Personally I have created my own little diplomatic rule set, allowing for the ability to influence nearly every nation into any faction. Basically no factions exist and must be formed. With a predisposition via events of following historical paths.
Very interesting! Curious if you want to share this.
My current dream is to design and print my own map that would somehow make the impossible possible. A larger, scaled in version of Europe, where as keeping Africa, South America and all else on the map and not in inset boxes.
Excellent Idea hope this works for you. Ideas like this are what got me hooked to this game type. So much imagination and creative action on this site keep at it.