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Old Jun 18, 2012, 06:53 AM   #1
Camikaze
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Gods & Kings: Introductory Guide


Welcome to Civfanatics' Gods & Kings Introductory Guide! What follows seeks to help you adjust to some of the biggest changes in the Civ5 expansion. If you've been fastidiously keeping up to date with all the previews we've seen over previous months, a lot of this will not be new to you (though there's bound to be a few things you were not aware of). As you can see in the contents list below, this guide will cover both existing and entirely new areas of the game (we will hopefully have a diplomacy section before too long, but feel free to ask questions). We have not aimed to delve into all the minute details (there are a lot! Free virtual cookie for the first person to figure out how 'Interfaith Dialog' works!), but to give a general summary to help you feel comfortable jumping straight into a new game. The religion and espionage sections include a bit more detail than the remainder of the guide, as these are entirely new features of the game that require greater explanation to be understood.

This guide would not have been possible without the collobaration of many individuals, namely, Sam 'SamBC' Barnett-Cormack, Joey 'jdog5000' Durham, 'Ekmek' and Bob 'Sirian' Thomas as section writers, with invaluable editorial collaboration from MadDjinn and Paul 'vexing' Grimes, and additional input from Pfeffersack and Andrew 'ainwood' Inwood. Overall, it's safe to say that we've all greatly enjoyed our Gods & Kings experiences, and hope this guide will in some small way help you to get the most out of the game too.

Contents:
Credit to sukritact for the logo in the banner.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 06:54 AM   #2
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New art style on the main menu
Videos

The following videos have been made by MadDjinn to walk you through some of the changes. Decorated with some additional images for your viewing pleasure.

Scenarios video

Landship from the Smoky Skies scenario

Link to video.

Social policies video

Ignace Curnow from Smoky Skies

Link to video.

City-State & Diplomatic victory video

Link to video.

Technology video

Tooltip for embassies. You also need them for RAs

Link to video.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 06:54 AM   #3
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Diplomacy - now with friends!
AI
By Joey 'jdog5000' Durham.
With the significant changes to the combat system, tech tree, and diplomacy, on top of pre-existing issues, AI work was necessary in Gods & Kings, and Firaxis appears to have used this opportunity to improve the AI significantly. The combat AI is the most noticeable improvement. The AI will use combo attacks with ranged and mobile units, will flank you and then attack for maximum damage, and will be less prone to making simple mistakes. Now, if you push a unit ahead without support to try to get one more kill, the AI will make you pay, the result being that you will have to be smarter and potentially steadier in your approach to warfare. In addition, the AI appears more focused in its attacks, bringing additional waves on offense and not attempting to walk through the ranged attacks of one city to get to another. In the later stages of the game the AI is more capable with oil-based armies and will make better use of its air power for both offense and defense (yes, it will set Fighters on intercept missions in important cities). If you play on a water focused map you will also see that the AI will build a much bigger navy than before and will be capable of using their naval melee units to capture coastal cities, which can come as a real surprise! Tech selection and building selection flavors and strategies have also been tweaked. In game this results in better AI tech rates, particularly in the later stages of the game, and a faster pursuit of spaceships for victory. In addition, the AI seems to have more luxuries available to trade earlier which indicates better infrastructure development. The AI is also quite competent in using all of the new features of religion and espionage. Altogether, it should not be expected that these changes completely fix all AI deficiencies, or that you will no longer be able to outsmart your opponents. A noticeably sturdier challenge will be presented, however.


Bullying City-States
City-States
By 'Ekmek'.

The City-State system has received a revamp in Gods & Kings, with enhanced scope and interactivity. Some of the changes are briefly outlined below.

New City-State types
There are two new types of City-States (in addition to the current Maritime, Militaristic and Cultural); Religious and Mercantile. Religious City-States supplement the new religious aspect of the game, and provide faith to your civilization (just as Cultural City-States provide culture). On first discovery of a Religious City-State you will receive Faith points. If you are the first to meet a particular Religious City-State you will get twice as many as those that follow. It's important to note that Religious City-States do not found or spread religions, but simply provide Faith. Mercantile City-States provide boosts to Happiness. Each Mercantile City-State has a unique luxury resource (either Jewelry or Porcelain), that will be remitted to you should you become their ally. In addition, just being friends will grant you a Happiness bonus, in the same way that being friends with a Cultural or Religious City-State will grant you Culture or Faith.

Bullying
Instead of just winning over City-States you can now also bully them. In order to do so you have to have a significant military force near them (in addition to having sufficient global power). You can either bully a City-State into giving you gold, or giving you a worker. Both will result in you losing influence, though their will be a larger drop in the latter case. Your influence will slowly recover to it's natural 'resting point' (which is, as a default, zero, but may be higher if you have certain social policies or religious beliefs). To make this influence recovery more difficult, when you bully a City-State, all outstanding quests you have with them are cancelled, reducing the opportunities available to get back in their good books. In addition, a City-State that has been bullied may put out a quest to other civilizations, asking to be protected. If someone answers their call, they will receive the influence boost that accompanies the successful completion of the quest (as well as increased their influence resting point with the City-State, as occurs when you pledge to protect a City-State). If you bully a City-State that is already under the protection of another civilization, you risk incurring a diplomatic penalty with that civilization, and conversely, if a City-State under your protection is bullied, you are either given the choice to renounce your protection, suffering an influence penalty with the city state, or chastise the bullying civilization, incurring a diplomatic penalty for doing so.

Diplomacy & Influence
As with vanilla Civ5, there are four influence levels that you can have with City-States: war, neutral, friends, and allies.

Quests from Florence

If you are "friends" with a City-State, the City-State will periodically give you gifts - a Cultured City-State will give you Culture; a Maritime City-State will give you food; a Militaristic City-State will give you military units (and note that now these units will be automatically delivered to the nearest part of your territory, as will gifted Great People under the 'Educated Elite' policy); a Mercantile City-State will give you Happiness; and a Religious City-State will give you Faith.

If you are allied with a City-State, you'll get a stronger version of the benefits of friendship. In addition, the City-State will give you all of their improved luxury and strategic resources. Only one civilization can be allied with a City-State at a time - if multiple are eligible, due to having the prerequisite number of influence points for being an ally (60), whichever has the highest influence gets the position.


Paying to improve a resource
Additionally, if you are allied with a City-State you can pay them to improve a resource, which makes the resource available to you. To do this, click on "Give a Gift" within the City-State screen, then click on "200 Gold - Improve a Resource". Select the resource tile you would like to have improved (and as you might guess, you can find the City-State on the map by clicking 'find on map' in the City-State screen), and the improvement is placed immediately.

Earning Influence
Whilst previously the primary method of earning influence was through giving gifts of gold, quests are now far more important and determinative of your City-State relationships. You can still gift gold in order to buy influence, but the payoff is lessened, and there are more opportunities to overcome a serial gold-gifter. It's important to note that there is an “investment quest”, which, if active, will result in your gold gifts producing 50% more influence. The following are other quests and ways in which you can earn influence:
  • Gift Units – available through the City-State screen, this is a good way of disposing of outdated units, granting a small influence bonus for each unit gifted.
  • Pledge to Protect – this will increase your influence resting point with the City-State, but will open you up to potential diplomatic confrontations.
  • Kill Units – you earn influence if you kill units attacking a City-State. This will frequently occur early in the game when there are a lot of barbarians around. A similar quest is to destroy barbarian camps identified by City-States as being a threat.
  • Build a route – this quest often appears when you have been friends with a City-State for a long time, asking for a road to be built between them and your capital.
  • Connect a resource – this quest involves connecting a given resource to your trade network. If you have many of the resources on the map already, you will often find that multiple City-States are requesting the connection of the same resource, meaning it can be very worthwhile purchasing it from an AI if you have to. Even better, you can ally with a City-State that has the resource, thereby connecting it and completing the quest.
  • Construct a wonder – in this quest the AI will request that you build a certain wonder. As with the 'connect a resource' quest, if you are a bit of a wonder-whore, you will find that with limited wonder options available, many City-States will request the same one, enhancing the benefit you'll get out of building it.
  • Generate a great person – a City-State may desire the generation of a particular type of Great Person, a quest that is fulfilled when one is produced (or acquired, through 'Educated Elite', for example).
  • Bully a rival City-State – sometimes City-States don’t like each other. Whereas previously City-States often asked you to declare war on their neighbour, they'll now just ask you to bully them. This might present a good opportunity to extort a worker or some cash, with the influence you'll get from the quest making such an action more favourable.
  • Find a civilization – this encourages you to explore the map. A particular civilization is identified, and when you come across their territory, you succeed in the quest. A cheap way out completing this quest is to get an embassy in the given civ's capital.

    Quest tooltip in the improved City-State interface
  • Find Natural Wonder – this also encourages you to explore the map, with success coming this time through the discovery of any Natural Wonder.
  • Faith Contest – a City-State may want to reward whichever player generates the most Faith in a set number of turns. As with other quests, coming out on top yields a boost of influence, but ties are possible so two players or more players can win (rarely).
  • Culture Contest – the same as the Faith Contest, but this time with Culture.
  • Tech Contest – the same again, but with Techs. Importantly, it's not the player with the highest total research that wins, but the player who has discovered the most Techs in the given number of turns. Researching cheaper techs will mean you can complete more in the timeframe.
  • Spread Religion – a City-State may ask you to spread your religion to them. This will require a Great Prophet or Missionary, and will require you to convert the majority of their citizens (which could mean you have to spread religion more than once). A side effect of this is that, as mentioned in the Religion section of this guide, your influence with City-States with which you share a religion degrades 25% slower than otherwise.
  • Espionage – As explained in the Espionage section of this guide, you can gain influence through rigging elections and performing coups. See that section for details.

Interface
As you can see from the image accompanying this post, the City-State screen has been greatly improved, providing more information to help you on your way. Pretty much everything has a tooltip now; if you hover over the icon of a City-State's ally, for example, you will see how far behind them in influence you are. There isn't much need for an in depth explanation of these changes, because they pretty much explain themselves.


Religious City-State
Diplomatic victory and overall usage
One of the big changes in the game is to Diplomatic Victory. It is no longer sufficient to just buy up City-States at the end to steal a game. This is largely to do with the fact that you can no longer vote for yourself in the United Nations. The result of this is that the AI will vote for whoever they like the most, meaning your diplomatic relations will have a greater bearing on Diplomatic Victory, decreasing the importance of City-States towards this end. Nevertheless, City-States still get an equal vote, so it will still certainly be necessary to woe them in order to win in this manner. Even if every civilization in the world hates you, you'll still be able to win a Diplomatic Victory if you court this City-State vote.

More relevantly, the decreased focus on gold as a tool for controlling City-States means that it will be more difficult (but by no means impossible, if you are rich enough) to buy your way to victory. You will in all likelihood need to complete quests and engage in espionage in order to become King of the Minor Civs.

In terms of other strategic paths, City-States are always going to relevant in some way. As an example, those pursuing a religious strategy will find that the new Religious City-States will be vital to accumulating Faith at a rapid rate; you are unlikely to be able to reap the benefits of this strategy on your own steam. The inclusion of Sweden and Austria in Gods & Kings offers up additional unique ways to interact with this system. All in all, there is now increased diversity in your connections with City-States, both individually and as a facet of the game, hopefully result in a richer and more in-depth gameplay experience.

New Maps
By Bob 'Sirian' Thomas.
  • Arborea - Global terrain is dominated by forest. Landmass choices include the primary four: pangaea, continents, small continents, archipelago.

  • Rainforest - Similar to Arborea, except jungle dominates.

  • Shuffle - Everything always random, in one click. Contains all the core map options and landmass types. So you could get a Hot, Arid, Low Sea Level, Continents, or a Temperate, Wet, High Sea Level, Archipelago. Always a surprise waiting!

  • Boreal - regional map (all land), with an ice-locked northern coast and slightly warmer climate in the south. Siberian-like, but not as earth-accurate as say Great Plains is.

    An example of the Europe script

  • Europe - random map producing a region similar to Europe with the North African coast -- in the Great Plains tradition of having enough fixed elements to produce a reliable strategic scenario, but enough details randomized to be highly replayable. This is one of the most technically advanced map scripts produced to date, and I expect it will become a fan favorite among a wide selection of players. (There is also a version in use for one of the scenarios!)

  • Frontier - Pangaea or Continents world with "extra", unpopulated regions, creating a unique strategic situation when it comes to both barbarians on the rampage and many civs having enhanced expansion opportunities. Can play much like a standard game, or be radically different, depending on whether you start adjacent to one of the frontier regions.

  • Hemispheres - Map is divided in to West and East hemispheres, with ocean separating the two. Climate and amount of land for each side will tend to be fairly even. Good for 1-v-1 or two-teams multiplayer, where the sides will be kept apart until oceanic travel.

  • Large Islands - Vastly improved update to the Civ4 "Islands" map script. Civs are placed on the most fertile of the large islands, while the map has a plethora of tiny island chains strewn about as well. This map has shed the "boxy" feel of the Civ4 version. The island generation has been re-engineered. Also note that this and other map scripts dominated by water and naval action now cue the AI to this fact, so that it will focus more on naval operations and overseas expansion.

  • Tilted Axis - All new version for Civ5. Instead of a Uranus-style planet with tilted axis but independent rotation, this is a Mercury-style planet with the same side always facing the sun, so that the planet has a (frozen) dark side, and a populated light side. Quite a hoot to play. Check it out for yourself.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 06:55 AM   #4
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Pagoda
Religion
By Sam 'SamBC' Barnett-Cormack.
The new religion mechanic is a centerpiece of the expansion, and provides a richer experience than in previous Civilization titles. Those accustomed to Civ4 religion, for example, will find the implementation in Gods & Kings both less passive, with an enhanced focus on decision-making, and more diverse, with possibilities to suit all strategic avenues.

Faith
Faith is a new yield, which is built up empire-wide in much the same way as Culture. Your early game Faith will come primarily from the new Shrine building, which will present you with one of your earliest important choices; Monument or Shrine? The Celts, through their UA, have extra opportunities to acquire Faith, allowing them to be an early-game leader in the religious sphere, thereby enabling them to reap the concomitant benefits. Faith can also be gained from ancient ruins in much the same way as Culture, and through initial meetings with Religious City States. A faith ruin in particular will provide quite a substantial boost, adding Scouts to your early city build conundrum. If you are settled near a faith based Natural Wonder, such as Mt. Sinai, working the tile will also give you a massive kickstart in the religious race.


Mt Kailash, 6 Faith, 2 Happiness
Pantheons & your first Great Prophet
Once you reach an initial basic level of Faith, you will be able to found a Pantheon (or more precisely, choose a Pantheon Belief). On normal speed the first Pantheon can be founded at 10 faith, and the cost increases as each new Pantheon is founded in your game. This is a sort of mini-religion that gives a small but useful bonus, often to particular terrain, resource or improvements, or happiness or city attacks. Unlike a fully-fledged religion, it will automatically be present and active in all your cities. It's possible to miss out on the chance to found a Pantheon (you cannot found a Pantheon after any religion has been enhanced, an event explained below), which will limit what you can do with Faith, but it still has it uses, as will be outlined. Unlike religions, Pantheons can't be spread beyond your borders, and Missionaries can't be used to help spread them.

Once you have a Pantheon, and as long as there are still religions able to be founded (each game has a maximum number of religions that is less than the number of civs), your next use of Faith towards your own religion will be the birth of a Great Prophet. You will have a threshold, shown in the Faith tooltip (hover over the Faith icon in the top bar, as you would for Happiness or Culture), and once your accrued Faith reaches that level, there is a chance each turn that a Great Prophet will be born. The more you are over the threshold by, the greater that chance. When the Great Prophet is born, however, your Faith store will be reset to zero, no matter how far over the threshold you had been. The threshold for a Great Prophet to be born will then be increased, and if you keep accruing Faith, you will generate more Great Prophets. They cannot be generated through specialists in cities like most Great People types, though if you have the opportunity to select a free Great Person, such as by completing the Liberty social policy branch, a Great Prophet will be one of your options.


Missionary
Your Religion
When a religion is founded, the Pantheon Belief of the founding civ is incorporated into that religion. If the religion spreads to another civ's cities, those cities will no longer get the bonus for their own Pantheon Belief - each city gets the bonuses for the religion the majority of their citizens follow, including the Pantheon Belief.


Religion Overview, including the Automatic Faith Purchases menu
While there are many uses for Great Prophets, the only way you can use your first is to found a religion. When you do so, you choose an icon and accompanying name (though this name can be changed from the default if you so desire), a Follower Belief and a Founder Belief. Follower Beliefs generally give bonuses to cities that follow the religion, such as the ability to purchase Cathedrals, Mosques, Monasteries or Pagodas with faith. These buildings have slightly different benefits, with Cathedrals for instance focusing on Culture, whilst Mosques focus on generating additional Faith. Founder Beliefs, on the other hand, give you, as the founder, bonuses based on how widely you spread your religion. You obtain the benefit of your Founder belief so long as you control the Holy City of your religion; conquering a Holy City does not allow you to take on another religion's Founder Belief, however. If you are playing as Byzantium, you will be able to choose another belief when you found your religion, and that belief may be of any type - Pantheon, Founder, Follower or Enhancer.

Uses for your Religion and Faith
After your first Great Prophet, you can use Great Prophets as a sort of super-Missionary/Inquisitor all in one, as they will remove other religions from cities they spread your religion to. They can also be used to construct Holy Sites, which provide extra Faith on a tile. Additionally, you can use one (and only one) to enhance your religion. This allows you to pick another Follower Belief, and an Enhancer Belief. Enhancer Beliefs generally make it easier to spread your religion. As not every civ in a game will be able to found a religion, and Founder Beliefs give bigger bonuses the wider a religion is spread, it's in your interests to spread your religion widely. You will also gain a diplomatic bonus with any civ in which a majority of cities have a majority of the population following your religion (though on the flip side, you will receive a diplomatic penalty with a civ if you're converting their cities away from their own religion). Additionally, City States will occasionally give you quests seeking your religion, and your influence will decrease 25% slower with any City State that follows your religion.

If any of your cities have a majority religion, you can spend Faith on a Missionary, and if that religion has been enhanced you can also buy an Inquisitor with Faith. Missionaries spread the religion of the city they were bought in, while Inquisitors remove other religions. Inquisitors can also prevent Missionaries of other faiths from spreading to cities they are stationed in. Inquisitors cannot operate in foreign lands, but can only remove religion from, or prevent its spread in, your own cities. You will often use Missionaries abroad, on the other hand. They are able to enter any foreign territory, whether or not you have an open borders agreement with the civ in question. But beware of the 'Unwelcome Evangelist' penalty they carry, which reduces their strength for every turn they conclude in territory you would not otherwise be able to enter. Note that this penalty does not apply to finishing your turn in City State territory.

If the majority religion in a city has any of the Follower Beliefs related to religious buildings, you can also use Faith to purchase the given building. For instance, if your city follows Buddhism, whose Follower Belief is Mosques, you will be able to purchase Mosques with Faith in that city. The only way to build these buildings or recruit Missionaries and Inquisitors is by spending Faith, and purchasing costs go up every era. So even if you never manage to found a religion of your own, so long as your cities attract the religion of another civ, you can still make use of religious bonuses and spend Faith to help your empire.

Mosque

You can purchase religious units and buildings using the same method you would to purchase any other unit or building. Go to your city screen and choose the 'Purchase' option on the left hand side of the screen. The religious units and buildings available will be present in the list, with their Faith costs displayed. Alternatively, you can make use of the 'automatic faith purchases' feature. Access the religion overview (by clicking on the Faith icon at the top of the screen), and select what you would like to purchase next from the relevant drop down menu. Once you have accumulated the required amount of Faith, the unit or building will be automatically purchased in a city in which it is available. Note that Missionaries and Inquisitors count as civilian units, and as such cannot share a tile with another civilian unit; if your city contains a Great Person, for instance, you will not be able to purchase any these units until the Great Person is moved.

Social PolicyGreat Person
CommerceGreat Merchants
RationalismGreat Scientists
FreedomGreat Artists
AutocracyGreat Generals and Admirals
OrderGreat Engineers
Which policies match which GP
Once you reach the Industrial Era, no more Great Prophets will be automatically generated with Faith, though you will still have the option of purchasing them. However, if you have entered certain Social Policy branches, you can instead use Faith to buy other Great People in your cities, regardless of what religions are present.

If a city follows a religion with the Holy Warriors Follower Belief, military units can also be bought with Faith.

One final, important point about beliefs - each belief can be taken only once. Once a Pantheon, Follower, Founder or Enhancer belief has been chosen by any civ, it cannot be chosen by any other. That means there may be something of a race to the most desirable beliefs. However, the beliefs are fairly evenly balanced, and none are clearly vastly superior to the others, though some are very situational. While you may be disappointed to miss the beliefs you were hoping for, it's not likely to ruin many strategies.

Overall usage
Overall, religion is a system that will be of use to you whether you actively pursue it or not. It will be of use to all strategies in some way; for instance, if you are pursuing a Diplomatic Victory, you will find spreading religion to City States to be both a great way of making allies, and then keeping them. However, as with a focus on most other specific aspects of the game, your investment in Faith will represent an opportunity cost. Whilst Boudicca is busy building Stonehenge for its +5 faith per turn, you might be sharpening your spears in preparation for an attack. Whichever path you take, the choices you face in determining the extent to which you will pursue religion will likely form a key part of every game of Gods & Kings that you play.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 06:55 AM   #5
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The Espionage Overview screen
Espionage
By Camikaze.
Espionage is of the main new features in Gods & Kings, coming into play in the Renaissance Era. Espionage does involve spies, but not as physical units on the map. Rather, the action takes place through an interface (the 'espionage overview) that can be accessed by clicking on the espionage button in the top right corner of your screen, next to the social policy button. Within the espionage overview, you control the actions that your spies perform. On the left hand side of the interface is a list of your spies, outlining the current action they are performing, with the top right of the interface listing your cities, and the bottom right panel listing all other known cities, including city states.

When any civilization hits the Renaissance era, all civilizations receive one spy. As you begin each era, you will gain a new spy, meaning by the Future Era you will have a total of 5 spies at your disposal. If your spy is killed in the line of duty, it will replaced, but not for a number of turns, and in the meantime, you will have to go without.


A Blue Spy
The main drawback of this is that spies get promoted over time, and if your Special Agent is killed, it will only be replaced by a Recruit. There are three levels of spy; Recruit, Agent and Special Agent. A spy starts as a Recruit, and if it steals a technology, it will be promoted. Likewise, if it kills another spy, it will be promoted. The National Intelligence Agency, a National Wonder, will also level up all of your spies when it is built. These are the only ways in which you can gain spy promotions. Special Agents cannot be promoted, as they are already at the highest tier.

The good news is that your spies can only be killed when attempting to steal a technology from another civilization, or when failing in a coup attempt. Each are one of the three main areas of espionage, the other being intrigue. Each will be briefly outlined in turn.

But firstly, it will be useful to keep in mind that if you have a spy in a foreign city, you gain a line of sight in that city of 1 tile. In addition, except for City States, you are able to enter the city screen of cities you have a spy within, providing you with all the information you would be able to see through your own city screen. Secondly, it should be noted that whenever you move a spy from one city to another, there is one turn of traveling involved. You'll therefore want to minimise the number of times you move your spies about.

Stealing technology
In order to steal a technology from another civilization, you must send a spy to one of their cities. Once there, your spy will need to ‘establish surveillance’. On normal speed, this will take 3 turns, in which time you will be unable to view the city screen, and will not be ‘gathering intelligence’. Indeed, that is what begins once surveillance has been established.

You are only able to steal a technology that the civ in question has. It may be the case that the civ in question has no technologies that you don't already have yourself, so you will be unable to steal anything from them. You will receive notification of this if it is the case, once surveillance has been established.

If the civ in question does have a technology to steal, however, you will begin to ‘gather intelligence’. This works through ‘potential’. Although potential is simply a value assigned to a city, the best way to think of it is as a yield that each city produces, like research itself. So it can be considered that each city produces a certain amount of potential, which your spies harvest when gathering intelligence. The higher the cost of the tech in question, the more potential you need to be able steal it. The potential a city produces is determined by the research level of that city; the more beakers they are pumping out, the more potential you can harvest from them. This invariably means that capitals, or higher population cities, will be the best targets. If your spy is in a city producing a smaller level of potential, it will take more turns to steal a technology.


Boudicca's spy snooping around Hiawatha's capital
However, the potential produced by a city may be reduced through the counter-espionage buildings. A Constabulary, which becomes available at Banking, reduces the potential of a city by 25% (so this is what it means when it says that it reduces the spy stealing rate by 25%), and is required to build a Police Station, which becomes available at Electricity and reduces potential by a further 25%. The National Intelligence Agency, a National Wonder that requires a Police Station in all your cities to build, reduces potential by a further 15%, though note that at the moment this actually works to reduce potential in all your cities except the one in which it was built. The Great Firewall, a World Wonder, reduces potential by 99.9% in the city in which it is built, and by 25% in all of your other cities. The natural potential of a city as determined by their research level, minus any such reductions, constitute the ‘base potential’ of a city.

Capitals and larger cities are more likely to contain these buildings, and you may therefore find it useful on occasion to explore alternative options. Either way, once you have established surveillance in a city, you will find out their potential, which is represented by a star rating in the espionage interface. If you hover over a city’s star rating, a tooltip will appear telling you the exact potential of the city, and (given you can see what buildings are in the city) indicating whether any counter-espionage buildings exist.

You can also increase the potential you are harvesting by using an Agent or Special Agent, as opposed to a Recruit. An Agent will harvest an extra 25% of the base potential of a city, whilst a Special Agent will harvest an extra 50%.

Police Station

Once you have finished gathering intelligence, there are two possibilities. Either you will be successful in stealing a technology, or you won’t! If you are successful, an option to select the tech to steal will come up. This is the first time you will see the techs that are available to steal, and you just have to pick whichever one you like. As noted, a spy that successfully steals a technology will be promoted.

For you to be unsuccessful the target civilization must be defending the city with a spy of their own; without a defensive spy, you cannot fail, even if gathering intelligence is taking you a long time! There is no way to find out whether an opposing spy is within the city. You are simply taking a risk by trying to steal a tech. The more highly promoted a defensive spy is, the greater the chance of it killing an enemy. And again as noted, a spy that kills another spy will be promoted.

It should be noted that all that applies offensively, applies defensively. By placing a spy in your own city for the purpose of counter-intelligence, you enable yourself to kill enemy spies. Your capital and larger cities will be the target of the AI, and you will often find yourself having to build counter-espionage buildings to reduce your cities’ potential.

There is a middle ground between success and failure. A middle ground where, although you are successful in stealing a technology, the AI finds out that it was you (as they do when they kill one of your spies). You will always be notified when a technology is stolen from you, but in this middle ground, you will also find out who it was that stole it. This is important because there are quite significant diplomatic consequences to espionage in Gods & Kings.

Both in the situation described in the previous paragraph, and if your spy is killed, you will incur a diplomatic penalty for spying on your opponent. Your target will come to you the following turn and ask you to stop spying on them. You can either tell them you’ll do as you please, in which case you incur an additional penalty, or you can apologise and promise not to spy on them again, in which case you won’t receive an additional penalty, but if you’re caught spying on them again in the future.


Accessing the Espionage Overview
Similarly, if you kill an enemy spy you will receive notification of your success. If you click on this notification you will be taken to a diplomatic screen with the leader, where you will have the options of declaring war, denouncing, sternly asking them to stop spying, or letting their transgression slide. If you bluntly ask them to stop spying, you will incur a diplomatic penalty, whereas if you let the transgression slide, you receive a diplomatic bonus; the AI is pleased that you are willing to forgive them. Note that at the moment that the positive modifier you will receive out of forgiving the AI is only half the strength of the negative modifier you will receive for asking them not to spy on you (which in turn is so severe as to be the same strength as the negative modifier you will receive if you break a promise not to spy). The upshot of this is that you're best bet is invariably going to be to forgive the AI, and by doing so you're turning the theft of a technology into something a little positive.

Just to recap; tech stealing allows you to catch up on more advanced civilizations by harvesting the ‘potential’ of their cities. If you get caught, your spy might be killed, and you will incur a diplomatic penalty. You can defend against tech stealing with spies of your own, and if you kill a spy attempting to steal technology from you, multiple diplomatic potentialities arise.

Intrigue
Whilst you are in the city of another civ, you will come across pieces of ‘intrigue’. The espionage overview includes an 'Intrigue' tab which will list all the intrigue that you have received throughout the game.

One type of intrigue you can receive is if a civ is building a world wonder or project. This is perhaps not intrigue in the strictest sense, as it is simply information garnered from the city screen that you are free to view whilst having a spy in an opponent’s city, but it does come in the same form of notification, allowing you to potentially adjust your strategy given knowledge of the AI’s plans.

The major type of intrigue is about the AI’s military strategy. Are they planning a sneak attack? Have they embarked an army and provided it with naval escorts? Is it bound for the lands of another particular civ? This is the sort of thing your spies can find out, though your intel is limited by what type of spy you are using, with those that are more highly promoted uncovering additional detail about the AIs' plots.

This information will come to you in notification form (note that unfortunately at this stage if you simultaneously receive two distinct pieces of intrigue, such as ‘Theodora is planning a sneak naval attack’ and ‘Theodora is planning to attack Dido’, they will appear as two separate notifications). If you receive an intrigue notification that identifies the target, you can click on this notification and it will take you to a diplomatic screen with the target in question. Here, you can share your intrigue with them. If you choose to do so, you will receive a significant diplomatic bonus for sharing intrigue. You receive no penalty for failing to share intrigue. If you don’t wish to immediately share the intrigue, you can still do so later, and you'll receive the same diplomatic bonus.

If you inform the AI of a threat to them, they will take it into account and change their plans to deal with it. In this way, intrigue can be used selectively, depending on how you want the AI to change their plans.

The Intrigue panel in the Espionage Overview

You receive intrigue at certain times during your presence in a city. Once you have finished establishing surveillance, if any intrigue is available, you will receive it. Likewise, you will receive intrigue when you steal a technology. If there is no technology to steal, you are still able to stay in a city for the intrigue, and often, if you are the tech leader, this will be the primary purpose of visiting an opponent’s city.

Intrigue is not asymmetric, in that the AI cannot read your mind. Their spies do not get intrigue from your cities. However, the do get intrigue from other civs, whose plans they are able to read (as you are), and they may share that with you (there is a Steam Achievement for sharing intrigue with a civ that has shared intrigue with you). Do not be wary of the intrigue the AI provides (or the intrigue you yourself come across through spying). There is no deception within this system. If an attack does not eventuate (and you will find that most attacks do not), this is not because the intrigue was false, but because the AI has changed its plan, potentially as a response to intrigue that it has received.

Overall, the main point of intrigue at this stage is as a way to improve your diplomatic relations. This is owing to the significant strength of the modifier you receive for sharing the intel you come across. If you get intrigue, this will almost always mean you that you share it, and reap the resulting diplomatic bonus. Indeed, it will frequently not be just a side effect of attempting to steal a technology, but a reason in itself to deploy your spies to foreign cities.

City State Meddling
Espionage becomes a crucial tool in late game city state interactions. You can rig elections, and you can perform coups.

Rigging an election just means that you gain a small influence boost (and any opponent in the city is hit with a small influence penalty). To rig an election, you simply have to go to a city state and wait until election day, which comes around universally every 15 turns. The longer you have been in a city, the more influence you will gain out of election rigging. So you can’t just turn up the turn before an election and expect your spy to have a dramatic impact.

You will always be successful in rigging an election unless there is another spy in the city. Only one spy can rig an election at a time, and it’s the spy that has been in the city the longest that triumphs.

Election rigging is not by itself enough to win over an ally, but it can supplement gifts and quests, or lead to conditions far more conducive to carrying out a successful coup. Whereas election rigging results in relatively small variations in influence, a coup will have a much larger impact. The result of a successful coup is that you become the ally of the city state in question, replacing the current ally.


The diplomatic power of espionage
You can only carry out a coup if you are within 50 influence of the incumbent city state ally. The improved city state interface in Gods & Kings allows you to see how far behind the leader you are by hovering over their icon. What is most important to note is that the closer your influence level is, the more likely you are to succeed; you will have a much greater chance of overcoming a 15 influence deficit than a 40 influence deficit. Additionally, the higher ranked your spy is, the greater the chances of success, whilst the higher ranked any defending spy is, the lower your chances. However, the highest your chances are going to be is 85%. So a coup is always a bit of a risk. If you are unsuccessful in a coup, your spy is killed.

When you are successful, you swap influence levels with the ally, and they sustain a further influence drop. If you are unsuccessful, however, the other party is unaffected, and you sustain an influence drop.

Diplomatically, election rigging and coups do not directly factor in. However, if another civ feels that you are competing with them for the favour of city states, that can have negative diplomatic consequences.

You are informed of the AI conducting coups, whether successful or not. You are also informed about any election rigging, though the culprit of the rigging is never identified.

Your city panel in the Espionage Overview

Overall strategy and usage
An additional point that bears mentioning is that the National Intelligence Agency, as well as reducing potential as noted in the outline of tech stealing, and promoting all your spies as mentioned in the introduction, also grants you an additional spy.

There is a general ‘stop spying on us’ diplomacy option that can be accessed under ‘discuss’ when engaging another leader. You can use this at any time, whereas the other espionage-related diplomatic options are all triggered by certain actions. If you tell another civ to stop spying on you, you will receive a penalty, equal to that which you would receive for telling them to stop spying after they've stolen a technology. This is similar to the “don’t settle near us” option, and you will probably find that you’ll use it just as infrequently.

Overall, espionage serves as both a tool to catch up to the tech leaders, and as a tool to supplement your diplomatic activities, as they pertain to both other civilizations and city states. You should not expect espionage to be able to make up for more fundamental deficiencies, such as poor research levels. Rather, espionage is a system that adds an extra dimension to your post-Medieval gameplay experience, introducing an additional layer that will need to be attended to in order to gain an edge in a tight game.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 06:58 AM   #6
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To perhaps add a brief personal opinion into this otherwise empty post, I have to say, I really like Gods & Kings. It doesn't take long, once you start playing, to realise that you will never want to go back to vanilla (even though I liked that too). It's a noticeable step up, in all areas. It's probably worth reflecting on the AI & Diplomacy, two parts of the game long bemoaned by all and sundry, as examples of this. The AI is undeniably much better in G&K (and I find it curious that some reviews seem to suggest that this is not the case, probably based on isolated incidents in a very limited number of hours with the game). That is, of course, not to say that it is 'fixed' in the sense of being sentient, but that there has been a marked improvement, and there is competency in all the new areas of gameplay. There will be people who are still unhappy with it, and there definitely remains much room for improvement, given time, but it's great having to be more deliberative in your attacks, and more mindful of your opponents as they race to victory. I feel this on its own has increased the difficulty of the game by at least half a level; I no longer feel nearly as comfortable playing on Emperor. Diplomacy, similarly, is far more intelligible. The modifiers are clearer, and making friends is easier (a criticism that may arise is that at this stage it is perhaps too easy). RA spam is gone, and you are able to build solid relationships. These changes seem to me to be pretty indicative of G&K overall; it's an improvement across the board. Religion is fantastic, and espionage isn't too far behind (though has a couple of issues at this stage, mainly with intrigue). Religion in particular adds an extra dimension to the game. One of the common criticisms of vanilla was that a lot of the time if you're not at war you find yourself with little to do. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. And what's more, whereas many people did not have a good experience with the release of a buggy vanilla, the issues that you'll come across here are not nearly as prevalent. I'm eagerly anticipating people deconstructing any problems they might come across, but I'm confident that the general opinion will be a very positive one (I think it's very safe to say that many more issues have been fixed than have been created, which is a step up even without the inclusion of new leaders, features, etc.). So I hope you get as much enjoyment out of this game as I do.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:01 AM   #7
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 07:02 AM   #8
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 10:36 PM   #9
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Nice summary! Thank you!
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 01:28 AM   #10
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Intrigue is not asymmetric, in that the AI cannot read your mind. Their spies do not get intrigue from your cities.
Although I understand that the AI players can't "read your mind", I still don't see why intrigue has to be so 1-sided. After all, having espionage in the game means that so-called "Pacts of Secrecy" could finally be meaningful, & you already have the 10-turn war declaration in the game too-both of which could be exposed via AI intrigue. Another thing, though, is whether or not 3rd party diplomacy should be automatically known, or should be *earned* via espionage in the form of intrigue. I certainly hope that future content additions (whether expansions or DLC) deals with these oversights.....as well as adding extra missions. Still, looks like a good start to espionage so far ;-)!

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Old Jun 19, 2012, 01:31 AM   #11
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I've added in the videos now.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 01:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Aussie_Lurker View Post
Although I understand that the AI players can't "read your mind", I still don't see why intrigue has to be so 1-sided. After all, having espionage in the game means that so-called "Pacts of Secrecy" could finally be meaningful, & you already have the 10-turn war declaration in the game too-both of which could be exposed via AI intrigue. Another thing, though, is whether or not 3rd party diplomacy should be automatically known, or should be *earned* via espionage in the form of intrigue. I certainly hope that future content additions (whether expansions or DLC) deals with these oversights.....as well as adding extra missions. Still, looks like a good start to espionage so far ;-)!

Aussie.
That 10-turn war declaration thing would be the only thing the AI would be able to find out, really, and I don't know how often anyone actually uses it. And this isn't actually an asymmetric aspect, as you don't find that information out about them either. What you do find out is essentially what plans the AI has according to the code. There is no equivalent to that.

What might be nicer though is giving the AI something else to compensate for this asymmetry, but YMMV.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 01:49 AM   #13
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Well that might be true for the moment, but that is one of the afeas that they could potentially change down the track. Similarly, bringing back Secrecy Pacts woild allow for something else for both you & the AI to discover. As I said, espionage sounds good, but has plenty of scope for improvement IMHO.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 01:53 AM   #14
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Yes, espionage is certainly not as good as religion is in G&K. Intrigue in particular I wouldn't say is great at the moment.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 02:12 AM   #15
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GREAT THREAD. SO convenient. Now I can link it to all my friends who are sitting on the fence about getting it. Right now the biggest barrier is the high price tag.

You know the change I most liked about he expack was that the diplomacy was cleaned up a bit. They have a long way to go, but now it's easier to track what stages you're at in terms of friendship. The AI is way too forgiving of faults though, and the negative modifier for "coveting lands" really should be removed.

The other changes I noticed: When you take a capital, you hear your leader's war theme, and sometimes while waging war you'll hear it too. Your leader's peace theme will play continuously, even if interrupted by leader screens as you come across other civs (a change I and many others requested for ages).

Now if they could just fix the interface, make luxury resources more interesting, add more map types, allow map settings to be saved, and remove global happiness I'd be happy. I will say that combat at this point feels a fair bit slower than vanilla Civ 5, and much more tactical, thank God.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 02:18 AM   #16
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When you say 'add more map types', do you mean besides the ones listed here?
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 02:26 AM   #17
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I have a question about DLC. Does it still work with G&K? e.g. Ancient Wonders?

Speaking of wonders, what is new?

And what about the new civs?
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 02:29 AM   #18
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So Civ V had 34 maps w/ all the expansions, Gods & Kings has 9 additional maps listed, but I'm counting 45 maps, so what are the other 2 maps that were added?
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 03:00 AM   #19
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It seems Tradition and Honor have been nerfed, while Liberty is still very strong.

Was hoping for them to be balanced a bit, but currently it looks like the gap has widened.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 03:44 AM   #20
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With regards to Liberty, you'll notice that Collective Rule and Republic have switched places, which means you can't get the free Settler as early. With Tradition, Legalism actually works now, and the Finisher is stronger for tall empires.

I haven't actually watched MadDjinn's video on social policies yet, but I'm sure it goes into much greater detail.

Edit: okay, now I have watched a bit of it, and yes, he does go into far greater detail.
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