Thinking a bit about being too big and automated cities. The threshold of being "too big" should be set in map size. Bigger maps allow more cities. CivEffects should have a modifier for size, not just add +1. This makes it scale to all map sizes. You should be able to regain control of your automated city if a CivEffect creates a free slot for you. Perhaps there should be a delay of say 5 turns from requesting a city until you actually gain control over it. That way you can't control too many cities by just switching control on and off multiple times each turn. You should be able to view your automated cities, possibly making certain recommendations, but no direct control. Possibly be able to send/request citizens. Possibly include them in trade routes (like telling them to produce lots of ore you can pick up) Make this limitation a game option, which allows the player to turn it on or off due to personal taste. Figure out if the AI kills this entire idea. If you can have 7 cities and then some you don't exploit fully and the AI can have 30 fully exploited cities, you lose. Figure out if this is way too much work compared to what we gain. That is highly likely.