The Hijacking of Keats’ Pride

Written by Glenn Davisson

The game is set in Vancouver, the third largest city in Canada (and largest on the west coast). It has the largest port in the country, and one of the largest in North America (including the fourth largest cruise ship terminal in the world). There are nine million tourists every year, and the four container terminals handle 1.5 million containers a year. Only half of the permanent population considers English their 1st language. Outside of Los Angeles and New York City, it has the largest film and television production industry in North America, with all the “that’s weird, but not notable” stuff that goes with that. With the average detached home running $1.2 million, it’s one of the most expensive places in the world to live, and has neighborhoods that range from extremely wealthy to one of the first skid rows in the world. Vancouver has the highest crime rate in Canada (though not so high compared to many US cities). And it’s only a few miles from the longest undefended national border in the world.

Add in a very busy port, and the unions that go with it, and border and customs officials who have a tendency to be either sympathetic to the US, or willing to take bribes to make that mortgage payment (or both), and a picture emerges of a place where the CIA would have a significant staff of case officers, to manage their various local assets (people they bribe, or blackmail, or otherwise coerce or seduce into helping), and a good sized staff of analysts, looking for anything interesting in all that port and tourist traffic, but not much in the way of gunfire or explosives. A convenient place to move people or contraband into and out of the US secretly. Their operations are controlled from the Consulate, but are not in it. Instead, their office is ostensibly an import/export company near the docks, Weathervane Import/Export.

This mission is written for characters who are a team of CIA field officers, exiled to a place where nothing happens, for reasons other than incompetence (they angered someone more important than themselves, but not by doing a bad job).

Download The Hijacking of Keats’ Pride (with accompanying maps)

The Thorium Incident

Written by Glenn Davisson

The setting for this scenario is Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver has a large, busy international port and popular tourist destination, with millions of international visitors per year. It is also less than 25 miles from the US border. This makes it a hub of intelligence gathering activity, as well as a neutral meeting ground for major political powers, but there is very little in the way of “black ops” to be found in peaceful, law-abiding Canada.

The characters are CIA field officers—spies, in the traditional sense—who are recent graduates from the CIA training facility (“The Farm”) in Langley. They all graduated with good marks, but for various reasons beyond their control, all have something of a cloud over their heads within the Agency. They have been assigned to Vancouver, despite all being rated for field work, to keep them out of trouble. They do not know if this was arranged by their enemies, to crush their careers before they even start, or by their friends, to keep them out of sight, out of mind, until the political climate in Langley changes.

Download The Thorium Incident (with accompanying maps)

1990s – Coup in Iraq

Background

Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
The fall of the Iron Curtain held the promise of an end to espionage – at least on the scale it had previously operated at. However, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent Gulf War merely changed the protagonists. In the months leading up to the 1996 US elections, it is alleged that Bill Clinton was under pressure to do “something about Iraq”. From there, the CIA, again allegedly, attempted a coup to depose Saddam Hussein. The coup was unsuccessful (or never actually happened) and Hussein remained in power until his capture following the Second Gulf War in 2003.

Plot Hook

An operative, codenamed BETRAYER, has been embedded within Hussein’s personal staff ahead of the coup attempt. However, they have failed to report in for the last 3 days. The agents are sent into Iraq to determine his whereabouts and current condition.

Note: I ran a mission based on this idea via PBeM many years ago called Who Betrayed BETRAYER?.

References

CIA Coup Effort in Iraq Foiled
The CIA’s Secret War in Iraq
The Iraqi Coup of June 1996

Valderon Alternative, The

Written by DdB
Page Count: 27
This scenario is intended for a cell of between two and four characters that have a particular speciality in:

  • Conducting surveillance operations;
  • Technical proficiency with surveillance equipment;
  • Covert intrusion skills;
  • While not essential, it is useful if there is at least one reasonably fluent Polish speaker.

The scenario is intended as the first of two parts, set several months apart. The two parts are intended to be woven in as part of a campaign with other (unrelated) episodes and scenarios in between these two parts. However, either part may also be run as a scenario in its own right or with different groups of characters.

Download The Valderon Alternative (Part 1)
Download The Valderon Alternative (Part 2)

1980s – A Bug’s Life

Background

Bugged Great Seal of the United States
Bugged Great Seal of the United States
Using electronic recording/transmitting devices, known as bugs, to listen in on your rivals activities has been a common stable of the espionage agent’s arsenal. As long ago as 1946, the Soviet’s were bugging the US Embassy in Moscow (with a “Trojan Horse” type gift of a wooden replica of the Great Seal of the United States) but the most famous attempt was during the building of a new US Embassy in Moscow where the Soviets were able to wire the entire building with listening devices under the very noses of the Americans. Thankfully, for the US, the bugs were found before the embassy opened but due to the nature of their placement – in some cases, embedded directly into the brickwork – the building stayed closed until it could be entirely rebuilt and opened in 2000, some 15 years later.

Plot Hook

The agency has received intelligence that a secret meeting will be held in a rival nation’s embassy in the coming weeks. The nature of the meeting is unknown at this time but the intelligence reports indicate that the contents of it could be vitally important. The agents are assigned with covertly entering the embassy and bugging the appropriate rooms to enable a full account of the meeting to be recorded.

References

The Great Seal Bug Story
The Bugged Embassy Case: What Went Wrong
U.S. Finally Opens Moscow Embassy

OPERATION: Black Ice

By Huntsman

Location
The town of Grozade in the eastern part of Bosnia, close to the border with Serbia. Grozade was a muslim enclave and supposed “Safe haven”, before being overrun by Serbians, after the peace agreement was signed and a cease fire was in place. It was the scene of intense bombardment, reducing the town to rubble, and also the scene of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Set Up
The mission is to assassinate a renowned Serbian war criminal called General Kislic, known to be operating out of his compound in Grozade. He is unable to be brought to justice by the international community, and his crimes against humanity continue, even flaunting them to the UN. In a highly secret and illegal meeting, his death warrant has been signed.

General Mustufa Kislic, is the local Serbian commander, and head of the feared “Tigers” para-military. He is responsible for some of the most horrific ethnic cleansing during the Bosnian conflict. General Kislic is wanted by the UN for crimes against humanity and war crimes in connection with his involvement in the mass murders in various muslim enclaves. General Kislic is a sadist, who delights in causing pains and suffering. He is also completely mad, and believes passionately that he is right in what he is doing and also that he is untouchable. He actively flaunts that whilst he would be found guilty in an international court, that he can continue with his actions and their is nothing anyone can do to stop him. Whilst the conflict is somewhat quieter, he continues in his trade of weapons and drug selling, murder, torture, prostitution and sale of human misery. Rape, torture and murder is common place in Grozade.

The Plot Thickens
Agents can either infiltrate as black market weapons dealers, or as workers for a Non Government Organisation (NGO) that has access to the town (e.g. CARE), or even as freelance mercenaries. There is no Stabilisation Force (SFOR) soldiers in the town and posing as UN soldiers would not be good idea. However, agents could possibly use SFOR troops (SAS) to assist in entering the town or perhaps even staging a incident on the outskirts of Grozade that would assist the agents in their cover.

At the time that the agents are in town, a Russian mafia deal is going down, with a consignment of SA-11 surface to air missiles and drugs for sale. General Kislic intends to do the deal and then using mercenaries, kill the Russians as they leave, blaming it on the muslims. The mercenaries will also meet an untimely demise when they return to Grozade.

Agents will also almost certainly meet up with the “Tigers”. These militia are fuelled by slivovite and drugs, and look like a cross between a regimental get together and a heavy chapter meet of Eastern Europe’s Hells Angel’s. Wearing a mixture of uniforms, and “mad max” gear, sporting mohawk haircuts, they are armed with a mixture of weapons, from WWII era to modern eastern bloc guns and equipment. Their discipline is poor and they are violent natured, showing only contempt and hatred for outsiders.

Results
Assassinating General Kislic will not prevent the killings, but it will send a clear message that their crimes will not go unpunished. Of course, the EEC will blame the assassination on either the muslims, the Croats, the Russian mafia or renegade mercenaries.

What Next?
The mission could be extended into a Bosnia Campaign. Other missions could include to either capture and escape with other known war criminals so that they can be charged before an international court; or infiltrate into small enclaves to rescue people who could be witnesses to the crimes; or to conduct interdiction and harassment raids on the flourishing black market trade, perhaps establishing their own and putting other agents in place.

1980s – Two Tribes

Background

Valiant Class Submarine 1986
Valiant Class Submarine 1986
In the early 1980s the threat of a nuclear war was almost overwhelming as the tensions between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries heightened following the elections of Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Ronald Reagan in the US. In particular, Reagan’s anti-communist policies and speech (he branded the Soviet Union an “evil empire” in 1983), pushed the threat to heights not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Plot Hook

The agency has intercepted communications from a known Soviet operative. While the majority of the communique has proven difficult to de-code, the remainder instructs the recipient to infiltrate Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde in Scotland to attach a device to all nuclear submarines present. The cryptography experts are undecided as to whether the device is explosive or tracking in nature. Additionally, the identity of the recipient is unknown. The agents are tasked with discovering the identity of the Soviet agent(s) and stopping them from completing their tasking.

References

Cold War (1979-85)
Apocalypse Then: How 1980s Britain Fretted Over Nuclear Threat
Your 80s: The nuclear threat
New Documents Reveal How a 1980s Nuclear War Scare Became a Full-Blown Crisis
Threads
The Day After
Protect & Survive – UK Public Infommericals on Nuclear War Preparation

1970s – The Troubles

Background

The Troubles
The Troubles
On 30 January 1972 British soldiers shot 26 unarmed civilians during a protest march. This event later became known as Bloody Sunday. The subsequent cover-up only served to boost the status of, and recruitment into, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) – a paramilitary organisation that sought to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about an independent republic encompassing all of Ireland.

Less than one month later, on 22 February, a car bomb was exploded outside the Officer’s Mess of 16th Parachute Brigade. This was claimed as a revenge attack for Bloody Sunday, with the warning that this would be the first of many attacks. True to their word, attacks on the British mainland would continue throughout the rest of the decade and beyond.

Plot Hook

Intelligence has been received that the IRA are planning an imminent high-profile attack. The agents are tasked with going undercover in Northern Ireland to determine who or what the target is and when the attack is planned for.

References

Bloody Sunday
1972 Aldershot Bombing
The Provisional IRA’s mainland campaign
Harry’s Game (although the mini-series was filmed/released in 1982, the novel it is based on was published in 1975)

1960s – Checkpoint Charlie

Background

Conrad Schumann
Conrad Schumann
The formation of the Soviet Union in 1922 saw restrictions put in place to keep citizens from leaving and in the aftermath of World War II, there was a mass migration of people from East to West. However, it wasn’t until the Berlin Wall was constructed (following the Berlin Crisis) that defections came to public notice (perhaps the most iconic being Conrad Schumann who leapt over barbed wire into West Berlin just days after construction of the Wall began). There were also defections in the other direction, including the likes of the Cambridge Five. Although defections occurred around the world, Berlin (at least in popular culture) became a hotbed of espionage activity and came to epitomise the cloak and dagger aspects of espionage in the 1960s.

Plot Hook

Intelligence has been received that a prominent officer in the Soviet Army wishes to defect. Through coded communications, it has been ascertained that he will be part of a group of military officers visiting East Berlin in the coming weeks. Cover documents will be provided as required to allow the agents to enter East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie (which allows for travel foreigners, diplomats, Allied military personnel and GDR citizens) and they are tasked with determining if the proposed defection is genuine and, if so, with ensuring that it is successful.

References

List of Soviet and Eastern Bloc Defectors
List of Western Bloc Defectors
Berlin Crisis of 1961
West Berlin
A Tour of East and West Berlin in the 1960s

1960s – The Space Race

Background

Moon by Opoterser
Moon by Opoterser
In April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit Earth. This was closely followed in early May 1961 when astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space (though not in orbit). Later that month, US President John F. Kennedy went to Congress and asked for money to be assigned to increase that nation’s space program with the purpose of “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth” before the decade was out. The space race had begun in earnest.

Not only did this galvanise the nation’s scientists and engineers but also its spies. As such when the Soviets undertook a tour of select nations to showcase their scientific achievements by exhibiting apparent models of their Sputnik and Lunik space vehicles the CIA took the opportunity to, not once but twice, kidnap the Lunik in order to gain as much information as possible (unfortunately the declassified documents do not record the date of the tour, or kidnapping, but it is presumed to have been at some point in the early- to mid-1960s).

Plot Hook

With the US trailing, at least initially, to the Soviets, its agents are working hard to reduce the gap. Intelligence has been received indicating that a chief designer will be attending the 1963 European Figure Skating Championships (being held in Budapest, Hungary) to watch his daughter compete. The agents are assigned to the US team and are tasked with acquiring whatever information it can without compromising themselves or alerting the Soviet’s to their presence.

References

The Space Race
JFK’s Moon Shot Speech to Congress
The Kidnapping of the Lunik
The CIA Helped Win the Space Race
1963 European Figure Skating Championships