Okay, I am hoping some more experienced Civ V players might enlighten me here. It seems to me that the new implementation of the happiness limit (done apparently in an attempt to neutralize the ICS exploit) doesn't just limit your expansion. It would seem to me that it puts an absolute cap on it. Here is what I mean. Crap tactical AI aside, I was having a great and enjoyable game on a Terra jostling elbows for the lead score with about 4 other strong AI civs. When Nappy became prima inter pares, so to speak, the other 3 gang-rushed him in the modern era. I bided my time and then backstabbed Bill Clinton and unleashed my Russian blitzkrieg against the American cities. I ended up taking them all. Had to basically puppet all of them but still. Now I was top dog and with a great army and a pretty decent strategic position to take on the other big AIs. But then I looked at my happiness of 5. With no wonders left to get and no real social policies available for reducing it. Had every resource. Had Colosseum/Theatre/Stadium/Circus built wherever applicable. So basically, pre-patch I could have dropped a bunch of new cities in the new world and deployed my massive gold reserves to just buy enough happiness buildings to sustain me on my march to world conquest. But now, I see NO way to EVER increase my happiness. Which will go down each and every turn that one of my 15 puppet cities adds a citizen. And god forbid I should actually want to, oh, conquer the rest of the world. Or even ONE AI city for that matter. My happiness can basically only go down. If I annex the puppet cities or build new ones I can get no benefit from constructing happiness buildings. Because if you can only add happiness up to the level of city pop then each new city can only be a net negative - you get punished for adding to number of cities and can only benefit from buildings up to the pop limit. FRUSTRATING. And meaning no offense to all you non-bloodthirsty types, but I go back to Civ I and aside from one instance of shooting off the stupid spaceship in 1994 I think every single one of my games has gone the route of brutal conquest/domination. This is what I like. And the patch has basically taken that option away as far as I can see. Am I wrong about this? Please, someone, tell me what the trick is that I have not yet figured out to keep happiness from going on its inexorable one way trip into the red. BTW I never understood why you had to jack up the game mechanics JUST to counteract a particular exploit. Every game has exploits! Don't use them if they bother you so much.