See, Agency 17 had learned that the Los Zetas Cartel was moving an extremely large shipment of cocaine into the United States in the next week or so, and tasked the players with hijacking the shipment.
The players haven't learned Agency 17's intended destination for the shipment, but I've decided that their drop off point is the Roswell Diner in Roswell New Mexico.
- The shipment is leaving from Ciudad Madera, a city of population roughly 15,000. Although not controlled by the Los Zetas cartel in real life (as pointed out by one of my players), I've taken artistic license and just stated that the Los Zetas cartel has expanded rapidly in the last few years
- The shipment is being loaded on a semi truck with trailer. The shipment is going to be well over 20 tons of cocaine- easily one of the largest drug shipments to be moving across the Mexico-United States border in history. The Los Zetas cartel wouldn't be doing this without a very good damn reason, something that I've admittedly not come up with- yet.
- The trip to Kermit Texas (the final destination for the shipment) is likely going to take at least 12 hours.
- There are three possible routes the shipment can take. The first major branch point is whether the truck crosses from Juarez into El Paso Texas, or goes west to Ojinaga. From there, two of the potential paths cross again just an hour away from Kermit Texas. The third route goes through Juarez but does not meet up with the path the truck would take if it crossed into the US at Ojinaga.
- The player's intended destination complicates things. Roswell is about 3 hours from Kermit Texas. I'm sure they're hoping that the drop off point for the drugs will be further East, away from the Zetas areas of control, not North through them.
Los Zetas Preparation:
- The semi and the two dedicated escort SUVs have been outfitted with auxiliary fuel tanks to extend their operational range.
- Additionally, the semi has been outfitted with ramming bars across the front grill, providing an additional DR 4 from collisions from the front.
- Border Patrol agents have been given a sizable bribe to allow the shipment through the border. This is how Agency 17 initially learned of the shipment.
- The Zetas will have multiple response teams available along the route the shipment will be taken. These teams will be composed of multiple cars, SUVs, motorcycles, as well as a single civilian helicopter. They will reinforce the escort vehicles and respond if something happens to the convoy.
- The convoy will communicate with one another using CB radios, using cell phones for longer range communication.
- The cartel has blackmailed an extremely skilled (Driving, Heavy Wheeled-18) trucker to drive the shipment for them. His family will be at risk if he does not cooperate with them.
- The dedicated escort team will be armed with old AK-47s loaded with armor piercing ammunition. (Originally 5d6+1 pi damage, becomes 4d-1(2) pi- damage due to the change in ammunition)
- The response teams will be armed with more varied armaments. Those on motorcycle will be limited to sawn-off shotguns, pistols and other small arms. Those on four wheels will have a greater selection available to them.
- The helicopter will have a light machine gun of some sort. It's likely whoever is shooting it will be hanging from the side of the aircraft and not shooting it from a weapon mount.
- Thanks to a local asset and some legwork, the PCs know the location of the facility where the cocaine is being loaded onto the semi.
- They also know where the dedicated escort vehicles are being outfitted and checked over by Zeta mechanics.
- Their local asset helped them bug the communications of the local cartel leader.
- The PC armament currently consists of a .50 BMG sniper rifle with APHC ammunition, multiple carbines and assault rifles, as well as two bricks of C4 explosives.
- The party's communications expert should have no problems knocking out the Los Zetas cell and radio communications. Doing so should help mitigate the cartel's capability to respond with force.
- The players have ample opportunity to sabotage the escort vehicles.
- Done right, the players could possibly divert the shipment to their preferred route- bypassing a lot of the response teams and other preparations. Doing so might mitigate the helicopter if it is forced to scout for their position.
Chaos and Insanity:This is mostly a list of ideas I've had for complicating things to make the ride to their location a little more... wild.
- Heavy traffic
- Legitimate cops
- Rival gang attempting to hijack the shipment for themselves.
- DEA agents
- Bad weather
- Support from Agency 17 itself
Things to Consider:
- The Zetas driver will be vastly superior to anyone the players have. The players' combat driver would be looking at a -2 default from her driving (automobile) skill of 16, meaning a 12 if familiarity penalties are also assessed. Tobias is looking at a modified 7-9 driving skill behind the wheels of the truck.
- The handling penalty with the trailer is -3, meaning that they are going to want the dedicated driver behind the wheel.
- Majority of the Los Zetas enemies are going to be praying and spraying, likely with skill 10. Figuring in speed and distance penalties, and the players are actually unlikely to get completely wiped out.
- In fact, crashing, falls to the pavement and other hazards associated with high speed chases are much more likely to get them killed.
- Total aim bonus while aiming from the semi or SUVs cannot exceed 4. -2 attack penalty if attacking after a vehicle a character is riding in dodges.
- -1 to attack rolls through vehicle windows to strike occupants unless occupants are hanging out of the windows.
- Occupants and vehicle damage on page 555 might come up. SUV is SM +3 and a Semi is SM +4 (Since nobody will be in the trailer on the Semi, it is not SM +5)
Non-Hijacking Related Information:
- I've decided that Agency 17 (the group that the players are working for) is the corrupt organization. Section 17 (the legitimate government agency the players believe they are a part of) will be how I refer to the real deal.
- Agency 17 wants the drugs for a few reasons. It's a huge opportunity for financial gain selling the cocaine. It bloodies the reputation of the Zeta cartel, and will likely lead to a bloody surge in violence. Cocaine could also be planted on certain government officials to buy their silence... or to end their careers.