I like to suggest spatially growing cities, which in my opinion would allow a better way to play largepox without interfering smallpox.
There's not only one city field (the field you found your city on) but larger cities can have more city fields.
If a city grows to size k, then one of the adjacent fields of the first city field is chooseable to be the second city field. The city area (the fields reachable for
micromanagement) grows to cover all fields within distance 2 to one of the city fields. The next city field becomes available when the city grows to 2*k and the city area grows
as well and so on every time a city grows to n*k.
In a city with more than one city field all the surrounding fields in the city area are choosable for workers. On all the city fields themself it is automatically worked on
without counting a worker -- the same way as it is done for the single city field in the todays game.
As user interface I would suggest an option in the city dialogue/report available since the right turn or an special extending settlers unit which can do a move and then a
build command within one turn. I would not suggest a popup window at any time. (Players should imho be able to do things when and if they want to without being interfered.)
If two separate cities are growing and touching now there should be a merge dialogue in the city reports of the two cities where the player can decide to form one city with all
their city fields out of these two former cities. This could be available only if the sum of the populations of the two cities excesses the threshold a growing city must take
to allocate the total number of city fields of both cities.
Additionally this works quite well together with the new, still experimental variable city radii (see http://gna.org/patch/?1235).
Alternativly to the acutal experimental ruleset, it is imaginable to let the radius of the city area increaseby an adopted formula.
For instance if a city grows to the m-th city field the maximum distance increases to 3 which means that all fields within the distance 3 of one of the city fields are available for workers.
This increase of the radius by 1 could happend every n*m city field (= every n*m*k city size).
I could imagine, that k=6 and m=4 would be good values. So a city growing to 6 would can get its second city field, the third growing to 12, and growing to 24 would increase
the radius of the city area to 3 (having 5 city fields).
For attacking and conquering such a city I would think that every city field can and must be attacked and conquered separately. This makes conquering these cities harder, but
the defender has to distribute his units over the city fields to not leave a part undefended (and reachable because of a lack of control zones). I think, this is realistic
(think of Berlin, Jerusalem), well playable and interesting if an attack get's stopped and the city is split. But I'm also open-minded to discuss the design of defending and
conquering such cities at a whole.
Comments to the Guidelines:
* Does the suggested change increase or decrease the time it takes to complete a normal game? (If so, explain why this is a good thing.)
- I don't expect a substantial change on gaming time.
An increase is impossible. Smallpoxers aren't affected at all. Largepoxers would benefit from the additional city fields which is worked on, so big cities would grow faster.
See the point "Which period of the game is affected?".
* Does it increase or decrease the micromanagement (read as 'small and somewhat tedious operations that do not progress the game much')? (Micromanagement is generally thought
to be a bad thing.)
- It imho definitely decreases micromanagement, when you can take over smallpoxers' cities and let them grow together to one city. The other aspects of the suggestion don't
affect the micromanagement.
* Does it change the amount of randomness in the game? (This may be a bad thing. The game should be about skill, not luck.)
* Are most players likely to use the suggested change (if optional)? (Changes that few players are likely to utilize are generally pointless and just bloat the game.)
- I think so, because:
-- there is no disadvantage for the own game, neither for players who let their cities grow extensively nor for the rest (and see next point)
-- k and m could be configured to best playable values.
* How does it work with smallpox and largepox strategies? (Both strategies should be viable.)
- I think this suggestions compensates (partly) the advantage of smallpox strategies that in every city the city field accounts for production, and so makes more interesting
largepox strategies possible. But this suggestion imho does not penalise or even interfere smallpox strategies.
There could be some tactical advantages with this suggestion. E.g. if you have a narrow land bridge (isthmus?) of width 2 then you could now build a city which reaches from
coast to coast using it for ships to get from one ocean to the other.
* Does the suggested change radically alter one or more parts of the game? (Such changes are extremely unlikely to be adopted. Go back to the drawing board and think through
your suggestion very carefully. Please do not fill up this forum with unlikely suggestions. This makes the forum much less useful both for us and for you.)
- No, I don't think so.
* In which period of the game will the suggested change kick in, timewise? (Generally the game can be divided into three periods: Early game expansion, medium game war and late
game wrap up. Things that make the early game more varied and interesting are welcome. Things that add to the 'things needed to do' in the medium period are generally less so.
Things that just slow down the last period are bad.)
- This depends on the player's strategy.
(Extrem) Smallpoxers aren't affected at all.
For (extrem) largepoxers it will affect most of the game making it imho more interesting.
For the rest it is in between, maybe still affecting in the expansion phase, maybe not until the medium war phase or even the last phase, but then speeding it up because of
faster growing and producing cities.
* Does it require a new popup window or menu? (This is extremely unlikely to be implemented. We hate popups and have been eliminating them gradually the last few releases.)
- No popups are required. (I hate popups, too.) See above for my implemenation suggestions.
I'm interested, whether you think, this is a good idea, too. I don't know the freeciv source code. Maybe it wouldn't require too much work to be realized.