Well, that may be, but I have successfully tried out a new sort of strategy to weaken my fellow roman factions.
There´s nothing special about it, but it actually worked out pretty well.
I was playing the imperial campaign as the Julii, hard difficulty. I had successfully fought back the gauls and spanish, having good trade agrements with Carthage, Britain, Germania, Thrace and Dacia. I neglected to fullfill the senatorial assignments that did not profit my agenda. But since I was victorius on the battlefield and the richest faction, I still held several offices in the senate and was quite popular among the plebs and pats.
The Scipii was the weakest faction, having some hard times with the carthaginians. The Brutii however, was successfull in conquering Greece and the south-eastern parts of Europe. I did not want my fellow roman factions to become to strong. When the civil war erupts, I want to be able to kill them off without to much hardship.
So this is what i did:
A placed a lot of spies in their italian cities ( Capitals ); Capua, Tarentum etc. As soon as a plague erupted, I made sure that some of my spies were infected, and then had them spread the plague in the Scipii/Brutii cities.
I also assassinated several of their family members.
The Brutii was at war with Thrace, and was about to defeat them. The Thracian had a couple of cities left. I sent my diplomats to bribe the Brutii armies that besieged the cities and, of course, lifted the siege. Then I made the Thracians my allies and thereby forcing the other roman factions to a ceasefire with Thrace. Of course, the ceasefire was short, but I repeated the same thing over and over. I also supported the Thracians economically and prolonging their ability to fight back against the Brutii.
The Brutii expansion stopped and when the civil war broke out, I had a huge advantage and easily killed them off.