The return of What’s Your Jericho Score?

There is a long list of fictional secret agents in the collective consciousness of our western culture that contribute to our hodgepodge archetype of the ultimate spy. The list is much longer than just James Bond & Ethan Hunt and includes such characters like George Smiley, Fiona Glenanne, Derek Flint, Simon Templar, Jason Bourne, Sidney Bristow, Jack Bauer, Maxwell Smart, Napoleon Solo, Davey Osborne, etc. The list goes on.

Because of my chosen profession, whenever I find myself watching any kind of spy movie or TV show, I find myself quickly evaluating how these characters might fare if they were playing a real life Jericho game the same way their fictional character would.

Back in 2013, I reviewed & rated most of the greats from the previous 50 years of fictional espionage (Save one which I’ll get to, I promise!) Since then, we have had some notable additions to the landscape and I want to get back to filling in the blanks and updating the list. As we left it, the high score was tied between Sydney Bristow & Ethan Hunt.

Every agent was evaluated on the following categories of Stealth, Combat, Teamwork, and Adaptability. How would our fictional characters fare in any of these areas if dropped into a game of Jericho? Here was how we I thought about each category.

Stealth – Stealth is essential in every Jericho game that I’ve ever seen played. This isn’t Call of Duty. Charging straight at the enemy sentry up the block will probably get you shot in the back by the unseen agent sitting at the bus stop as you pass by. The sneakiest people are usually the most successful because the enemy can’t shoot what they never see.

Combat – While Stealth is helpful in accomplishing the mission, sometimes, the easiest way to win is to eliminate the competition.  It’s sometimes messy, but even the blunt instruments have a place in the tool box. When the fur starts flying, an agent who knows a few tactical combat tricks has the edge over the uninitiated.

Teamwork – Jericho is fundamentally a team game. One agent may be lethal & effective, but two agents are frickin deadly. Solo agents have their place, and even the Courier is just one person, but without a team to back them up, they’re dead meat if confronted by a group that can work together, coordinate, and communicate.

Adaptability – To paraphrase Moltke, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” If an agent sees his plan completely shredded and can’t adapt to fit the circumstances, they are going to have to get used to seeing the other side doing the victory dance…a lot. Looking at the situation and changing the plan, or planning for several scenarios, usually helps tip the scales in their favor. If something isn’t working, back up and try again. Fumbling forward into the maelstrom usually doesn’t end well.

As we look at the new cast of secret (or not so secret) agents in the coming weeks, we’ll take a brief look at each agents career and try to figure out from their on-screen exploits just how they might score in any of our categories. I predict it’ll be… instructive!

First up next week: Lorraine Broughton the Atomic Blonde!