The purpose of this post is to open discussion about spies, and whether or not their design benefits the game, and if not, how they could be re-purposed.
Spies have a stealth mode, a high multiplier against Heroes, and an extremely high multiplier against mercenaries.
The purpose for a unit designed like this could only be to reign in strategies that are otherwise overpowered. However, mercenaries are actually not overpowered per their cost. We even have sweden now, who relies on mercenaries to access skirmisher and dragoon type units. Clearly, this is a design conflict.
I also can’t think of a reason why an explorer multiplier would ever be necessary. If somehow the aztec FI strat that continually resurrects the warchief were too oppressive, and the devs simply didn’t want it to be in the game, then this unit would make sense, but otherwise, spies are just another reason that players should never ship bad hero cards.
It seems to me that spies don’t actually belong in the game, and perhaps they were only included as an excuse to give european civs access to a stealth unit. I don’t have any ideas for a rework though.
Does anybody strongly disagree with me? What kind of ideas can we come up with for a rework?