In FE, your cities also level up (based on population size), and can go all the way to Tier 5. Each tier increase also give you a choice of 3 upgrades (which takes up a quarter slot of a tile, but you have no control where it is placed) which gives you specific bonus.
Progressing from tier 1 to tier 2 branch your city off into 1 of 3 direction:
- Military (Fortress)
- Research/Mana/Potion vendor (Conclave)
- Economy (Town)
While they share a good number of improvements, they also have specialized improvements only available to them.
Village (Tier 1 -> 2):
Fortress (+1 Level for Train Units)
Town (+1 Zone of Control)
Conclave (+50% Research when Idle)
Fortress (Tier 2 -> 3):
Infirmary (Trained Units gain Endurance Trait [+1 HP per level], +1 Growth, Heal 10 Hit Points per season to all stationed units)
Strike Garrison (Trained Units acts first in combat)
Watchtower (Trained Units gain Charge Trait [+3 atk, +3 move on first turn], +1 catapult when defending)
Fortress (Tier 3 -> 4):
Prison (-10% Unrest in All cities, -1 growth for this city)
Gallow (Unrest doesn't effect production in this city)
Mining Guild (+2 Metal)
Fortress (Tier 4 -> 5):
Great Arena (+1 Attack & 3 Hit Points to trained Units)
Obsidian Throne (-30% Unrest in all your cities)
Underforge (-50% Production of Armor, +1 Earth Power)
Town (Tier 2 -> 3):
Guild Grocer (+5% Max Health for all units)
Slums (+3 Growth, +5% Unrest)
Guild Warehouse (+4 Gildar when the city is idle, +10% Gildar when the city is idle)
Town (Tier 3 -> 4):
Governor's Office (+1 Production per Material in all your cities)
Embassy (+1 Influence per turn)
Almshouse (+1 Faction Prestige)
Town (Tier 4 -> 5):
Guild Lendinghouse (+2000G - one time sum)
Guild Tribunal (+2 Production per Material in All Cities)
Mint of Ruvenna (+5 Gildar per Material [in that city])
Conclave (Tier 2 -> 3):
Archivist (+50% Research when the city is idle)
Oracle (+1 Essence)
Scroll Scribe (+20% Research for this city)
Conclave (Tier 3 -> 4):
Academy of Revelation (+10% Research for your faction)
Amethyst Vault (+2 Crystal)
Pyre of Anniellum (+2 Fire Power)
Conclave (Tier 4 -> 5):
Tenfell University (Unrest does not effect research)
Tower of the Magi (+10 Spell Resistance for Units train in this city, Protect city from spell of enemy caster?)
Hedigah Bathhouse (+1 Water Power, -30% Unrest)
- The most important leader trait that helps your city is Enchanters, which unlocks the Scrying Pool improvement (+1 essence)
- Ideal setup for your first city is 4 Grain, 3 Material, 2+ Essence
- FE being a game around magic, # of Essence has huge impact on your cities later on
- Water II + Air II gives you the Gentle Rain spell, which increases Food per 25% per essence, critical for your city growth
- Tile with 3+ essence is ideal for creating fortress to train elite troops. There are a few city spells that gives permanent bonus per essence for troops train there.
- Tile with 1 or less can be salvaged with conclave. Scrying Pool gives +1 essence, as does the oracle upgrade (Tier 2->3), turning it into a 3 essence tile.
- Building your city next to a river tile unlocks the Pier Tree (any of the 8 cells)
- Building your city next to a forest tile unlocks the Logging Camp (any of the 8 cells), but be sure to build your camp on the forest tile before destroying it with other buildings
- Birth of Summer... this spell revives the fallen/dead land to lush grassland, and unlocks hidden essence... There is a better chance of finding hidden essence near nodes/special structures. Best save before you use it, as the spell is rather costly and might not discover any essence at all.
- In-game option to have a balance start where all factions start with similar/same map stamp layout, preferably with balance resource and/or accelerated start (wild grain, clay, monument and crystal nearby).
- Pioneer/city-zerg at the beginning has far too much advantage, nullifying most other strats. Civ V's implementation allows for more variety in strats.
- Relax the forest/river tile to within 2 tiles of city, so you can expand your city and then build the pier/logging camp once your city stretch out enough
- Options to add more essence seeding during map creation. City spells play a big part in our cities, would be nice if we have more opportunities to make use of them.