That sound I just heard was the goalposts being moved to Alpha Centauri. Look, there is a fundamental mistake in the assertion of the OP: that no stacking *on the scale represented by the Civ map* represents reality in some way. It absolutely does not. Stacks are far more historically accurate. Bottlenecks are relevant at an utterly different scale - a tactical one. I can fit a lot of troops in England; I should be able to freely move around England. What happens in a battle is a different thing. I see things like Thermopylae invoked, with no realization that they could be simulated *better* in the Civ 4 model than the Civ 5 one! Then the fallback position was that it was fun, and I'm telling you that a lot of us don't find the mechanical hassles associated with no stacking as being fun at all. I'm also not seeing an apples and apples comparison: If I have a lot more pieces in Civ 5 than my opponent I'm going to win unless I'm incompetent; this is not different from Civ 4. It's just a lot more tedious to build and move my units around. I win Civ 5 much more easily than Civ 4 and earlier largely because the tactical AI handles the mechanics so much more poorly. I suspect that this is a difference between us: I only do single player, I understand that you're a MP gamer. Those would be very different experiences, and that could account for our perspectives. And, finally, I was noting that the game lacks basic mechanics common to true tactical wargames - like opportunity fire (attacking troops get fired on when crossing open spaces) or mutual support (destroyers can intercept ships attacking convoys). So the tactical gameplay is also quite cramped even in a MP environment.