Stalker0's Espionage Proposal (Draft 1)


Baller Magnus
Dec 31, 2005
Building off the work of AG and Azum's earlier proposals. I look the concept of the standard passive spy bonus and the "coup-esque" missions. I have written a new proposal with some of that in mind, for debate here and on discord.

Stalker0’s Espionage Proposal (Draft 1)

: I will be using a lot of numbers in this proposal for examples. In this first draft, the numbers should be ignored, they are mainly placeholders. The goal is to assess whether this model is viable, and whether I am adding in the components that should be added. The actual number balance can be debated in Draft 2 should this pass initial review.

Design Goals

  • Utilize the “Rigging vs Coup” model proposed by Azum and AG
  • Integrate Diplomats into the model
  • Return the standard spy bonus to its roots of a science rubberband, greatly simplying this system.
  • Moves more aggressive and big “spy operations” to a more coup like model.
  • In general, a focus on fewer and meatier missions that have clear niches and benefits.
  • UI is designed to make strategic choices clear and readable.

Placing a Spy

  • Select a city and send the spy
  • Travel Time:
    • 3 turns base
    • 2 turns after Astronomy
    • 1 turn after Flight
  • Setup Time: 3 turns
    • -1 turn with NIA
    • If counterspy: -1 turn for constabulary, -1 turn for police station.
  • Once setup:
    • Spy provides its passive benefits
    • Can click the mission button (aka the “coup” button) to activate missions.
Passive Spy Benefits
  • Provide surveillance while in the city
  • Gains 1 XP per turn.
  • Provide Science = 20% of city’s SPT
  • This is a copy, not a yield steal.
  • Multiple Spies: For every enemy spy in city, -10% to your steal.
    • The player is aware of this penalty, so they are aware their are enemy spies in the same city.
  • Ex: Turn 1, city has 50 SPT, spy gets 12.5. Turn 2, city has 54 SPT, spy gets 13.5.
  • Ex: 1 enemy spy and 1 counterspy in city. 20% - 2*10 = 0% of city SPT’s you take.
“Coup Missions”
  • Pressing the coup button will bring up the list of missions (similar UI to today’s system).
  • All missions are available; missions are not spy level restricted.
  • Each mission will have a % chance of success, and provide a certain benefit.
  • % chance is based on:
    • 55% base
    • +10% for every 10 turns the spy has been stationed in the city.
    • +15% per Spy level above 1.
    • +/- X% based on specific mission
    • -5% per security level (see below)
    • +5% per influence level (Exotic, Familiar, Popular, Influential, Dominant)
  • When the mission is attempted, the target knows it was you who conducted the mission.
    • If the mission succeeds: Spy remains in the city
    • If the mission is a failure, the spy is killed.
  • Killed spies are removed for 10 turns, then you receive a new level 1 spy.
  • Regardless, a spy mission cannot be attempted in that city again for 15 turns (same duration as the coup cooldown).
  • This is no longer a sliding scale that is continuously shifting, it is instead based on very concrete factors. The number in the UI is accurate and refreshed every turn, it is no longer adjusted only when a spy goes to the city.
  • Base Level 1
  • Constabulary: +2 to security
  • Police Station: +2 to security
  • Military Base: +2 to security
  • Counterspy: +3 to security, +1 to enemy spy “coup mission” cooldown
  • Unhappy City: -2 security
  • Rebelling City: -2 security
  • A spy mission no longer affects security, instead it triggers a global cooldown of spy missions in that city (similar to a coup for a CS).
Spy Missions
  • General Note: Because these missions now have a much more direct risk involved, they do need to be meatier and more directly powerful.
  • Establish Diplomatic Presence
    • Mission Success Adjustment: +100% (aka always succeeds).
    • Prereq: Cannot already have diplomatic presence with civ.
    • For 25 turns, gain +10% tourism with civilization, gain diplomatic bonus, increased intelligence, and can trade votes.
    • Aka, this is the new “diplomat”
  • Forge Great Works
    • Mission Success Adjustment: +10%
    • Gain a copy of great works in that city, 1 per spy level (no more than # of great works in city).
  • Incite Rebellion
    • Mission Success Adjustment: -20% (unless city is unhappy)
    • Prereq: City does not have police station.
    • Spawns 3 barbarian units
      • If you are at war with civ, spawns 3 partisans instead (aka same units as if city was razed).
    • 3 Tiles are pillaged
      • Strategic Resource if in city area
      • If not enough strategics, luxuries
      • If not luxuries, random other tiles.
    • -5 unhappiness in city for 10 turns.
  • Steal Technology
    • Mission Success Adjustment: -20%, +5% per technology they have you do not.
    • Prereq: Must possess one technology you do not.
    • Prereq: Cannot have successfully stolen a technology for the last 20 turns.
    • Acquire 1 technology.
  • Weaken Defenses
    • Mission Success Adjustment: 0%
    • City takes 20% of cities max hp.
    • City gains the blockaded status for 5 turns.
    • Garrison takes 10 damage.
  • Travel Time and Setup time as normal
  • Constabulary/Police Station can speed up Setup time.
  • +3 security in city
  • -10% to enemy science steal in city.
  • If a successful enemy mission happens in city, +1 to enemy cooldown time.
  • +2 to all specialist yields
  • +10% to Cities’ CS and RCS.
Details for Spy Missions notwithstanding, I like this general direction a lot. Some components that I would hope could be worked into any final proposal:

- Counterspy "missions": I like the ability to direct a certain benefit out of a city, even if the balance there is a little difficult. Also, something like an "expel spies" ability would be a nice safety valve for the system.
- Tech-difference scaling on the passive science copy: you have it in the mission, but I think it would benefit from being in the trickle as well.
If you are at war with civ, spawns 3 partisans instead (aka same units as if city was razed).
I don't think you ever actively want partisans. They come with no promotions and can't move for the first turn, so their only purpose is to reduce your warscore and increase war weariness?

The mission choices either aren't aggressive enough, or provide no benefits unless you're at war with the civ. The only actions that harm the target are Incite Rebellion and Weaken Defenses, and there's no reason to choose them during peace. This in turn hurts the usefulness of the counterspy.

I do find some details I've missed in my proposal that I'll update later.
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