Let's talk about resources and power. There's lots that's good about the new resources and power mechanics. Lots and lots. Overall, resources and power are a "shot in the arm" that Civ really needed. But there are also a bunch of design decisions which I just don't get. I wanted to chat about the good and the questionable, and get people’s thoughts on the mechanics as well. The Good Stuff The original strategic resources system worked really well. No, not hugely realistic, and it made upgrading units both trivial and way too powerful. But it was simple, intuitive and worked. New system is much better though. Having resources as a consumble resource doesn't create too much micro. And in return, trade makes more sense (you don't give up your ability to build horsemen for 30 turns just by selling one horse resource), there is now a break on spamming units and there is the potential for tough choices between units and powering cities. The cap on how much resources you can hold is also clever – it limits micro, creates an intuitive way for players to “improve” their resource focus, and encourages more resource trading. From my play throughs, the resource rules do slow down your ability to pump out high damage units. So, either you need to attack with less units or delay your attack. The rules also make ranged more powerful again, because they have good damage output and don’t need resources. I’m not sure I really like that specific change, but I’m happy to wait and see. There’s also little quirks to the system that I really love. I particularly like how faith doesn't depend on power – religious buildings are the only Tier 3 buildings that aren’t boosted by power. So, religion really is power of the people. I also like how encampments have become just slightly more useful (… amazing that forts don’t slightly increase resource capacity too…). I love how the game shifts gears from just requiring a resource to build a unit in the early game, to requiring continuous consumption late game as your military gets more advanced, creating a satisfying feeling of an infection point. I love how resources make Military Cards more important. And yeah, I like that Infantry now require Oil. Come at me bro. … but there’s stuff that really doesn't make sense Why are resources and power so optional? Why are the resource and power systems so… optional? Basically, if you don’t build Factories or Tier 3 Buildings, and you don’t worry about having many units… then you don’t really need to worry about resources or power at all. And if you’re playing fast, then you really don’t need to worry about them at all. Part of the problem is that Tier 3 buildings still just aren’t that powerful, so it’s hardly a requirement to build them let alone build and power them. But even so, the mechanics are just way too optional. Modern cities have huge power demands, and indeed power is one of the key bottle necks for a society to develop. Gathering Storm treats resources and power as things that buff your empire, but it doesn’t treat them as something that’s required by your empire. As a result, Gathering Storm just misses out on a huge level of strategic play and tension. See, if your empire really required resources and power at some point around the Industrial era, then when you hit the Industrial Era you’d face these huge demands from your cities to power them. You’d have to really plan for it ahead of time, or if you failed to, then you’d have to work really hard to keep your empire together and keep it going. This would also be a natural, and very subtle, nerf to fast science / culture and infinite city spam – if you’re racing through the tech tree and or have a wide empire, well you’ll be fine early on (actually really strong) – but then when you hit the Industrial Era, you’d have a real problem on your hands. I promise this is not an ideas and suggestion thread. And so I’m going to avoid making any detailed suggestions here. But just to illustrate my point, why don’t Cities have e.g. a minimum power requirement or use up x oil per turn once you research (say) electricity? Or even, why doesn’t the Space District have a power requirement? Seriously?? You can colonise Mars but don’t need Power Plants to do that? I think this comes back to, again, FXS’s unwillingness to punish players. But FXS need to get past this at least a little. The game needs to put the player under pressure at some point. The AI Players, Barbarians and now Natural Disasters can only add so much challenge. Power seems like a good place for FXS to bring in a little bit of empire / economic management. But, so far, they’re unwilling to do that. IZ, Workshop and Factory are still too weak; so are Tier 3 Buildings The new power mechanics have made the IZ more interesting overall. But FXS, let’s get real. The IZ, the Workshop and the Factory are still just massively underpowered. The problem with the IZ specifically is that its typical yield range is just a smidge too low to justify building. Most IZs are around 3 – 5 hammers. That’s really not much better than a mine. The IZ needs to be at least around 4 – 7 on average to be worth building. There are lots of suggestions on how to do that – I think maybe allowing an extra +1 adjacency for a strategic resource would fix the problem (so, Horses would give +1 and an Iron Mine would give +2, +1 for the resource and +1 for the mine) – but I don’t care how it’s done. Just make the IZs good. The Workshop and Factory (even when powered) also just don’t cut it. I’m not sure how the Workshop should be fixed – it maybe needs more hammers, or perhaps just provide some other buff (housing?). But Factories are easy fixed – just give them the adjacency bonus the Coal Plan currently receives. See these posts in particular from @Sostratus - link and link. Relatedly, there really needs to be an option to build some sort of – I don’t know – Automated Production Line or Industrial Park in your IZ, instead of just a Powerplant, that really boosts your hammers or gives some other benefits. You’re clearly not intended to build Power Plants everywhere so you’ll end up with cities with just Factories, which is what the current IZ structure sort of suggests. This is just kind of sad, and makes the IZ feel like a very limited district. If a Hammer Focused IZ Tier 3 building had its own power requirement, that would also give your Power Plants something really cool to power. Also relatedly, can we just embrace the fact that for all the changes that have been made, Tier 3 Buildings are still just way too weak. It’s so frustrating – because equally, there’s really good stuff going on with Tier 3 buildings. Putting higher yields behind a paywall of Power Costs is a great idea, which makes Tier 3’s feel different and special, and (potentially) requires good future planning to make sure the cities with the Research Labs etc. are in range of an IZ with a Power Plant. You then also have a bunch of policy cards that buff Tier 3 buildings, so your advanced buildings are sort of leveraged by your more advanced governments. …and yet, yeah, they’re still such weak sauce. In fairness, part of their problem is just the pacing of the game generally. But it’s also that the yields are just too low. They really need higher yields – either directly or via policy cards. Or they need to be reworked more generally. Resources and units This post from @Victoria really nails my issues with the current resource system. See, the resource system could have been a really strong break on unit spam, but because of two very small decisions, it’s not. Basically, the way the system works now, you can still upgrade units fairly easily with just a small amount of resources by using the Professional Army card. On top of that, you only need to retain 1 unit of the required resource to heal units, so your swordsmen etc. can always heal. So, in some ways, you can actually Swordsman rush more easily in GS, and there’s no risk of your units being unable to heal e.g. (because someone pillaged your Iron mine, or the Iron you traded for gets cut off) because you only need one tiny unit of the required resource to heal all your units. FXS need to nerf the Professional Army card. It is just broken, has been broken for ages, and even more so now it discounts both gold and resources. Magnus’ resource discount also needs to go, for the same reason. And units really need to consume resources to heal – it could be as simple as 1 resource per unit per turn spent healing. The whole Infantry needing Oil needs a look too. Yeah, I said I like the change. And I do. It’s a great change, because Infantry was just too easy to rush before, and units with resources feel more “important” and Infantry should feel important. But, there are two odd niggles. First, when you unlock Oil and when you unlock Infantry are really out of whack. And second, there’s something odd about building AT Crew if you don’t have Infantry. Until you get to AT Crews, Anti-Cav sort of feel like normal soldiers, just with different promotions and strengths / weaknesses. It doesn’t feel odd having lots of spearmen or pikemen or pike & shot. But it does feel weird having lots of AT Crew, ie guys with Bazookas, given they seem like specialist units. I don’t have an easy solution, but maybe Pike & Shot need to upgrade into some other unit visually (Militia?), with AT Crews being got rid of or made a different unit line. I don’t know – but having my empires defended by a bunch of guys with Bazookas is just weird. Final thoughts So yeah. Overall, I really like the resources and power systems. They’re the key feature of GS (maybe +diplomacy), just like loyalty was the key feature for RnF. But I also think the mechanics need a little more work. It’s not just balance - there some small decisions which really hold back the mechanics.