Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

image

Spying on Aliens

Galactic Civilizations is a game that asks the question: What happens after we start colonizing other planets? For our purposes, we are going to assume that we will come into contact with alien civilizations.

Alien civilizations will have their own histories, cultures and ideals that we can only fathom.  In Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade, you will be able to train your citizens to learn more about these other civilizations and, if necessary, do very bad things to them.

[[..]]

Tough Choices

If you are new to Galactic Civilizations, you can skip this section, since I'm going to be spending it creating great outrage among GalCiv III fans.

Dear GalCiv III fans,

Your old economy is dead. I killed it. 

I killed it because each citizen matters. A lot.  You get 1 every 10 turns.  That means in a typical game, you'll see around 25 citizens.  That means they're not disposable.   There are certain planetary improvements you can build that will give you specialists (like spies), but they will be either wonders or 1 per civilization and require resources. 

Bottom line: each citizen makes a difference.

Turn 1: A new start

For 25 years, Galactic Civilizations had a preferred strategy: the colony rush.  This isn't surprising because that was, after all, the premise of the game.  Crusade doesn't get rid of the colony rush, but it adds other equally viable strategies.

image

Turn 1: Look closely at your resources: 5,000 credits, 10 population, 4 admin points.  And only 1 ship.

What uses administration?

  1. Colony Ships & Colonies
  2. Survey Ships (which you can now build on turn 1)
  3. Constructors

In the base game, the first turn meant moving your colony ship, survey ship, and scout around and then waiting 20 turns for a colony ship or whatever to be built.  Now, colony ships are cheap, but cost an administrator. Survey ships are instantly available and space junk provides resources, but also costs an administrator.

image

Turn 1: Look at your home world. Raw Production =  base resource production in every category.  There are no "sliders". Instead, you directly control your output either through using those precious citizens on a planet, or globally.

Now, let's say you want to do the colony rush thing. Well, then you will need to make a tough choice once you consume those first 4 admin points:

image

By turn 10, you will likely have 3 different training options for your citizens.

At this point, I've consumed my administration points with colony ships.  Do I want to train my first citizen as an administrator to get 5 more administrative points?  Or do we want to greatly increase our research? Or maybe greatly increase our planetary production.

You might say, "It's always better to have more colonies in the long run..."

But what if I told you that there's now a bunch of early game Galactic Wonders (that can only be built by one civilization)?

image

Hey, look at that? An early game Wonder that if I obtain it, I get a free General (which would let me invade a planet super early)

Galactic Wonders aren't cheap.  The Strategic Command, which provides a free General used for invading planets, normally takes 28 turns.  But what if I trained my citizen to be a Worker?

image

Putting my trained Worker on Earth yields a 33% bonus.

Now suddenly, that 28 turn wonder is down to 19 turns.  That's a huge advantage.  And the Strategic Command isn't the only early game wonder that does awesome stuff.  By the way, Basic Factories now only provide a 5% manufacturing bonus by default instead of 15%. This change scales through the whole game (the costs and production have all been redone).

And Citizens level up, which means he'll keep getting more and more powerful over the course of the game. 

The other choice, Research, is more obviously beneficial. An immediate 33% boost to research on Earth is pretty huge.  And they stack (33% + 33% + 33%) so yes, you can do some crazy stuff.  Just bear in mind that all the other numbers have been heavily nerfed and/or greatly increased before you start thinking about having planets with 10,000 production per turn.

 

 

Spies

When you research the Espionage technology, you can then train new citizens to be spies. 

 

image

Train one of those precious citizens to be spies. 

So if a single Worker can increase production on a planet by 33%, you can imagine how powerful a single Spy must be to balance that.

For starters, you can choose to do nothing at all with your spy, in which case he or she handles counter-espionage:

image

Similarly, you can assign them to an alien civilization and begin spying on them.  This means learning more about what they are up to as a civilization and later, stealing tech. 

image

However, you can also use them for planetary destabilization.

image

By clicking on colonies, you will be shown all of their planets that you know of (unless you've already done some surveillance, in which case you will get to see all their planets regardless of location).

image

Placing a spy on a planet will do two things.  First, it knocks planetary production (raw production) down by 20% (and yes, it stacks).  Second, it will totally disable the improvement you station it on.  The target will know that there's a spy on that planet, but will not know who is doing it.

Now, I imagine some of you who were previously worrying about how powerful those 33% boosts to planet research from a single scientist are, are realizing that it doesn't seem quite so overpowering given that someone might nerf your production down by 20% with a spy or be stealing your tech that you're researching so aggressively, unless you save some spies for defensive uses. 

You can kill a spy by sacrificing one of your own spies to terminate it.

image

We're still working on those descriptions...

But that's not where spies stop being scary.  You can also promote them to become infiltrators, saboteurs, assassins, provocateurs and more -- if you have enough resources.    If you're an experienced 4X player, you probably read the above and thought about how screwed you could get if your enemies ganged up on you with spies.  However, if you are powerful enough in terms of resources (which is when your enemies are most likely to gang up), you can do things such as turn a spy into an Assassin and sacrifice them to kill all other enemy spies on a planet.  Similarly, you can use spies to wreck entire planets or get the people to revolt. 

The super powers of spies aren't lightly used because they cost a lot of resources and most of the time, players won't have those resources or they won't have the proper ideology (sorry, no genocide for you benevolent types).  What it does mean, however, is that late game, the gods of the galaxy will truly begin to feel like gods as they begin to smite their enemies.

 

 

Next up

Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade will be released this Spring.  Spring is almost here.  As you are probably gathering, it is a top-to-bottom expansion of Galactic Civilizations.  

Next Week: Commanders!


Comments (Page 3)
on Mar 11, 2017

.

on Mar 12, 2017

How would you like an espionage system.

on Mar 12, 2017

admiralWillyWilber

How would you like an espionage system.

 

Proberly never! Look at our time:

  • Are there spies infiltrating foreign coutries? Yes
  • Are they necescery? No - Why?
  • Computer espionage!
  • Computer espionage 200 years ahead? No!
  • Alien race spies which steal your research?
  • This should be an payed citzien from the same race?
  • Payed? Look at NSA, CIA, BND, GHCQ ... - They know how the money flows!
  • So how should espionage works 200 years ahead? Don't know - but not this way.
  • Maybe you need a Spy-Ship with super powerful computers which can infiltrate enemy computers from distance - so why not an espionage modul?
  • The espionage modul needs some turns to work and must be close to colonies for working - something like this? It is mostly hidden - only easy to locate when spying. Now you need your combat ships spread out for hunting...

 

on Mar 12, 2017

Im a bit dubious about spys also, not espionage, just the spys. "Lets place this "Human" spy on this drengin world, they wont notice him!" Seems odd tbh.

 

on Mar 12, 2017

I really disliked the spy system in gal civ 2.

1 spy did a 'flat' this or that. Create 1 spy to counter their spy, both spies die etc. Not very immersive.

 

Would be better if spies had a % chance, to infiltrate, get caught, steal tech, counter etc. Gain experience over time or through tech.

 

Certain races would be better than others.

 

I really hope the spy system isn't as 1 dimension as it sounds.

 

 

 

on Mar 12, 2017

Horemvore

Im a bit dubious about spys also, not espionage, just the spys. "Lets place this "Human" spy on this drengin world, they wont notice him!" Seems odd tbh.

 

 

Lol But hey, I have watched enough Star Trek to know that you just need to visit the Doc for a bit to completely alter your appearance

 

As for the dev diary - thanks for the comments about economy and spies. I guess I have to see it in action to make up my mind finally. However, I hope the next "commander" DD gives away some bits about the new invasion mechanics....unless this one gets an extra DD.

on Mar 12, 2017

GalCivius

Lol But hey, I have watched enough Star Trek to know that you just need to visit the Doc for a bit to completely alter your appearance

I'd be alright if we have techs that "simulate" this

on Mar 12, 2017

Horemvore


Quoting GalCivius,

Lol But hey, I have watched enough Star Trek to know that you just need to visit the Doc for a bit to completely alter your appearance



I'd be alright if we have techs that "simulate" this

 

I had hoped the Drath would be coming back for the expansion which included espionage as the Drath in lore have shapeshifting abilities. It just seem to fit so perfectly to return this way. As well as making a new race trait that gave you some sort of espionage/shapeshifting bonus.

on Mar 12, 2017

Is this correct?

 

Do I want to train my first citizen as an administrator to get 5 more administrative points?

 

In an earlier journal it was stated that each citizen trained as an admin would add 10%+1 admin slots, which should be 1.4 for the first citizen for a total of 5.4 (including the original 4)

To add 5 would be the original number + 10% + 1, more than doubling admin for each administrator we train

I could live with that

 

on Mar 12, 2017

really lets see it is nothing new added for start

it be unbalanced  on colony ship n colonies cause those with  a research bonus will grow faster , and what of the ones with fast growth rate hmmm  very unbalanced

food should be a planet by planet basis unless they introduce a thing from star drive with transports to deliver food or do as they doing exact like dawn of Andromeda

I see some good things but really the admin for colony ships is not useful only to slow u down , and admin for colonies what will they do but slow your growth ,  so no point in administrators is there

on Mar 12, 2017

delwyn1

but really the admin for colony ships is not useful only to slow u down

 

Most changes only for slow down the player! But the one thing which where realy great for slow down iss missing!

 

What about a really insane map size? This means a map ten times or fifty times bigger then now - so your first contact with another major faction is about turn 200 or turn 300... - Where is the endless space? Late game it is possible to build ships which can fly across the hole map within one turn - this should be impossible.

on Mar 12, 2017

Well, this looks promising, but...and I hate to ask for this, but When will this little gem come out?

on Mar 12, 2017

BigfishGalaxy


Quoting delwyn1,

but really the admin for colony ships is not useful only to slow u down



 

Most changes only for slow down the player! But the one thing which where realy great for slow down iss missing!

 

What about a really insane map size? This means a map ten times or fifty times bigger then now - so your first contact with another major faction is about turn 200 or turn 300... - Where is the endless space? Late game it is possible to build ships which can fly across the hole map within one turn - this should be impossible.

well stellaris has a system cap ( administrators) on how many you can control at any one time

it works like this 1 admin  = 1 colony ship  once at planet 1 administrator  for colony so it works out as 2 admin per colony

like in original post it be 5 admin = 2 colonies 1 admin  for res starbase or whatever

this also reduces the ability to use starbases to gather resources or to help you in production with economic or influence starbases

they been better upgrading the multiplayer map off the galciv2 basic game biggiest map of gigantic

on Mar 13, 2017

Darkchaser

Well, this looks promising, but...and I hate to ask for this, but When will this little gem come out?

The only info out on this is that release will be in spring. When exactly we do not know yet.

on Mar 13, 2017

I am looking for the espionage system. Its a mechanic to play with. One thing to remember is its not necessarily a real human spy we are training up. Its a 'citizen' and the moment you decide its going to be a spy for the Yor, it becomes a Yor citizen that you happen to realize its usefulness or even its a Drengin turncoat or whatever. It can also be a contact that we have control of within that species. Whatever floats to make the mechanic work. 

I for one am very happy we have limits to everything. It is a change and there will be some who resist and dislike change. Its for the good of the game. 

BigFish, I only play on insane and all this change is going to do is slow down the player a bit. If you look at your new research lines (which we are told we are getting) there will be the means to get LOTS of admin for your use. 

I like that we have choices with consequences. It makes each game more unique and that is always a welcome thing. 

Do I rush Colony ships or grab a scientist to plop down on my new Ghost world and dramatically boost my research < SO I CAN GET MORE ADMINS FASTER> or do I drop my citizen on the Homeworld to crank out warships faster?


All of the above come with consequences for missing the other two. This is good. If you fail at a game because you spent all your early admins on Diplomacy and the first 30 turns you had nobody to talk to than, NEXT game you will know not to do that so early....(hehe).


In any event, I would say lets  not rush to judgement so fast as we have not even got our hands on Crusade yet to see how the recent update and Crusade will play out. 


Happy Monday! 

Meta
Views
» 27870
Comments
» 56
Sponsored Links