Well yes, with this thought I was considering that various factions would have favored terrains, and therefore favored starting positions. Now, however, it seems more like a "brute force theory" that will require stringent map-generators. Wouldn't be far better to have new technology be made available to those with such bad starting positions? to better take advantage of the Jungle, Mountains, Desert, Tundra that the nation happend to be borne into.
I rather like the Idea of Rugged Mountain-people ... and Fremen-like Desert Warriors. Speaking of Fremen, I wouldn't mind if a large Sand-worm, or Sand Wyrm, were to make it into the desert (or a large Sphynx ... oh and Scorpion people and Sand people)
//as you might can tell, outside of the 12 factions, I would like to see several less-populous species of demi-humans, like sand-men, lizardmen, ect, you could include trolls and goblins into this category. Simply smaller tribes, growing no bigger than a large village, scattered across the globe. Able to be wiped out by an adventuring party, expand to other parts of the map (slowly, one collection of mud-huts at a time) if left unchecked ... I think diplomacy should be enabled for the demi-humans in a limited sense of the word ... aka Mercenary jobs. Having certain small tribes of lizardmen, or scorpion men(or sand-men that tame scorpions), or centaurs, or minotaurs, that could give limited mercenary work to add some variety. Of course, if someone wants to be a big meany they can simply wipe out a sub-race into extinction for experience points.
Also, that monstrous creature post ... I guess you could create or re-create various lizardmen/ bearmen if you wanted too. I would probably try to recreate the ultimate lizardmen in order to equip and train into my best unit ... able to give it some really nice stats, ect. The requirement would be pure cost of human life via experimentation, mana cost, and perhaps an essence cost for the initial genetic "blue-print" although once I created the blue-print it would simply cost steep sums of mana and human life. Not so bad a deal to get customized super-soldiers. Of course, you would have to tech to it ... probably both in theoretical knowledge and in magical spells.//
Now onto my previous topic, about different factions having specialties, I think they should be specialized onto what they are best at. For instance, a raw militaristic Despotic Faction(Bolshevik Russia?), a Merchant/trading faction(Milan/Venice), a Horseback riding faction(Mongols), a heavy infantry faction (Rome), an Architecture Faction(Greece), an Agricultural Faction(Hungary).
No one faction would have its specialty be one particular part of the tech tree, but have a variety of techs which are cheaper for them to discover. for instance, the Trading faction will have Naval and Economy techs be more available, while Horseback-riding faction would be best for ... well ... the various forms of mounted warfare (which is bonus enough) ... while the Heavy Infantry faction would be best at making thick armors and building the best roads. Architecture would be best at buildings (Prestige) and Science. Agricultural nation would be best at providing food for the population, better at irrigation, to provide more arable land, and also have a focus on better prestige. The Raw Military/Despotic faction would probably have some method of aquiring people quickly in order to send off to war. Production Bonuses, Military bonuses, and over-all faster techs in industry/resources and military.
Now im sure you could pick and choose (and Raven X's idea of building your own tech tree is fascinating) ... so You could have a HorseArcher/Road building civ, and a technology/archery civ. Although by Default I think the Agrarian civ would be the best at archery (that or a cultural civ).
WIth this in mind, some government styles would be more synergistic, or even emphasize both strengths and weaknesses, while other combinations could serve to make more well-rounded options.