My answer: just buy the buildings? (or buy a workshop/factory for the nascent city) And losing a single trade route to feed the new city is not the end of the world (esp if your new city is coastal it grows pretty fast) Another answer... the only national building you'd be worrying about at that stage in the game is hermitage... so why not build hermitage THEN settle... Of course liberty will lose to tradition unless you use the early expansions to your advantage... the same way tradition would lose to liberty if their capitol fails to grow fast. So, the decision should be made on which one you value more, settling early, or growing the main city? Depending on the map, the answer may vary. Tradition gets +2 food and +10% growth early, but with liberty, the first granary in the satellite is done faster, and that's +4 food to capitol, for example... then +8 food in no time with 2 satellites. (if all cities are coastal this is very good) Finally, think why you want that new city (coal? oil? uranium? a certain lux for CS quests?)... if it's just to grow a city just for the sake of it, then I feel that should not be rewarded. Wide empires do better only in a few areas: pantheon faith, and troop production (and maybe city connections). If your game's focus is not on these, then why bother going wide?