Additionally, roads should not be "set 'em and forget 'em" structures.
The should require periodic maintenance (perhaps higher in more rugged
terrain, slowly degrading until they hit the normal movement rate).
I also feel you should also be allowed to charge tolls and you should
also be able to avoid travel on the roads if you want (meaning that
roads would have to be the old-style "objects" that you specify). As
Rich well knows, I'm a big advocate of being able to charge for the
use of things you build so you can get a return on your investment.
Perhaps you should need to "garrison" roads with toll-collectors
(soldiers or workers) to actually collect the fees. A noble stacked
with each road would certainly keep the number of roads down --
perhaps too much so.
On another topic...
Concerning garrisoning buildings, for structures such as inns and
mines, I don't think that garrisoning them with, say, 5 to 10 workers
(not soldiers) would be a big problem. They would be more "place
holders" than a real threat to an invader and they would make it
possible to have a chain of inns or a few old mines up in the
mountains. They wouldn't stop a determined military force but it
would be pretty impolite to go in and kill off all the innkeepers to
take over an inn. These workers would accumulate any fees (provided
Rich implements building fees -- hint, hint) or inn-money (a small
portion of the full take ala normal location garrisons) and pass it
off to the owner the next time he or she *physically* showed up (no
magic gold transfers to the owner) or it could become the spoils to
anyone who came in and bumped off the innkeepers (giving rise to a new
occupation -- "inn robber" :-) which would also limit how far a player
could go with this unless the controlled the entire area. Mines are
limited to one per location (correct?) and inns all compete for
profits so dense-packing wouldn't be a real problem (although
civ-level might be with inns...). Castles, temples, and towers could
still require an owner to be present.
Remember, while having a structure garrison allows a player to control
a lot more buildings and/or ships (sailor garrisons?), 10 soldiers,
sailors, or workers are not a big defense. It could actually be a
liability to have your countryside dotted with buildings because an
invading force could easily wipe out the garrison and use the
buildings against you -- especially if you allow towers and temples to
be garrisoned as well (and if they garrisons actually hold onto the
cash they collect which could help fund an invading force). The only
building that should probably never be garrisoned is a castle due to
While I understand that Rich doesn't want explose building, I think
that limiting building ownership to needing a noble is a bit too
restrictive. Considering most people only have around 5 or 6 nobles,
it would be difficult to build a chain of 7 inns, not even mentioning
the fact that I'm sure most people have much better things they HAVE
to do with their nobles (like move, fight, and study).