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[GS] How do people feel about Spies?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by acluewithout, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Says it in the title really.

    Personally, I really like Spies. I feel like various versions of Civ have played around with the concept, and FXS have basically got it right now in Civ 6 (I think traders are similar that way too, for what it's worth).

    I didn't initially like Spies, but then FXS created that Spy Gov Plaza building (which means not everyone gets the exact some number of spies based on tech, which had previously really annoyed me for some reason), Spies got some missions based around Loyalty (both direct mission - forment unrest- and indirect like removing governors) which made them feel more like real Spies to me, and FXS added the whole combat strength from diplo visibility which made Listening Post (as well as Printing Press) way more interesting.

    I also really like how using them well does take a bit of work. Focusing on siphoning funds or counter-missions first to level them up; thinking a bit about district placement given Spies' one tile range. It's not overwhelming either - just enough key decisions that it's worth giving some thought to it, but doesn't dominate the rest of your decisions.

    I read somewhere that FXS had originally thought about having a more complicated Spy game, with police units running around trying to catch Spies. I'm so glad they didn't do that - it would have been just so tedious.

    Yeah, I like Spies. A lot. Although, of course, I do think they could use some tweaks. In particular:
    • Get rid of Recruit Partisans. It's just another reason not to get Neighbourhoods, and the result is often your Cities spawning units you can't spawn yourself because of resource requirements which is totally stupid.

    • The number of missions and promotions could be slimmed down a little. Like, I'm not sure Listening Post and Gain Sources need to be separate missions. And I'm not sure the value of having separate promotions for Breaching Dams, Destroying Industrial Zones and Sabotaging Spaceports, or likewise having separate promotions for Stealing Great Works and Siphoning Funds.

    • I feel like there should be one or two Great People that increase Spy Capacity by +1, again just so there's a bit more variation in how many Spies people have.
    Thoughts?
     
  2. Bliss

    Bliss Warlord

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    I agree with everything that you posted but one thing that I actually partially disagree: it makes sense to unlock them with tech Civic Policies. It is a way to counter science rushers and that actually encourages cultural development. I find that they are a good partner for envoys and government points, however I also think that the loyalty mission and the remove governor one could be buffed so we could see some interesting quick neutral-flip happenings.
    Also, maybe more missions towards city states? And the UI should show the success rate for using each escape vehicle...
     
    Pure24 likes this.
  3. bengalryan9

    bengalryan9 Prince

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    I agree with most of what you said.

    As far as Recruit Partisans is concerned... I don't know if I necessarily want to see it go away completely, but I don't think it needs to spawn top-of-the line units either. I think it's pretty ridiculous when modern armors spawn in my neighborhoods.

    I love the idea of stealing great works from other civs, but I'm not sure the AI always plays fair here. They seem to move their great works around as soon as I go after them (unless they don't have anywhere to move them).

    Maybe add a civic equivalent to the Steal Technology mission? A tourism/"propaganda" mission might be fun, too.
     
    Meluhhan, CoconutTank and Victoria like this.
  4. konokono

    konokono Chieftain

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    I also quite like them. I'd like to see:

    1. More mission types. Maybe one for every district. Encampment/harbor/aerodrome could be to reveal all land/sea/air units.

    2. I'm fine with Recruit Partisans, but they should spawn only up to the best melee unit that you've produced. No Modern Armor that's just silly.

    3. More usefulness for the Foment Unrest mission. Right now it takes too long to take advantage of the brief time periods when enemy cities are disloyal. It seems the city always either flips or loyalty is secured before the spy can really make any difference

    4. More interaction with other systems. Diplomatic visibility should affect success rate (does it already?-not sure) Military units should be able to destroy spies that have been spotted.
     
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  5. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Warlord

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    I like Espionage a lot, but I think it is perfectible. But I would like each specialty districts have 2 types of missions:
    • Catch-up mission: A mission aimed toward catching up on specific mechanic that is not harmful to the target player. Right now, there is only one mission like this: Steal Tech Boost.
    • Harmful mission: A mission that harm the civilization.

    For example:
    Spoiler :
    Campus:
    Steal Tech Boost (Catch-up): As we currently have in the game.
    Industrial spying (Harmful): This work the same as a Science "Siphon Fraud". The Spy deprives the Science output of the enemy city for the duration of the mission. If sucessful: you gain all that Science. If unsucessful: the city regain all that Science. The Science is splitted if more than one Spy is currently doing the mission on the same city.

    Holy Site:
    Find the light (Catch-up): Generate Faith equal to 50% of the city Faith output. The enemy city do not lose any Faith in the process, nor the Faith splitted if more than one Spy is currently doing the mission on the same city.
    Mass conversion (Harmful): The enemy city loses 200 religious pressure (evenly distributed between all religions in the city) and receives 200 religious pressure toward your majority religion.

    Theater Square:
    Plagiarism (Catch-up): This work the same as a Culture "Steal Tech Boost". The Spy will steal a Inspiration for a Civic you have yet to discover and the enemy civilization have discovered.
    Great Work Heist (Harmful): As we currently have in the game.

    Encampment:
    Copy new tactics (Catch-up): All your cities with an Encampment have +20% production for every land units that the enemy can produce.
    Strategic Embezzling (Harmful): The Spy deprive all the Strategic ressource accumulated in the city. If successful, you gain all those ressources and 20% of the remaining amount the player has (maximum: 30 of each). If failed, that player regain his strategic ressources.

    Harbor:
    Study the hulls (Catch-up): All your cities with an Harbor have +20% production for every naval units that the enemy can produce.
    Siphon Fraud (Harmful): Same as the Commercial Hub project.

    Commercial Hub:
    ???
    Siphon Fraud (Harmful): As we currently have in the game.

    Industrial Zone:
    Enjoy Production (Catch-up): All your City-Centers that are 9 tiles or less of the enemy Industrial Zone enjoy the Production bonus from the Power Plant and the Factory.
    Sabotage Production (Garmful): As we currently have in the game.

    Entertainment Complex / Water Park:
    Enjoy Distraction (Catch-up): All your City-Centers that are 9 tiles or less of the enemy EC / WP enjoy the Amenity bonus from the ZooAquarium and the Stadium/Aquatics Center.
    General Strike (Harmful): This is just a rebranded "recruit partisan".
    (I am kind of against putting Spy missions for EC/WP, because they don't have specific Great People nor City-State to increase their yields).

    Spaceport:
    Steal progress: +50% Production towards space project already done by that player.
    Disrupt Rocketry: As we currently have in the game.

    Aqueduct, Neighborhood and Dam: no mission, or make those mission not (that) harmful and easily recoverable.


    The Spy game is very interesting but become kind of boring when you are in the lead, ending up to siphon fraud and steal some great arts around, while trying to froment unrest at your border to see if you can make a free city to catch up, even if it will be quicker to "just" produce an army and conqueer it in the first place.

    But when you are behind, they are worth it.
     
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  6. Kmart_Elvis

    Kmart_Elvis Prince

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    Spies are in a good spot. Just some tweaking would be nice. I'd definitely like to see one or two spy slots open up, if you are inclined to lean into them and do the work. Maybe Great People like suggested, or a wonder or policy card. I'd also like to be able to cut down the missions/travel time just a little bit. Finally, I'd like some synergy with diplomatic and religious victories. Maybe stopping the spread of a rival religion from a city. Or be able to see that the civ would vote for exactly in the world Congress. I know there was an interview with a dev who said they intentionally didn't add something like that because they want to try and keep single player and multiplayer games on the same level (there's no way your spy could know what a human player was going to pick, for example). But there's still mechanics that don't affect multiplayer at all, like grievances, so I don't see a problem with giving us some Intel on rival civs voting.
     
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  7. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I agree with Civics being the main way you get Spy Capacity for the reason you say. I think having one additional capacity tied to one Gov Plaza building works really well. I think if there was one or two Great People that also gave +1 slot each then that would be perfect - Civics would still be the primary way to get capacity but there would be just a touch of extra flexibility.
     
  8. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I’m with @bengalryan9 in that recruiting partisans that are stronger than your own Military is just wrong. With more missions/promotions now recruit does not happen as much but this is just crazy.
    I do feel a listening post is a separate action, gain sources is a local buff, it would be nice if gain sources buffed listening post though.
    It would be nice if a Firaxis told us how the escape mechanics work.
     
  9. Tech Osen

    Tech Osen Emperor

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    I would be ok with the partisan mission if there were more ways to deal with it. Maybe a civic that blocks the mission when there's a military unit on it or building a policestation in the neighborhood.
    As it is now I simply don't build them eventhough I like growing my cities big. Problem is compounded by the appeal effect. High appeal tiles are usually not next to other districts I want to protect like industrial zones.
     
    WillowBrook likes this.
  10. Vincent_lacruz

    Vincent_lacruz Chieftain

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    Recruit partisant should be indeed changed. If you think thematicaly (yes, I know, it's a game and thematics tends to be trappled easily...:rolleyes:), we have:

    - You could think you are the one furnishing weapons for the "rebellion", so it should not be above your tech level.
    - Samewise, it should not be possible to give cavemen automatic riffles and expect much of them. And they should not be the elite unit (loyalty to the leader and all...:scan:). So the spawned unit should be at max at the player level, and possibly one tech/era away from top teck.
    - However, I think the effectiveness, and duration, of the mission should be dependent of the size of the city: It should be one unit spawned, plus one for every 5 population in it (the more people there is, the more discident there should be in the population). This would both be a boost to the mission, but also an incentive to protect your biggest cities.


    Last thing, for defence against partisants, how can you know which neighborhood to protect if you have several? Does a spy in any neighborhood protect all of the city's neighborhood???
     
  11. crouchy

    crouchy Chieftain

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    You have to guess which one is which I think. This is a deficiency in the UI.
     
  12. crouchy

    crouchy Chieftain

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    Recruit partisans annoys the face off me, and the AI loves using it. It's just so stupid.

    The neutralize governor / reduce loyalty missions are not powerful enough IMO, they rarely have any effect whatsoever.

    Don't understand how escaping works. Is it just random?
     
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  13. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I like spies, but I agree some tweaks could be made:
    • Recruit Partisans: Make it correlate with happiness. High happiness = low chance of success. Also make it only spawn infantry units, not cavalry and armored units.
    • Promotions: Instead of the random promotions, I want promotion trees. Very annoying to have spies with promotions that don't co-work at all.
    • Districts: We need an espionage district similar to the government plaza.
     
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  14. tedhebert

    tedhebert King

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    I fail to understand the recruit partisan hate showed here and in other threads. City bombard alone can easily take care of it
    in most cases. So you'll have to repair a few tiles afterwards, so what ? It's really not the end of the world and it doesn't really happen so often !

    I'm good with where spying is... my only gripe is that the damage spacesport is really too strong... when I go for SV I can really disable any civ anywhere close to me in science with it... it shouldn't be that easy...
     
  15. Tech Osen

    Tech Osen Emperor

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    Being able to give the Surveillance promotion (covers all district in the city) when you need it would solve the issue. The card that allows you to do so comes way too late.
    But being able to stack Quartermaster and Polygraph at will ( especially early on) might be a bit too much.
     
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  16. AntSou

    AntSou Prince

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    1. I think the idea of partisans should be disconnected from neighbourhoods and there should be more events other than spies causing partisans to appear. Weaker partisans, but more often. They would be a nuisance in larger empires, especially before railroads. It's a more natural way of simulating problems of unrest in large empires. Partisans should be named "[name of your Civ] Rebels". So if you're playing as America, the faction name would be American Rebels. They have the same Civ bonuses, but no leader bonuses.

    They'd differ from Free Cities in that:
    - They suffer no loyalty pressure. Their cause is to overthrow your rule, not succumb to yours or foreign pressure;
    - The first rebel city causes -4/-6 loyalty pressure to every city of the mother Civ within 6 tiles. Each additional rebel city causes an additional -1/-2. The numbers would depend on difficulty, either set automatically when picking game difficulty (Settler to Deity), or with its own slider as there is for climate events.
    - They only attack the mother Civ's cities and units. Another Civ must declare war on it like it would a City-State before it can attack it, and capturing and keeping Rebel cities gives grievances and negative opinion to the original owner. Killing rebels of a different Civ and returning captured cities provides significant boosts to opinion.

    2. The tech level of spawning rebels should depend on the Civ doing the spying mission. At least for some units. If rebels appear for a different reason, they should be one age lower than your own units, mixed with a "General" unit (which is just a normal unit, I'm just calling it that) which would be a copy of one of your strongest units (bar the GDR).

    3. The amount of partisans should depend on the size of the city near which they spawn. 1 pop = 1 unit, 2/3/4 = 2, 5/6/7 = 3, 8-14 = 4, 15-25 = 5, etc.
     
  17. Vincent_lacruz

    Vincent_lacruz Chieftain

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    The annoying thing with partisant is that you have high movement unit razing everything around and pillaging trade routes for a few turns, wich can be rather expensive to fix. And they generally don't stay near cities, so it is complicated to kill them without units.
     
  18. Tech Osen

    Tech Osen Emperor

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    Two reasons for me. First they spawn on the AI's turn and become active in the Barbarian's turn, before you can even react.
    Second, they will always go for traders first. I'm usually more annoyed when an AI targets a trading ally of me and that ally reacts lackluster and I lose half my traders.
     
  19. AntSou

    AntSou Prince

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    I fail to see how this is a bad thing. The problem with partisans imo is that it's a half-thought mechanic. They should be a nuisance and force the player to be careful not to leave large portions of their empire with no military presence.

    The problem right now is that partisans do not occur often enough, and only in later stages, so that planning for this eventuality by keeping your units inside your empire rather than at the borders is usually a bad decision.
     
  20. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    There is an escape roll and that roll changes based on if you have a CH, Harbour and airport as well as the escape route choices with travelling on foot being slowest but safest. But how the rolls work and their chances is not clear nor easy to test.

    I personally like to be able to stop Gilgamesh from going exo before I have a chance of winning and I have read a lot of posts were this was a close run thing currently with spies saving the day.
     
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