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I still find Espionage to be pretty offensive

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by CaptainPatch, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. CaptainPatch

    CaptainPatch Lifelong gamer

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    As in, "The best Defense is a strong Offense."

    To me, Espionage is hopelessly weighted in favor of the attacker. You only have a small number of spies available to you. Defensively, you have to guard ALL of your cities, each of which could have as many as ten targets that need to be defended. You could easily use up your entire allotment of spies guarding just ONE city. Which means that the rest of the nation is wide open to infiltration from enemy spies.

    It's ridiculous to have so few spies in nations that will grow to populations in excess of millions of citizens. What is currently a representation of individual spies should actually fully fleshed out espionage networks. And just like the FBI maintains field offices in EVERY major city, they should be monitoring Security issues in every sector of the city and the surrounding area.

    Of course, absolutely thorough coverage gets EXPENSIVE, and most FBI field offices complain they are understaffed.

    "He who tries to protect EVERYTHING usually ends up protecting NOTHING."

    I suggest that it be left to the player just how much he wants to invest in Security the same way he decides to handle National Security. That is, the making and deploying of ANY NUMBER of units. (In this case, Spies.) Make it that, say, an allocation of 10 Spies would make a city's Security airtight. Less than that gives an enemy agent a percentage probability of getting past that Security.
     
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  2. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    You can't protect everything in your civ, but you don't need to. It is better to focus on just protecting key targets like a space port or an industrial zone, especially since the AI loves to attack those. When going for a science victory, I will often keep a couple spies back to protect my key space port that is building a space project.
     
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  3. ExemplarVoss

    ExemplarVoss Prince

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    Uh. Not sure where to start.

    One, you're arguing about an abstraction. From a gameplay perspective, the number of spies seems fine (and is already tedious). Total protection is an impossibility and fantasy.

    Two, There are policies that help with general spy defense.

    Three, FBI has nothing to do with espionage. They investigate federal crimes (hence the name), which is why they have offices all over.
     
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  4. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    Spies protect adjacent districts. So place them optimally to increase their effectiveness .
     
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  5. Chocolate Pi

    Chocolate Pi Chieftain

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    There are now 4 really high-impact defensive spy promotions, as well as a policy that grants access to all spy promotions--allowing you to trivially create Spies with your pick of the 3 defensive promotions.

    Edit: Also note that the production cost you inflict for killing a Spy is pretty high, and capturing a Spy is a huge (possibly permanent) blow.
     
  6. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    Exactly. Defense is as powerful as offense if you know what you are doing. You don't need 27 space ports like the AI wide SP play, you only need one at the right location, and one spy to protect the SP, the city center holding Magnus 3-tiered, and the local IZ (obviously all contiguous). All the rest of the spies are on their own rock band tour destroying SPs and their IZs.
     
  7. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    This entire game is skewed towards offense (pillaging notwithstanding.)

    Quartermaster/Cryptography is all that is needed. Rest should go on offense.
     
  8. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    When I opened this thread I was wondering how civ6 mechanic of espionage is exactly supposed to be offensive for any minority
     
  9. darkace77450

    darkace77450 King

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    I didn't play ME, so my knowledge of that game is pretty limited, but the covert agents, intrigue, and operations in that game looked like an organic way to handle espionage. Spies in Civ6 are a bit too gamey for my liking, and random promotions for any unit, spies included, is a needlessly frustrating mechanic, in my opinion.
     
  10. Duuk

    Duuk Doom-Sayer Supporter

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    Uhhh... ummm...

    The FBI is the chief arm of counter-intelligence inside the United States. You knew that, right? Please tell me you knew that and you were just kidding.

    The CIA does foreign intelligence gathering, the FBI does counter-intelligence (which is actually why there is and always has been an "FBI liason" in Moscow, even during the Cold War.) The NSA's role has only gotten bigger since SIGINT has gotten bigger and the legality of their role in domestic counter-intelligence is sort of murky (even moreso since 9/11 and the PATRIOT Act).

    https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/counterintelligence
     
  11. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    Mind, in terms of their global activity, from their formation in the late '40' until today, the CIA, ironically, matches their own stated definition of a "terrorist organization."
     
  12. Duuk

    Duuk Doom-Sayer Supporter

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    America: Peace through superior firepower ;)
     
  13. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    And "Keeping Up With the Chekas." :p
     
  14. CaptainPatch

    CaptainPatch Lifelong gamer

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    Uhm. Not sure where to begin. ;^D

    1) Most definitely, total protection is an impossibility... under the system as it stands now.

    2) "Robbing Peter to pay Paul". The player has only so many policy slots -- and oh so many useful policies arguing that you really, really NEED to keep _them_ in place. Want to give up all the gold you get for each City State envoy you have deployed? How about the one that gives you a BIG boost for all your cities not on the same continent? Or if you are pushing for a Religious victory -- or just want to keep India or some other Religion-heavy civ by winning that way, the policies that strengthen your Apostles and Missionaries in theological combat? Furthermore, for as many Spies as you may have, multiply that number by however many civs are arrayed against you. And if you happen to be noticeably edging towards ANY victory, just who do you think they will be sending their Spies against?

    3) As someone else astutely pointed out, in the USA the FBI is responsible for counterintelligence operations within the nation. (And internationally to counter terrorist operations aimed towards the USA.) That constitutes the Defense side of Civ's Espionage Defense.
    I wouldn't have said "obvious" at all. For one, I was (until now), I did not know that an assigned Spy protects not only the district he is in, but adjacent districts as well. For another, that means to optimally place districts going all the way back to the Ancient era. And as for another, to be that defensive, you would have to sacrifice a bunch of Wonders that require "must be adjacent to" a specific district. Wonders tend to congregate towards a player's highest Production cities (if you want your best chance of completing a given Wonder before some other civ completes it first). Just think how many Religious Wonders require placement adjacent to a Holy Site. Not to mention when some resource tile is inconveniently placed adjacent to a some district. As a result of these kinds of complicating factors, a LARGE city of mine will have districts scattered all over the city's giant hex.

    So optimal district placement is hardly what I would call "obvious" or even "intuitive".
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  15. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    The FSB has the same role in modern Russia, despite it too, since the end of the Cold War and the FORMAL end of the KGB, being divorced, as an organization, from the foreign intelligence agency.
     
  16. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

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    I pretty much only use one defensive spy in my capital and send all the others to steal money or art.

    Exception: If I"m going for science victory I'll take all my spies home and guard spaceports. Although GS may have changed this
     
  17. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    That sounds like a "Tintin" world fictional nation's spy agency. :p
     
  18. Mr. Shadows

    Mr. Shadows Nomad of the time streams

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    Deciding what's worth protecting is part of the game. If the ai steals a tech boost it probably won't have meaningful consequences. Losing gold to a spy always stings but it's rarely game changing. On the other hand once you know a district is being targeted you can get a spy an easy promotion by counter-spying. Recruit Partisans can be extremely annoying but imo it's better to keep a few units near the neighborhood than it is to set a spy. Has anyone seen the AI blow a dam yet? I'm interested to see that play out. Spaceports ABSOLUTELY need to be protected but you only need one or two of them. Personally I like the spy game, especially at higher difficulties because the AI has so many more things worth taking.
     
  19. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    Si vis pacem, para bellum.
     
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  20. RealAntithesis

    RealAntithesis Warlord

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    I agree with the OP. It's a little ridiculous that your spy can only protect one individual district plus any others that happen to be adjacent out of all districts in all cities across your empire. This feels like a wack-a-mole mini-game. Enemy spies can pop up anywhere but you can only protect one thing.

    Spies should protect entire cities or regions (perhaps with 9 or so tile radius) with individual buildings that also provide counter espionage capability at a cost (but not to the same level as an actual spy).
     
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