I think the game design has always been ass backwards in many ways (I've made kind of a big write up here, so thank you for anyone who reads it).
One example I'll give now is the dynamic between infantry and armor:
I've made it so only infantry (IN) can take cities. This is more realistic and more fun; I've made other units stronger, so I'm keeping IN relevant. IN does not get destroyed when taking a city. If they stay in the city, it gets a one turn of production boost; the military presence is keeping order. *cough cough "order" (martial law). One turn of production boost per IN unit up to a max of 3 turn boost. Keeping a city without losing it over time makes this permanent by converting this temp boost over to the main production percentage. I think maybe 20 turns converts a point to percent, per IN unit (is a guess). You get the bonus, but lose the IN unit because it isn't doing anything but defend, so it's a strategic decision. This is one of the several ways I'm trying to encourage territory retention and defense by using production rewards.
I've made land units "can defend" cities; same as forts. I don't see the point of that not happening; currently if you station units in a city you are basically throwing them away in a surprise attack. So cities are basically a black hole death trap for them. It's asinine. I would actually give defending units a defense bonus; 10% to dice chances or something because they are hiding and dug into buildings. I've given cities a site range of 2 (3 to see air and capital ships), because of the obvious habits of military scouting and intelligence networks among population centers.
I think cities should have a max carrying capacity. 30 or something. 26 for a port, 18 for an airbase and fort. With a special map icon when it's full. The current unlimited carrying capacity could make for cheese plays. I have other ideas for making hard points (strongholds), but unlimited units in one spot isn't it.
Armor (AR) steam rolls infantry in most cases. Still a 50% hit chance, but IN only has a 33% hit chance against it. You know cause its... armored. This is more realistic and more fun. Armor is way more expensive, so what is the point of commissioning its construction? So AR is the hard counter to IN. There really needs to be hard counters in this game so a player is punished for cheaping out with quantity of units in use cases that should have called for quality of units. Or not strategizing a paper rock scissors kind of play.
I'm thinking of letting AR carry one IN unit, while the AR unit isn't being hosted by something else. The infantry would sit on the tanks as they motor around. They can't fight from the tank, but there is no turn cost to load or unload. They simply hop on or off the tanks. Dunno if that's a good idea; maybe so.
I gave AR another movement point. But they can't enter forest, swamp, river, mountain or peak tiles, and rough terrain is still a 2 point cost. So AR can let er rip down clear tiles and roads. I've taken away their 'abandon tanks' ability. A tank brigade crew is no match for an infantry squad, or anyone else. Maybe it could be a 'crippled' IN unit, but then the tanks should still remain but be duds, so the tank crew can scout out a forest or something and come back, but then someone else could steal the abandoned tanks; this is quickly becoming too complicated.
I'm considering giving AR a 1 tile ranged attack; with a smaller chance to hit. This seems balanced in several ways: They would somewhat defend from shore bombardments, they outrange IN, they can bombard and damage cities; there's nothing an undefended city can do about it, which is reasonable. If an occupying party wants to stop the bombardment, they have to leave the city and meet them. Same goes with artillery.
I've taken away AR's 'build airbase' ability. What the hell is that? Are they a construction crew or a tank brigade? I think air bases are way too easily made. I think it should take IN 3 turns to make an airbase, but they don't get destroyed. Engineers 2 turns.
AR and IN or any other land unit save AA guns cannot attack bombers (BO). That's asinine. BO have a small chance of 33% to hit IN. I'm thinking about other plane types, like dive bombers, torpedo bombers, and heavy bombers. And that only heavy bombers can't land on carriers, making carriers more relevant, with a larger carrying capacity too. This encourages the production of AA guns, bombers and carriers. I'm thinking of special abilities too, and a bomber would have a 'carpet bomb' ability. Smaller damage, but an area of attack. Dunno.
I made IN have a lower hit chance on fighters (FI), but AR and FI are equals. Air transports enjoy the same high flight immunity to land units, but they can't attack at all.
I want IN to be able to hide in forests. They would only be seen if an enemy unit becomes adjacent to them. And can't be seen from the air. If an enemy land unit happens upon them, there is an immediate fight and the forest IN gets the first shot (ambush). AR can't enter forest, so IN can retreat and hide in larger forests. I want Engineers (EN) to be able to dig trenches. An IN unit entering a trench tile is immediately 'dug in'. Leaving a trench they are immediately dug out. No turn wait for that. So the same dice roll chances for dug in. Artillery (AL), AR and naval units can hit and cave in trenches (small chance). That would make the tile a 'bumpy land' ground, and make any IN unit currently inside it flee. IN and EN could destroy trenches. Only IN and EN can enter trench tiles. So you can use them as tanks barriers, like walls. 5 turns for IN to dig a trench tile, 2 turns for EN.
I want a 'flee' button, and able to be used as a group. So this feature would consider the location of the nearest enemy and head the other direction towards a defense point (friendly host). City, fort, trench, forest etc. User could set up the choice of their custom 'flee target' priorities in advance. Units fleeing that are attacked have a smaller hit chance against the attacker. When they get to the host they are fleeing to, they will automatically rest until recovered. Then activate for further orders. Or help defend the host in the event of an attack.
Then I want a 'pursue' button too. They would chase a unit, and not stop chasing unless the enemy unit passed into the firing range of their host they are headed towards (fort, city etc.). Then the pursuit is ended; the unit stops and activates for further orders. Instead of just attacking the host to their doom.
Engineering type units and transport units can't fight anything but other engineering/transport units. They must be defended by the armed forces. Good juicy targets for enemy forces.
This is a small sampling of the changes I want to make. I can make this game cherry. But since I have zero programming know how and killer bees hasn't said a word to me here or over email, I'm assuming this will never happen.