Counterintelligence structure/tech/unit

Ok, so you know how in game replays, people who are replaying the game can switch between the line of sight of the various sides and see what each side sees?

And in a normal game, if you see an enemy unit with your structures, you know he has probably seen you.

Anyways, I was thinking how cool it would be if you could have an overlay that recorded and summarized that information that the player already naturally has about what the enemy has or has not seen.

Anyways, what does this overlay look like? Well, if a unit is in the vision range of an enemy unit that is in YOUR vision range, they get an exclamation mark over their head. If a structure acquires an exclamation mark, it will keep a small semi transparent mark to notify the player that the enemy has scouted the structure. On mouseover, it shows a timer of when you last scouted. When you mouseover an enemy structure you have scouted, you also get to see a timer of when it was last scouted.

So, this overlay would ONLY be available to people if you also opened yourself to risk. What is that risk? You have to construct a building. This could be called a great library, a map hut. anything you want. The point is that if you build this structure, you gain the overlay while the structure is available… but you also open yourself up to a massive amount of intelligence risk. What is an intelligence risk? Well, what happens if an enemy saboteur or spy or agent were to sneak inside and burn your maps that you had stored inside the intelligence structure? Your map becomes unexplored.

Anyways, this intelligence structure can build spies. Spies have no attack, low health, and can be killed by pretty much anything. Even workers. But, spies can climb over walls, and if a spy melee attacks an enemy intelligence structure, the structure burns, and the enemy loses all their vision. They have to reexplore the map. The spy is an infantry unit and can garrison rams. So you have to be extra vigilant about enemy rams if you decide to build an intel structure.

The thing is, if your a professional aoe2 player, you already are able to manually track what the enemy has or has not seen in your head. If a single enemy red dot appears on your minimap, you magically know what unit it is, the vision range it has, and if it has or has not seen your buildings and units. You don’t actually need this overlay.

However, for the rest of us, we could use a crutch to see how many minutes ago we saw each structure and the time the enemy scouted our structures. But, if we use that crutch, the professional player can counter our use of the crutch with this interesting spy minigame. The nice thing about this is that if you ignore this mechanic entirely, and your good enough, it wont have any impact on the game outcome. But if you don’t ignore this, then it might actually end up losing you the game even though it gave you temporary advantages. And ofc if your a semi professional, you can delete the intel structure if you suspect a spy might be on the way :stuck_out_tongue:

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This is such an interesting concept! Would like to see how it plays ingame.

Someone’s been playing C&C Generals…


yeah, lets keep age of empires 2 as close to age of empires 2 as possible please.
introducing mechanics from other games has proven to either backfire or be incredibly tricky to balance in the past.


Interesting idea, there is also similar unit in old game Tzar: The Burden of the Crown where your spy have the ability to impersonate an opponent unit to infiltrate enemy base…
But i agree, it can be tricky to implement in AOE2…

TBH the game right now is already demanding enough. We often have even so highly paced games that nobody picks up the relics. So I actually don’t understand why we even think about more attention demanding mechanincs to be added…


In the original game betas there was a spy will have the player colors of the nearby enemy.

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I want an UT that builds a falcon, that is like an inmortal mobile outpost

Haha you’re right :smiley:

  • Spies were a trainable unit, and while they appeared to the player as a spy (a unit wearing black armor), they appeared to the enemy as Villagers. They also had the ability to see how many enemy units were garrisoned in buildings, and had a large line of sight. Spies could only be attacked by other spies.

I never player beta, so many content was cut…
This sounds interesting too:

Which Beta ? AoK ? [Character limit]

I think that the idea of a spy is not the worst in the world*, but it would have to be a simple unit. Looks like an enemy villager, works like a scout.

The thing is, that would be pretty useless most of the time. It would have to be available from early game to be useful, but that would slow down your building and advancement. If it were a mid-late game unit, it would be basically useless because you should already have a pretty good idea of what the enemy is up to. And if you have an enemy that has not given up when he should… you research Spies. It is already in the game, in a way.

Here is where that asterisk comes into play: make it a scenario editor unit so that people can use them in fun custom scenarios like custom gametypes or campaigns.


Yes aok days 22 years ago.
Here are some of the removed things.

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BTW, should spies has a reworking? I mean, it is never used except for the ridiculous situation when a troll don’t want to resign in a lost game and even the way way it works it seams weird imo…
I would prefer a fix cost, still expensive but not proportional to the vils quantity, something affordable (i.e 800 F 500 G).

The new effect could be to show you only enemy buildings’ LOS but for a short time, when the time is gone then you stop see LOS but the explored ground keeps explored.
You could use it how many times you want… o can afford

Wasn’t there an invisible ninja unit from a mod?
Perhaps they could add an invisible unit that reveales itself when enemies are close.

One time techs are already bad and you want to make things worse?

The funny thing is that you can actually do this in regicide with Treason.

I do not think that this is necessary. You get just as much from scouting as you would from such a tech, and, by the time you reach Imperial, you should already know where the enemy is if he is a substantial enough threat. The only reason to have something like Spies is to deal with people who just refuse to admit defeat.

Interesting idea for a UU, perhaps. Otherwise, you can find an actual Ninja unit in the scenario editor. Not sure if they made it into any official scenarios. Maybe if they finally give us a Japanese campaign in the next few DLCs…