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Freeciv Strategy: Conquering the World in Three Easy Steps

by: M.S. Smith ; edited by: Bill Fulks ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Freeciv is a freeware game developed in the spirit of Civilization II. As such, it is all about world domination. Conquering the world isn't easy, but like Civilization II there is undoubtedly a dominate strategy - expand, expand, expand!

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    Freeciv is a turn-based civilization management game built in the tradition of the Civilization series. It is highly customizable, but many of the fundamental strategies remain the same as the Civilization games. And you'll need those fundamental strategies, because Freeciv's AI is ruthless. Follow these tips, however, and you'll soon conquer the world.

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    Freeciv is all about expanding. If there is space for a city, build one!   By far the best strategy a player can undertake in Freeciv is the strategy of constant expansion. Freeciv is a game that has very little penalty for expansion. Settlers are cheap, the penalties for having cities far away from the capital are not that great, and there are no cultural factors which can make a large group of less developed cities a target for cultural warfare.

    Undertaking aggressive expansion requires two things. The first is exploration. At default settings, the player will start with a group of explorers. This should be augmented by two additional units. They don't have to be scouts. They can simply be warriors. The point is to have eyes out into the world which are uncovering spots for expansion, because it is impossible to build a city in a great spot if you don't know about it.

    Production is the second factor in expansion. Build early cities in places where production will be high and do everything possible to increase the population of those cities. Use workers vigorously to upgrade the land. Be sure to research Pottery so the Granary can be built. Granaries are an incredible improvement because they make population growth faster and are cheap. Once the Granary is built in a city, start emptying it out until it has a population of two or three by chain building settlers and take all the land that can be found. Pick up the good spots first, but take the average ones, too. If you don't build a city there, your opponent likely will.

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    Once you've built all the cities possible, it's time to start thinking about expanding your empire further. Except now you'll need to do it through conquering opponents rather than building new cities. If you're wanting to do the research or diplomatic route, don't. The AI won't care how friendly you are being.

    Going on the offense is a straight-forward affair. Build the best offensive units possible, preferably something with a good attack rating and the ability to move at least two spaces per turn. Scout out neighbors to find the one that is weakest, and then unleash your army upon them. It is key to attack the weakest enemy, even if they could be a future ally, and to attack quickly. The goal is to take over more cities with the least effort expended as possible. A long drawn-out war against an evenly matched civilization does no one any good.

    Once the process of conquering a civilization has begun, don't spend too much time digesting it. If the opponent went down more quickly than expected, find another civilization to attack. There is no reason not to, and the AI will likely attack you if you don't attack it first.

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    In the long time, winning Freeciv require research. The ocean is often an obstacle, so research naval technology   After expanding aggressively and conquering even more aggressively, you should have a good sized empire. That does not make you invincible, however. Opponents may gang up and you to try and take you down, or another civilization on the other side of the world may be conquering cities as quickly as you are.

    That means it is time to start researching solutions to your long term problems. The two major long-term problems are transportation and military might. It is important to always be expanding, but lack of transportation technology often brings an offensive to a stand-still. It is difficult to move armies if there are no roads to use, and even more difficult to move an army over water. By the time you've conquered one civilization, water is likely becoming an obstacle in at least one direction, so be sure to vigorously research naval technologies.

    Also be sure to research the latest and greatest military technologies. There are certain technologies, like gunpowder units and aircraft, which completely change the way the game is played. Reaching these technologies first is crucial. If you maintain the technological edge when it comes to military units, victory is almost guaranteed.

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    Closing the Game

    Once you've reached the half-way mark of conquering civilizations, you've pretty much won the game. At that point the question is how to close it out as quickly as possible.

    The best way is usually to hit major enemy strongholds that are remaining first and collapsing their empire from there. The advantage to hitting the biggest enemy cities is that it takes out their largest production centers and it gives a staging area which is usually well developed in terms of transportation. All roads lead out of the enemy capital, and those can be used to take down their entire empire at lightning speed. Don't forget to explore, either - eventually you'll be down to the last few cities remaining, and the AI likes to place cities in some very strange places.