Disclaimer: This was done on one night, based heavily on one person’s comment, from one small voice (me) who is a peasant exercising his right on free speech.
Quote in the "Resource System & Map control Elements"
Following on @Wesley's comment, I went and tried to trace back the original intention of the Citizen Soldier up to the state they are currently in (not with research, but with assumptions, so go ahead and fault me for that).
Now if 0 A.D.’s thesis in the Starting Game is “Make each Faction immediately recognizable”, then I believe they are successful in that. If I chose “Random” before we start, then I can immediately tell what Faction I’m controlling just by looking at the Civic Center and the units I have without looking at the Emblem at the center top part of the UI. This is where 0 A.D. improves over AoE2.
Now, the Citizen Soldiers have inherited that aspect. Although they’re being mocked as “Soldiers who can gather”, they’re actually “Villagers who can fight” (Yes I’ll be relying on "'living' is not the same as 'not dying'" logic). If you’re complaining that you’d rather gather with these guys, then you shouldn't since they were intended to do that. It's players like me who are the ones using them in an un-orthodox manner (sending them to war). The reason why we have Champion Spams back then is that it is the original intention of the game: Gather with Citizen Soldiers, then send the Champions to war.
But then, some things happened over the years:
Horsemen have become a lot faster (they were nearly as fast as walking soldiers back then).
Champion (Pure Military) Units have increased their train time.
Citizen Soldiers received some rebalancing of stats.
What all this all means is that the Citizen Soldiers have taken center stage both in the Economy and Military side of things. And, you know what? This further led me to recognize what @DarcReaver has been actively harping over the forums recently: Citizen Soldiers broke the game.
1. You can’t Distinguish between Economic and Military Units
New players shouldn’t be going “Oh, my soldiers can gather and build. That’s cool!”.
They should’ve been going “Oh, my villagers can defend themselves. That’s cool!” They don’t see Citizen Soldiers as Economic Units with Fighting as an add-on,
they identify them as Military Units with Gather/Build as the add-on.
The reason why we see @drsingh complaining about the Civic Center being able to train Military Units is that he doesn’t see the Citizen Soldiers as Economic Units. And judging from the game’s current state his complaint has become valid.
2. Lack of Military Unit Diversity
And here's another problem, guys. If you’re wondering why we don’t have enough diversity in Champions or any Pure Military Units for that matter, then the reason is that most of the units went into the Citizen Soldier category. This must be the reason why I feel that Phase 2 is the emptiest phase in the game. You’re not presented with more military, you're presented with more gatherers.
Here’s another thing. The elephant is a Soldier-type unit for whatever reason. But looking at a certain unit progression. I believe the original intention was this:
Phase 1 – Citizen Soldiers + Women
Phase 2 – Soldiers
Phase 3 – Champions + Heroes
That’s one way I can make sense for why there is a soldier-type unit.
Now with all that in mind, I think we should not remove the gathering ability of the Citizen Soldiers since that was the original intention. Rather, something must be done with the military strength they obtained over the years. I think they should be nerfed. Rush Cavs (as much as I personally like to have that strategy available) should not be possible. Cavs should either lose their gathering capabilities, or they are not available in the Civic Center. A little harassment here and there can still be a staple in the early game, but rushes might not be good for a game that has city-building also in mind. Make Town Phase more relevant by putting the Town Phase Units from Citizen Soldiers to Soldier category.
Yes, I know this post has come to a set of suggestions, but I believe this was the original gameflow of 0 A.D. Only that much of the playerbase has dictated to where it is now. Now, go. Tear down my arguments. I was just here to ramble.