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Time to retire "Tall vs Wide" for "Peace vs War"?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Trav'ling Canuck, May 29, 2018.

  1. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    That's a bit vague I think.

    There are a number of mechanics that favor the attacker such as Casus Belli and war weariness and pillaging (defender always gets Surprise War values) , as well as poorly balanced units in combat, weakness of cities early on, massive power spikes due to gaps in the tech tree and the poor cost to benefit ratio of later age improvements all skew the balance towards more war if possible. Now this may have always been the case for the franchise, but it's especially noticeable here and also completely independent of whoever's at the controls.

    A very simple example is Mongolia's trading post and diplomatic visibility ability which can be negated by declaring war on them first.

    Well, like it or not, a good deal of the game is focused around single player and not balanced around multiplayer; So kinda have to deal with what we've got or else we're not talking about anything at all. I'm aware that the balance will forever be skewed because of that, but most people aren't going to care about why the whys and ifs.

    Though I'm definitely with you that "tall vs wide" is a pretty dull concept since turtle metas are terrible metas. Whether it's endless block block block invul unkillable characters in MMOs, to stalling the match to 30 minutes in Pokemon, or wasting everyone's time by building 20 photon cannons in some obscure corner on an island, it just doesn't work to promote passive gameplays because then it just devolves into whoever gets bored first loses and would be especially silly in a 4x game since it'd like ignore 3 of the Xs at least. I mean, really, ignoring 90% of the map and watch as the AIs flounder about maybe struggling to build the first space part while you crawl to a victory isn't fun either. And yes, a tall meta is way worse than a wide one. I hesitate to call an empire a great one when it's smaller than my region in Sim City 4!


    . But since I come from an RTS background, I subscribe more to a "fast" vs "slow" dichotomy; more about the risks and rewards it takes to play economically or militarily. Even though the end result is generally conquest. :D
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  2. Kyro

    Kyro Prince

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    So you do agree that it's a lie now, and that's exactly what this thread is about isn't it? If Civ 6 was already what it claims to be, why the "campaigning" for a warmongering balance anyway? Surely you must have known that those in support of such a change are aware of what reality is.

    The features of a game do not define what the game is. The purpose of those features define the game. Claiming the features as empirical evidence against what the game is supposed to represent is a non-sequitur no better claiming that a person's actions determine his identity. No, who a person is determines what he/she does, not the other way round; likewise a game's identity takes precedence over game mechanics because the former determines the latter even if the latter fails to meet up with standards. Don't confuse effect with cause.


    Firstly, I did not claim such an act is considered cheating, I was imploring you to consider the extreme advantage it already provides such that it is considered cheating in some sports; which I have surmised to be the greatest edge offered by no other path in the game and therefore sufficient as the payoff for increased risks.

    Again, you missed the point that this thread is about rectifying flawed game mechanics that don't line up with what Civ 6 claims to be and not about proving that Civ 6 isn't a wargame based on its obviously, exceedingly war-biased mechanics.


    You have just made assertions which expose your war-biased opinion as subjective rather than objective.

    The first is that players who don't go to war do nothing noteworthy. What evidence do you have?

    There are so many unique achievements that cannot be compared with others. The fact that you cannot compare them on an empirical basis by no means removes the honour in those achievements. I suppose that intrinsic value not relative to any other person's standards must be very remote to you.

    Here you could have chosen to respect those diverse achievements as equally honorable, but it is interesting that you chose to discount them entirely instead, as if you could not stand giving credit to players who do not have an equally competitive mindset as you.

    The second assertion you made that warmongers succeed more than peacemakers. Well now that just begs the question doesn't it?

    You are citing as evidence what we are claiming shouldn't be the case if Civ 6 is to stay true to its identity.

    That's like saying in the 1960s that white people should be given biased privileges; using the direct, productive results of existing privileges as a justification, in a Martin Luther King Jr. rally.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    You have that back to front. People can fabricate any arbitrary "purpose" interpretation, and they clearly do. The actual evidence stays the same. There's a good reason to prioritize empirical evidence.

    Best we know, actions are causally linked to people's brain function. We don't use "who the person is" to make a prediction on their future actions though. We use their known pattern of actions to anticipate future actions and even to an extent evaluate "who they are".

    Given this discussion, this suggestion could use a little self-reflection :p.

    I adequately demonstrated that, in its present form, Civ 6 is a war game. Note that this is largely true of all of the civilization games, not just Civ 6. I'm well aware of the false representation by the civ franchise. I don't think they're able to rectify this, and track record suggests they're clearly not willing to attempt it. It's why they make pseudo VCs and then an AI that throws; it's beyond their design/implementation ability to actually make competitively viable VCs beyond war.

    Expected win rate in competitive settings. I will accept I'm mistaken if you show me PvP data where players win more often w/o going to war or defending themselves with force that would be sufficient to win...what evidence would change your mind and allow you to accept you're mistaken?

    There is no "intrinsic value", not for peaceful options and not for war. You need someone at the screen making a value judgment or these "unique achievements" carry no more value than a rock or a hydrogen atom 17 light years from Earth.

    It's true, I COULD have chosen to be incoherent, but I prefer to avoid knowingly doing this. I made a qualified statement and you're applying it in a general sense to argue against it. That's both a strawman and disingenuous.

    In a competitive setting with agreed upon rules, playing a game different than the game players agreed to play is not honorable. It's throwing, and it doesn't matter one iota how "diverse" the throwing happens to be.

    What "identity", exactly? Civ has always lied about this, and often about other things. Civ has long hidden its rules (speaking of respect, I actively disrespect this design choice). Civ has unfortunately never resolved the dissonance between its mechanics, win conditions, and AI behavior. I've rarely seen devs even talk about it, and when they did like Soren with his "fun AI" nonsense they've basically been making excuses for why they can't have the AI play the game they made...a tacit admission that the mechanics as-designed/implemented don't align with VC "diversity" or how they envision players interacting with the game.

    There is no way around it. Until the devs stop making excuses and actually make mechanics where an AI that "plays civ 6 to win" and an AI with "flavor" are the same thing, it's going to have AI that throws at the strategic level no matter what. Until the devs actually tune VCs around scenarios where people are all trying to win and factor in the reality that conquered nations don't win, this is going to stay a war game that disingenuously purports to be more than that.

    pffffffffft. What's next, likening me to Nazis? Come on now. No need for virtue signaling or this kind flagrant baseless analogy.

    By that logic, civ 6 is not anything at all.

    I'm not so inclined to let the devs play pretend and then ask players to do the same. Mechanically, AI behavior in SP is not consistent with SP mechanics. Or put another way, the AI is programmed to throw the game by design. This is on top of and in addition to its poor tactical control of units and such. In an environment where making a good AI is already a struggle, the devs chose to make it play even more poorly on purpose.

    I'm not giving that a pass. They're using poor AI to thinly veil obviously terrible mechanical balance between game options in a SP setting. The vast ocean between PvP and AI behavior is pretty good evidence of this.

    And I'm well aware that this problem is not new to Civ 6. It wasn't new to Civ 2, though there was less pretense in terms of "alternative ways to win" I suppose.

    To "fix" this problem in civ isn't trivial. It's a total mechanical rework, including the VCs themselves. It's not a big exaggeration to say this would nearly be a new game, and it would necessarily be a large deviation from the standard gameplay of every single Civ title so far.

    None of this is to say that CIv 6 is necessarily bad, if played/taken for what it is...a war game. Though its hidden rules, awful UI, and spotty MP (PvP or coop, the connection issues are pretty weak) hold it back considerably. There's enough here to tune it into a viable 4x. But first players and devs alike would have to stop playing pretend. I'm not holding my breath.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  4. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    That's what a game basically is though. Someone makes some crap up and people participate. Now you're perfectly free to say "Man that's just stupid" and walk away but if we're talking about reality then, yes, reality itself is pretty suboptimal.

    I'm really not either lol. But when talking about the meta, you just have to talk about the meta. And yes, it's a crappy meta because the AI is incapable of winning.

    To me though, we're not even at the step about making an AI that can play the game when the outlying mechanics need much to be balanced. And these numbers do matter. For example, if I capped max unit strength at 20 and made all City Centers do 50% damage to all tiles in its radius, the strategy would suddenly not be around military but more around who gets to expand there first. Now that would be stupid yes, but these things are true regardless of whoever is at the controls. And these are things that can easily be proven. Now obviously I don't have much civ knowledge on the matter, so I tend to consult more experienced opinions and honestly there just doesn't really seem to be a multiplayer scene in this franchise since Firaxis balance is nonexistent. I mean, considering they couldn't even balance Civ 4 when it was just a few variables, this seems quite obvious why.


    I'm talking about this, because you are right; otherwise we are talking about nothing. And I can't fix the AI so what else can we do? Broad concepts like "tall vs wide" "war vs peace" "1UPT" are also "nothing" topics and really don't help. That's why I've had that joke about not caring about either combat system because the AI doesn't know how to fight anyways-- but at least 4's knew how to win even on Prince while this is false of the ones in 5 and 6.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
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  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Yes, we could certainly tune it to the point where war isn't even viable. As you say, this likely becomes a "turtle meta" then. And the problem really is in the mechanic balance 1st as you say, because w/o it the devs are stuck using an AI to disguise the crappy mechanical balance. IMO it's kind of crazy that AI gets almost all of the flak as a result...at present making an AI that would fit both the game's stated purpose and the game's actual mechanics while still playing the game is literally impossible.

    When mechanical design is broken, that needs to be fixed first.
     
  6. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    I'm going to throw out a new thought for another current mechanic that favours war: Amenities.

    Aspects favouring war:
    • The first 2 people in each city don't require an amenity, so more cities = more people for the same amount of amenities
    • Luxuries are scattered around the globe so the more territory you control, the more different Luxuries you have access to
    • Policy cards that give +1/+X Amenities per city work just as well on huge empires as small ones
    At first I was thinking that this mechanic was relatively balanced because each Luxury only extends to 4 cities, but then I realized this was a red herring. The way Luxuries really work is they penalize empires with less than 4 cities. If an empire has at least 4 cities, then every unique Luxury supports 8 population, and empires that spread further have access to more unique Luxuries.
     
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  7. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    I really can't answer that, sadly. And that question has gone unanswered for 26 years only to be somewhat answered 13 years ago. All I can do is provide this for entertainment:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FranchiseOriginalSin

    Although I think K-mod Civ 4 is the closest it's ever been.
     
  8. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Quite a number of things actually. City growth curves, per-city bonuses, defensive depth, raw production, trade routes, amenities...mechanics actively favor large empires when they could easily have been neutral to them or allowed for diminishing marginal utility.

    Whether this was intentional despite the game's purported gameplay or an oversight/not recognized by development team is not known, but neither have nice implications.
     
  9. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    I skipped to page 3 and read stuff about what defines a person. Just another day on civfanatics xD
     
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  10. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I think many good points are made in this thread, and I hope we will see more of this in the future. Loyalty was a (big) step in the right direction, but we need more. Newly conquered cities needs to spawn rebel units loyal to former owner. There should be protesters, or whatever they were called in the old games, who refuse to work, which goes down over time. Was it Civ4 that had this mechanism? It definitely needs to come back. Also military presence should be required in the city after conquering it, to a much larger degree than is currently the case. Maybe not as extreme as Civ3, where a city would instantly flip after you conquered it (killing your stationed unit in the process, which was an extremely lame way to lose high-level units), but it should affect loyalty to a larger degree than it does. I also liked the culture meter from Civ3 (I think?), where the citizens would belong to a different culture, and only over time would they change to your culture after you conquered the city, that was a really nice touch, and again should influence happiness, productivity and loyalty.
     
  11. SahintheFalcon

    SahintheFalcon Chieftain

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    I suppose everyone is talking about singleplayer here, and that's fine.

    But this question of "War vs Peace" is really more applicable to multiplayer. Not one person has mentioned that in war, conquest is not a certainty. In fact, total defeat is always a possibility. That should be balanced against the "benefits" of war. I have humiliated dozens of players who thought they could run right over me and made them leave the game in disgrace.

    It can be argued that in multiplayer, war in and of itself is almost a certainty, and therefore the discussion should be shifted to how much you are willing to pay for a standing army or how long you want to build up before attacking someone.
     
  12. Stomper66

    Stomper66 Warlord

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    I don't think Tall and Wide play styles should be retired it was one of my favourite features in Civ5 and I wish they had brought it back for Civ6. Personally I relate wide play to warlike civs like Rome or Mongols and tall play to civs like Egypt and Korea.

    I have no problem giving war and peace bonus's to each type of play. I would bring back all the dynamics from civ5 for Tall and Wide but would also include some rule for the Loyalty dynamic like each city after say 6 you get a minus 1 or 2 loyalty for all your cities. This would require wide civs to invest in military garrisons and selecting all governors with no promotions to look after the cities. So in summary Tall civs get less unit maintenance, more loyalty and stronger governors and wide civs have to invest in the military, their cities are not loyal and they get a lot of weaker governors.

    Wide civs would also have a lot to worry about with dark ages or neighbours in golden ages as they would likley loose all their border cities and their empires would crumble fast just like in real history. Then the game would be more worthy of its title.
     
  13. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Nope, tested and now no longer the case since R&F began.
    Nope... loyalty just said get a cavalry army, that a wider empire exerts more loyalty so attack and do it fast. Knights were already OP, now they are just more OP.
    I have no idea why the term is still used. You can be both wide and tall in this game but as already stated the happiness aspect that in civ 5 punished to many cities now instead punishes tall cities, and to add to that the odd medium-tall sized city can be useful but going taller is just a law of diminishing returns.... to the point where when I see a city I am about to conquer not next to water I cheer as opposed to scowl like others. As long as it has chop potential I'll keep it, I can even chop it up to 10 pop if it has the resources, who needs water.

    In the early VI days I used to espouse peaceful play but *every* patch since has just encouraged more aggressive play and TBH there are so many aggressive players out there that I do not blame them. Primarily game design is about money no matter how much we may take the moral high ground.
    I personally find being aggressive until medi times feels right and just. Take too many cities an everyone else hates you, that's just a jealousy thing as far as I am concerned.
    If the first trade route to each civ gave a science % boost and you could not trade with denounced players life could be more interesting and sort of makes sense but as I learnt early from the suggestions forum, everyone has their own answers.
     
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  14. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    Every prior version of Civ has had a "cool down" mechanism of some sort that prevented a city you captured from being useful for a period of time. I can only guess that the "Cede" function might have been intended as part of a Civ 6 mechanism that never got implemented. Instead, we get a small bonus for captured cities - no growth! yay! no need to micromanage citizen placement to avoid growth.

    I would love to see a cultural memory system for Population implemented in Civ 6. It could make for some really interesting gameplay when combined with Policy cards, the Loyalty system, etc. How much local autonomy do you allow versus how much to you impose the culture of your capital? It could make a multi-ethnic empire-by-conquest feel and play differently from a self-founded empire.


    @SahintheFalcon : Out of curiousity, can peaceful play win in multiplayer? Or is the victor always the one who times their attacks / executes their wars best?
     
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  15. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    “You can be both wide and tall” is basically why I think the whole wide v tall meta is daft. Well put.

    Lots of good comments here about the merits or war over peace. But I’m (a little) sorry this thread is turning into (a bit) of a “war is op... nerf war” thread, when the OP was raising much more interesting questions. I don’t really care if war is overpowered. You can always just not war.

    What annoys me more is that the war game is sort of the only place Civ shines. So, if you don’t war, there’s not much else to do.

    Peaceful play seems very limited - there’s only so much to build and only so many ways to build it. Religion is fun, but not crazy fun. Governors add a little more depth, but because you can’t take more than one of each, there aren’t that many permutations. And the Government Plaza and it’s building doesn’t add much - I mean, you just stack districts around the plaza, right? That’s it, right? I mean, placing the colleseum or factories is more interesting than that.

    Equally, if you do war, there’s not that many dimensions to it.

    Here are the different sorts of Warmongering you can do.

    One: you can capture cities. This has got a bit more fun recently because somehow the AI is planning out districts a bit better, so I don’t feel like I’m always ending up with a heap of dud cities. Loyalty also makes this a little more fun as does the AI getting slightly better at units.

    Two... you can pillage and get good peace deals.

    Three:..you can also fold into both a bit of diplomacy via joint wars (particularly if you pillage), but that’s pretty limited.

    And that’s about it. Not much naval or air combat. You can liberate cities, but they often flip back / get reconquered. You’re never forced into or out of war for diplomatic reasons. There’s not that many ways to combine units either - spam melee or cav, with cav being best.

    (An side: One reason I liked England pre-nerf so much was that there were some interesting strategies with Pax B and Navies etc. You also had the ability to build an economy with trade routes etc., so could flip between war and peace strata. And you also had more reason to settle on other continents, which tended to get into trouble, which was fun.)

    (Another aside: I’ve been playing Norway recently, and trying to improve my pillaging game. But man it’s hard. I can’t seem to get a big group of longboats together quick enough. I wish there was some way you could harass / pillage opponents without actually declaring all out war.)

    I should maybe try warmongering with CS / Levy a bit more for fun, or perhaps capture cities and gift to other civs to remake the map a more, and see if that’s fun too. But I’m fairly sure both will be a bit limited.

    tldr: don’t worry about war being OP. Be worried it’s so 2D, and that “peaceful play” is such a snoozey turtle fest.

    [Oh God. I’m so sorry. I basically said all of the above in an earlier post but with different words, but didn’t realise. Bad poster. Bad, bad poster.]
     
  16. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    For me, it's the complete opposite. Peaceful strategies are a lot more complex and interesting because you can 100% control what you get and you are 100% responsible for all the decisions you make. The whole puzzle aspect of CIV6 is reduced to a minimum when you only build 2-4 cities and go to war. War introduces a lot of random elements like where the AI places their cities or which types of districts they build. All those decisions are basically made for you when you just conquer stuff.

    If you really want to, there's a lot of micro management you can do to optimize each peaceful turn and you can always spend 30 minutes to plan all your future cities, districts and wonders, place icons everywhere on the map and let the plan unfold. That's more fun to me than CIVs war game, always has been.
    If I have to go to war, I'm actually relieved that it isn't a huge unit spam click fest like it was in CIV5. War in CIV6 is pretty straight forward and you basically don't have to worry about anything.

    Of course, there should be more opportunity costs because it's clearly imbalanced at the moment.

    I personally like this idea:

    This would also make holy wars, a huge part of human history, a lot more beneficial because religion is tied to loyalty now. A player with a huge wide empire should have more loyalty issues than a small one, at least in border cities which were taken from other civs. If that's not enough corruption could be another interesting mechanic (similar to civ4). Or, as Victoria suggested, make war weariness a lot more problematic. Science and culture output should really take a hit during a long war and war weariness does just that.
    Also, fix knights already. :sleep:
     
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  17. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    The main benefit for smaller empires under the current system is the double pressure from your capital. So cities closer to your capital do get a Loyalty boost, but the benefit tails off significantly once you're more than 6 or so tiles away, and is gone after you're more than 9 tiles out.

    Larger empires should, you would expect, struggle more with Loyalty, and the management of that problem should - to my mind - be a game play issue. Under the current system, though Loyalty is primarily dictated by overall Population. So wide empires actually do very well, as long as you conquer in clusters of three. And they also are less likely to have happiness issues (more unique Luxuries, no pressure to grow cities beyond Population 4, etc.), so in fact as less prone to break up than mid-sized empires who encounter amenity problems and have cities outside of the pressure range of their capital.

    I wonder if we could build on the capital-bonus system? What if there was a Loyalty penalty for cities more than 9 tiles from either your Capital or your government Plaza (whichever is nearer), which escalates the further away the city is?

    This would hurt settlement of other continents, though, so by itself could be problematic for peaceful play, unless the penalty only applied to cities that are taken by war, rather than self-founded cities?
     
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  18. tedhebert

    tedhebert Emperor

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    I don't know if this idea has ever been floated, in this thread or in another, but if it has I apologize beforehand...

    But wouldn't it mke a little sense if governement choices were somehow tied in to the actions you take in the game ? I mean, if being on a total domination spree stopped you from being able to choose democracy,
    and then making the bonuses of each government really help/support the kind of play that should be assiociated with that gov choice, maybe that would help having SOME interest in not having war being
    the optimal solution in all cases ?

    I'm sure this would NOT solve the core problems, but I feel this could be leveraged into helping a little...
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I do. Bringing back Civ 5's stuff would make the game worse. When you set up space for "tall" to be competitive more than temporarily, you necessarily reduce competition for resources and interaction between nations. That 4 cities could compete with or even outcompete 16 cities in Civ 5 was a travesty of design. Attaining and managing 16 is significantly more difficult, yet the reward would be minimal. That's degenerate design.

    Not only that, but war does not cut off city micro, using builders, trade routes, governor placement, or other peacetime choices. Aside from a :hammers: burden (or :gold:) to produce the army required for war everything you can do at peace you can also do at war.

    You are always 100% responsible for the decisions you make. Peace or war is irrelevant to that. The assertion that empire development decisions are made for you consistently when you war is false. Some captured cities have districts committed, and aside from that the same considerations are all in play, plus the additional ones for war itself.
     
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  20. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I think the better solution would be to change the government plaza to not just be a district that you only build once, but one that can be built in multiple cities. Essentially, you need to have a government plaza within 9 tiles of any city otherwise it experiences large loyalty pressure. You'd probably want to change it have regular buildings in that case (courthouse, jail, etc...), and so would ditch the current Warlord Throne and such, but it would essentially turn into more of a "state capital" type district. There'd be other rules needed (how do you get the legacy cards? Does it get destroyed when captured?) but that would be another way to alter loyalty and balance wide vs tall (or compact vs sprawling).
     

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