Reading more Posts on comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic and came across a couple of interesting suggestions:
What about province defense changing on what buildings you have in the province - so if you have a temple you get a priest in addition to what you would get anyway, or perhaps sacred troops instead of regular troops, if (and only if) they're available in the province, and if you have a lab and a locally recruitable
mage, you get a mage in addition to what you would get anyway.
This would go hand in hand with getting national troops if you have a castle, whereas only local (i.e. independant) troops if you don't.
Ulm home province (incl. temple and lab):
Heavy Infantry + Commander + priest + smith
Ulm province w/ castle (C) but neither temple (T) nor lab (L):
Heavy Infantry + commander
Ulm province w/o C in Barbarian province w/o T or L:
Barbarians (+ archers at higher levels?) + Barbarian leader
Ulm province w/o C in Amazon province w/o T, w/ L:
Amazons + Amazon Sorceress
The only problem I can think of would be provinces in which there are no leaders who don't have priestly authority or magical power - like an Amazon province - and in which you haven't buit either a temple or lab. But you could solve this by giving the player a lab for free with such provinces - due to the magical nature of its inhabitants
What I like about this idea is the added benefit of having structures on provinces - maybe not a huge advantage, but a little detail which adds richness to the gaming experience
Additionally, I would like to see a limit to how much defense you can buy - it seems kinda crazy to have a tiny, poor province with a defense of 50 or 60. Of course most of the time it's pretty stupid to but 50 or 60 defense…