I agree it makes you "stronger" but not in the sense of you're actually a good leader/alliance/player. Stronger as in just harder to defeat (and there's always ways around that). I'm saying it makes you weaker, because now you're relying on a person who you may or may not know well to feed you info. That player has to be on at critical times and/or all the time, and feed you the RIGHT information. Second point is, if the spy is willing to spy on their current alliance for an enemy, what stops him (if there is no mutual friendship anywhere throughout your alliance) from doing the same to you should he/she join you?
I don't need to rely on my spy. My spy is for when that player is offline, that trip got triggered, and we've got a HC 20 minutes out but knowing right that second if there's a CS there could save 5 LS nukes.
I don't place too much importance on what they tell me for reasons you said. But how hard do you think it is to catch someone lying to you, giving you false information? It's a lot easier than catching a spy in your own alliance.
The part about them joining is the most valid argument anyone can give against spies, and the hardest one to argue with. Typically, I decide if a spy can join my alliance based on the motive they had for spying in the first place. If it was something like they were afraid of being conquered, no, they are not allowed to join. If it was because they had a friend in my alliance, maybe. You just have to make a decision, are you willing to take that chance? I've got a few different strategies for catching spies, so usually I am (if it's a good player).
Please note, once again, MY opinions, not my ALLIANCE's.
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