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A Simple Theft is one of the possible Criminal Plots in a game of Covert Action. It is the shortest and least complex of all Plots, and appears only on the Local Disturbance Difficulty setting. It is geared towards novice players.

General Plot OverviewEdit

In a Simple Theft scenario, 4 Participants attempt to steal an important and/or valuable item to assist them in future plots. This is performed loosely in four general steps:

The plot begins with the Mastermind informing the Organizer to watch out for Max Remington. The Organizer then proceeds to activate all other participants in this plot.

In the next step, several Minor Agents acquire items by performing Minor Crimes. The Researcher acquires a set of Blueprints of the location where the target item is kept, and an Alarm Specialist acquires a specialized Alarm Bypass. Both items are delivered directly to the Thief.

In the third step, the Thief commits the Primary Crime by breaking into the target location and acquiring the stolen goods.

In the final step, stolen item is delivered directly to the Mastermind.

Mission SetsEdit

The Simple Theft plot will only appear as part of the ULTRA-Codes Mission Set. This Mission Set will be selected as your first set when playing at the Local Disturbance Difficulty, and will only ever appear on that difficulty.

The Simple Theft is the only mission in the ULTRA-Codes set, meaning that if the plot is thwarted, the set will end immediately. This is also the only set in the game that consists of only one mission. The simplicity of the Simple Theft plot indicates that it is meant to be completed successfully every time it appears.

Failure to thwart the Simple Theft plot will result in the same set being played again immediately - meaning a new Simple Theft Plot with the same Mastermind, or a new one if the previous one was caught. This will happen over and over until the theft is thwarted.

If the Simple Theft plot is successfully thwarted by Max, with or without arresting the Mastermind, the game will select a new Mission Set (and may randomly select the ULTRA-Codes set again).

ParticipantsEdit

Role Role Arch. Actions
Organizer Organizer Receives a message from the Mastermind.

Contacts each of the other agents to let them know what they need to do.
Alarm Specialist Minor Agent Purchases parts and constructs an Item Electronics Small Alarm Bypass suited to the exact kind of alarm protecting the target item.
Researcher Minor Agent Steals Item Blueprints Small Floor-Plan Blueprints of the building where the target item is kept.
Thief Major Agent Silently breaks into the target location and steals the Item MiscGoods Small Goods Item.
Mastermind Mastermind Begins the mission by sending a message to the Organizer.

Waits to receive the stolen item at the end of the plot.

ItemsEdit

During a Simple Theft plot, three items are created and will move between participants as the plot dictates:

Icon Item Name Sequence of Events
Item Blueprints Blueprints Appears in the Thief's possession during a Meeting with the Researcher.

The Thief "loses" this Item during the Primary Crime.
|Item Electronics Alarm Bypass Acquired by the Alarm Specialist in a Minor Crime during the second part of the plot.

Delivered to the Thief sometime afterwards.

The Thief "loses" this Item during the Primary Crime.
Item MiscGoods Stolen Goods Acquired by the Thief during the Primary Crime.

Delivered directly to the Mastermind, who will take this item with him into hiding.

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.

Please note!Edit

This plot bears a lot of resemblence to the Theft Plot. However, the Simple Theft is a very basic plot containing fewer participants, and is structured in a way that makes it significantly easier to thwart.

For one, the plot begins and ends with the Mastermind. The first event is a message sent from him to the Organizer, which - if intercepted and decoded - will give you the Mastermind's location. To make things even easier, the Mastermind will wait until the very end of the plot to receive the stolen goods, which means you have plenty of time to arrest him!

Also, the first part of the plot sees the Organizer sending and receiving messages to/from each and every member of the plot. Arresting the Organizer - or better yet Turning him - will give you the location and Role of each participant. It's almost as good as arresting the Mastermind.

ActivationEdit

During this stage, the Mastermind activates the Organizer, who in turn activates all other participants.

Message Traffic The Mastermind sends a message to the Organizer.
 
"Rumors indicate that Max Remington may be assisting the CIA on this case. This does not worry me in the least."
Message Traffic The Organizer sends a message to the Researcher.
 
"You are to acquire the floor-plan blueprints of the <Target Location> needed for our operation. Deliver them to our special operative."
Message Traffic The Organizer sends a message to the Alarm Specialist.
 
"The alarm system at the <Target Location> is a Beta model Hughes ElectroMaster. This month's access code is ROSEBUD."
Message Traffic The Organizer sends a message to the Thief.
 
"We are interested in stealing a <Target Item> from the <Target Location>. Your organization is noted for these activities and your assistance will be rewarded."

By this point, the Organizer has completed his mission, and will go into hiding if not arrested or turned.

AcquisitionEdit

During this stage, the Minor Agents perform Minor Crimes to acquire the necessary items for this plot. The Researcher steals Blueprints of the target location, while the Alarm Specialist constructs an Alarm Bypas. Both items are delivered to the Thief.

Meeting The Researcher visits the Thief and delivers the Item Blueprints Small Blueprints Item.
 
"Here are the blueprints for the <Target Location>. There appears to be at least one unguarded entry point. However, there is a sophisticated alarm system."
Note: This is not a true Handoff, because the Item Blueprints Small Blueprints Item does not exist before this meeting occurs. It appears suddenly in the Thief's posession during this meeting.

Minor Crime The Alarm Specialist acquires the Item Electronics Small Alarm Bypass Item.
 
"Bulletin: (INTERPOL ComIntercept) Someone within the <Alarm Specialist's organization> has acquired some unusual electronic components. It appears some sort of alarm-disabling mechanism is being built."
Meeting The Alarm Specialist visits the Thief and delivers the Item Electronics Small Alarm Bypass Item.
 
"This bypass box I built should disable the alarm system at <target location>. Be sure not the confuse the red and yellow wires."

By this point, both of the above participants (Researcher and Alarm Specialist) have fulfilled their mission and will go into hiding if not arrested or turned.

ExecutionEdit

Primary Crime The Thief steals a valuable item from the target location, and acquires the Item MiscGoods Small Stolen Goods Item.
 
"Bulletin: (INTERPOL NewsNet) A professional team of broke into <target name> in the city of <Thief's location>. Authorities report <target item> appears to have been taken."

No participants complete their missions at this stage.

ResolutionEdit

Meeting The Thief visits the Mastermind and delivers the Item MiscGoods Small Stolen Goods Item.
 
"Dear Mastermind. Here are the items you requested. You may now proceed with your secret mission."

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 Organizer 35
Alarm Specialist 25
Researcher 30
Thief 40
Mastermind 200

Confiscations Item Blueprints Small Blueprints 50
Item Electronics Small Alarm Bypass 50
Item MiscGoods Small Stolen Goods 50

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

Action Max. Score Increase
Fail to prevent the Primary Crime 120
Fail to prevent the Item MiscGoods Small Stolen Goods from reaching the Mastermind 280

The highest final score possible for this mission is 1269, before applying Difficulty multipliers.

StrategyEdit

The Simple Theft Plot is the simplest plot in the game, and allows the player to collect points rather easily, as well as have a good chance to apprehend a Mastermind with little effort.

Catching the Mastermind Edit

The first thing that happens in this mission is the Mastermind himself sending a message to the Organizer. This makes it possible to locate the Mastermind almost immediately.

Therefore, Max's first action should be to Decode any and all messages intercepted by the CIA at the start of the mission. If the Mastermind's message is decoded, you'll get the Mastermind's location and role, which enables his arrest immediately. If the message was not intercepted, you will likely be able to acquire evidence of the conversation while operating at the Organizer's Hideout, so you're bound to get it sooner or later.

Feel free to Arrest the Mastermind immediately once you get his info. This will not cause the plot to fall apart until after the Primary Crime has been committed, which is something you want to prevent from happening anyway. Even so, it is definitely better to spend the time trying to Turn the Mastermind. This will give you information about all other Participants, as well as lots of extra points to your score.

Catching the Organizer Edit

The Organizer sends no fewer than three messages early on in the plot, to each of the other participants. This means that pretty much any message traffic you Decode will give you his role and location, making him incredibly easy to find. You may luck-out and find the message from the Mastermind to the Organizer (see prev. section), killing both birds with one stone.

In order to prevent the plot from falling apart too soon, you'll want to allow the Organizer to send all three messages to the other participants before Arresting him. He won't stick around long after that, so concentrate on making sure that all three messages were sent before you do it.

Turning the Organizer ensures that he will send any additional messages he hasn't yet, and also gives a nice bunch of bonus points. However, if you can't Turn him on the first Break-In, you might want to go and Arrest him immediately to prevent him from going Into Hiding, which he will do soon after those messages are sent.

Surveillance at the Researcher's Hideout Edit

After your work at the Organizer's hideout is done, you should have the location of the Researcher. If you don't, make sure to Decode all of the message traffic you've discovered. Head to the Researcher's Hideout immediately.

The Researcher's Hideout should be either Bugged or Wiretapped, if at all possible. This will help the CIA detect the moment when he goes out to Visit the Thief. Alternatively, acquiring a photograph of the Researcher may also help, by allowing the CIA to spot him at the airport on the way there.

The Researcher should be arrested immediately after his meeting with the Thief. This is your only chance of preventing him from going Into Hiding.

Do not arrest the Researcher before the meeting takes place, as that would cause the plot to fall apart too early. However, if you can Turn him quickly before he goes to meeting, there should be no problem -- and you'll get the Thief's location when the meeting happens, if for some reason you don't have it yet. Don't spend too long trying to Turn the Researcher, especially after the meeting has taken place.

Catching the Alarm Specialist Edit

After receiving a message from the Organizer early on, the Alarm Specialist needs to commit a Minor Crime to get his item -- the Item Electronics Small Alarm Bypass. This will generate a CIA bulletin which you need to keep watching for.

If you have spare time before the bulletin arrives, it's best not to do too much surveillance at the Alarm Specialist's hideout. You'll want to keep his alert level low, so that you can later Break Into his hideout repeatedly if necessary.

Once the Item Electronics Small Alarm Bypass is acquired by the Alarm Specialist, your best bet would be to Confiscate it immediately. While doing so, try to get Incriminating Evidence at his Hideout in order to try and Turn him. Turning the Alarm Specialist won't get you many points, but it will help prevent him from going Into Hiding, which will give you extra time to work on the Thief.

If you do not yet know the Thief's location for some reason, the Alarm Specialist's Hideout should provide that information in one way or another. Bugging or Wiretapping his Hideout will help, once the Alarm Specialist goes to visit the Thief for the Handoff.

If the Item Electronics Small Alarm Bypass leaves the Alarm Specialist's hands at any point, you will need to act very quickly. If you know the Thief's location and can get there quickly, do so, and Confiscate it. This will cause the Alarm Specialist to re-acquire the item, which sets the plot back a step and gives you more time. If you can't get to the Thief's hideout quickly enough, you'll want to Arrest or Turn the Alarm Specialst immediately, otherwise he will go Into Hiding.

Preventing the Primary Crime Edit

If both the Item Electronics Small Alarm Bypass and Item Blueprints Small Blueprints make it to the Thief's possession, he is likely to commit the Primary Crime very soon afterwards. This will cause you to lose points, so it must be prevented at any cost.

Keep track of the location of both these items if you can. If you know that the Thief has them both, go there immediately. You'll want to Confiscate either or both of the items, but be very careful about which ones you take:

  • If the Alarm Specialist is still At Large, confiscate the Item Electronics Small Alarm Bypass. He will try to re-acquire it.
  • If both the Alarm Specialist and the Researcher have been Turned, confiscate both items. This will give you the most extra time, as both will go and re-acquire the items, and neither will be at risk of going Into Hiding.
  • If both the Alarm Specialist and Researcher are already In Hiding, do not bother confiscating any item. Instead, concentrate on Arresting or Turning the Thief immediately.

If you're fast enough with your confiscations, you can do this over and over, giving you extra time to get Incriminating Evidence on each of the remaining Participants, for a bit of extra score. If you haven't found the Mastermind yet for some reason, this will give you unlimited time to locate him.

Damage Control Edit

Should the Primary Crime occur, you still have some chance of reducing the damage by Arresting the Thief, and confiscating the Item MiscGoods Small Stolen Goods. If you can Turn the Thief, you'll have made up for that debacle almost entirely.

However, note that any delay could mean that the Thief will Hand Off the Item MiscGoods Small Stolen Goods to the Mastermind, causing you to lose even more points. That is assuming the Mastermind has not been arrested, otherwise the Thief will simply disappear together with the item, causing serious damage to your score anyway.

In the worst case scenario, if the Handoff does occur, you will hopefully get the Mastermind's location, and should not waste time on the Thief -- instead go directly to the Mastermind, Arrest or Turn him, and confiscate the Item MiscGoods Small Stolen Goods while you're at it.

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