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The Great Wall of Suleiman: A Warmonger's Guide to Espionage

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by Melted Canary, May 5, 2008.

  1. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    I found the article well-organized and written. I have a few comments:

    1. I like Serfdom in certain situations -- namely, when you have conquered or REXed hard and need to improve your land, when a new improvement becomes available, or when you need to chain irrigation after researching Civil Service and/or for Biology's benefits. Having your workers do stuff faster is very powerful when you need it. If you are running Hereditary Rule, then your new/conquered cities can grow very big, and allowing your workers to improve the tiles faster can make that new city absolutely rocket to productivity.

    Furthermore, since you advocate a CE, and (as you mention) therefore that Caste System isn't your cuppa tea, why not use Serfdom? It's sure better than whipping away your cottage workers.

    2. Since you advocate a warmonger strategy (at least, when feasible), you should talk more about the different uses for spies in that situation. Personally, I love using the spy to cause unrest and drop cultural defenses. This can save you lots of turns normally spent pounding at the walls with your siege weapons.

    3. The real power of spying, IMO, is to use as a way to backfill techs from the AI without having to give anything up in a trade. My Gandhi game, below, featured that strategy. As you say, being able to see your foes' research allows you to beeline other paths, then backfill with the AI's techs.
     
  2. jwez11007

    jwez11007 Warlord

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    I just tried this strategy with elizabeth of england and had to agree with this assesment of running a hybrid-CE/EE system...the most benefit I'm getting out of the espionage is picking up techs without giving the AI beneficial tech trades. This allowed me to beeline to rifles after constitution while my soon to be target was still researching guilds...redcoats against longbows=win:D
    admittedly this was only on prince, but i think this could be a new prefered strategy of mine if things go as well when i try it on monarch.
     
  3. Dr.Null

    Dr.Null forIhavetastedthesushi

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    Nice article.
    I'll have to give this a try.

    Thanks!
     
  4. georgjorge

    georgjorge Deity Wannabe

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    I've thought about using Sitting Bull for an espionage strategy. Besides Philosophical for the Great Spies, Protective could make building Castles actually worthwhile, and since there are very few sources of EP available before Constitution, you could get a big lead with those...and as a bonus, watch your neighbour Shaka throw tons of his troops against Drill IV archers behind castle walls without ever succeeding ;).
     
  5. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    A word of caution, seige weapons will eventually take down Sitting Bull. Have flanking II mounted units to counter attack from the city to damage the seige units if you go down that angle.
     
  6. cripp7

    cripp7 Playin' Bored

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    I'm doing a EE SG game right now using Sitting Bull right here check it out
     
  7. Dalinski

    Dalinski Chieftain

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    I'm going to try a Spy strategy approach with Sumeria. One thing I wanted to clear up was how does religion influence tech stealing costs?

    From what I have read from the technical coding details elsewhere on this site, it seemed to mention YOU had to have the holy city and of the state religion of a target nation to get the highest bonus.

    So is this true? 15 coding modifier if target nation is the same state religion as you?
    And 25 modifier if you have the Holy City of target nations religion (and are that religion)?
     
  8. Dalinski

    Dalinski Chieftain

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    Because if the above is true Sumeria starts with Mysticism making it easier to establish one of the early religions and spread it.....
     
  9. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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    If you own the holy city of a religion that you are running and that religion is present in the city you are doing spy missions in, then you will get a -25% espionage bonus.

    If the AI is running a different state religion, then you will get an additional 15% for a -40% bonus.


    So if you are running Hinduism and you have the Hindu holy city and you are stealing from Mansa's city that has Hindu in it but he is running Buddhism as a state religion, that gives the full -40%.
     
  10. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Then you get -50% stationary spy, -some% :espionage: spending, -some% for having your culture in the target city, and suddenly missions look pretty inexpensive :).

    Tech costs while doing that are quick comical; the rate at which one can catch up is impressive indeed. However, this has been unveiled as having another...different...use recently as well :lol:.
     
  11. LeRan

    LeRan Chieftain

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    Interesting post about espionage, and very good points made (OK, it's a late comment on a 2008 post, but better late than never uh ?)

    One thing : I'm surprised that space race is mentionned as the only desirable victory, and that cultural victory is totally overlooked - it does synergize very well with an espionnage strategy, via the "spread culture" (or whatever it's called in English) espionage mission.

    That's something I pulled a couple times playing as the Russians in the Earth 18 Civs scenario : huge map, many rivals, so "intensive" victory conditions like space or culture are preferable - and when you have a huge empire, spies allow you to focus all the production of your empire on the culture of one foreign city, up to the legendary 50.000 culture. It should flip by itself at that point, but if not, well a few cavalry or tanks and it's done...

    Admitedly, it's quite ressource-intensive to successfully do this on 3 different cities : it's easier when you managed to raise a high culture in 1 or 2 of your own cities. And I never tried it either on difficulties higher than monarch though, so I'm no specialist. Does anyone have some experience with this kind of strategy ?

    EDIT: this kind a victory is largely discussed elsewhere in this forum (for example http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=499578) - although with a devious bias of obtaining culture through espionage in a city you found yourself, then gift to an AI, then capture back in one turn. Meh, I never thought so far. I may not be devious enough. :p
     
  12. MrUnderhill

    MrUnderhill Civ-loving Hobbit

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    Hey, as long as it brings something new to the conversation. :lol: I just got back into Civ4 myself a couple months ago, and this article was a big help.

    Yeah, I was surprised by that, too. I would think that neglecting your own research with hopes to make up for it with espionage is a big gamble for a late-game victory condition. You might as well just build a strong research economy of your own.

    I like the idea of using Espionage to culture bomb a neighbor's city, but I've only seen the "Spread Culture" mission one or two times in my experience. Is there some sort of special prerequisite (like having some of your culture in the city already)? Or is it just prohibitively expensive?
     
  13. LeRan

    LeRan Chieftain

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    Actually yes, you need to have some of your own culture in the target city (even if it's only one single point).This culture can come from one of your own neighbouring cities, or from a foreign city where your culture has spread. That means that you can spread your culture to a chain of foreign cities all accross the map, one after the other - as a side note, it makes conquest a lot easier if you do this before an invasion!

    Spread culture is not prohibitively expensive, but it depends of the current culture score of the target city - you can check the price in the espionage screen, in every city of every foreign nation. If your economy is somewhat geared towards espionage and if you focus on a single contry, you can raise culture to very high levels very quickly with something like 30 to 50 spies operating at the same time ! (I am sure there are good threads about spread culture and spy mission costs somewhere, but I don't know where anymore...)

    On the other hand, I was never able to obtain a cultural victory through espionage quicker than I would have through the traditional culture build... I must have missed something !
     

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