The Holy Empire of Draviston will not give names unless specifically required for diplomatic action, such as that of its ruler, Lord Sinrus. This is a measure of defense against the forces of ego and bigotry. Suffice it to say that this warlord is a subordinate prophet to I.
About the aliance rules. I think that player do not per ce have to be allied to make deals with each other that can involve smuckers or units. I mean, it is a game world after all. Why would you be unable to give smuckers to an opponent .
This will cause for many more oppertunities and sneaky behind the curtain actions. The other players in that case can only notice something is wrong because of units changing from one player to another or smuckers that are transferred.
Thus I say, unit and smucker transfer should not be limited to allied players. And I do not see the reason why a unit has to move to another players city to "deliver" the smuckers to be honest .
I was feeling bored, so I made a map that we could use for the next game. Brown is mountain. It is crossable only by fliers, and they receive a move penalty of 1. Cities bordering the water can pop boats. There are two kinds: Barge, two move, carries 5 units, like siege doesn't contribute to combat but can be taken as a casualty, 2 upkeep. Galleon, three move, carries 10 units, fights normally, 4 upkeep, level 3 required to pop.
On your map. I think, since the top and botton are passable, that player 2's position of the captial should be moved slightly upwards since player 1 and two are now effectively 4 hexes apart from each other while other players are 5 or 6 hexes apart. Putting player 2 on D8 or C7 would solve that.
And maybe put one or 2 blank hexes in the forest west of 2 so a city can be popped there.
Maybe we can invent rules for other terrains aswell... Or give the dirtamancer the ability to change terrain types on the hex he is in with.
Or make rules about cities popped in mountain and forest terrain. I'm sure they exist and would give certain bonuses to city defense but maybe at some cost. Like siege units can't be made in mountain cities and fliers can't be popped in forest cities. Or maybe an increase in schmuckers but decrease in how many units cna be produced in a mountain, and vice-versa in a forest. Just some thoughts.
A mountain city can not reach level 3 or 4 but will always count as two levels higher for the purpouse of defence. These levels can never be reduced by siege so a level 2 mountain city attacked by 4 siege units will still count as a level 3 city for defence.
A forest city is the same but cannot reach level 4 and counts only 1 level higher for defence.
This makes these city's a tactical dissicion to make for they are nasty fallback points. Especially for flyers.
At the benefits of the increased defense and the movement restrictions it would cause trying to travel thorugh them. We should also work on variant kinds of infantry, calvalry and fliers. like fliers that can carry other units, or how we had archer, stabber and piker infantry seperate.
I hope last turn did not ruin the motivation and spirit in the game for most of us. I for one was not convinced for one seccond that Sinrus would actually lose the game. Either he would take Animus or Eagles nest.
But indeed. We need another sight at the rules. If we remove the: "Defenders are wiped out, you win too." rule, then city taking will be extra hard, which is fine. But then we also need to remember that if you need 4 or 5 turns to reach an enemy with siege, your opponent will always be able to defend his city. 5 turns of full infantry pop... that must count for something.
An option can be that the world will be filled with level 1,2,3 and a few 4 city's which can be taken but not upgraded. This way, the border city's will always be lower level and thus harder to defend but as you go to the center of one's real, the city's will be better defended. In this case, you can not build city's as well...
What about scouting? If we have a single person acting as GM that knows everything nad lets the players know their surrounding, then all sides won't know about eachother until they run into one another. Posting could eb changed from forums to just private messages. I used to play games like this called Inboc posting. When two sides meet they could go at eachothers' throats or resolve thing with negotiations. Also this would allow for larger scale battles and we could add neutral sides and everything...
But this is just ideas I have rattling in my head.