I've lately been thinking on the prospects and difficulties of implementing civil wars, province/regions, curbing reckless early expansion, minor civs, and so forth for Civ IV. And though many excellent suggestions have been made thus far, many seem rather inefficient or prehaps reliant on randomization. In attempting to formulate a more elegant solution to the matter, I've been entertaining the following ideas. (I hope I'm not repeating anything already posted.) 1) "Neutral" settlers. What I mean by this is settlers that are from your civilization that you build that form their own "minor Civ" when they found a city. I propose that at least two types of settlers be available: normal settlers and these independent settlers (I'll call them pioneers for now). The normal settlers would have a set build time, unaffected by shield production, of perhaps ten, maybe fifteen turns, and a small population cost. The pioneers would have a shield cost, preferably one that makes them unattractive until they take less time to build than settlers, and cost a little more population than your regular settlers (twice as much?). The catch, then, is that once built, the pioneers belong to a new civ (maybe call it "Independent <civname>") that starts out with a regular 20-turn alliance with the mother civ (mutual protection, right of passage, etc.). It gets moved by the AI, builds a city, starts with a small treasury, manages its city, researches tech, builds some settlers of its own, and so forth. After the alliance expires the offshoot civ is more or less on its own. A couple of thoughts: the minor civ should favor trade with its parent. Because they're still obstensibly your people, if they get into a war and you don't help them, peace weariness should begin to rise. On the flip side, if you declare war on your offspring, not only should war weariness begin, but unhappiness due to aggression against your kin should rise. As another wrench in the works, culture flip both from the independent civ to your empire AND vice versa could be much easier and more frequent (though in this case a grace period for new towns should be allowed), allowing you to peacefully absorb your people back into the fold or forcing you to unite the lands through conquest. What's the point to all of this? Fast expansion would be held somewhat in check by the inability to control the growth, yet it'd be easier to lay claim to that land later on. There would be opportunties for revolutions and civil wars that would not be sudden random events. 2) Grouping cities into regions/provinces. I think there should either be a quick menu option for this or maybe an overlay gui to set things up. What, essentially, I would do here is a little more nebulous, as I personally envision it tied into corruption, and they've already stated that corruption is going to be reworked. That is, it could be set up so that grouping cities that share cultural borders with other cities in the group (that is, no selecting disparate cities from all over the empire) would get production and trade bonuses, reduced corruption, and increased culture production coupled with diminished flip chances. As the number of cities in the group increases, the bonuses give diminished returns and the corruption steadily increases. A few considerations here: bonuses should be tied to the best cities/city in a group, so that grouping a bunch of poor towns wouldn't boost anything, except maybe unhappiness. On the flip-side, putting the entire core of the civilization into a region, while still DOING something, wouldn't suddenly allow the area to produce two to three times its normal. The computer should be able to auto-calculate, by current and potential (if all tiles were worked the way they are currently developed) city production, the best way to set up industrial regions, food producers, science centers, and so forth. This would be both to ease micromanagement and also to keep the AI competitive in this area. Additonally, to keep region borders from constantly being in flux to eke out the best bonuses, it should cost money to rezone cities. I think a simple counter on how long a city has been in a particular zone, combined with a short history of how profitable (trade, shields, food) that city has been and a set value on city size would be best. In this manner, you couldn't simply rezone your best cities around at will to accelerate empire development unless your treasury would allow the luxury. Regions shouldn't be available until a tech advance allows them and/or your empire reaches a certain size. Until then, all of your cities should be assumed to be in a region (without actually being in one). This would discourage having many cities early in the game and wouldn't punish smaller civilizations for not being large enough to make (effective) use of regions. This could open up strategic considerations (perhaps an entire region could surrender/culture flip if its "big" cities fell into enemy hands), make it easier to navigate and manage large empires (assuming regions/provinces/zones can be named/renamed), and improve civil wars if those were implemented, too. I seem to have typed quite a bit and gone all over the place, so I'll KISS and list the basic gist of each idea: 1) Independent settlers that form a minor civ that can be fairly easily reabsorbed into the parent civilization. 2) Ability to group cities into regions to increase productivity and lower corruption and waste. Mostly a mental exercise, but these ideas seem easy enough to implement without totally rewriting the game's rules. Feel free to comment or criticise.