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Need to Practice Espionage and Corporations

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by JRedGiant, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. JRedGiant

    JRedGiant Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    My typical play settings are Fractal geography, random leader. This puts me in a lot of different situations and forces me to adjust my playstyle to match the board and civ I am dealt. I am reasonably confident that I can pull out a win on Noble on any given deal these days. Before I move up to the next level, there's one thing bothering me.

    Two aspects of the game that still mystify me are Corporations and Espionage. Espionage, I generally keep one or two spies up and running and hit my opponents with semi-regular Counterespionage missions. Corporations I pretty much never play with.

    While reference guides on how to use these things are nice, what would be really helpful is this: Give me a challenge of a leader/setup to select and tell me what I need to accomplish using Corporations and Espionage during the game en route to the win. Hopefully this will help me learn the power of these things.

    Can anyone help?
     
  2. Nurgle84

    Nurgle84 Warlord

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    141
    Try a game like this:

    Use Suleiman (personally I prefer Charlemagne, but for learning espionage, Suleiman is No. 1). Get the great wall early and put at least 10% into espionage before 2000 BC. Settle the Great Spies or build Scotland Yards, you want to focus on espionage, not some quick steals in the beginning. This will give you a big edge in espionage, as every espionage point produced will improve your chances for a successfull mission. Produce all buildings that improve espionage in all cities. Use nationhood. Have at least 5 spies at every time and use them offensively.

    Examples:
    - An enemy has a tech you do not have: steal the tech
    - You besiege a city: start a revolt and attack
    - An enemy you DOWed has a single very powerful city: blast it with unhappiness and poison
    - An enemy has an important resource, as copper, horse, iron etc.: destroy the improvement
    - Sabotage buildings if you have nothing better to do, like barracks, stables, happines and health buildings. They all take hammers to reproduce or will weaken your enemy in the long run. Sabotaging a wonder construction is always fun, especially if you steal it away :goodjob:
    - An enemy is about to research democracy: Try to delay that at all costs, even war if neccessary. Security Bureaus make espionage way harder.
    - An enemy has lots of gold: Steal it.

    Make it a rule, that a spy should only stand still if he is in an enemy city. Counterespionage is for those, who do not invest in espionage.

    In the same game you can use corporations. You will have a good number of great people, thanks to Suleimans Phi.

    1. Get a good income city with all neccessary buildings, including wall street.
    2. Found two corporations of your choice there.
    3. Spread the corporation within your nation
    4. Do not use state property, but free market.
    5. Spread the corporation to other nations. A single big city is enough.
    6. Profite!

    You are basically stealing income every single round from all opponents and they are probably nice enough to spread the corporation by themselves. You can then probably lower your gold income to 0%.
     
  3. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
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    4,135
    Location:
    Toronto
    My only thing about corps is I'm not sure if it's worth it to spread to other people.

    I mean, take Sid's Sushi. Obviously, if I give it to someone else, they'll spread it, and I'll get lots of money from it (12 a turn per city, if I have my math right). But then they get the benefit from it as well. Ok, sure, if they're entirely inland, and have no seafood, then I'll get a good boost from it, but in a "normal" game, I don't want to give them food or production boosts if I can help it.

    I basically just used corps to fuel my only citizens. So I founded sushi and mining, and spread both to all my cities for massive production. Haven't used them as money pits yet.
     
  4. GeneralGab

    GeneralGab Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    57
    Yes, be careful who you spread your corporations to. If you spread Civ Jewelers, Sid's Sushi or Creative Constructions to an opponent going for a cultural victory, you're giving them a big boost (depending on the number of resources they have). Spreading Mining Inc. could help out an opponent going for a Space victory.

    It also means you don't need to spread corporations to all your cities. The maintenance may be more than you can handle (though if you're playing as Shaka or Charlemagne, their UB has a huge impact on corporation maintenance, so this is less a concern).

    You also need to plan a bit for Great People. For the two main corporations, Mining Inc. and Sid's Sushi, you need a GE and a GM. Depending on what type of game you play, you may need to plan your GP pool to get the appropriate GP. This may mean a beeline to Economics for the GM, or holding on to a GE you get in the middle ages.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Vassals and friendly AIs make for good corp spread targets.
     
  6. CornPlanter

    CornPlanter Emperor

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    Dec 3, 2005
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    Location:
    Lithuania
    There is one thing about esp. economy I don't understand: how can one volunteerly stay behind in techs? Because you must let AI to find techs first and then steal them.

    What I always try to do is to lead in research. I do not always succeed ofcourse but anyway, why not even try? Why let AI research that Riffling first and deal with Rifleman? I don't even speak about liberalism or such.

    I did try espionage once (Quin Shi Huang, Prince difficulty) and I did fairly well (achieved cultural). It definitely was fun but I'm afraid I would do much better researching myself... Am I missing something?
     
  7. JRedGiant

    JRedGiant Chieftain

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    That tends to be my practice too. The main reason I'm asking is to put "something else in the toolbox", so to speak, since I will sometimes be playing leaders that aren't as well suited to leading in research.
     
  8. Nurgle84

    Nurgle84 Warlord

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    Jan 18, 2009
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    The reason is simple: If you make a beeline towards an important tech (like rifling), you have three possibilities.

    1. Research the techs you left at the side by yourself (Bad, takes a long time)
    2. Trade for techs (Better, but gives other Civs more techs)
    3. Steal techs (Best, worst thing that can happen is diplomatic minus)
    3a. Demand techs (Even better ;))

    You cannot research all techs by yourself, so you better have a plan to get the ones leftout.
     
  9. Nurgle84

    Nurgle84 Warlord

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    Double post
     
  10. King Jason

    King Jason Fleece-bearer

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    Maybe I missed it, but no one said anything about staying behind in techs. I utilize espionage every game I play and almost always end up the tech leader.

    That doesn't mean I want to waist my time researching the religious techs when I've got better stuff to do and I can get them for only the cost of the Great Wall, 1-2 GPs, and a spy. Additionally, I can beeline and backfill without trading away my advanced techs. Aaand lastly, it's always fun to research one thing, while the AI grabs another, only to have both techs by the time we're done with our research.

    Think of it this way; a solid espionage infrastructure essentially allows you to research several things at once with only minor deviation from the civ functioning normally, as if it were ignoring espionage.
     
  11. Skallagrimson

    Skallagrimson Deity

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    EE gets less optimal later in the game--by that time you should be at a tech lead, and any techs you steal will be major EP drains, pulling away from your ability to support warfare, etc.
     
  12. Nials

    Nials Prince

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    VirusMonster's article about 500k+ scores on Immortal has a very nice section about EE and goes into good detail about the opportunity cost of stealing techs

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=260902

    Personally, I try to steal as many techs as I possibly can, but I never run a pure EE. Usually, I run the EP slider at 100% in bursts. However, if I notice an AI is particularly backwards and has some key backfilling techs, I will typically try to trade for them instead. The rationale being that whatever techs I trade them hopefully won't strengthen their position too much and overall it is a lot easier and faster.
     
  13. BurN

    BurN Prince

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    Spreading EP in midgame so you can see all research. Then decide what AI's to focus on (could be 2 or 3 at the same time). This mixed with good trading will actually make you tech leader.
     
  14. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I once thought this, but now reconsidering based on teh Peter RPC I am playing out. After turning the science slider off after Code of Laws I am currently the tech leader, with teh next to steal being industrialism.

    Some comments

    1) Steal a monopoly tech and trade it like crazy.
    2) Use the espionage slider while there are techs to steal.
    3) Once you have consitution/democracy/communism for the espionage buildings, swap to US and hike the gold slider to 100%. Either the new espionage is enough or use US to buy those buildings.
    4) Teching to parity and upgrading/buying a massive army with little concern for research has it's benefits

    I was a strong believer of not playing from a tech deficit, nut only recently I am starting to think otherwise.
     
  15. Babibo

    Babibo Immortal

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    You don't need espionnage neither corporations to win at immortal. There are certainly many other relevant aspects of the game you need to work on to improve.
     

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