All thieves in a row
Thieves are specialists with the ability to steal goods from an enemy settlement. They can also be used to bring specific goods onto a ferry (and thus into colonies).
In order to easily find valuable goods and avoid enemy patrols, thieves have a vision radius about twice as big as that of other units.
The sight radius of a level 1 swordsman compared with that of a thief.
Thieves possess a disguise ability that makes them look, to an enemy player, like their own pioneers if observed outside of a settlement, or like their own carriers inside a settlement. Thieves are decloaked if a military unit comes too close.
Enemy thieves can be difficult to spot. Finding them requires a feel for how carriers normally act, in order to be able to tell when a carrier acts unusually. If a thiev picks up a tool that is currently being requested for a job (like a farmer), they can also give themselves away by trying to take the tool somewhere instead of taking the job. Toolsmiths and tool storages are popular targets for thieves, which is why a soldier should be placed there.
Regardless of their cloaking and ability to steal, their increased vision radius also makes them excellent scouts.
- Thieves can be ordered to pick up goods in their own settlement and carry them to any other spot. This requires some micromanagement, however: Once the thief finishes his pickup-animation, he must be given a movement order while holding ALT.
- The Dark Tribe was originally supposed to receive a thief. This unit can be spawned via scripts, but does not have a texture or any active behavior. Since shamans can steal wood and iron via a spell, thiefs were likely considered redundant for the Dark Tribe.
- Thieves are largely useless for their intended purpose against the AI, as they attract swordsmen upon entering enemy territory, like all specialists do. This behavior can be exploited, however, to continuously bait enemy swordsmen into traps.