Espionage

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Espionage is a game mechanic introduced by the Shadows expansion, along with pillaging and the Forgotten faction. Espionage introduces the ability to infiltrate the cities of other empires, and in doing so it is possible to see more detailed information about the city that is infiltrated, as well as providing a way to sabotage and steal from the empire controlling the city. A means of counter-espionage, referred to as Security, was also introduced; the higher a city's Security rating, the more difficult it is for other empires to successfully perform infiltration actions on that city.

Infiltration[edit]

Infiltration enables heroes to be assigned to the cities of other empires as spies. Performing requires that the target city be visible, and costs a small amount of Influence InfluenceIcon.png which is determined by the current technological Era and a few other factors. A few things happen immediately upon infiltrating a city: first, you are now able to view the infiltrated city's City Screen as though you owned the city. This by itself can provide a large amount of useful information about the city. Second, you will gain vision over the city, including that gained from expansions, such as Watchtowers. Finally, the infiltrated hero will begin to build up Infiltration Points InfiltrationSmall.png, which are necessary to perform Infiltration Actions that can sabotage the infiltrated city or empire.

Spying[edit]

As part of the Espionage system, all heroes were given the Spying capacity, which is divided into four levels. Every level gives heroes the ability to infiltrate cities as described earlier, and all heroes will gain 4 XP per turn while infiltrated, but higher levels of Spying provide more Infiltration Points on the hero each turn and decrease the upkeep of the hero further. Each faction's heroes have different levels of the Spying capacity, as shown in the table below:

Spying Level Effects Faction(s)
Spying1.png Can infiltrate visible cities of other empires.
+4 Infiltration Point InfiltrationSmall.png per turn TurnSmall.png.
+4 XP per turn TurnSmall.png when infiltrated.
-40% DustSmall.png on Hero Upkeep when infiltrated.
Necrophages
Spying2.png Can infiltrate visible cities of other empires.
+6 Infiltration Point InfiltrationSmall.png per turn TurnSmall.png.
+4 XP per turn TurnSmall.png when infiltrated.
-50% DustSmall.png on Hero Upkeep when infiltrated.
Wild Walkers
Broken Lords
Vaulters
Mezari
Ardent Mages
Drakken
Cultists
Allayi
Spying3.png Can infiltrate visible cities of other empires.
+8 Infiltration Point InfiltrationSmall.png per turn TurnSmall.png.
+4 XP per turn TurnSmall.png when infiltrated.
-60% DustSmall.png on Hero Upkeep when infiltrated.
Roving Clans
Morgawr
AbilitySpying4.png Can infiltrate visible cities of other empires.
+12 Infiltration Point InfiltrationSmall.png per turn TurnSmall.png.
+4 XP per turn TurnSmall.png when infiltrated.
-80% DustSmall.png on Hero Upkeep when infiltrated.
Forgotten

The only exception to this is Sable Deceiver Bayari Kulaa, a Mezari hero that is partially designed after the Forgotten, and thus has the Spying 4 capacity instead of Spying 2.

Infiltration Points[edit]

Infiltration Points InfiltrationSmall.png are a kind of resource that is needed to perform Infiltration Actions. More specifically, Infiltration Points are needed to gain Infiltration Levels, and each Infiltration Level unlocks more powerful Infiltration Actions. There are a total of 5 Infiltration Levels, and all heroes start at Level 1. The following table displays how many Infiltration Points are necessary to reach each Infiltration Level:

Level Points
1 0
2 45.9
3 112.1
4 211.1
5 344.9

Whenever a hero performs an infiltration action - whether successful or not - or is removed from the city they are infiltrating, they spend all the Infiltration Points they have built up, putting them back to Infiltration Level 1. As such, it is ideal to gain Infiltration Points as quickly as possible, so that the more powerful Infiltration Actions can be used more quickly and more frequently. While the Spying capacity provides every hero with a base amount of Infiltration Points per turn, there are a number of other ways to increase a hero's Infiltration Point gain.

Seniority[edit]

One of the most straightforward ways to increase a hero's Infiltration Point gain is by developing something called a Seniority Bonus. Whenever a hero performs an Infiltration Action, they will get a Seniority Bonus equal to the amount of Infiltration Levels it required to perform the Action. A hero will then gain a bonus amount of Infiltration Points every turn equal to their Seniority Bonus. The Seniority Bonus can be increased up to 20, and is reset to zero if the hero leaves the city.

Skills[edit]

There are two skills that heroes can take that can help increase the rate at which a hero gains Infiltration Points, one of which is available to all heroes, while the other is exclusive to Forgotten heroes.

Skill Tree Level Icon Name Effect Assignment
Common 3 LordoftheTrance.png Lord of the Trance Level 1: +5 InfiltrationSmall.png on infiltrated Hero.
Level 2: +5 InfiltrationSmall.png on infiltrated Hero.
Spy
Forgotten 3 DoubleorNothing.png Double or Nothing Level 1: +50% Seniority bonus on Hero.
Level 2: +50% Seniority bonus on Hero.
Spy

Items[edit]

There are also a few items that can increase a hero's Infiltration Point gain. They are unlocked with the Uncommon Armor, Marvelous Armor, and Exceptional Armor technologies.

Icon Name StrategicIcon.png Effects Technology Lore
ItemScopeoftheInitiate.png Scope of the Initiate 12Adamantian Color 256x256.PNG -15% Infiltration Action cost on hero
+3 InfiltrationSmall.png on infiltrated hero
Uncommon Armor Enhanced by the Dust magics in this spyglass, even novice spies gain improved abilities to understand and influence other beings they observe.
ItemScopeoftheAdept.png Scope of the Adept 24Adamantian Color 256x256.PNG -30% Infiltration Action cost on hero
+5 InfiltrationSmall.png on infiltrated hero
Marvelous Armor As Forgotten infiltrators make the difficult transition from eager novices to cynical experts, the magics in these lenses aid them to more easily remember to sift information on people, groups, and activities.
ItemScopeoftheShadow.png Scope of the Shadow 48Adamantian Color 256x256.PNG -50% Infiltration Action cost on hero
+8 InfiltrationSmall.png on infiltrated hero
Exceptional Armor A powerful object intended only for those with vast experience and strong minds, this spyglass brings extensive powers of persuasion, conviction, and intimidation to skilled infiltrators.

Technology[edit]

Finally, there is one piece of technology exclusive to the Forgotten which increases the amount of Infiltration Points gained by heroes.

What's Mine is Mine
Faction: ForgottenIcon.png Forgotten
Obtained: ResearchIcon.png Era II
Category: MilitaryIcon.png Military
Type: FactionIconSmall.png Empire
Focus: SecuritySmall.png Security
What's Mine is Mine.png Those who are strong in the ways of espionage must also be ready when their enemies use those skills against them. Additional training in counter-espionage is never wasted time.

Effects:

+15 Security SecuritySmall.png on cities
+3 InfiltrationSmall.png on infiltrated hero


Infiltration Actions[edit]

As an infiltrated hero reaches higher Infiltration Levels, they will gain access to more powerful Infiltration Actions. There are no Infiltration Actions available at Level 1, and every Action is available at Level 4. However, Infiltration Actions become more powerful as the hero's Infiltration Level increases beyond what is needed to simply unlock the Action. For example the Damage Fortification action reduces the Fortification of the infiltrated city by 25% at Level 2, but reduces the city's fortification to 0 for 10 turns at Level 5. All Infiltration Actions cost a small amount of Influence to perform, which increases based on your technological Era (exact cost TBD).

When an Infiltration Action is performed, the affected empire will be notified that an Infiltration Action has been performed (with a few exceptions), and there are four possible outcomes for the hero that performed the action depending on the Security rating of the city. First, nothing could happen, and the hero will remain infiltrated in the city unharmed. Second, the hero could be wounded, and will remain infiltrated in the city, but will lose half their health. Third, they could be disabled, losing all their health and being sent back to the academy. And finally, they could be captured - the infiltrated empire will place the captured hero in Jail for 30 turns, but you can negotiate with the empire to have your hero released earlier. The higher the city's security rating, the more likely the later effects are; this will be broken down more thoroughly in the Security section.

Here are all the Infiltration Actions that can be done and their different levels.

Empire Infiltration Actions[edit]

Icon Name Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
DecreaseVisionInfiltrationAction.png Decrease Vision Locked Reduces to minimum vision SightIcon.png of watchtowers for 6 turns TurnSmall.png Reduces to minimum vision SightIcon.png of cities Improvement.png and regional buildings Expansion.png for 10 turns TurnSmall.png Reduces to minimum vision SightIcon.png armies UnitSmall.png, cities Improvement.png and regional buildings Expansion.png for 10 turns TurnSmall.png
RevealSpyInfiltrationAction.png Reveal Spy Locked Locked Reveals and wounds one spy of the infiltrated empire within your empire (-50% Life LifeIcon.png) Reveals and wounds all spies of the infiltrated empire within your empire (-75% Life LifeIcon.png)
DecreaseScienceProductionInfiltrationAction.png Decrease Science Production Reduces the science production ScienceSmall.png of the infiltrated empire by 10% for 6 turns TurnSmall.png Reduces the science production ScienceSmall.png of the infiltrated empire by 20% for 6 turns TurnSmall.png Reduces the science production ScienceSmall.png of the infiltrated empire by 30% for 6 turns TurnSmall.png Reduces the science production ScienceSmall.png of the infiltrated empire by 40% for 6 turns TurnSmall.png
DecreaseMoraleInfiltrationAction.png Decrease Morale Locked -1 Morale Morale.png (-15% Attack AttackIcon.png and Defense DefenseIcon.png) on all units owned by the infiltrated empire for 6 turns TurnSmall.png -2 Morale Morale.png (-30% Attack AttackIcon.png and Defense DefenseIcon.png) on all units owned by the infiltrated empire for 6 turns TurnSmall.png -3 Morale Morale.png (-45% Attack AttackIcon.png and Defense DefenseIcon.png) on all units owned by the infiltrated empire for 10 turns TurnSmall.png
StealVisionInfiltrationAction.png Steal Vision Locked Gives vision SightIcon.png over armies UnitSmall.png for 4 turns TurnSmall.png Gives vision SightIcon.png over armies UnitSmall.png for 10 turns TurnSmall.png Gives vision SightIcon.png over armies UnitSmall.png, cities Improvement.png and regional buildings Expansion.png for 20 turns TurnSmall.png
DecreaseDiplomaticCostInfiltrationAction.png Decrease Diplomatic Cost Locked -20% on diplomatic costs InfluenceIcon.png for 10 turns TurnSmall.png -40% on diplomatic costs InfluenceIcon.png for 10 turns TurnSmall.png -60% on diplomatic costs InfluenceIcon.png for 20 turns TurnSmall.png
StealTechnologyInfiltrationAction.png Steal Technology Steals 1 generic Era I technology (or Era I technology of the same faction), among those the infiltrated empire has researched Steals 1 generic Era I to Era II technology (or Era I to Era II technology of the same faction), among those the infiltrated empire has researched Steals 1 generic Era I to Era III technology (or Era I to Era III technology of the same faction), among those the infiltrated empire has researched Steals 1 generic Era I to Era V technology (or Era I to Era V technology of the same faction), among those the infiltrated empire has researched
DustOpportunistsInfiltrationAction.png Dust Opportunists Steals a flat amount plus a small percentage of the infiltrated Empire's Dust DustSmall.png Steals a small flat amount plus a percentage of the infiltrated Empire's Dust DustSmall.png Steals a very small flat amount plus a large percentage of the infiltrated Empire's Dust DustSmall.png Steals a very small flat amount plus a large percentage of the infiltrated Empire's Dust DustSmall.png

It should be noted that the Actions Steal Vision, Decrease Diplomatic Cost, and Steal Technology will not alert the affected empire that an Infiltration Action has been performed so long as the infiltrated hero is not wounded, disabled, or captured. As such, these actions can be a good way to increase an infiltrated hero's Seniority Bonus in a city without raising the suspicion of the city's owner and prompting a Roundup.

Additionally, the Steal Technology and Dust Opportunists actions are only available to the Forgotten. Steal Technology replaces the Decrease Science Production action, and Dust Opportunists is only available during a Dust Eclipse.

City Infiltration Actions[edit]

Icon Name Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
DecreasePopulationInfiltrationAction.png Decrease Population -1 Population PopulationSmall.png -2 Population PopulationSmall.png -3 Population PopulationSmall.png -4 Population PopulationSmall.png
DamageFortificationInfiltrationAction.png Damage Fortification Reduces the fortification FortificationSmall.png by 25% of the maximum fortification value Reduces the fortification FortificationSmall.png by 50% of the maximum fortification value Reduces the fortification FortificationSmall.png by 100% of the maximum fortification value Reduces the fortification FortificationSmall.png to 0 for 10 turns TurnSmall.png
DecreaseIndustryProductionInfiltrationAction.png Decrease Industry Production Reduces the industry production IndustrySmall.png of the infiltrated city by 50% for 2 turns TurnSmall.png Reduces the industry production IndustrySmall.png of the infiltrated city by 50% for 6 turns TurnSmall.png Reduces the industry production IndustrySmall.png of the infiltrated city by 100% for 6 turns TurnSmall.png Reduces the industry production IndustrySmall.png of the infiltrated city by 100% for 12 turns TurnSmall.png
TargetGovernorInfiltrationAction.png Target Governor Locked -30% Life LifeIcon.png per turn on the governor for 10 turns TurnSmall.png Sends back the governor to its academy with the disabled status Captures the governor

Security[edit]

Security SecuritySmall.png is a property of cities that determines what happens to a hero infiltrated on a city after they perform an Infiltration Action. For any action, there are four possible effects on the hero:

  • Nothing: The hero remains infiltrated in the city unharmed.
  • Wounded: The hero remains infiltrated in the city, but loses half their health.
  • Disabled: The hero loses all their health and is returned to their owner's academy.
  • Captured: The hero is captured by the city's owner, and put in Jail. The hero will be released to their owner after 30 turns, or the hero's owner can negotiate with their captor for an early release.

A city's security rating is given on a percentile scale in increments of 5%, each increment having a different set of chances for the four outcomes listed above. Here is a table listing the odds of each outcome based on the security rating:

Security Nothing Wounded Disabled Captured
0 85 15 0 0
5 82 18 0 0
10 80 20 0 0
15 77 23 0 0
20 74 26 0 0
25 67 27 6 0
30 62 31 8 0
35 57 34 10 0
40 52 37 11 0
45 47 40 13 0
50 41 44 15 0
55 35 47 17 0
60 26 45 17 12
65 22 47 18 13
70 19 48 19 13
75 16 48 21 15
80 13 49 23 16
85 10 49 25 17
90 6 49 26 18
95 3 50 28 19
100 0 50 30 20

There are a number of factors that affect a city's security rating, and while most of them are a means to increase city security, the biggest factor on security early on is Approval ApprovalSmall.png.

Roundups[edit]

A roundup is an action you can use on a city to temporarily increase its security rating, as well as possibly root out any spies in the city. While looking at a selected city's City Screen, there is a button labeled "Roundup" located in the top center of the screen, below the area that shows population growth and the city's security rating. Upon pressing this button, a roundup will begin, which lasts 4 turns and has a few effects. First, it will reduce the city's "Per PopulationSmall.png" output by half for the duration of the roundup. Second, the city's security rating will increase by 10 SecuritySmall.png each turn. Finally, once the roundup is completed, each spy in the city will effectively be forced to take a 'null action'; the spies won't actually perform an action, but they will face the consequences as if they had, and this will be done with the security rating of the city at the height of the roundup. This is one of the most effective ways to root out spies from a city.

Approval[edit]

A city's approval rating is the biggest factor on security for most of the game, and is the only thing affecting city security at the start. While a city that is Content or better will get a boost to security, a city that is Unhappy or in Rebellion will experience a negative modifier to security, making it very easy to perform infiltration actions in unhappy cities. The security modifier for different approval ratings are as follows:

Approval Security
Rebellion (0-10 ApprovalSmall.png) -40 SecuritySmall.png
Unhappy (11-39 ApprovalSmall.png) -20 SecuritySmall.png
Content (40-60 ApprovalSmall.png) +20 SecuritySmall.png
Happy (61-89 ApprovalSmall.png) +30 SecuritySmall.png
Fervent (90-100 ApprovalSmall.png) +40 SecuritySmall.png

Skills[edit]

There is one skill in the Common skill tree that gives a city governed by a hero with that skill a boost to security. The skill is:

Skill Tree Level Icon Name Effect Assignment
Common 4 FaceReader.png Face Reader Level 1: +15 SecuritySmall.png on city.
Level : +15 SecuritySmall.png on city.
City

Items[edit]

There are also a few items that can increase a city's security when equipped to the hero governing it. They are unlocked with the Uncommon Armor, Marvelous Armor, and Exceptional Armor technologies.

Icon Name StrategicIcon.png Effects Technology Lore
ItemRegisteroftheTaigaHawk.png Register of the Taiga Hawk 12Palladian Color 256x256.PNG +10 Security SecuritySmall.png on city Uncommon Armor This notebook records events that are seen through special spyglasses issued to the city guards. While the spyglasses are simple things, they can see through obvious disguises and identify those who bear the city ill will
ItemRegisteroftheSnowLeaopard.png Register of the Snow Leopard 24Palladian Color 256x256.PNG +20 Security SecuritySmall.png on city Marvelous Armor An improved version of the registry records information gathered from upgraded spyglasses. City guards or citizens that use these spyglass can see through many disguises, and more easily identify furtive and suspicious behavior.
ItemRegisteroftheGreatOwl.png Register of the Great Owl 48Palladian Color 256x256.PNG +30 Security SecuritySmall.png on city Exceptional Armor The Dust-enhanced spyglasses linked to this register can even read hostile intent in the minds of passers-by. This formidable ability greatly increases City security from all but the most highly trained operatives

City Improvement and Technology[edit]

There are two City Improvements that are able to increase the Security of a city, as well as one piece of technology exclusive to the Forgotten. They are the following:


Inquisitors' Divinity
Faction: FactionIconSmall.png All
Obtained: ResearchIcon.png Era III
Type: Improvement.png City Improvement
Focus: SecuritySmall.png Security
Costs:

600 IndustrySmall.png
5 Adamantian Color 256x256.PNG
-6 DustSmall.png per TurnSmall.png

Inquisitors' Divinity.png By founding a new Divinity expressly dedicated to unmasking the worms in the pulp of Forgotten society, the ability to find enemy spies is greatly improved.

Effects:

+20 security SecuritySmall.png on city

Traitor's Lottery
Faction: FactionIconSmall.png All
Obtained: ResearchIcon.png Era V
Type: Improvement.png City Improvement
Focus: SecuritySmall.png Security
Costs:

2000 IndustrySmall.png
10 Glassteel Color 256x256.png
5 Hyperium Color 256x256.PNG
-8 DustSmall.png per TurnSmall.png

Traitor's Lottery.png By inaugurating a lottery system that covertly rewards those who achieve the most denouncements of suspicious friends and kin, the chances of uncovering enemy operatives is better than ever.

Effects:

+30 security SecuritySmall.png on city

What's Mine is Mine
Faction: ForgottenIcon.png Forgotten
Obtained: ResearchIcon.png Era II
Category: MilitaryIcon.png Military
Type: FactionIconSmall.png Empire
Focus: SecuritySmall.png Security
What's Mine is Mine.png Those who are strong in the ways of espionage must also be ready when their enemies use those skills against them. Additional training in counter-espionage is never wasted time.

Effects:

+15 Security SecuritySmall.png on cities
+3 InfiltrationSmall.png on infiltrated hero