Vidocq

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Background

"It takes a thief to catch a thief."

The Vidocq Multipurpose Security Brigade are named after Eugène François Vidocq. Vidocq was quite a character; born in 1775, he was a criminal turned forensic scientist, a man so fascinating that he inspired Victor Hugo, Balzac, and Edgar Allen Poe.[1] Although his early life is unclear, he fought in the great wars of the era in Napoleon's army before becoming a fraudster, then a forger, then a smuggler. When he was 34, he decided to change his life around and became an informant - then a spy, then a spymaster, criminologist, detective, the first private detective, and the founder of the first detective agency.

The Vidocq unit is named in honor of this legendary figure. Section Spatha, also known as SWORDFOR, has a small but elite Special Operations Department, which dispatches Gladius Team task forces. SWORDFOR would love to always deploy a few ultra-elite and highly trained secret agents, but such personnel are simply not available.

That's where the Vidocq Unit comes from. The goal was to find multipurpose, flexible troops from outside the usual recruitment centers. They were to look not just in the ranks of Bureau Aegis, but to look at the War Market for mercenaries. Recruiters looked through Section Statera's lists of criminals with skills; they went to civilians behind desks who had aptitude for field work, they went to bars to find shady fixers and prisons to find recalcitrant criminals. O-12 can't offer the same level of pay that criminals in Submondo can offer, but they have things that you can't normally buy. Peace of mind; freedom from prison; witness protection options for friends and family, debt erasure, maybe even resurrection.

The Vidocq Unit hires people on for the long-term, not short contracts. The benefits are always intangible rather than fiscal, and despite skepticism from some, the Vidocq unit's members tend to be unerringly loyal to the cause of O-12.

Their vibe is casual and carefree. They are brash, sometimes a bit rough, and lack the same decorum that many O-12 agents do. They bristle against Epsilon Unit analysts, sometimes competing over the same data - after all, Vidocq Units, much like Eugène François Vidocq, often spent years of their lives as criminals. But even if not everyone in O-12 respects them, they are extremely confident in their skills, loyal to their organization, and motivated. After all, they were the ones recruited to be special agents, not their foes. They're the hunters, no longer the hunted.


The saying “it takes a thief to catch another thief” seems to be the key idea behind the Multipurpose Security Brigade, but it also reflects the biography of the historical character it’s named after. Criminalist and investigator Eugène-François Vidocq, before becoming the legendary French detective, was a thief, a soldier, a privateer, a smuggler, a convict, and a policeman. After a long criminal career, he began to work with the Paris police and became one of the first public investigators appointed by the French government. Vidocq suggested creating a special police unit called the Brigade de Sûreté (“Security Brigade”) that eventually became the Sûreté Nationale (“National Security”), which he commanded with great success.

Vidocq always surrounded himself with personnel who, like him, had a criminal past, or at least a shady one, with outstanding results. And he has always remained a referent for all special divisions of any security forces willing to operate in unconventional ways.

Obviously, one of these divisions is SWORDFOR’s Special Operations Department, which is always on the lookout for new ways to maximize the efficiency of a small force such as Section Spatha. From its inception, the Gladius Team was conceived as an autonomous investigative and tactical task force, and it was clear that it was to be a small force that would occasionally have to take on more numerous adversaries. Therefore their readiness and superior training would be the competitive advantages that would allow them to successfully complete their mission. The difficulty was determining what specific department its members were expected to excel in so as to outperform their opponents. There were countless possible scenarios, and it proved impossible for the entire team to be staffed with such highly trained agents.

The solution was to include one or two elite agents in the team to provide these special skills and complement the rest of the troops, who could be more conventional. But even this was difficult to achieve, because there weren’t enough operatives available who were so skilled, so it was necessary to recruit outside the usual circles and broaden the search to find individuals who knew the business well, even if from a different angle. [1]

Profile

ISC: Vidocq, Multipurpose Security Brigade Spec. Trained Troop Light Infantry
Fury: Non-Impetuous Training: Regular Back-Up: Cube
MOV CC BS PH WIP ARM BTS W/STR S
4-4 16 13 10 13 1 3 1 2
Skills and Equipment: Mimetism (-3), Stealth, NCO, Terrain (Total)
Loadout Special Skills Weapons and Equipment Melee Weapons Points SWC
1 FTO Boarding Shotgun Pistol, CC Weapon 19 0
2 FTO, Doctor Boarding Shotgun, MediKit Pistol, CC Weapon 23 0
3 FTO, Multispectral Visor L1 MULTI Sniper Rifle Breaker Pistol, CC Weapon 28 1.5
4 Surprise Attack (-3), Camouflage, Multispectral Visor L1 MULTI Sniper Rifle Pistol, CC Weapon 30 1.5
5 Reinf. Boarding Shotgun Pistol, CC Weapon 19 0
6 Reinf. Doctor Boarding Shotgun, MediKit Pistol, CC Weapon 23 0
7 Reinf. Multispectral Visor L1 MULTI Marksman Rifle Pistol, CC Weapon 25 0.5

Dossiers

Current Miniatures

REF: 282025-1052 / Doctor

REF: 282025-1052 / MULTI Marksman

Out of Production Miniatures

Limited Edition

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  1. Edgar Allen Poe was inspired by Vidocq to write about C. August Dupin. Dupin was the first fictional detective.