The balance of power is key to diplomatic relationships in Humankind, but it is always changing. With new Agent Units, you will have the tools to make precise interventions aimed at shifting the balance in your favor.
Agents are Land Units that, once unlocked, can be built in your Cities. The number of Agents that can be owned simultaneously is capped for each Empire; initially you can have as many Agents as there are Empires in your game, although each Diplomatic culture you choose to play will increase that cap by one.
There are two kinds of Agents: Envoys and Spies.
Envoys are diplomatic representatives of your Empire and can be unlocked by researching the “Wheel” Technology. They enjoy unrestricted movement on the map, can move farther when using Roads and are able to cross borders without Trespassing. On the other hand, Envoys are unable to take aggressive actions – they cannot ransack Districts or attack other Units. If your Envoy is attacked by a rival Empire, it will automatically generate a Grievance.
Envoys are able to collect Leverage Curiosities that they encounter on the map. Moreover, they have influential effects when staying within the borders of other Empires:
- By moving Envoys into the Territory of an Independent People, your Empire will get a Patronage boost – without having to spend any Influence or Money. The amount of boost will vary depending on your Empire’s global proximity with this Independent People and how many of your Envoys are in the settlement.
- When located within the borders of a rival Empire, Envoys will generate bonus Influence for both your Empire and the host of your Envoy, as a percentage of the Influence production of the City where the Envoy is staying.
For those who prefer to work in the shadows, Spies and their upgrade, Spymasters, are the way to go.
Spies will be available for recruitment once you’ve unlocked the “War Summons” Technology. As a subtype of Agents, they will also be able to collect the Leverage Curiosities that they encounter on the map.
By using the Stealth mechanic, Spies can infiltrate other Empires’ Territories unnoticed to perform their special actions:
- Watch a City : Target a foreign District to gain Vision on that entire City, its statuses and current construction queue. Vision will be maintained in following turns if the Spy stays within that City.
- Siphon a District: Target a foreign District to have your Spy generate the equivalent of its top yield for your Capital for each turn the Siphon action is maintained. If you target a Resource Deposit, you will instead obtain one access to that Resource. If you target an Embassy, you will generate one point of Leverage against the Embassy’s owner each turn.
- Track an Army: Target a foreign Army to see its location as well as gain access to its Vision for several Turns. A single Spy unit can only Track a single Army at a time.
Spies can be upgraded into Spymasters, which are unlocked with the discovery of the “Military Coordination” Technology, and offer you even more ways to meddle with other Empires. Spymasters can have access to the following additional actions:
- Undermine an Army: Target a foreign Army to apply an “Undermined” status on them, which reduces their Combat Strength for several turns.
- Disrupt a District: Target a foreign District to disable it and its associated effects for several turns. After it recovers, the District will be immune from further Disruptions for the same amount of turns it was Disrupted.
- Manipulate City (unlocked with the “Military Coordination” Technology): Has different effects depending on the targeted District.
- Targeting a Science Quarter causes the target City to lose Science while the Spymaster is setting up the action, and then provides you with a free Science Osmosis on your Capital.
- Targeting a City Center or Administrative District causes the target City to lose Influence while the action is set up, and then causes a Civics Osmosis to appear on that Empire.
- Targeting any other District will dramatically lower Stability while the action is set up, and then spawn a Crisis Minor army nearby.
- Army Decoy (unlocked with the “Military Coordination” Technology): Creates a fake Army that looks like your strongest available Army to all other players. This Decoy will last for a set number of turns, or until another Empire tries to engage it in Battle.
In the Contemporary Era, unlocking the “Computing” Technology will enable Spies to have a longer range for Track an Army and Undermine an Army.
The time required for Spies and Spymasters to set up or perform their actions is related to how many other Spy Units are in their Army, and their Veterancy levels. Successfully completing missions will enable these Units to gain Veterancy over time.