Noob post: So, Aliens. Leave 'em alone or kill 'em all?

Yes. Just imagine this:

You have 3 different Alien tribes on any biome, with uplevelling basic Alien rosters and a basic Alien diplomacy, and you couldnt just leash some units, but, like the British and French in the North American Wars, you could get by bribe, trade, being peaceful, tribal allies/foes - just to let trade with Aliens like with a Minor Trading Station, to level up Alien units so that their units are a threat throughout the whole game, so that they could be a worthy tribal ally or a hard threat, would make CivBERT - well....... to what it should be. This whole thing plays on an Alien planet and it doesnt matter!

I always think about these Aliens like about the Iroquois for example - trading partners, war allies/foes, a worthy threat or friend, five different biomes, five different basic Alien rosters and a basic Alien trade&diplomacy, and THIS ALONE, would improve the gameplay to the game it was MEANT TO BE, and these fools just cut out the main component of Alien planet colonization into bloody nothingness! They could have enhanced gameplay by simple stuff, like PROPER ALIENS within a "colonize an Alien planet" game, or working diplomacy, but as always, Civ goes more fancy and less gameplay, until self-explaining stuff is just cut away.

Since Civ2 Test of Time overwhelmed my little bwain by 4 map endtime gameplay, I wait for a Civ Lalande with CivBERT gfx and at least two maps with great gfx and gameplay - if they would re-make Civ2 Test of Time with Civ5 and CivBERT gfx, with great diplomacy, xml / lua / events etcetera, a multimap SciFi/Fantasy game, they would sell til the dawn of time!
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CivBE was a good idea but a seriously missed opportunity as it went nowhere - as you say, the Aliens in it are ineffective and killing them all is probably the best thing to do as it levels up the troops for the inevitable faction fighting.
The biggest problem with BE was that it was - like so many - overhyped & boring.
If there is a second such game, it should combine the best features of CivBE and SMAC. Notably, the more colourful esthetic and very important research branch choices of CivBE (though maybe more such branch choices), but the leaders being charismatic and memorable, and based on ideologies, like in SMAC (even if those specific leaders and factions are lost in copyright hell - the same feel and theme) rather than national allegiances that have been left behind and lack active contact. And, possibly one or two playable Alien Factions, like in Alien Crossfire.
I hadn't given much thought to alien progress (or lack of it!) in Civ BERT until this set of posts.

Yes, the aliens are menacing for the first 75-100 turns, when my troops have no affinity buffs. Yes, they are a threat to my trade convoys, but only until the Ultrasonic Fence quest kicks in... also before turn 100. The barbs in Civ3 also didn't evolve much; the barbs in Civ6 get progressively stronger, so that my not-up-to-date units might be threatened even after turn 100 or 150.

Once the player has achieved level 1 or level 2 affinity upgrades for the units, the player does have an incentive to just harvest them, for science and/or culture. So many times I have seen a group of AI naval units sailing by my territory, going on a "bug hunt." Not going to fight me, or another AI, but to kill aliens.

I agree with @Tehulotl , that making the aliens vary with the biome would be an improvement. Making the aliens react to the player's affinity choices would also be an improvement. Even something like the Civ6 barbarian clan mode, where deals can be struck with aliens, would be interesting. I would like an playable alien faction also.
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