I just now have hopefully a brilliant idea that makes stations more attractive and enables you to strengthen your army other than via affinities. It also kind of makes energy more attractive too. Here's the idea: upon trading with a station, they can provide additional trading options which you can access by clicking on the station. Stations can offer lump food, science, production, culture or even energy loan/investments, as well as mercenaries. All that depends on what stations initially offer in a trade route. So a science station can offer lump science for energy, a food trade station will give lump food to the city trading with it for a certain amount of energy. The stations could also offer their own unique technologies which buff tile improvements but they might require completing their quests, even if it means destroying another station. The military stations are the ones that give the station affinity quests, concerning the refugees who claim to be escaped slave soldiers or something. The military stations will offer mercenary divisions. If those military stations are on the coast, they could also provide ships so long as there is a sea trade route (or maybe just any trade route). To prevent spamming these trading options, they will have a cooldown of around 5-10 turns. Feel free to debate this point whether a restriction is needed. NB: the tiers will also upgrade the lump trading offers and the mercenaries. Some Examples: Deal format as >station offer< for >station request< Palatine: "we are grateful for your trade route. Here are some following deals which may interest you." Tier 1: 100 culture for 350 energy. Tier 2: 200 culture for 600 energy. Tier 3: 400 culture for 1000 energy. Our secrets to a happy and vibrant society (tier 3 required, will unlock a station quest that they want you to fulfil in order to access this trade option): 2000 energy for +2 culture from all buildings and improvements that produce culture. Omoikane: "This trade investment is most useful for both of us. We can now produce more food for your people. Here are our terms." Tier 1: 20 food to >insert trading city name< for 200 energy. Tier 2: 40 food >insert trading city name< for 330 energy. Tier 3: 60 food >insert trading city name< for 500 energy. Our farming secrets (tier 3 + quest required to unlock): 1000 energy for +1 food from all farms and plantations. Red Sun: "Our wealth grows ever stronger! Interested in some loans or investments?" Tier 1: +10 energy per turn for 30 turns in exchange for 200 energy. Tier 2: +25 energy per turn for 30 turns in exchange for 500 energy. Tier 3: +50 energy per turn for 30 turns in exchange for 1000 energy. Our energy collecting secrets: 2000 energy for +2 energy from generators and +5 energy from geothermal wells. Far Base One: "Many thanks for your trade networks. We have a variety of deals for you." Tier 1: +8 energy per turn for 30 turns in exchange for 180 energy. Tier 1: +8 science per turn for 30 turns in exchange for 250 energy. Tier 1: Anti-mobile merc mk 1 for 400 energy. Has 13 strength and a 25% bonus against armor/tanks. Tier 2: +14 energy per turn for 30 turns in exchange for 320 energy. Tier 2: +14 science per turn for 30 turns in exchange for 400 energy. Tier 2: Anti-mobile merc mk 2 for 650 energy. Has 18 strength and a 50% combat bonus against armor/tanks. Tier 3: +20 energy per turn for 30 turns in exchange for 440 energy. Tier 3: +20 science per turn for 30 turns in exchange for 620 energy. Tier 3: Anti-mobile merc mk 3 for 1000 energy. Has 28 combat strength and a 75% combat bonus against armor/tanks. Anti-mobile merc mk 4 (tier 3 + quest required): 1500 energy. Has 45 combat strength and a 100% combat bonus against tanks/armor. NB: installments end if trade route is intercepted or diverted! Stations take no responsibility for that. Station diplomacy: CivBE hopefully will enable you to make peace with stations after DoW'ing them. If you make peace with a station and you commence trade, their additional trade offers will be less attractive for some time. Any thoughts?