In some games you can find this charming feeling of realism. When the things behave like they are actually existing, some details make them special. It can get you more attached to the things happening on the screen, especially if they are your creation. I believe that this feeling can be achieved by the Airships game.
That feeling can be easily spoiled by things appearing out of nowhere, behaving illogical for the sake of game mechanics.
Below are listed some more and less realistic to implement features, which can make the game better for me. And maybe for you?
Ship resources and consistency
One of the important things for realism is to be consistent in time and space.
You need to replenish Ammo, Coal and Crew lost during attack on the City defenses. You can not just press "Flee" and attack right away without moving anywhere with a new Crew, full Ammo and Coal storages, with repaired Armor. All of that should be restored only at friendly City/Settlement.
If you want to flee, you should flee. Sometimes you (or AI) can press that "Flee" button when there is no way that Ship will get away unharmed. If you want to save that Ship, get it to the edge of a map (and maybe put it to Reserve). In other case it will be left behind.
And if your ship can not move in the friendly City with a Deck, you can Repair it. Conditions for the Ship to be defeated/lost and to survive is another topic.
Now the Ship can travel all across the world without using any Fuel, while it will run out of Coal in matter of some minutes in battle. I believe it should use the Coal during the Strategic Map flight, of course use it very frugally, as little as possible. But you need at least some fuel to fly when you need Fuel to fly.
If the Crew will be limited and hired at some City, it is even possible to give each sailor a name and hometown, showing a list of casualties after battle is over. That is not necessary at all, obviously.
For now the Conquest mode is Total War. But it could be interesting if you will be able to solve some problems another way.
You can send your ambassador to another faction capital the similar way you send your spies. After that some Diplomatic Actions for negotiations will be available.
Continuous actions have a duration after which the Agreement could be broken or prolonged. Agreement is broken not immediately, but after some time. You can make an Agreement with Piece Treaty in exchange for Regular payment, for example.
You can start to cancel your Agreement ahead of time, but that will have consequences. You can even break the word and attack during the Piece Treaty, but that penalty would be huge. What will you lose? Public opinion discussed below.
Each city has:
Total Population increases every turn by 1%, half of it is Liable for work.
Liable for Military Service Population is a part of Liable for work Population. Empire Policy determines which part it is. When you hire a Crew - it decreases.
Income is produced mostly by Liable for work Population.
Public Opinion is influenced by Breaking the Agreements, by defeating monsters and solving other problems, Takeovers (Gentle Takeover changes Opinion based on the City Opinion towards previous faction, it can even increase, Brutal Takeover decreases the opinion, Pillage even more), Empire Policies, big losses during war. Some events change Public Opinion on some time, some (mostly Empire policies) continuously change its convergence value to which it will gradually approach.
Public Order is dependant on Public Opinion towards Owner Faction and Police Network Empire Policy. Public Order influences Income of the City, speed of building, repairing, cost and success of Spy Actions against the City, there could be some Strikes and Revolts.
Accepting a new Policy requires some time, you can not change another Policy during that time.
There could be many other options, that are the ones which occurred to me.
Empire Opinion is the Population-weighted average of all Cities opinion (mostly for AI to use in his decisions).
Cost and success rate of the Spy Activities is determined by your target's Public Order and Spy Network level. Success rate depends on the Public Opinion towards your faction too.
Of course, some Spy Actions will be very hard to pull off.
I assume that will be harder to implement, but I will write something about it anyway.
Construction of Ships and Buildings may require Resources. That will mean that every module will have not only Money cost, but Resources cost too. Population needs Food and Goods. Food to be alive, Goods to be happy.
So the Resources can be like:
You can mine/obtain them or produce one from another like Wood -> Coal, Metal&Coal -> Mechanisms, Reagents&Metal -> Ammo, etc.
There could be different approaches to Resources.
Resources could be total for all the Empire with a total income.
Or they could be stored in Cities, delivered on the Strategic Map - I assume that is absolutely unlikely to be implemented.
I think the best (and more likely to be implemented) option is to have a total Empire Resource count and global Market.
That means if you do not have enough of a Resource, you buy it from global Market. If you have too much of a Resource, you can sell it on global Market. That changes the price of a Resource. When you buy it, you increase the cost, when you sell it, you decrease the cost. If one player buys some Resource all the time, you will be able to Sell it for a better price. There is a Sell price and Buy price, Market is having its commission. But if you will have a Trade Agreement with some Faction willing to Sell some Resource, you can Buy it directly, without commission.
To produce these Resources you will need a source of it.
In different Cities should be different fertility and other Resource bonuses/penalties depending on something like biome.
There could be two approaches to Resource Production.
You can just take all Production and City development to the Strategic Map.
Or you could make Production Modules and use them in Designs. That will add an option to destroy some Productions Chains with Airships and make it generally more interesting. That will be much harder to implement though.
I hope at least something of that makes it to the game.