Do not underestimate intelligence!

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    • Do not underestimate intelligence!

      Sun Tzu said in his treatise: "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither, you will only suffer defeat".

      He goes on to say that to win, it is very useful to gain knowledge of the enemy’s intentions. This is obvious.
      It is possible to gain a vague idea of the enemy's forces from reasoning, and surely any even remotely competent player does this; e.g., if they are active on a certain front they probably have most of their forces there, and to open a second front will be very easy (this is harder to determine at sea).

      Especially at sea, it is useful to keep tabs on the enemy (particularly as they can't be tracked by observing captured land). Japan used British intelligence to register the Russian battlefleet's movements for months, and the spotting of the fleet by the armed merchantman Shinano Maru as it passed through the straits allowed a great victory at the Battle of Tsushima. Similarly, Midway was won because, having broken Japanese codes, the US fleet knew almost everything about the Japanese fleet, who knew little about their opposition. The spotting of the fleet by a Navy PBY allowed them to be fully prepared and decisively win. These battles demonstrate the value of both spies and scouting.

      There are several main ways to gain intelligence; by scouting using aeroplanes (esp. interceptors and naval bombers), ships, or other units, and by spying. As well as intercepting messages, by revealing simply what types of factories, and in what cities industry is placed, spies give a pretty good idea of what units are being produced (sometimes even looking at how many buildings are in any one city reveals this), but sometimes spies reveal all armies and that is an enormous advantage. Spies cost roughly 4,000 per day and if you're making more than around 50,000 daily it's worth having at least one.
      The third way is to look in the news to see what kinds of units the enemy is using based on what he and his opponents are losing in combat. The newspaper is a very under-rated tool for this.

      In the games I'm playing I'm not seeing enough of either of the first two, and I'd judge not the third either. From what I've seen, many players seem to just barge in with their strongest units regardless of type. This leads to amusing incidents such as fighting using completely the wrong kinds of counter units, or being confronted with stealth units. At the very least do some preliminary scouting with interceptors.I am by no means an experienced player but recently I've boosted my K:D ratio from a lousy 0.87 to almost 2.5 against human players (1.2:1 ratio all-time) simply by always making sure I have a good idea what kind of units the enemy is using and where they are, and applying appropriate force concentration and unit types based on this. Anybody can do this and I'd definitely recommend using them.
      The fate of the Empire depends on this battle; let each man do his utmost.
      — Tōgō Heihachirō, Battle of Tsushima

      England expects that every man will do his duty.
      — Admiral Horatio Nelson, Battle of Trafalgar

      Mon centre cède, ma droite recule; situation excellente, j'attaque.
      — Marshal Foch, Battle of the Marne

      Aeroplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.
      — Marshal Foch

      A pretty mechanical toy [...] the war will never be won by such machines.
      — Lord Kitchener, on tanks
    • The latest BMfox video on spying in CoW 2.0 is very good, as well as the economy video.

      -I do always consult newspaper, its for FREE, and I like FREE stuff.
      -I do scout using units, sometimes even strat bombers because the go a long way (but cant see hidden units), routing as secretive as possible
      -I do use spies, but not in the first 6-7 days, I tend to spend money on stockmarketrs to boost economy and production and built relations. Spying can be a dangerous thing as well as you get caught it may well disturb (potential) relations.

      - I do NOT abuse shared maps, unless a player goes AI or has provided it himself for whatever reason, even then I refrain and maybe ask why they did that.
    • Gen. Smit wrote:



      -I do use spies, but not in the first 6-7 days, I tend to spend money on stockmarketrs to boost economy and production and built relations. Spying can be a dangerous thing as well as you get caught it may well disturb (potential) relations.

      - I do NOT abuse shared maps, unless a player goes AI or has provided it himself for whatever reason, even then I refrain and maybe ask why they did that.
      I've seen the BMFox video, yes.
      What are your thoughts on the various types of spies? Obviously as with units some are better than others, which do you use most? Also, what kinds of provinces do you prefer to put them into?
      The fate of the Empire depends on this battle; let each man do his utmost.
      — Tōgō Heihachirō, Battle of Tsushima

      England expects that every man will do his duty.
      — Admiral Horatio Nelson, Battle of Trafalgar

      Mon centre cède, ma droite recule; situation excellente, j'attaque.
      — Marshal Foch, Battle of the Marne

      Aeroplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.
      — Marshal Foch

      A pretty mechanical toy [...] the war will never be won by such machines.
      — Lord Kitchener, on tanks
    • Lord Crayfish wrote:

      Gen. Smit wrote:

      -I do use spies, but not in the first 6-7 days, I tend to spend money on stockmarketrs to boost economy and production and built relations. Spying can be a dangerous thing as well as you get caught it may well disturb (potential) relations.

      - I do NOT abuse shared maps, unless a player goes AI or has provided it himself for whatever reason, even then I refrain and maybe ask why they did that.
      I've seen the BMFox video, yes.What are your thoughts on the various types of spies? Obviously as with units some are better than others, which do you use most? Also, what kinds of provinces do you prefer to put them into?
      to reveal armies put them rural provinces without building
    • Lord Crayfish wrote:

      What are your thoughts on the various types of spies? Obviously as with units some are better than others, which do you use most? Also, what kinds of provinces do you prefer to put them into?
      Sabotage empty provs to get reveals. Very occasionally, counter-spies; even more occasionally, trying to steal some money or sabotage an important airfield.
      When the enemy is driven back, we have failed. When he is cut off, encircled and dispersed, we have succeeded. - Aleksandr Suvorov.
    • I commonly use reveal army functions when it gets critical. If I have spare money I sabotage human players, you dont get a profit out of it, but the economic depletion caused by 4-8 spies can be immense at times, choose right resources, oil and/or steel when theu use tanks, oil and rares when they use planes, etc

      Intelligence is maybe the most underestimated one, but if applied well you get all information on the relations of a country and if you suspect that they may use a puppet state or a candidate coalition member you may find out if targets have RoW to pass over the puppet/candidate state. It is quite situational what you will do.