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Determining if Gates are Open or Shut

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Here is what I believe to be an easy way to figure out if the your enemies gates are open or closed.

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Your objective is to capture that city that you've been eyeing up for the last week or so.

Problem is you don't know if their gates are open or closed. There is a very easy way to figure this out. All it requires is sacrificing a single scout. That's right, just a single scout needs to make a trip to the altar. 
In order to do this properly, you need to click on the city that you want to capture in the map, and then press Attack. Not scout, but ATTACK!  Then, very soon after, you will get attack reports coming in. If you meet resisting troops, well, sounds like the gates are open.

Generally, they will win, even if they have a few warriors. If you meet no troops, then the gates are closed. They will open at five loyalty. Presto, this is the easy way to figure out if gates are open or closed. 

Hope this posts helps, and happy gaming!