Ranking specialists

Strategy, feedback, or anything SUBTERFUGE-related
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:26 am

  • Whilst I’ve only played 12 games of Subterfuge my opinions of the relative strengths of Specialists has settled pretty quickly and I felt that ranking them and getting some feedback would be a fun exercise.

    In the right circumstances every Specialist can be brilliant but some are only useful in specific circumstances whilst others are useful to have no matter how the game is panning out or which strategy you’re using. Before anyone points it out I know I have a strong bias towards Specs that increase mobility but I’m happy with that, I think speed is the most valuable thing in the game.

    1. Admiral – There isn’t a game I don’t want at least one Admiral, it is so important to be able to manoeuvre quickly around the map and being slower than your enemy is a death sentence.
    2. Smuggler – How many times have you launched a triumphant attack only to see a smuggler appear at the last second to scupper your plans. A huge force multiplier.
    3. Engineer – Literally the most powerful combat Spec in the game. Yes you have to win the fight before it does anything but you shouldn’t really engaging in fights with a Spec you’re not guaranteed to win anyway.
    4. Queen – If you sit back and hide your Queen you’re missing out on so much utility. A Queen on the frontline with one or more hires waiting to go can paralyse your opponents.
    5. Navigator – Navigators are arguable the most flexible Spec in the game, there are so many trick plays you can pull with them and they allow you to correct mistakes. In a perfect world you’d have at least one admiral and one Nav.
    6. Helmsman – Simple Spec that can give you a huge tactical advantage, well worth the hire.
    7. Thief – For a one hire the thief is ridiculously powerful. It has one weakness (it can’t be used on defence) but if you’re smart that can be overcome by pairing it with other Specs (a pirate or navigator for example).
    8. Intelligence Officer – I find it really hard to hire an Int Officer as they don’t really do anything but I never regret it when I do. They make attacks safer and defence easier and they’re always a solid choice).
    9. Foreman – Basically it gives you another mine and can be upgraded into the brilliant engineer, what’s not to love.
    10. Tycoon – On paper Tycoon’s are excellent, having a higher driller production count than your rivals is certainly useful but I rarely find myself truly limited by driller production. To me sacrificing a Smuggler to get a tycoon is a big risk.
    11. King – To me the most overrated Spec in the game. It’s outclassed by an Engineer and the one-cost Thief and the loss of shields is far more limiting than you realise.
    12. Tinkerer – Tinkerers are undoubtably useful but there are significant draw backs to them as well. To be efficient they need good max shields which normally means they sit with your Queen and that can mean your Queen’s position is fixed. Add in their shield drain and you’re really making your Queen vulnerable. However, hitting your driller cap can be worse so they’re not a bad choice.
    13. Sentry – A really rounded Spec, great on defence and can be used to consolidate gains. Only upgrade it if you absolutely have to though, a War Hero isn't worth the upgrade cost.
    14. Princess – The vision boost is useful but its biggest benefit is it releases your Queen to go into full attack mode.
    15. Minister of Energy – My experience is that super high driller caps are less useful than you’d imagine and it limits your production. Only get if your driller cap is severely limiting you.
    16. Pirate – The ultimate trick play Spec, difficult to use to its full potential but if you get it right they are game changing.
    17. Inspector – In the early/mid game there are some brilliant plays you can pull off with an inspector but it gets weaker as the game goes on and shields are less of a deterrent.
    18. Double Agent – If you can kill a huge fleet and capture three specs then the DA is brilliant. You don’t often get that perfect opportunity though so its primary use is as a deterrent.
    19. Assassin – Assassins are scary, no one wants to lose their valuable Specs, but I’d rather capture enemy specs than kill them.
    20. Security Chief – The ultimate turtling Spec. If you want to protect a big lead or warn others off attacking you then there’s a lot of power in a Security Chief but it’s a too passive to be really useful.
    21. Hypnotist – Situational, if the opportunity arises to use it then it’s brilliant but a waste of space if you never get a chance.
    22. General – Generals are a big investment for a fairly average payoff. In the right circumstances they can good but this wouldn’t normally be a primary pick.
    23. Saboteur – Great for point defence and can completely shut up shop if paired with a pirate for recovery. It’s too one dimensional to be anything other than a reactionary pick though.
    24. War Hero – A War Hero has decent stats but for a two-cost Spec it’s very underwhelming. It’s biggest use is it’s threat, a Sentry that ‘could’ be upgraded to a War Hero deters both large and small subs alike.
    25. Revered Elder – Another Spec that needs to be used in the right circumstances to get the most benefit. It does make a good bodyguard for a queen though.
    26. Lieutenant – It gives some utility, especially in the early game but it’s outclassed by a lot of other one-cost hires and its upgrade is underwhelming.
    27. Martyr – The scariest Spec in the game but in reality it’s so hard to use effectively. Only get if you have a good use for it.
    28. Diplomat – If you hire a diplomat the chances are you’ve made a horrible mistake somewhere, try and avoid needing one.
    29. Infiltrator – The only situation it’s of use in is attacking outposts, it has no flexibility. An infiltrator can give you an advantage in the early game but after that it’s really weak.
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Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:35 am

  • I pretty much agree with whole your list except for some small details. I would move intelligence officer a little bit lower, somewhere between low 10's, thief would be behind foreman and tycoon, and tycoon would be in place of 5-6 in my book. I would also put pirate and general a bit higher (but general not too much, around mid 10's I think.) Other than that I think your list and descriptions are pretty accurate, except for the fact that foreman gives an extra factory, not mine :D
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Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:19 am

  • I think that the tinkerer can be placed a bit higher. Sure, your queen is defenseless but when shes's in the middle of your territory, you can easily reinforce with drills, or get out of there. The drawback is that your queen is more likely to be attacked, but that isn't a very bad thing. You can relocate her somewhere else. (worst case scenario) or you can pull up your drills to fight in defense of the queen (with speed specs, as i agree they are busted). Overall pretty good rating. Maybe you can make a turtle maker column, as some specs are way more valuable in turtle than in general. Thx!
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Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:01 am

  • 1. Admiral – Main problem with admiral is only you have to give up your Nav
    2. Smuggler –
    3. Engineer – Can be countered by enemy just ignoring your attack and going a round your attacking force so I would say its not really that good. More situational and sometimes more defensive.
    4. Queen –
    5. Navigator –
    6. Helmsman – I would say you just need it because later on speed is important so you just need some type of speed though Liet may be sufficient.
    7. Thief – A thief is a poor man's king without the draw back. Its useful but I would say its limited in that you have to carry it with you.
    8. Intelligence Officer – Information is good although sometimes you can get information if you just look into the past or keep pestering the enemy at random outpost to take it briefly.
    9. Foreman – I mostly just like foreman as a movable factory to where you need it. Also annoying if you move it to time it with production and then get to another factory before its production.
    10. Tycoon –
    11. King – Engineer requires you to win. Kings effect is always there. Guaranteed 33% more effectiveness or on win 25% recovery. King does have draw back like losing shields or making it easier for enemy to poke you.
    12. Tinkerer – I rarely hire tinks but then I rarely hire tycoons.
    13. Sentry – Can be somewhat defeated just be enemy sending preemptive drills or speed. They are more an annoyance.
    14. Princess – Its sometimes better to have the princess go full attack for the extra vision and randomly flopping it but I rarely did that.
    15. Minister of Energy –
    16. Pirate – I always need a pirate just because the counter to some things require you to have a pirate.
    17. Inspector – The main benefit of the inspector is if enemy times their attacks poorly and you just smuggler your queen inspector around.
    18. Double Agent – You can if you just put a smuggler navigator and da on the same boat. Somewhat defensive but you can do some crazy stuff.
    19. Assassin – Assassins counter assassins and you get 2. I play general often so they are useful.
    20. Security Chief – I don't the extra 10 shield is going to really matter late game unless you massively stack. Sure its annoying but a sentry destroys more than 10 and late game your production might be so massive that you want to lose drillers.
    21. Hypnotist – I usually capture a lot of specs per game.
    22. General – Generals combos really well with a lot of things and their power keeps increasing as the game goes on.
    23. Saboteur – Is pretty good if they aren't so glitchy. Highly underrated spec. It effective doubles your defense at a border especially if you have a way to recover it and a means to move it around.
    24. War Hero –
    25. Revered Elder – Its pretty undervalued but always good to be able to hire one late game.
    26. Lieutenant – Speed is always good and you haven't seen the general attack or defense maybe :P.
    27. Martyr – Can be good but the game is glitchy so may be not so good. If you want to do an all or nothing or if you want to return your enemies spec with a marytr or blow up something.
    28. Diplomat – Navigator pirate general.
    29. Infiltrator – Its sometimes pretty funny when you just go around and deactive all the enemies shields even though you can't hold on to the base.
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