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Questions regarding BtS

Discussion in 'Team Mad Scientists' started by peter grimes, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    Let's use this thread for asking questions about the game Beyond the Sword. I've never played it, so there is quite a lot I don't know!

    For instance, I understand that Espionage is a big part of the game. Does anyone have any experience with Multiplayer BtS? How do humans make the most of this aspect of the game?
     
  2. Tinkerbell

    Tinkerbell Prince

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    I just knows what the AI does with espionage. I almost ignore it most of the times. Having some spy's is usefull, but I never increase the espionage percentage.
     
  3. Domino369

    Domino369 Warlord

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    Multiplayer, I don't know, but I've never increased the % of it because I find research a bit more important (ok ALOT more important xD)
     
  4. James009

    James009 Warlord

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    Espionage:
    In BtS you can select where you allocate your espionage through a sort of "espionage points budget". For example, I always set the higher players or threats to a higher espionage level.

    Example
    1. The Celts are in first place and present a threat so I set them to 2
    2. The Arabs are in third place behind me so I put them at 1 (less espionage points allocated then the Celts)
    3. Lastly, the Zulu are in last place and are secluded on an island, presenting no threat so I put them at 0
    If I get 10 espionage points per turn then a majority of them will go to the Celts (maybe 6 or 7, idk), the rest will go to the Arabs (3 or 4), and none will go to the Zulu (0).


    Explanation of functions:

    As you accumulate espionage points per each civilization you gain both "passive" and "active" benefits. "Passive" benefits being able to see in their cities LOS or their current research (VERY helpful to know) and "active" benefits being sabotage, stealing treasury, destruction of improvements, pollution, unhappiness, or causing city revolts (I think you can force the change of civics and religions as well).

    Espionage is VERY important if used wisely, even in multiplayer (at least in my LAN games). I use it to track my opponents research progress (setting mine accordingly), watch their civilization, observe their defensive habits, counter-espionage, and for counter-terrorism (whatever you want to call it :p )

    Your espionage spending and placement of agents also effects Counter-Espionage. Other civilizations, friend or foe, can attack you through espionage and screw you up a little (some effects last for 12 turns). So, it is best to have some espionage spending if only to counter that.

    I'll also add that you can create spy units who you must use to conduct espionage missions. They must cross the borders, avoid the enemy units, gain access to a city or improvement, wait a turn (or more for greater success) risking capture, and then successfully conduct the operation (with a percentage chance for success). Its actually fairly difficult and nerve wrecking because if they are captured then it can often result in a diplomatic incident. Spys can also be used as counter-intelligence if you place them in domestic territory, they have a chance of capturing enemy spies.

    Lastly, with good allocation of the "espionage budget" you can minimize the costs to a great extent in intelligence gathering with decent results. On that note I would suggest that, in time, we appoint a sort of Director of Intelligence to manage our intelligence services.

    I watched the Good Shepard last night and will leave you with this:
    "The uses of information, disinformation, and how their used is ultimately... power." - Philip Allen
     
  5. Unionfield

    Unionfield Warlord

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    I usually spend time beefing up my espionage points because it really ticks me off when the AI steals technology from me.
     
  6. Hummel

    Hummel Warlord

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    In my Pitboss- and PBEM-Games espionage was not that important in the early game. The problem is that the opponent can see all espionage-points and is able to react diplomatic, with his own espionage-points or as a last resort military. Your can not start a surprise attack and use espionage.
     
  7. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    What is 'No Tech Brokering', and how does it affect gameplay?
     
  8. Unionfield

    Unionfield Warlord

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    Technology Trading allows you to give and receive all technology. Technology Brokering allows you to give and receive technology that your nation has researched (in other words, if we give Mass Media to another player, they cannot trade that technology away to someone else; they would have to be the original researcher of the technology in order to trade it).
     
  9. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    Ahh, I see :thanx:

    I can tell you from past experience that we've never played a game like this without allowing all forms of tech trading. Several times teams have entered into treaties that precluded tech brokering, but usually it was on a case by case basis. Sometimes teams would get together and agree that Team X was running away with the game, and would therefore agree not to trade any tech to them. However, by the time 3 or 4 teams get their acts together and stop their internal squabbling long enough to come to that sort of an agreement, Team X is usually far ahead of all of them anyway :lol:
     
  10. James009

    James009 Warlord

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    OH! That changes everything for me! I had no idea... :crazyeye:

    I need to re-evaluate... life... now...
     
  11. HUSch

    HUSch Secret-monger

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    A note to espionage
    It is often good to get so many spionage-points that you can see the other civ in the F9-graphics and perhaps the research.
    More is an act of warfare.
    Everybody can see how many SP another civ has against the own.

    A note to tech brokering.
    If you get a tech in a hut, you have not research it.
     
  12. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    With the Charismatic trait, do battles against barbarians count? If so, then this has implications for our choice of civ and barbarian setting.
     
  13. Hummel

    Hummel Warlord

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    The experience-point-counter works exactly like at (by?) non-charismatic-civs. Your get maximum 5 points for animals and 10 points for barbarians.
     
  14. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    ...works like... :)

    Thanks for the answer - I guess it's not really any consideration then.
     
  15. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    Hi all... I'm hoping to get an explanation on something curious in a game I'm playing against a friend.

    It's a highlands map, modern era start. The game is titled 1984 (an homage to George Orwell), and I'm playing Oceanica (aka Gilgamesh), against Eurasia (Mao or Qin... I forgot which).

    I thought the understanding going into the game was that it was a death match, so I'm not really sure why he's building Apollo, but so be it. He won't be building it for too much longer, if I can help it :mischief:

    Attached is the save, taken just after I hit enter on the turn I declared war. I used spies to cut important rail nodes (one of the failed in the mission - NW of XIAN). My with the rail lines was to keep him from being able to move reinforcements from non-threatened cities into threatened ones, since my army isn't nearly as large as I'd like it to be.

    Also, I was expecting his cities to lose access to key resources, like Uranium and Aluminum. However, while investigating his cities after the turn, I noticed that his capital, BEIJING (building Manhattan) still has access to the Uranium :confused:

    I'm hoping one of my great teammates has some time to download the save and take a look around... I can't see that he has a second source anywhere, and his trade routes should be severed, but they appear not to be. What am I missing??
     

    Attached Files:

  16. ruggi

    ruggi Chieftain

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    As far as I know trade is also via rivers and coastlines.

    So as for Uranium: railroad to Shanghai, from there further by lake + river to Beijing.
     
  17. ruggi

    ruggi Chieftain

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    I suspect destroying the RR between Xian and Shanghai should do the trick.
     
  18. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    :wallbash:

    Of Course!! I knew that the river carried trade, but I didn't realize the lake was also a component. Luckily, I've been doubling up spies - for every mission I want to accomplish, I send 2 spies. That means that I can wreck the rail lines between Xian and Shanghai at the start of next turn (unless I have double bad luck :D)

    This is my first BtS game using Espionage, and I must say it's a very powerful tool. Spies must be included in any military operation - they are almost too strong, it seems. There's very little the enemy can do to stop them, so if your economy is stronger than the enemy's, you've got a pretty easy time of reducing his capability to fight back.

    Things I've already learned:
    -Rail line redundancy so the enemy has to destroy multiple paths of reinforcement. Also, plant a defensive spy on key junctures
    -Trade Routes on rivers are key for important resources
    -Incite unrest at the start of the turn when you're attacking a city (eliminates cultural defense)
    -Great Spies should be saved up (after Scotland Yard is built) to be used en masse before invading (or for stealing tech)
    -send spies in pairs - or even triads. They're cheap to make, so there's little reason not to.
    -When a human sees spy missions carried out against him, he reacts by conducting his own. So don't conduct a mission until the last possible moment: much better is to rely on passive missions for most of the game
    -Keep your ratio high to deny the enemy passive info about you, and put an intelligence bureau in every city.
    -Keep track of when you can renew the Counterespionage mission - no sense in letting the enemy spend less EP than he should!

    I'd love to hear other people's opinions on the utility of Espionage in a multiplayer game.
     
  19. HUSch

    HUSch Secret-monger

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    How can you change your name, in game detail, there isn't a possibility for me. In pbems there is no difficulty to change the name.
     

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  20. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    The name is in the login screen under "player name". In this example the name is set to classical_hero.
     

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