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are spies useful?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Dick Fosbury, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Dizzy75

    Dizzy75 Warlord

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    Ahh, good call - will try that next time.

    Still wish there were options for blockading, though. The AI seems to have no interest in naval warfare beyond escorting troops.
     
  2. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    You may not be able to cut off trade, but I think you can lay naval seige. By that I mean you park your ships on his sea tiles to deny him the food benefit, just like stationing troops within the fat cross locks out a given tile from farming.

    Then, of course, there's pillaging roads to disrupt trade networks BETWEEN his cities (assuming he doesn't have all coastal cities).

    Hey, this reminds me, can the spy destroy terrain improvements as a mission or is that not possible? Oh, and does anyone miss the "Bribe unit/bribe city" options? :)
     
  3. Darkhrse

    Darkhrse Warlord

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    I tried the naval siege thing and though it worked in the beginning, there is a caveat I learned. Check the cities to see if the civ you're attempting to blockade doesn't have ships to destroy yours. I became careless and forgot to check the city every now and then. Before long he had two frigates against the one I had parked in front of him. You can guess the outcome.
     
  4. Lengo

    Lengo Chieftain

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    Spies useful? YOU BETCHA. Place a few in a city that's building a wonder. Let the opponent get almost done, then sabotage it. If you succeed, he wasted a bunch of time! HA HA HA HA HAHAAA!
     
  5. Darkhrse

    Darkhrse Warlord

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    Unfortunately, doesn't the cost of sabotaging a production run into the thousands of gold? I tried to sabotage a civ's Apollo Program only to realize that it would cost more than 23k in gold.
     
  6. ArmoredCavalry

    ArmoredCavalry Warlord

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    yeahit is quite expensive. sabatoging stratieging resources and hammer improvements on the other hand...
     
  7. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    Yes, and this is why I rarely do it, especially when the chance of success in a city with several military units is much lower, not to mention the ding to relations if she's caught. Even if you're raking it in near the end of the game, there are better uses for that gold--unit upgrades, rushing improvements and late Wonders, bribing other Civs.
     
  8. Darkhrse

    Darkhrse Warlord

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    Agreed, which was why I didn't bother trying to stop that particular civ's race to the Apollo Program. I was already quite far ahead that I could still overtake him in the Space Race if I chose to.

    Just a note here though: stopping a rival city's production gets more expensive as they approach completion. So if you want your spy to stop a production, do it when it has just started instead of waiting.
     
  9. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    so spies are useful fo ... spying mostly :lol:
    i almost never build scotland yard, and when i do i use the spies only to look inside cities, which is going to get captured next.
     
  10. chipix

    chipix Chieftain

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    Does the AI use spies?
    If yes, can you kill him?
     
  11. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    i never caught a spy on my territory.
    I never had a ressource or production sabotaged either.

    The AI may want to use it, but is it still alive when it could?
     
  12. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    I've never caught a spy either, but I've had improvements sabotaged, so believe me, I've tried--often placing a veritable SoD on my sole oil well along with one spy or more, to no avail! :mad:
     
  13. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Deity

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    Yes, I've had improvements destroyed by invisible somethings (NOT airborne!) so I presume they were AI spies. Never caught one though. Despite trying.
     
  14. Darkhrse

    Darkhrse Warlord

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    A spy will survive (it not caught) after they are able to successfully sabotage an improvement. And yes, even if you post units on top of your oil wells, spies still have a chance to sabotage successfully. I've been able to do that against the AI. As a matter of fact, my spy got caught only once out of about 6 attempts.

    Another nice feature is the Steal Plans feature of a spy. If successful, the spy will be able to give you a clear view of the units and the current production info of every city of that civ. Although it fades in time.
     
  15. Sahkuhnder

    Sahkuhnder Delusions of grandeur

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    Spies are great! :thumbsup: Re-post of my favorite spy tactics:

    Have your spy pass through a enemy city and check their city screen. You can easily spot their weakness this way.

    Concentrate on resources they only have one of. I prefer to attack happiness resources as an unhappy citizen hurts more than an unhealthy one, and also on oil, coal and uranium. Deny the last two and few of their power plants will run which cuts the entire civs production. Also look for the one or two key farms that provide irrigation for a whole chain. These are usually unguarded and blowing them up can easily dry up 10 or more other farms, each now producing one less food. It's fun to watch all those cities start to decline in population. This also forces the AI to shift tiles from production to food just to keep even.

    After awhile you're blowing things up far faster than the single workers the AI sends out can repair your destruction. At that point you've effectively crippled an entire nation.

    Plus, I still enjoy seeing that spy woman backflip away from the explosive (hums theme from 'Mission Impossible').
     
  16. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Deity

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    Ahhhh [ding! light comes on!] What a good idea.... Maybe I would have thought of it myself one day, but not yet. Thankyou. I like that.

    Yes :) I just love that backflip. Some graphics in the game are just good, others are excellent, and others like this one are both excellent and bring a smile to the face. I like it too.
     
  17. ownedbyakorat

    ownedbyakorat Warlord

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    Spies are key, militarily. They can let you know what you're facing before you face it. They are the ideal recon "troops"... a spy just hanging out in a city can't be caught, so there's nothing an opponent can do to stop it. If you're familiar with Sun Tzu you won't underestimate their importance. A well-placed spy can add more to the successful outcome of a conflict than a half-dozen troops. Also they are very handy for figuring out when someone is massing for an attack - you can take steps (deterrent force and/or bribery) to have it be someone else who gets attacked... that can be worth a pretty big stack of units, being able to get two AIs to war with each other and not you.

    On the other hand, they are limited, so don't depend on them for more than they're worth.
     
  18. Black Waltz

    Black Waltz Prince

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    I have actually captured another spy. In a peaceful game (though with a lot of Civs hating me) I kept on having my oil sabotaged. After the 2nd time I moved a spy in the city next to the well...

    "An Mongolian Spy was killed attempting to sabotage your improvment" or something to that effect. He tried it another time the cheeky brat...
     
  19. QuixotesGhost

    QuixotesGhost Warlord

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    Biology removes the requirement to chain farms, and Communism is pretty close to it on the tech tree. So I'd double-check to see where exactly your opponent is tech-wise before employing that particular strategy.
     
  20. Sahkuhnder

    Sahkuhnder Delusions of grandeur

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    Biology allows farms to be built without being on a freshwater tile (or a bonus resource), but does not change the +1 bonus for the farm being irrigated. Once your opponent starts 'chaining' farm irrigation, you can use your spies to blow a link in that chain and un-irrigate all the 'downstream' tiles, reducing each downstream tile's production by 1 food.

    This tactic works for the duration of the game.

    Really, try it out and you'll see. :)
     

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