A spy is an agent character that may be trained in settlements that have the required structures. Spies cannot take part in battles, or negotiate with other characters. Their purpose is to reveal:
- 1. What lies within another faction's settlement.
- 2. The make-up of another faction's army on the map.
- 3. Any hidden armies laying in ambush on the map.
- 4. Monitor the movement of military forces in another faction's territory.
- 5. Counter spying - staying in friendly settlements to expose espionage and assassination attempts.
- 1. Moving spies next to a settlement or army will often give the required information. Clicking on a settlement or army will increase the risk of the spy being discovered and perhaps slain.
- 2. Correctly positioning two or three spies in a bordering faction's territory - with the spies 'line of sight' slightly overlapping - can provide forewarning of that faction's intention to launch an attack against you or could highlight if that faction's settlements have become vulnerable because they are warding off attacks from other factions.
- 3. Spies that enter a settlement that has the plague, may contract the disease and can carry that with them to another settlement. This can be considered 'biological warfare' to affect your enemies. (Example - I was playing as Illyria. Macedon was my primary threat. Overtime I recruited 10-15 spies and when plague erupted in Macedon, I had my spies continually infect the Macedonian cities, so the Macedonian cities would never fully recover. Once infected a city suffers from depopulation at a rate of 8-9% affecting the tax base and ability to recruit troops. Using this strategy over 25-30 turns, I was able limit Macedonian attacks, build up my military forces and eliminate the weakened Macedonian faction.)
- 4. Moving to, or keeping a spy in your own settlements can improve public order and help to reveal enemy agents. When teamed up with an Assassin in a settlement, there is a higher probability enemy spies and assassins will be caught and executed. The probability that enemy spies and assassins will be caught and executed is also dependent on the Governor's Xenophobia (hates foreigners) or Xenophilia (welcomes foreigners) trait levels. The maximum xenophobia level (3) provides +3 public security, in contrast the maximum xenophilia level (3), which provides -3 public security. If you have a very capable governor who has a high xenophilia trait level, you can provide additional protective security measures by stationing a spy and/or an assassin in the settlement.
- 5. Spies can also attach themselves to armies in order to protect them, or board ships. A spy attached to an army can increase the line of sight of that army depending on the spy's subterfuge level.
- 6. Spies can be used to increase unrest in other factions' settlements, possibly tipping their towns into revolt.
- 7. Spies can improve the chance of an enemy settlement's gates being opened, thus avoiding the need to build siege engines.
Concept of Subterfuge for Spies
An increase in subterfuge provides a number of advantages for your spies:
- 1. Increased line of sight reducing the 'fog of war' in the spy's immediate vicinity.
- 2. Increased probability of a successful intelligence gathering mission.
- 3. It is possible that higher subterfuge levels will improve the spy's counter-intelligence ability (I am not certain on this one; it is hard to test).
courtesan: +1 subterfuge
- To obtain a courtesan your spy needs to remain in a settlement with a Lyceum for one turn. There is a 4% chance the spy will be awarded a courtesan.
dancer: +1 subterfuge
- To obtain a dancer your spy needs to remain in a settlement with a Lyceum for one turn. There is a 4% chance the spy will be awarded a dancer.
pet monkey: +2 subterfuge
- To obtain a pet monkey your spy needs to remain in a settlement that has a market or better for one turn. There is a 2% chance the spy will be awarded a pet monkey.