Assume standard map size. Each extra city generates 3 unhappiness plus 1 for its extra pop. -1 unhappiness per city for Meritocracy -1 unhappiness per city for Shrine religion belief (i almost see it as essential to go religion when ICS just because of this). That leaves 1 extra unhappiness per city, which is kind of negated if u consider the fact that a 1 pop city works 2 tiles. Negatives for ICS: - Delayed/expensive (or skip?) National College - possible diplomacy hits for expanding too fast. - not enough space or happiness to go farther than 5 or 6 cities in the early game, thus making Tradition look more appealing. Bonuses for ICS: - you can work better tiles per city, increasing overall productivity per pop - get more bonuses for certain basic buildings. For example Mayan shrine +2 faith +2 science works better the more cities you have to build them in. - you can build more basic happiness buildings (colosseum/circus) if you have more cities, thus having more total pop in your empire than if you went taller. Am I missing something? What do you guys think?