Total War: Three Kingdoms Espionage Guide

In Total War: Three Kingdoms, some characters in your faction will be willing to spy on others and take various actions to weaken them. If a character is suitable for espionage, then you will see an “eye” icon next to his rank in the list of people. You also need to have a free spy position, the first of which is unlocked at the level of the Second Marquis faction. Further spy slots can be unlocked as you advance in the rank of the faction and research new reforms.

With the position of a spy available and a character ready to spy for you, you can click on the “undercover network” icon at the top of the main story campaign screen. This will allow you to send a spy or control the actions of available spies.

By sending a spy somewhere, you release him from service and provide a faction to choose from for infiltration. The spy will go in search of work in the target faction and will be on the list of its candidates for recruitment. More attractive candidates are characters with a high level and experience, so such a spy is more likely to be recruited in the specified faction. This may take several turns, or it may not happen at all if the enemy does not perceive the spy as a desirable character. You can check this turn from turn by opening the secret network panel and choosing the sent spy.

If he is recruited by the right faction, then you will get an overview of many details, such as occupied characters, commanders and armies. A number of new spy actions will also become available. They are based on the fact that the spy creates two resources – cover points and an undercover network.

Undercover network

Once a spy infiltrates a faction, he will begin to create a covert network of contacts, informants and other hidden assets of value to your faction. They all help and share the thoughts of your spy. Spy actions require Secret Net Points: the more advanced they are, the higher the costs.

Cover points

Over time, a spy who has infiltrated another faction will seek to establish trust with those around him and start generating cover points. The higher this parameter, the higher the likelihood that the spy will successfully perform the action without allowing himself to be revealed. Each action requires a certain number of these points.

There is always a risk that a spy will be caught in the act or found while performing an action. By using cover points, you reduce this probability.

Revealed spies

If the spy is revealed as a result of the action, the target faction commander will have the choice to execute him, return him back to the original faction, or demand that they return to their “masters” but act as a double agent. In the last two cases, the commander who sent this spy for the first time will only know that he has returned safe and sound. A spy that has already been exposed can never travel to the same target faction.


Spy actions

Spy actions fall into four categories based on the position the spy is assigned to in the target faction. Each action has its own cover point and covert network point value. Taking an action creates a dilemma that can increase the risk of the spy being exposed.

Once a spy is recruited into the target faction, court actions will become available to him. These include strengthening their own faction’s secret network, influencing trade, stealing, reducing character satisfaction, attempting to become a military general, and interfering with the faction’s counterintelligence activities.

The actions of the steward become available when the spy is assigned to the appropriate position in the target faction. This allows a spy to weaken the stats of a settlement and garrison, hold a ministerial position at court, or incitement, resulting in low public order, rebellion, or public delinquency.

General actions will be available if the spy is assigned as a general in one of the target armies. These include various options for sabotaging other armies and inciting military uprising, which gives you the right to own a spy army.

Family actions will become available if the spy is accepted as heir or marries a member of the faction leader’s family. This will allow the spy to improve the diplomatic attitude of the target faction towards yours, to kill the heir and even the general.

Counter espionage

Factions can make it harder for spies to act by increasing the cost of cover points and / or covert networks for any action directed against them. This can be done with the help of the bell tower, characters in ministerial positions, the prime minister and heir to the faction, certain auxiliary organizations, reforms and strategists


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