ERA: Red Alert
Base Asset: EA ( Plus additional XML edits by me)
The Allied Spy is an infiltration unit.
This Spy is a composite of the Spy's various appearances across the Red alert series.
The Spy is unarmed, so obviously has no way of damaging enemy units. Unless you have enough money for the Bribe ability (and if it is ready to use), it is recommended that you give enemy units a wide berth.
Of great assistance in avoiding the attention of enemy units is the fact that the Spy is always hidden from the enemy, unless detected by one of the many units or abilities that can detect hidden units.
The Spy has a very large sight range, which is useful for spotting enemy detector units before they get a chance to do their job. However be warned that the Soviet Dog can detect the Spy well beyond the range of standard detector units (like the Soviet Half track). Do not attempt to get anywhere near a dog, if you are a lone Spy!
Aside from scouting on enemy movements and installations, the Spy's primary role is as a building infiltrator. If your Spy is selected, and you place your cursor over an enemy structure, and you get the 'enter' cursor, your Spy can enter and deactivate that enemy structure!
Be warned that you will lose your Spy once it has entered a building (so just build another one!), and the enemy structure will only be disabled for 60 seconds! Also you can only ever effect one building at a time.
In other words, with the ability to build from multiple production buildings, the infiltration ability is rarely worth losing a Spy over (infiltrating an enemy Spy Satellite Uplink is probably worth it!).
Of course if you have rush built a Spy, and manage to infiltrate a ConYard or War Factory in the very early game, you might be able to make it count, maybe.
It is possible to steal money if you infiltrate an enemy Refinery. However it is rare for either a human or AI opponent, to have a lot of cash being held in a refinery (because they are spending it on units!), so again, it is rarely worth it.
Things are different if it is an enemy super weapon that you are infiltrating. These will be disabled for 120 seconds, which is a very long time, and definitely worth the effort (if your opponent is dumb enough to allow you an entry).
By far the most useful ability of the Spy is the Bribe special power, which will be discussed next.
This ability is pretty similar to the RA3 version.
Provided you have enough money, the ability is ready to use as soon as your Spy exits from the Barracks. This can be very useful if you plan on using this ability against an attack on your base.
The price is steep, but in turn it is a very simple ability to use. You get very close to enemy units, then press the 'Bribe' button, and almost instantly, enemy units in a (very) small radius will be permanently converted to fight for your side!
Needless to say it would be preferable for the enemy units that you are 'bribing' to be worth more than $2000, and in the late game, if your opponent does not bother with many detector units, you can get several very high cost enemy units from using this ability.
Things to watch out for?
- The ability charges in 60 seconds.
- It is possible for the Spy to get run over!
- The Spy will reveal himself when using the 'Bribe' ability.
- There is no visual indicator for the effect radius of the 'Bribe' ability.
- There are some units that are unaffected by the 'Bribe' ability.
(1) Obviously while this is quite a fast reload time, you would still want to make sure that you are getting the best use of this ability. The fact that the Spy can be squished (2) is significant because you want to avoid being accidentality run over by enemy vehicles that you are trying to get too closed (4) to!
Once you have used the Bribe ability, enemy units that you did not convert will be able to fire at you briefly (3) so keep that in mind.
The following units are unaffected by the 'Bribe' ability (5): Enemy Spies, Commando units, and (significantly) the Soviet Dog!
Below we will look at a rush using the Spy and the 'Bribe' ability, that can be used on small maps.
- Build a Power plant.
- Build a Barracks, and several Rifle squads, use these to scout the enemy, to counter enemy scouts, and to garrison structures.
- If there are 'safe'* spikes, build Engineer/s to capture it/them
- Build a Refinery.
- Build a Command Post at the back of your base (more difficult for enemy scouts to see).
- Recruit the Spy from your Barracks if no detector units have been spotted by your Rifle squad scouts, and then sell the Command Post (if your opponent can see that you are Spy rushing, it is very easy to counter).
- Manoeuvre your Spy towards the enemy's starting tiberium field (make sure you have at least $2000 spare!).
- Wait for a full, or near full enemy harvester, and then use the 'Bribe' ability on it!
- Either retreat your Spy, or infiltrate the enemy ConYard or War factory.
- Carry the game on as usual, or build another Spy and repeat the process!
Full tank. and in position, time to use Bribe!
Enemy is on to it already, this harvester will not make it to base!
While they are distracted, I'll infiltrate the War factory!
They will not be rebuilding that harvester in a hurry!
A full harvester is worth $2800 ($1400 for the harvester, $1400 for the Tiberium), and even if the enemy destroys the bribed harvester, you will still have interrupted their economy, slowing down their production ability.
Of course you could get more than one enemy harvester (which would be devastating!), but do not get run over, or discovered, because you were being too greedy!
If you see an enemy dog or two, hanging around their harvesting area, abort the mission, it will be next to impossible to avoid detection.
The Spy gets a first aid kit once you have got the 'Medic' upgrade from the Tech Center.
This will allow your Spy to self heal provided you can get him away from combat.