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insane power of espionage

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall - Dawn of Civilization' started by artyom, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. artyom

    artyom Chieftain

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    hi guys i just came to a discovery i'd like to share with you guy although some may already know this.
    as most other players, i have always avoided espionage and thought its useless except for knowing what your enemy is researching or doing minor damage to enemy production.
    but recently i tried going russia with more focus on espionage and using it to steal techs, which turned me into the most advanced civ from 1850 on.
    heres an example:
    600 AD start marathon speed, emperor difficulty as russia. research guilds into gunpowder and you should easily finish the St basils cathedral. have it finished around 1350's and you should have around 50 points per turn. put all those espionage points onto one country which seems like it would have good tech and wont fall in 300 years. in my game I picked france. the first tech steal came around 1700 from france, it was military science, which cost me like 12k espionage points. the tech cost was around 17k science points.
    after that first steal I switched all esp points against germany, and stole everything they had from 1700-1890: rifles, military tradition, fascism, assembly line, steel, railroad, combustion. iam in 1890's right now and theres nobody to steal from because I have everything.
    make sure to build statue of liberty and get the lubyanka wonder. and try to research communism asap. you dont have to switch to communism until later.

    basically, the espionage economy triples my science although i didnt move my slider from science to espionage. currently in 1890's and iam generating 2500 research points and 1500 esp points. but those esp points are worth 4500 a turn because if you steal tech from a close neghbour like germany, you get a tech through esp 3 times cheaper than it costs. so, if i leave a spy in berlin for 5 turns and decide to steal a tech worth 70k research points, it would only cost me like 27k esp points.

    if you are a civ that is behind everyone else, then espionage is an even more profound answer because you can just comletely neglect your own science and put slider all the way to espionage because it would give more returns if yyou steal than if you researched.
    example: in my current game 2500 research points and 1500 esp points would equate to roughly 6500 effective research points per turn. but putting slider to 50% esp instead of 50% science, i would get 2900 esp points and 1k research points which would equate to roughly 9 thousand effective research points per turn.

    note that in my russia game I settled all the crappy city locations in russia and alsaska, but despite that iam ahead of great britain in tech thanks to tech stealing.

    to use espionage you dont have to neglect anything else. play as you would regularly, except put a little more focus on jails, courthouses, and communism buildings. dont change specilalists if the AI decides to automatically pick spies in your cities. and try to put all your esp points onto only one civ who is close, has open borders, and has good tech research. send 2-4 spies to a foreign city only when you know you should have enoough esp points to steal a tech, make them wait 5 turns in it then steal and go back to your homeland. also dont forget or give up on eps too early because it true bonuses come after you build the intelligence agencies and security bureous

    i hope you guys try this. this certainly is a breakthrough for me although some of you may do this regularly
     
  2. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    Yup, I've noticed the power of espionage before too (especially Lubyanka is great). The Dutch are good to steal techs from too, by the way.
    It's weakness, however, is that you can't get a tech first, which reduces your changes for getting a certain wonder/free GP/...
     
  3. iOnlySignIn

    iOnlySignIn Prince$s

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    Espionage doesn't get penalty from number of cities like Research do. Neither does it get any benefit from cities being Coastal (all Espionage buildings/effects and be attained equally in all cities).

    That is why it's a good strategy for Russia, who has a large number cities, mostly non-coastal.

    For a smaller, more maritime civ Espionage is nowhere near as useful.
     
  4. artyom

    artyom Chieftain

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    oh. wow
    oh i for some reason thought there is a penalty. ty. next game iamma try espionage massive spain

    edit: tested and confirmed that more cities will make tech steal more expensive
     
  5. youtien

    youtien Lyricist

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    I suggest nerf Lubyanka to 1 points per specialist. You already get numerous esp points via jail and IA, SB.
     
  6. killerkebab

    killerkebab Chieftain

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    It's a good idea but why not take it even further? Why wait until AD1700 before you start stealing?

    I suggest building a courthouse in one of your cities very early on, and using the spy specialist. It will make you a few espionage points and most importantly, should get you a great spy relatively quickly. Send the great spy to your well-educated rival and steal stuff early on! :)

    The great spy will get you something like 3000 espionage points, and I know that early in the game you can steal techs like guilds and engineering for ~500 - useful for a civ like Russia which doesn't start with much compared to say, the Dutch or Portuguese :)
     
  7. Hamir

    Hamir Chieftain

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    There is a penalty isn't there? You get inflation in the value of techs for every city over 10, which impacts on how many espionage points you need to steal it.

    But it is a reduced penalty compared to research, as you get 60%+ off the value of a tech you steal, so the inflation is equally reduced.
     
  8. artyom

    artyom Chieftain

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    I didnt say wait until 1700 to steal. its just that its hard to get enough points prior 1700 to steal more than one good tech. i can see how you can steal 1-2 good techs prior 1700 but thats it(unless you force many great spies). in my marathor speed settings and emperor difficulty, decent rennaisance techs would cost around 6-12k espionage points to steal.
    i guess you could force a great spy early on and using it to steal a tech like guilds, but what benefit would it give if you can just research it and everything else you need perfectly fine prior rennaisance with russia and every other civ? i think rennaisance techs, industrial techs are more useful so maybe forcing a great spy early on isnt such a great idea unless you have some other plan.
     
  9. Barbuesque

    Barbuesque Chieftain

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    I'm not sure what the ratio is, but intuitively, the penalty feels about the same.
     
  10. tony92def

    tony92def Chieftain

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    I'm curious, what civs are the best at using espionage to the fullest, besides Russia?
     
  11. Barbuesque

    Barbuesque Chieftain

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    To be honest, I feel it's just as useful and effective for everyone. But it really shines on emperor. On lower levels, you shouldn't be so backward to depend on it, even as Russia... there's no need to have tons of cities early in the game, and western Russia is quite rich, enough for 4-5 cities that can run tons of cottages.

    But on emperor, there's a huge incentive to whip a courthouse as soon as possible, run a single spy to guarantee a Great spy spawn, and then steal several techs using spies that were already waiting. You have to choose your target carefully, preferrably a neighbor that usually techs fast.
     
  12. artyom

    artyom Chieftain

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    i just tried spain and its just as useful as for russia. in both my spanish and russian games my espionage was roughly 1/5 of my science from 1350-1700 despite controlling the great lighthouse in the spanish game.

    espionage seems perfect for spain because you need to research gunpowder anyway for conquistadors units on your conquerors event.

    i think most civs would get rather equal benefit out of espionage, with the exception of those that have poor production or historic goals that force you to do something else (mali, portugal, japan pre 1800, korea, etc).
    but i guess civs with poor production could just neglect all their economy buildings and put slider all on espionage and then make only espionage buildings. but i havent tried that yet
    and yeah as the above post says, tech stealing is more useful on empreror.
    but given that on normal difficulty techs cost alot less, that would mean they also cost alot less in espionage, which would mean on normal its easier to steal techs
     
  13. artyom

    artyom Chieftain

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    want to add some useful info about espionage mission costs:
    you get -20% mission cost if you have trade routes with that civ (or only city, not sure)
    -15% if your state religion is present in their city
    -40% if you control the holy city of your state religion and your state religion is present in that city
    that means that for best espionage benefit, switching to free religion isnt viable and controlling holy city of your religion is important
     
  14. Barbuesque

    Barbuesque Chieftain

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    I didn't know that last part... that's huge.
     
  15. Solzhenitsyn

    Solzhenitsyn Chieftain

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    I imagine Italy must be truely like the Godfather then, aye?
     
  16. artyom

    artyom Chieftain

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    another huge benefit which can get over -50% for mission cost is called "espionage points spent" or smth like that. but i dont know how it decreases/increases. it seems to increase steadily over time but i dont know what causes it. and it doesnt seem to drop after i waste all my esp points.
     
  17. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    It is how many points you have ever accumulated v. that target relative to their total.
     
  18. tony92def

    tony92def Chieftain

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    So if you have production and a little behind in science with a appropriate neighbor, it s a good idea? also does open border help?
     
  19. artyom

    artyom Chieftain

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    yes.
    and open borders does help because it may give you another -20% discount on tech costs if you have trade routes with the civ.
    but be aware that the true insane bonuses comes later on when you have communism buildings and/or lubyanka.
     
  20. tony92def

    tony92def Chieftain

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    St Basil's cathedral requires Orthodoxy, so I suppose that helps too. Is Byzantine a good civ to go espionage?
     

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