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Sneak Thievery - Spy takes cities

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by kochman, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    I sometimes turn off Espionage, because it is kind of a hassle to deal with, but when I don't... I LOVE to send 2-4 spies repeatedly into border cities I covet (such as holy cities or cities at chokepoints) to spread my culture until it peacefully flips to my control. If you are creative, this is even better, because you are more likely to have some influence to most border cities.
    Once you have 0% (which is to say, something, but not yet 1%), you can start the culture flip. Before too long, you will start seeing tiles become yours... then some riots in the city... and then, whammy... its yours.

    Great little tactic. No diplomatic strike from open combat either.
     
  2. davelisowski

    davelisowski Spartan

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    that would cost a lot of espionage points. but it is a good strategy.

    my spying doesn't kick in for a while (usually around the 4th or 5th city). but at that point, i usually have a strong enough army to go and take what i want anyway.

    if i destroy the entire civ, it doesn't matter about any -diplomatic effects. well, maybe their allies/friends.
     
  3. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    It's real slow, but it work very well.
     
  4. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    I actually use this to take cities from friends/vassals, while I have them assist me in fighting a common enemy. Though it can also be used against technologically superior nations to take their cities without resorting to massive human waves a la the Soviets in WW2.

    Example, in my current game, I have the Khmer as a vassal... and they founded several holy cities. We are taking it to the Turks, with my other vassal, Greece. Khmer is a decent ally... so it is good not to lose him, and better to gain his holy cities (two of the 4 he founded are on my borders... or shall I say, were on my borders until I grabbed them over the years).

    Just another tool for the kit box... "how to take candy from a baby" was an alternate thread title.
     
  5. mechaerik

    mechaerik Tuturuu!

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    You don't need massive human waves if you have enough siege. The Soviets obviously underestimated the potential of siege.
     
  6. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    :lol:
    I think perhaps you overestimate the Soviet value on human life!
    Cheaper than cannons, for the state that is...
     
  7. Supervisor84

    Supervisor84 Chieftain

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    I like this sneaky tactic, but not sure if I'm doing it right.
    How exactly do you go about to do this?
    The one way I use is to make the spy "Sabotage building" and target any temple, monastery, monument, library and so forth in order to give me the cultural dominance in the long term. :king:
    That or creating unhappiness, alternatively poisoning their water supply. Would it be even better to try and force the city into Revolt several times? Is that what you guys are doing?
     
  8. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    No, the way to do it is to use the "spread culture" mission. You must have at least some culture on the tile to do it, and you must spam it hard 'cause it does not help a lot.
     
  9. Silu

    Silu Deity

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    The spread culture mission is always 5% (not 5%-units) of your culture in that city AFAIK... So you need a LOT less spies if you have, say, 10%-units of culture present already instead of 1%-unit.
     
  10. TheLazyHase

    TheLazyHase King

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    So, if you have 10% in a city, each mission will give 0.5% more. If you have 2%, each mission will give 0.1% more.
     
  11. Woodreaux

    Woodreaux Prince

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    The way I normally do it is spam spies like mad (about a dozen, give or take). While the spies are being trained, I bump up the priority of the target city's civ in my :espionage: point allocation. One I've got enough in place, I stack'm all in a single tile and group select the entire group and send them to the target. I have them squat in the city for 5 turns to get the 50% savings then hit the city hard. Grouping them makes it a single mouse over and click to have them wait. That's best game-play streamlining I've been able to think of.

    Spread :culture: missions were over-nerfed in the previous patch, but with 3.19 it seems pretty balanced. It's not impossible to flip a city, but it requires sustained effort.
     
  12. mechaerik

    mechaerik Tuturuu!

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    Soviets must really have been hard up for production, if 10:hammers: make that much difference.
     
  13. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    I don't think "over-nerfed" is the right language to be using. The spread culture mission was outright bugged in 3.17, spreading only 0.05% of culture instead of the stated 5% which of course made it unquestionably useless.

    Now I noticed some people in this thread suggested spread culture mission is nearly useless and you have to spam hard (or whatever). Spread culture is, to me, one of the more interesting espionage missions and needs careful thought in how to use it.

    Spreading culture near the start of the game when established culture and even the ring-size of most cities is fairly low, is not very useful I agree. Later however, when the culture a city already has is larger in proportion to the culture it generates each turn, repeatedly spreading culture can very quickly tip a city to the point where it will revolt to you.

    Add to that the fact that a spy always spreads 5% of the total city culture, for roughly the same success odds, and you quickly see that doing this mission for low amounts of culture is useless because the cost of the spy (and losing it) is proportionately high. When you're spreading thousands of culture with each mission though, the cost of the spy becomes immaterial.

    What's especially cool about the spread culture mission, and this is a very situational benefit, is that you can create Legendary cities of your own out of cities you never controlled during the game. You need to have a rival AI city that has established a lot of culture during the game (e.g. 30,000 or so at normal speed). When you run spread culture on that city you'll get roughly 1500 culture each hit for approx 1500:espionage:. Do that 30ish times and you'll have a Legendary city once you finally capture it (via conquest or some other means).

    The advantage here is that you can use your entire empire to generate the EPs needed for that city to achieve Legendary. Getting cities to Legendary the traditional way relies on the individual cities because you can't distribute culture from city to city.

    A good way to use this tactic might be to get two cities to near Legendary yourself and then use espionage to "create" the third Legendary city out of your enemy. :)
     
  14. JujuLautre

    JujuLautre Deity

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  15. kochman

    kochman Deity

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    Good technique! Definitely less frustrating than trying to figure out which spy has the lower cost to spread it, since they are presented by the computer in a seemingly random manner within the stack that is withing the city (quite a mouthful!).

    In my current game (monarch level; marathon; terra map), I have taken 2 cities so far... and it is slow going... I am actually currently running it against 3 neighbors, 2 of which I am on friendly terms with and are creative... the other Sitting Bulls**t.
    I am getting ready to take Sitting Bulls last remaining city, yes, flipping his capital! I already took his other one (having previously beat him senseless in war to take the others he spammed).
    Slower going against the two creative neighbors, but one is a Corporation HQ w/ Versaille in it, and the other is a holy city w/ shrine... so, it is worth it. One is my vassal anyhow, so I don't just want to blast him in war.
     

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