This is an interesting topic. In pub matches, I prefer 4x for the pace.
WW3 4x is my clear favorite. I like the decision of doctrine and how it affects when your units are available. Also with everything not available day 1, you won't face max level infantry on day 1.
Overkill 4x is #2 for me. I really enjoy the 100 players, 3 person coalition dynamic and the strategy behind the victory sites. The decisions you make on how to conquer and defend them vs just taking cities makes it a little more strategic then a regular map.
Apoc 4x is #3.
If Battleground USA was a 4x, I think I would enjoy it. But the 1x nature of it and mostly being brand new players makes it hard for me to enjoy it.
All that said, alliance matches on both the Med map and the world redux map are more fun then any pub match!
All this gave me the desire to try some 4X and learn to be relaxed about what happens on them. Not sure i'll be able to
Running an online alliance is pretty much like running a small company, except you need to find other way than money to keep your employees productive. May they play or work, they are humans.