I got to thinking about how the system is pretty restricive about expanding to wide (you can do it, but at some pretty serious hits that slow down your policies and happiness). One thing that bothers me with this is the fact that some areas are ripe for a settlement, but would stretch you beyond your limits. This can be troublesome when you take into account resources that your citizens are clamoring for or you could use (especially at later game), but you are already taxed. My solution... colonies. Not exactly like in Civ IV, but more like cities you can found as puppet states. They would fall under your empire, but they don't count against your city count when it comes to culture. They could also be the gateway toward a revolution mod. Any thoughts?