Well yeah, I think it's quite funny because that's how it goes too often here
My semi-funny answer might have involved a question about how someone has been able to buy such nice shoes but being too afraid to ask about it. Something like that actually happened in the past
As you may have noticed during your visit to Finland, lots of people are just staring into distance and pretending never to notice anything that's going on...
We can make it anything that's fun to play. I was actually thinking that there will not be allied victory after all. LT39 will have that and since LT40 is going to be a game with lots of new stuff and kind of experimental settings, there is no reason why not make it also a game about space race or something different than just winning the wars and the race about production.
With just one "winner" there is really no reason to form alliances wiping out everyone else. At least that's what should happen. I was thinking that the players would be ranked with the in-game score and even the space race winner needs to take care that he/she will have enough score if he/she wants to be number one score-wise.
The current settings for the map include 900 land tiles / player and with citymindist 6 there should be space for about 30-40 cities /player. That's because you can also build on the coastal areas utilizing the oceanic tiles. With few idlers that number should be even higher. With empire sizes 25-35 cities it should (should:) become really hard to create an empire with 50+ cities. Shakespeare's will allow you to exceed the empire size limit but even with that there should be a serious hit to production if you don't build city improvements. In any case there shouldn't be that big race for land. Maybe a race for better locations and some special resources but everyone should have enough room to build a reasonable size empire. This is super different compared to regular games where you practically need to conquer someone in order to get enough resources for winning.
Killing other players for ensuring top positions on the score list is of course possible but it should be a slow process since the attacking player needs to disband the conquered cities because of the city limits. We can create settings to make this harder but preventing it from happening is probably not possible. As usual, some players will even keep some of the cities completely empty or poorly defended and that makes it easy for the enemy. The limited vision for empty cities is one thing we have for encouraging people to keep the cities occupied.
I see the wars on LT40 as a tool to distract other nations. Someone might want to conquer some specific cities in order to cripple the economy or the research from someone else but that should be it. Using nukes will probably make it possible to really hurt others, but that's kind of the point with nukes. It was suggested that the palace city could be protected from nukes before the actual SDI is introduced but this has not yet been added to the game. Do you think it would make sense for improving the game play even while it's not 100% realistic? Then again 100% nuke proof SDI is also not that realistic.
The chances for civil war are also greatly limited. Even with the "worst" governments you only have a 45% chance for that and with demo the chance us just 10%. LT40 also includes a small wonder (Underground Tunnels small wonder) people can use to double the defenses of the capital. And since the capital can be built on a mountain with a river, it will be a super fortress. Hopefully not only defended by a single green warrior
If you have additional ideas about how to make LT40 a game about civilizations and not just a war game, please let me know. The introduction of new units is greatly limited by the available sprites there are for the vanilla client, but we can add buildings or adjust the values for current units/buildings/stuff.