I was curious how far we can push the envelope when it comes to factions per huge map. I created 52 generic factions and started a game with them. The game crashed during map load. I slowly decremented the amount until I found a number that worked. That number was 25 (I didn't test between 26-29, but 30 crashes).
I suspected the issue was related to space between starting points, or some other constraint on the map building process, so I went into ElementalDefs and reduced the space between start locations from 10 to 2. It had no effect on the game as far as generating a map successfully.
So on to my question!
I still suspect that adding too many factions per map is causing a crash because the map is just not big enough to meet the starting conditions for that many factions. With that said, what else should I be looking at in the XML that may cause the issue?