Freeciv is a turn-based strategy game, with some real-time elements, in which each player is the leader of a civilization, fighting to obtain the ultimate goals of a nation: The extinction of all other nations, being the first nation to plant a colony in another star system, or survival to the end of the game.
This manual describes the game of Freeciv, its concepts and game elements. Freeciv is a game generally based upon the games Civilization and its successor, Civilization II (tm). Players who are familiar with those games will find little in this manual new to them (but see Differences From Civilization II). Those without experience of those other games will learn here what the game is all about.
The Freeciv Server User's Manual and Client User's Manual both presume that the reader knows what goes on in the game. This manual presumes that the reader understands the concept of the game software being divided into server and client, and leaves the details of those programs to their respective manuals.
This manual describes version 1.8.0 of Freeciv, but the concepts are generally the same in all earlier versions. The default game is described, as implemented by the standard options; the server documentation and the ruleset documentation in the source distribution show ways to modify the game in large and small ways. What is shown here is the basic game which should be familiar to all readers. Much of it is taken from the on-line help that is contained in the game.