Agema Publications

A forum for the disscussion of the Play by Mail games from Agema Publications

How to stop Spies


J Flower

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How to stop Spies

Post by J Flower on Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:13 am

It has been mentioned in another thread that spies seem to some to be too powerful, could it be that the concentration on spies in an offensive role, rather than finding ways to combat them also plays a role in the debate.

I think Kingmaker has made a good point that many utilise spies as a way simply to get military information, maybe a more subtule approach is needed, I take it that many have utilised this more subtle approach, there are many more things that a spy can do than simply steal military ORBATs & eventually make interesting Christmas tree decorations when they get caught & hung.

A spy as a merchant can be useful, or as an officer in a forgien military, or as a servant in a royal hosehold, or acting as a pirate.

More importantly do we have at our disposal in the game the ability to blunt the spy activities of other players? There are the physical ways of course, puting grills on government buildings, installing safes in buildiungs, guards, dogs etc.. However do they stop spies or merely make life a little harder.

Is it possiable to create a counter espionage element in your nation, raise spies to act to catch enemy spies, rather then sending them abroad raise them as internal spies to keep an eye out for those nasty buggers from next door.

Hope that the questions raised become a few answers, as it would help us all to broaden the scope of the game & add another layer to this game we enjoy so much.

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Re: How to stop Spies

Post by Kingmaker on Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:59 pm

I used to use Treasury clerks to spy. They could get copies of military lists as they have to pay them.

I also used clerks to send false orders G4 as Venice ordered the Ottoman fleet to change course and bombard Marseilles to teach the Catholics a lesson. French returned the compliment by trapping the Ottoman fleet in a harbor and blowing them to bits. Ottoman player then executed the whole naval ministry as he could not find the culprit......

Having you ministry building all in one city and behind walls with only 2 entrances guarded by a military unit and police with dogs, plus grills. (As Russia I made my clerks from Siberians who were loyal to me stop bribery) Have glass along wall tops and a secondary wall possibly 10 m away to stop them getting in with dogs running loose between the walls.

Lastly in cities with important buildings etc have local children paid to report any strangers to watch and have them followed.

just some ideas I have used to some success in the past.

Lt Colonel, Commander of the Tsars Personal Bodyguard


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Re: How to stop Spies

Post by Jason on Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:37 pm

Some interesting ideas from Kingmaker Smile  Do like the glass top!

I have used domestic spies to watch out for foreign spies as well as grills on windows as well as having a single ministry building.  The idea of a dedicated military unit to guard also makes sense, will have to use that in the future.

In previous Chinese positions, I have raised a dedicated watch to keep an eye on foreign merchants, to make sure they aren't up to no good, breaking our perfectly reasonable laws or spying.  Could a similar watch be raised as a counter-espionage force?  Operating across an entire nation rather than a single town/city?

Stuart Bailey

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Re: How to stop Spies

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:47 pm

Ref counter Int operations I have seen people use agents to hunt down spies and also use the watch for same purpose.

Agents seem better at finding hidden spies, the watch better at catching agents in the "act" of robbing ministries, sabotage etc.

Interestingly in France and states which copied France members of the Kings Musketeers (and similiar Guard units.......rate either as Palace Guards or a couple of Elite Cavalry Squardrons?) were used to arrest traitors against the crown and for other intrigues and secret missions.

Its more expensive and probably no more effective than the using the town watch but using a d'Artragnan equal (Agent) backed up by a company of Musketeers. But you have to admit its got more style.

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Re: How to stop Spies

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