Giacomo Garibaldi is a new mentor added in the Venice expansion. A very powerful person member of the Council of Ten who rule over Venice. He is your interface with the huge corporate market that is Venice and as such he is always looking for goods to buy and sell. Council buyouts, espionage and defense are his specialty and he is always willing to help players perform them. If you like coin, you will absolutely love him. However, as a side effect, fulfilling his requests does neither increase positive nor give negative reputation against other computer players.
He buys absolutely everything you can offer and sells everything you ever need in huge quantities. His favorite goods are finished products, especially expensive ones and his ships have the largest buying power of all the neutral players capable of easily doing deals with a value over 30,000 coin. Do not expect to see his ships too often though as he has the longest cool-down and lowest ship number when trade fleet is maxed.
Council buyouts and Espionage
As the game progresses, you will probably find yourself having far more gold than you can spend due to passive sales and taxes. Invading enemy islands may be easy by that stage but still have the underlying problem of taking many hours to perform (even with the best units) as each market building or storehouse has to be captured individually at the cost of atleast 10 minutes (usually 30 with multiple or oriental soldiers).
With the right attainments, you can perform a council buyout of any island if the target player is at the patrician level or better which requires you to first buy 3 council seats. This can take as little as 30 minutes to buy an entire island, defense and all as long as you have the money to spare. Each council seat must be purchased separately and you can only buy them one at a time (world wide) and must wait for a timer to expire. The cost of council seats depends on the value of the island and owning more than 3 will grant a discount for performing a council buyout. Once you perform a council buyout, you will own all structures and goods that the player you bought from had on the island and are free to do as you please with them. Be aware that Harder enemies will attempt to buy you out at times, so stay on your toes. Purchasing seats and islands is very bad for your reputation and can only be performed without causing a war with careful reputation management.
Espionage was also introduced in the Venice expansion. Although available from the citizen level, you can improve the effectiveness via attainments. There are two sides to espionage, using your spies to sabotage your opponents costing them time and defending yourself from enemy sabotage attainments. The base of operations acts as a source for 1 spy to send to your opponent and also helps fend off enemy sabotage attempts.
You send spies out to enemy housing to make a safe house to work from. Depending on the type of housing you will be able to perform different effects. All effects damage your opponent in some way. Be aware that each stage costs thousands of coin and so a good economy is needed to back up massive sabotage attempts. The enemy is able to fend off your sabotage attempts much like you (but not as well) and doing so will result in loss of reputation. Acts of sabotage will hit your reputation heavily so prolonged use will likely cause a war.
When an opponent attempts to sabotage you, you will enter a mini-game where you must find the spy. This mini-game is harder than the find missing person quests you receive as you have no halo around the spy to find them. You do have a total of 3 phases you can stop the enemy from sabotaging you in. Firstly the spy has to make it to the targeted house to act as a safe-house during which time you can find and click on him to stop him. He then will sit in the safe house for a while during which time your base of operations will automatically or you can manually (for gold) perform house searches in an attempt to flush him out. Finally when performing an act of sabotage, he must walk from the safe house to the target structure which is your last opportunity to stop him by finding and clicking on him.
Remember that you can still stare at your city streets while the game is paused. Slowing game speed down also grants you more searching time to find him.
He has the usual trade and support related attainments. Most other attainments focus on peaceful options to damaging your opponent via improving espionage, allowing concil buyouts of patrician level opponents and upgrading your static defenses to reduce the need of a standing army. You can also unlock the ability to build Venetian ships, which cost a lot to maintain but are the most durable trade ships in the game.