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Walkthrough for Settled Great Spy game

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by madscientist, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    After playing the Mao RPC game and posting an article on settled Great Spy Specialists I decided to do a walkthough.

    Here I am playing Ghengis Khan, the AI that probably is the absolute worse for establishing a good economy because of his traits (agressive and imperialistic) and military oreintated UB. The speed is marathon, monarch difficulty, and hemisphere's map. I plan to keep it very simple, and I did not finsh the game as I believe it illustrates my point sufficiently. I will attach the save if anyone is interested in finishing the space race. It is no guarenteed winning situation, but I do show the power of using settled Spy specialists once again, without ever using the ep slider.

    We essentially ran a CE game as we normally would. We played a typical Khan game, rushing a civilization out of existence, then playing diplomatically with the last two AIs and trading techs with the other hemisphere once we met them.


    So first, our leader.



    There early tech path went AH/mining/archery/BW/Masonry, and that's all the specifics you really need to know

    The settled spot



    Is not overpowered with resources. IN fact there is little food. An ideal situation to apply this strategy.

    If you recall the primary focus is to get the Great Wall Wonder (and only that wonder), pop a Great Spy and settle him. Patience is the key


    Here is captial building teh Wall



    Note I am relying stricly on high production tiles and chopping the wall to accellerate teh build.

    Once we get teh wonder built we focus on settlers to leverage the Imperialistic trait.



    On our continent we have 3 other Ais, Wang Kong, Ragnar (who founded Hinduism) and Pacal (The Buddhist Founder).

    We decided Wang was to our south and claiming horse and iron quickly with two other cities, we did what Khan does best.



    So very quickly Wang is destroyed and Mongolia amounts to 5 core cities. We expands with several more cities to claim a very nice region of land without conflicting with the other two Ais.

    We became best friends with Ragnar, adopting Hinduism and remaining in HR for the entire game. PAcal was OK with us, but became annoyed later.

    Now the only imprtant techs we got soon was writing and alphabet, for spies and tech trading



    Yes, pretty low.

    However, once we got the first GS we balanced the eps out between the two.

    Once we got CoL we build a ourthouse right away in the capital and ran a spy specialist, which sped up the next Great Spy which we used for Scotland yard. We built tha national epic here and adopted pascifism for the entire game (Yes, old GK was a pascifict, you know my style of games) spoeeding up the GSpys.

    By the time we met the first of-continent AI, we were rolling in eps against these AIs.

    Note, we ran no specialists except spys. We got all Great Spy specialists except for 2 GAs (Unavoidable GA pollution from the NE), we used one for a GA and saved the other for a potential late game golden age.

    Now once we met all the toher AIs, we were real behind in tech



    That was OK, we ignored the conventional liberalism path. What we beelined was

    engineering for castles
    nationalism for nationhood
    printing press (as a prerequisite and to help the CE game)
    constitution
    democracy
    Scientific Method
    Communism

    Even though we fell behind we stoel techs, and researched techs the AIs did not have. We got ALOT of stuff for democracy and Communism.

    Now, we signed a defensive pact with Ragnar which scared the entire world into leaving us alone. We teched as well as we could, and stole more as the espionage game had a snowball effect.

    By the end of the save the eps stats looked like this



    I even used a Gspy at the end to infiltrate Pacal to steal the last valuable tech I did steal.

    The techs ended up like this




    teching refridgeration for superconductors, folowwed by rocketry to hot the space trail. I would expect I could steal a few more techs. The game gopt a littel tedious, so I stopped here. Remember I do plan marathon speed.

    The next segment I will list what I actually stole, and some screenshots of the espionage missions.
     
  2. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    OK, the list of techs we stole in order

    Sailing
    Polytheism
    Calender
    Civil Service
    Theology
    Drama
    Compass
    Banking
    Gunpowder
    Education
    Liberlaism
    Corporation
    Steam Power
    RailRoad
    Military Science
    Electricity
    Fiscism
    Indistrialism

    Remember what I said, I made ALOT of trades this game, so there was not as much need to steal techs like the MAO RPC. Still we stole 18 techs from 2 financial AIs using one of the worse economical leaders.

    Some screen shots of the ep missions



    Note, we are keeping the spies in each city 5 turns. We are going to cities with trade routes (so open borders and NO mercantilism are needed), andseeing teh city has our state religion.















    Hope these help.

    Now, please understand that this strategy is not for every leader. In fact it is best for those leaders with non-economical traits. Such as the warring traits and expansive. It was suggested that I used someone like Gandhi, but to me his abilites are wasted with such a game.

    Also, I played this game this way as a walkthrough. Come on, a Pacifist Khan, his normal game would have been to just conquesr the continent, and perhaps then hunker down for a space win. But I did want to illustrate this strat again.
     
  3. VirusMonster

    VirusMonster Quechua General

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    at home :)
  4. BalbanesBeoulve

    BalbanesBeoulve Emperor

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    If it's like his other games, it's monarch/marathon.
     
  5. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I have just played a game with Izzy on marathon where I was isolated until just before Optics. With stone I managed to chop / whip the Great Wall and Stonehenge and founded Hinduism. Of course as luck would have it instead of getting a GP, to found the shrine and finance my expansion to 6 cities, I got 2 GSpies (both at about 15% chance due to other wonders and specialists) and had no one to steal from :(. Cursing with frustration one was settled and the other used for a Scotland Yard. Then my second city running 2 scientists and a priests produced a GProphet :rolleyes:

    When I finally met Ghengis by a border intercept I coundn't get to him but could allocate EPs against him. When I did finally get to him I already had a large discount (-33%) and so was able to steal a few techs and catch up on the other civs. Introducing Hinduism into a nearby city gave me a -40% discount, instead of the -15% you're getting, with the Shrine of the religion. My economy, a hybrid based on trade routes and specialists, developed into a mixed research and stealing one, which is what you're advocating.

    But I discovered something which you seem not to have used. Taking the large discount gained for religions and heavy spending means raising the EP slider is more efficient use of commerce than using the Research slider. What is more by channelling commerce into EPs to steal techs you emphasise the advantage you already have by increasing the total spending and hence increase the discount for spending. A virtuous circle ;)
     
  6. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

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    Tech stealing seems a little expensive. Education is 2300ish I think on epic, so 4600 marathon.
     
  7. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    Marathon tech costs are 3 times normal ones. It's shown as 9072 beakers in my game (emperor level) although I did research it myself and won the Liberalism race. There might be some discount shown in that cost now since several other civs have researched it as well now.

    The basic cost of stealing a tech in EPs is 1.5 times the basic cost of beakers. The comparison of the two methods to acquire a tech has to consider several factors icluding what are the commerce multipliers for two methods spread around the empire. Most cities get a library early on and so there is a 25% advantage to add to the lower cost. If you are going to steal a tech by definition at least one other civ must have it and so researching it would get a small discount, a few % depending on game size number of civs and so on, but it can approach 25% for old techs that most other civs already know.

    But set against that the EP way has a basic 50% discount if the spy sits in the city for 5 turns. That is risky for the spy unless you have spent a lot on EPs and have consequently reduced the detection chance. Then there are a 20% discount for trade routes and up to 40% for the city having your state religion and you having the shrine. There is a distance penalty which you can often get down to about 20% by choosing the target city carefully or even moving your capital nearer :eek:.

    Finally there is the EP spending discount and this can get to -33% against some tech whores who neglect their own EP slider. The point I was making to MadScientist above is that the more commerce you spend on stealing techs, rather than using it on self researching a tech, the cheaper it becomes. Once you have an advantage in that area it is important to maintain it. The AI seems to react to your spending on EPs by spending itself but as you keep spending they never catch up so their EPs are useless effectively slowing them down.

    So my general rule is; if the AI has a tech before I have researched it, then it is better for me to spend commerce on EPs and steal that tech rather than to research it myself. I get the tech and the benefit of having increased my EP total spending, which is an important "resource". If I see the AI researching a tech I want I will usually wait for him to do that while building up enough EPs against him. Meanwhile I'll research a tech no one else has. Its a bit like killing two birds with one stone.
     
  8. zombiestomp

    zombiestomp Chieftain

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    since i'm on a mac i can't personally attest to this strategy, but after reading a lot of posts i'm convinced that a dedicated tech stealing strategy is more cost effiecient than trading or self-teching when properly executed.
     
  9. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    I might try out an infiltration great spy game where my aim is to get at least 2 of them early with TGW obviously and with the help of Ziggurats. I tried the steal or trade for everything more expensive than alphabet -approach and I have little faith in it.
    It would be interesting to see how a normal game of self researching aided by multiple infiltrations could do however. Extreme beelining while you steal older techs to complement it perhaps?
     
  10. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers King

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    Is this while purposely emphasizing castles and running nationhood with Great Spy specialists or just while playing a normal game?
     
  11. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    I altered the opening paragraph to include difficulty and speed.

    To restate, this strategy is deliberately independent of the slider. I firmly believe that the best way to play is to tech as much as possible with the slider at mximum science, stealing fillin techs. It's a way to compensate for the poor economy you will typically be in because of the leader's traits.

    I agree with JJ, the best thing to do is tech items noone has, although I tend to leverage that towards trade rather than messing up the AI's ep system which does sound intriguing.
     
  12. Gryphyn

    Gryphyn Chieftain

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    One thing I see missing from this (as a walkthough) is your success rate at stealing the tech. Success+Failure=Attempts
    Each 'steal' has 50-80% success (give or take). Not everyone of your attempts to steal a tech could have been successful (I get my share of failures) and how may spies did you loose before they could make an attempt (ie caught before 5 stationary turns)

    I guess the question that needs addressing is...
    "How many spies do you need in the field?" (to keep this going)

    Cheers
    Gryphyn

    *I know you can find it reading through the 'save' event-log, but that's not an easy task.
     
  13. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    That's an interesting question Gryphon.

    I tend to ignore the percent that the computers gives my. My experience is the first few attempts in the game typically fail, while later on they rarely fail. A 70% chance of succeeding with polytheism fails much more than 70% chance on industrialism. Not sure how this fi's in, I would be interested if anyone experiences this or if there is a reason.
     
  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Mad, doesn't your EP against theirs weigh into the %'s? With even specialist emphasis on EP you'll be far ahead of many AI's if you're focusing on them, and that will magnify as a game goes on.
     
  15. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    My ideas are certainly to get as much benefit from buildings and specialists as practical. For instance courthouses were emphasised in the early game and any spare food was used to run a spy specilist rather than a scientist. As Izzy the Citadel is an important building anyway so I get the trade route, the +25% EPs and the +5 exp for my seige equipment. Nationalism was taken from winning the Liberalism race and Nationhood is being run 90% of the time for all the good reasons it has.

    But the real boost comes with getting jails into core cities and then to gradually spread those to the newly conquered cities. They give a nice passive EP boost and make running spy specialists much more effective and importantly they boost the EP commerce slider. I have just finished building and even whipping the intelligence agency into my 6 core cities so with all the buildings and Nationhood they have a +150% EP multiplier. Madrid with a Scotland Yard has + 250% and when turned up to maximum EP slider can generate 462 EPs on its own.

    In the current state in 1704 AD the empire can churn out 1622 EPs per turn at a gold loss of 279 (so its not sustainable ;)) and also manages 216 beakers from Representation at the same time. The sustainable figures are 216 beakers, 1138 EPs and +26 gold. The corresponding figures when commerce is put into beakers are 704 beakers, 407 EPs and +27 gold so its clear the EPs are for me more efficient. To be fair I haven't managed to build either Oxford or Wall Street yet and both need more banks and universities to be built.

    There are several techs I can steal but currently I'm researching Biology (in 4 turns) and might go for Artillery before reverting to the Espionage stealing mode. I really want to build some artillery with the bonus +5 exp if possible before the Citadels get obsoleted. That means that several techs I could steal are undesireable at present although I will need them for Assembly Line and Asoka might be headed there next. The game is closely balanced and I need to watch Asoka with his cottages. He's researching Rifling but he doesn't have Steel yet so my cannons and riflemen are dominant. It's a fascinating game :)
     
  16. cripp7

    cripp7 Playin' Bored

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    I think you finally got the hang of the espionage game
     
  17. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers King

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    So the answer is yes. But when you gear your cities for beakers and coins, it's more efficient to self-research than put the slider towards EPs and theft.

    The reason I asked is because in a recent game I remembered this rule "cheaper to steal if someone's already researched it" and it certainly did not seem cheaper to me. But I don't do much involved math when I'm playing, so I trust numbers more than my own experience.
     
  18. Nares

    Nares Emperor

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    I think if done right you can produce insane EPs without even touching the slider. The only negative is that you're dedicated to a specific GP type.
     
  19. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    Excellent example game imo. I need to use espionage more in my games in general and this style of play I think works great for a leader with a poor economy. I think I might try it with Japan...
     
  20. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    The answer to your original question was, yes. Since it was Izzy I was using Citadels for all the good reasons and especially wanted to get cannons and artillery with 10 exp (settled GG in capital and Theocracy elsewhere). Also Izzy had her own religion, with the holy shrine (bad for deplomacy but wonderous for espionage). So everything pointed towards using espionage as a major part of the game... although high grade siege and Conquistadors also figure large.

    Furthermore, an archipelago map means that large islands will get very high city maintenance due to distance and colonial costs (gets really bad if more than 5 cities on a landmass). Plus I wanted to make a lot of war so WW would be a major problem. Two serious problems that can be solved by two special technologies that I beelined towards, Constitution and Communism giving jails and State Property. Communism also gives access to intelligence agency which with jails makes an empire wide espionage possible in any city with adequate production.

    So you see it all fits together neatly. Nationhood gives +25% EPs and allows drafted riflemen to garrison the cities captured by the cannons and conquistadors.

    Concerning your last point, if the AI has researched a tech you will get a small discount on the research cost. As far as I can tell the base cost of stealing the tech is not affected and stays at 1.5 EPs per base beaker. But that can be massively reduced by the various modifiers if you choose the right city to steal from (close to your capital and containing your own state religion which you have the shrine of -40%) and if you spend a lot on EPs you can get a large discount. In my game I have spent approximately double what Asoka has, judging from the graph, and I get a -18% discount. Add to that the -50% for a spy sitting in his city for 5 turns and the actual cost of stealing a tech can easily be less that the research cost in beakers (even with the discount for several AIs having the tech). Perhaps that is what the other person you read meant.

    This game is very interesting (and unfinished due to other commitments :( ) I am liking the ability to research key techs which I want earlier than the AI(e.g. Steel and later Artillery) and to match that to Asokas research. I am stealing other useful techs from him (e.g. Communism and Democracy) and Physics from Pericles and a good deal of the EPs are coming from the passive output of espionage buildings rather than diverting commerce from gold or beakers.
     

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