First off, I created this thread in order to rationalize *why* there are secrets kept in some MV Empires. And while I am a member of the KzintiEmpire this whole post does solely reflect *my own personal view* on the matter.
The most obvious reason is actually to keep information away from other empires, which is most important when said empires are still active. It might become irrelevant to a stagnant empire (whose members have given up the game) although, and especially when an empire is still ranked high, it might be a legitimate way of "passive battle" if secrets are still kept -because this might stiffle other empires and thus, sustain the own rankings.
I believe that each empire has the right to do so as they actually decide, and most persons who are in a MV empire might hopefully be able to follow that logic.
However, there also exist other (non-MV) reasons for keeping secrets, and I shall point out (vaguely; reason - see below) some of them by example.
Secret: It is actually possible to move StarBases on the map.
The technique itself is based on a bug - and, thus, it should be reported to the forum "Bug Section", so it could be corrected in a future version of the game.
But apparently GalCiv2 has reached its final built....posting this won't change a thing; the only thing that would have been achieved is to make this bug/exploit known to the usual GalCiv2-player.
And while it is debateable if this bug is of any great use in a MV game designed for score; there can be no doubt that this will deal a great advantage in all common warfighting (or else) "sandbox"-games....
StarBases are often the first target to attack, and those far-away from the own inner coreworlds regularily fall (at least, in my games, though I could have done things horribly wrong back then ).
So why not move them to more secure terrain?
Or somewhere where an extra dash of influence is needed?
Or maybe somewhere where they will be attacked (and stuff them full of weapons instead). Or or or... the possibilities are many.
But wouldn't all this take the fun away? Wouldn't it render the game way too simply then? Actually, to keep an outside base from destruction can be a challenging undertaking in any game.... Plus it would give the player an unfair advantage over the AI's - who aren't programmed to use this method.
Thus, the way how to re-create this bug has been made an empire-secret; its two-fold function is to give a selection of trusted MV players an idea of what *could* be made; while preserving the general player his fun which he can have with playing this game "normally".
In fact, I have been "victim" to the publification of such dangerous information by myself. Back somewhere in Autumn 2009, when I still played this game mostly normally I found info's on a technique which uses the SCC and the Psyonic Beam-weapon to gain omnipotent control of the whole map. It would bancrupt the player - but with so many planets at hand the debt is fastly covered, and the grinding can begin. First I've been hypnotized by this strategy; but in retrospect I now realize that this marked the end of my "normal" gaming time. Since then, I've not played any more warfights (the "TA Tournaments" are the sole exceptions).
Simply, when I start a game I wanna do things always best, I want to win this game, but I also want a hard struggle for this win - and now, being in possession of the "swindle" technique, the struggle has been taken away. What's the deal? Simply research Total Majesty, put some ships under the SCC and win. It's as easy as that.
Did the devs way back then think about this "trait" when they designed their AI? Was that ment to be this way, is this really balanced? I feel inclined to say "no", as I feel that StarBases shouldn't move around the map.
Personally, I think GalCiv2 and all its expansions is a phantastic game, and I wanna acknowledge & thank StarDock for their accomplishment. Thus, it would be against my intent if I would openly present tactics which cash in on bugs or exploits or unbalanced features of the game, things that were simply overlooked by them (and the beta's).
There's simply no need to cause this affront, as there is no need to guide the nomal player in the exploitive usage of bugs, and unbalanced features.
Thus, there have to be "Empire Secrets"; the reason for them is - RESPECT - to others.
I welcome all creative criticism & honest opinions.