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Successful Espionage

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by dominatr, May 10, 2011.

  1. dominatr

    dominatr Smoke Jaguar

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    I saw some other players using espionage , and i haven't really tried it out too much.
    Can someone explain to me how to use espionage successfully?
     
  2. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    What do you mean by espionage? What I use it for is to investigate towns. In a rare case I may steal plans.
     
  3. dominatr

    dominatr Smoke Jaguar

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  4. Theov

    Theov Chieftain

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    From the Civ3 website:
    What espionage missions can I perform?
    Before you can even attempt espionage missions, you must establish an embassy with the civilization you want to spy on. Once you have established an embassy with a rival, you can perform the following two diplomatic actions by double-clicking on the embassy icon of the civ you wish to target:

    Investigate City (see what the rival city is building and has already built )
    Steal Technology (attempts to steal a technology from the rival civilization)

    Note that when you are at war with another Civ, your embassy in their capitol is automatically closed, and you will be unable to conduct either of the above missions.

    There are also five espionage missions which you can only perform once you've built the Intelligence Agency (Small Wonder), and only against Civs with whom you've established an embassy and planted a spy. They are:

    Sabotage (sabotages the current project of an enemy city)
    Propaganda (attempts to convince an enemy city to join your Civilization)
    Steal Plans (reveals all troop locations of an enemy Civ for one turn)
    Steal World Map (reveals what an enemy knows about the world)
    Expose Enemy Spy (ferrets out opposing spies)

    These missions can be performed against a Civ as long as you have a spy planted in that Civ's embassy. Even if you go to war and your embassy is closed, your spy will continue to function as long as it is not caught.

    --------------------

    I might steal a tech once in a while. But when you're at the stage of spionage you shouldnt need it.
    Propaganda is a lovely one. Save before you do it ;)
    The rest, I won't do it. Not worth it.
     
  5. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    Once you have a spy you do not need an embassy to run those missions. I play lots of AW and am not allowed to make an embassy as I must DOW. If i get Espionage, I just plant a spy and steal/investigate.
     
  6. dominatr

    dominatr Smoke Jaguar

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    alright i'll have to try them when i get to industrial era in my game.
     
  7. Fiddlin Nero

    Fiddlin Nero Chieftain

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    The only caution I would add is the risk of war if you are caught. I don't think you can be caught at Investigate City, I never have.
     
  8. Raliuven

    Raliuven Chieftain

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    Planting a spy is very useful. At a bare minimum you can check F3 for the status of their military every round. It will not tell you where the units are, but it will tell you what they have. I've found this very useful at higher levels, particularly if you are playing a game of resource denial. It is handy information to know that they have no knights, cavalry, tanks, infantry, etc - or how many they have, particularly before rails - those units can only be in so many places at one time.

    I have to admit that I usually don't research this way because the AI always does this and I trade for it, but I do make sure to trade for espionage when it is available just for the spying.
     
  9. bigFRANK

    bigFRANK Chieftain

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    All spy missions run the risk of upsetting the civ your spying on, wars can be started by failed spying missions.

    Plant a spy, at this point you get to see the make up of the other civs army (very useful). This is also the precursor to all other spying missions.
    If your aware someone is almost at a point of completeing a great wonder that you want and are a few turns away from then Sabotage can be useful.
    I like to steal plans of opposing civs as the opening move of a blitz campaign I means I can target there high mobility units in the opening moves therefore avoiding a counter offensive into my territory.
    Steal tech isn’t a good idea for me, if you cant trade it then risking a war to steal isn’t a good idea, if you stronger anyway why not go start the war and use the tech as your opponents token for peace.
    Investigate city you can have a diplomat do this so why risk your spy.
    Map not worth a potential war is it?
    Propoganda useful for turning cities away from the opponents core but be aware these can flip back.
    Out Spy Daft idea your spy is going to die you will have a diplomatic incident, the AI will plant a new spy (at a fraction of the cost of outing one) and all will carry on as before.
     
  10. Bowsling

    Bowsling Chieftain

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    By the modern times (or the middle ages on Diety or Sid), you are better off stealing techs rather than researching them yourself, especially if there are lots of civs. It probably takes 1000 gold give or take, compared to the thousands of beakers that techs start to cost. Plus, you research at the AI's pace, not your own, which is probably slower on Sid.
     
  11. Theov

    Theov Chieftain

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    Eh. If you have one tech, with many civs around you and on Deity, they can be quite rich right?
    So selling that tech to many civs can be very lucrative.
    Or trading with someone who hasn't made contact with the rest of the world but you, and then re-selling that tech can make a lot of money.
     
  12. Bowsling

    Bowsling Chieftain

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    Yes. But they research very fast, so if you have a tech over them, it probably won't last long.
     
  13. Ceoladir

    Ceoladir Come Fly With Me

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    Stealing plans and just having the spy to see their military are very useful.
     
  14. Bowsling

    Bowsling Chieftain

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    I don't find stealing plans all that useful. Once you know what their units are, their positioning is usually pretty predictable, and stealing plans is very expensive and risky. Then again, this is coming from someone that is steamrolling their entire three-Civ island with infantry armies, artillery, and cavalry. In the two successive wars I have fought and am fighting, I have only been attacked once, meaning it doesn't really matter what the AI has, they just don't attack.
     
  15. Diviner

    Diviner Chieftain

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    Espionage is a must have. To see what your opponents army is composed of is an intelligence that could win you wars by timing attacks to deny key militarization attempts (oh you just have replaceable parts, have 100 riflemen and 10000 gold, but I'm so sorry I've just pillaged your only rubber so my cavs could still massacre your forces :)). It also gives you the idea of how far the AI is ahead in techs, when to invest in air superiority, SAM batteries etc.

    There are side-benefits too: spy missions give you the #1 choice of spending ridiculous amount of money and risking diplomatic relations for a very slim chance of actually getting something useful :) I don't understand why there would be three options - you rarely get enough gold to do considerable amount of costly missions anyways, so probabilities does not matter too much - it's all luck. Even combat RNG's vile tricks are more graceful than the frustration of spending 5000 gold for a safe steal and still got caught :D I only try stealing techs if I'm far behind, but usually I do not expect any type of success or return of investment unless I'm running communism which reduces the amount of paining king alexander is not pleased messages :)

    I don't find espionage balanced at all. Planting a spy is relatively cheap and you have the obvious benefits infinitely. On the other hand, spy missions are very costly, very risky and very unefficient. Does it really matter to have an enemy granary sabotaged when the AI has 20 other cities and plenty of units? Did anyone ever flip a valuable city by propaganda not just some backwater tundra colony - and even that costs you hundreds of gold.
     
  16. ratsinfrats

    ratsinfrats Chieftain

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    I usually use espionage just to find out what the other Civ military has available. That is the investment which keeps on working unless your spy is caught. I have tried the other options which are usually very costly and can have a high risk factor in terms of getting caught. I agree the price is not worth the benefit in most cases. I will also sometimes plant a spy to try to get a Civ to attack me when I think they are ready to be taken. I don't know if that helps but at least I am not the agressor then. I have never been able to plant more than three spys at once without getting caught so I usually put one in and then play a few turns before trying for a second. Going to war is a lot easier if you have a spy in a Civ but knowing exactly where its troops are located usually doesn't help much.
     
  17. Raliuven

    Raliuven Chieftain

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    For the first time ever I had a Civ DOW on me for a failed 'plant a spy' mission. Then it happened again. Twice in one game!

    It actually worked out okay as I was trying to provoke a war anyway.

    Question - if a Civ DOW on you for a failed mission, is that treated as if they broke any deals with you re: rep hits? Also, it seems to me I got war happiness from the DOW - hard to tell since I was in the middle of fighting 2 other wars at the time and there was a lot of up and down with war weariness and the luxury slider.

    This rep issue is always tricky Other than that both Civs cheated me out of about 3000gp in gpt trades, it seems I came out okay in the deal.

    As a side note, if you are in a military alliance with a Civ does it decrease the likelihood of a DOW on a failed mission?
     
  18. Fiddlin Nero

    Fiddlin Nero Chieftain

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    Just two days ago I drew an AI civ into a war with the Mutual Protection Pact and a couple turns later remembered I had lost my spy and tried to replant and sure enough I got a DOW in return. Was the likelihood reduced because of the MPP? no idea. It sure won't prevent the DOW.
     
  19. Raliuven

    Raliuven Chieftain

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    Good to know - thanks!
     

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