Since I started playing Civ VI, I’ve gradually come to the realization that, while I enjoy the new civics tree system, I really miss the customization provided by Civ V’s policy system. Playing the same civ but opening with two different policy trees felt like playing two different civs, and even a later game choice, like taking Patronage instead of Commerce, would be a major influence on your subsequent decisions. In replacing permanent civics with temporary policies, Civ VI gives up much of this long term customization. A civ running Colonization will, to be sure, play differently than one running Serfdom, but only until the next civic comes around, at which point those strategies are as likely to be reversed as kept. A few policies, like Scripture (+100% Holy Site adjacency bonuses) do lend themselves to longer term specialization, but such policy choices are very much the exception rather than the rule. I don’t think that Civ VI will go back to V’s culture system (nor do I think it should). However, I do think that it could regain some of Civ V’s feeling of game-long customization by instituting rewards for retaining the same government policies over long time periods. Perhaps, for instance, Colonization would provide a base of +25% settler production, but that bonus would increase to 50% if the policy remained in place for 20 turns and 100% after 50 turns. A civ seeking a short term boost to expansion could use the policy more or less as it’s used in the current game, but a civ seeking a longer term expansion focus could leave the policy in place permanently, gaining a larger bonus at the cost of flexibility. Similarly, the Bastions policy could simply be swapped in for defensive emergencies, or it could be “charged up” in peacetime to provide a larger bonus. Even policies like Land Surveyors (20% discount to tile purchases), that are currently only useful for short interludes could become important to some strategies with the right scaling, and policies that currently fall off over time (most of the GPP policies) would gain a new form of growth. In all of these cases, players would be making choices between flexibility and raw power in their civic bonuses. Players choosing flexibility would continue to play the game more or less as it stands now, while those choosing power would be making long term commitments to specific aspects of civ development. Each of these choices would present a distinct type of subsequent strategic choices, in addition to the broader choice these two playstyles (and the many intermediates between them). This change would, admittedly, have some risks: of further increasing the prevalence of borderline overpowered generalist cards and of further strengthening already strong civics and wonders that provide access to additional policy slots. Nonetheless, I think these are relatively narrow balance issues to which relatively narrow solutions would be found, while the benefits of such a broad civic restructuring would add a huge amount of game to game variation and replayability to the game.