"Unlike other 4X games, At The Gates is played from the perspective of the Barbarians, eschewing the typical empire-building in favor of a more nomadic-style pursuit of victory. Was this inspired at all by Civilization and its use of raiding Barbarian camps? As I read up on At The Gates, I felt myself lamenting that Civ 5 does not have a mode that allows you to go against city states and civs as a Barbarian camp/unit"
I thought this was an intriguing question in several ways... it not only asks you what was the deepest inspiration for At the Gates, but... I sorta saw it as attempting to ascertain how deeply games criticism feeds back ideas to game developers? (Even if unintentionally)
Modern games criticism has often tried to extract political thinking from game mechanics and narratives, and one point that I've seen argued is how one-dimensional barbarians often are - often, all you can do is destroy them, and that could say something about how (e.g. western) society views nomadic peoples and such in its art.
Political focuses aside, Jon, have you looked into diversifying Bandits in the future, given how they work pretty much like Civ's Barbarians? It's looking like it's turtles all the way down, and probably the Bandits have their own Bandits to bother them.