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[GS] What do you guys think of the Machiavellianism Policy?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Gloompy, May 10, 2019.

  1. Gloompy

    Gloompy Chieftain

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    "+50% Productiontowards Spies. Spy operations take 25% less time." :nono:

    As far as "style", I almost always choose it. As far as benefit, I think it kind of sucks when compared to alternate options.

    First off, the benefit of "+50% bonus production on spies" is wrong on a strategic level. :confused: This is a production bonus. Once you get the spy, the "espionage quality" is gone. And we're not making tons of spies throughout the game. It's not like the game allows us to create mores spies without the proper tech/civic anyway, so Civ6 dummied down espionage potential compared to Civ4, which who's mechanic I really liked.

    The 25% speed bonus to spies is nice, of course, but I never really feel like espionage reaches the nuisance it could be if the player invests their policy slot into it. :borg: :scan: :borg: :scan: :borg:

    Im thinking about just going into the xml and changing Machiavellianism to: "+25% Spy Production" and "Spy operations take 40% less time."

    I'm perfectly open to being completely wrong on this issue, so tell me what you think of this Policy. :love::love::love:
     
  2. seanos08

    seanos08 Monarch

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    I only run Mach if I'm a democracy to fill the extra green slot. I beeline for Cold War(really for the rock bands) and replace it with cryptography as soon as I can.
     
  3. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Spies are pretty expensive so it's slotted when you're actually building one. The faster missions is pretty good if you need to really sabotage someone, because 8 turns is a lot; and there aren't that many missions if you're finishing the game reasonably fast.
     
  4. NukeAJS

    NukeAJS Chieftain

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    This card plus the espionage golden age plus the 25% faster missions upgrade make for two turn missions. You can quite easily flip border cities using just a spy and three missions (six turns). Alternatively, you can recruit rebels multiple times and watch them wreck havoc. There are lots of fun things you can do with 2 turn missions.
     
  5. Arent11

    Arent11 Chieftain

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    Espionage is hampered by the weird rule that you can only build a certain number of spies. Which is again a boardgame mechanic that doesn't really make sense in an 'empire simulation' game.

    Apart from that we have the weird rule that we can steal tech - but we cannot simply agree to share it. Which takes a lot of fun out of multiplayer since trading tech with my friends was always one of the greatest parts.
     
  6. Bitterman

    Bitterman Chieftain

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    If everyone could build spies like normal units the game would be a mess and probably almost impossible to play. Just imagine more than 3 spies attacking you at the same time and recruiting partisans or wrecking your IZ's, not to mention the absurd amount of micormanaging you'd have to do for your own.

    Also you can't steal techs, only eurekas may be stolen. Having a level 3 scientific alliance is a faster and safer way to progress through the tech tree though.
     
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  7. Arent11

    Arent11 Chieftain

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    But civilization 1, alpha centauri and master of orion did all that decades ago. Why should it not anymore be possible in 2019? :mischief:
     
  8. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    Just another odd game design inconsistency to me.

    You can have as many Anti-Tank units as you want, limited only by maintenance costs, no infrastructure limits apply. Not even soft ones to make it more expensive to add or maintain units above an amount that reflects your military infrastructure.

    Spies, on the other hand, have a hard limit, one you can't exceed even if you're willing to devote an increasing amount of resources to building a larger spy network infrastructure.
     
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  9. TomKQT

    TomKQT Chieftain

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    But then you could also ask why is there a hard limit (kinda) on traders.
    I am perfectly fine with the limited number of spies. I love using them, so I would probably make tons of them and I would hate the micromanagement :)
     
  10. Arent11

    Arent11 Chieftain

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    In civ 1-4, trade was just passive. Same with master of orion or alpha centauri. The micromanagement began when you turned traders into actual units.
     
  11. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I think the card is wonderful.
    If I am playing with spies I will use it, if I have 1 defensive spy I will not.

    Green cards in general are more useful if you have a lot of trade routes and in these cases the Machiavellianism card is of less use. If you have 3 or more spies then it gets more useful.

    One key thing to consider is you will never make an AI broke stealing gold and a lot of people use them to steal gold, at least to buff their levels up. So let’s look at this logically, I have 4 spies stealing gold and they are at a pretty good level and I have intelligence agency they normally steal Ok. If that is the case they steal roughly 800 gold per 8 turns between them. This card will therefore be +200 gold per 6 turns which is about +35 gold per turn.

    The second ability of 50% production on spies. The first spy cost 225 production, the second is 300, the third 375.... if I then lose a spy my next spy cost 375. Basically spy production costs do not keep increasing but are a fixed price for the amount of spies you have. At this point in the game a city is lucky to be getting +30 production per turn so 10 turns for a second spy. You halve that to 5 turns and save 150 production.

    Now these 2 are not really independent of each other, you will lose spies and need more spies so you can consider the 50% production buff part of the 25% speed up for when spies fail. Yes there are captures and escapes to consider in there but a general feel is it is a 25% buff card for spies.

    If you are stealing gold you are floating in money and TBH this extra gold is no bigger if that is all you are doing.

    If your aim is an SV spies stealing techs is quite powerful and stealing a tech every 6 turns not 8 helps a lot. More importantly stealing high level techs where the eureka can only be gained through spies or scientists or oxford university it is a consideration but also quite an investment. Normally for fast SV’ers not an option.

    For a CV the fester you can get great works the better as the longer you leave a CV the harder it is and stealing off your main competitor like Greece really does start reducing their culture a lot. Speed is important.

    For Eleanor I do not have to say much, spies are part of her game and reducing time is important to flipping regardless of the choice of mission.

    I personally find reducing envoys very powerful and reduces your CV competitor more than stealing but also gaining suze is quite easy this way. You can gain suze of any CS this way, the AI tends not to use this mission on you. The main problem is it takes 16 turns for this mission and this card shaves 4 turns off. With linguist promotion another 25% is taken off and it is this combination that makes the card so powerful.

    Building Potala palace for the extra green slot is an option but it does take time and production and the AI does compete to a degree. Whenever I look very hard at the other green cards before T3 governments there is not a huge choice and I feel it unnecessary. There are always exceptions like monarchy/envoy and Raj with many trade routes can be nice... Merchant confederation is a fair option but when you have a lot of spies you can get a lot of gold if you need it. One gold digging spy is normally enough to counter merchant confederation unless you have been pushing envoy quests.

    All up the value increases with the type of victory and number of spies you have and is mainly counteracted with the number of trade routes. If you have 3 tradevroutes and 2 spies it is a fair card to have.

    20 spies is kinda crazy the way the spy promotion works. It also means that if a spy gets caught you no longer care about their release. It is all quite gamey but then again it is a game.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  12. Pietato

    Pietato Warlord

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    50% increase means it goes from 30 to 45 production. So the spy would take 7 turns.
     
  13. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    True, but mostly right. Does not change my view on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
     
  14. ezysquire

    ezysquire Chieftain

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    Largely agree with @Victoria . The card is great and it usually comes down to a choice between Merchant Confederacy and Machevaillanism. It's a good +50% card to chop with too as it comes at a time when you may not need to build military units or walls and are certainly done with settlers.
     
  15. _hero_

    _hero_ Chieftain

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    I love that it has both a strong short term boost in the production as well as a long term effect. I absolutely hate the gamey cards that encourage you to slot them for only for 1 turn. Anything that encourages players to do weird things like leaving 1 turn civics just so that they can swap in certain policies that they will then want to immediately swap out is bad game design. I wish all cards had a decent long term effect.
     
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  16. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    I agree with you, and I'd go further. I wish all the cards offered long-term effects, and you were limited in how often (or how costly it was) to change them.

    One weakness of the Civ 5 policy system is that choices are permanent, which to my mind doesn't reflect the changing nature of societies over time. One weakness of the Civ 6 system is that choices are too transitory, and therefore don't feel like you're making a meaningful choice that will shape (or re-shape) your society: you're just picking from a menu of short-term buffs. I hope Civ 7 finds a path between these two.
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    You could always go the Civ 5 route of letting each other steal boosts intentionally, less effective than stealing techs outright but still effective collusion.

    Civ 4 tech trades were overcentralizing, good trading could provide more :science: than your nation generated. Same for Civ 4 espionage, which was pretty bonkers and is easily #2 in the "most overpowering espionage systems" by Firaxis, beat out only by BE where you could not only tech solidly with it but also flip people out of existence with much less effort for a few patches.

    If you're lagging in tech in Civ 6 the combination of tech boost and -20% for behind current era can shove you forward, though even when I don't invest much in research (not many campuses, not focusing on techs that unlock the buildings) the AI doesn't get that far ahead on deity. Current game I'm ~2-3 techs behind leader, closing the gap. Hard to use spies to steal your way past parity like that, not much to steal.

    Depends if you're being peaceful or not.
     
  18. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    Yeah, I'd agree there. I think the original intention of "only changing policies when you get a new civic" isn't bad in initial thinking, but it fails because you part-research ones to leave one turn on them, or you get so far ahead that you're churning out policies every 2-3 turns. If the game had a more constant "you get a new policy every 6-10 turns" feel to it, then even the ones you slot immediately like the cheaper upgrades or double envoy policies would stay a little more balanced. But yeah, I could also live with some sort of system where when you slot in a card, you can't move it for X turns, or when you slot out a card, you can't use it again for X turns.
     
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  19. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    Again, for the next iteration of Civ, I'd personally go a little further, and tie the policy changes to bigger picture items. For example:
    • when you adopt a new government, you get to fill empty policy card slots (and if you have fewer slots of a particular type, discard down to the new limit)
    • when you enter a new era, you get to change 1 or 2 policies as part of the new era, or declare a revolution and change all of your policy cards in return for reduced yields for X turns
    • when you get particular wonders or great people, they give you "free" policy card changes
    • when you lose a war you get one or two "free" policy card changes (now we have to define losing a war in civ terms: maybe you get one policy card change for every city you give up in a peace treaty over and above the number of cities you gain in that peace treaty)
    This approach, however, couldn't be layered on the Civ 6 system. The policy cards in Civ 6 are too oriented towards "a little buff here, a little buff there". What I'm describing would require policy cards that are better balanced around select-and-hold.
     
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