Right - after much hype and Imgur uploading, here's my perspective of the recent, successful, epic (and other positive superlatives!) Criminal Mastermind (& Loyalty/All-in-Order challenges!) run, with crew members wanes, Choppers and character thread/GTAF veteran X S!
Took a lot of work - mainly due to the Fleeca Job being bugged for quite a while (I've lost count of how many times we ended up doing it, over the course of the practice run, plus setting up the challenge), as well as the usual CM problem of it not tracking straight away. Tip on that front: helps if you do some setup missions (or even a full heist) with the full team before doing Fleeca for the challenge, because then the game not only resets your progress properly for Fleeca, but also has had some time to register the existance of the full team before you split it in half for the initial heist.
Did that purely by accident on the first run, btw. - we'd done Fleeca, started the Prison Break setups, and it stopped tracking the awards progress, but we decided to persevere anyway. Then I accidentally joined the 'Popov' team for the Wet Work setup (instead of the 'Town Hall' team, which I was supposed to be doing, having practiced it) - my lousy stealth skills got us spotted, I managed to kill Popov, but then I got trapped while escaping and murdered for my trouble. We figured it was 'challenge over', so we started from Fleeca again, ...and it actually tracked properly this time. So yeah - I'm just going to retroactively claim I deliberately fumbled the ball to get us to restart, because I knew it was going to help get the award to work. Yeah!
Quick post-successful-Fleeca-Job drinks with X S - this being from the actual CM one:
The Prison Break went a lot smoother second time around (in the practice runs, we had everything go wrong including the police car exploding, the aforementioned botched stealth mission, Pussi Riot crewmember Gattuso getting shot in the face after a cop randomly saw through her disguise in an earlier practice, etc. - !!) - but then, once you've compiled a laundry-list of what not to do, it's just a case of ...not doing any of that again!
Rocking the 'Doctor Doom' look after wanes successfully nabbed the Velum - see also X S' bloodstained Kuruma, which we used to mop up the Vagos:
Not so much 'Parks and Recreation' as Officers 'Park and Pantsless' - think this was from the aborted attempted (y'know, the one where I died... I'm never going to live that down, am I? ):
Wet Work went to plan this time (mainly due to me being on the correct team...!!) - wanes managed to snap-shot both lawyers in mere seconds, and then we high-tailed it into my Kuruma for a safe getaway.
Only marginal confusion came when we stopped, and (since we did the entire run mic-less) there was a bit of ambiguity as to who was supposed to pick up the deposition. We both got out, wanes picked it up, and ...Kelly got a face-full of LSPD shotgun rounds for her trouble.
Nothing worth worrying about, obviously - wearing full armour and a mask, which rendered the entire thing cosmetic at best. Still, a few pellets must have got through the slits in the mask, because ouch...
wanes, driven to drink by my constant clumsy oafishness...
We had a bit of down-time before hitting Bolingbroke - quick selfie action with Choppers (including the obligatory 'Kelly's going to squint riiiiight when the shutter closes' shot):
Choppers, taking advantage of an unsuspecting wanes (cheeky! ):
No hard feelings, though - as proved by a quick 'kiss and make
out up' afterwards:
X S, helping to maintain a bit of refinement by suiting up for the occasion:
With all that out of our collective systems (*ahem!* ), on to the finale - we'd had a couple of close calls with the Velum at Sandy Shores, where the plane nearly got rammed into rocks by cop cars, or a swerving N.O.O.S.E. Granger. I'm pretty secure in doing it 'by the book', but we decided to look for a safer alternative, and I found what looked like a good'un, south of the prison/north of Madrazo's estate:
Seemed good in theory (the trees and lack of ground access make it harder to get swamped by cars, and there's enough level ground to safely put the plane down - plus taking off to the east takes the plane over a slope and the freeway with no obstruction, then through a gap in the wind farm that'd nevertheless deter pursuing helicopters). Did a couple of practice runs in Freemode with a regular Velum, and it worked pretty securely - just needed to see how it'd pan out with a 5-star wanted level...
(you really want to put your trust in THAT as your getaway pilot?)
Can't speak for what was going on with the ground team, but the jet pursuit went a leeeeettle bit hairier than normal - darn thing led me on a wild goose chase almost as far down as the oil fields, and when I decided to just give it the slip (hoping it wouldn't notice), it suddenly turned and got a missile lock, for the first time ever! Managed to lead it to Choppers' waiting Buzzard (nighty-night, jet! ), and just had enough time to put the plane down - fortunately, wanes remembered the change of landing spot instead of Sandy Shores, and ...it worked like a charm! All the police forces got pooled around the trees, and didn't come any closer (because they'd probably end up over-shooting and falling down the bank), giving the riot van a clear shot at the Velum. Minor moment of panic when the plane started heading over the freeway but wasn't pulling up, but that proved to be a false alarm, and it was home and dry from there on. So far, so good for the $12 million!!
Bit of post-heist celebrating - took the limo out for a spin, then wanes and Choppers played a bit of dress-up:
Quick joyride in the A-Team van, then we parted ways - until next time, team!
Part 2 coming soon...