Evil Genius - Traps
To be perfectly honest, even though the trap system is one of the few things that really sets Evil Genius apart from the rest of the pack, I didn’t really find it that useful. The loses to my henchmen just didn’t justify the occasional success and the triggers were usually too unpredictable to be satisfying. Add in the fact that the good agents (the ones that actually can do damage) are able to usually spot and avoid triggers, the trap systems aren’t very useful.
I can still provide a few tips though.
First, stay away from lethal traps. If you’re going to kill someone, you can just have a worker shoot or beat them to death. It’s a terrible waste for the most part and a fairly risky thing to do that is probably just going to raise your heat level. Also note that the friendly fire is just too severe. After you lose a few highly trained henchmen that are caught in the trap with an enemy or trigger it by mistake, and you have absolutely no reason to use lethal traps. Traps that attack the other stats aren’t as bad. At worst, you’ll have a henchman that needs to be taken care of by a valet and it’s just as effective against an agent.
The gas traps are fairly effective, especially once you research the nerve gas ones that target an enemy’s Smarts. They’re cheap, they perfectly cover a standard hallway and they’re fairly easy to set up with a trigger.
Beehive traps are also quite effective. Three or four up with a motion detector in the center and place them outside your base. They can even do decent damage against soldiers.
Wind traps usually don’t work that well, except for triggering combos. That actually goes for the majority of traps. The ideas are nice but they just don’t work out well enough to justify a lot of collateral damage.
Sentry guns aren’t technically traps, but I feel that they fall under this category. They’re fairly worthless for defense outside. Soldiers will just spot them and destroy them and even the disguised ones will be spotted by combat groups. They also don’t defend themselves, so they’re often destroyed with little to no warning because you didn’t slap a kill label on an agent that spotted it. If you want them to be useful, then download the Evil Genius fan patch to enable the use of sentry guns inside a base.
If you want to minimize loses, remember that you can disconnect traps during times of relative security. Just remember to reconnect them when the agents come back.
Evil Genius - Doorways
This is pretty simple but needs to be covered. If you can help it, try to keep doors on all secure areas. Make sure that there is at least one door sealing off your base, or else tourists will wonder in and generally be a nuisance. Try to keep these entrances powered by the best doors that you have, and consider leaving a little room between the exterior door and the real base. You can then put up a second door for a little entrance hall. You can then fill that entrance hallway with traps and force agents to break through two doorways.
Also remember to keep a doorway on the saferoom to ensure that the burglars have to work to get their briefcase full of money.
Evil Genius - Alert Levels
Note that alert levels aren’t going to be as useful as they may seem.
You will probably want to stay on Green for 95% of the game.
Yellow is useful when you’re under attack from a group of veterans and want to ensure that any minions they find are well armed, but it’s not a solution. Note that while workers can conceal their pistols, guards and mercenaries walk around openly with their weapons. This is going to generate a whole lot of heat. Unless you’re already prepared for a siege (or legitimately under siege) then it’s just going to make things worse over time.
Red is a last resort for times when you’re completely overrun. It gives kill orders for everyone that is not a minion on your island and makes every single one of your minions fight them. Note that this is usually a horrible idea, since social and scientist minions will make pointless banzai charges as well and die by the dozens. If you can help it, never use a red alert. A yellow alert with good management will be just as effective.
Evil Genius - Henchmen
Henchmen are usually going to be your best line of defense until the minions really gain some skill and climb the tree to the third or tier.
To start with, henchmen are quick useful for defending your base against most agents. You probably won’t hit a wall until you start seeing full combat groups of veteran soldiers landing on your island. By that point you hopefully have some good minions to back them up.
Note that henchmen can’t die normally. They have three lives and they can only lose one of these lives if they are attacked by a super agent on your island. This means that they should be your first line of defence against any enemy, since at worst they’ll just be knocked out for a few minutes.
Make sure that you upgrade your henchmen with new abilities as they gain experience. Some of them are quite useful.
The best henchmen for base defense are naturally the combat oriented ones. It’s also good to get the few henchmen that have options for ranged attacks.
For this, there’s mainly Red Ivan and Eli Barracude. Eli is a top shot with his pistol and has the ability to do a ton of damage with a guaranteed critical shot from a fair distance. Red Ivan is a bit of a wild card. He can use his rocket launcher to set entire groups of soldiers on fire and do a fair amount of damage, but he’s a complete menace to your best. I suggest that you put him in an outdoor shack and set the security rating to three so that he can’t just wander out. Then you’ll have him in a secure spot for the times that you need to dish out a lot of area damage.
Jubei is also a god send for combat. He also has an ability for a guaranteed critical attack and he can teleport around the island once you upgrade him. He’s not too successful against the combat groups at the end, since they tend to just overwhelm him with a lot of gunfire while he tries to hack one to death, but he’s good up until that point. He’s also naturally fast which makes him ideal for base defense.
Moko is the other decent option for close combat. He has a ridiculous amount of health and a very powerful area attack that can even knock secret agents on their back for an easy takedown. He’s another decent choice.
Evil Genius - Freaks
Freaks are a special minion that you can pick up when you’ve develop the lab up enough to have the bio-chemical research tanks. Once you
have those, you will have the option to move a body bag to the tanks. Dropping the bag in will produce a freak. You can have three freaks at a time. Note that you can also have minions pick up body bags from the freezer racks by right-clicking the rack and selecting the relevant icon.
Freaks are either perfect or worthless, depending on your playstyle. If you like to weaken agents or stick to traps, then don’t bother making any. A more aggressive player who relies on the military will probably find them quite useful.
Freaks blindly patrol the base and island and attack anyone who isn’t a minion. They also generate heat all by themselves, so they better kill whatever sees them. You have absolutely no control over them, and if you want to make them end their rampage you have to kill them. They will also generate a lot of body bags, just from killing tourists.
As mentioned, they’re fairly useful against groups of burglars, investigators and saboteurs. Soldiers can usually gun them down, but they might be able to do a little damage before they die. That’s not bad, since freaks are effectively free. Near the end of the game, when the major nations send large numbers of soldiers to destroy your base, they come in quite handy for dealing out damage or soaking up damage in a large fight. Even more timid players may want to create a few.
Otherwise, they can really create problems. The worst is that they don’t leave disabled agents alone and they always go for the kill. If you managed to weaken an enemy or torture them into a weakened state, then a freak will probably still find and attack them while they’re regaining their sense. It’s not fun to generate unnecessary body bags and heat when the situation was already under control.
It’s a mixed bag, but one you should consider.
Evil Genius - Killing Agents
Note that killing agents should probably be a last resort. If you can, it’s better to just weaken them and make them leave the island and report that they found no actual evidence. It’s potentially risky, but killing doesn’t do much good. It just hurts minion loyalty and encourages the relevant group to send more people later.
You also have to hide the bodies or suffer from steady loyalty loses for surrounding minions and the heat that the body bag itself generates. If you can afford a large freezer and a few racks, then it’s not a big deal. But it’s still money that doesn’t need to be spent.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to super agents. They actually can’t be “killed” anyway. For that reason, you should always use the kill tag, even if you want to capture them. There’s no reason for your henchmen to not just use their weapons and have a better chance of surviving the fight. You will have to go through an optional objective to kill the henchmen, usually through a special type of torture. Until you carry out that act of infamy, you need to just string them along. Use torture techniques to leave them confused and convince them to leave the island peacefully for awhile.
Henchmen are great for killing agents and soldiers, especially since they can lose all their health and only require a little rest. A dead minion isn’t coming back. Your minions will eventually be a vital part though. Note that even armed workers are a force to be reckoned with (especially since they’re expendable). The third tier minions are quite good though. Guards aren’t too effective, but they’re a necessary investment. Mercenaries are a major step up and should be the bulk of your defenses until you get to the next tier. Their heavy rifle is able to tear through groups of enemies and do a lot of damage quickly to most super agents (Dirk Masters is a bit of a special case and requires melee combat).
Marksmen in particular are great for picking off groups of soldiers and fighting super agents. Martial arts experts didn’t seem to be as useful. Regardless the third tier is mainly great because they always carry their weapons with them. Martial artists are able to just use their hands for tremendous damage and markmen keep their sniper rifle on their back at all times. This means that alert levels don’t matter as much.
Evil Genius - Capturing Agents
Capturing agents is usually the way to go. Once you lower their endurance to zero, they’ll be knocked unconscious for awhile. A minion can then carry them away to a holding cell. Even workers are pretty good at beating agents up, so it’s not that big of a deal. Just try to make sure that they have a little backup. Henchmen can also help out a lot, so throw them into the fray too.
The big advantage of capturing enemies is that you can torture them. Torturing anyone emits an aura of loyalty that will give nice status boosts to your minions. The best option is to have a large cafeteria using the large mixing bowl countertop. You can then torture an agent for a fairly long time and entertain a large number of minions as they move around the area. I actually made my cafeteria a long corridor that ran along the main one, just so that minions could see a wall of torture as they walked past.
Torture isn’t just great fun for your minions though. It’s also a vital aspect in managing enemy agents. While some torture kills captured enemies, most will just drain a vital aspect of their stats. The mixing bowl, for example, will usually completely drain the stats of any agent. Super agents and very strong agents may need a second trip, but they’ll be completely scrambled once you’re done with them. A social minion, like a valet, can then “help” them by leading them out of the base to some far off corner outside. They will then just stand there for a long time until they finally come to their senses and wander off with no evidence against you.
Evil Genius - Weakening Agents
This doesn’t need too much of an explanation. You can put a weaken tag on enemies too. This is vital for taking care of super agents and quietly getting rid of investigators.
A weaken tag makes social agents run up to the target and continuously harass them. Each social minion can lower their stats by surprisingly large numbers. Even a few valets can take out the less violent super agents. At worst, they at least manage to distract them while you organize an attack.
After awhile, spindoctors and valets will be a more important part of your base defense then any of your guards (at least until the soldiers come around).
Note that you can’t weaken someone who’s in “combat” mode. Soldiers, and occasionally super agents, may come to the island on an attack mission. Without any provocation, they will shoot all minions on sight and destroy all property that they see. In this situation, make sure that you send the military men out and do your best to lock the social minions inside.