Real-Time General really is real-time

Enthusiasm for co-op campaigning in Steel Division 2… talk of “BIG” Radio General sequel plans… looking back at this October 2022 A2Z interview with Michael Long, perhaps I should have seen Real-Time General coming.

Although the idea of a massively multiplayer Operation Overlord wargame isn’t totally new (Grogs with long memories may remember Hours of War, a promising hex project from Finland that never progressed beyond beta-testing) Foolish Mortals’ astonishingly literal interpretation of ‘real-time’ isn’t something you come across often.

The clock in RTG will be immune to imprecation. No amount of prodding or pleading will make its hands spin faster. As the game’s units snail across the 30,000+ km2 map at authentic rates, battles have realistic durations, and complications like fatigue are modelled, the devs are going to allow players (up to 400 of whom can share a battlespace) ten actual weeks to expel German forces from NW France.

Obviously, commanders won’t need to monitor and manage constantly during these two-and-a-half month marathons, but forum statements like this one…

“As for delayed orders, with everything passing in real-time even when you’re not logged in, there will inevitably be delays from when you’re alerted to something via email or notifications to when you can jump back on and give orders, which certainly mirrors real life in many aspects when officers were not always available (or no way to contact them).”

…suggest inattentive and time-poor players may be at a disadvantage. How much of a disadvantage? Assuming I manage to wangle myself onto the alpha test that begins next week, I should be able to answer that question by the end of June.

EDIT – Micheal Long has just said this to me on the subject of absenteeism: “If the player doesn’t log on for few days, the AI will take over their units, and we’ll try to give the player back their units if they log back on. If your units die while AI controlled, it’s fine – you’ll get new ones (there’s a constant stream of fresh reinforcements arriving).”

Spending weeks carefully choreographing the same three company-sized units (three additional units – in the case of an infantry battalion, a recon platoon, heavy weapons company and a fourth infantry company – will become available as your battalion “levels up”) should lead to some pretty deep attachments forming. Knowing Foolish Mortals, they won’t be happy unless, now and again, we find ourselves hesitating before hurling our cherished chits into the fray.


  1. This could be incredible, really excited by the idea of it. Just taking “my guys” through the campaign, trying to keep them alive whilst doing “my bit” with them. Very cool.

  2. Fascinating. I wonder what kind of coordination and communication will be possible in real time? Will I be faced with the dilemma of securing supplies for my men versus yielding to the plans and needs of another commander? Indeed, what of a chain of command? And what happens after ten weeks? Does the server reset and the invasion start over?

    All these questions brought to mind Utopia [1], a real time province management game that’s all text, which I played in the early aughts. Quite to my astonishment it’s still going. Has anyone here played it?


  3. I loved that twitter account that did WW2 in real-time. The idea of a dynamic mildly alternate history unfolding long term would be intriguing to me

  4. Reminds me of Neptune’s Pride! I’m all in. Hopefully this will come out sooner rather than later!

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