiest difficulty so that I can get used to the tech tree and build orders, but I'm coming to realize that I already knew them by heart. It is entirely reasonable that I should be going after a high difficulty victory (I don't even remember what level I got to back when I was playing all the time because there are no achievements for beating the game on hard mode).
However, the problem is that hard mode scares me. Moreso than other 4X games, Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is combat-driven. It's not so much that you have to conquer the world to win (building the Tower of Mastery is far and away the fastest way to victory), but that you're constantly recruiting these legendary heroes and fighting is what they do. At the very least, you need them to clear out the monsters that occasionally wander into your territory, but honestly, if you're not doing thorough exploration in order to find exotic quests and fabulous treasure in the wildlands, then you're really missing out on half of the game (and the better half, at that).
Which shouldn't really stress me out as much as it does. I enjoy this game. It's got that soothing 4X rhythm that lets me slip into it easily and for hours at a time. The trick is finding a balance that keeps me engaged and challenged while still allowing me to do all those building-type things that I most enjoy.
I think what I'll do is crank the difficulty up to maximum just to test my limits. I may wind up surprising myself, like I did with Alpha Centauri (I played that game a lot back near the turn of the century, but always two or three steps down from maximum difficulty. When I went back to it four years ago, I was gratified to learn that my skills had increased, despite my hiatus). Then again, I may find that I'm a lot worse than I always thought and that I spent 150 hours adapting myself to easy mode.
It's the risk that makes a gamble exciting.