|For other spies, see Spy.|
Spies were deployed directly in battle by the Allies during the Second World War, though usually they were used as intelligence gathering operatives behind enemy lines or in enemy command centers and bases. The deployment of battlefield spies by the Allies continued during Third World War and its second iteration, providing Allied commanders with valuable information about plans and vulnerabilities of Soviet and Yuri bases. The spy was also used as a sabotage unit, unlike their predecessors. A spy would disguise himself as an enemy soldier to pass unnoticed to most other units and infiltrate buildings, sabotaging them or stealing enemy resources and technologies from them.
The Soviets were not ignorant of the Allies' use of the spy and trained attack dogs to differentiate the scent of base personnel and if they noticed a strange smell among the Soviet men, they would attack and kill the Allied spy. The Allies did the same with their own dogs, in the case of being targets of rogue or mind-controlled spies. On the other hand, Yuri used his mind-control units and towers (including the psychic radar) to detect spies. For some reason, spies were not issued any weapons, even basic pistols or knives, so they had to overcome the enemy defenses completely by the use for stealth and discretion.
Rather than attacking enemy units, the spy targets an enemy and changes his appearance to that of the enemy unit. A spy can mimic even dogs, or units that normally do not move in a regular way (Chrono legionnaire, Rocketeer). This can lead to a comic and decamouflaging sight of those units walking.
While camouflaged as a unit owned by a specific player, a spy will not be attacked by most units owned by that player (or their allies). The spy owner's units will also not see the spy as a target. However, as with all "invisible" units, manually targeting a spy will change the mouse cursor to "attack" mode.
Once safely changing the appearance, a spy can sneak past enemies and into enemy structures, providing substantial benefits. The spy's function inside the enemy structure depends on which building he enters.
If the spy infiltrates:
- A power plant, the entire enemy base powers down for a short period of time (30 to 60 in-game seconds). This causes all base defences requiring power (such as Tesla Coils and Prism Towers) to go offline. Until the effect wears off, no amount of new power plants built by enemy will bring the power back online.
- A radar facility, he resets shroud for the opponent. For obvious reasons, it is useless when enemy has a Spy Satellite Uplink.
- An ore refinery or a deployed slave miner, 20% of total enemy cash will be stolen to boost the commander's own war efforts.
- A barracks, all infantry produced from the commander's own barracks gain veterancy (one rank). The effect from multiple infiltrations does not stack.
- A war factory, all vehicles and aircraft produced from the commander's own war factories gain veterancy. The effect from multiple infiltrations does not stack.
- A superweapon, its timer resets back to maximum possible duration.
- A battle lab, it will allow access to special units:
- Chrono commando - if the spy infiltrated an Allied Battle Lab and his commander owns an Allied Barracks (RA2), if the spy infiltrated an Allied Battle Lab (YR)
- Chrono Ivan - if the spy infiltrated an Allied Battle Lab and his commander owns a Soviet Barracks (RA2), if the spy infiltrated a Soviet Battle Lab (YR)
- Psi commando - if the spy infiltrated a Soviet Battle Lab and his commander owns an Allied Barracks (RA2), if the spy infiltrated a Yuri Battle Lab (YR)
- Yuri Prime - if the spy infiltrated a Soviet Battle Lab and his commander owns a Soviet Barracks (RA2 only)
Spies controlled by the AI have the following attack patterns:
- 1x infiltrating an Allied power plant or Soviet Tesla reactor
- 1x infiltrating a Soviet barracks
- 1x infiltrating an Allied barracks
- 1x infiltrating an Allied or Soviet war factory
- The AI is known to build Spies as soon as they have built an Allied barracks.
- There is unused behavior of Spies being able to infiltrate an Allied or Soviet battle lab.
After Anatoly Cherdenko's trip to 1927, spies from the altered timeline were equipped with sniper rifles (used only when garrisoned in a Multigunner turret or a Multigunner IFV) and the ability to bribe enemy units into treason, in addition to their disguise and sabotage abilities. They were also able to swim.
- Mission, sir?
- Give me a plan.
- Agent ready.
- Operation underway.
- On my way!
- Yes, commander.
- Under cover.
When ordered to disguise himself
- Disguise ready.
When ordered to go to the cloning vats
- Obtaining intelligence.
- Ready to infiltrate!
- They found me out!
- I've been spotted!
- The "Operation underway" line was originally meant for infiltration, but the spy does not have an implemented voice set for that function.
- There are unused cursors for disguising and cutting base power.