Freeciv Longturn

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A Longturn game of Freeciv is proposed, starting some time in February 2014.


Open source multi-player clone of a Sid Meier's Civilization-style game.

It's packaged for many Linux distributions, and for Windows. It's also easy to compile on Linux. Anyone know about OS X support?


A ruleset of Freeciv modified to suit one-turn-a-day play. You log in, do your move and then once everyone else has done their moves or a day has passed (whichever happens first) it is time for your move again. Therefore the game should take up relatively little of your time -- maybe only a couple of seconds per day to begin with -- however playing it out may take 3 to 12 months!


You will need a little time to check your setup and become familiar with the game before we start. Or maybe to check if you actually like this game, if you haven't played before!


Here's Andy's proposals for setup. All of it is up for discussion if you want.


Andy suggests we use 2.3.x versions. 2.3.x was the stable branch of Freeciv for a long time. 2.4.x is the new stable branch but it was only released in November 2013 and few Linux distributions have it packaged. Major version of server and client need to line up, so if we used a 2.4.x server then everyone would have to use 2.4.x clients. Andy already has a version 2.3.4 (last released 2.3.x stable version) server running.

However, others have expressed preference for running the latest stable (2.4.x), so we may do that after all. It's currently 2-0 in favour of 2.4.x.


Assume the default rules with the following modifications:

  • A turn lasts a maximum of 23 hours 59 minutes.
  • If everyone clicks "Turn Done" then the turn can end early.
  • No space race -- it's a fight to the death.
  • The map wraps in both East-West and North-South directions.
    Default Freeciv would wrap E-W with non-wrapping polar regions.
    Something that wraps both E-W and N-S is actually a torus shape if you think about it, so it's recommended not to think about it.
  • No polar regions.
    Normally civ does have polar regions but it sucks if you're placed near one.
  • Map size of 2,000 times number of players (so 8,000 if four players), 40% land.
    Default size would be 4,000 with 30% land.
  • "Islands" map generator with players alone on their island.
  • No huts or barbarians.
    Their random effects can be crippling in the early game.
  • Movement cost doubled for difficult terrain (normal terrain unaffected). So, mountains usually cost 3 move but will instead cost 6; plains still cost 1.
  • Cities must be placed with at least three clear tiles between them in every direction.
    Tries to prevent Smallpox/ICS.
  • Cities must be in rapture for 3 turns before they will start to grow.
    Default is 1 turn.
  • Increased cost of Marco Polo's Embassy from 200 to 500.
    Embassy with every human is too powerful in a big game with lots of people.
  • When switching governments, there will be a period of revolution lasting two turns.
    Default is random 1-6 turns, which can be too unfair.
  • Starting units are four Settlers, two Workers, and two Explorers.
  • Units start within a 3-square radius of each other.
    Default is 0 (all on same starting tile).
  • Units in a fortress or city regain 50% of their health each turn.
    Default is 25%.
  • All units have triple move points, which means that Settlers, Workers and Engineers also work faster.
    Makes the game less tedious and emphasises improvements.
  • All units have double vision distance.
  • Veterans get a movement bonus of 1 point (square) per veteran level. Workers and Engineers can become veterans by performing useful work.
    Makes unit development more worthwhile.
  • New unit called Migrant. Works exactly the same as Settlers but can't found new cities, is cheaper, can still boost existing cities.
  • Players can't meet for diplomacy unless both have an embassy.
  • Diplomats and Spies have a base diplomacy chance of 50%.
    Default is 80%. Espionage is too powerful at that level.

Download the rule set

You can practice with these rules yourself by downloading them and unpacking them inside your server's data directory. You'd then start the server like:

$ freeciv-server -r /path/to/longturn.serv

On Debian/Ubuntu the data directory is /usr/share/games/freeciv-data so you should unpack that file inside there, which will create the file longturn.serv and the directory longturn/. You'd then start the server:

$ civserver -r /usr/share/games/freeciv-data/longturn.serv

You don't need to download the rule set to play on our server. You only need it if you want to run your own server to practice on.


If you aren't confident in your ability to play the game then you could have a bit of a practice. Initially the Longturn game will be painfully slow so you'll have plenty of time to practice in other games against AI while its going on, but maybe you want to check whether you actually like this game or not before you agree to play!

Freeciv is client/server and the package you install contains both client and server. You can run your own server to practice quickly against multiple AI opponents. You can also download our ruleset to practice with those rules specifically. The modified rules aren't that hugely different from default though so you could just practice without them.

If you'd like to practice with the Longturn rules but don't want to run your own server then you can ask Andy to start an additional server for your personal practice use.


Not all of these will be for the same version of the game, but it's all mostly relevant as only a few mechanisms have changed since mid-90s Civ II style of play.

For looking up stats of units, improvements, terrain etc. the client has all that information too.


Since all state is kept server-side you can connect and disconnect your client as much as you like, play from different machines, etc.

If you don't make a turn before the 23h59 is up then you'll skip your turn. That probably won't be an issue unless it happens in the middle of a big battle.

If you need to take a break (holidays etc.) then you should let us know and we can pause the timer for a while.

If you need to resign then you could find someone else to take over your nation. If you can't find someone else then we will give it to an AI player.

If you go out of contact for a long time then we might find someone else to take over your nation, or give it to an AI player.

The server will take a save game every turn and the save games are backed up each day, so hardware failure shouldn't pose a problem.

Other than that, no one involved has run or played in a Longturn game before so no idea how well it will work.

Potential players

Would be nice to have at least 5 I think. Can go up past 20 players easily.