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How to play Longturn: advice for beginners

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:15 pm
by Corbeau
As with any other game, playing against other humans is very different from playing against computer and AI. And in Civilization things can get a very different taste, depending on who your neighbour is.

Also, there is a difference between playing a fast-paced "normal" or "real-time" Freeciv that is usually played on public and private servers, and Longturn. The pace dictates playstyle and strategy very much. In a "normal" game, where initial timeout is usually set to less than one minute, there isn't very much space (time) for diplomacy. However, in Longturn diplomacy is absolutely essential, especially if you are a beginner and especially if your neighbour happens to be someone with more experience. If this neighbour is aggressive, diplomacy may persuade him to let you live at least for a while because you may be of use to him OR to get you some help before he manages to annihilate you. If he isn't aggressive, then even more, the last thing you need to do is keep to yourself because he may consider you an obstacle and a potential threat, and then he will become aggressive. But if you become friends with a superior nation, it is likely you will end up with free tech.

For the record, in all previous games of Longturn, more or less large alliances have been made and, most of the time, people who weren't part of them, got toasted. This doesn't mean absolute commitment is required, but average activity, being available for communication and playing by the generally very loose rules most of the time assured long-term survival.

You may have the feeling that you are a Ghengis Khan or something and that you can be a sole ruler of the world. Please do. Even peaceful players like some combat practice without feeling guilty for smashing someone who didn't deserve it.

If you haven't played Freeciv before, my advice is to play a few games against computer just to see where things are and to get acquainted with the interface and the mechanics. However, you don't have to become a "master against AIs" in order to be eligible to play against humans. Simply, no matter how good you become at that, you will encounter humans who will be better than you, and then, your key strategy should be, again, diplomacy.

As for general technical advice, there can't be much because it all depends on what playstyle you prefer and different paths will demand different strategies. But generally, it is best to get out of Despotism as soon as possible, whether through Monarchy or directly to Republic. Aiming for Democracy early is a viable option, but beware of revolts. Also, if you don't know what Rapture is in Freeciv, find out. Either way, if you're not going for an early Genghis-Khan-style swarm conquest (please do), science is the key, and for science, you need Republic or Democracy. And did I mention diplomacy?

And, most of all, have fun. You may play Freeciv as a game of chess, moving your pieces in the most optimal way in order to win, but aside from that, you can also use the opportunity to test out your neighbours' - and the world leaders' - characters. Maybe there are more complex games out there, but Civilization is still the mother of them all so be sure to use all of its aspects.

And, of course, diplomacy.

Re: How to play Longturn: advice for beginners

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:38 pm
by wieder
Good advice.

Ally with others and create as big alliances as possible. if you want to go beyind that, let your alliance to ally with some other alliance.

Agree when to attack, if you will attack. If you have done this, agree how many units of which type everyone will bring. At the target, ready for the attack.

Defend the weak allies. Confuse the enemy.

Build the economy if you want to survive until the late game. rulesets are very different from those used on the web multiplayer. Read the help and ask for help. People usually will help you on general topics :)

Re: How to play Longturn: advice for beginners

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:55 pm
by Corbeau
Well, they are not *very* different. The biggest difference is tech trade and rapture. This effects strategy very much. Everything else are technicalities that you just need to familiarise yourself with, which city improvement does what and what are units stats and stuff like that. If you are not an expert and don't know the default rulesets by heart, then it doesn't matter how different they are, you have to check the data anyway ;)

Re: How to play Longturn: advice for beginners

Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:07 pm
by Caedo
They're also based on civ2civ3 instead of multiplayer (at least the current ones, LT38, LT40 and SG1). That conveys a lot of changes, from the different unit classes to the different effects of terrain types.

Re: How to play Longturn: advice for beginners

Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:20 am
by wieder
Maybe they are quite different while not very different :)

Some random thoughts not in particular order.

yeah,'s games are based on civ2civ3 the buildings and units are heavily modified for a multiplayer game. Lots of possible exploits are removed and the game is balanced for multiple human players unlike the original civ2civ3 ruleset.

Then again there are similarities to multiplayer ruleset. Most of the wonders are small wonders. Some of the wonders are also disabled or made really expensive. Also the governments are changed to support more different play styles. The problem was that in the original civ2civ3 players ultimately picked either Democracy or Communism for the late game. Now I don't remember how it was in the multiplayer ruleset today but at an earlier time the winning path was despotism - republic - democracy. Then again this is only because of rapure. It renders the other govs really so much less usable.

LT38, LT39 and SG1 are maybe more like civ2civ3 with multiplayer like features. LT40 is more experimental one with most of the planned, suggested, proposed etc. features added to the game. Quite different with bigger city work areas, new buildings, new government, new wonders, new units...

The most notable difference seems to be the move rates. On games the units move with 3x rates. It's not exactly 3x because the cities must also be built futher away from each other. This effectively makes the moves more like 1.5x or 2x. The map is kind of zoomed in.

Too bad I wasn't able to join play game 8. Would be interesting to test it with that number of players. I listed, on an earlier post, some exploits we have been dealing with on our games. Would be really intersting to see if the same issues affect the web games or does the number of the players make those less effective. At least I haven't seen people complaining about the exploits so I assume there are not that many issues with the web version.

Re: How to play Longturn: advice for beginners

Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:11 am
by AndreasR
wieder wrote:Too bad I wasn't able to join play game 8. Would be interesting to test it with that number of players.

It is still possible to join LongTurn game #8 on Freeciv-web. Please describe in more details the problems you had in joining the game, perhaps I can help. It should be just clicking on this link to join: (Note that you need a validated Google account to join. Also, you have to disable adblockers in your browser, since the Google signin button can be detected by some adblockers).

Re: How to play Longturn: advice for beginners

Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:32 am
by wieder
Oh, sorry. I see how that can be misunderstood. What I wanted to say is that I wasn't able to join because of lack of time. However I will definitely join in the future.

For the same reason I may have to skip SG1.

I'm one of those players who really likes to explore all the options and possibilities when playing the game. Really time consuming :)