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Espionage is a game system in Civilization VI which allows undercover activities in other civilizations' cities, such as stealing technologies, Gold, or even Great Works. The system has been greatly expanded compared to Civilization V: Gods & Kings, and is now pretty similar to the one from Civilization: Beyond Earth.
Espionage Mechanics Edit
Espionage becomes possible in the Industrial Era, thanks to Civics development. The Diplomatic Service Civic allows you to train your first Spy, and subsequent Civics (and the Computers tech) will allow you to maintain more than one. Note that you can always maintain a certain maximum number of Spies in your empire, similarly to Traders.
In Civilization VI Spies are almost like other units - they must be produced in cities (via the normal Production queue) and moved around. They can also get killed, or captured. Note that you can never have more Spies then your current empire's development allows!
Spies take quite some time to produce, but this time may be halved with the Machiavellianism Social Policy. Also, each Spy has a unique name to help you distinguish him or her from your other Spies.
Spy Activity Edit
Spies act in cities. All cities you have already discovered (including your own) may serve as their targets, and what exactly they will do depends on the city you send them to.
Spies aren't moved like regular units; they jump from city to city using air, sea, road, or foot travel, each with their own travel time. You may send a Spy to any city you have revealed, regardless of any actual physical constraints - they are clever, they will find a way. The only difference is how many turns they'll take to arrive at their destination. Whenever you are prompted to choose this destination, the dialogue will reveal all possible target cities, the districts they have, the time it will take to move there, and what possible Operations the Spy may undertake. Once established in a city, a Spy can begin their mission.
Spy Experience Edit
Spies begin at the Recruit level and may gain levels from successful offensive operations or capturing an enemy Spy. Upon reaching level 2, Spies may also earn special promotions. These usually make them more effective at certain types of missions, or at remaining undetected during missions. The level of a Spy also increases his or her general chances of success at what he or she is doing. Here are the spy levels:
- Secret Agent
- Master Spy
Mission Details Edit
Espionage Missions Edit
When a Spy arrives at his or her destination, a list of possible Missions appears. Their range depends on the Districts in the destination city. When you choose certain mission, a Mission Briefing screen will appear, listing the Mission duration, the chances of Success, Failure and the chance of the Spy being Captured or Killed.
There are some common missions which a Spy can always undertake:
- Gain sources
- Location: City Center
- Effect: Spies in this city operate at 2 levels higher for 24 turns.
- Listening post
- Location: City Center
- Effect: Increases Diplomatic visibility with this civilization by 1 rank.
The other possible missions depend, as mentioned above, on what Districts this city has. Each type of District (or at least most of them) allows a respective mission:
- Siphon Funds
- Great Work Heist
- Location: Theater Square
- Effect: The Spy will attempt to steal a Great Work residing in the District. If there are no Great Works here, this Mission cannot be executed.
- Sabotage Production
- Location: Industrial Zone
- Effect: The Spy will sabotage (Pillage) all buildings existing in the District at the same time. The District itself is not sabotaged!
- Steal Tech boost
- Recruit Partisans
- Location: Neighborhood
- Effect: The Spy will cause some barbarian units to spawn around the city. These can be the very powerful Mechanized Infantry (depending on the era).
- Disrupt Rocketry
- Location: Spaceport
- Effect: The Spy will sabotage (Pillage) the Spaceport District. Any Science Victory project that city was currently undertaking will be postponed until that Spaceport is repaired.
Finally, the Spy can be assigned to your own cities on Counterspying missions. You have to select further which particular District he or she will protect. Note that adjacent districts will also benefit from your Spy's vigilance. If an enemy Spy is acting in one of those Districts, there is a much higher chance than normal that he or she will be caught.
Mission Duration Edit
All missions have uniform duration. Unlike Civilization V: Gods & Kings, there won't be long periods of time a spy will pass without apparently doing anything (such as going 60 turns trying to steal a tech). The missions now are quick, brutal and effective - the results will come much quicker, but the enemy will also have more chances to catch your spy. The above-mentioned Machiavellianism Policy may speed them up even more.
Mission Failure Edit
If, for whatever reason, your Spy doesn't manage to complete a mission successfully, there is a chance that he or she will be discovered. If this happens, the target civilization's leader will become quite pissed off, and immediately demand you cease spying on them. The leader will also gain a Casus Belli against you.
Furthermore, there is a chance the Spy is not only discovered, but also falls under immediate danger of arrest. At this point you will be prompted to select an option for him to try and escape. There are four possible options, each one offering lesser possibility of success (that is, being more dangerous), but greater speed:
- Airplane (requires an Aerodrome District in this city) - The Spy attempts to fly away. Very dangerous, because the police always watch airports! But he or she will take only 1 turn to return to HQ.
- Ship (requires a Harbor District in this city) - The Spy attempts to escape by ship. Quite dangerous, since the enemy police always watch ports too. He or she will return in 2 turns.
- Car (always available) - Somewhat dangerous, but the police usually have trouble watching all roads leading out of the city. The Spy will return in 3 turns.
- On foot (always available) - Not very dangerous. Who can surround the entire city with agents? The Spy will return, however, after 4 turns.
If the Spy manages to escape, he or she will appear in your Capital after the respective number of turns, ready for a new assignment. If the Spy was discovered right after stealing something, he or she may have loot for you; otherwise the Spy will return empty handed.
If not, however, the Spy may be killed (at which point he or she leaves the game), or he or she may be captured and imprisoned. In a very Cold War-reality style, you can then attempt to trade with the other leader for your Spy's release. This is a very good option if your Spy was a high-ranking one with lots of experience. Or, you can simply let go and train a replacement Spy!
Spies may also fail to accomplish a mission without being discovered. In this case you won't gain anything, but the spy may continue working normally.
Captured Spies Edit
As mentioned above, Spies risk being captured by enemies. This may happen both when your Spies act in foreign lands, and when foreign Spies act in your lands. Captured Spies are imprisoned, but not killed, and their original owner can then attempt to "trade" with the civilization who captured the spy, securing his or her release and return to active service. If the trade goes through, the Spy is immediately returned to the original owner's Capital, ready for a new assignment. If not, the Spy is held indefinitely, but can be traded for again at any time.
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