In Beta 3 the minor factions were in but not really because the odds of them being spawned were miniscule. That’s something I’ve been working on over the holiday.
But minor factions shouldn’t be just fancy goodie huts. Instead, they have many of the same abilities as a major faction except that they don’t expand. Not being able to expand, however, is a tough thing. In GalCiv, minor races were pretty much at the mercy of the player.
Of course, GalCiv didn’t have magic.
In Elemental, the minor factions get a guardian unit that represents their tribe. Secondly, they get a special unit producing improvement. If you capture it, you can train units of that type.
In the long-run, we hope to let players use their diplomatic abilities to trade for the special creatures they provide.
Example of a faction’s guardian unit: