Okay, I didn't actually want to start a discussion of this right now, because it will take some time until I can get to implementing it and I didn't want to put my half-thought out ideas out here. But it seems that the topic has attracted some interest, so it seems silly to only respond vaguely all the time. My points are: 1. Weaken pre-gunpowder siege units Catapults and Trebuchet base strength will be reduced by half and they receive an additional +100% city attack modifier so that their strength in attacking cities remains unchanged. 2. Weaken cavalry city attack All cavalry units receive a -50% city attack modifier. Their use should be in winning battles in the field. This makes cavalry less interesting as a very mobile attack force, especially in cases of technological superiority. It also balances cavalry against the change below. 3. Remove city attack strength from City Raider promotions Choosing these promotions is usually a no-brainer for most of your infantry because they're twice as good as Strength promotions and your most important battles are city attacks anyway. Therefore I will remove this bonus and replace it with a new ability: ignores x% of city defense bonus. So if City Raider I has let's say "ignore 20% of city defense", they can attack a city with 20% defense left without penalties, and a city with 50% defense left as if it had 30%. So the purpose of this is not to make your units stronger, but to cut off time bombarding their defenses. 4. City defense limits collateral damage Most siege units have a collateral damage limit, i.e. they can only damage units until their health is down to x% after which the combat stops. Units in cities have a collateral damage limit that is equal to the remaining defense modifier of the city (if higher than the attacking unit's limit). This makes bombarding more interesting instead of just throwing all collateral units with city attack promotions against the city. 5. Buff forts Forts start out with +1 commerce and +50% defense bonus. To balance this, I might need to make them bombardable. Civics and or technologies could improve the hammer and commerce output further. I'm thinking especially of Vassalage and Standing Army. 6. Introduce Zones of Control Defended forts and cities have a zone of control over the ring of tiles surrounding them. That means that enemy units cannot enter a tile within ZoC if they are already in a ZoC tile, unless one of your units occupies that tile already. Some units or promotions may have the ability to ignore ZoC. This finally makes forts strategically useful again because they can now strategically cover a 3x3 tile area, and the enemy has to choose between attacking them or circumventing them. The same is true for cities. 7. Weaken naval raids Ship speeds are very high in RFC while the map scale is comparatively small, which makes naval raids very easy in which you drop off units somewhere that start from a faraway city where the enemy has no way of preventing them. Not sure if it's enough, but reducing naval movement speed in enemy territory to 2 might be a good start. Otherwise I might need to consider putting a limit on how many units can enter the same tile from a ship at the same turn. Or I make it completely impossible to land units inside of enemy territory without the Amphibious promotion. 8. More buildings to strengthen city defense I think the Castle bonus that reduces bombard effects is very useful, unfortunately it expires at some point. I think it makes sense to include more buildings that replace it with later technologies before they become obsolete themselves, forcing you to keep your defenses up to date. I'm thinking of Star Fort (Military Science, obsolete with Artillery) and Bunker (Artillery). 9. Introduce ranged attacks This will introduce a new ranged attack tag to units, usually Archery units and the like. Ranged attacks are similar to first strikes: they allow you to attack an enemy and potentially damage them until you run out of range attacks, with no risk of being damaged yourself. They are different from first strikes in the following way: while one first strike is expended every combat round, ranged attacks are expended every combat round that the enemy wins. This means that if a ranged attacker wins a combat round, they will damage the enemy, and if they lose, they'll lose one of their range attacks for this turn. The combat ends when all range attacks are expended, so unlike first strikes there won't be a following melee phase. Defending units with range attacks can still damage attacking ranged units. Range attacks could get stronger from being on a hill, inside a city or fort, or with certain buildings (Castle) or promotions (City Defense). This can serve two purposes: a) replace the role of Catapults as preemptive weakening units before a proper attack in the field, b) allow you to proactively defend cities and forts without risking the units inside of it. I think that's all for now. I hope I've made my reasoning clear in every case. Discuss.