I dislike how borders expand one tile at a tile. Specifically, here is what I don't like about the mechanic: 1) One tile at a time is too slow. Your borders expand in weird shapes and take very long to fully encompass your area. Even in the mid game, your empire can feel very disconnected. Your cities are basically just disassociated patches. And it is odd that you can have tiles technically outside your borders even though they are completely surrounded by your cities. It would be like Utah still being outside the US today because the US borders from Las Vegas have not expanded that far yet. There should be a way for tiles that are clearly inside your empire to automatically flip to you. I like how SMAC does it, where borders automatically get pushed several tiles out in every direction. It creates much more continuous borders. 2) The fact that the expansion is random is bad because the player loses control over the process. Players should be able to control gameplay mechanics. Having the game do stuff randomly to the player is less than ideal. 3) Yes, the player can buy tiles but then why do we even need borders to expand randomly on their own? Since there is already a mechanic that gives the player control over border expansion, why not just use that? Having borders expand on their own randomly seems a bit redundant. Honestly, I rarely care about which tiles are expanding on their own since I just buy one if I really need it, like a strategic resource. 4) Culture is used for researching civics so using it also for the purpose of expanding borders slowly, especially when the player can simply buy tiles with gold, seems unnecessary. I think it would make more sense to get rid of the one tile at a time formula and instead, use the SMAC formula where borders expand like 3-4 tiles in every direction or up to another border. Or alternatively, use the civ4 formula (I think) where borders expand 1 tile in every direction each time your city reaches a certain threshold. Also, make buying tiles cheaper with gold so that the player can buy a group of tiles together with gold. Also, make it so that cities founded in your territory start with more pop. This would encourage players to buy territory with gold first before settling new cities. I would also love to see the ability to trade or buy tiles from other civs.