So my biggest wish for this game is letting the city owner choose the next tile to expand into. The starting tile would be your base tile plus one and then each growth after that you choose one contiguous tile. This would allow two cities founded next to each other like DFW, Minneapolis St Paul, it would allow for cities on borders like Yuma, El Paso. two cities could be founded next to each other and still reach maximum growth. you could have a city that looks like a 20 tile snake. It allows for free form growth. and it would allow you to consider adding major and minor cities as a concept to the game as well. Your top 10 largest cities are your major cities. In order to fill in the land around them, you would then found minor cities that didn't affect your growth/expansion cap, but at some point, you would need to merge those minor cities into a major city before you could expand or build further minors. Additionally, it would make borders and border projection a more important concept. a city would project a border around it and certain wonders and buildings would increase that projection from one tile to two tiles to 3 tiles basically until it met another civs border projection. now you might invade to project your border with troops or offer to purchase a land square or squares from another country or you can press those borders forward or lose ground based on tourism, or faith, or culture. because keep in mind until a city expands or you found a minor city on land in your border it isn't really your it is only projected to be yours by your border rating. Buying tile would only be a claim to ownership and could potentially be lost until a city actually choose that tile to expand into. At some point, you could or would gift or annex a minor city into the area of a major city once its border had contact. You can build and man a fort with a unit to project a border forward or purchase any unclaimed tile to add to your borders or claim for your borders. You could have wonders that allow you to push your borders out but remember until you actually colonize those tiles you might lose them. The expansion will now chase resources. Cities will expand organically and absorb other smaller cities. Border and border projection grow independent of colonization.