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Is Scotland Yard worth building?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by The Snug, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. The Snug

    The Snug The Civ Heretic

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    Forget the Great Spy mission, let's discuss whether it's better to settle the GSpy or to build Scotland Yard (SY).

    I'll state my beginning assertion, that if one is running Representation, then Scotland Yard is pointless. I would say that I wouldn't consider building Scotland Yard until the 4th spy, even then, I'm not sure I would bother with SY. I just find the beakers to be so much more important, especially when they are being multiplied by 2.75 in your Ox city.

    Under representation, a settled spy gets 6 :science: and 12 :espionage:. Hence, because of the beaker bonus, logic dictates only settling your spies in your Oxford city. In an Oxford city with library, observatory and university, each settled spy would produce 16.5 :science: per spy (6 * 2.75).

    In such an Oxford city with settled spies, logic would also dictate building a courthouse, jail, Intel Agency, and Bureau in order to multiply those 12 :espionage: that each spy gives.

    *Note regarding EPs from the 4 buildings:
    Courthouse: 2 EPs, no *
    Jail: 4 Eps, 0.5*
    IntelAgency:8 EPs, 0.5*
    Sec Bureau:8 EPs, no *

    Hence, the 4 buildings provide 22 base EPs that are doubled by their own modifiers to 44.

    Scenario's.
    FIRST SPY
    Option 1: Build Scotland Yard
    Results in 66 :espionage: (22*3)

    Option 2: Settling the Spy
    Results in 68 :espionage: (34 * 2) and 16.5 :science:

    So a no-brainer here: ALWAYS settle your first spy this option provides essentially the same amount of espionage with some science thrown in to sweeten the deal.

    SECOND SPY
    Option 1: Build Scotland Yard with 1 already settled spy
    This action would result in 102 :espionage: for the city, and 16.5 :science: from Oxford.

    Option 2: 2 settled spies
    Results in 92 :espionage: and 33 :science:

    The net differences between the two options is 10 :espionage: versus 16.5 :science:

    In this instance, I'll take the larger of the two differences and go with the ; SETTLE the second spy.

    THIRD SPY
    Option 1: Build SY with 2 settled spies
    Results in 138 :espionage: and 33 :science:

    Option 2: 3 settled spies
    Results in 116 :espionage: and 49.5 :science:

    The net differences between the two options is 22:espionage: versus 16.5 :science:. Here is where the debate can begin, are 22 EPs of equal value to 16.5 beakers? I'd say no, I'd value the beakers more and would therefore choose to SETTLE the 3rd spy.

    FOURTH SPY
    Option 1: Build SY with 3 settled spies
    Results in 174 :espionage: and 49.5:science:

    Option 2: 4 settled spies
    Results in 140 :espionage: and 66:science:

    That's 34 :espionage: versus 16.5 :science: Here's where it becomes your personal preference. Do what you feel is right based upon your game situation.

    FIFTH SPY
    Option 1: Build SY with 4 settled spies
    210 :espionage: and 66 :science:

    Option 2: 5 settled spies
    164 EPs and 82.5:science:

    That's a net difference of 46 versus 16.5

    A 6th spy would result in 58 versus 16.5

    At what point do the :espionage: outweigh the:science:? The simple answer would probably simply be to say that you'll not often reach the point where building the Scotland Yard is worth it. Certainly not until very late in the game when you have constructed all 4 of the espionage buildings, and that in itself is quite rare to do, and would require a massive hammer investment into those expensive spy buildings. Hence, by simple deduction, I would counsel to NEVER build the Scotland Yard.

    Unless, of course, maybe you're not running Representation...
     
  2. pesgores

    pesgores Deus Vult!

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    I always build SY in my most espionage producing city at the time. With my first GSpy.
     
  3. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    That alone skewes things completely ... and assuming that 1 :espionage: = 1 :science: is also a vast understatement, to say the least.
     
  4. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    You completely ignored the 4:espionage: from a palace and assumed the :espionage: slider is never put above 0%. Both of these omissions means the comparison is skewed in favour of settling (not to mention your assumption of Representation as well which is a big qualifying assumption).

    Am I the only one who considers it a very strange analysis to only consider the very end-game benefits of a settled great person, especially if the most important time of their contribution is soon after they are settled?
    I might add that building all of the 1.75 times worth of beaker multipliers is not cheap either and that is not particularly early game either.

    If you are settling or scotland yarding your spies into your capital, then settling the first means 16:espionage: and 3:science: and SY'ing the next would mean 32:espionage: and 3:science:. Settling both first and second would give 28:espionage: and 6:science:. Representation would give 3 more :science: to the latter scenario than the first. Now the comparison is between 4:espionage: and 3:science: and only if running Rep.

    So really I think the best conclusion to be had here is that it's a good rule of thumb to SY your second capital-based great spy unless you're running Rep in which case settling your second might be a good idea as well.

    For a third we'd be talking about 56:espionage:,12:science: with SY and Rep, vs. 40:espionage:,18:science: without SY and with Rep and with no :espionage: slider.
     
  5. bestsss

    bestsss Emperor

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    If you'd like to skew the test, throw in nationalism on its own.
    However if you are going to build scotland yard, for god's sake run spies instead.

    Espionage points are much better than beakers, esp if you have enough to steal or at the very least run counter-espionage. Espionage points are never lost when it comes to spy defense either.
     
  6. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    If you know what to do with them, they can be better. If you don't know, or simply are in some strategy that is not helped by espionnage, hey are arguably worse than beaker.

    ANd there is time where espionnage don't help you. Isolated start spring to mind, but if you are beelining for something very advanced by AI standard, it won't help either.

    That's where playing at "low" level like Prince change a lot from Immortal : in immortal, AI tech so fast that stoling at least some tech for your objective work near every time.

    But in Prince you could very well end up with 0 "interesting" tech to steal. (note that I refer to games where the AI is not so badly outteched than it may seem. But if you beeline redcoat, stealing astronomy or steel will arguably not help you for your strategy, for example. And that alone diminish the value of stealing tech a whole lot)

    Another time when it will not help is if you don't have an easy way to get to a stealable opponent. Maybe I'm just plain bad, but sometime the next spot to steal tech mean go through a foe's territory, and then spies tend to disappear, especially before Astronomy. Having to make 8+ spies or 2-3 spies + 2-3 galley to get a tech from spying begin to make espionnage point a lot less good.
     
  7. bestsss

    bestsss Emperor

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    Well, aside stealing (which is the obvious case) espionage points are good for revolts, civic switches.
    If you dont know what to do w/ the spy try not to generate them in the 1st place, right?
     
  8. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    Totally agreed. But you may want espionnage at the beginning, and then in mid game switching to another focus. Sumerian spring into mind : you rex, you steal your way in the tech tree, and thenyou may very well have enough espionage for quite some time. You can also get an espion GP at the wrong time. You get the Great wall, or AI have put some espion specialist.

    in short, yu can sometime value the beaker much more then espionnage, and still have some GS around. In this case, I don't think i need an analysis as big as the one from the OP to see that settling is better than scotland yard, since you don't mutilate too much you future espionage potentiel by settling and get some beaker as opposed to 0.
     
  9. phizuol

    phizuol Warlord

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    It depends on your situation really. If you're doing full Espionage Economy (ie, not doing any of your own research) then beakers are worthless. Usually since I like to spy a lot I find the Scotland Yard to be more useful.

    The other extreme is 0% espionage slider but you still want some passive points to watch AI research, for example. In this case settle the first Great Spy, then if you get another build the Scotland Yard there. Settle all the rest of your GSpies in that city. If you build all the spy buildings in this city you can get an ok amount of points at 0%.

    I would say if you're using the slider at all Scotland Yard is probably the best bet. No slider then focus on settling (but the 2nd GSpy should definitely be a SY if you get one.)
     
  10. Sidney Magal

    Sidney Magal Latin Lover

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    If you're going to rely heavily on espionage, then scotland yards give you much better returns than settling spies. Early game settled spies are better, but it changes when you have jails, inteligence agencies and security bureaus everywhere. There's a guy who says that large empires can use espionage to reach tech parity and I think he's right.
     
  11. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Too bad that Snug ( someone I have a large experience of disagreeing with :D ) made a twisted comparison. In a way , he made the same thing as comparing settiling a GS vs making a academy, but assuming Representation and 0% slider. The result would be acurate, as Snug one here is, but basically meaningless besides that situation... and worse, he assumes that no other sources of :espionage: are present besides settled GSpies ( there is the Palace atleast .... from the pre-CoL days, you might also get the sumerian UB ... even the slider ;) )
     
  12. phizuol

    phizuol Warlord

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    It seems that the real question might be, "What do I do when I accidentally get a Great Spy from the Great Wall?" That's a legitimate concern. If you don't care for spying much then settling is your best option.

    In the case of MP games with friends they gift their Great Spy to me and I give them my next Great Merchant. I'd prefer the merch but I can make better use of the GSpy than they can. =3
     
  13. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    I usually infiltrate with an early great spy. It allows me to have all the techs from another branch of the tech tree while maintaining my research on the scientific and manufacturing techs, usually through about half of the classical age. It does require you build spies and play some espionage, but the returns are unbelievably high when compared with settling.

    If you're not playing espionage, a golden age is far more productive than a settled spy, imo.
     
  14. troytheface

    troytheface Deity

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    sometimes i wonder if i am playing the same game as everyone else

    you build scotland yard first because you get a big rectangle looking building that is a spy building in your capitol.

    who cares what it does
     
  15. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    The better part is that you get the return immediatly. That's really, really good, since having enough EP to steal a top technology usually need quite some time, and can be wasted if your prey change tactics - for example because of a DoW on him.

    EP often look like gambling for me. Granted, I rarely play entirely EP, but as supplement to a classical research you can have a lot of nasty surprises and have to invest EP pretty carefully.
     
  16. Xellos-_^

    Xellos-_^ Prince

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    if nothing else, get a golden age.
     
  17. phizuol

    phizuol Warlord

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    Yeah, missed that. Good point.
     
  18. mariogreymist

    mariogreymist Deity

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    That's the joy of the infiltrated Great spy....all those EPs without the up-front investment. It can allow you go from being advanced in only one area (from beelining Alphabet, as an example) to being the tech leader in all paths, should you have the right neighbor. And do it within a few turns, and without giving away tech of your own. GS points go a long way early in the game, and that extra tech means you can focus more resources on expansion, wonder building or military production.
     

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