Espionage Guide 1.0

1. Define one city as an espionage city. This is done either with code of laws, or the great wall, which ever you get first. If you don’t have code of laws, try to make the espionage city the same one you put the forbidden palace in – so you don’t have to forgo the reduced maintenance costs.
2. Always run as many spy specialists as possible in this city, and build any espionage generating building here first. It will generate great spies only. Settle the first one and build scotland yard with the second. After that, settle each and every one in this city.
3. Be first to communism and recieve a free great spy.
4. Use the nationhood civic.
5. A few turns of 100% espionage slider targeted at one single person.
6. Use this city to output all your spies.
7. Try to run the slider at 10% espionage early.


1. Generate points, and towards the right opponents.
2. Place one spy in every city, every resource or other point that might be pillaged.
3. Place spies in a row, and a wall, to cover an area an enemy spy must cross to get to an anticipated target (i.e. capital, military city, border city). Can also place them along the border as a wall.
4. Target his espionage city/cities and destroy espionage point generating buildings.
5. Run the “counter-espionage” missions every 10 turns if needing extra defenses (such as before a war declaration or otherwise).


1. Scout out his entire territory, map out all cities.
2. Reveal his research.
3. Locate and track his stack of doom.
4. Note strategic resources and their locations.
5. Analyze city defenses.
6. Attempt to ascertain where the specialized cities are (wonders, production, military, science, gold etc).
7. Steal Technologies.
8. Position spies next to each of his cities instead of inside them, as if he uses spies to defend himself, you are far more likely to get caught. You retain the ability to see units in the city and the surrounding area.

Mark 3-6 with SIGNS in the game engine. For defenders and stack of doom, also write which turn it was last updated. Non aggressive does not mean risk free – the spies may still be caught. ECONOMIC WARFARE ESPIONAGE TACTICS:

1. Destroy terrain improvements on commerce generating resources, which are usually also happy resources.
2. Destroy buildings in the specialized cities (i.e. bank of the gold city, observatory/library of the science city).
3. Run poison if he has little health resources, and unhappiness if he has few happy resources in the most critical cities.
4. Destroy Towns/villages.
5. Destroy the mines surrounding the wonder production cities.
6. Destroy production of wonders.


1. Use the “spread culture” to his critical border cities.
2. Sabotage the culture producing buildings.


1. Destroy the military improvements in his main unit producing cities: Barracks, forge, factory, drydock etc.
2. Disconnect strategic military resources: Copper, iron, ivory, horses, oil, uranium, coal, aluminum; by destroying the terrain improvement and also destroying roads connecting them.
3. Destroy the mines surrounding the military production cities.
4. When taking cities, use the ‘city revolt’ mission to avoid needing to bombard the city.


1. Force change a civic (if favourite of the AI) or a religion on either one of parties you wish to worsen the relationship of.
2. False flag operations are possible to sour the relationship between two human players. The further away from yourself they are, the better. A different continent is ideal. Perform the Cultural Border Espionage missions on one of their border cities. As you have nothing to gain from a cultural war far away from yourself, they will be more likely to suspect each other.


1. If he has neighbors, send them in bulk in galleons/transports, and offload near their borders within their neighbors borders. Then cross the borders by land.
2. Can be smuggled in Galleons and Transports under the guise of sending a great merchant/missionaries.
3. If there are no open borders agreement, caravels, east indiamen and attack submarines can sail into their borders to drop off a spy. Try to make it seem as if the caravel is merely exploring. Otherwise, sail into the edge of his borders, drop off the spy, and make sure you can sail away on the same turn. And hope he didn’t notice. This is not practical due to the limited transport capacity, and only for special occassions where there are no neighbors to go through.

It is a difficult logistical task to transport enough spies to another continent, and slow to replace them once used.


This was a thought experiment of mine. I had been longing to use the spy feature of BtS, but I never really made any good use of it. It seemed wasted. I spent a few hours thinking about it and wrote down what came to mind. I am sure many of these things will benefit me greatly in future games, things I just never considered before yet seem so obvious now.

Any thoughts? More usages? Is something incorrect in the guide?

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