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Here are a few tips for people who are new to playing this game, along with post-case spoiled discussions in spoiler tags. I do not recommend reading the spoiler tags if you have not played Case #1 yet.

1. Play as a team together. Our first play through, we decided we should all play cooperatively against Holmes, rather than against each other after the first lead. This turned out to be a really good call, because apparently I am terrible at taking notes and totally messed up the date and time of the victim's death before we decided to go fully co-op, instead of teams. I think we may try teams next time, but I think it's a lot of fun to try and solve things together as a group, too!
Post-case spoilers in the spoiler tag below.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We took about 3 pages total worth of notes, and that was with two people taking notes simultaneously to ensure we didn't miss something big. We followed 15-ish leads, and immediately figured out the hat thing, but never the note with 'A.M.' until the very end which was only a freebie lead (we didn't go to the Russian embassy), and never anything about the Russians other than visiting Alexi's home.


2. Take lots of notes, but don't be afraid to re-read old leads. The game explicitly tells you you're allowed to do this for good reason.
Post-case spoilers in the spoiler tag below.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
One of the biggest tip-offs that Ragland was the one waiting in the Shed the whole time in the alley where Courtney was murdered was because the end of the B&H cigarette was pinched. This sort of pinching only happens when using an old-fashioned cigarette holder (according to one of our teammates).
This set us down Ragland's path immediately. We then noticed at his office after his secretary, Keboe, told us that he was only at the factory for a few minutes (rather than all night as he claimed as his alibi). So we went to the Bank and checked his financials. It turns out he was in serious debt. A debt which he was only able to pay off after our victim was killed, yet another reason he was the killer. This led us down a dangerous path, which brings me to #3.


3. DON'T OVER THINK IT. There are a lot of subplots in each case; this is for immersion and misdirection (all great works of fiction have it). Do not get too distracted by the side plots, work to focus on the main plot. Visiting the scene of the crime is always the best way to start the game, then start talking to people, visiting buildings/shops, everything like that.
Post-case spoiler discussion below.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We got up in the affair between Courtney and the Countess von Schulenberg really hard, we knew for sure those two were together, and that Ragland killed Courtney-- but why would he kill him? The whole Russian thing TOTALLY passed us by. The only reason we even went to Alexi's home is because we realized he was the 'A.M.' in the note; but we never went to the Russian Embassy. Much less to a gunmaker or cigarette shop (who I still couldn't even find after a five minute look-through when the game was over) who apparently sold the gun and cigarettes?? And on top of all of that, Ragland was selling the special gun for British soldier secret to the Russian government for money? They did a poor job of pushing us down that road.

WE WERE SO SURE THAT THE COUNT HAD FOUND OUT ABOUT THE AFFAIR AND PAID OFF RAGLAND TO KILL COURTNEY. We absolutely, totally, 100% missed EVERYTHING about the Russians.


Needless to say, our score was 45 after 14-ish leads (with some that were free), compared to that of Holmes' 100. Just try not to worry too much about scoring when playing through and worry more about solving the case. If you get at least half right, I'd say you did an amazing job, considering most people I've heard from said they got scores in the negatives (makes me feel pretty damn good about our 45 score).

3 POST-CASE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
#1. What the heck was with the clue from the victim's secretary about how sometimes when Ragland would be mentioned in passing while the secretary and the victim were talking, the victim would pick up the Countess' scented pink letter and smell it and say something like 'Some people marry for title, not for love.'??? How does that get triggered by talking about Ragland?! This was the biggest reason we thought the game was trying to hint that Ragland and the Count were in it together.

#2. Why did Capt Eagan never give an alibi for himself? We thought him suspect forever because of that! It was so shady!!

#3. The French dude's alibi was bullshit. He said he was at Simpson's playing chess all afternoon AND night, but it turns out that when we followed that lead, and asked the guy he always plays chess with, he said the French guy wasn't there until after 9 pm. So I thought he was suspect, but that never panned out. Why the hell did both people (Ragland and French guy) lie about their whereabouts and then when you try to follow that, by following extra leads, you never get the question answered??


I would ask that if you are going to discuss anything in the spoiler tags that you use your own spoiler tags to avoid any spoiling of the case for others.

Thank you!
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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Quote:
3. DON'T OVER THINK IT. There are a lot of subplots in each case; this is for immersion and misdirection (all great works of fiction have it). Do not get too distracted by the side plots, work to focus on the main plot. Visiting the scene of the crime is always the best way to start the game, then start talking to people, visiting buildings/shops, everything like that.


In fact, we did not take that advice (in bold) in Case 1, and, without getting too spoilerish, it essentially "broke" the game for Case 1 for us.
The reason is:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Whenever you interview someone, you get all these details about what kind of tobacco they are smoking. It made no sense at all to us. We finally found out, after reading the solution, that if we had visited the crime scene, we would've found a cigarette butt on the ground, of a particular brand of cigarette, or something like that. Suffice to say, we did not solve the main case (although we solved the side case that had nothing to do with the cigarette butt).


I wish the newbie tips in this thread had been published in the ruleset!
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Mandiekinz
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
Quote:
3. DON'T OVER THINK IT. There are a lot of subplots in each case; this is for immersion and misdirection (all great works of fiction have it). Do not get too distracted by the side plots, work to focus on the main plot. Visiting the scene of the crime is always the best way to start the game, then start talking to people, visiting buildings/shops, everything like that.


In fact, we did not take that advice (in bold) in Case 1, and, without getting too spoilerish, it essentially "broke" the game for Case 1 for us.
The reason is:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Whenever you interview someone, you get all these details about what kind of tobacco they are smoking. It made no sense at all to us. We finally found out, after reading the solution, that if we had visited the crime scene, we would've found a cigarette butt on the ground, of a particular brand of cigarette, or something like that. Suffice to say, we did not solve the main case (although we solved the side case that had nothing to do with the cigarette butt).


I wish the newbie tips in this thread had been published in the ruleset!

The funny thing is that, in the rules, it gives "visit the scene of the crime" as an example of a lead... but we were like, screw that, we don't need any old scene of the crime. So we had a similar issue where we were like "Uhhh... why does it matter about X?" And then we found out that "X" was found at the scene of the crime so we were like WELL..... I guess we should've listened to the example lead... lol.
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3 POST-CASE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS:
violintides wrote:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
#1. What the heck was with the clue from the victim's secretary about how sometimes when Ragland would be mentioned in passing while the secretary and the victim were talking, the victim would pick up the Countess' scented pink letter and smell it and say something like 'Some people marry for title, not for love.'??? How does that get triggered by talking about Ragland?! This was the biggest reason we thought the game was trying to hint that Ragland and the Count were in it together.

#2. Why did Capt Eagan never give an alibi for himself? We thought him suspect forever because of that! It was so shady!!

#3. The French dude's alibi was bullshit. He said he was at Simpson's playing chess all afternoon AND night, but it turns out that when we followed that lead, and asked the guy he always plays chess with, he said the French guy wasn't there until after 9 pm. So I thought he was suspect, but that never panned out. Why the hell did both people (Ragland and French guy) lie about their whereabouts and then when you try to follow that, by following extra leads, you never get the question answered??



So here's my theory as to what was going on:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
#1. The secretary was talking about Courtney Allen's affairs over the years, which we knew about from the very beginning when Watson says "Poor Beatrice." But we didn't know who. The first clue is from the secretary, where we learn that whoever he is having the affair with isn't in love with her husband, but married him for a title.

We learn from Microft that the German attache's marriage is a sham. That his "wife" is really just a cover for him being a spy, and that she never even changed her name from Freda Rudel. The Count von Schulenberg is the "title" that she married for.

If you visit the Count's house, she comes in for a moment, and starts to address him formally as "Herr Schulenberg" before she sees you, and then starts pretending to be his wife. But they are a complete mismatch, and she is about 30 years younger than he.

We realize this is who Courtney's affair was with because he was spotted at Bishop's Finger Inn with a women fitting Countess von Schulenberg's description. She lost an earring there, and put an ad in the paper asking it to be returned to her home address.

#2. Captain Egan worked for the British Government, and he was the one the Grant Arms Company was building the new gun for. Once you figure out the motive was to steal the plans for the gun, Captain Egan isn't a suspect. He already has access to the plans, so obviously there's no reason for him to steal them. He was also Courtney's ally for catching the thief, based on the note he got about "Pounce at 10!" So an alibi is irrelevant, because he is no longer a suspect.

#3. Based on the note Courtney intercepted, he figured out that Ragland was selling the plans at the Spaniard's Inn at 10:00 that night. If you go there, you find out that Ragland met someone there with identical briefcases and they traded the secret plans for (presumably) a lot of money. (Ragland paid off many of his debts and bought himself a new suit the very next day.) Since the Frenchman was playing chess from 9:00-11:00, it couldn't have been him. But it could have been the Russian, who snuck out of his box at the opera and exited down the back alley to their secret meeting.
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My wife and I played The Munitions Magnate last night and Had. A. Blast. One down, and she's already worried about running out of cases. We'll definitely check out the fan made cases.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We were on the right track early on since we visited Ragland immediately after checking out the crime scene and noted the cigarette holder that would have been consistent with the cigarette at the scene. We also quickly deduced the affair was with the countess. We also spent a lot of time trying to nail down Ragland, and I never found his secretary, mentioned above, or an directory entry for the plant, which really would have helped us focus in on the motive. My fault, I'm sure. But we were in no rush since we were having so much fun and chased down various leads about the affair and the other military attaches. It did take us forever to come around to the Russian and longer still for Spaniard's.

We ended up correctly answering all the questions except for the motive -- we didn't quite have it nailed down. We ended up with 25 points after three very enjoyable hours.


Looking back, for scoring purposes, I think we were too methodical. I realize I was in the mindset of trying to build a criminal case as one hopes the actual police would: gather all the evidence, rule out all other possible suspects, and make sure you can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. There were several times where we agreed following a lead was pretty pointless, but we wanted to do it anyway. Neither of those is what the game "wants" you to do, but I wasn't really approaching it as a contest with Holmes, so it didn't diminish anything for me. We're looking forward to seeing how the other cases unfold, and perhaps we'll modify our approach somewhat.

Edit: corrected score
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madmaddox wrote:
3 POST-CASE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS:
violintides wrote:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
#1. What the heck was with the clue from the victim's secretary about how sometimes when Ragland would be mentioned in passing while the secretary and the victim were talking, the victim would pick up the Countess' scented pink letter and smell it and say something like 'Some people marry for title, not for love.'??? How does that get triggered by talking about Ragland?! This was the biggest reason we thought the game was trying to hint that Ragland and the Count were in it together.

#2. Why did Capt Eagan never give an alibi for himself? We thought him suspect forever because of that! It was so shady!!

#3. The French dude's alibi was bullshit. He said he was at Simpson's playing chess all afternoon AND night, but it turns out that when we followed that lead, and asked the guy he always plays chess with, he said the French guy wasn't there until after 9 pm. So I thought he was suspect, but that never panned out. Why the hell did both people (Ragland and French guy) lie about their whereabouts and then when you try to follow that, by following extra leads, you never get the question answered??



So here's my theory as to what was going on:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
#1. The secretary was talking about Courtney Allen's affairs over the years, which we knew about from the very beginning when Watson says "Poor Beatrice." But we didn't know who. The first clue is from the secretary, where we learn that whoever he is having the affair with isn't in love with her husband, but married him for a title.

We learn from Microft that the German attache's marriage is a sham. That his "wife" is really just a cover for him being a spy, and that she never even changed her name from Freda Rudel. The Count von Schulenberg is the "title" that she married for.

If you visit the Count's house, she comes in for a moment, and starts to address him formally as "Herr Schulenberg" before she sees you, and then starts pretending to be his wife. But they are a complete mismatch, and she is about 30 years younger than he.

We realize this is who Courtney's affair was with because he was spotted at Bishop's Finger Inn with a women fitting Countess von Schulenberg's description. She lost an earring there, and put an ad in the paper asking it to be returned to her home address.

#2. Captain Egan worked for the British Government, and he was the one the Grant Arms Company was building the new gun for. Once you figure out the motive was to steal the plans for the gun, Captain Egan isn't a suspect. He already has access to the plans, so obviously there's no reason for him to steal them. He was also Courtney's ally for catching the thief, based on the note he got about "Pounce at 10!" So an alibi is irrelevant, because he is no longer a suspect.

#3. Based on the note Courtney intercepted, he figured out that Ragland was selling the plans at the Spaniard's Inn at 10:00 that night. If you go there, you find out that Ragland met someone there with identical briefcases and they traded the secret plans for (presumably) a lot of money. (Ragland paid off many of his debts and bought himself a new suit the very next day.) Since the Frenchman was playing chess from 9:00-11:00, it couldn't have been him. But it could have been the Russian, who snuck out of his box at the opera and exited down the back alley to their secret meeting.


#1:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I know who the affair was with. I am saying why did the game mention that whenever Ragland would be mentioned, it would trigger a thought for the victim to pick up the Countess' letter? It doesn't make any sense. They aren't related in any way. We THOUGHT the game was sort of foreshadowing for us that Ragland and the Countess were tied in some way-- which, in this case, turned out he was having an affair with the Countess and so Ragland was paid by the Count to murder Courtney. That was what we thought and it turned out to be entirely wrong.


#2:
Okay, yeah, I can understand that, then.

#3:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The murder occurred at around 6:45 since the body was still warm when it was found by the policeman. The French attache's alibi was that he could not have killed Courtney because he was playing chess all evening. Right? NOPE. When we tried to clear his alibi by going to Simpson's (the chess playing place), the person whom the Frenchman plays chess with said that he did not show up until around 9pm.

This is why I was so upset, why is it the game threw us an alibi where the innocent guy lied for no reason?
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Mandiekinz
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Frank Overwood wrote:
My wife and I played The Munitions Magnate last night and Had. A. Blast. One down, and she's already worried about running out of cases. We'll definitely check out the fan made cases.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We were on the right track early on since we visited Ragland immediately after checking out the crime scene and noted the cigarette holder that would have been consistent with the cigarette at the scene. We also quickly deduced the affair was with the countess. We also spent a lot of time trying to nail down Ragland, and I never found his secretary, mentioned above, or an directory entry for the plant, which really would have helped us focus in on the motive. My fault, I'm sure. But we were in no rush since we were having so much fun and chased down various leads about the affair and the other military attaches. It did take us forever to come around to the Russian and longer still for Spaniard's.

We ended up correctly answering all the questions except for the motive -- we didn't quite have it nailed down. We ended up with 25 points after three very enjoyable hours.


Looking back, for scoring purposes, I think we were too methodical. I realize I was in the mindset of trying to build a criminal case as one hopes the actual police would: gather all the evidence, rule out all other possible suspects, and make sure you can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. There were several times where we agreed following a lead was pretty pointless, but we wanted to do it anyway. Neither of those is what the game "wants" you to do, but I wasn't really approaching it as a contest with Holmes, so it didn't diminish anything for me. We're looking forward to seeing how the other cases unfold, and perhaps we'll modify our approach somewhat.

Edit: corrected score


What my friends and I did with the 2nd case (I won't spoil it for you, don't worry), is that we were pretty sure we had the case 100% solved after just a couple leads, but we didn't want to skip to the end yet. So what we did was we wrote down who we think did the crime and motive, then continued with the game. When we thought we knew all the answers to the loose ends all tied up, we went to the Solutions section. I think this makes for a more complete experience. Write down how many leads you followed + your answers for crime+motive and then just continue the game. Who knows, you may have written something down wrong and then you can make your final guess as 10 leads because you got more info later or something.... Or, if you get no new information that changes your mind, you can keep the original 4 leads guess you had before. Some people might think 'oh well that's cheating' but, come on, it's a game made for the EXPERIENCE, and if we ruin the solution for ourselves before we finish the experience, what fun is that?
 
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Yes, we were thinking about trying something like this. We'll see how it works. It was all we could do not to play case two last night.
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I scored 45pts too! I agree about rereading old leads and also going back to the original case description and clues. I thought I had it solved somewhat early, but some pieces didn't make sense, so I kept digging and I'm glad I did! If something doesn't feel right or make sense, it probably is not the answer, so keep digging!

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Specifically I was on to the affair with the Countess from the start and suspected the German Attache for awhile... but when I went back and reread the case clues the weirdness over the briefcases didn't make sense. Then when I was looking through the address book I realized the Spaniard wasn't a person, but rather an Inn and then the rest of the mystery fell into place.
When I watch mysteries on TV or read them in books, there's always that "obvious" suspect that turns out to be false and that was the Count. I also thought it suspicious that Camp and Zobar had colds, they seemed in cahoots, but everything with Camp kept leading back to his secret romance and nothing more, but part of me thought that cold might connect somehow. Some pieces of information seem to lead to wild goose chases and there was enough to keep the mystery interesting... but for me it was always checking back to the initial pieces, esp the briefcase, that's why I kept digging further and then once I got to the Spaniard Inn, I knew it had to be Ragland selling secrets to the Russian and then once discovered Ragland had money problems, his motive fell into place.

My initial list of suspects from the case description was Marlowe, the wife, and Ragland, though Ragland was low on the list because he wouldn't inherit the business, so he had less motive it seemed.

I didn't go to the crime scene until very late, I don't know why I didn't think to go right away. The first person I talked to was Marlowe, then Beatrice, then to Egan, once I got to Egan my list of suspects grew and I also thought it interesting that in the newspaper a lot of them were in the shooting competition. I talked to Camp next, then del Guerra, Von Schulberg (which is when I thought I "had" it because the affair seemed obvious), but I wanted to cover my bases, so I talked to Zobar, then his mistress, the Russian, and then I landed on Ragland (he was my 11th lead). I didn't go to the scene of the crime until after that and shortly after that figured out where the Plant was. I went to the tailor after the plant to confirm Ragland's money troubles and then finally the bank where he made a couple of suspicious deposits and then I had all the pieces and was ready to solve the case.

The information in the newspaper didn't seem to come up much in helping the case, except once I got names from Egan that showed up in the newspaper, I knew I should talk to them. One thing that wasn't resolved for me was, I kind of thought maybe the Russian killed the jewel thief and that's where he got the money to pay Ragland for the secrets, but it didn't quite come together. It was a wild theory anyway. I'm hoping the jewel thief stuff comes back somehow, so I'll probably mentally book mark it and see.
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violintides wrote:

#3:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The murder occurred at around 6:45 since the body was still warm when it was found by the policeman. The French attache's alibi was that he could not have killed Courtney because he was playing chess all evening. Right? NOPE. When we tried to clear his alibi by going to Simpson's (the chess playing place), the person whom the Frenchman plays chess with said that he did not show up until around 9pm.

This is why I was so upset, why is it the game threw us an alibi where the innocent guy lied for no reason?


Good question. We didn't see that one, but we did see the following, similar thing:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
At the beginning of the case you talk to the victim's brother, and he tells you that on the night of the murder he went to his brother's office at 5:30 to go to dinner. They apparently go to dinner and then Courtney leaves and is found dead before 7 by his office. But the problem is that the map seems to come with a scale for travel time, saying something like assume no matter what mode of travel, this is how long it takes to get somewhere. And the restaurant is at least an hour away from the office with this scale, measuring as the crow flies. This means that there would be no way for them to even get there and back in time to get murdered, even if they didn't set foot in the restaurant. This made us suspicious of the brother for quite a while, and it seemed like an odd thing to add. Though we never bothered going to the restaurant to confirm things, because we were gunning for a decent score, and we did ok for a first game (95). But it felt pretty frustrating.


If anyone has any idea about this, I'd appreciate any insight.
 
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jblomquist wrote:

If anyone has any idea about this, I'd appreciate any insight.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Honestly, I think the times are just screwed up in the first case. Dunno if something happened in the republishing from French back to English or if it was always like that, but I remember thinking the timeline didn't match up. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be an issue it other cases.
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jblomquist wrote:
If anyone has any idea about this, I'd appreciate any insight.


Played this for the first time, and we messed plenty of things up, but if memory serves correctly,

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Richard and Courtney Allen met for dinner the night BEFORE the murder. The important nugget of the restaurant story seemed to be Courtney's affair.
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pjr86 wrote:
Played this for the first time, and we messed plenty of things up, but if memory serves correctly,


Yes, it does! meeple
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I knew we didn't have the case solved, but the biggest thing that bothered me about the solution was
Spoiler (click to reveal)
how quickly Sherlock dismissed Camp as a suspect. He seemed to do this immediately after Camp provided a reason for his secretive trips to the French Embassy (to continue his secret engagement with the Frenchman's daughter).

As far as I remember, we had every reason to believe that the French wanted the secret weapon, we knew that Camp had access to the information, and it was reasonable to believe that he would be willing to perform an inside job to earn favor with his potential in-laws. Sherlock seemed satisfied that the Frenchman corroborated Camp's secretive trips to the French Embassy, but if those two were working together to steal the plans, of course they would cover for each other.

Add to that the fact that we catch the Frenchman in a lie (his chess game didn't start until 2 hours after the murder), and I was very surprised to hear that we were 'supposed' to move on so quickly. Granted, the Camp theory doesn't really explain the intercepted transmission / "A.M." note, which we completely missed, but it had us thrown off all night.


Still had a blast, though! Can't wait to try the next one.
 
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Sai Yan Cheng
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When I try to follow the lead going to the Spaniard's Inn, the leads there lead us to a different AM that reserves a dinner with a completely different AM....we then follow that person's lead according to the directory which gives us a random wrong address and lead to no where.

I also first suspected Ragland pretty fast (less than 4 leads) because the B&H and his testimony doesnt match with the secretary. However, we thought we need more clues, that got us to no where however. In the end, we kept on following useless lead like almost 20 and decided just to answer the question. We have no idea how to figure out who AM is based on the information we are given.
 
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aznsaiyan1029 wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
When I try to follow the lead going to the Spaniard's Inn, the leads there lead us to a different AM that reserves a dinner with a completely different AM....we then follow that person's lead according to the directory which gives us a random wrong address and lead to no where.

I also first suspected Ragland pretty fast (less than 4 leads) because the B&H and his testimony doesnt match with the secretary. However, we thought we need more clues, that got us to no where however. In the end, we kept on following useless lead like almost 20 and decided just to answer the question. We have no idea how to figure out who AM is based on the information we are given.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
One of the AMs is an alias for the Russian diplomat with a similar name. I can't remember specifically but when you meet him - at the Embassy maybe? - his description fits.
 
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george razis
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Is really this case broken due to misprint or not?
 
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