From official site: City States will present a new diplomatic battleground on which the major powers of the world will vie for supremacy. Based on a Danish magazine: and It seems that there will be some kind of minor nations whose only purpose is to be included in one of the major powers sphere of influence. What are your opinions on this way of increasing the number of civilizations without increasing the number of real players? Personally I think that a lot depends on how exactly are those City States will come to be (i.e. appear on the map). If they will just work like some sort of treasure chests randomly generated at game start with real nations racing for them, then its going to be both unrealistic and annoying (and would create more incentives for REXing). There are however many ways of implementing such mechanisms that could be both historically plausible and entertaining; e.g. barbarian cities and tribal villages becoming civilized (I hope there will be barbarians, they are annoying as hell but without them the game wouldnt feel the same), cities asking for independence via events (event system in BtS was underdeveloped but it was a good idea I hope it wasnt scrapped), or simply being given independence by the player, real countries collapsing into a bunch of smaller states, etc. If that were the case then perhaps this could actually work. I am however concerned that if the bonuses were too small then the best course of action would be conquest (especially considering that constituting of only a single city, they should be easy to subjugate). If the bonuses were too big then it would probably end in a contest between player and AI of who can provide them with better gifts in which case conquest may also end up as the best option if only to deprive AI of said bonuses. Additionally let us not forget that land is power and bearing in mind that the size of an army will now be limited by the size of a country (in tiles) and number of resources, conquest may be preferred just so that a player can build three more warriors and one chariot. So all in all while this concept looks promising it may easily end up being underused like the mechanics of colonies and vassals did in Civ IV. Any thoughts/concerns/ideas?