The basic idea with LTT is that you should be able to play it reasonably well with very little guidance if you have played some other 4x games where you build your empire from the ancient times to the modern day.
The concept of LTT is not that different from pretty much every other empire building game. The game is not a copy or a remake of any other game. You could think of LTT vs. some other game like comparing Half-Life to Quake. If you have played Quake it's not that big deal to start playing Half-Life. Half-Life may have more features and more content while the basics for moving around and fighting with the enemies remains the same. This of course means that you are supposed to learn this stuff while playing and that's half of the fun. Other people playing the games can suggest you with some basic strategies and this is probably the best way for learning if you play multiplayer. Get advice, figure out some basic strategy, go with that and adapt with the ever changing world. Human players can be unpredictable and with LTT there are tons of way to mess up with the enemies. You can also get some quite nice basic strategies only by reading the help texts for the govs. We have included some strategy related info there. When to choose some specific government, what you should have when you switch etc.
In the traditional longturn games we often have plenty of start units so that the game starts really fast and there is plenty of doing in the early game.
This means that there are 5 settlers, 5 tribal workers and 2 explorers. Plenty of units to make the early game quite interesting. Lots of players spend lots of time on the first turn because that's when you plan your city locations. If you have any luck it should be relatively easy to know plan the initial city locations on your first turn. For this you want to use the explorers for mapping the area around you. Both explorers can make 9 moves while ignoring the terrain. The explorers are super valuable for gaining intel so try not to lose them. If necessary you may want to use some tribal workers for mapping. Knowing the map during the firs turn often beats getting roads or irrigation.
The settlers can't be bribed so that the players starting next to an idler wouldn't get an advantage by bribing the idling settlers. You also have tribal workers as start units. Those act like the regular workers except that they have only 2 moves while the regular workers have 3 moves. Upgrading the workers give you some extra moves but there is one reason why you might not want to upgrade. The tribal workers can't be captured by enemy units while the regular workers can be captured. This makes the games more fair since someone starting next to an initial idler can't simply capture the workers. This also makes the tribal workers ideal for working close to the enemy territory. Instead of being captured your workers will defend.
Notice that capturing works from the ships even if the unit on the ship can't attack from the sea. Because of the user interface limitations you will need to use keyboard for doing the actual capturing from a ship. This means that you need to use the numeric keyboard for "moving" the unit to the tile where the capturable unit is. With laptops you can use the standard numeric keys but you might want to google a picture of a numeric keyboard to know the actual directions for the numeric keys.
Cities on hills no longer get +2 food for the city tile if the city tile also has a mine on it. You can only have the irrigation effect (automatic) or a mine in a city.
The granary sizes allow growing big cities reasonably fast. This means that the city will grow from size 1 to size 2 once there is 12 food in the granary. The biggest granary size is 40 allowing the players to grow the cities reasonably fast.
|granary_food_ini = 12, 14, 16, 20, 24, 28, 34, 40|
I.e. - after size 8 granary size stays at 40.
The cities have bigger working radius allowing them to work on locations 3 tiles away from the city center.
Together with bigger city working area and citymindist 4 (there needs to be 3 tiles between the cities) it is possible to build really big cities and defending them is not that hard if you invest on defensive units.
There is a small wonder (Leonardo's Workshop) for auto upgrading 2 units each turn. When the units are upgraded this way they do not lose veteran levels. However if you upgrade them with gold you will lose one veteran level. The Great Wonder Verroccios will upgrade one additional unit for the owner of the wonder but it is a Great Wonder an dony one player can have it at a time.
The game uses 9 move fragments for moving the units. If there is no road and the player moves on plains, that will cost 9 fragments (1 move). I there is a road the move cost is 3/9 or 1/3 fragments meaning that the unit can move 3 tiles (with a road) before one move is fully consumed. For the rails the cost is 1/9 fragment and the only terrain improvement for not consuming any move points is the maglev you can build at the late game by upgrading rails.
Some players have pointed out that it's unrealistic to terraform flat land into hills if the tile already has a city. For LTT this feature was not removed but instead made more resource intensive. Now you need to use lots of resources for changing tiles into hills. You can also flatten mountains but this is even more resource intensive and is usually something you might want to do only if you have some engineers with nothing else to do.
There are two kinds of forts. The pre-fort (with absolutely no effect or defensive value) and the actual fort. The pre-fort was added to make it less convenient to build forts when you attack. A fort will give some additional defense to your units and it will also prevent stack kill. If a unit on a fort dies the rest of the units will survive if they are not being attacked.
Building settlers cost 2 population. This is to make smallpoxing (building plenty of small cities) less interesting. This was compensated by making the settlers to cost less shields.
The game also uses restrictinfra meaning that the attacker can't use enemy roads, railroad, maglev and rivers for making the units move faster and the moves are calculated like there was no roads. If the ownership of the tile changes, the owner (or the ally of the owner) can use the roads.
LTT also uses tiredattack setting. This means that if the attacking unit has less than 1 move, the attack power is multiplied with the moves left. This means that if the attacker has for example attack of 6 and there is only 1/3 moves left, the attack happens with a power of 2 instead of usual 6.
- Road (bridge) over the river increases trade by 1 point if river is on the "road-trade+" kind of terrain (? -review)
The game has two initial governments (in addition to anarchy) and choosing between them is one of the first things you may want to do when the game starts. With despotism you get slightly more trade and you may be able to race techs slightly faster. Despotism also allows keeping the citizens content with up to 20 units. With tribalism you have more upkeep free units.
Monarchy may be well suited if you want to wage wars. You get more free units but unlike with some other governments, you don't get additional upkeep free units when the city size hits 8. Instead you get those additional free units at city size of 12. (Review ?)
Republic is not too different from the standard game. It has a trade bonus for tiles already producing trade (like democracy) and it may work well for those players who seek for powerful economy and are not fighting a war.
Fundamentalism becomes available with Feudalism. With funda you can build upkeep free crusaders and fanatics. Fundamentalism also converts happy buildings output into gold and with temples and other such buildings a funda nation may be an actual money printing machine. The downside to funda is the heavy penalty (-40%) for science. The maximum rate for sci/lux/gold is 60%.
Democracy is considered one of the most powerful if not even the most powerful governments there is. In LTT there are few changes making it less optimal for all situations. You only get one unit not unhappy about going to fight wars - no matter how big cities you have. The empire size is also smaller generating a new unhappy citizen after every 16 new cities.
Federation has a 100% bonus for science but it does not have the trade bonus of republic and democracy. (? - review: tested and edited 50% to 100%)
Communism has the lowest possible rate for corruption and waste. It's also great for large empires.
In LTT there are 9 veteran levels starting from Green and ending with Elite 3. Promotions can't be bought and you get the military units promoted only by attacking or defending with them.
Each promotion also adds to the moves the unit has. Because of this the highly promoted units may be able to perform tasks not possible for less experienced troops.
The early units usually have 2x moves. The warrior and phalanx have 2 moves and the horsemen 4 moves. This is like this to make the early wars slightly less convenient for the attacker. Later in the game the units will usually have 3x moves.
- Settlers do not have "food cost" (upkeep) for existence. (? - review)
- Upkeep of Diplomat costs the same as for any other unit. (? - review)
From the ships only submarines use fuel points. This means they need to return to port for supplies or they will be lost on sea. This also means that you might want to build some distant cities to increase the radius your submarines can reach. Alternatively you may want to get allies enabling you to refuel while far from home.
The longboat is unique and becomes available at the same time with the trireme. Unlike the trireme, the longboat is able to enter deep ocean but can only carry one non military unit. It's ideal for scouting distant oceans and also great for building those colonies you may want to have. On island games longboat is usually the first ship you want to build. It allows exploring and settling the otherwise unreachable islands and it may give you valuable information about your opponents. Attacking with longboat is usually a bad idea and for the most time two longboats encountering on the oceans will not engage in battle. The longboat is much better at defending than it's good for attacking.
Horsemen are obsoleted by the chariot. This makes it more difficult to build horsemen in volumes, to be mass upgraded at a later time. The upgrade path for horsemen ends at cavalry. In the previous games it was possible to upgrade cavalries to armors or mech infantries but with the LTT ruleset this is no longer possible. The previous upgrade path made the governments with plenty of gold production too powerful.
The knights are more powerful and have 4 moves but the pikemen gain a 50% bonus for defending against mounted units. If you plan to conquer your enemy with knights it's vital to know if there are pikemen defending the cities. If that's the case you may need a better plan. However since the pikemen obsolete warriors you might be in luck and your enemy might be trying to build a stack of cheap warriors to be upgraded with Leonardo's Workshop. This is why embassies are so important. You definitely benefit from knowing what techs your enemy has. Especially if it's you who is stacking those warriors.
mid game units
There are some new mid game units
The Square-Rigged Caravel is the first one able to carry heavy land units - or more specifically one unit at a time. It's also the first one able to attack on non native tiles meaning it can kill units on the shores. It's not optimal for all the operations so you might want to think twice if it suits your needs. The combined - while small - transport capacity together with the ability to perform offensive actions is a unique feature and might surprise your enemy.
The flagship frigate is unique and one player can only have one of the kind at once. it's more powerful and faster compared to the regular frigates. It's a great unit if you need something better than frigates but just don't have the tech for it.
The ironclad is not a new unit but unlike with some other rulesets it's not obsoleted by the frigate. Instead it's possible to build frigates and ironclads at the same era. The ironclad is slow compared to the frigate but it has excellent defensive capabilities and it's also a dangerous opponent if it's able to catch those wooden ships. It might not be a bad idea to build a fleet with both ships. The frigates can scout and attack while the ironclads are able to defend your transport ships or even the wounded frigates.
Late game units
- the barge will obsolete trireme with engineering. the barge is not able to enter deep ocean tiles but it has the ability to travel on river tiles, just like it's predecessor, the trireme.
The submarines need fuel in LTT ruleset. This means that they need to return to a base to refuel after 6 turns. The submarines are not able to carry missiles or nuclear weapons. In some cases it may make sense to send submarines to one way missions. The ships are cheap and the enemy may not notice how you are scouting the shores. This also goes the other way around and while the submarines alone can't invade your cities you may want to scout oceans for enemy submarines.
The nuclear submarine is able to carry missiles and nuclear weapons but it's only available with nuclear power. It also needs to return to a base after 10 turns. More moves allows it to reach distant locations. While the nuclear submarine is expensive it comes with a huge advantage. They donät have home cities meaning that there is no upkeep, no unhappiness from moving away from the home and it will not be lost even if the city where it was built it lost. The nuclear missiles are also homeless unit meaning that you may be able to retaliate if you are being attacked with nuclear weapons.
- the missile is a new unit able to attack helicopters, other missiles and also other air units. It's a great unit for fighting against enemy air attacks. it however has relatively small range.
- the fusion missile is a very late game unit and while it's fusion powered, it's designed to use conventional warheads. It's able to attack very fart away targets and it is able to remain on air for 3 turns.
- the Operative is the ultimate espionage unit. It's able to move ignoring the terrain and this makes it extremely powerful.
- with fusion technology it becomes possible to build a variety of fusion powered units like fusion armor, fusion battleship, fusion bomber and fusion fighter. These new wonder units are more powerful but not always the optimal choice for attacking the enemy. Some people might say they are there for the bragging rights. Then again in some cases they can be extremely useful.
- the cargo bomber is able to move units like spies. This may be extremely handy in the late game since it's the first air unit able to move them.
- riflemen are not obsoleted by the marines but instead they can be upgraded to infantry. The infantry units are more powerful and great for defending your cities.
The nuclear missiles have no home city and no upkeep. This also applies to nuclear submarines. This allows the players to have nukes on the sea and retaliate even if the player lost cities.
- the first nuclear bomb unit becomes available with Manhattan Project and with nuclear fission. The first nuclear bomb unit is unique and the player can have only one of it's kind at once.
- the regular nukes (not unique) become available with Manhattan Project and robotics.
The techs are made more expensive towards the end game. Compared to most rulesets the final techs may cost up to 7 times what they cost on single player games. The tech costs start to rise roughly from the gunpowder era. While the best players are not supposed to invent a new tech every turn during the late game it's possible that some players gain so much resources that this may still happen. In the past games with more traditional tech costs some players were able to invent multiple late game techs every turn. While even the current setup is not ideal it's still much more challenging compared to what we used to have in the old days.
The Great Library and other similar great wonders give every player a 50% boost to libraries and other science boosting city improvements.
City improvements and small wonders
Most of the green energy buildings are now a reasonable choice for those players who care about the environment. The cost of the eco friendly power plants is now less than they used to be.
The 2nd palace becomes available with Theology and this may be tricky for some players because Theology also obsoletes the Temple of Artemis.
The SDI for defending against the nuclear missiles is now split into 3 phases. You can build each phase with flight, laser and space flight. Each of those phases add 30% to the probability of shooting down the attacking nuclear missile. The max probability of shooting down the attacking nukes is 90% with all of the 3 SDI buildings. The exception to this is the palace city where the first SDI phase makes the city 100% nuclear proof.
Most of the Great Wonders are now small wonders anyone can build. The small wonders cost less and obsolete really fast. This makes them buildings not everyone needs to build but instead the players may evaluate if they need the wonders for the relatively short period of time they are effective.
The Great Wall is not too expensive and adds 40% to the defense of all the cities. It's however obsoleted when the owner of the great wall discovers gunpowder. This makes it very handy for those players who are involved in a war and are also not going to discover gunpowder as soon as possible. For example if you are able to build pikemen and have to delay getting gunpowder it may be a good idea to build city walls and the great wall since both give you the bonus simultaneously.
Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is thought to have been a sanctuary and necropolis. It pre-dates bronze age and was one of the first, if not the first, shrines built. With this wonder, the city having it will get +6 additional lux. The effect of this very early wonder ends with the invention of bronze. This makes it one of the first or even the first small wonder that gets built and obsoleted. The additional lux allows the player to make the city to celebrate. Celebrating cities do not have the penalty for despotism and tribalism. The downside is that if you need to have phalanxes, this wonder will be obsoleted if you invent the secret of bronze.
Stock markets become available after industrialization, with the corporation. This makes it more reasonable to pick other than trade based governments. It gives a 40% bonus.
Banks cost less and give a bonus of 30% instead of 50%.
Mercantile Exchange is a new building and becomes available with economics. It gives additional 30% bonus to trade.
Tech trading and research
The techs become cheaper to the other players once the players discover them. For example, if a tech costs 30 bulbs and 50% of the players know the tech, the next player discovering it will get the tech for 15 bulbs. The purpose of this effect is to make the game more hard for the advanced players and more playable for those who are not that familiar with the game. With this rubber band effect most of the players remain competitive for a longer time.
The conventional tech trading is disabled but instead the players are able to use the unique Scholar unit for discovering new technologies. The scholar can travel to distant countries and steal technologies. The actual chance of getting the tech may vary from game to game but it is planned to be something like 50% or more. If the player decides to go for a specific technology, the chance is chance*chance meaning that with a 50% chance to steal it would be 0.5*0.5=0.25% chance to succeed.
The diplomats, spies and operatives can't steal techs.
Marco Polo increases trade output by 30% in all cities for all the players. The player owning this wonder is the only one able to build the Trade Company.
The trade company can only be built by the player owning Marco Polo. The Trade company adds 10% trade for the player who owns it. This makes it a bonus for the player building Marco Polo.
The Atlantic Telegraph Company becomes available with Espionage and makes the world a smaller place by giving every human player and embassy with all the human players. This makes it powerful while also potentially dangerous to the player building the wonder. Everyone will know how the others are doing and there is no way to avoid this from happening. This works similar to the real world where modern telecommunications made the world known to all the nations.
Inconsistencies in help and messages
* "Small Wonder" buying dialog will show you doubled price as for any other building, but will tax you twice more
* Government/Democracy help - "* Each city tolerates a single aggressively deployed military unit; each further unit causes 2 unhappy citizens.". But it does not tolerate any, first one however costs just 1 unhappy, following on cause 2 unhappies. (? - Review)
* "The first player to learn Philosophy gets an immediate advance." (help) - it is so, but you get a negative penalty equal to 50% of the advance. (? - Review).