Here you will find technically irrelevant, but information that may be interesting if you want to know Who is Who and What is What in the Longturn/Freeciv community(es). This text is about a little bit of Past, most of the Present and trace amounts of Future.
Firstly, Longturn (LT) community, gathered around the site Longturn.net (also Longturn.org) and the corresponding Discord server, is a splinter project of the larger Freeciv(.org) group/community/project. It is also the most “social” of the three distinguishable groups where you will find the most information about the other two projects so it is a good place to start.
The LT community has been in existence for 20+ years and is the one that invented the sub-genre of one-turn-per-day (free)civ. So far around 70 “official” games have been started and a bit fewer experimental and scenario games have been played. We use rulesets that have been evolving to accommodate the multiplayer variant, different from the original Civ that has been primarily designed with single-player in mind. The ruleset is based on Civ2, but moving towards Civ3, so if you have experience with those games, you’ll catch up easily. (If not, firstly, welcome to the world of Civilization, the Mother of All Games, we hope you will have a long and pleasant stay. Be sure to check the Freeciv for absolute beginners section.)
LT games start every month or two. Most are free-for-all, some are team games and recently a LT League came into existence with separate games that try to sort players by skill levels. Victories are usually defined by declaration (mostly allied victories, but individual declarations are possible). Also, score victory is an option and there are games with only score ending.
If you have experience in coding, you are most welcome to join the developing team. Currently the LT crew is developing a modernized branch version of Freeciv software - the Freeciv21 project - that would be better suited for the LT games.
Currently there are four rulesets being played. The main is LongTurn Traditional (LTT): the one created and evolving in continuity from LT1. The LTT designation was created only recently as new rulesets came into existence. It was based on civ2civ3 ruleset, as already mentioned, designed to enhance the multiplayer version. Its addition is LTX (eXtended or eXperimental, we still can't agree), which tests new features that may be one day added to LTT.
Warciv is an extension of the old Warserver with a narrow development track which amounts to the race to the final showdown. A number of Warserver games has been played some years ago and Longturn has restarted the concept recently with a few games that have already been played.
Simulation ruleset was used in a total of five LT games and is planned to start as an official spinoff with its own designation. The idea is to make the game more realistic and to simulate real historic pace and development as much as it’s possible with the available game mechanics. It is a radical change compared to all other rulesets and it is not advised to play it without checking at least the short version of the manual.
Augmented ruleset is an extended version of the classical Civ rulesets, with more techs and more units. One game has been played so far.
Aviation is another slightly exotic ruleset centered on the use of many types of aircraft, obviously.
The origin of all of this is the Freeciv.org project. The site itself is an information and download hub. The forum is more technical and the whole project itself is more centered on the Freeciv software development. It is definitely a place to check from time to time and is generally an entry point for players.
Freeciv is a relatively portable game. “Installation” doesn’t require admin privileges on the computer and it can even be “installed” on and played from an USB stick. However, if even this doesn’t suit you, you can try the Freeciv Web version which is literally that: all you need to play is a web browser and a Google account for authorization. FCW doesn’t offer variable rulesets although their core ruleset also evolved from what it was in the beginning. As all rulesets, it has its upsides and downsides so it is best to check it out to see if it fits your preferences. The web version itself was created some years ago and in 2017 it started hosting longturn-style games which are now the backbone of its community. After some radical bumps in the road in the form of overnight shutdowns due to personal glitches, it is now slightly more stable with its own domain and server. There is some disagreement between FCW and LT key figures, but a regular player doesn’t really need to be bothered by it, you can be a member of both communities with no problems whatsoever, as many players are.
Honourable mention goes to Movingborders, an ad-hoc page that was set up by a fan at a moment when the main playing sites were offline. In spite of the announcement that it was temporary, it has remained standing to this day. No terms of service, the state of the site is as-is, not really maintained or up to date, but fully functional and playable.
So, if you want to dip into the world of Longturn or Freeciv or both, the best first step is to hop into our Discord server. All your further questions will be answered there.