There are so many things I like about FFH that I could fill up the Internet if I wrote them all down. One of them is the Kurios—such a neat idea to design a civ that has a limited number of supercities and a periphery of little villages. Of course, when the devs create such a fascinating game mechanic, minmaxers like me will try to find a way to abuse the hell out of it. I started with the goal of figuring out if there was some way to improve settlements. Past advice on this topic has consisted of popping temples to improve settlement yields which I don’t think is particularly good. The best you can do here is to pop a temple of kilmorph using a stonewarden, which can yield up to +8 from a settlement (+2 from temple, +3 from merchant specialist, +1 from city if state religion is RoK, and a further +2 if you have the Tablets of Bambur in the Bazaar of Mammon city, times multipliers potentially.) +8 is nice but it costs you a settler and another 120 for the priest, for a total investment of 340 . 4 markets for 340 ? Not that great, IMO. (Note I am not factoring in the benefit from Expansive in this calculation because the hammer contribution to settler production is uncertain. But, it is a considerable benefit when spamming out settlements) Before I go further, let’s review settlement mechanics. Settlement Mechanics Contrary to popular belief, settlements CAN produce food, hammers, and commerce. However, their production of isn’t usually noticeable because they suffer from massive multiplier penalties. In a settlement, production is reduced by -75%, by -50%, and by -75%. Theoretically, if you had a tile that produced 400 the settlement’s 1 pop could work that tile and generate 100 for the empire. You can check this for yourself by poking around in the city screen, or alternately, load up some of your old saves with Kurios and you’ll see that somehow, you have settlements that are producing 1 with a 100% slider. As a practical matter, production of and is useless because settlements don’t have a production build queue and don’t have a population growth bar. Commerce, however, is contributed to the empire through the slider. Settlements also get trade routes, but the effect is usually not noticed because the trade routes are 1) small to begin with and 2) hit by the -75% multiplier. In the past, people have advised running specialists in settlements because and don’t suffer production multipliers in settlements. This is why you use the temple, as it produces these things raw and doesn’t get hit by the -75%, and moreover it opens up a specialist slot that can also produce these things. Settlements also generate no maintenance cost, and do not require a garrison. They indirectly cost maintenance to your empire through the # of cities cost, but that is only felt in your core 3 cities, and can be greatly reduced by building 3 courthouses and 3 basilicas. So if you can afford the up-front cost of 340 for a settler and a stonewarden, you can get +8 per settlement in perpetuity. (I assume for simplicity that multipliers in the Tablets city offset the # of cities maintenance cost.) But can we do better? --- EitB and Terkhen modmod offer some interesting options here. The first is Mercantilism, which adds +2 free specialists to each city and +1 per specialist. At a minimum, this means that a settlement that is running 3 citizens still produces 3 . The problem, though, is that you still don’t have good specialist slots without further investment in temples. The Liberty civic adds a further +1 specialist and unlimited bard slots. So now, a settlement can now run 4 bards at 1 1 and 4 per bard. Caste system adds +1 and +2 per bard. Not too bad, right? Then I noticed that in Terkhen modmod (and possibly EitB) a mage guild adds a sage slot… Catacomb Libralus anyone? With this wonder and the Great Library (which are both early-game wonders with low priority for the AI) each settlement can run a sage for 4 pretty early in the game, and way before Liberty/Mercantilism come into play. Which other ways can you buff up settlements? Wonders --- Catacomb Libralus (Mage guild, 1 sage slot) Grand Menagerie (Carnival, 1 bard slot) Guild of Hammers (Forge, 1 engineer slot) Tower of Eyes (Dungeon) The Nexus (Obsidian gate, +1 trade route) Great Lighthouse (+2 trade routes in coastal cities) Great Library (+1 science per sage, use with Catacomb Libralus) Hall of Kings (+2 culture per specialist) Theatre of Dreams (+2 culture per bard) Buildings (from best to worst) ---- Temple of Kilmorph (+2 gold, merchant slot, priest slot, +20% culture) Temple of the Veil (+2 science, sage slot, priest slot, +20% culture) Temple of the Overlords (+2 culture, sage slot, priest slot, +20% culture) Temple of Leaves (+1 health, bard slot, priest slot, +20% culture) Temple of the Empyrean (+10% science, 2 priest slots, +20% culture) Temple of the Order (+10% military production, 2 priest slots, +20% culture) Command Post (does nothing in a settlement) Of these, a few are obviously useless: Guild of Hammers (because engineers do nothing in a settlement), Tower of Eyes (dungeons do nothing), and Command Posts/Temples of the Order (unless you need the +20% culture for some reason). Temples of Leaves and Temples of the Empyrean are pretty bad too.