Idea is great, and I have to say I don't know why I didn't write about it myself . Nevertheless, the credit goes to you.
The question, however, is not whether or not to implement it, but how. Here are a couple of ideas how - IMHO ofc - should the system look like:
1. General template description
- There are two types of templates: training template & building template. This is done, as it's easier to manage and understand. In other words: 2 + 2 =/= 2*2. I know it sounds strange, but in case of 5 building templates and 2 training templates in the 'one template' solution we would have 10 (2*5) templates instead of 7 (5 + 2). As the game progresses (6 building templates & 10 training templates) we can clearly see the advantage of divided system (16 vs. 60).
- Every city will be able to choose if it want to have one, two or none templates assigned to it. In other words: you will set the building plan template, while you will choose which units to build manually.
- Of course, you will be able to save your templates. Although, if it happens that you will want to train a unit that is untrainable (lack of facilities, no required techs or resources) you will be informed of it, and you will be able to choose whether to stay with the template, or change it. In case of sticking with the 'too ambitious' plan, the system will eagerly wait for all requirements to be satisfied to train the first unit/build the first building in the list. Alternatively, there will be a check-box with such description "Skip unbuildable/untrainable buildings/units". In the last case, the untrainable units will be skipped, and trainable one will be chosen.
- Access to "template manager" will be provided in the city screen, as an additional tab; alternatively you will be always able to access the manager choosing "Kingdom Report" and an appropriate tab.
2. Kingdom report
IMHO "Kingdom report" menu has to be expanded, and I am not only considering templates. Nevertheless, I think that in the "Kingdom report", where all the cities with their income, population be presented, there should be also a tab related to templates, where you can easily set/delete/modify the template for one/all/some cities. Here is a pseudo-picture (ASCII art ftw!):
| Name | Population | Income | Prestige | Resources produced | Currently building | Currently training | Templates |
| Izare | 100 | 35 | 10 | [food icon] 10 [iron icon] 4 | Bank [turns to complete] | None | [buildings template icon] Economy |
3. Strategy map information
1.1. Text and icon info
1.3. No info (the zoom-out too big)
Player have following options regarding this kind of info representation:
- Show none (only the city name).
- Show the template/templates.
Note: There are two types of templates, so in order not to clutter the screen with two templates present near the city I vote for a yet another option available to the player: "show only building template", "show only training template" & "switch between templates". The switching mechanism would work like this:
So above the city you can see that it build buildings that will increase the money income and that in the barracks some defenders are trained.
Note #2: In case someone is infuriated with the additional icon and text above his city, there should be option to see this info in the "info card" after hovering over a corresponding city.