I was reading over the new section on indirect contests, and it doesn't fully have the right "feel". It seems that, especially as a character's stat gets larger, it gets harder to justify that that some indirect, mundane "force" has the full effect of a character's stat. Of course, greater numbers can sometimes be the justification, but, for example, how many thugs do you need to have the effect of a Force/8? (This also brings up the question about what is considered a "normal" stat range for the average population.)
It also seems like it should be possible to use a resource to get a group of thugs who are better than you at a given stat. If I'm a typical Evil Weakling Mastermind (Wits-10, Force/Resolve-3, for example), one would think I could use my Evil Henchmen resource(TM) to get a group of Force-6 thugs to go beat someone up. (Thugs aren't known for their Wits.)
I think that indirect conflicts just take a lot of negotiation to figure out what model to use in any given situation. Sometimes a +compare, but other times a +challenge, or just plain negotiation and skip the mechanics. From a story point of view, these kinds of scenes are often more "set-up" than "culmination" anyways.
There's something I've been meaning to ask, and now seems a good time: Is there a way to "fake-down" a stat?