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The various factions of Star Traders are in intense competition to gain the upper hand over their rival factions. As in any battle, knowledge is one of the greatest weapons any side might wield and so the Princes cultivate networks of spies who will furnish them with the information they need to overcome their peers. Spies may operate at the direct behest of a contact to complete a mission or they may spy independently for profit and to generate intel records that can be sold to contacts for profit and reputation. In Star Traders, spying is primarily done through electronic surveillance and encrypted message interception. Electronics is one of the key skills of spy operative.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Like other operations, becoming a great Spy will require a dedicated build. Increasing ship Pilot and especially Electronics Skill Pools should be a key priority. Spies will also need to invest in Talents that will help them determine the results of the card game. Most of these are provided by Spy and E-tech crew members. In the early game, it is best to Spy often, checking the hand that is dealt at nearly every zone that is visited and only playing those hands that give a reasonable chance of success versus possible negative outcomes. As a Captain's crew and ship develop they will be able to engage in more extended spying activities over the planet of their choice.

The Card Game[edit | edit source]

Spying is done in orbit of a system, by using one the "Spy" operation button on the left side of the interface. Spying can be done in orbit of any urban zone with a Government Rating of 4 or higher. The results of spying are determined by a card game. The Captain will draw 5 cards which are determine by risk and reward factors. He or she may then have the opportunity to modify their draw through the use of crew talents which allow them to redraw, remove or improve a card. Then one card will randomly be selected from the remaining cards providing either a negative, positive or neutral result. All spying actions consume time and fuel.

Risk factors in spying include:

  • The Government rating of the zone
  • The Military rating of the zone

Reward factors in spying include;

  • The Spice rating of the zone
  • The Government rating of the zone
  • The ship's Pilot skill
  • The ship's Electronics skill
  • The Captain's Resilience Attribute
  • The Captain's Wisdom Attribute.

Negative outcomes of spying include:

  • Damage to crew
  • Damage to ship
  • Encountering hostile military, pirate and other ships
  • Lost time and fuel
  • Encounters and/or combat with hostile ships may also result in negative reputation with its faction

Positive outcomes include:

  • Mission success (if operation is part of a mission)
  • Credit Skim
  • Intel records
  • Repair and recovery of fuel
  • Contact introductions
  • Encounters with smugglers.
  • It is possible that captains who spy on a faction who is involved in a conflict can also participate in that conflict. This will move the conflict score against the spied-on faction and give the captain reputation with the opposing faction.

Neutral outcomes include contact with ships that are not hostile such as merchants or friendly ships. Depending on a whether a captain wishes to engage in piracy these may be considered positive results.

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