Throughout history, a small number of individual cities have achieved greatness, usually as imperial capitals or centers of a given culture. This rule is designed to simulate this.
Each player, is entitled to build one or possibly two cities that are larger than normal. Each player is limited to certain cities that he or she may build thus (Eastern Extension map cultures are listed at the bottom):
The effect of this is that in each of these locations a player is allowed to build up to two additional cities on top of the one already there. The effect of this is the same as the player having that many separate cities, with a few exceptions. Refer to a site with three cities as a level three city, and a site with two cities as a level two city. No city may exceed level three. For players who have two sites for their capital, no player may have more than two extra city tokens for capitals; these may be used to make two level two cities or one level three city.
Firstly, no more than one city may be built on any location on a given turn.
Secondly, when a capital reduces for the purpose of a calamity or conflict, it does not recieve as many tokens as that many separate cities would. The second level of a city is worth half what a regular city reduces to (rounded up), and the third level of a city is worth half of what the second level is worth (rounded up). Thus, thirteen tokens would be needed to successfully attack a level three city, rather than nineteen. Note that this is still the case if the New City Rules options are being used. Such a city may be partially reduced (i.e. reducing a level two city to a level one city counts as reducing one city), provided the higher levels of city are always reduced first.
Likewise, should a calamity cause ownership of a city to be transfered to another player, ownership of a capital cannot be transfered in such a way that the city will be partly owned by one player and partly by another; i.e. if the Italians fall victim to a treachery card traded to them by the Africans, and they have a level three city at Rome, the Africans may not choose one of the three cities at Rome to convert. However, if the African player was entitled to steal three cities, he would be able to take Rome. However, since the African player is not entitled to have a capital at Rome, Rome would revert to a level one city as soon as it changed hands.
Also remember that a level three city still counts as three cities for the purposes of city support, taxation, and drawing trade cards.
This rule is particularily suited to games where a larger than normal number of people are playing; i.e., games in which less than the full complement of 55 tokens is used, since the players need less city spaces to maintain nine cities, though agricultural territory becomes slightly more important. It also works fairly well with the Imperial Civilization variant, since those civilizations are rarely able to use all their city tokens.