A special part of your military forces are spies. These units act in secrecy and are an important factor in L&L and may decide a war.
To train spies, a Thieves' Guild is necessary. The more spies you want in your realm, the more guilds you have to build. The calculation for the limit of spies can be found in the formulary. The higher the level of a guild, the faster and cheaper the training of spies. More importantly, the starting experience of the spies increases similarly.
Spies increase their experience only in hostile lands and up to a maximum experience of 180. The experience gained depends on the loss of honour during the war.
Spies that are placed in guilds owned by the spies' owner or another member of the owner's alliance are automatically put into advance training; they increase their experience by 1-2 points each turn until they reach the level of experience provided by the expansion level of that particular guild. This experience level is further increased by the research area "Secret library".
Spies are moved similarly to armies; their exhaustion increases with every move.. They can cross water in their own boats, but this exhausts them even more. Therefore it is a good idea to use ships to transport spies over larger distances on sea (like armies). Other than armies spies may move in hostile lands without problems in order to explore the enemy's realm; this is possible because players can only see their own and allied spies. The range of sight of spies is 2 fields. But more detailed information (population, production, army makeup) is only available for the field the spy is located on.
In addition to explore the opponents' lands, spies can also be used as agents to cause damage to the enemy. Such actions are performed immediately and increase the spies' exhaustion. The success of an action depends on the spies' experience, the spies' exhaustion, the kind of action, the militia content on the field and the presence of hostile spies on the field. Players can protect their own fields from hostile espionage actions by a big militia content and having their own spies guarding the field.
The following actions are available; sorted from easiest to most difficult action:
This kills a part of the field's population depending on the spy's experience. If this would lead to the militia surpassing the current militia limit of the population, the militia is reduced as well.
The secret agent persuades a part of the militia to desert. This makes all following actions easier to perform. However, the owner of the field can replenish the lost militia immediately up to the current militia limit.
The production of the field is reduced by up to 50% for some time, depending on the spy's experience. The sabotage of unit-producing buildings (for example castles, harbors, and thieves' guilds) leads to a delay in unit production; unit training does not stop completely, though.
By thorough exploration of an enemy's castle the spy achieves an attack bonus for the following turns. This bonus can reach a maximum of 80% of the total castle defense bonus (including fortified towers). Also Harbors and Towns can be infiltrated if they have fortifications. The infiltration bonus will be calculated based on the defense bonus of the slot addons, the base defense value of towns and harbors is not affected.
The exhaustion of a hostile army is increased. This action can only be performed once each turn.
The spy attempts the assassination of a specific general of a hostile army. The difficulty of this mission is independent of the level of the general. If the mission is successful, the assassinated general is automatically replaced by a new general 3 levels below the former general. This new general is protected from further assassination attempts for the next 5 turns. Each spy can perform this action only once per turn.
The spy attempts to expose a foreign spy on the field. The field's militia supports the respective spy, that is employed by the field's owner. If a spy is exposed, a combat takes place between the two spies automatically. The success of exposing and combating another spy depends on the experience and the exhaustion of the involved spies. If you expose the spy of a player with whom you have a peace treaty on your own field, the spy is expelled from the country without a combat. The espionage activity "expose spy" cannot be performed on fields of a peace partner.
If no spy is exposed, it doesn't necessarily mean that there are no (enemy) spies around. It may be possible that the (enemy) spy is very well hidden. If no more enemy spies are present, you will receive a special message: "... made sure that there are no enemy spies on this field.".
A spy can be firmly connected with an own or an allied army by this action. The shadowing can be stopped by giving a new course to the spy.
If an army is shattered/destroyed, the shadowing by a spy is canceled (red lamp). Nothing happens to the spy himself.
If an army is repelled, the spy moves within the same tick, if his owner's turn takes place after the battle. If the owner's turn was before the battle, the spy moves the following tick. Please note that the order of the player's turns during the ticks are random in each tick.
Shadowing spies are not loaded onto ships together with their respective army automatically. If an army is loaded, the spy will follow the army with his own little boat. If the spy is loaded onto the ship, the shadowing is canceled and needs to be restarted after the spy is unloaded from the ship.
The speed of a spy is always just 1. If the spy is shadowing an army of horsemen (with speed 2), the army will leave the spy behind.
If a spy is caught while performing an espionage action, he may be able to escape across the border and return after some rounds to the next Thieves' guild, or he may be executed by the enemy. If there is no thieves' guild left, he cannot return.
Honor and Experience
- Spy actions can only be performed against opponents with whom they are at war or have a running declaration of war.
- Spies gain experience for performing actions. The following actions will get experience for the spy:
|sabotage||only if building hasn't beed sabotaged before|
|infiltratge||only if building hasn't been infiltrated before|
|expose spy||only if a fight between spies takes place, the winner will get experience|
|impede advance||the more an army is already exhausted, the less experience the spy will get|
|assasinate general||only assassinating Refflers or higher ranks will get the spy experience|
- The maximum experience limit for spies is 180.
- Spy actions against smaller opponents cost honor (similarly to the conquering of fields). If the honor loss is 20 or higher, the spy will gain no more experience for spy actions.
- To avoid loosing honor accidentally, you can set an honor limit at the 'espionage' screen:
Spies ask for 750 pieces of gold each turn; however, differing from army units, they do not desert when gold runs out.
|Titles of spies|
|Title||German Title||required experience|
|Novice||Novize||50 - 57|
|Apprentice||Lehrling||58 - 72|
|Journeyman||Geselle||73 - 87|
|Pilferer||Langfinger||88 - 102|
|Thief||Dieb||103 - 117|
|Assassin||Meuchler||118 - 132|
|Assassinator||Meuchelmörder||133 - 147|
|Masterthief||Meisterdieb||148 - 162|
|Grandmaster||Großmeister||163 - 180|
Hints by experiences players
It is advisable to accompany armies with spies to increase the defense against hostile espionage, because your enemy may try to kill your generals or impede the advance of your armies. You can decide whether to move your spies with your army on your own or to use the "shadow army" action.