How to reduce the growth rate?


Jan 3, 2001
Slangerup, Denmark
I have tried to reduce the growth rate (and the number of (large) cities), but didn't quite succeed and would like some opinions. This is what I did:

- Required three food for pop growth
- Floodplain, Grass and Plain produce one more food (4, 3 and 2)
- Tundra does not produce food

It didn't work because in despotism grass will only produce two food (unless it has a bonus resource). This means that you need access to irrigation - and preferably also grass - to be able to expand with a reasonable speed. I think you should be able to make do without irrigation at start.

I then tried relaxing the two food/shields restriction for Despotism (replacing it with a reduced worker speed), but that produced too much food, so expansion was probably even higher than before. Perhaps requiring 4 food per citizen in this environment might work, I haven't tried that.

I'm reluctant to make a settler require three citizens - the current setup feels good (you use to and get two when the new city is built). It might be necessary, though.

Any ideas?
You could lower the maximum size without an aqueduct, to 4 say, and the max size without hospital to 8 or so, so that for at least half of game the growth of cities will be stalled.

Maybe rename hospital to something else and put it later on in the tech tree, so that civs are stuck with smaller cities for longer.
I might use that, but I would also like to have something more generic that is balanced. Using only that would still allow you to spew out settlers from size four cities, so it would not really limit expansion.
What I did is slightly different. I make citizen require only 1 food. And hill and forest produces 2 food instead of one. Now, this might look like the cities grow much faster. HOWEVER, every military unit now requires 1 pop and since you need to build military to explore and defense the expansion is slowed down alot in the beginning.

Of course once the cities grow to a certain size this no longer make any difference. It does make any Civ which build alot of units to be unable to expand successfully at the same time with settlers ;)
I have had some success with the following adjustments:

Settlers cost 5 + 3 population; but each civ starts with 2;

All land military units except the warrior cost 1 population, although fewer shields to produce; (adjusted offense and defense values of all units upward to make warrior very weak by comparison)

Set high cost for units in excess of the limits for each government type; currently experimently with 4 and 5 gold per unit over about 4 free units per city;

Increased max town size to 8 and max city size to 16

Increased starting treasury to 25;

Increased maintenance costs of improvements slightly;

So far, the result has been slower expansion and fewer stacks of 20 to 30 units coming at me at once. There have actually been times when the colony function was useful. It takes getting used to timing completion of the settler after the city pop has reached 4, but allowing the towns to go up to 8 gives you some flexibility there.

Oh yeah, I also made the construction of the Pyramid and granaries dependent on Wheat. I generally made food more plentiful (like coast start out producing two food) so that it is hard to build a city in a location where it will starve, but I have tried to avoid making starvation a constant problem. Really miss the civ 2 feature that allowed you to share food.

Hope these ideas help.
That must have taken quite a lot of editing, PepsiFizz (some nicknames are definitely more creative than others :D ). I'm reluctant to change a lot of attack/defense values as it requires a balancing act, but perhaps simply doubling them would do. That should work, as the combat system is odds based IIRC.

The idea of requiring 1 pop per land based military unit is interesting, though somewhat severe (i.e. "unrealistic"). It certainly changes the game a whole lot.

The high unit cost could well be a feature of Republic and to a greater extent Democracy, perhaps offset by an even higher tax income than it is now if possible.
Editing the unit values is relatively easy with the editor. It is the creation of new or renaming of old units and improvements that is such a pain.

And compared to the fatigue that I experienced watching and fighting off waves of 30 units per stack from the AI, it is definitely worth it.

When requiring one pop per military unit, think of it as creating an army, not a unit. Also, don't forget to give the units the "join city" ability so that you can add them back to the population if you don't need them anymore.

On my first effort, I also took out all upgrades of units, but this really put the AI at a disadvantage because it never disbanded old units. My tanks had a easy time against hordes of spearmen, even though the enemy was even scientifically with me. So, I put the upgrade back in, and that seems to work better.
Originally posted by PepsiFizz
Editing the unit values is relatively easy with the editor. It is the creation of new or renaming of old units and improvements that is such a pain.

Sure, it is easy to do the editing, but it is difficult to make sure that the cost and A/D/M values are balanced when comparing units from similar and different time periods. I'm pretty sure they spent a good deal of effort balancing this out in the original set. How did you make sure it is balanced? Do you mind sending me a zipped version of your mod at

I would still like to find a simpler, generic way of reducing expansion and city growth that works. Perhaps I basically need to increase the cost of a settler significantly and start with two.
Originally posted by RobO

. I'm pretty sure they spent a good deal of effort balancing this out in the original set.

I am not so sure. You have to make considerable effort to make balance _worse_ then in original setting :lol:
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