The entire concept of roads doesn't work, imo. Two systems are trying to mix and it isn't doing a good job of it.
On the one hand, your roads auto-build between cities once you acquire the trading tech.
On the other hand, you are given a 'chance' at one unit to modify the existance of roads.
In the case of Mancer, more pioneer spam is encouraged, as you want them for road building too now...
Here's my current concept for road design in FE:
Have three available levels of road: Path, Road, Highway
Be able to build a PATH through the city queue. When the build is complete, the UI asks you were your 'end' (or 'sink') destination to be. The start ('source') location must be the city where the PATH is being built. The end location must be a city or outpost that you control. The build produces a PATH along the most efficient route, granting +1 movement to units traveling along it.
You may select the PATH, as you would an outpost, and there will be an upgrade button on it. Upgrading puts the PATH back into the queue of the source city, as if it were an improvement, which then upgrades the PATH into a ROAD once complete, granting +2 movement bonus while traveling along its trajectory. Natually the ROAD would look different than the PATH. This upgrade could be made available with the 'construction' tech.
You may again select the ROAD and upgrade, this time turning into a HIGHWAY, granting +3 movement while traveling along its trajectory. This upgrade can be made available through tech in the military tree....perhaps something like 'mobilization' (if it's a little harder to get than 'construction'). Again, the HIGHWAY would have a different appearance for easy reference.
In addition, two more city enchantment spells can be made available that focus on further upgrading all the roads connected to the source city where the enchantment is placed. (so as to not leave out the magic tree) Naturally the enchantments require the essence to cast.
Ride like the Wind: Air Spell (perhaps lvl2), granting an additional +1 movement for travel along all roads SOURCED from the enchanted city.
The Golden Road: Earth Spell (perhaps lvl4), granting x2 movement for travel along all roads SOURCED from the enchanted city.
A city road-enchanted would have ALL it's roads that are SOURCED (ie, roads that it built!) enchanted, granting the increased movement.
example: Yes, this means that if you had a city with highways sourced that has 'ride like the wind' AND 'the golden road', units travelling along those roads would gain an addition +8 movment.
- Pioneers should not be able to build or raze roads. It's simply too much micromanagement, too much pioneer spamming, and too much road-spamming.
- Sorry Mancer; you will need another special power.
- Just like outposts and improvements, there should be a way to RAZE roads. This could easily be a button when the road is selected (right beside the upgrade button)
- When in enemy territory, roads can provide natural benefit (it's there, use them), BUT your units do not receive the enchantment bonuses from the enemy city...you can still be out-marched.