I disagree. It's different strategic planning, and imo, more dynamic.
In the case where snaking is NOT allowed: You require strategic planning in where you rigidly build your cities.
In the case where snaking IS allowed: You still require that strategic planning in where you build your cities, but there is some flexibility when doing so. However, you also require strategic planning in HOW you build your cities, as development locations impact future resources.
Out of the two cases, since you only build once and have to manage for the rest, I'd rather my strategic decisions take place over the course of the game instead of a one shot deal. It makes for a more dynamic game.
That's the way I see it though.
Sorry, but you are wrong. There is not much strategy involved, nor is it very dynamic.
Without snaking you have to carefully weigh all the possible options against each other, and determine what the best place for a city is. Do you go for the best tile yield? Or do you want access to a river? Is there a resource that needs to be protected? Is there a valuable choke point that needs blocking? Strategy games are about making these kind of choices. Once in a while you'll come across a place that meets more than one or two criteria, making that a very valuable spot to settle. But those should be the exception, not the rule. True, it is not very dynamic, but again that is what strategy games are all about; making a choice and dealing with the consequences.
With snaking on the other hand, you can have it all. You can have the best tile yield AND access to all possible bonuses AND include resources in the city AND block choke points AND shape the area of influence to benefit you most AND create a highway for your units. There is no downside, you're only slightly limited by the number of buildings you can place. No strategy involved. It's not very dynamic either, 95% percent of these objectives are known at the moment you settle the city. Reaching them by carefully placing buildings is just busywork.
Sorry, but you can't tell me that my opinion and what I consider to be strategic to be 'wrong'. There is a great deal of dynamic strategy involved when 'snaking' is added to the development of a city throughout the course of a game; can't help that you don't see it that way.
With snaking, you have to carefully consider all the possible ways to build your city. How to get the best tile yield while still being able to gain access to the river or forest. Whether or not you want to reach a resource or choke point, or be able to connect your empire's highway system. Strategy games are about making these kinds of choices. Once in a while, you'll be stuck with a limited settling option, but those should be the exception, not the rule. This is very dynamic; a strategy game where you can make continual choices and seeing the consequences unfold.
Without snaking on the other hand, you reduce the game to 'one tile' cities. You get only the tile yield or resource or choke point. It's pretty much all downside, as your cities become one dimensional structures that serve limited function, only made dynamic by several differnet types of building you can place. 95% of these building choices are made the moment you select your city location.
Thankfully Stardock has designed the multi-tile city mechanic in their game. It's a tonne of fun to work with as you can currently snake towards resources and cultural borders. It was sad when they stepped backwards when it came to snaking towards river/forest tiles. Hope they put it back in.