With the issue of settlements again becoming a topic of much discussion within the Sci-Fi Mini Builders, I thought I might put together a thread to help move that discussion along.
On the wall, we've already seen a fair bit of support for a proposal of mine about the relationship between settlements and territory:
We could set it up so that everyone can have up to X systems by default if they'd like and if it's reasonable for them to do so (obviously if there's no space in your region you shouldn't go settle the other side of the galaxy) but then if someone starts building their settlements that allows them to claim more systems.
For example, say the limit is 5 systems, but I build my capital so now I'm allowed to claim 9 systems, maybe then I build another settlement and it goes up to 13.
And then we don't seem to have much if any opposition to the idea of settlements not being mandatory but still offering bonuses to those who choose to build them. So, that said, I think we can operate on the assumption that that's how things will likely be, that settlements will play a role in the number of systems you may control, that settlements will not in any way be mandatory, and that settlements will provide a bonus to those who do build them.
Moving on from that, I just posted on the wall a proposal that we abolish the existing Colonial Settlement Types system and instead establish Settlement Classes, each class providing a unique bonus to the host empire (though said bonus not being significant enough to totally unbalance the SAP).
Here's an example of such a class: