Pinned Question about Shadow Spy Man - Intelligence from. . .

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    • Funnelroo wrote:

      What does it mean when you hover over a players province and the the shadow (looks like head and shoulders) appears.
      The little black head-and-shoulders-with-fedora is COW's symbol for spies and intelligence-related matters. In this context, it symbolizes old intelligence information. As K.Rokossovski said above, if you click on the shaded unit symbol (the shading also being another hint that the information is not current), the unit pop-up dialog box will also tell you when the information was gathered.

      When you see a shaded unit symbol, with the black head-and-shoulders symbol, it is important to remember that the condition of the unit(s) shown, and/or their current location, may have changed since the intelligence report was generated.
    • This is a unit that my planes patrolled over briefly, so it's position was marked. The shadow man and the line "intelligence from xx:yy" reminds me that I don't have this in current view. To mark this unit location your plane only needs to establish a patrol circle over the unit. It doesn't have to patrol for a full 15 minutes.




      Or in this case a unit in motion will show the path that was planned at the time of reveal.






      This same data can be revealed by spies. Intelligence spies can reveal armies, and military sabotage spies can reveal all armies as one of their possible types of sabotage. You can force an army reveal with Gold as well.





      This intel image will persist until day change, unless:

      A) The unit is reported destroyed by the newspaper

      B) The unit is in clear view of another unit

      C) The unit location or movement is marked by a plane on patrol again.




      Now this can cause some confusion if one of those three conditions is not met, especially when you know that the unit can't be where it is displayed. Just because the unit had that course planned out at the time of observation does not guarantee that the unit can not be given new orders after that point.

      So if the player comes back online and gives the tank orders to go a different route or stop at a different place the intel view will still show the expected route and motion of the unit, so you can be misled by intel data.



      Note that getting a glimpse of the unit with a unit other than a plane on patrol will not reset the intel view. So you can see or even attack a unit in one place by ground or naval units, but if it moves out of visual range again the intel view will be displayed again.




      So lets say that I send my ships to the location of that destroyer in the first picture, and they don't find it there because the owner moved it. While that location is in clear view you will see nothing of course as the unit is no longer there, HOWEVER, when you move away from that spot the intel "ghost" will be displayed again, because that is the last known location according to your intelligence department. SO even though you know that the data is false it will still be displayed. This can cause some confusion. Sometimes you just have to be smarter than your intel department :)
      War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



      VorlonFCW
      Main Administrator
      EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

      >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<
    • Since we already have this nice thread there are a few other things that need to be mentioned about intelligence data, and how you can be deceived by it.



      Remember: Intelligence information can be 23 hours old when you are looking at it. A lot can happen in that time. You ALWAYS need to check and see when the data is from. Don't make a big gamble on old data.

      Deception #1: Orders can change

      In the post above I mentioned about units changing course after the intel was gathered. This is a tactic that I commonly do to throw others off when I know they are spying on me. Eyes are drawn to movement lines on the map, so if I am planning an invasion in one place I will make sure that there IS NOT a trail leading to that place at day change when spies might reveal my plans. I will halt motion of my important units just before day change, or if I am feeling particularly devious I will place false trails of units invading in a completely different location to throw them off the track.

      To illustrate: 15 minutes before day change I will give orders to units to land just north of Florida:



      Expecting my enemies to get a reveal of my plans and move subs and land forces to intercept me.

      Then 15 minutes after day change I give new orders:


      With any luck I have confused the enemy and caused him to move in the wrong direction. If the spies did their job the enemy is believing the data that means I am landing just north of Florida, while my units are safely heading to Massachusetts.







      This can also happen with ships (particularly when combined with part three the "ghost fleet" deception below)



      (Note that this isn't technically an intel image, but I don't have anything in my library of screenshots that explains this properly, so for the sake of discussion presume that this image is an intelligence image and includes the shadow spy man and the "intelligence from xx:yy" line)

      So my spies or planes reveal that this fleet will travel from point A to point B in the next 4.25 hours

      And lets say that the owner of this fleet changed course about 15 minutes after this data was gathered, and instead the destination is point C in 2.5 hours.


      My intel data will continue to show the fleet on course to point B for the next 4.25 hours, and it will also display that fleet stationary at point B until the next day change, unless new data about the fleet is captured.


      So imagine that I pass by the fleet with my own submarine as it gets close to point C. For a time I will have a clear view of the fleet and I will see the direction of travel indicated to the next "intersection". However a submarine doesn't capture new intel data, only planes or spies. So as soon as the fleet is out of my view again my ever helpful espionage department will again display THEIR best estimate of the fleet's current position, which is most of the way to point B, instead of point C.

      This leads people to believe that ships are able to jump several hours sail in any direction. All because they don't pay attention to the TIME that the intelligence was gathered.







      Perhaps you need to think of it this way: Spies are paid to lie for a living. You can trust what they tell you, but it is always good to Verify it if you can.
      War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



      VorlonFCW
      Main Administrator
      EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

      >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<
    • Another facet of old intelligence data can cause confusion after a Nuclear attack.

      Deception # 2: My attack did no damage

      One of the effects of an atomic blast in this game is a 50 km blast radius that destroys your own units as well as the enemy. This means that any unit you had close enough to a nuclear detonation was incinerated by your own weapon.


      This means that you don't get updated information on the target until you patrol over it with a plane, or otherwise get a unit close enough to see the results AFTER a nuclear detonation. (note that submarines are immune to atomic weapons, so they make great observers)



      So before a nuke blast you might see






      And then after the blast you might still see the same, just with a crater:


      Usually at this point people are MAD because they figure the units are invulnerable, the nuke didn't work, and the units are untouched at the center of the crater, But you have to notice the TIMESTAMP on the intelligence data. 11:14 pm, and realize that that was the last view BEFORE detonation.








      So patrolling over the area after with a plane shows the truth:


      All 26 units were consumed by the blast.




      So this is another case where you need to trust your own judgement, and be smarter than your intelligence department. I have seen people launch atomic rockets repeatedly at something of mine that they killed with the first one, and I can only assume that they were a victim of this.




      This can also be an issue with artillery bombardment. The bombardment range of artillery, especially railroad guns is greater than the distance they can see. So a unit can bombard for hours and hours on something that is outside of visual range, and the intel image that is displayed is likely from before the bombardment started. Unless you go and get a clear view once in a while you don't really know what is happening.



      Edit to add some key words to make this show up when searching:
      My nuke didn't work
      My nuke didn't kill the enemy
      Units survived the nuke
      atomic nuclear rocket bomber crater
      War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



      VorlonFCW
      Main Administrator
      EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

      >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<

      The post was edited 1 time, last by VorlonFCW: added searchable terms ().

    • One more issue that misreading intelligence data can cause with naval units is:

      Deception #3: The Ghost fleet


      Submarines can cause some confusion if you aren't paying close attention.

      Naturally Submarines are a stealth unit. This means they are hidden, invisible. They lurk beneath the waves waiting to pounce. If you want to see a submarine in real time there is only ONE unit that can do this, and that is a naval bomber on patrol.

      Spies also can reveal the location and projected path of a submarine.


      So you can get a situation where submarines appear and disappear from a fleet, depending on what you are observing the fleet with.


      (Note:I don't actually have any screenshots of this scenario in my library. The following are actually NOT intelligence data, but are used to illustrate the point.)




      Today I got my spies to reveal all armies on my pal MontannaBB So I think I know where all of his forces are.

      I can even see this one here:

      4 nuclear battleships and 8 destroyers.



      But I got bitten because this unit is currently in CLEAR VIEW of my SP artilery unit embarking at that spot.

      When the fleet gets out of my sight it will revert to the intel view gathered by my spies:


      (again note that I fabricated this image, so we will pretend it is an intelligence image as denoted by the shadow spy man and the "intelligence from xx:yy" line. In a perfect world I would actually have this be an intelligence image. maybe I will fix this someday)

      This fleet also includes submarines, so instead of 12 units it is actually 22 units. When you have it in a clear view of a land unit or naval unit, or even in the patrol view of any airplane except a naval bomber you can only see the 12 surface ships that are visible to your units. When it is out of your current view your spies will show it to be the full 22 unit fleet of surface ships and subs.



      Of course if you directly attack this fleet with say your own group of submarines: As you approach you will see only the 12 surface ships, but when you engage in a close combat battle the full fleet will be displayed, even without spies.




      I hope this has helped explain a bit of the confusion that intelligence data sometimes causes players.
      War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



      VorlonFCW
      Main Administrator
      EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

      >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<