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dartt
03-06-2011, 11:02 AM
I bought Jagged Alliance 2 a couple of days ago and I'm having a really good time with it. I've got a band of five mercenaries, variously ill-equipped with small arms: we managed to barely survive the counter-attack on Dressen (1.13 mod players know what I mean!) but managed to leave our backpack full of ammo behind and spent the best part of a week sloshing through swamplands, avoiding enemy patrols.

I'm now fighting to regain control of the airfield so I can start shipping in some heavier weapons and start doing some serious damage.

For those of you that aren't familiar with the game, it's a turn based tactical game with a strategic over-world where you subcontract a team of mercenaries in order to fulfil your mission to take down the dictatorship in a small country. It plays like a cross between fallout and x-com but with a lot of detail in the weaponry and equipment.

I hadn't really heard an awful lot about it but since buying it I've found that a lot of RPSers I know are players and are keen to share their tips and experiences so I thought I'd create a thread for people to share their war stories, team builds, equipment configurations, etc..

coldvvvave
03-06-2011, 11:13 AM
You managed to beat Drassen Event with pistols and submachineguns only?

On Hard difficulty?

Dude, you are a hero.

First time I saveloaded and abused AI stupidity through it, second time I intercepted Deidrannahs squads in border sectors, third time I decided to leave Drassen alone and went straight for Alma/Cambria. Defending Drassen isn't worth it in my opinion.

By the way if we started JA2 thread, what mercs did you employ?

My starting team is always me, Igor and Danny. Then I get Ira and Dynamo.

dartt
03-06-2011, 11:31 AM
As much as I'd like to accept your hero worship, I must admit that I am playing on novice difficulty :D I survived by entrenching myself in a small building with my two best marksmen on the roof and the rest of the guys poking out the windows. I also managed to train a couple of units of militia and a unit of mobile militia between waves so I got a lot of help.

My starting line-up consists of an athletic marksman IMP named 'dartt' who is joined by Blood, Buns and Hitman from AIM and of course Ira from the rebels.

Kelron
03-06-2011, 12:06 PM
Novice difficulty apparently means the enemies come poorly equipped, which can actually make things harder for you as it delays your access to good guns.

I like having two guys with SMGs and two with longer range carbines for night attacks. Preferably all with the Night Ops skill and/or NVGs, so they can move cautiously and spot the enemy without being spotted themselves. Then I can move the SMGs into position with the carbines covering and hopefully take down enemies before they have a chance to fire back or alert their friends. The lack of range really hurts in the daytime, it's good to have another squad with proper rifles to handle the defense after the sector's under control.

Night attacks do make things easy at first, before you're dealing with NVG equipped enemies, but I find it so satisfying to sneak around with suppressed weapons and wirecutters, avoiding the light and hunting lone enemies.

dartt
03-06-2011, 01:08 PM
Oh, that sounds good. I can't wait to see what my little guys can do once they get hold of rifles.

So, is there a way to spot enemies without them detecting you? Several of my men have some manner of melee weapon but I've not had the opportunity to use them to achieve a stealthy take-down.

coldvvvave
03-06-2011, 01:22 PM
So, is there a way to spot enemies without them detecting you? Several of my men have some manner of melee weapon but I've not had the opportunity to use them to achieve a stealthy take-down.
Meelee weapons are only viable at night, at the start of a fight, if you have NVG( and your enemy don't). So try it out on regular red-shirts, but better not do that to elites. Be sure to uncheck 'go turn-based after detecting enemy' in ini file so you can actually sneak up on them. Fairly convinient way to clear out maps in early game, but useless as enemy progress.

Maykael
03-06-2011, 01:24 PM
Hey, I just bought and I was having a good time as well. Patch 1.13 as well, but on experienced and picked Igor as well for my starting team. I have yet to understand how stealth works though. Should I go through that manual to really enjoy things?

dartt
03-06-2011, 01:38 PM
Right, I'll check the ini file. When you have that set, can you force turn based mode on and off?

coldvvvave
03-06-2011, 01:41 PM
Hey, I just bought and I was having a good time as well. Patch 1.13 as well, but on experienced and picked Igor as well for my starting team. I have yet to understand how stealth works though. Should I go through that manual to really enjoy things?
Press 'z' to go into stealth mod, use some camo on your mec, crowch and if he's good( well equipped too) at that he will be able to sneak up on a lone enemy soldier when he is watching in opposite direction. If you kill him silently and don't see other enemies turn will be other and you can sneak forward. In vanilla JA2 seeing enemy always trigger TBS combat which makes it very hard to do anything. Uncheck that option ni ini file. Catching enemies like that in actual combat is very hard.


Right, I'll check the ini file. When you have that set, can you force turn based mode on and off?
Only before AI goes into combat mode. When it does, sneaking on someone will result into switching to TBS mode as in vanilla. You can clear whole maps in semi-realtime like that, but not after AI knows you are there. If you stumble on more than one enemy and not sure how to deal with them, just turn around, walk away and end your turn, with luck they won't see you so realtime continues and you can change your position, that works if you go to TB combat in non-realtime sneak mode, I think.

dartt
03-06-2011, 01:59 PM
Interesting, I want to try this because I met a bounty hunter and he gave me a bloody great machete and told me to go forth, cut off the heads of some bounties and bring them back to him.

Simon
03-06-2011, 02:45 PM
Elliot you IDDDDDDDDDDIOTTTTTTTTT

*SLAP* *SLAP* *SLAP*

Send her some flowers as well for multiple lols.

Kelron
03-06-2011, 02:46 PM
Easier to chop their heads off after they're dead.

I really like the way stealth works in JA2, sneaking right up behind people and slitting their throat is difficult and completely impractical much of the time, but using stealth and camouflage you can get your squad into superior positions to fight from. The ideal is being able to shoot from positions the enemy can't see - easiest at night (provided you have a suppressor to stop the muzzle flash) but also achievable with camouflage or a spotter and a sniper. It allows you to retreat and attack somewhere else, or set ambushes as enemies head towards the sound without knowing exactly where you are.

Learning when to retreat and take cover is an important skill for JA2, it's always tempting to use all your APs firing in the hope the last shot will take down the enemy. But then you end up playing the dice and risking your exposed shooter taking a bullet to the head. It's much more sensible to leave yourself AP to retreat behind cover. Although I haven't played the game much since suppression fire was fully integrated into 1.13 (not sure if the default settings have it delivering its full effect), I suspect that makes taking cover even more important. If you stay out in the open you'll end up heavily suppressed and cowering behind a bush even if you don't actually get hit, whereas if you fire a burst and retreat behind a wall the enemy will be less able to rush you.

Simon
03-06-2011, 02:52 PM
I know this is for jagged alliance 1 but some people might get a kick out it

http://www.mike65.ukfsn.org/main/uploads/files/map.htm

JA 1 is a great game as well. Instead of mines you have tree sap to harvest which is a bit lol.

JA:DG is great as well. many hours wasted on the map editor.

I havent played JA2:UB but i bought it on gog.com is it good?

coldvvvave
03-06-2011, 02:59 PM
UB is okay if you want a short linear campaign, but I loved JA2 for it's non-linear open gameplay so UB never really appealed to me.

dartt
03-06-2011, 03:04 PM
I haven't played without 1.13 so I don't know how it has changed but there are certainly times when I fire a burst at an enemy and they hit the deck "Enemy soldier cowers in fear!".

Nice map Simon, I'm assuming that's made from multiple screenshots of the actual play zones? I couldn't find one for JA2 but I did find this http://ja2.monkeyphysics.com/map.

Jockie
03-06-2011, 03:22 PM
I had a play through of JA2 recently, but I gave up infrustration right before I was to assault Medina. One of my main squads (i have 2 active squads, then various trash mercs for militia training purposes) got caught in a sort of grassy area with fuck all cover and is heavily outnumbered by enemy elites. There's not really the chance to run away either, so I got a little bit annoyed and shelved the game for a while.

So whose everyones favourite Merc?
I took Fidel from the very beginning for this playthrough and despite him being a psychopath (IE a liability with a burst fire weapon) I've found him to be one of the best all-rounders, he pretty much carried my squad through the early game and develops nicely into a top-notch marksman. I pretty much always take Steroid too, because he's one of the best cheap marksmen you can get, but his hatred for the Commies (Ivan and Igor, but oddly not Fidel) is starting to test my patience.

Simon
03-06-2011, 03:23 PM
I haven't played without 1.13 so I don't know how it has changed but there are certainly times when I fire a burst at an enemy and they hit the deck "Enemy soldier cowers in fear!".

Nice map Simon, I'm assuming that's made from multiple screenshots of the actual play zones? I couldn't find one for JA2 but I did find this http://ja2.monkeyphysics.com/map.

Yeah all 60 maps.

I think JA2 auto generates its wilderness maps so no 2 peoples wilderness will be the same but all the cities and mines are.

dartt
03-06-2011, 03:26 PM
I've had a fondness for Buns ever since she burst out laughing when Hitman blew someones head clean off with a lucky interrupt, "Ahahaha... I'm sorry, that's not funny..."

Ansob
04-06-2011, 03:26 PM
The latest build of 1.13 seems to have significantly improved the militia AI. Prior to this, they'd basically do one of two things:

a) if the enemy has lots of guns, run headlong at them in as large a clump as possible so that automatic fire cuts you all down.

b) if the enemy is poorly equipped, isolated from each other or otherwise unable to do much, mill about and do nothing so the player is forced to hunt down every last enemy on the map on his own.

They actually do stuff now, and seem to take advantage of enemies being suppressed to move up and attack.

cowthief skank
04-06-2011, 05:01 PM
Besides this 1.13 mod, are there any other mods which would generally be recommended?

Flint
04-06-2011, 05:23 PM
Got this when it came out after all the massive praise that was being directed towards it in the games mag whose reviews I trusted. I was 11 at the time. I think it was a bit too much for me (especially since I'm not a native speaker of English) and I ended up being terribly disappointed, especially since I did enjoy some of it but just couldn't understand some necessary, integral aspects of it. Sold it eventually.

Which now annoys me because I'm pretty sure I could get a lot more out of it these days. Adding it to GOG wishlist now...

Kelron
04-06-2011, 06:41 PM
Besides this 1.13 mod, are there any other mods which would generally be recommended?

Not really, no. It's an old game with a strong community that's produced a lot of mods over the years, but 1.13 is a compilation of many people's work refining the original game. There's various total conversions around, but I've never felt the need to try them.

dartt
05-06-2011, 09:54 AM
The latest build of 1.13 seems to have significantly improved the militia AI.

They are aggressive little buggers that I have to do all I can to keep up with.

Several times I've had them run on ahead of me, hear the sounds of a massive gunfight and find massacred soldiers when I caught up.
Yesterday I was attacking some soldiers hiding in a hospital and one of my mercs spotted one of them run in to an outbuilding. Before I could follow, a stream a machine gun fire came out of the darkness and went through the windows and doorway of the outbuilding. It must have hit some of the oxygen tanks inside because there was a massive explosion and I got a half dozen messages saying "Buns hears a loud scream coming from the West". Awesome.

Kester
05-06-2011, 11:08 AM
I could never make it through this game, I always got to about halfway and just got bored/the game got too hard. But I'd reinstall and try again about once every 12 months, so it definitely has something to it. I remember that map from the first one though, that one I definitely managed to finish! And Deadly Games was good multiplayer times many years ago. I did miss Unusually Ruthless Reuben in JA2.

dartt
09-06-2011, 06:56 AM
So what do you guys think of the new JA game that's just appeared on the RPS frontpage (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06/08/jagged-alliance-3/)?

Personally, I'm hoping that the real time mode is optional. I really enjoy the pace and the though process involved in the turn based system of JA2.

On the other hand, I like the visuals (aside from some wonky animations) and so long as it has the depth to allow an emergent narrative in the way the originals did it could yet be a worthy entry.

coldvvvave
09-06-2011, 10:55 AM
Personally, I'm hoping that the real time mode is optional.
Devs already said that it's not.

So I am not terribly interested in this 'reboot'.

Might be fun, but 1.13 is not leaving my PC anytime soon.

Ansob
09-06-2011, 11:51 AM
The devs have also said that the system is real-time-with-paused-planning, and you can give orders to all mercs at the same time and there are specific orders to synchronise entries. It sounds better than the TBS setup that JA2 has for tactical action, since JA2 does not let you have two guys breach and clear.

Also, missed this from the last page:


So whose everyones favourite Merc?

Barry Unger is literally the best merc in the game.

Kelron
09-06-2011, 06:51 PM
I'm cautiously optimistic about the new game. There's lots of room to balls up the implementation, but conceptually I like a pausable real time system more than classic turn based for this kind of tactical game. I was having this discussion in the comments thread and I think people were getting the wrong end of the stick, replying as if I was advocating RTS style gameplay. TBS in a complex tactical game like JA2 feels restrictive, even more so since playing Frozen Synapse. Being able to synchronise actions between your squad opens up a whole load of new tactical possibilities.

I also have no wish to pay for a graphical update to JA2. I can't see any attempt at a pure turn based remake being much of an improvement on 1.13.

dartt
11-06-2011, 10:07 AM
I don't know if anyone who doesn't have JA2 already will see this but it is on sale for $4.99 on GOG at the moment: http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/jagged_alliance_2/

ntw
11-06-2011, 05:11 PM
Dimitri was the best character - "I forget, I forget again!" :)

Hensler
11-06-2011, 11:10 PM
Fans of Jagged Alliance should check out Hired Guns: Jagged Edge, the game that started it's life as Jagged Alliance 3. It's Jagged Alliance roots are still pretty obvious, and there have been some good fan patches released since it came out. Only real complaint I have is bad translation, but thats pretty much par for the course.

dartt
12-06-2011, 02:41 AM
Dimitri was the best character - "I forget, I forget again!" :)

I'm rather partial to Hitman, Ace!