I like to play on smaller maps. The lay of the land (or lack thereof, rather) makes it easier to read what's going on. Things aren't as complicated...right? Sure. In fact, that's the problem. In my other thread, I argued for tying culture to diplomacy. The reason is that, when used well, city-states make a great presence on the map. Why are France and Greece mad at you? Well, there's Brussels taking up your land. Putting a conflict of interest like that on the map is a fantastic way to ramp up the tension. So I played another game with that in mind the other day. I chose Gandhi with a one-way trip to Alpha Centauri in mind. Steadily I went, attempting a balance of vertical growth with adding more cities. And yet, something didn't seem right. This was a tiny map, but everything felt so...empty. It wasn't the other AIs; they were actually doing their best to expand as rapidly as I did. It wasn't the lack of units; there were plenty of spearman, settlers, barbarians, and war elephants marching around. But the overall gameplay still felt rather flat. It was a new feeling that I couldn't quite put my finger on... I popped a social policy and chose a free Great Person, a Scientist actually. I moved him over to the city to build an Academy...huh? You're supposed to build it on a nearby tile? Well... That's when it came to me. The map felt empty because there really wasn't much to freak out over except for cities, city-states, and the odd weakling unit. What about taking buildings out of the city and placing them on the actual map? Or put another way, how about translating more infrastructure and game concepts into actual objects to protect? Civ 5 does some of this already, actually. Civ 4's spaceship is no longer stationed safely at an abstract dock, the parts are literally on the map, just waiting to be gobbled up by Mongol hordes. The Great Scientist's Academy is also another building that can be destroyed, never to return if you let that idiot barbarian wander where it pleases. I'm sure there are a couple more Great Person buildings I'm not thinking about... But what does this mean for the rest of the game? The point of 1UPT is that if there's a unit on a hex, it can potentially block other units from accessing other territory. Put more victory-crucial objectives on the map, and you have a warzone. As mentioned already, City-States are the diplomatic game translated into something that can be conquered. So you have that ally over there, huh? Too bad, my units are over there. Whatcha gonna do about it? My spaceship parts are over in Hong Kong but they need to get to Stockholm. How can I maneuver them around Hiawatha? So let's throw some ideas out there. How can we best create more conflicts of interest on the map? Here are some implications for you: City Slots Out Of The City: Civ 4 introduced the fun visual of seeing all your Wonders and buildings on the map without needing to go to a separate screen. With 1UPT, that could make things very risky. Suppose a tile could only hold so many buildings...say, 4 buildings on this marsh, and the Pyramids took up two. There they are, just waiting to be taken. How do you protect them? Can you expand the number of slots for one tile with research? You're not just showing more stuff for the AI, you're changing the terrain itself. This also makes the player more mindful of which buildings to construct if there is limited space, unlike the Infinite Bag of Holding that is the current city system. Sorry, Civ 4 builders. Civ 5's 1UPT system is going to make it harder...is it? With more buildings on the map, you can literally see your civ grow with every turn. That leaves you more vulnerable, but at the same time, you can bask in the glory of your expanding empire, turn by turn. Domination? On my culture and science? It's more likely than you think. Right now the Domination Victory is the condition in the least need of attention. This system simply makes it a lot easier for military civs to stomp around all over your stuff, and again, that's not a bad thing. The more incentive you have to protect yourself and do more things on the map, the more the other civs and players are going to take notice. But here's where it gets interesting. A three-city empire is small, right? Wrong. Because it has more wonders and cultural buildings, a "tall" empire could be spitting out its crap all over its territory. If you're going to be the high-falutin' one, you might as well make other people notice by taking up their potential territory with your god-awful lawn gnomes. Sound familiar? Polynesia already does this with their Maoi statues. The Diplomatic Victory Is One Sensitive Baby And notice they will, if more keys to diplomatic success are tied to the map. Maybe that research agreement is represented by a couple scientists running back and forth between capitol cities. What if Polynesia had something to say about it? Or maybe that maritime ally has actual caravans of food parading down the road. There's actually a mod already out there that requires diplomatic units to be exposed to military action. While I'm not sure if there are consequences to killing diplomatic units, it's a great step. Civ 5's map currently doesn't know which Civ it wants for work for. Does it work for Civ 4's city system, where all the buildings were in one tidy place? If it does, then there's a huge opportunity being lost by not cluttering the map with other people's stuff. With 1UPT, your units should be in other people's business, whether you want them there or not. So it comes back to France's pet Brussels, sitting there like a rotten egg on my land. What do I want to do about it? After all, all our toys are spread out in the room. Let's stop thinking of production and improvements in terms of stacks and spread them out like units. This is a game of rapidly decreasing space. Making people mad makes the game more fun.