- They would replace trade goods counters to a dial on your race sheet.
- They would change the command counters on your race sheet with dials, leaving only the command counters to put on the map. This reduces considerably the number of counters per race.
- There wouldn't be "sprues" for the ships, requiring less space in the box.
- Make the game for 4 players? adding a fifth or sixth player in an expansion…
Dials for trade goods would be benefit, though I don't think it would be wise to put them on the race sheet. Rather have neutral "per player" dials. It would require a whole lot of extra ressources, just for extra racial dials - although the luxury for a gaming experience such as TI, it could be neat, though not needed. I doubt FFG would reduce the number of races in the future, if just for reducing such ordeals. Maybe revamp or tweak one or the other, but not discard them entirely, or make them NPC-races.
The replacement of CCs with dials would need a revamp of the system. I think the current method has a very nice interactive feel. You take a CC from your active pool, and put it somewhere. Why use a dial, when you have to take a CC from anywhere anyway?
Revamping TI for fewer players is something as epic and difficult as the game itself. The core problem is, that fewer numbers of players fall prey to a common, basic problem: 3 players are just stalling each other. If two players get into conflict, the third, waiting, will immediately win that opportunity. It is more a game of military and tactics, than true politics. For tactical games without much politics, there are other, and also faster, alternatives.
Four players are similar, but more playable in the sense of TI. The problem here is, that most of the time 2v2 games will emerge one way or another.
5+ enables TI to create dynamics and uncertain actions by everyone onto everyone. Politics, diplomacy, are truly important here. In bigger games 3vs3 or even 4vs4 won't happen. Lot's of small factions, alliances, groups, will form and morph and change throughout a game. With smaller is just not possible due to basic math.