A Criminal Plot (or just "Plot") is the layout of any operation carried out by members of the Criminal Organizations in Covert Action. Each mission in Covert Action involves exposing one plot, foiling the intended crime, arresting or turning as many participants as possible, and confiscating as many of the related items as possible. Each Criminal Plot unfolds in a specific way, in a flexible but generally expectable order. Each plot can involve up to 8 different participants, with each participant fulfilling a certain Role.
In Covert Action, Max Remington is charged by the CIA to uncover and stop Criminal Organizations from carrying out various criminal and terrorist activities. Each attempt by an Organization to carry out a crime or attack is called a "Criminal Plot", or simply, a "Plot".
Plots are a complex set of actions and events carried out by the various members of Criminal Organizations who have banded together for a specific mission - be it Grand Theft, Kidnapping, a Jail Break or even the Bombing of some major social event.
Each Plot can involve between 6 and 8 different enemy operatives, each with his own specific role within the plot. Each member of the plot attempts to fulfill his own role as best as possible. This can be as simple as sending a message to another member. More often however, a participant in the plot will acquire an item (either on his own or from another participant) and use it to perform the plot's Primary Crime in one way or another.
Any participant who completes his part in the mission will go into hiding as soon as he can, preventing Max Remington from arresting him. On the other hand, taking out a key participant at the wrong time can cause one or more other participants to abandon hope for completing their mission; in which case they will also go into hiding.
Max Remington's job in each mission is to discover the intended crime, locate each participant in the plot, and uncover incriminating data that would allow arresting each participant. Max needs to figure out the correct sequence in which to arrest each participant, so that the other participants will not abandon their mission and go into hiding. At the same time, he also needs to prevent the Primary Crime from happening.
Each plot involves anywhere between 6 and 8 participants, all of whom are criminals or terrorists affiliated with the 12 Criminal Organizations operating in the theatre where the plot is set to unfold.
Each Participant has a set role in the plot, and therefore a set of actions he must perform before he can consider his own mission successful. Unless interrupted, each participant will perform his tasks as best as he can, until all are completed, in which case he will go into hiding. If for any reason a participant finds that he cannot complete his remaining tasks, he will consider his mission failed, and will also go into hiding.
Participant roles range from "Planner" to "Kidnapper" to "Mastermind", but the actual names are only vague descriptions of what they do. Each role however belongs to one or two Role Archtypes, which are better used to define what that participant is likely to do during his mission.
Every participant except the Mastermind is a randomly-generated criminal with their own name, rank, affiliation and location on the map. At the end of the mission, whether captured or fled, they will disappear. The next mission then features a new set of people as the next plot requires. The Mastermind himself is unique, and the same one will continue appearing in each mission until captured!
Participants usually (but not always) belong to different Criminal Organizations, collaborating to execute the plot together. It is possible (but highly unlikely) to come across a Plot run entirely by members of the same, single organization. Most often, there will be no more than 2 or 3 members from any organization. It's also quite possible for each participant in the plot to be affiliated with a different organization.
General Plot StructureEdit
For each mission you play, the game randomly selects a plot to be attempted, from a pool of many possibilities. However, each plot has an expectable structure. That is, it will calls for a specific chain of events leading up to a specific crime.
Two 100% successful plots of the same type (such as two "Burglaries" or two "Assassinations") will be identical in terms of the actions performed by the participants. Therefore, if you know what crime is being attempted, you can know what events are supposed to happen to make it succeed.
Thanks to the randomly-generated Participants, solving a plot isn't as easy as finding out what crime it's trying to commit. However, another important unpredictable element is the precise order in which events leading up to the crime will occur. This is mainly because any intervention by Max Remington has the potential to change the order of the events, or cause some events not to happen at all. In fact, that is the whole point of the game - to stop Criminal Plots from going according to plan!
While logic and deductive skills can certainly help, the biggest help comes from familiarizing yourself with the various plots. This allows you to anticipate each step of the plot and know what consequences your actions might have on it. This allows you to ascertain the best time to arrest each participant and/or confiscate each item.
Most Plots will follow a rough, 4-step outline:
Plots generally begin with an Organizer sending messages to the various participants, explaining the goal of the plot and the role of those participants. There may be more than one Organizer contributing to this effort.
The next step is the acquisition of information and/or helpful tools with which to carry out the Primary Crime. For example, a participant may follow a kidnapping target around, or steal passwords from a security system, or possibly even withdraw cash to be used as payment for someone else. This often involves committing Minor Crimes. Items acquired during such crimes are transferred from one Participant to the other as required, usually with the aid of Couriers.
These items are then delivered to the Major Agent who carries out the Primary Crime. This key participant is possibly the most important participant in each plot, because if they can carry out their mission this will cause a massive drop in points for Max Remington.
Finally, most Plots will continue after the Primary Crime has been committed, with Couriers delivering a stolen item to the plot's Mastermind, delivering payment to various participants before they go into hiding, or simply someone informing the Mastermind that the plot has succeeded.
Once all this has been accomplished, all participants will go into hiding as soon as they can, and the mission is over.