Intro Some ideas that I think would make Civ 6 more interesting would be some level of economic competition. Just like how religions in the early game (well, the whole game depending on who you're playing against) cause the founding players and ai to war against each other, how interesting would it be for the mid to late game to have trading companies, or corporations, that passively, and maybe even aggressively, fight over control of trade nodes? Trade Nodes So, the purpose of these trade nodes would be to somewhat simulate how major crossroads of trade routes may be effected by the politics of the controllers of the nodes. The trade nodes, by construction, would encompass several tiles but the centermost tile would be the "trade node center". It would be in the best interest for civilizations to have the highest amount of trade power in the aforementioned trade node because trade nodes will supply each civ with a bonus amount of trade route yields relative to the amount of trade power that they have. Trade power would be determined by many factors that I will now brainstorm: city location, city loyalty, military presence, religious presence, religious beliefs, government policy cards, any tourism output inside of trade node, location of commercial hubs and harbors, presence of corporations, alliances, vassal states, world state of peace/war, eras, and maybe some other things I am not thinking of. This is similar to EU4's trade node concept. Let's pretend that the English have a city located adjacent to the trade node center and the French have one city located on the outskirts of the trade node. The English would have a much higher trade power in the node than the French because the English have a city closer to the trade node. But the next turn the French settle two more cities (this is just an arbitrary number) on the outskirts of the trade node and poor Vicky's city is on the verge of having negative loyalty. The French would now maybe have about a 50:50 ratio of trade power (or maybe slightly more) with the English, due to more cities exerting more trade power than before and because England's city is not as loyal as it was before. The next turn, Phillip sends his Catholic crusade of missionaries to these French and English cities and converts them. Now, Phillip owns a slight handhold in this trade node. But the next turn Gandhi converts the English city and one of the French cities (so 2 of the 4 cities) to Hinduism. Because Gandhi's Hinduism happens to have the church property belief, he get's a small boost to the trade power that he receives from the cities that follow his religion. So, Gandhi has a higher trade power than Phillip does even though they religiously control half of the cities each. However, France and England have way more trade power individually than India and Spain do combined because religious trade power is never enough alone to overpower the physical presence of cities. Also, religious trade power exertion is similar to religious tourism in that it eventually becomes less effective as the game progresses through time. So now Vicky and Catherine decide to build their first districts in these cities. Vicky builds her royal dockyard and Catherine builds both a harbor in one of her cities and a commercial hub in her other two cities. The trade power from these commercial focused districts is based on some mechanic relating to (1) number of trade routes passing directly through them and (2) placement relative to trade node center. Next in the saga, Catherine builds Notre Dame. Once Notre Dame accumulates tourism, France will gain a trade power bonus relative to the amount of tourism accrued. Gandhi seeks a trade agreement with Vicky and they therefore form an alliance. They receive a percentage of each other's trade power in the node. England and France have both founded their corporations and have made an economic alliance. Both England and France's cities "follow" their respective corporations and as a result of the economic alliance, they combine their trade power in a node and both receive the full benefits. This only counts the trade power that their individual cities create. So, France is NOT receiving the trade power that England receives from India. Things Not Included In the Story Above State of War/Peace: Only really matters if a trade node is controlled by civs other than yourself. If civs at war are neutral with you, then there is no effect. If you are a declared friend of one of the warring civs in the trade node, then the enemy of your friend, if he/she has more trade power than you and your friend combined, prevents you from sending trade routes to any cities in the zone of the trade node and you receive a trade power penalty in that node. If the enemy of your friend does not meet the aforementioned requirement, then you only receive a minor trade route yield and trade power penalty. If you are the one directly involved in the war, then your ability to send trade routes and your trade power depends on your military presence. Or something to that effect. . . Denouncement: Being denounced by a civ gives you and the denouncer a trade power penalty relative to each other's trade power in all of the respective trade nodes of which you both have trade power in. Eras: You receive no trade power bonuses from a normal era, a penalty from a dark era, and a bonus from a golden era. Golden age may have a trade power focus while a dark age government policy card may grant bonus trade power with a penalty for something else. Government Policy Cards: Policy cards exist that give a trade power bonus. Espionage: Spies can sabotage both corporations and trade power bonuses from commercial hubs and harbors. Military Presence: More military units present may slightly adjust trade power. Vassal States: Will be discussed later! Tier 3 Governments: Upon reaching the tier 3 governments, declared friends/allies of the same government type may combine their trade power into one equally shared trade power (only counts the trade power generated by your own factors and not those of other civilizations). Restatement of Concepts If You Did Not Read the Story Example(s) City Location: Closer to the trade node center = more trade power from city population City Loyalty: More loyal cities = more trade power; less loyal cities = lower trade power Religion: Religious cities exert a small amount of trade power for the founders of the religion. This trade power from religious cities can be increased through religious beliefs. Religious trade power degrades as the game progresses through time similar to religious tourism. Trade nodes may help spread religion. Harbors and Commercial Hubs: Increase trade power relative to distance from trade node center and number of trade routes that directly pass through them. Tourism: Tourism boosts trade power. In other words, the tourism yielded from wonders, holy cities, and all great works and artifacts grants a trade power boost through some modifier. Alliances: Non-economic alliances grant a trade power boost relative to a percentage of the other's trade power in the respective nodes. Corporations: Increases trade power based on number of cities "following" the corporation. Acts sort of like an economic religion in terms of spread. Perhaps adds a loyalty boost to founding civilization's cities. Economic Alliance: The two allies share the trade power produced by their own cities' means. So, economic allies do NOT receive trade power given from OTHER alliances. Trade Node Placement There are two paths that could work for determining where to place the trade nodes: (1) the trade nodes are pre-placed on the map before the game starts or (2) the trade nodes are generated based on some mechanic relating to where trade routes are clustered. Trade Power Uses Trade power will increase the yields of trade routes. By this I mean that your trade routes will have a basic yield that will then be added by the percent of the trade power. So a trade route that yields 10 gold in a node where you have a trade power of 10% means that you would receive 11 gold (10+1). Everyone's trade power adds up to 100%, in this way the most that you can get from the trade power boost is at most twice of the base gold yield from the trade route. Now you can also choose to send trade power to an adjacent node. What this will do is make all trade routes in that trade node have the following formula take place: (Base Trade Route Gold) - (Trade Power Being Transferred)%= (Whatever This Would Equal) (Whatever This Would Equal) + (Trade Power of Civ Trading)%=(New Trade Route Yield) So with arbitrary numbers below. . . (Base Trade Route Gold) - (Trade Power Being Transferred)%= (Whatever This Would Equal) 10 - 40% (of 10) = 6 (Whatever This Would Equal) + (Trade Power of Civ Trading)%=(New Trade Route Yield) 6 + 20% (of 6) = 7.2 So as you can see, pulling trade power from a node that you are not really trading in can hurt the trade routes of the other civs that are using it. The pulled trade power will be added to the respective civ's trade power in the designated adjacent node. I wasn't sure where to put this but it'd be cool if civs could give you a portion of their trade power as part of a peace deal! Corporations So as you have probably noticed by now, corporations' primary purpose is to increase your trade power. Every civ can found them and this is because corporations will have the ability to make one trade node on a commercial hub or harbor that "follows" your corporation. This way, every civ has an opportunity to dominate at least one trade node in the game. Corporations will exert pressure to other cities based on a factor like a cities gold output. Corporations will have a unit that is purchasable that can spread the corporation to other cities. Once a city has a corporation, perhaps there could be a boost to a city's output other than gold. This extra bonus besides gold could be a result of a business policy tree or something. Another bonus from corporations is that military units receive a combat boost relative to the trade power of the node that they are in. Lastly, with the founding of corporations it would seem that a new "trade conflict" casus belli would be interesting. I have not really thought through what this would do, but this casus belli could be required for the transfer of trade power in peace deals (as was mentioned above). Vassal States Vassal states are like alliances. Both entities receive a bonus, but not the same bonus. The basic requirement for a vassal state is that a civ has to be at least two tech eras behind you in order for you to vassalize them. A vassal state can be both peacefully and forcefully created. The peaceful option can be done simply by making a trade deal. The forceful option is a part of the peace deal resulting from the "colonial war" casus belli. The vassal state ends when the junior civ catches up in tech. Vassal State Concepts So the purpose of a vassal state is to help a civ that has fallen behind catch up. So, the civ that is technologically behind naturally receives eurekas and maybe even a bonus to their science and perhaps some other output. The "big brother" civ receives bonuses that make it worthwhile. Specifically, the bonus that I will discuss is trade power. The "big brother" civ will receive all of the trade power from the junior civ, but the junior civ will not receive the trade power from it's helper. The "big brother" civ's corporation has an increased spread pressure in the vassal's cities. The junior partner will not have the ability to declare war directly but he will have the ability to ask, via a trade agreement, the "big brother" civ to attack for him (and with a usable casus belli). When a war is declared, a vassal state's units temporarily fall under the control of the "big brother" civ until the end of the war. During this time, there is a massive vassal-to-junior trade power penalty and a massive maintenance penalty from the vassal's military units. But while at war, there is a combat bonus when fighting within either civ's territory. When the vassal state comes to an end, the "big brother" civ has the opportunity to force an appropriate (as in correct tier level; you cannot make a civ in the atomic era a despot. . .) government on the vassal that cannot be changed for some time. At any point during the vassalization, third party civs may "support" the freedom of a vassalized civ and eventually use a casus belli to free the vassalized civ. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading, I'm sure that I didn't make sense at times! There'd have to be some serious balancing done to make these ideas worthwhile and not too overpowering, but hopefully we'll see the main ideas thrown into action!