Incite revolt too cheap?


Sep 28, 2003
I've been using this almost exclusively, without having to use siege weapons, to reduce a city to 0% cultural defense (do units also defend weaker?). Spies can travel on roads, so they can keep pace even with my faster units.

It seems like the cost is too low for the effect. Opinions?
I think its too cheap, just like all spy missions. However, you sure are boned if it doesn't work out for you. =P
Agreed, too cheap for the enormous benefit it gives you in speeding up warfare. Although I doubt this is what Firaxis had in mind for its use when they implemented it...
I don't know if it's too cheap. If I let my spy sit long enough to bring the price down to below 200EPs, there's a good chance he'll be discovered. If not I eat up all my espionage in about 2 or 3 shots. Even if my spy sits, I still can only do a few cities before I run out. Have you guys been able to run revolts consistently against a large enemy?
It depends on the era and how much EPs I have, but generally I haven't had any problems hitting 3-5 cities without having to do anything. Move the espionage slider to 100% for a turn and that's enough for 2-3 more cities depending.

Perhaps it doesn't scale enough to later era. Most of my war is after the middle ages (musket/rifle) or later, at which point unless you've been using espionage, you have a fair number of points available.
Incite Revolt is too cheap, and even more so -- too reliable! It should have a max success rate of 75%, maybe as low as 50%, especially if your spy remains there to try again next turn (or you could have multiple spies stationed there).
Perhaps it doesn't scale enough to later era. Most of my war is after the middle ages (musket/rifle) or later, at which point unless you've been using espionage, you have a fair number of points available.

That may be the problem. I've wanted to incite some results during my immortal rush in the early game, before I can make catapults (and before I can even build courthouses) but I'm lucky if I have enough EPs to do even one city, max two.
Perhaps make it scale much more heavily with respect to city size (is there a better way of identifying 'developed' countries) but give it modifiers for unhappiness and unhealthiness, plus possibly civics related modifiers.

And/or decrease the success rate, possibly based on the factors above.

It'll be interesting to see if the AI changes focus on it more, and if that translates into similar arguments once the AI uses effectively against human players.
Way too high success rate. A city without your cultural influence or some other source of dissention should be almost immune to a revolt. And espionage missions should get more expensive and less successful when your target civ is at war with you. (We all know how paranoid people for catching spies during war ;))
Too overpowered. They changed the siege mechanics in BTS so that reducing defenses was done by a fixed percent, rather than by a percentage of the whole, but then with Incite Revolt you can (temporarially) reduce any city's defenses to zero in one shot.

They ought to do one or more of the following with this:

Change it to a Sabotage Defenses mission that reduces defenses in the city by a fixed percentage, not sure how to balance it against the cost. You could have the percentage repair slowly, as if it were bombardment.

Or reduce only the cultural portion of the defense. Let the City Walls, Castle and Chichen Itza bonuses stay in place, as the current mission is targeting the populace, not the infrastructure.
I don't think lowering the sucess-rate will have a positive effect. If they lowered it to about 40% or so.... I reckon most people would just stop using spies.

Personally I think it should be more expensive, last more than one turn, and shouldn't effect any defense bonuses.

At the moment they way we're using them is stupid... they're just like uber catapults. It shouldn't really be used for taking cities imo... it should be there so you can cut the commerce and production of their cities for a few turns.
I dunnow... Uses it instead of siege units sometimes, however. To save time.

EDIT: It's the purpose with it, isn't it? xD
Imo its very realistic. Why? Ill explain. In any city, any culture, there is bound to be a number of unhappy, discontent, or downright anarchy supporters. Look at the incite revolt in this way. The spy gathers such people under cover of night, and they open the city gates for your troops. (Which would obviously nullify any defense the city has in one shot). No one else in the city even realises what is going on.
40% is probably still too successful, especially late game. Considering failed missions don't eat up EPs I'd just take 5 spies in my stack instead of 2. Now if they changed that aspect of it AND reduced the success rate it may balance. More importantly i think the sabotage defenses is a better option, and should be one that is unlocked after doing an infiltration mission. Late game spies shouldn't be able to negate defenses imo. This practical use of spies for besiegement anyway was opening the castle gates.
Vb1 - that's actually a good point about the realism of "incite revolt". I actually read somewhere that in the middle ages more castles were taken by treachery than by climbing over or knocking down the walls. Maybe they could call it "recruit traitor" or "open gates" or something else. I'd be interested in doing a cost analysis of spies vs. siege for lowering a city's defenses. Spies are obviously faster, but they take away from your accumulated espionage points. Spies can also be caught before or during their mission. It takes siege units longer to wear down a city, depending on their type, etc, but once they're built they can keep going until you decide to launch them into a suicide battle for collateral damage.
Yup it was a realistic siege tactic during medieval times. One I always missed in civ games. If you've ever played Rome: Total War they were best implemented in that game. You could move your spy into the city and then when you laid siege to the cities you could either: a) go straight to battle without siege equipment and maybe the spy gets the gates open, maybe he don't and youre forced to retreat or.... b) you build siege engines wasting precious turns and risking reinforcement. This is another aspect I think civ got wrong... siege equipment generally wasn't mobile and was built on-site. Can you tired how tired our army of axes and swords must be after pushing all those cats across the empire?
Seems like cheese to me, even if you can come up with some marginal historical justification for it from certain time periods and circumstances. It's a bad game mechanic, and like the signature says...
Civ IV is just a game - not a simulation of reality
But the closer it can come to reality, while still being fun as a game, the better.
It is too reliable and too cheap in my opinion. It is especially good in the middle ages when walls and castles make bombardment with catapults and trebuchets a slow process. There are several things that could make it more realistic and less exploitative.

Firstly when a city has walls and castle the first spy could simply open the gate in the walls leaving the castle defence intact. The defenders retreat into the castle and the walls are destroyed (as opposed a a 1 turn revolt). A second spy could then try to open the castle gates as well.

Also it should get progressively more difficult to do as you keep using the trick. So if the first time you use it against a civ you have a 75% chance, the next city this chance drops to 60% and so on. And if the spy fails the chance also drops for that city and importantly failed attempts cost the EPs (or perhaps 50% of the EPs) as well as the dead spy. That would limit its use to a few times and require an attacker build at least some seige equipment for bombardment.
It ought to be related to unhappiness, as one user suggested, because it makes sense that an angry population would be more inclined to revolt than a content one. Negative modifiers could even be given if you have extra :).
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