Players will mark their territory by placing hexagon rings on the land they own. The hexagon rings have a mesh on one side, which will be able to support pieces. The reason for the mesh is to make the area's ownership more distinct and to allow for strategic tokens to remain underneath without obstructing unit pieces.
I was originally planning to use wood for the rings, but I was browsing through a hobby store and saw this model-grade plastic by the company Plastruct. It's strong enough to handle yet soft enough to cut with an exacto-knife (luckily I didn't have to bust out the Dremel). It was extremely easy to work with and the plastic weld that came with it worked like magic. I am super happy with the way they turned out. Now I need to paint them.
The cities need to show the number of citizens as well as the city's HP. Citizens will be pegs that fit into holes surrounding the city. City HP will be a stack of rings that are places around a pole sticking up from the top of the city (not pictured). Here is a prototype piece I cut out of some scrap rubber. For the real thing I'll use a some more of that awesome Plastruct stuff and then drill holes in the spokes for the citizen pegs.
Units will be cubes. Each face of the cube will have a different HP listed with the unit's picture (so when the unit loses a HP the player just moves the cube so the current HP is face up). I plan to order a bunch of wooden cubes online and then print out some stickers to place on the faces.
This will be a piece of wood with rows of peg holes to kept track of the nation totals for land types, citizen population, science bonus, and policy bonus.
More Design Things
Since HP is much lower now (each unit has 3 max HP), 1 HP unit healing can be significant. So in order to prevent defending units from healing like crazy, a unit can only be healed if it is adjacent to a city. Each city can only heal 1 HP per turn. Units cannot be healed more than 1 HP per turn.
Each turn a player collects their economic resources in the form of cards (production, gold, food). Players keep unspent resources between turns.
Tech is gained by rolling a d10, and policies are each gained by rolling a d20. If the roll + the bonus modifier is greater than the target number a tech/policy is gained. Players will build up their science bonus from citizens (+1 for every 3 citizens), buildings (such as libraries), certain policies, and research agreements. Players will build up their policy bonus from buildings (such as temples) and certain policies. Below is the target numbers for each era.
ancient - science (5) , policy (14)
medieval - science (6) , policy (14)
renaissance - science (8) , policy (14)
industrial - science (10) , policy (14)
Unit experience and promotions were cut. Without the terrain modifiers there's less to promote for, and it would be to much to keep track of.
The cost of a new citizen will be equal to the current player's total population + 1 in food;
In a player's turn there are numerous things to do, and the order in which things occurs is important to consider, otherwise players may be able to abuse some actions (such as healing after a unit has fought). So here is the order of action as divided in phase.
phase 1 : Heal units, upgrade units
phase 2 : Move/Attack units. Settle City.
phase 3 : Collect econ (production, gold, food)
phase 4 : Buy buildings, units, citizens, land
phase 5 : Get tech, policy