OneHugeTuck wrote:If the size of a city gave the speed of production, big citys would outproduce everything else, and there would be no little sides/cities. Or at least, there would be very few sides. No new upstarts could ever hope to get to a point where they could compete. Biggest castles win.
I would counter that the price difference in going from a small city to a large city may also be prohibitive.
What if 10 "small" cities could match the production of one "large", but cost 1/20th as much to build? It would be a net gain in productivity, but at the price of defensibility.
Since there also appears to be a capacity in the game to "slip through" enemy hexes undetected, the capital would typically be built with the best defenses (just in case there's a direct attack on the way), but the outer cities would also be well fortified against direct assaults.
As for new upstarts, in general they just have to make sure that they cost more to conquer than they reward when conquered; they could also ally with a stronger side in exchange for whatever services they can provide. There may also be a "peace mode" in Erfworld for new sides that prevents them from being attacked or attacking for a certain number of turns, so that they can actually establish themselves (this is common in a number of strategy games where an option exists for new players to start new sides after the game has begun)