Progressive city number unhappiness: a better way for curving huge empires


Dec 2, 2005
I think that we would all agree: happiness just doesn't cut it when it comes to limiting and curving huge empires. 3 happiness per city can be easily be putted aside due to colisseums and the accumulative happiness (having 3 times more cities means that you have room for generating 3 times more happiness that if you would have only one) means that huge empires snowballing way too much and AI civs colonizing every single inch of land avaible even if it doesn't makes sense.

How to solve that problem? By introducing a progressive unhappiness penalty for the number of cities. Say, the tenth city that you build is going to create way more unhappiness than your second, that way, from X number of cities onwards you should be really careful and ponder whetever your wars should always end with expansion or if it would be better to puppet state / liberate city states, giving small yet sturdy civilizations a la Dutch a chance to exist and allowing scenarios like civilizations collapsing due to overexpansion a la URSS.

Cities 1 -2: :mad:each
Cities 3 - 4 : :mad::mad::mad: each
Cities 5 > 10: :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad: each
Cities 11 onwards: :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad: :mad: each

That way if I would have 7 cities I would have: 2 unhappiness from the first two + 6 unhappiness from the other two +15 unhappiness from the last 2 cities, totalling 23 :mad: VS 21 with ye old system of yore. However, would I have a 4 city empire I would only have 6 unhappiness penalty VS 12 with the old city unhappiness system.

So do you guys think that it would be a good idea?
NO, a better idea is to to lower unhappiness for all reasons. Large empires are fun. Small empires means limited paths of interest to win.
Personally I don't understand the whole "number of cities" causing unhappiness...

I can understand high population... a city gets crowded, people are cramped, there are only so many entertainment sources to go around, a big city needs a stadium (coliseum)

I can understand a newly conquered/annexed city/puppeted city causing unhappiness, I can even accept that the unhappiness is empire wide.. I cannot understand why that unhappiness never goes away... never fades.. don't they eventually assimilate?
Maybe if they "want to rejoin the motherland" it may never go away completely... but still.. it really should fade with time.

I always thought it made more sense for cost to be the reason that expansion was difficult.. I mean more cities, more sprawl, more infrastructure that costs maintenance: more roads, more highways, more water and sewer systems, more cost...

On the flip side of the coin, I do like that there is not as much settler spamming... I hated having to do a land rush just to keep up. I just don't know if I like how it is being prevented.

I also wish that distance from the capitol played a part... I don't like it when AI civs smack down their second city all the way across a continent right near me.... I suppose that makes them harder to defend and that I should just not put up with that sort of bullying. If only they would learn their lesson....
Civilization is not about large empires. There are a million good reasons to keep civs in the range they are in in the game.

4-12 cities is plenty and having more should be a struggle.
4-12, hum I see unhappiness with 3 towns. They neither want you to have large empires nor large cities. Significant unhappiness with size 10 and less towns. They tried to choke empires with corruption, then switched to unhappiness.
Large Empires should not be crippled, they should be forced into a playstyle.

Large should mean more Gold+Hammers (it does) but less Culture (it does)and less Science (it doesn't)

So just have techs get the same type of effect that social policies have, increased cost per number of cities.
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