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Complete Espionage Mission Cost Guide

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by Detektyw, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. blackbird12

    blackbird12 Chieftain

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    Does a stack of spies on foreign soil incur support costs? Not to mention potential unit costs?
     
  2. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    yea they do, but it is rather minimal... say you send 5 spies to steal a tech or for a city revolt mission. 5 for unit costs + 5 for units outside borders=10 gold per turn... It is not much for a strong medieval economy. Say you are stealing a 3000 beaker tech from the AI and spend 10 turns on the way, 20x10=200 gold, assuming the worst possible 1:1.5 gold to beaker conversion in the early-mid game, total price to steal the tech becomes 3300. Not a big deal.

    Spies costs 80 hammers on Marathon speed and thus can be rushed by 1 population only.
     
  3. blackbird12

    blackbird12 Chieftain

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    nah, no biggie for mid to late game, but worth factoring in for early game I suppose. I have yet to try this spy economy business. Sounds interesting!
     
  4. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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  5. Ector

    Ector Chieftain

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    Can anybody provide some formulae about chance of espionage success? Knowing the cost is great, but if you have only 20% chance of success or even less, then you should use tems like "average cost of stealing tech" etc.
     
  6. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    I updated my article again to include some analysis on spy detection and mission success rates. It also includes the links to the game mechanics articles you have asked for.

    Here are the current contents of the article:

    • mission cost reduction analysis for the average Medieval scenario
    • :commerce: to :science: conversion ratios in EE and manual research for the average Medieval scenario
    • most effective way for generating :espionage:
    • spy detection analysis with links to game mechanics articles
    • mission success rate analysis with links to game mechanics articles
    • spy production and maintenance costs analysis for the average Medieval scenario
    • pure EE vs. hybrid EE
     
  7. Ector

    Ector Chieftain

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    Thanks for the useful links, VirusMonster!
    Now, how about the mission cost info for the rest types of missions?
    Currently uncovered types are: Sabotage Building, Spread Culture, Sabotage Production, Sabotage Project.
     
  8. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    Check this out: Krikkitone's post on mission costs

    Destroying improvements takes 75 * game speed factor, game speed factor is 3 for Marathon speed. Destroying building/Project/Production takes 6 * hammer cost. Hammer cost is 2 x on Marathon speed compared to Normal speed, so for example to destroy a library, you will need 270*6=1620 :espionage: Cut this number by 1/3 to include the average mission cost reduction, and you need 540 :espionage: to destroy the library + 5-6 spies :)

    Insert Culture costs 3* culture to insert (5% of total culture for the tile).

    wrong info ==>> (Culture mission isn't really effective imho, unless you already have 40% of culture inside the city. Then with each mission, you can get 2% additional culture, and after several missions you can get above 50% helping with the culture switch.)

    correct info ==> (Cuture spread mission is useful for reducing future mission costs. Each mission reduces future mission cost by ~%2-2.5 )

    Krikkitone's article does not show the espionage mission cost correctly however. According to detektyw's article, the base tech cost is multiplied by 1.25 for espionage missions, while according to Krikkitone, it is multiplied by 1.50... Detektyw's examples are also not consistent with the 1.25 base tech cost increase for espionage missions. So I suggest you refer to my article for the a more accurate analysis. EE is still strong, but this base tech cost increase for espionage missions makes it slightly less attractive. Controlling the holy city for any religion also has a huge (-25%) impact on :commerce: to :science: conversion ratio for a EE, so I suggest you to found a religion or capture a holy city before switching to EE.
     
  9. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    OK, who can explain the math behind these numbers? Optics costs 3375 beakers on a Huge map at Immortal Difficulty and Marathon Speed. To find the base mission cost multiply by 1.50 = 5062 :espionage:

    Now comes the difficult part... How are the rest of the modifiers combined to give the total reduction effect? I could initially figure it out, since this article has obviously same inaccurate math in it.

    edit: ok, I updated the picture to include the calculation analysis.

    2nd edit: now, I fully understood the espionage cost modifier math and updated the EEvsManualResearch section of my article. I believe it makes understanding spy math much easier. Current sections in the article are:

    • technology cost explained
    • espionage base cost of technology stealing explained
    • city revolt base cost explained
    • espionage mission cost modifiers explained
    • espionage point spending modifier explained
    • arithmetic of the espionage mission cost modifiers explained
    • religious modifier arithmetic explained
    • spy detection analysis with links to game mechanic articles
    • mission success rate analysis with links to game mechanic articles
    • tips for low spy casualties
    • spy production costs for the average Medieval scenario
    • spy maintenance costs for the average Medieval scenario
    • total mission overhead
    • luck factor in EE
    • :commerce: to :science: conversion rates for EE and Manual Research
    • Bureaucracy effect to EE and Manual Research compared
    • effect of larger map sizes on Bureaucracy economy
    • Vassalage+Organized+EE synergy
    • summary comparison of conversion rates between EE and Manual Research
    • most effective way for generating :espionage:
    • pure EE vs. hybrid EE
     
  10. Dabur

    Dabur Prince

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    Hi ,

    thanks to this guide i am now making more spies then ever , ... :cool:

    Have a nice day :)
     
  11. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    Er... apologies for necromancy on this thread, but it is linked to from the main game mechanics section of CivFanatics so it probably ought to be corrected... and I'm pretty sure that it's incorrectly describing the modifier calculation. I also apologize in advance if this is a mistake on my part, either because I'm being stupid or because the actual code is different from what he posted in spoiler tags - I don't have the SDK, so I'm going by what's in detektyw's post.

    Following the code, assuming all the default defines, here's how you determine espionage cost multiplier...

    Start with 100.

    Multiply by 0.8 if you have a trade route, then round down to the nearest integer.

    If the city has your state religion, your religion is different from the target civs, and you have the holy city, multiply by 0.6, then round down.
    Alternatively, if the city has your state religion, the target civ also does, and you have the holy city, multiply by 0.75, then round down.
    Alternatively, if the city has your state religion, the target civ does not, and you do not have the holy city, multiply by 0.85, then round down.

    Ignoring some miniscule rounding differences on culture ratios...
    Multiply by (1 - (.5 * your culture) / (your culture + their culture)), then round down.

    Multiply (100 + the city's espionage defense)/100, then round down. I'm not sure, but I assume that's the 50% defense for security bureau.

    Multiply by the distance modifier, then round down (if the plot doesn't have a target, use the enemy capital as target).

    Multiply by max(1.0 - 0.1*turns fortified, .5). If your spy has 5 full turns fortified, this is 0.5.

    Multiply by (2x + y)/(x + 2y), where x is your espionage points and y is their espionage points. This is total espionage points generated for all time. It includes espionage points aimed at different targets, and espionage points already spent on missions. It also includes espionage from great spy missions. Really, I just tested all that because it seemed odd to me. Round down.

    So let's take an example to demonstrate how different this is from the method given by Detektyw (whose work I really do admire, even if I think it is not quite correct in this case). Let's aim for a near-best case situation. Say the target civ isn't your religion, but the target city has your religion, and you have the holy city. Suppose it's under heavy culture-press - 50% your culture, 50% theirs. It doesn't have a Security Bureau. It's close to your capital - maybe 20% distance modifier. Your spy has been fortified for 5 or more turns. You've spent three times as much on espionage this game as they have.

    Then, using the guide from page 1 of this thread... start with 100. Subtract 20 for trade route (80). Subtract 25 for holy city (55). Multiply by 0.75 for culture (41.25). Add 20 for distance (61.25). Subtract 50 for stationary spy (11.25). Add 71.4 for espionage ratios (82.7). So you pay 82.7% of base cost.

    Using the procedure I just outlined... start with 100. Multiply by 0.8 for trade route (80). Multiply by 0.6 for religious modifiers (48). Multiply by 0.75 for culture (36). No security bureau. Multiply by 1.2 for distance (43.2) then round down (43). Multiply by 0.5 for stationary bonus (21.5) then round down (21). Multiply by 0.715 for espionage spending (15.015) then round down (15). So you pay 15% of the base cost. A bit of a difference.

    So using this procedure (I believe the correct one, although if someone else who knows C++ wants to check feel free), what are the big points about espionage?
    -The holy city bonus is great.
    -It's nice to have the target city share your religion, but that only matters if the target civ does not share your religion.
    -Aim to have a trade route to the city you aim at.
    -The city you go for should have the best ratio of your culture : owner's culture possible. If someone conquers a city from you in a war, that's a great target for espionage! If you have 100 times the culture they do, you get a 49.5% discount on missions there; if you have just the same culture, that's 25%, and if you have no culture, no discount for you. This actually opens the possibility that if you have a large-ish empire but are badly behind in tech, you might want to let someone conquer one of your cities just so you can steal all their techs cheaply. You can always take it back 10 turns later with another war. Be sure to stockpile spies and espionage on them in advance though, as once they start accumulating culture there costs will rise.
    -The city should not have a security bureau. This is a no-brainer.
    -The city should be as close to your capital as possible. If you're running an espionage economy, you might even move your capital to your borders later in the game just to get that discount... although probably only if you're running state property as well.
    -Your spy should have been fortified for at least 5 turns before you try the mission.
    -The more espionage you've generated this game, the cheaper it is. The more espionage they've generated, the more expensive. So espionage-heavy games also will get cheaper espionage; if you don't build jails, don't build IA or SB, and never touch the espionage slider, you'll pay a lot more for each mission. This varies between 0.5x (if you've generated infinitely more espionage) and 2.0x (if they've generated infinitely more espionage).

    This also opens up the possibility of a new use for a great artist (at least, I think it's new; maybe players have been using it and I just haven't heard?) - speeding "research" drastically early in the game. 1. Pile up espionage against an opponent who has techs you want. 2. Drop a bunch of spies in one of their border cities which was newly founded and is near your capital. 3. 5 turns later, use a great artist to swamp the culture in that city with your own culture. 4. Immediately use your spies to steal all their technologies. The city may flip shortly thereafter, so your time window may be limited.

    This also indicates that spying for technology with good modifiers is a lot cheaper than indicated by the prior analysis. I'll go with detektyw's numbers for science city - 260%. But you really should have 250% for an espionage city, as you ought to be running nationhood. Sticking with his analysis for science, you've got a 442% boost to commerce spent on research (if it's for a tech everyone already has, etc. etc.). For espionage, however, it's quite possible (as I demonstrated) that you could get the modifiers down to 15%, or even less (5% costs is plausible if you micro carefully to set that exact situation up, and have been running a serious espionage economy for a long time). Assuming his steal-technology formula is accurate (lacking the SDK, I can't track down half the functions so I'll take it on faith), you pay 125% of the base cost of the tech as a base cost to steal it. So with a 15% modifier, you're looking at paying 18.8% of the tech's base cost in beakers as an espionage cost to steal it. That means one point of commerce becomes 2.5 points from modifiers in-city, becomes 13.3 beakers of base tech cost production from stealing techs... or over 3 times as rewarding as if you'd just put that commerce into research yourself. Of course, if you managed to get the multiplier down to 5%, you're getting 9 times as many beakers out of espionage as you would out of commerce.

    Of course, there are the usual caveats with an espionage economy, but this does indicate that if you're smart about when and how you spend espionage points, the benefits can be greater. To me, the tricky part is that ideally you have a holy city for your state religion, the city you're stealing from has that religion, but the civ you're stealing from doesn't... which makes the diplomacy game very complicated because you're already getting negative diplo. points when your spies are caught. I'd be interested to hear how a more experienced player would tackle that sort of consideration for emperor+, or if they'd just swallow the much higher costs of adopting a common AI religion instead.

    Edit: I was curious how effective culture-bombing a city before stealing techs would be, and it's a little disappointing. Apparently the target of steal technology isn't a city, even though a spy must be in a city to run it... so you get no bonus on that operation from culture-bombing, and presumably would get no bonus from running steal tech on a city which used to be yours and the enemy just took from you (except that it might be closer to your capital, so lower distance penalty).
     
  12. jmas

    jmas I Can Has Imperium?

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    A wild thread necromancer appears! ;)

    Great post, coanda, but I'm wondering about this statement:

    :confused: But you had said:

    These statements seem to be mutually exclusive. So which is right?
     
  13. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

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    Even more necromancy...

    Very interesting thread, but is there any information on what determines the costs of the passive espionage effects, such as city visibility, see research etc?
     
  14. OneLeggedRhino

    OneLeggedRhino King

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    Not sure what the base cost is, but they get all the same multipliers. So getting your religion in the city reduces the cost, trade routes reduce the cost, distance from capitol increases cost, etc. For stats and research, I think it applies the multipliers you'd have with their capitol.
     
  15. Unmnemonic

    Unmnemonic Chieftain

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    Note the effect this has if you are playing Permanent Alliances. If you are running a potent Espionage Economy and take on a permanent ally (PA) who has made little commitment to Espionage, you've basically doubled all mission costs and gimped your EE badly.

    This seems unbalanced. If you take on a PA who also has a strong EE, seems like ths should make your alliance an espionage superpower! As implemented, you have to take on an ally that is also an espionage superpower just to keep your mission costs at approximately the same level.

    I do see the point when team play is considered. If you start the game on a team, and didn't factor in the team size, the power of joint EE would perhaps become too great.

    Any thoughts? How about factoring in the turn on which the alliance is formed? For example, if you start the game as a team, the penalty for each additional teammate is 1, as in the formula above. But if your alliance forms 3/4 of the way through the game, the teammate penalty is only .25? Never mind how that would be calculated in the SDK given the various game speeds and start turn options...
     

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