Francisco Ronco Poce
I haven't played the game yet (waiting for a replacement Rome deck), but reading the rules I saw that everyone starts at 10 VP and during the game you gain/lose VP whenever you win/lose a city according to its size. Granted, the bigger the city, the more difficult it is to conquer it, but wouldn't it be more appropriate for your starting VP to be the sum of the size of your initial cities? Or would this lead to balance issues (with Rome having more big cities in Italy, in comparison to other empires)?
Yes, it is a balance mechanic as you build your initial empire as you desire. This allows each player different strategies to try with each Empire, adding also to the replayability factor of the game. If counting initial size you alwyas wii add the same cities to your initial empire, spoiling the replayability.
Anyway you count your initial empire number of cities, that can be different from player to player as they implement differnt strategies for expansion.
In third place it adds a "chrome" issue: all players begin with an emerging state, at the end of the VP track for "abandoning barbarims"