Thank you for the feedback.
I think what it boils down to in regards to city spam, is not that I want the devs to specifically ensure that there is no "One tactic to rule them all" so much so, that as of now;
A) Requires allot of cities to simultaneously create the numbers of units I find aesthetically pleasing/game winning.
Lack of automated systems, means that maintaining a great number of cities requires a good deal of micromanagement
(Note: Fairly Meaningless Micro Management, this is not tactical micro, but simply 'Build these 4 buildings', I have been and will always be against laundry list city development, and I really wish they would move away from this. Thankfully most games have a manager that will automate your list... maybe I'm missing it, but I haven't found one)
C) Territorial bounds are so small that controlling significant territory and keeping it relatively monster free for accessible roads requires city spam as well.
I don't think I'm against any tactic of "More cities than the other guy is good", I simply want each city to acquire much more real estate and have more meaning to me as an empire. This will cut down on management on my part, as all the buildings effects should scale appropriately and will mean less lengthy turns, which will in turn aid multiplayer and so forth.
Imagine a City, which at Level 3, had the area of 4 small cities, and had (due to barracks) 2-3 Unit training ques. The strategic importance of each city is increased, and it is easier to manage 1 city (since again, I have no automation) and 3 integrated unit ques, than 4 cities and 4 ques (which I have to find and click extra buttons for, defend, etc.). I really couldn't care less about the validity of making more cities or not as a strategy, I think it is a matter of convenience to us the players if we simply scale the ability/importance of cities.
While I like gigantic maps, I'd rather have 10 giant sprawling cities conquer that map than 50+ villages. Frankly villages could spawn in your territory when cities reach certain levels and represent nothing more than a little gildar production (unless razed by monsters/etc.).
Regardless, they could change nothing else and I'd still want contiguous cities, can't stand those little virus AI.