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A Kidnapping is one of the possible Criminal Plots in a game of Covert Action. It is a fairly common Plot, appearing in 4 different Mission Sets. The Kidnapping Plot is relatively easy to thwart (due to plenty of Message Traffic early on), but the potential for a high score is not very good. Stalling for time is very tricky in this mission. The strange naming convention for the Participants in this mission makes it a little confusing as well.

General Plot OverviewEdit

In a Kidnapping scenario, 6 Participants attempt to kidnap an important person, usually a fighter pilot or scientist. This is performed loosely in four general steps:

The plot begins with several Organizers planning the operation and getting in touch with all of the other participants.

In the next step, the Tailed Victim participant will follow the victim around, and inform the Kidnapper of the correct timing in which to perform the Kidnapping. At the same time, money is withdrawn, and is paid to the Kidnap Mastermind for his trouble.

Next up is the actual crime: The Kidnapper proceeds to kidnap the victim and hold him as a Hostage.

In the last step, the Kidnapper informs other key participants (including the Mastermind) of his success. This signals the end of the plot, and all participants who have not yet gone into hiding will do so now.

Mission SetsEdit

The Kidnapping Plot will appear as part of four different Mission Sets:

In the Bioweapon Crisis and Satellite Control sets, it will generally by the first of the three missions of that set. In the Nuclear Crisis and Super Drug sets, the Kidnapping will usually occur second of three. Note that some randomness is involved, so a Kidnapping could occur first or second in any of these sets, but never third.

ParticipantsEdit

Note: Unlike in most other Plots, the Role names of the Participants in a Kidnapping seem to describe the actions they will perform (in the past tense, no less), rather than their role in the plot. Thus, we get names like "Financed Operation" rather than "Financier". This can be a little confusing both in-game and here at the Wiki.

Role Role Arch. Actions
Initiated Plan Organizer Begins the plot by contacting both of the other Organizers.
Contacted Parties Organizer Contacts the Kidnap Mastermind to explain the task in hand.
Kidnap Mastermind Organizer Activates the Kidnapper.

Not to be confused with the Mastermind of the entire operation!
Financed Operation Paymaster Retrieves the Item Payoff Small Payoff, which will be used to pay the Kidnap Mastermind.
Tailed Victim Minor Agent Tails the victim to determine the best opportunity to strike, and informs the Kidnapper.
Kidnapper Major Agent Kidnaps the victim and holds him Item Hostage Small Hostage.

Informs the high-ranking participants of his success.
Mastermind Mastermind Waits until the very end of the mission to receive confirmation of its success.

ItemsEdit

During a Kidnapping plot, two items are created and will move between participants as the plot dictates:

Icon Item Name Sequence of Events
Item Payoff Payoff Acquired in a Minor Crime by the Financed Operation participant.

Delivered to the Kidnap Mastermind sometime afterwards.

Disappears shortly before the Kidnap Mastermind goes into hiding.
Item Hostage Hostage Acquired by the Kidnapper during the Primary Crime.

The Kidnapper will go into hiding with this item if he can.

Plot OutlineEdit

The following actions are performed by the participants in the plot. The order in which these actions will occur is not strict, and may change slightly depending on random factors, as well as in reaction to Max Remington's actions.

ActivationEdit

During this stage, the various Organizers activate one another as well as the Paymaster and the Minor and Major Agents.

Message Traffic The Initiated Plan sends a message to the Contacted Parties.
 
"The political council has resolved to kidnap <target's name>. You are to find a suitable organization to carry out this mission. I plan to personally arrange the appropriate financing."
Message Traffic The Initiated Plan sends a message to the Financed Operation.
 
"We request that you finance the kidnapping of <target's name>. Please deliver sufficient funds from our <bank name> account to assure the success of our operation."
Meeting The Contacted Parties visits the Kidnap Mastermind.
 
"We have selected your organization to carry out the kidnapping of <target's name>. Please make the necessary arrangements. You will be paid handsomely for your efforts."
Message Traffic The Kidnap Mastermind sends a message to the Tailed Victim.
 
"Follow <target's name> and determine when he is vulnerable. When you have determined the best moment to strike, inform our local operative."
Message Traffic The Kidnap Mastermind sends a message to the Kidnapper.
 
"You are instructed to carry out the kidnapping of <target's name>. You will soon be informed of the time and place of the operation."

By this point, the Contacted Parties participant has completed his mission. He will go into hiding if not arrested or turned.

AcquisitionEdit

During this stage, the Paymaster and Minor Agent acquire the necessary info and payoff to facilitate the plot. The Kidnap Mastermind receives the payoff and stashes it.

Minor Crime The Tailed Victim follows the victim around to discover his schedule and vulnerabilities.
 
"Local ALERT: (<Tailed Victim's location>) A suspicious vehicle has been noted following <target's name>. All agents are advised to be on the alert."
Message Traffic The Tailed Victim sends a message to the Kidnapper.
 
"Tomorrow at noon <target's name> will be unguarded. Recommend you make your escape via the alley."
Minor Crime The Financed Operation acquires the Item Payoff Small Payoff Item.
 
"Bulletin: (INTERPOL BankWatch) A large quantity of cash has been withdrawn from the <bank's name> in <Financed Operation's location>. This transaction appears quite suspicious."
Meeting The Financed Operation visits the Kidnap Mastermind and delivers the Money Item Item Payoff Small to him.
 
"These funds should compensate you for your troubles."
Item Dump The Kidnap Mastermind desposits the Item Payoff Small Payoff Item into a different bank account.
 
"BULLETIN: (INTERPOL BankWatch) A large quantity of cash has been deposited in <Kidnap Mastermind's location>. This transaction appears to match the amount of the withdrawal reported earlier."

By this point, all three of the above participants (Tailed Victim, Financed Operation and Kidnap Mastermind) have fulfilled their mission and will go into hiding if not arrested or turned.

ExecutionEdit

Primary Crime The Kidnapper kidnaps the victim of the plot, and acquires the Item Hostage Small Hostage Item.
 
"BULLETIN: (Dateline <Kidnapper's location>) <target's name> was abducted today by an unknown group. He was apparently traveling alone. No further information available at this time."

No participants complete their missions at this stage.

ResolutionEdit

In this stage, the information about the success of the operation travels back up the chain to the highest-level operatives.

Message Traffic The Kidnapper sends a message to the Initiated Plan.
 
"Our operation has been successfully completed. Do not hesitate to call us again for additional operations."
Message Traffic The Kidnapper sends a message to the Mastermind.
 
"Dear Mastermind. I am now in possession of our hostage, <target's name>. You may now proceed with your ingenious plan."

At this point all participants have completed their missions, and will go into hiding if not arrested or turned.

ScoringEdit

This is a list of the points you will be rewarded for performing various actions during the course of the mission.

Action Target Points
Arrests Initiated Plan 45
Contacted Parties 35
Financed Operation 35
Kidnap Mastermind 45
Tailed Victim 20
Kidnapper 40
Mastermind 200

Confiscations Item Payoff Small Payoff 50
Item Hostage Small Hostage 50

In addition, the following failures will increase the Maximum Score by the listed amount of points:

Action Max. Score Increase
Fail to prevent the Primary Crime 160
Fail to prevent the Kidnapper from sending his final message to the Mastermind 240

StrategyEdit

The Kidnapping plot is a relatively simple plot in terms of its progression, and a lot of Message Traffic early in the mission makes it easier to locate each of the Participants. However, it is practically impossible to delay this plot indefinitely, making it one of the hardest to get a 100% score in. In general, you'll want to get to the Major Agent as quickly as possible (to prevent the Primary Crime from occurring), and then clean up whoever is left of the other agents before they disappear.

Locating the Secondary OrganizersEdit

The Initiated Plan participant is the first participant you'd want to get to. At the start of the mission, he sends two messages out to the Contacted Parties and Financed Operation participants, which will likely show up in CIA scans. Decoding these two messages or acquiring their content is absolutely crucial. Fortunately, the Initiated Plan usually lives in Washington, making him easy to locate quickly. If you're stumped, check the Activity Report and visit the Washington hideout of the most active group - this is likely where the Initiated Plan will be residing.

Do not spend too much time in surveillance at the Initiated Plan's hideout. There isn't much information to be gathered here, and you will need to get to other participants very quickly. The best information you can get here is a picture of the Contacted Parties participant, which will help in the next step. Just make sure you leave with the locations of both the Contacted Parties and Financed Operations, otherwise you may never find the key participants in time to stop the plot.

You can leave the Initiated Plan At Large for quite some time, as he will stick around to receive confirmation of the success of the plot from the Kidnapper, at the very end. Arresting him early, however, does not seem to break up the plot - so it may be better to Arrest him immediately if you have the opportunity.

Catching the Contacted PartiesEdit

As soon as you have the Contacted Parties participant's location, you should head there immediately. The Contacted Parties only needs to send one Message, and then he will go Into Hiding. If you do not move fast enough, this participant will disappear.

If sufficient information about the Contacted Parties is acquired in the previous step, you may get a CIA report when he leaves to visit the Kidnap Mastermind. If you get the Kidnap Mastermind's location this way, the rest of your task will be much easier - but don't count on this happening.

You'll want to Arrest the Contacted Parties as quickly as you possibly can, but only after he has gone to visit the Kidnap Mastermind. Arresting him before that event will cause the plot to fall apart. Waiting too long after the event will allow the Contacted Parties to go Into Hiding.

If you get to the Contacted Parties' hideout before the meeting occurs, use Wiretaps and Bugs to increase your Surveillance Quality here, so that when the meeting occurs you will get the Kidnap Mastermind's location automatically. If you've arrived after the meeting, make absolutely sure to get as much information about the meeting before arresting the Contacted Parties.

Splitting PathsEdit

At this point, the plot branches in two different directions, and you may want to pursue them both simultaneously. Deciding which branch to prosecute with more vigor may have a serious impact on your score.

The decision of which branch to follow first will mostly depend on what information is available to you after Arresting or Turning the Contated Parties.

The Financing PathEdit

In the Financing path, the Item Payoff Small Payoff changes hands between the Financed Operation and the Kidnap Mastermind. Catching them both should be relatively simple, but doing so cannot prevent the Primary Crime from occurring.

Arresting both these men and Confiscating the Item Payoff Small Payoff itself will not fully offset the damage done to your score if you fail to prevent the Primary Crime as a result of choosing this path. However it is possible to force this path to stall if you can confiscate the Payoff at just the right time. Use the extra time to gather Incriminating Evidence and Turn both men instead, which should completely offset the score penalty.

The work you do on the Financing Path will also likely provide you with information on the location of both the Tailed Victim and the Kidnapper. If you have enough time after finishing this path, you may still be able switch back to the other path and catch the Kidnapper, and possibly even the Tailed Victim if you're lucky.

The Kidnapping PathEdit

This path sees the Tailed Victim and Kidnapper collaborating to commit the Minor and Primary Crimes.

If you follow this path successfully, you will prevent the Primary Crime and all other penalties to your score, but it is very likely that you will miss out on catching the Financed Operation, the Kidnap Mastermind, and/or the Item Payoff Small Payoff Item.

Note that the Tailed Victim is worth very few points, even if Turned. If you feel like time is running out, you may want to skip the Tailed Victim altogether - but note that he will at some point have information on the whereabouts of the Kidnapper, whom you cannot skip.

The Financing Path: Catching the Financed OperationEdit

Note: Pursuing the Financed Operation is risky, as explained above.

Once you get information about the Financed Operation's location, you can follow the money to all of the remaining participants. This branch requires you to move very quickly, and you'll probably want to Arrest every participant you find with haste. If you do not move quickly, you may be too late to stop the Primary Crime.

Locating the Financed Operation should be easy if you've done all your work at the Contacted Parties' hideout. Alternatively, a Bulletin should notify you of his city of residence once he withdraws the Item Payoff Small Payoff Item.

If the Payoff is still here, Confiscate it immediately, setting this branch back by a day or so, giving you time to work on other things. Note, however, that this Confiscation does nothing to delay the Primary Crime. You might want to use the extra time to do some work on locating the Kidnapper and/or Tailed Victim.

If you do not yet have the Kidnap Mastermind's location yet, you have the option of letting the Item Payoff Small Payoff change hands in a Meeting between the Financed Operation and the Kidnap Mastermind. Raise your Surveillance Quality at the Financed Operation's house to get information when the meeting does finally occur. At this point, you'll want to Arrest the Financed Operation immediately, as he will not wait much longer before going Into Hiding.

The Financing Path: Catching the Kidnap MastermindEdit

You have a chance to delay this branch of the plot significantly by Confiscating the Item Payoff Small Payoff at the Kidnap Mastermind's house, if it has already arrived here. This will force the Financed Operation to re-acquire the money all over again (assuming he is still At Large), giving you quite a bit of extra time. If the Financed Operation has already been Arrested or has gone Into Hiding, confiscate the Payoff and arrest the Kidnap Mastermind immediately instead, otherwise he will disappear.

Do not allow the Kidnap Mastermind to remain in possession of the Item Payoff Small Payoff for too long, otherwise the item will disappear and the Kidnap Mastermind will go Into Hiding soon after.

At the Kidnap Mastermind's hideout, you'll want to do as much information gathering as possible, because this hideout will likely contain the location and additional information on the Tailed Victim and Kidnapper, in the form of Message Traffic. If you get enough of this information, and have done all the above quickly enough, you'll be able to arrest both the Kidnap Mastermind and Financed Operation, ending the Financing Branch and moving on to preventing the actual crime.

Note: While Turning both the Kidnap Mastermind and the Financed Operation will get you quite a few points, you will lose even more points if you allow the Primary Crime to take place! Follow the Financing branch only if you're confident that you can end it quickly!

The Kidnapping Path: Catching the Tailed VictimEdit

The Tailed Victim will commit a Minor Crime relatively early on, producing a CIA Bulletin. Shortly after this occurs, the Tailed Victim will meet with the Kidnapper, making the Primary Crime practically inevitable. Therefore, when you receive the Bulletin about the Tailed Victim, speed is absolutely of the essence.

You should have the Tailed Victim's location if you've already been to the Kidnap Mastermind's hideout. Decoding the Kidnap Mastermind's Message Traffic, if you have any of it, should ensure this. Getting a mug shot of the Tailed Victim is a great boon too, as it will allow the CIA to detect his Meeting with the Kidnapper when it occurs.

If you arrive at the Tailed Victim's hideout after he has met with the Kidnapper, Arrest the Tailed Victim immediately to prevent him from going Into Hiding. Turning him will only get you a handful of extra points, and is unlikely to give you any crucial information that you haven't gathered yet.

The Kidnapping Path: Stopping the KidnappingEdit

The lynch-pin is the Kidnapper. The moment you get his location, you should go there immediately.

If he has already met the Tailed Victim, waste no time in Arresting him, lest he commit the Primary Crime and ruin your score.

Turning the Kidnapper, if at all possible, is a great boon. It's a large score boost, coupled with preventing the Primary Crime from ever occurring, and thus gives you as much time as possible to get to the Mastermind. Again, if he has already met the Tailed Victim, you have little to no time to gather the Incriminating Evidence for that, so don't waste time.

Damage Control and the MastermindEdit

In this plot, catching the Mastermind is quite difficult in comparison with most other plots. The Mastermind is not involved until the very end of the plot, and even then, it is a Message sent to him after the Primary Crime has already occurred. Therefore, the only reliable way to get to him is to allow the Primary Crime to take place, and then to use surveillance at the Kidnapper's hideout to intercept that Message Traffic, decode it, and quickly go Arrest the Mastermind before he can escape.

Even if you can get the Mastermind this way, the impact on your score will be very severe. Both the Primary Crime and the Message sent to the Mastermind cause a severe drop in your score.

The only viable alternative to this problem is to Turn the Kidnapper before he can carry out the Primary Crime. This prevents that crime altogether, and additionally, it means that the Mastermind will continue to wait for the confirmation message, possibly for quite some time. This will give you enough time to collect more Clues or Mentions, and follow them to try and figure out who and where the Mastermind is.

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