For Lord of Rigel we wanted to create an in depth espionage system. Spies can be offensive or defensive. Defensive spies protect against enemy agents and protect your empire from hostile actions. Some species such as the Humans have some significant penalties to spying, so it may take a large number of agents to protect against hostile actions.
Offensive spies are assigned to rival empires. When a mission opportunity triggers you’ll have the option of five missions each with a chance of success. These include Infiltrating, Destroying, Assassination, Stealing Tech, and Hiding.
Hiding keeps the agent passively collecting intel on the rival empire. Collected information includes things like the leader’s personality, fleet positions, and the various buildings and assigned population on each world.
Infiltration has a spy reduce the morale on the targeted planet. Enough infiltration missions can reduce morale enough to incite a rebellion. Even without a rebellion, reducing morale can significantly impact the production on a planet.
Destroy missions will randomly damage a ship or building with the player’s best bomb tech in the system that the mission is happening on. In the case of ships this damage is done underneath shields or armor, and can outright destroy even a large warship. These missions can significantly damage the infrastructure of a planet.
Assassinate missions will target heroes in a system and attempt to kill them. There’s also a chance that it may target the emperor, causing regime change. This could have positive or negative side effects depending on what type of leader takes the position next.
Stealing technology is straight forward, it will randomly take a technology that you don’t currently have that the target empire has.
With any mission there’s a chance of exposure, even if it’s successful. Rival nations don’t like it when technologies are stolen, and really don’t like it if they know who assassinated their leader. If a mission is very successful, you may even be able to frame a rival empire!
Overall we’re keeping a simple set of missions with varying degrees of success. But each of these missions can have clear impacts on gameplay and make espionage a useful tool for players!