Hello, everyone, since big G is looking for a rework, let's brainstorm it a little bit. A spying system that I liked very much, was found in a very old game, "Star Wars: Rebellion". In this game, you picked a location, a spy and a type of action. Then the spy had to travel to the selected location, taking his time of course, and began to do his job. There were three different difficulty tasks, IIRC they were Weave nets, Gather info, Sabbotage/Break defenses, capture/rescue and Incite revolt, in order of difficulty. Weave nets was not risky. It increased the chance of success of your local spies, the longer you spent weaving nets, the more secure it was to act. Gather info was mostly for training your RPG units, although you could use it for identifying juicy targets for sabbotage. In Rebellion there were basic units and character units, the latter could level up. There was a small chance of being detected, but high level units did this with no risk. Sabbotage ruined whatever they were building in the planet. Break defenses destroyed a defensive building. Basic units could not do this kind of work with a reasonable chance of success. Capture/rescue was to capture or free a character. Incite revolt would just do that, with a chance of the planet wanting to turn sides and forcing the current holder to use force (and lose some population) or lose control. Several basic units could be added to a character unit to increase their chances. Depending on the action, there was a chance of being detected, and a small one of being killed (basic units) or captured (character units). If they were detected but not killed, they had to leave the planet. Also, it was harder to conduct covert actions if there was any enemy spy in the planet. Why was it a good system? It allowed the players to choose the amount of risk. They could reasonably guess how many turns it would take to succeed with some actions. They could focus their forces to increase chances, but on fewer targets. Even if they failed, there was still a good chance for not losing the units, specially units that were leveled up. OK, now, how could we have spies in VP without changing our current interface too much? - Sending an embassor, it will improve tourism and relationship with the other civ, provide info on the city and its surroundings, and will help to protect against third country spies. - Sending a spy. Upon reaching the city, it will stay dormant. A dormant spy will steadily increase the chance of success for any covert op, depending on its level. A dormant spy will also reveal what's in the city. - Select a covert operation for a dormant spy. Each operation has a set number of turns, a chance of detection, a chance of being killed and a chance of success. Higher level spies have a lower chance of detection and of being killed, while the chance of success depends on how many turns it spent dormant. Having enemy spies or police in the city just increases the chance of detection. - Once the operation is successful, the spy levels up, the target is stolen/sabbotaged and the chance of success for covert operations is reverted to original values. If the operation fails, leveling up not happens and the spy can try again with the same built up chance of success (remember it takes some turns to perform), or the spy can stay dormant for a while to further increase chance of success. - Regardless if the operation is a success, the spy can be detected or killed. If killed, another one takes its place in capitol, at level 1. If detected, the spy must leave the city. If undetected, even after a successful action, the spy can stay. - A notification will show in the city when a spy reaches 100% chance of success at any covert operation, so the player does not miss the opportunity. - In short, the mechanic will be to send low level spies to a target, let them stay and build up, then select a covert operation according to their level, so they can level up safely. Then, higher level spies will be used for more juicy and difficult tasks. The player could choose to play safely, waiting until success is guaranteed, or risks can be taken. Covert operations: - Gather info. It's automatic. A spy in the city will show any relevant information. It also increases chance of success by 3% per spy level per turn. - Steal gold/tech. 5 turns. Easy difficulty. The amount of stolen gold/tech will depend on the target base yields. - Steal great work. 5 turns. Normal difficulty. There must be a great work in the city at the beginning of the operation. If successful, it will steal the great work, regardless of where it is located when the spy has finished. - Kill Great Person. 2 turns. Normal difficulty. The city loses its biggest accumulated GPP. - Sabbotage. 3 turns. Normal difficulty. Destroys a random building, except wonders and defensive buildings. - Plague. 2 turns. Hard difficulty. Destroys a random unit inside the city, might include civil units. - Break defenses. 5 turns. Hard difficulty. Destroys a defensive building of the higher level (armory is destroyed before walls). - Incite revolt. 10 turns. Difficulty depends on city local happiness. The city immediately revolts. So there are two strategies here. The player could focus on stealing as much as he can, reducing the gap against a top civ, or he could be proactive and break the other civ prior to an armed assault.