Refine rivers, forests, and even just general terrain in a ton of spots.
...But with what I had, I took some initiative.
I've done preliminary work in laying down cities.
Now, I only did Egypt, Carthage, Greece, Persia, and the Mongols.
I didn't do the Romans, Celts, or Goths.
...But these will give me a fine reference point, and so far, it looks...so good.
Carthage is a little huge (32ish cities, 22ish of which are VP locations), but they start second-largest anyway and I believe I made Persia appropriately large in response (a little more than that in cities and about the same in VP locations).
At this stage, Greece maaaaaayyy need for me to stretch things out a little bit city-wise, as they have about 22ish, which puts them behind Persia more than they originally were, but I'm a little hesitant, because Persia's cities are a little spread out.
I'm not too worried about Rome at this point. They're meant to start out smaller than any of the other four original player civs, so if I get them in the ballpark of 20 cities, they'll be golden--and keep in mind that they have multiple scenarios I can draw from.
They originally start with only nine; I could expand that out to be more in the range of...lessee...potentially 20 more from Fall of Rome alone (not all will make it in, obv), 8 more from The Middle Ages (at least half which won't make it in), potentially 4 more from Napoleonic Era (which I'll be lucky if one fits in).
Absolute maximum, then, of 41--which if you take the more realistic numbers, is a maximum more in the range of ~24, give or take a few.
Like I said, mayyyyy need to buff Greece up, but I won't be needing to buff Carthage up beyond what they have now; they have plenty.
I've got a TON of terrain modification work to do, fine-tweaking the terrain to incorporate elements from various scenarios.
Still, this is looking to be awfully doable.
The pieces are starting to fall into place.
My slow, methodical approach is one which doesn't bear fruit immediately--but which once it starts to, suddenly, everything is there and just...working.
It'll take a long time to get everything working, especially once I go from fine-tuning the Mesopotamian/Rise hybrid map to extrapolating details on the Fall/Middle Ages/Napoleonic/Age of Discovery maps. (I have placeholder terrain in, but nothing more.) I'll also be fine-tuning things with the map of the world (which will be necessary for the whole, "I went too far north", thing).
Then I can redistribute goody huts/resources (well once the cities are up that is--but getting all the cities up requires me to get the terrain expanded first), and manually add in more resources in all the right spots and then some that're manually added in.
Progress is progress!