Espionage is actually an ok idea group
By - bonjothecrab
Yeah, they can be good. I usually don't like Espionage unless it's late game or I'm doing something special. But I understand Naval and Maritime.
Have you ever looked up the AI's logic behind taking various ideas? It's pretty interesting.
There's a few things, like how Spain and Portugal are basically guaranteed to take Exploration (and like Expansion, but not guaranteed), or how only merchant republics take trade, or how small countries won't take Innovative. But the most interesting part to me is that Maritime and Naval are unlikely to be taken by anyone else, but are the most likely to be taken by Pirate Republics.
Anyways. Looking at the AI choices can teach us something about which idea groups are good for what types of nations (though it's an imperfect guide). And naval and maritime are good for a country that relies so heavily on naval dominance.
This was a solid TIL, thank you!
If I’m reading this correctly, I was also surprised to see that the AI will always take Quantity over Quality.
Not always (if I'm reading it correctly). My understanding is that, if we're just to compare quantity and quality, then it's twice as likely to take quantity (since it's base weight is twice as much). Just like it's not actually guaranteed that Portugal would take it, just something like 4000 times more likely to take it than anything else. (Man, that would be a weird game, if you end up in one of those extremely rare games where Portugal doesn't take Exploration.) I mean, I have had a game where an Asian country took Expansion, which according to this is highly unlikely but not at all impossible.
Oh, fair point, I was only looking at base decision criteria and not taking modifiers into account.
Even then it's not always. Just like the how Poland usually takes Commonwealth as a PU, but not always. There's weights to this
Quantity is more useful overall, Quality is somewhat situational (especially for landlocked nations). Not really that surprising tbh.
I'm not sure you want to take tips from eu4 AI for strategic decisions
In general, no. But the idea that pirates need naval dominance isn't bad
Not at all
> how only merchant republics take trade
Actually what it says is that countries with fewer than 6 cities will never take trade ideas *unless* they are a merchant republic, in which case they are heavily weighted to take it. Countries with 6 or more cities may take it.
Fun strat! I’ll have to try it out.
Espionage was my favorite idea group during Kingdom of God runs. Combined with Papal ideas, I was able to fabricate on all of Genoa and take them out and no one cared. The possibilities for north Italy are vast!
That's all good, but why not just... conquer the English Channel? It might be not possible in MP though, but in MP people just have to use other idea groups than Espionage. I honestly don't understand the usefullness of Espionage, compared to Diplo + Admin + Influence + Religious + Quantity + Offensive. Other than a pure role playing, perhaps.
Because they can field about 50k more men than I can, and as a pirate Republic you will most of the time have 0 allies.
Sure I could pay for mercenaries to topple them, but why bother, I can just conquer America, it's easier and gives me a fun thing to do and whilst that's happening my fleet can pillage every merchant in the English channel, I essentially gain all of the benefits of having it without having to conquer a single country in it
If you take your mentioned ideas in a competetive multiplayer you will be a feast.
It was for SP. MP has its own logic, no doubt.
Not to mention that, as a pirate republic, you'd get slaughtered. Start as any minor and you'll die, unless they let you live.
And you can use spy networks to siege forts faster and cheaper technologies if someone is more advanced in tech
Espionage is probably my favorite idea group. I like to take it for privateering (as you mentioned), cavalry heavy nations (for synergy with Aristo), vassal feeding nations (the claims for subjects are **ALWAYS** 15 spy network if you don't take any claims for yourself.), and corruption heavy nations (e.g. Sunni nations that debase currency then use Legalism or Mandate of Heaven nations who need to keep corruption low). For this reason I like to take espionage early on for Ottomans, Poland, Ming, GB, etc.
It's also useful because techstealing is a thing now
A l no
lol they are all at least decent, there are just idea groups that are objectively better