There are a number of problems with the city rules in Civilization:
As a result, a number of options are available to make cities better reflect these facts. In some cases you may decide to use only some of the ideas in each option.
- Cities do not contribute to population expansion, unlike real cities.
- Cities prevent the movement of both friendly and hostile units. Usually, even without stone roads, movement to, from, and through cities is easier since cities are centers for trade routes.
- The fertility of the land surrounding a city is not used to support that city agriculturally, making cities built on marginal land valuable, when in actuality cities tend to be built in areas of agricultural surplus.
- The defensive value of a city is too high. Also, cities still represent a defensive military force but do not add to the census, making it more difficult for less developed players to close the gap on more advanced players through force.
- All cities are equal in population and wealth.
i: During the population expansion phase, cities count as population tokens; therefore, place a new population unit on each city as if that city were a token.
ii: Count each city as a population token for the purpose of the census.
iii: Each city has a defensive value of five rather than six.
iv: Friendly tokens removed from city spaces in the remove surplus population phase may be removed to the treasury instead of the stock, reflecting the increase in city wealth as a result of urban migration.
As option 1 but with the following additions:
v: Assume that each city needs a total of three tokens for city support.
vi: Allow cities and tokens to coexist in the same space; the city counts as a population token for this purpose. Thus a city at Alexandria could share the space with three tokens, while a city at Sparta could not have any in that space (until the development of Agriculture).
vii: When a city is built from six tokens, leave a single population token in the space with the city.
viii: City defensive strength is reduced to 4. Likewise, if the city is reduced by a calamity, it is reduced to 4 tokens instead of 5.
Note that for option 2 Crete may particularily suffer (and to a lesser extent Italy and Illyria, who still have good farming hinterlands) due to its dependency on cities in spaces with a population maximum of 1, which are now much less valuable. Because of this, I recommend playing with the Atlantis variant or giving Crete some sort of special bonus (like allowing it to build it's first ship for half price or even free, but no earlier than the third turn, or allowing it to move a single token one space over water once without the use of a ship on the second or even the first turn). Also, since these rules tend to give a large advantage to Egypt and the Mesopotamian nations, I recommend that you alter the move order. Have players move in census order, but to calculate A.S.T. order, count country numbers down rather than up. Thus, at the beginning of the game, Egypt and Babylon will move first rather than last.