Freeciv-Web Wiki

Real-Time Strategy (RTS) is any strategy game allowing Real-Time (simultaneous) combat moves.

  • RTS is only a relevant topic in multiplayer and longturn games.

Definition of RTS[]

RTS - two players moving strategically in the same theatre of war, at the same time.

  • Example: Attila attacks Bonaparte; then Bonaparte attacks Attila seconds later.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Among turn-based games, Freeciv's unique simultaneity of movement makes RTS a possibility.

General rules[]

  • Most times, RTS can be prohibited when requested.
  • There are 3 times when RTS is always allowed:
    1. Within one hour of a Turn Change.
    2. 10 hours after TC
      • (allows players to move their units after the last unitwaittime expires.)
    3. 11 hours before TC
      • (an hour before unit movements will get frozen by UWT next turn.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ The Turn-Timer at the upper-right of the screen shows when RTS is allowed or may be prohibited on request. The Turn-Timer display obeys the timings shown in this chart.

NO RTS Requests[]

NO RTS Request - When one player requests for another player to not interrupt his moves. The second player waits for him to finish his moves, before she reacts to those moves.

  • Use common sense, wait for acknowledgment, and be reasonable.
  • Do the protected moves quickly.
  • Inform the other player when the request period is finished.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ If turn timing is not critical (such as at TC or moves affected by UWT), it can be easier to log in later when the player is offline, if you have time.

Clarifications and Exceptions[]

  • The following are not RTS:
    • Units who automatically and by themselves perform a GOTO or GO-AND-DO, when released from a UWT lock.*
    • Units who auto-attack while on Vigil.*

* Easily proved or disproved by the game console messages

Players may deny NO RTS requests[]

  • At any time when RTS is allowed.
  • If Turn 100, or defending vs. Air units, rules are slightly relaxed in favor of RTS, especially if:
    • Aerial attacks significantly degrade defense outcomes if under "NO RTS"
    • Please negotiate Gentlemen agreements in such cases.
  • The rare but theoretically possible case of a "Mexican Standoff"

Why FCW limits RTS[]

Attila is online all day. He freely attacks Decima while she is offline. When Decima comes online to do her turn, Attila instantly retaliates against Decima's attacks, and blocks her moves in real-time.

  • Attila gets to: 1. Attack with no real-time counter-moves, and 2. Reinforce and retaliate in real-time when Decima attacks him.
  • Decima is attacked with no chance to reinforce or retaliate. When she attacks, Attila reinforces and retaliates in real-time.

Clearly, this isn't fair.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ There are other reasons as well: Connection speed, quality of mouse, speed of thought in different time zones (morning coffee vs 3am), and the fact that Freeciv is a strategic game, not a "third-person shooter." Because of all this, FCW has rules that put limits on RTS.

NO CAMPING (rule #5) is a related rule that reduces the frequency of RTS issues.

Why FCW allows RTS[]

Counteroffensives are an essential part of warfare and the very purpose for some types of unit: Fighters' purpose is to intercept Bombers attacking their territory. Mounted units throughout history made counterattacks to disrupt lured or exposed attackers. Cannons were prized for retaliatory strength. The major advantage of expensive fast units is the ability to flee a losing battle and fight another day -- not be frozen and killed by slower cheaper units.

In theory, if all other things are equal, RTS is the fairest way to conduct a battle:

  • Both players get equal opportunity to position their defensive units.
  • Both players can order their offensive units to make use of their superior attack strength,

On the other hand, under no-RTS, battle outcomes have these issues:

  • One player gets the advantage of the attack strength of their offensive units,
  • The other player is denied the attack strength of their offensive units,
  • One player makes multiple moves relative to a frozen opponent who is denied the ability to make any reaction moves.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Initiative is decisive at TC and other key times. Because of this and the above arguments, RTS is allowed during time-critical phases.

Gentlemen agreements[]

Players are encouraged to come to their own agreements so that each gets a fair amount of RTS and NO-RTS when going against each other. Please be considerate of players who cannot log in multiple times per day, especially if you are online longer than them. The best kind of agreement is detailed right below:

Micro-Turn Agreements[]

Micro-Turn Agreements can be made voluntarily by players who are online simultaneously, but don't want to do RTS. Within the main turn of a game, each player does a quick "micro-turn", finishes it, then the other players have a "micro-turn". Players continue alternating quick micro-turns this way, instead of engaging in chaotic RTS.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ A GM is likely to require you to do Micro-Turns if you're in an RTS dispute with the other player. Go ahead and make the agreement yourselves and save the GM a headache!

Micro-Turn Agreements are superior for all parties, and highly encouraged. FCW Gamemasters are trying to educate the community to use this type of agreement as the norm.

How Micro-Turn Agreements work[]

  1. Players first agree how many units get to move at a time. The standard is 2.
    • (You may mutually agree on any other number.)
  2. Players agree on approximate length of the micro-turns. The standard is 1 minute.
    • (You may mutually agree on any micro-turn length.)
  3. Player A moves 2 units and is allowed to do all legal actions with these 2 units: attack, iPillage, board, disembark, etc.
  4. Player A finishes within the agreed time (such as 1 minute), then tells player B, "DONE"
  5. Player B now gets their turn to do steps 3 and 4.
  6. The process repeats steps 3 through 5 until finished.
    • A player is allowed to say "SKIP" or move less than the agreed number of unit movements, during this process.
  • Such agreements preserve fairness, sporting honour, increase the game's tactical depth, and embrace the fact that [controlled] simultaneous battle is the fairest, most balanced, and most realistic way to conduct battle. Most importantly, micro-turns are FUN!!

In "hot" RTS action, you'd be scrambling your mouse to find and move units faster than someone else. This is not fun for many, and can lead to slips and other not-so-sporting outcomes. Suggestion: if you know RTS is inevitable, propose a Micro-Turn Agreement!


Click here for the full-size chart. RTS chart Click here for the full-size chart.