1. You are correct on pop caps - ...
Well, I ended up getting Crusade too. I'm enjoying it. I think GC is currently in its best itineration. Kudos!
It *did* take me several hours to redo all of my custom civs, resizing portraits particularly, but oh well. Also, figuring out how to make a city was a real pain. I still am not positive on this, but I think food has to hit 4 production on that colony, + *maybe* population has to be at least 3, + *maybe* the colony has to be happy. But I've built cities on colonies with zero farms, and just the basic food production. A precise guide on cities would be great.
Note you can play the Ludicrous map even with under 6 gigs if you first create a ludicrous map with the map editor, then exit and start a new game. You won't have to keep making a new map every game, either.
From what I can tell, not only does population = production, but since production = money and production = research, than population = money and research as well. But some improvements add a pure +1 raw, and some don't. And the +1 raw improvements usually having different adjacency bonuses and benefits. So, for example, the Space Elevator gets a full +1 from adjacencies, and gives +1. The city has +4 (or whatever, more than 2), gives +2, but only gets +1/4, and gets nothing from the elevator.
So its apparently better to surround the Elevator with +1 (or better) construction adj.'s. Which includes a city, of course. But in the tile next to both, do you put a factory? Or a farm? The factory seems better, but that food could help get another city, which could go down next to the city and the elevator.
Ideally you would try for a starport surrounded by cities, on a military planet. I think.
Has anyone ever built a single farm with a city on all sides? Is there a max. adjacency bonus?
I've also notice research is really more challenging. On genius I noticed I was ranked 22 out of 22. So I went to gifted to test. Same thing. When I finally got the city thing fairly worked out, I had 72 colonies and was 10/11 out of 22. With 72 colonies! Dude next to me had about 12 colonies, and 20 more techs. I *was* in a corner though, so maybe it was because the other civs were tech trading.
Anyways... just some first thoughts. I haven't even teched large hulls yet, so I'm sure I've a lot to learn.
Oh, yes... this is the first time playing GC that I haven't built every galactic wonder. I think I've managed 1 so far. Crazy.
And I'm really enjoying the resource functionality! Great ideas. I did a 1 city challenge on ludicrous, and had 2 +2 ship resources on my size 16, and 2 +3 production tiles.