The Covert Ops System allows players to conduct covert actions against opponents. Players who emphasize Covert Ops can gain advantages in technology, visibility of another colony’s cities and units, and even gain control of units and cities.
The player affects clandestine activities by using covert agents. Agents are not units on the map, and are recruited and managed through the covert operations screen. An agent is either “at Headquarters” or is assigned to a city. Once assigned to a city, the agent can perform covert operations.
In order to recruit agents, the player must first construct the Spy Agency (similar to the Headquarters, each colony can build this but each colony may only have one Spy Agency), which takes 200 production.This provides the player with three agents at Headquarters.These agents can be deployed to other players’ cities to perform covert operations or to yourown cities to protect against other players’ covert activities.
When an agent is unassigned to a city, he is said to be “at Headquarters". Agents at Headquarters are inactive. You can assign an agent who is at Headquarters to any city which currently doesn’t have one of your agents assigned to it (one agent per player per city). Once assigned, it takes a few turns for the agent to arrive and become active.
Once an agent has arrived in a city, the plots around the city become visible to the player (or player’s team) and the agent can begin performing operations. If an agent is moved to a city belonging to the owning player, that agent is performing counter-intelligence. Agents conducting counter-intelligence cannot perform operations, but make it harder for other agents to do so. A city’s intrigue level also decreases faster when there is a counter- intelligence agent present.
National Security Projects
When the player gets Agents for the first time, he or she is asked to select a National Security Project. National Security Projects provide a passive global benefit to the player which scales depending on the number of Agents that are at Headquarters (the more Agents at Headquarters, the better the yield from the Project). National Security Projects never “complete,” but are ongoing and continuously beneficial.
The player can change the current National Security Project at any time, but there are a number of turns before the National Security Project will become active, during which time no National Security Project is active.
Once placed in an enemy city, an agent can perform covert operations. An operation can only be performed if the city’s intrigue level is at or higher than the operation’s required intrigue level. Operations take a variable amount of time and range in difficulty. Operations have a difficulty value from 0 to 100 which is computed based on the operation type and rank of the agent performing it. The difficulty represents how likely it is the operation will fail. Once begun, an operation succeeds, fails or is aborted by the player.
The status of the agent once an operation concludes is more varied.After an operation, an agent can be:
- Undetected: The defending player is not notified that anything has happened.
- Detected: The defending player is notified that a covert operation tookplace, but not who perpetrated it.
- Identified: The defending player is notified that a covert operation took place and who perpetrated it. The agent is returned to Headquarters (escapes).
- Killed: The defending player is notified that a covert operation took place and who perpetrated it. The agent is killed.
Agents may conduct one (at a time) of several covert missions once in an enemy city. Note that some of these missions are restricted to performance by a player with a specific Affinity.
- Establish Network: Very Easy. Gathers various pieces of information about the target city and player, and displays the information in a window adjacent to the city while in covert operations view. The amount and detail of the information increases with the performing agent’s level.
- Siphon Energy: Easy difficulty. Diverts energy resources from the target city to the player.
- Steal Science: Easy difficulty. Diverts science resources from the target city to the player.
- Steal Technology: Moderate difficulty. Steals a technology from the target player. This doesn’t necessarily match a tech that the target player has. One is automatically selected that is an appropriate reward.
- Hack Satellites: Moderate difficulty. Deorbits a random satellite.
- Call Worm Strike: Hard difficulty. Draws hostile aliens to the target city. This operation is allowed only by the Harmony Affinity level.
- Dirty Bomb: Hard difficulty. Decreases the target city’s population substantially. This operation is allowed only by Purity Affinity level.
- Sabotage: Hard difficulty. Pillages nearby improvements. This operation is allowed only by Supremacy Affinity level.
- Recruit Defectors: Moderate difficulty. Gives the player a set of random military units at their capital.
- Coup D’etat: Moderate difficulty. Transfers control of the target city to the performing player.
Agents start with a rank of Recruit, and as they complete covert operations, work their way up to Agent and finally Special Agent . A higher ranked agent has a better chance of going undetected while performing operations, and can better defend against other agents when doing counter-intelligence .
Killed in Action
If an agent is killed after performing a covert operation, that agent’s slot is vacated and another is recruited (as a Recruit) automatically after a certain number of turns .
The Culper Lodge, an ancient order devoted to espionage, is built by a colony only upon completion of a Quest . It allows new recruited agents to begin at a higher level (Special Agent) than usual . Only one is allowed per colony, a la the Spy Agency .
City Intrigue Level
Each city has an “intrigue level” which reflects how much clandestine activity is going on there . Each time a covert operation is performed, the intrigue level increases . The intrigue level starts at 0 and maxes out at 5 . As the intrigue level of a city increases, so does the risk to agents performing operations . More destabilizing operations become available as a city’s intrigue increases . As a rule of thumb, covert operations that can adversely affect the target player are generally reserved for levels 4 and 5, while operations which simply benefit the performing player but which would otherwise be harmless to the target player are unlocked at lower intrigue levels . Intrigue can be both a benefit and a liability to the player .
In Civilization: Beyond Earth , you can monitor your Covert Ops . 101 Click on the Covert Ops button in the lower right of the Main Map screen . This opens the Covert Ops screen, which lists your agents both at Headquarters and on assignment. You can assign agents by clicking on the “Assign” button and specifying the city to which they will move. If on a mission, you can use the “Abort” button to stop an agent from completing a mission. With the Covert Ops screen open, you can scroll around the Main Map. You can also jump to a city in which you have placed an agent by clicking on that agent’s name while “On Assignment".
The city banner of each city on the Main Map screen will display the city’s intrigue level, as well as details about any agent of yours in place there. You may also use the city banner to open the “Intel Report” for that city if you have an agent in place there. The report is an abbreviated account of events in the city of varying detail and accuracy. Beware, the report may be outdated.