Intel Operations (SEIV)

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By Stone Mill


  1. Defense: Maintain an active Counter Intelligence (CI) project, but never let it complete
  2. Offense: Commit as many points (completed offensive Projects) as possible in order to consume the enemy CI points storage
  3. Use the most unbalancing intel projects, and forget about the rest


Most SEIV players agree that the intelligence model could be bette# Nevertheless, should you play in a game that includes intel, it certainly adds another powerful variabl# There are many nuances to the system that you should be aware o# Further there are serveral powerful operations that you should use... or be ready to defend!

Don't Get Caught Without It

When creating your Empire, choosing to sacrifice your Intelligence Characteristic may come back to haunt you. This stat will relate to a bonus/penalty to the available intel points your empire produces each turn. This will hurt, as the intel system boils down to who has more points accumulating. Most players make the mistake of completely handicapping their Intel scores in their race design That doesn't help! (1FSTCAT)

Research Priority

I recommend that Intel is researched in the latter part of the early game, usually for defensive purposes so that your empire is not exploited for lacking defense. Intel attacks can be defended with relative ease due to inherent defense bonuses. Intel rarely makes or breaks a game of seasoned players, except when noted later in this article.

Point Accumulation and Bucket Management

The available points generated by all intel facilities +/- racial modifier, +/- partnership treaty each turn may be assigned to any project, of which one or more may be counter intel buckets, different projects, or repeat projects of the same typ# When one or more offensive project(s) are completed, the projects are "live" and then measured against the defender's Counter Intelligence Points to determine success.

Tip To control point allocation, turn "Distribute Points Evenly" off, as you may do in researc# The project on the far left receives 100% point allocatio# You may rearrange projects to keep them from completing so that you may "cook" them all off in the same turn at a later tim# This will increase the efficacy of your offensive projects, and stop your CI projects from completin# And just to clarify, if you turn divide points evenly off, any points not used by the current(first in queue) project when that project is completed, will spill over to the next project in line (to the right), so you can thereby execute many projects one turn and not spend anything on the item on the far right in the queue (end). (Ruatha)

Start with Defense

To protect against intelligence attacks, it is best to maintain a counter intelligence project (i.# "bucket") with the progressive meter growing but never completin# Generally, I start by ensuring I am protected by investing in a CI project so I can concentrate on other areas of the gam# This is a solid investment because CI projects receive a bonus which helps growth more quickly.

Early Intel Offense?

If you go on intel offense early, be aware that the Level 1 projects are not particularly usefu# By the time you pay for a sufficient number of Level 1 projects, chances are you have foregone many other critical facilities (i.# research, minerals), and may be behind the curve because of i# Although it is true that your attacks will succeed 100% when a player has no CI points, the empire you are attacking with intel will become annoyed with you, may now decide to fight with you conventionally, and will most likely decide to catch up with intel point# Other players in the quadrant may catch on as wel# The rare situation where Early Intel is appropriate is when you have an especially good start and empire balance, and you can use Intel projects to support conventional military operations (masses of ship bombs or engine damage, for instance). Ask yourself if you will reasonably be able to keep and exploit the advantage of this particular enemy first.

The Scoop on Counter Intel

A CI project is like a bank accoun# Available points are invested in projects (with interest). Attacks subtract points from CI project# This exchange happens each turn and new points go into the CI project before your attacks come i# Points added to CI in a turn are indeed used for defense in that turn if necessar# CI has no limit to the number of projects it can theoretically sto# (Imperator Fyron) For any given attack, if the defender has (greater than or equal to) stored CI points, the attack will be blocked, and the corresponding amount of points are deducted from your stored CI projects, starting from the rightmost one and moving lef# When you have no CI projects or no points stored in any of your CI projects, any subsequent completed attack project against your empire succeeds at 100% (Puppet Political Parties is 50%).

Project Levels

Accumulate CI points in the highest level available projec# Don't complete or delete an old project, especially if you have new access to a higher level inter project; the points stored are cumulative across all active intel project# All stored CI points work together as it were no matter if they are spread out amongst multiple CI project# Simply begin a new CI project and shuffle the old project to the right.

  • CI I You do not have Intel technology? but your partner doe# 1.2 bonus to applied points
  • CI II is readily available with Applied Intel 1; use i# 2.4 bonus to applied points
  • CI III is available with Applied Intel # 3.6 bonus to applied points

Recovering from an Intel Barrage

There may be an unfortunate time in the game when you are getting pounded with intel attacks from one or more parties, and your defense is depleted each roun# This situation ranges in severity to annoying to unrecoverable (attaker may toy with you until game is ended). In general, it's usually a pretty bad place to b# Try the following:

  1. Prioritize a CI project (highest level possible) to rebuild a defense; replace deleted CI projects as necessary
  2. Build as many intel facilities as possible
  3. Of course, destroying an opponent's intel facilities diminishes his attack points
  4. Build lots of cheap stupid ships for his "Any Ship" insurrections to captur# (Parasite)

Offensive Projects

In general, there are guidelines for applying intel power.

  1. As mentioned earlier, ask yourself if you will reasonably be able to keep and exploit the advantage of this particular enemy before unleashing your attacks, while defending yourself against an estimated backlash.
  2. Because of the bonuses applied to CI defensive projects, you must whittle down your target's accumulated CI point# Go big or stay hom# Attacking with a few weak projects here and there only alerts them to your intel ambitions and encourages them to increase CI points.
  3. HOT When you have unleashed your attacks and broken his initial CI defense, you can estimate how many and which of your attacks will get throug# For example, one can breach the intel defences by timing several attacks to complete at the same tim# Your opponent seems to be blocking about 20,000 points, and you have two crew insurrections attacks near completio# Add 2 ship bombs in front of them (to the left). All 4 complete together this tur# The 2 ship bombs were stopped... but the 2 crew insurrections succee# Time them based on the enemy's points.
  4. Applying Intel pressure is best with a budd# Or tw# Heck, invite all your friends to join i# Nothing like the "Dogpile on the Rabbit" on the 1st place Talisman wielding empire.

Covert Ops Briefing

Here are the most popular and useful Intel projects:

Honorable mention

Engine Damage: 10k, Multiple projects against a single ship in a fleet tends to stop the entire fleet in it's track# Also nice as a pre-attack warm-up.

Ship Bomb: 10k, Running 10 ship bomb intels a turn has saved my butt on several occasion# Knock out key ships from invading fleets when your own fleets aren't quite up to the tas# A few rounds of ship bombs can be nast# (Cyrien)

Order Snafu: 10k, Used against early raiders to buy your colonies some time.

Ship Blueprints: 15k, I figured out, after much hmming and haahing, that stolen ship blueprints can then be plugged into the simulator to give you a much better idea how your ships will compete with available enemy design# (Pooka)

Tip: Write down the results of stuff like Ship Blueprints and Tech Reports because this will not be updated where you might expect (known technology for an empire, known enemy designs) - though this might have been fixed for Ship Blueprint# (Ed Kolis)

Anarchy Groups: 15k, If you know or suspect your enemy's planets are close to riots (especially those filled with foreign population), this can nudge that planet toward unproductivit# Not bad for the price.

Communications Interceptors: Especially fun in multi-player (PBW) games... prevents players trades and gifts from getting through.

Puppet Political Parties: 100k, has a 50% of stealing that planet from your enemy... also a chance of causing a planetary rebellion (which also removes it from his control). Use against the best worlds... better if you can defend the newly acquired planet(s) to# This one is fun but not very reliable for the 100 K price tag.

Nastiest Attacks

  • Crew Insurrection (steals a ship for 50k)
  • Resource Procurement (steals 10k of each resource for 15k)
  • Food Contamination (kills 100M population for 15k)
  • Comm Mimic (makes one empire declare war on another for 20k
  • Crew Insurrection: 50k, Or, you can think more subtly... Capture an enemy Colony Ship... He's probably got dozens of them hanging around, so he won't miss one or two... What can I do with a Colony Ship, you ask? Well... now you have a sample of another race's population, which if you're lucky breathes a different atmosphere - and if you're even luckier he even has a different planet type so you can analyze the colony ship and steal his colony tech! Consider targeting transports - if you get lucky, you can get some breathers from another environmen# If it is a minelayer/sweeper, heck, that is a good chunk of change you may save on research when you deconstruct & analyz# Use Crew Insurrection as a poor man's Technological Espionage - it's only 1/3 the cost, and you can get multiple technologies from a single ship! There are only two drawbacks: # The enemy has to have the technology you want actually deployed on a ship, not just researche# And # You have to manage to get the ship back to one of your spaceyards safely to get the technology! (EdKolis)
  • Food Contamination: 15k, Only use Food Contamination on smaller colonies - don't even bother with a homeworld! The population will regenerate in a turn or two and you'll have wasted 20K intel point# But if you use it on a smaller colony (such as 50M), you can wipe out the entire colony and force the enemy to send a transport to repopulate it before it can produce or build anything!
  • Resource Procurement: 15k, Resource Procurement steals 10000 resource points (lowers enemy total storage and raises your own stored resources by 10000), and only costs 15000... as opposed to Economic Disruption, which lowers enemy resource storage by 10000 points and cost 20000 inte# (Imperator Fyron) Never use the one that destroys resources, if you feel the urge to, use the resource stealing project instead - it's cheaper, has the same effect on the enemy, and you get resources as a bonus! (Note: some mods fix this oversight, check the mod before you try this!) (Ed Kolis) Bombard an enemy with many of these, and their economy eventually dries u# Multiple Resource Procurement projects can be successful on a given tur# (Q) If the enemy is running out of a given resource, you may get less than 10000 points or even 0 points from them.
  • Communication Mimic: 20k, Forces an empire of your choice to declare war on another empire of your choic# Key impact: It wipes out treaties, removing up to 20% incoming and outgoing bonuse# This is huge, and well worth the project cos# It also just causes plain confusio# Another added advantage is that it causes instant battles in all sectors where the two empires have co-located force# This can severely damage both empires in a single turn.

What about the other projects?

Well... ughh.. they are pretty darn crappy.

Intel and the AI bonus

And don't forget the AI bonus factored into the intel modifiers (#2):

  1. Level of counter intel project: Level 2 will double, Level 3 will increase the effect three times of the counter intel points.
  2. AI bonus: low 2x, medium 3x, high 5x the intel points you see on the score list.
  3. Counter-Intel modifier in the seetings.txt file. IIRC this is set to 120% in standard game.
  4. Consideration of intel points acquired by any partnership treaty (Q)


Well, that wraps up intel. I'm not the expert, so please add any other tips or strategies I have not include. Cheers and Beers!

Preceded by:
When to Attack
Manual (SEIV)
Section 17.11
Followed by:
Expert Moves and Dirty Tricks