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Combating Spy warfare

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Redcoat Captain, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Redcoat Captain

    Redcoat Captain Leader of the Redcoats!

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    Hi all,

    Right, i'm getting annoying with relentless spy attacks on both my cities and on my tiles. I was at war with a border-sharing Civ for a long time, and although we have been at peace for a while, i am subject to huge waves of relentless spy attacks. My cities are poisoned as often as is possible, my production is being regularly sabotaged and my tile improvments are bieng destroyed almost every turn. Its got to the stage where i have to camp workers on my most important tile improvement so they can rebuild it every other turn :gripe:

    I've got my "Espoinage" rate set at 20%, i've got Security Beaureus and Intelligence Agencies built as well as my own spies in the field, yet i cant seem to effecitvely keep myself safe from this highly frustrating Guerilla warfare employed by this obviously scorned AI.

    Please help me :thanx:
     
  2. Jedi_Otis

    Jedi_Otis Diggin' the DarkSide

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    Spend more money on it. That's about all you can do at this point. The more money you spend and the more Espionage Points you have the more expensive it is for your rivals to conduct missions. Conduct regular counter-espionage missions to make it even more expensive for them. Put defensive spies in all your cities. Make sure you have ALL the buildings hat give EP, don't forget jails and courthouses.

    If you have a large enough empire, set-up some espionage cities that run nothing but spy specialists.You could even try to pop a great spy from your GP farm and plant him in the enemy Civ. I would also consider conducting offensive espionage missions. Try blowing up some of his Intelligence agencies and security bureaus.
     
  3. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Ignore what Jedi Otis said. :p

    Money spend on espionage is a waste unless you intend to heavily use those points yourself. Getting the espionage buildings up will generate you a lot of esp points anyway. Therefore you may want to consider to put the espionage slider back down to 0%.

    It is better to find out who is harassing you like this. You can check the ratio with the enemy every turn. If you know who attacks you then you may want to consider focussing oints on that particular AI. This will increase your chances of catching a spy. This may not actually reduce the amount of attacks that you will face but it will make you more likely to catch the spies and therefore reduce the damage the enemy spies can do.

    Please note one important thing: when you want to catch enemy spies you must increase the amount of espionage points you generate. It matter not who you focus these points on. Focussing them on one enemy allows for counter espionage on that enemy. This will help the ratio with that enemy because the AI needs then to burn more points on missions towards you.

    If this AI is not your friend you may consider closing borders with that AI. This will increase the chances of catching a spy. Also stationing spies on crucial tiles will help catching spies. Please note that once a security bureau is in place in a city it does not help any more to station a spy there.

    Setting the workers to build a trade network will not reduce the amount of attacks on your land but it will reduce the annoying consequences in so far that if an improvement gets destroyed your workers will rush over there and automatically improve it.

    If all else fails just remember that some civs tend to be so heavy on the spies that you can do very little to actually top and stop it. The single most efficient method of dealing with it would then be to pay your neighbor a friendly visit. :trouble:
     
  4. Redcoat Captain

    Redcoat Captain Leader of the Redcoats!

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    Good idea, thanks for that.

    I hadnt considered the monetay costs of his Spy Attacks. Maybe if i target his economy specifically, i can stop the spy attacks by draining his funds. Hmmm, food for though :coffee:
     
  5. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    There is one more obvious way to catch spies. I forgot to mention that one.

    If your state religion is different from the AI attacking you with spies then you are more likely to catch spies. Swithcing religions just to catch a spy or two may be a very dangerous thing to do but I thought I'd better mention it...
     
  6. Redcoat Captain

    Redcoat Captain Leader of the Redcoats!

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    Thanks for the reply Shurdus, i happen to know which AI is launching these spy attacks, as there is only 1 other Civ on the map, its just me and him.

    I will reduce the Esp points rating to 0% and save the money as i already have plenty of :espionage: generating buildings constructed. I'll spam some spies out to sit in tiles and cities and ready the forces for invasion. Maybe if i take a couple of his cities, his spying habits will become unsustainable. I dont want to destroy him though as i'm aiming for a space race victory, and i want to ensure as best as possible that he cant keep sabotaging my space craft components production.
     
  7. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    Pretty much whats been said already, station spies on targeted resources, build security bureaus (they don't stack so don't bother with spies in cities with bureaus!), close borders and building :espionage: buildings.
    Make sure you run counterespionage missions, they double or treble (cant remember) the :espionage: cost of missions against you for a time.

    Another evil possibility is using spies back, use them to swap civics and religions around to keep the AI falling in and out of anarchy if they aren't Spiritual :lol:. This mission can however, only swap to your current religion or civics though.

    What eras are you and the AI in by the way?
     
  8. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    The AI does not encounter anarchy from espionage-enforced religion and civic changes. It does however get anarchy normally if the AI changes back.

    Constantly switching the AI will use a lot of espionage points too. It may be even needed to run the slider up for this purpose alone. It is good to point out the possibility but I would advise any one to think twice if this would be really worth it.
     
  9. Jedi_Otis

    Jedi_Otis Diggin' the DarkSide

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    So you're saying increase the amount of generated EP, but don't spend money on it, which dramatically increases the amount of EP. Interesting.

    If it was me, I would run my espionage slider at 100% for a handful of turns, which would QUICKY reduce his EP ratio toward you vs slowly over time, coupled with counter espionage to make his missions much more expensive, as we both suggested.

    Then you can go back to spending all your money on something that should solve this problem with some finality, like something along the lines of tanks and artillery.


    Late game, I usually treat my EP slider just like my science slider. Call it "Binary Espionage", if you will.

    It works well for me.
     
  10. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    I don't think I've ever seen an AI not swap back :rolleyes:. If your using a Spiritual leader and swap the AI back to starting civics they certainly will :lol:

    Is it really all that expensive? 600 :espionage: is the base cost on normal speed and with a courthouse, jail and sec bureau a single city will generate 21:espionage:/turn add an inteligence agency and you get 44:espionage:/turn from one city :eek:. An empire of only 10 cities can meet the base cost every 2 turns with considerable 'overflow', and the player can abuse mission modifiers better than any AI
     
  11. Yared

    Yared That Guy

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    Meh, just spam spies and post them along ur borders. I used to have that trouble when I was playing as hannibal and zara kept stealing my technology.

    also u could try getting spy specialists if the buildings arent enough :goodjob:
     
  12. Dragonxander PR

    Dragonxander PR Emperor of the Drakons

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    Havent you tried the distribution of espionage points between civs? That way, if your espionage points production is of 500 points per turn, & you have a total of 10 known rivals & only ONE is torturing via espionage, set the espionage points to prioritarize your enemy. If desperate, give a weight of 5 to the pain in the @$$ & the other 9 will just get a weight of 1 or maybe 2. When doing so, I get about an 85%+ (0%=no protection, 100%=total protection) protection against espionage from my mortal enemy.

    As an example, in my latest completed game, Shaka really hated me (even with the same state religion!), went to a spying spree against me. I set him to have a weight of 3 (the others had one of 2), & I built as many espionage outputting buildings, also I increased my espionage points productions sometimes (up to 50% when having a confty advantage & when having major troubles with espionage).
     
  13. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Increasing the spy-slider takes away from research. Yes it dramatically increases spy points. This will increase the likelyhood to capture spies. This does not however actually reduce the amount of attacks. I agree that a dramatic increase can be solid if you need points, but accumulating all that spy points just to gain some 20% chance to capture enemy spies is a huge waste.

    Increasing the slider to get points that you will use sure, doing the same thing for a slightly better chance of capturing a spy is not a good idea.

    Please note that with about a 3:1 ratio on accumulated spy points in your favor - so that you have 3 times more points than the one attacking you - will grant you about a 25% chance to capture a spy. Running the spy slider for a few turns to get those points will therefore not be all that effective in stopping enemy spies. There is some thread around explaining this, I am at work so I do not have the link ready.

    And do not forget that you need a full on espionage economy if you want to not only match up but actually overtake an AI that focusses heavily on spies like Sitting Bull or Stalin. A few turns of the spy slider is not going to cut it then.

    So all in all I recommend getting the spy buildings up and counter espionage. Then when the time is right you pay the AI a visit. Focussing on techs right now will bring the moment that you will be ready to do this closer.
     
  14. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Let me rephrase that question so you can answer it.

    Is it really that expensive to get every spy building in ten cities in order to be able to swap one AI in and out of civics every two turns?
     
  15. StJude1

    StJude1 Grand High Poobah

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    When you say station a spy in your city, do you mean creating a spy specialist, or leaving a spy unit to snooze each turn?
     
  16. ston

    ston Warlord

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    Another possible approach would be to 'do unto those...' perhaps?

    I had a load of fun using spies against Hannibal in a 'practice' duel-level game recently (still learning the Bts ropes). I had the GW, loads of spy specialists and spy point giving buildings generating espionage points against him for ages. I built a ton of spies. Just before I declared war, my spies went into action taking out every single decent resource and ruining each one of his cites (inciting riot, poisoning the water, causing unhappiness and preventing his production). I kept up their actions during the war against him and it turned out to be quite an effective tactic! :)
     
  17. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    The snooze thing. the specialist does not help in catching spies.
     
  18. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Indeed it is very, very effective. However it does require focussing your attention on it for ages.

    It gets even worse than that in the OP scenario because he faces an AI that uses spies obsessively. That AI will have loads and loads of points on you, so catching up will not be as simple any more. trying to not fall behing in the first place may have been an option but it is not any more. Doing it back is still an option but it will not really undo the problem for him. He will not face less attacks from spies because he employs a few spies himself.
     
  19. ston

    ston Warlord

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    True, I've found (in my limited experience) that counter-espionage operations can help in that respect. They (always?) have a 100% chance of success too.

    Also, directing most (if not all) espionage points against the offending AI would help to increase the cost of their missions wouldn't it?

    It is somewhat annoying though, I found out the other day that a spy can even ruin a piece of spaceship which has already been built and attached to the ship! :eek: I found under those circumstances that launching 20+ ICBMs against the AI helped no end in deterring their espionage operations :scan:
     

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