Part. 2: Foreign networks
After describing the workings of the secret service concerning homeland security in the last newsletter, we will now detail the organization of their networks on the international playing field. In the next newsletter we will conclude the theme with an analysis on strategies and means in the war against terrorism.
-Initialization At the beginning of the game, foreign-established networks are initialized as a function of several parameters. Alignment, military power, and the force of counter-espionage services are considered. In sum, the networks “take on” the most threatening countries, within the limits of their infiltration capacity for these countries. For example, the American networks are scattered throughout China, Indonesia, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, and Saudia Arabia.
-Game management Through the “External” secret service menu, (or the menu labelled with the actual name of the secret service agency for the most well known agencies: the CIA in the US, the MI6 in the UK, the SVR in Russia, the DGSE in France), the player can create and manage his networks. To create a network in a country, there must be at least five international agents assigned to the country. If the player does not have enough international agents available, he can increase them by modifying his work force.
The number of agents making up the network is important: The more there are, the more powerful the network is, and the more likely they are to obtain results. The player can also fix an objective for his network for him to concentrate on (details on the objectives are below). In a network management match, the player can modify his number of agents and his objectives, or completely get rid of them by reducing the number of agents to zero. -Functioning Like counter-espionage services, as time goes on, foreign spy networks “stock” energy as a function of their power. In the calculation, this takes into account the number of agents in the network and the size of the budget. Agent training. After a certain energy level is reached, the network for a first action is operational. The player is then informed of this possibility and can choose to give the order to launch or not. If he gives the order, the action is launched. The outcomes can have varying levels of success, but whatever the outcome is, all accumulated energy will be lost and the network will have to rebuild its energy from zero. If the network has a set objective, it will only focus on that objective and will not attempt other actions. If the player changes a network’s objectives, he will lose part of his energy because he will need to adapt to this new objective.
-The risk of dismantlement The network can be dismantled by the counter-espionage service of the infiltrated country. The calculation for dismantlement thus depends on the comparative strength of the two spy forces present, evaluated according to the following: The strength of the foreign spy network is based on the size of its budget line Agent training, Cryptography, Military espionage, Political espionage, and Industrial espionage; the strength of the counter-espionage network is based on its number of national agents, on the number of spy agents of the other country, and on the budget lines Agent training and Cryptography.
-Network objectives There are 8 in all.
-Political party approach This objective is only feasible in a multi-party country (and thus not in single-party countries), and for an opposition party. If the approach is successful, the player can arrange a meeting with the party head and provide financial support for him, allowing him to develop. This action is risk-free for the network.
-Terrorist group approach This objective is only feasible in a hostile country. If the strategy is successful, the player can arrange a meeting with an official from the terrorist organization and give him arms or financial aid. Arms would furnish the organization with the means to act quickly; financial aid would allow it to expand and to train new members. This action is risk-free for the network, but it is risky for the player who might be faced with a scandal if these transactions are discovered and relayed to the media.
-Dismantlement of a terrorist group This objective is only feasible in a friendly country. To successfully dismantle a group, the network must first manage to infiltrate it. The longer it takes to infiltrate, the greater the chances are for dismantlement, but at the same time the infiltrating agents could be unmasked at any given moment. The success rate of this kind of operation depends on the comparison between the power of the terrorist group (or its Implantation—see the Newsletter 1 issue, dedicated to terrorism) on one hand, and the duration of the infiltration and the size of the budget lines Cryptography and Anti-terrorism on the other hand. The results of the operation are quite variable, ranging from total success with the complete dismantlement of the terrorist group and the arrest of its head, to total failure with the loss 10-15% of one’s own agents. A successful operation also allows the player to gain popularity points for the player (particularly for international terrorist groups) and reinforces the ties between the two countries.
This objective is only feasible in a country with gas and petrol facilities.
The success rate is calculated based on a comparison between the counter-espionage strength of the target country on one hand, and the number of network agents, the size of its budget lines Agent training, Cryptography, and Industrial espionage, and the presence or absence of Agent 001 in the target country on the other hand. If the operation fails, the network could undergo a major dismantlement and the relations between the two countries would be changed.
-Industrial espionage This objective is only feasible in a country having secret technologies (non-patented), unknown to the country of the player. The calculation of the success rate is the same as for that for industrial sabotage. If the operation fails, the network could undergo a light dismantlement and the relations between the two countries would be changed.
-Political espionage This consists of approaching a minister of the government of the infiltrated country and proposing that he become a spy (a mole). His acceptance or refusal depends on his character (honest/deceitful). If he refuses, he could publicly denounce this corrupt act and the relations between the two countries would be changed.
In a nutshell, the mole can furnish confidential information on embezzlement in his own country and even try to assassinate his Chief of State after some time. However, at any given moment, the mole could be unmasked, depending on the ratio between the counter-espionage strength and the duration of the mole’s infiltration on one hand, and the number of network agents, the size of the budget lines Agent training, Cryptography, Political espionage, and the presence of absence of Agent 001 in the target country on the other hand. If the mole is discovered, the relations between the two countries would undergo significant change. The success of a mole’s assassination attempt of a Head of State depends on the level of security he or she benefits from (for example, an attempt’s success will be more difficult for a dictator). If the mole obtains confidential information on his country, these will be catalogued in the Chief of State files that the player can consult through the secret service menu. This information ranges from basic help to a terrorist group up to the development of nuclear arms.
A player having access to such information can mobilize it in different ways: o He can release them to the public, from the secret service menu, and try to bring down the Head of State in question. o He can use them during a meeting with the concerned Chief of State to increase the likelihood of a negotiation. o Or he can exploit the information for the UN, and denounce the concerned country so that sanctions can be made against the country, or so that a military intervention can be mandated against the country.
-Destruction of strategic objectives and the “Meteor” Operation These are operations possible in only certain infiltrated countries. If this kind of operation fails, the network could undergo a major dismantlement and the relations between the two countries would be dramatically changed.
-L'agent 001 In the beginning of the game, Agent 001 is not assigned to any mission in particular. The player can post him to a destination through the secret service menu, but only the countries having a network can be selected.
The first task for Agent 001 is to infiltrate the top management of the target country: His success depends on the relative force of the counter-espionage of the target country on one hand, and the number of network agents and the size of the budget lines Agent training, Cryptography, and Military espionage. Once in place, Agent 001 can collect military information of various sorts, such as the production of nuclear missiles, that the player can use in the same way as he would use information collected by a mole. The information coming from Agent 001 is less in quantity but more probing (“proof”) than those of a mole (“suspicions”), and thus carries more weight. After several weeks of infiltration, Agent 001 can have access to information regarding the country’s nuclear submarines (if this country possesses them), and after a couple months, he could even try to assassinate the Chief of the Armed Forces: That would result in disrupting the troops, who would receive less orders during a certain period of time. At any given moment, Agent 001 could be tricked, depending on the same criteria as those for his infiltration. If the agent is unmasked, he would be executed and the player will need to train a new agent, which could take several months. The duration of the training period depends on the budget post Agent training.
-Spy satellite There must be at least one spy satellite to launch the operation “spy on a country’s military forces”. The player can try to order spy satellites through a contract (an action which can be done through the Secret Service menu).
The duration of satellite positioning for observing the target country depends on the number of satellites owned and the distance that must be covered to position the satellite on the target. This duration is limited to 24 hours maximum. The time it takes to identify the position of all military forces of a country is much longer and depends on the number of satellites in one’s possession and the surface area of the targeted country. Once the country has been “mapped”, the player can have access to the military strength detail of each building or city by simply clicking on it. The player can spy on only one country at a time.