I'm sure many of you have noticed the increased use of spies by the AI in TotA. What I had assumed was simply more aggressive and intelligent behaviour may in fact be a bug of some sort.
I just finished a game where I was just hammered by spies from the mid-game on. Even with my espionage slider set to max, I could build one spy every few turns while my enemies were laying them on me two or three per turn. At the highest, I think there were about 55 or so spies on my planets, with little chance of being removed. Instead, I just gave up trying to eliminate them and pressed on for the military conquest.
However, when it was down to the last few races, I noticed something strange. The two strongest AI's -- the Terrans and the Drath -- were both fielding massive amounts of large ships, way beyond what they should have been able to afford, especially considering that one or both of them must have been responsible for the spies as well; they simply did not have enough planets to justify that kind of economy. Nor did the Thalans, who had only two planets but somehow, right before I took them out, attacked my main fleet with what must have been thirty or more different fleets of ships (I left the computer and came back five minutes later and they were still attacking me in turns). The remaining race -- the Iconians -- were also down to two planets, but had been mostly pleasant to me (read: afraid of me), so I assumed it wasn't them sending the spies. Their fleets were about normal, near as I could tell.
Once I eliminated the Thalans, my hostile spy count remained at about 45. No spies disappeared, so it couldn't have been them sending the spies, right?
Then I eliminated the Drath... hostile spy count dropped to 35. That means that they were only responsible for 10, you would think, right?
Then I eliminated the Terrans... hostile spies dropped to 25. Only 10 for them as well? That means it must be the Iconians who were showering me in spies, the only race left on the map other than me.
Curious about this, I loaded an earlier position and took out the Iconians before the Drath and Terrans. The hostile spy count didn't drop at all, meaning the Iconians couldn't have been the culprits either.
So, who was controlling all of these spies? Apparently, nobody was.
I saved the game at a point where this could be easily verified. Who shall I send it to?