JAGGED ALLIANCE 2 GUIDE by Andy "ND" Chorosinski firstname.lastname@example.org ABOUT THIS GUIDE The guide has its origins in my earlier project called "Jagged Alliance 2 NPCs FAQ", which after some revisions was incorporated here as SECTION 6. My original FAQ was based on Brian C. Robinson's "collective" JA2 FAQ - generally a compilation of postings from the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic newsgroup. In my FAQ I largely expanded and modified info found in Brian's, keeping some quotes here and there. Some time afterwards I wrote sections devoted to the remaining game topics. By putting it all together I gave this guide its present shape. There is no version history, as I didn't keep track of the changes and saved over the same file. Effectively the whole guide was rewritten about a dozen times ;) This guide is based on the experienced difficulty level, realistic style, normal guns option, version 1.03 US. It has a lot of practical info for all kinds of players, also veterans. I strove to be objective in most respects, but many of the solutions given here are just one of the possible ways. As each player develops his/her (?) own strategy and tactics, some other choices may work for him/her better. And although this guide is rather comprehensive, it naturally does not fully exhaust the topic. Refer to the LINKS section for more information on JA2. Practically all info in this guide comes from my own playing experience and own copious analyses of particular strategic/tactical issues. A few hints were suggested by various people on JA2 forums. From some other sources I took game stats. See CREDITS for contributions. Oh, all the trademarks are copyright of their rightful owners :) CREDITS Following is the list of sites and people that contributed to this guide: Sir-Tech Canada www.sir-tech.com The makers of this excellent game and the whole JA series (great job, guys!) Brian C. Robinson email@example.com Usenet postings arranged by him provided the basis for the NPCs section Mad Sci firstname.lastname@example.org I used his tables with stats of hirable personalities Official JA2 Website www.jaggedalliance2.com From here I got info on chances to hit Cat's JA2 Weapon Library tdoq2hq.virtualave.net/guns I used this homepage for weapon stats and the people whose names I didn't take down (sorry folks!), who provided hints at the JA2 forums: Terravirtua JA2 Discussion Board www.terravirtua.com TacticalPlanet JA2 Discussion Board forums.tacticalplanet.com Bear's Pit Jagged Alliance Forum www.ja-galaxy-forum.com ABOUT THE AUTHOR Well, I'm a student of English Language Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. My major is translation. I'm also an avid fan of the JA series and other turn-based tactical/RPG games, like the Fallout series (love it!) or Incubation. 'nuff said. Enjoy the guide! :) CONTENTS & page Section 1: MERCS 4 HIRING 4 INSURANCE BROKERS 5 IMP 5 MERC 5 STATS, SKILLS & TRAITS 5 ASSEMBLING A PRO TEAM 6 MECHANICS 6 NEGOTIATORS / TRAINERS 8 EXPLOSIVES SPECIALISTS 10 HEAVY WEAPONS SPECIALISTS 11 DOCTORS 12 JACKS OF ALL TRADES 13 TOP SPECIALISTS 14 Section 2: RAISING STATS 15 METHODS OF RAISING STATS 15 HOW TO INCREASE SPECIFIC STATS 16 Section 3: ARMAMENT & COMBAT EQUIPMENT 17 BATTLEDRESS 17 CHANCES TO HIT 17 RECOMMENDED GUNS 19 GUN ATTACHMENTS 20 AMMUNITION 21 HEAVY WEAPONS 22 GRENADES 22 EXPLOSIVES 23 BLADED AND BLUNT WEAPONS 25 Section 4: WAYS TO GET EQUIPMENT & FUNDS 25 HOW TO GET EQUIPMENT 25 HOW TO GET FUNDS 27 WEIRD ITEMS 28 Section 5: MILITIA 29 LOYALTY 29 TRAINING 30 AUTORESOLVE VS. REGULAR BATTLES 30 Section 6: NPCs FAQ 31 OMERTA 31 DRASSEN 32 SAN MONA 35 CHITZENA 37 CAMBRIA 38 GRUMM 40 ESTONI 41 TIXA 42 ALMA 43 BALIME 44 ORTA 46 MEDUNA 47 RANDOM LOCATION NPCs 48 HIRABLE NPCs 51 Section 7: VEHICLES 53 Section 8: MISCELLANEOUS TACTICAL TIPS 54 Section 9: PROGRAM BUGS (ver. 1.03 US) 55 Section 10: LINKS 56 Section 1: MERCS You start your mission by hiring some mercs from AIM. This earliest choice is perhaps most important in the whole game, as these soldiers will be your vanguard in Arulco. Your initial team will make a reconnaissance of the area, get in touch with the rebel resistance (your allies) and earn their confidence and cooperation. This team will also engage first enemies, the soldiers of Arulcan army. Choosing the right guys (and gals :) for this job is essential. Employing the appropriate people will greatly facilitate the accomplishment of your assignment. Thus you'll finish the game faster and with less pain. Literally ;) HIRING The amount of initial funds depends on the difficulty level. In any case you should be able to start by hiring at least 3 decent, if not good, mercs for a week. 3 is the minimum number, but don't overdo it. It is more sensible to hire few skilled mercs than a horde of total rookies. A week's deal is good for practical reasons. You won't do much in just a day and the mercs will not want to prolong their contracts then. Although in the beginning you cannot afford a competent team for a longer time, you should select 2 weeks' contracts as soon as you gather some funds (see: SECTION 4 - HOW TO GET FUNDS) This is the most economical choice - in this way you pay the least for a day of merc's service. Moreover, if anyone on your team gains in experience level (which means their wages increase), they will not demand a raise until their contract expires. Therefore they will work for you longer at a lower cost. Most AIM mercs apart from their regular wages require a medical deposit. This money is to cover treatment of a merc who gets dismissed while in need of medical attention. If this happens, any remaining amount will be subsequently returned to you. If the merc is sent away in full health, you will be refunded the whole sum. This deposit is mostly determined by the merc's experience level: the more experienced s/he is, the greater sum is required. By extending mercs' contracts you can avoid paying an increasing deposit; then you do it only at first hire. Whether the mercs will or will not be inclined to extend their contracts is based mostly on how they perceive your effectiveness. Among the negative factors affecting your performance are merc fatalities and injuries, high turnover rate (how frequently you hire/fire personnel), lost/deserted battles and any locations reclaimed by Deidranna. Mercs' morale is raised by winning battles, liberating towns and completing quests (see: SECTION 6) Mercs' disposition (friendly, aggressive, etc.) and personal likes/dislikes will also affect their judgment. Sometimes you will be able to keep a quitting merc by offering them higher wages. In such case a 50% increase should do, which is roughly what they demand after gaining another experience level. Some mercs may leave without giving you the chance to extend their contract. This will happen if you are doing badly or if you hire somebody they don't like. Sometimes you might be able to rehire such mercs later. At times you may be unable to hire certain AIM mercs. They can refuse because your leadership skills are questionable, because there is somebody they do not like on your team or because they are busy on another assignment. In the last case you can leave a message and they will contact you each time they return. But occasionally you may get a notification of such merc's death while on duty. These accidents are random. If this merc was the one you intended to hire, reload a previous game and hope that now another (or no one) will die ;) As far as I know 3 mercs are killed in this way. INSURANCE BROKERS Optionally you can insure your hired mercs (AIM only) at Malleus, Incus & Stapes Insurance Brokers. The insurance works like this: if a member of your team gets killed before their contract expires, you will get back your money for the remaining period. The premium and the possible refund depend on several factors, read it all on their homepage. If you are a cautious player (and you certainly don't want your mercs to die) you won't ever need insurance. IMO it is only a waste of cash. INSTITUTE OF MERCENARY PROFILING (IMP) Try not to spend whole funds on AIM. The IMP site which lets you create a custom merc is definitely worth checking out. I think this is one of the best features of the game. Not only is it a highly entertaining process, but it also gives the play a personal touch. The custom merc's stats can be fully adjusted to meet your needs, but this always means a trade-off. You can't simply create a superhero ;) Skills, traits and personality of the created merc, as well as his/her equipment, will depend on the decisions made throughout the questionnaire. Apart from the IMP charge, your custom merc will work for free! You can only create one merc at IMP, but it's still well worth the price. Different answers and stats generate different mercs. Save before you enter IMP and experiment. MORE ECONOMIC RECRUITING CENTER (MERC) On the second day you will receive e-mail from Speck, a cowardly merc from previous JA games (though hopeless in the field, he made a cheap, skillful home mechanic) On AIM homepage you will find that Speck has quit this organization to establish a rival enterprise - MERC. Personnel offered by Speck is mostly very cheap, but rather useless. Still, you may find some of them helpful (see: chapters on specialists) These characters can be only hired on a daily basis, but you don't have to pay up front. Speck will remind you of your debit after some time. At the beginning your choice is just 6 "mercs" from the total of 10. To be able to hire the rest you have to employ some of the initial ones and keep paying for their services. Without this Speck will complain about funds insufficient to recruit new personnel. STATS, SKILLS & TRAITS All mercs' stats and skills are explained by in-game help ("H" in laptop) Generally, the higher the stat is, the more effective the merc will be in exercising this particular ability. But mercs have both strengths and weaknesses. Some of them are better at certain jobs, other sport great vitality or posses a special aptitude (see below) Use this knowledge to your profit. While there are few top-notch soldiers who surpass other mercs in various fields (see: JACKS OF ALL TRADES), they are usually extremely expensive. You won't be able to afford their services for long or early on. A low physical stat (<70) indicates the merc's deficiency in that province, which will become a difficulty during the assignment. A low skill rating (<35) means that the merc will be unable to perform in that field adequately. There are a number of aspects that need to be considered when hiring personnel. The merc's marksmanship (MRK) is probably the most significant of them - this will be their main advantage when dealing with enemies. Agility (AGI) is next in importance, as it greatly affects field performance. Next come these skills: mechanical (MEC), leadership (LDR) and explosives (EXP), each complemented by wisdom (WIS) which facilitates also learning (see: SECTION 2) Finally - these special abilities (traits): lockpicking, teaching and heavy weapons (HW) The above qualities are most substantial; other attributes can be considered of lesser weight. Dexterity (DEX) is important in many actions, but it can be quite quickly raised. The experience level (LVL) appears most vital (experienced mercs will obviously fare better), but it chiefly determines the merc's wages. Thus the most experienced mercs are also the most expensive ones. The price is naturally the key factor limiting your hiring capability, especially until you secure a stable income (see: SECTION 4 - HOW TO GET FUNDS) Traits enhance the merc's chance to succeed in specific activities. Expert level trait (E) provides twice the bonus. A description of the traits can be found at the Official JA2 Website; those relevant to specific activities will be indicated below. Most traits are implicitly stated in the merc's resume - you can check them after hiring your team ("Personnel" in laptop) Save before you hire to avoid surprises. Still, mercs' personal quirks and likes/dislikes will become apparent only during the assignment... ASSEMBLING A PRO TEAM The main task of your team is to efficiently "deal" with the enemy. You will be mostly using firearms for this purpose, so make sure to hire several marksmen (MRK>80 at least) Choose agile mercs (AGI>75), among other assets they will be able to do more things in turn-based combat (especially fire more shots) These soldiers will constitute the core of your squad. At the beginning 3 snipers should be enough to take over a hostile sector, but later you will need at least twice as much firepower. You also have to employ specialists in diverse fields with high: MEC (plus lockpicking), LDR (plus teaching), EXP and possibly with HW. They will be needed at some point in your mission; having no merc skilled in these fields will usually mean your team's failure. The most efficient procedure to set up a proficient and versatile team is to hire agile marksmen with skill(s) in one or more fields (see suggestions in chapters on specialists) You can neglect MRK if the merc is a top specialist in his field and you want to use them only in this province. Or to have an errand boy/girl or a mule when s/he comes really cheap (or free) Note that due to their low MRK they will be practically useless in combat. In any case, you will need at least 4 specialists: a proficient mechanic, a skilled negotiator / trainer, an explosives pro and a medic (*not* a doctor) An HW specialist will also be a valuable addition. While putting together the perfect team you may witness some disagreement among your mercs. This animosity (and also fondness) originates in the fact that nearly all characters have preferences concerning their teammates. Mercs may refuse to join when there is somebody on your team that they do not like. Conversely, when you hire a merc hated by somebody already on your roster, the hater's morale will constantly drop, resulting in poorer field performance. Such person will also not want to extend his/her contract - unless you hire somebody they like. Some preferences can be inferred from mercs' bios. For more info on this subject check one of the recommended sites, see: SECTION 10. MECHANICS The mechanic is the most important specialist. Contracting a skilled one at the very beginning is crucial to the well-being of your mission. Mech's tasks are manifold. The main duty of this person will be to repair (FIX) equipment which deteriorates with use (especially guns) You will also find or buy various items worth fixing. An efficient repairperson must have MEC>50 and high DEX. When hiring, DEX may be neglected for reasons already mentioned. Mech will PICK locks on doors and lockers/chests with goodies. S/he will also disarm non-explosive traps and merge items. Apart from high MEC and DEX, lockpicking (and sometimes electronics) gives your mech a greater chance to succeed in these activities. WIS may be another factor (has anyone found the equation to tell the likelihood of picking a lock?) The mech's overall proficiency increases with LVL. Any task involving explosives is better handled by an explosives specialist (see appropriate chapter) Later on you should hire another good mech, as you are likely to operate several independent squads. Mechs should always carry 100% tool and locksmith kits. In some towns you can also find NPCs who will repair your equipment for a price (see: SECTION 6) Top-10 mechs (descending by overall mechanical expertise): Since there is no value for PICK, I took account of all contributing factors to establish a general rating. FIX/PICK gains indicated in brackets are achieved by training DEX. Higher values and better ratings mean greater proficiency. M - MERC N - hirable NPC (see: SECTION 6) otherwise - AIM Trevor pros: FIX 17, best PICK cons: expensive extra: MRK 81, best explosives Magic pros: FIX 18, top PICK cons: most expensive extra: MRK 94, best vitality (physical), LVL 5 Static pros: FIX 18, good PICK cons: expensive, AGI 66 extra: MRK 86 Gus pros: FIX 15, good PICK cons: most expensive, AGI 65 extra: MRK 97, top explosives-trainer-doc, HW(E), LVL 8 Vicki pros: FIX 13(+1), good PICK cons: expensive extra: MRK 84 Scully pros: FIX 12, good PICK cons: most expensive extra: MRK 92, top explosives, good trainer,(average doc), best vitality, LVL 5 Gasket (M) pros: FIX 12, good PICK cons: MRK 44, AGI 61 extra: very cheap Nails pros: FIX 11, good PICK cons: AGI 60 extra: MRK 84, top explosives Maddog (N) pros: FIX 10, good PICK cons: MRK 66 extra: free, top vitality Len pros: FIX 10, good PICK cons: expensive extra: MRK 83, top trainer, (average explosives-doc), LVL 7 Wolf pros: FIX 10, good PICK cons: MRK 79 extra: (average trainer-doc), top vitality Cougar (M) pros: FIX 9(+1), average (good) PICK cons: expensive extra: MRK 93, (average explosives), top vitality, LVL 5 * * * Steroid pros: FIX 6(+3), average (good) PICK cons: AGI 56 extra: MRK 89, cheap Dimitri (N) pros: FIX 6(+3), mediocre (average) PICK cons: MRK 77 extra: free Strongly recommended (in possible order of hiring): Steroid (good when DEX raised, cheap - slow) Dimitri (good when DEX raised, free) Gasket (very cheap - can't shoot) Nails (good mech, top explosives - slow) Trevor (best mech-explosives - expensive) NOTES: In any squad there should be at least 1 good mech. For other possible choices see: JACKS OF ALL TRADES and TOP SPECIALISTS. Check also recommendations in other fields. NEGOTIATORS / TRAINERS This specialist is perhaps even more important than the mech. In like manner, hiring a pro before you start your assignment is imperative. Such merc will be chiefly responsible for interaction with NPCs (see: SECTION 6) For this purpose high charisma (LDR>50) is obligatory. Another task of pros in this field will be to TRAIN militia in newly annexed towns (see: SECTION 5), which ability is additionally influenced by WIS. LVL affects this province as well. Mercs with the teaching trait get a bonus to their training competence (see also: SECTION 2) Specialists with high TRAIN score will create town defense faster. Top-10 negotiators / trainers (descending by TRAIN value): Raider pros: TRAIN 130, LDR 87 cons: none extra: MRK 88 Len pros: TRAIN 111, LDR 61 cons: expensive extra: MRK 83, good mech, (average explosives-doc), LVL 7 Stephen pros: TRAIN 106, LDR 59 cons: none extra: MRK 82, top explosives, LVL 5 Conrad (N) pros: TRAIN 106, LDR 51 cons: most expensive extra: MRK 95, top explosives, (average doc), LVL 5 Miguel (N) pros: TRAIN 105, LDR 98 cons: none extra: MRK 85, LVL 6, free Gus pros: TRAIN 103, LDR 83 cons: most expensive, AGI 65 extra: MRK 97, top explosives-mech-doc, HW(E), LVL 8 Buns pros: TRAIN 88 cons: none extra: MRK 86, (average doc), cheap Scope pros: TRAIN 88 cons: expensive extra: MRK 99, LVL 5 Hitman pros: TRAIN 86, LDR 52 cons: none extra: MRK 88 Scully pros: TRAIN 85, LDR 70 cons: most expensive extra: MRK 92, top mech-explosives, (average doc), best vitality, LVL 5 Vince (N) pros: TRAIN 82 cons: MRK 35, AGI 49 extra: best doc, cheap Ira (N) pros: TRAIN 80 cons: MRK 55 extra: (average doc), free Strongly recommended (in suggested order of hiring): Raider (best) Ira (free, medic - can't shoot) Buns (cheap, medic) Stephen (top trainer-explosives) Miguel (best, free) NOTE: Hire a top negotiator (to deal with NPCs) and then successively other trainers. 4 trainers will train militia fast. EXPLOSIVES SPECIALISTS Impenetrable door is blocking your way? You stumbled upon a booby trap? Call on the explosives man. This guy may seem not as important as other specialists, but on many occasions his presence will be indispensable. Apart from creating and planting explosives, he will detect and disarm traps (always save before attempting this!) and land mines. The key qualification is EXP>50, other relevant stats are high WIS and DEX. The ability to detect traps increases with LVL. This specialist should carry live (armed) explosives, small door charges and the metal detector. Top-10 explosives specialists (descending by overall explosives expertise, excluding easily trained DEX): Trevor pros: EXP 88, WIS 97 cons: expensive extra: MRK 81, best mech Barry pros: EXP 92, WIS 91 cons: MRK 70 extra: cheap, (average mech) Red pros: EXP 99, WIS 79 cons: AGI 66, MRK 78 extra: good trainer, cheap Gus pros: EXP 76, WIS 94 cons: most expensive, AGI 65 extra: MRK 97, top mech-trainer-doc, HW(E), LVL 8 Fidel pros: EXP 97, WIS 71 cons: ;) extra: MRK 85 Devin (N) pros: EXP 96, WIS 72 cons: AGI 61, MRK 67 extra: cheap; see also: SECTION 4 - HOW TO GET EQUIPMENT; SECTION 6 Stephen pros: EXP 66, WIS 94 cons: none extra: MRK 82, top trainer, LVL 5 Larry (M) pros: EXP 92, WIS 70 cons: MRK 70, drunk extra: good doc, cheap Scully pros: EXP 66, WIS 93 cons: most expensive extra: MRK 92, top mech, good trainer, (average doc), best vitality, LVL 5 Nails pros: EXP 78, WIS 79 cons: AGI 60 extra: MRK 84, good mech Conrad (N) pros: EXP 68, WIS 88 cons: most expensive extra: MRK 95, top trainer, (average doc), LVL 5 Gumpy (M) pros: EXP 57, WIS 94 cons: MRK 44, AGI 45 extra: very cheap Ivan pros: EXP 55, WIS 83 cons: expensive extra: MRK 92, best vitality, HW Len pros: EXP 47, WIS 83 cons: expensive extra: MRK 83, top trainer, good mech, (average doc), LVL 7 Reaper pros: EXP 47, WIS 81 cons: most expensive extra: MRK 97, good trainer, (average mech), ON-ROOF bonus to hit, LVL 6 Strongly recommended: Fidel (top explosives - if you can handle his temper ;) Stephen (top explosives-trainer) Red (cheap, good trainer - a bit slow) Nails (top explosives, good mech - slow) Trevor (best explosives-mech - expensive) NOTE: To deal with explosives you generally need just 1 bomb dude. HEAVY WEAPONS SPECIALISTS This professional is skilled in big guns - grenade launchers, LAWs and mortars (see: SECTION 3 - HEAVY WEAPONS) While every merc can use these weapons, HW specialists have a better chance of an accurate shot - in their hands these babies become even more efficient (read "deadly" ;) Apart from the trait itself, high MRK is important. Only few mercs boast HW proficiency (descending by combined expertise in different fields): Gus pros: MRK 97, HW(E) cons: most expensive, AGI 65 extra: top explosives-mech-trainer-doc, LVL 8 Iggy (N) pros: MRK 87, HW(E) cons: expensive extra: (average mech), top vitality, LVL 5 Ivan pros: MRK 92, HW cons: expensive extra: (average explosives), best vitality Meltdown pros: MRK 83, HW cons: none extra: cheap Grunty pros: HW cons: MRK 78 extra: (average mech), cheap Grizzly pros: HW cons: AGI 69, MRK 79 extra: cheap Buzz pros: MRK 96, HW cons: none extra: none Strongly recommended (in suggested order of hiring): Meltdown Grunty Iggy NOTE: Although all mercs can use heavy weapons (and it's even possible, though hard, to complete the assignment without them), you will soon appreciate having 1 or 2 HW specialists on your team. DOCTORS Doc's task is to bandage mercs injured during combat and to treat those severely wounded afterwards - if they live that long ;) However, a cautious player who keeps his mercs from receiving serious injuries will not need a doctor. Most docs are hopeless when it comes to fighting, anyway. Thus one *medic* per combat squad, with average doctoring skill (influenced by MED, DEX, WIS and LVL) will suffice to patch up cuts and bruises. S/he will only use a little more medical supplies. It is best to combine medical with another skill. See: TOP SPECIALISTS for possible picks. Doctoring points in this table reflect the merc's ability to heal injured teammates. This determines how fast the merc will restore health of his patients when assigned as "doctor" (in strategic view) JACKS OF ALL TRADES Some guys are just more gifted (or trained) than others. Their drawback, however, is that they tend to be extremely costly. Mercs listed here possess expertise in multiple fields. Each of them deserves recommendation, but watch the price: it may be too steep for contract extension. Remember also that mercs who gain LVL demand higher wages! Who to employ depends to a large extent on your individual strategy and on the kind of competence you require. Descending by combined expertise in all fields: Gus pros: top explosives-mech-trainer-doc, HW(E) cons: most expensive, AGI 65 extra: MRK 97, LVL 8 Scully pros: top mech-explosives, good trainer, average doc cons: most expensive extra: MRK 92, best vitality, LVL 5 Len pros: top trainer, good mech, average explosives-doc cons: expensive extra: MRK 83, LVL 7 Conrad (N) pros: top trainer-explosives, average doc cons: most expensive extra: MRK 95, LVL 5 Reaper pros: good trainer, average explosives-mech cons: most expensive extra: MRK 97, ON-ROOF bonus, LVL 6 Wolf pros: good mech, average trainer-doc, mediocre explosives cons: MRK 79 extra: top vitality Cougar (M) pros: good mech, average explosives, mediocre doc cons: expensive extra: MRK 93, top vitality, LVL 5 Cliff pros: good (top) doc, average trainer, mediocre explosives cons: AGI 60 extra: MRK 84 Iggy (N) pros: average mech, HW(E), mediocre doc cons: expensive extra: MRK 87, top vitality, LVL 5 NOTE: Compare TOP SPECIALISTS below. TOP SPECIALISTS These tables contain highest-ranking specialists in 4 crucial areas. Overall rating in the field, based on all above-mentioned relevant factors, is given for a quick reference. TOP 10 MECHS Trevor, Magic best Static top Gus top Vicki top Scully top Gasket top Nails good Maddog good Len, Wolf good Cougar good RUNNERS-UP Dynamo average Barry average Reaper average Ice average Steroid average (good) Iggy, Grunty average Dimitri mediocre (good) TOP 10 TRAINERS Raider best Len top Conrad, Stephen top Miguel top Gus top Buns, Scope good Hitman good Scully good Vince good Ira good RUNNERS-UP Thor good Red good Reaper good Ice average Wolf average Carlos average Shadow average Cliff average TOP 10 EXPLOSIVES Trevor, Barry, Red best Gus top Fidel, Devin top Stephen, Larry top Scully top Nails, Conrad top Gumpy good Ivan average Len average Reaper average RUNNERS-UP Cougar average Lynx average TOP 10 DOCTORS Vince best (40) Dr Q, Danny top (36) Gus top (35) Spider top (34) Thor, MD good (30) Cliff good (29) (top - 32) Fox good (28) Larry good (25) Conrad average (22) Buns, Blood average (20) RUNNERS-UP Wolf, Sidney average (19) Scully average (18) Len average (17) Ira average (16) Section 2: RAISING STATS You've gathered your team. Deidranna, we're coming for you! Omerta is plain sailing, unless you hired complete rookies (but you didn't, right?) On the way to Drassen you meet first enemy patrol and... what the hell? Your mercs can't shoot a barn while "ghost" attackers stuff them full of lead. When your squad is half-dead (or half your squad is dead) you furiously hit "ALT+L"... Damn! At the beginning combat might seem very difficult. Your squad will be outgunned and outnumbered. And, as the mission progresses, things will only get worse. How can your team rival the Arulcan army? Sensible battlefield tactics are your great advantage. But there are more of them. You can increase your mercs' abilities by training. This is especially important at the outset, when you can't hire many skilled mercs and they lack good weapons. It also lets you save cash on those really expensive types. Instead of paying thru the nose for their services you'll be wiser to employ cheap but promising mercs and to develop their potential by training. METHODS OF RAISING STATS Stats can be increased in a number of ways, some of which verge on cheating. In order to get the most from the increase, it is advised to train the whole squad early on. Now listen to words of wisdom. This stat has greatest impact on the rate of improvement (which stat? wisdom! it's a pun ;) Mercs with high WIS learn faster, which means they will improve their abilities more rapidly. Training thru experience This is the ordinary way. During the mission stats go up when you make a frequent use of them. E.g. MRK increases by firing a lot, especially with successful aimed head or out-of-range shots; EXP rises when you mess around with explosives (and don't get yourself blown up ;), etc. With much action daily gains of even 3-4 points in some stats are possible. Individual practice Done by assigning a merc to "practice" a specific ability (strategic view) Quite effective with low stats, which can be thus raised to mid-level. However, gains are slow (we're talking about days here) and training higher stats takes forever. Coaching As the name implies, this method requires participation of 2 mercs. Assign the merc whom you want to exercise as "student" and a skilled merc as "trainer" (strategic view) The point is to have a merc with a high stat train his/her teammate's low stat in the same field. Coaching is faster than individual practice, especially when training higher stats. Mercs with the teaching trait get a bonus when instructing his/her companions. With coaching and practice stats can be raised to a maximum level of 85. "Active" training Considered cheating by die-hard players, this is the fastest way to raise stats (in terms of game time) Remarkable gains can be achieved within (game) hours. This is in fact accelerated training thru experience. "Active" training takes place in real-time and requires you to put the merc thru his paces to exercise the particular stat. I found that the best time for such workout is when other mercs train militia (see: SECTION 5) and you have nothing else to do. With this kind of training you can quite easily raise stats to about 90. Training over this level requires much patience, but is still a lot faster than any other technique. Many of the ways given below are in fact "active" training. HOW TO INCREASE SPECIFIC STATS Health To exercise HEA, travel (on foot) carrying heavy equipment (weight over 100%) This can be also done in real-time: put a great load on your merc and have him/her run around. When s/he falls, wait until his/her energy ("breath") regenerates and... move it soldier! Agility AGI is raised by getting interrupts, crawling with stealth on during combat and dodging bloodcats' blows. Dexterity To raise DEX really quick, find some throwing knives and crows (after some time they appear on rotting bodies) This shouldn't be a problem in towns ;) Use crows as targets. Blades are not consumed and new hungry birds always appear, so pick the knives up and repeat until satisfied with the result. If you throw a knife at a crow which is taking off, you lose the blade (wow, it's spinning!) DEX goes up also by punching enemies, animals or vehicles and repairing stuff. Strength STR can be raised by punching, opening crates and carrying heavy stuff (same way as HEA) Leadership Training militia increases this stat notably, especially when you put a skilled trainer with a less experienced one in the same sector (see: SECTION 5) Wisdom This stat is the one most difficult to raise. During normal gameplay it hardly ever changes. Still, wisdom can be trained by attaching a detonator to explosives, setting it and then disarming. Of course, there is a great chance you will detonate yourself in the process. Therefore this task should not be attempted by mercs with low EXP, and even with high EXP it's best to save frequently. Fortunately, EXP can be easily increased. Marksmanship The fastest way to raise this crucial stat is to throw knives at crows, gradually increasing the distance. I strongly suggest this for all marksmen. You also gain DEX in this way. Mechanical MEC is increased, as could be expected, by repairing stuff, picking locks, and merging items. Explosives To raise explosives like fire lay and disarm a mine over and over again. If the merc's EXP is too low to disarm it, use your explosives specialist and continue as before. And did I mention "save"? Medical Quite plainly, medical skill is raised by performing first aid and by doctoring injured mercs. Experience level This collective stat goes up as the merc develops his/her abilities. The number of kills, as well as completed quests (see: SECTION 6) influence the experience level. LVL rises also when the merc gains in his stats! :) Section 3: ARMAMENT & COMBAT EQUIPMENT To take over Arulco, besides specialists (see: appropriate chapters in SECTION 1) you need a crackerjack fire squad - adept snipers with high MRK, AGI and LVL. Appropriate personnel is, however, just one part of the job. To come into their own they need proper equipment. You really don't wanna fight Deidranna's army bare-fisted (and bare-assed ;) BATTLEDRESS The importance of body protection needs not be explained. Outfit your team (particularly snipers, who will see most combat) in the best you can get. Spectra armor treated with compound-18 offers superior protection against enemy bullets and to a certain degree grenades. Don't use c-18 on anything other than spectra, it's too rare to be wasted. Apply it first to vests, then to pants and finally to helmets - in this way you will gain most extra shielding. Ceramic tiles (sometimes found in farmhouses) when put into the vest provide even more protection. With all these improvements your armor can even exceed 100%! (possibly a bug?) All your snipers must wear sun goggles which raise their sight range during the day (see: CHANCES TO HIT), and the extended ear to hear the approaching enemies. They also need to carry gas masks against chemical attacks. Put these on when necessary. And although it's better not to engage the enemy after dusk, some sharpshooters may be additionally equipped with night vision goggles which improve sight range in the dark - just in case. All marksmen (and particularly those with lower AGI) should carry at least one canteen, an indispensable fast energy refreshment. Camouflage helps in the open, especially when crawling in stealth mode (the stealthy trait gives another bonus, see: SECTION 8) CHANCES TO HIT (adapted in part from the Official JA2 Website) A sniper's outfit would not be complete without a firearm. Give your hitmen some iron and now they are ready to take on the Arulcan army. Shooting unfriendlies seems basic - how much does it take to fire a gun? Yet, in (game) reality this action is complex. Your chances to actually hit the enemy with a firearm are conditioned by multiple factors. The first one is the distance between you and your target. Obviously, the lesser this length is, the greater the chance of a successful shot. This factor, also referred to as the sight range, is additionally modified by the time of the day. By night and underground your sight range is significantly decreased in comparison with daytime. Mercs with the night-ops trait have the edge in such circumstances and night vision goggles help, too. Another determinant is the enemy's posture. You are most likely to hit him when he is standing. You are less likely to do so when he is crouched, and even less when he is prone. Your chance depends also on which part of the body you are pointing your gun at - torso (good), legs (lesser), or head (least) Besides, the more APs are spent on aiming, the higher the chance of getting a hit (this action produces much better results with the sniper scope; see: GUN ATTACHMENTS) Shooting at the same enemy multiple times uses less APs with each shot and also gives a bonus to hit. But being shot (even without health loss) decreases accuracy, and wounds received (whether untreated or bandaged) give a penalty, too. Whether you fire a single shot or a burst also makes a difference: autofire is penalized and moreover each round in a burst has an increasingly lesser chance to hit the target. These penalties are reduced by the auto weapons trait. Following aspects, the merc's MRK and LVL, have already been dealt with (higher stats mean better accuracy) I believe that the merc's posture while taking a shot further affects their chances to hit, which should be greatest when shooting prone, then crouching, and then standing. Finally we come to the firearms proper. Here 3 factors come into play: the gun's range, condition and attachments. A long-range firearm enables sniping at the enemy. Besides, long range increases the likelihood of hitting him, with a bonus also at short distances. But if the gun is out of range, this chance is halved. As the weapon's condition drops, it becomes less accurate, and more prone to jamming. Just what you need in the heat of the battle... not! A jammed gun can become operational after repeated attempts to fire it (if you get lucky) or after repairing it. Gun attachments (see appropriate chapter) add to shooting precision. One last thing - firing a single or two guns (in both hands) at once. Unless the merc has the ambidextrous trait, using 2 pistols or SMGs (only they can be fired together) reduces his accuracy considerably. With all factors taken into account, the accuracy (chance to hit) of any shot can never be greater than 99% Much like in real life. This means you *might* miss the enemy standing right next to you! ;) Of course, a merc who cannot see the enemy won't be able to hit him, except by a blind chance ;) A small red number in the merc's portrait represents the amount of enemy soldiers within his/her sight range. When you're not sure, check their positions by clicking on this number (or press "E") several times. This will cycle thru enemies visible to that merc. But beware: the fact that you can't see an enemy does not mean that *he* cannot see you. An enemy soldier may spot your merc before s/he (the merc) realizes it. In such case the enemy will open fire and you can only take cover and/or retreat. To learn how to avoid being spotted, see: SECTION 8. Keep in mind that mercs will initially refuse to take a shot if they don't have a clear line of sight. Moreover, sometimes the enemy could have such a good cover that it will be only possible to target his head. In some circumstances this cover can deflect or even block your bullets. In such case you will not get a hit regardless of other factors. Many of the above considerations are in effect also when you become a target. E.g.: you are most difficult to get hit by the enemy when you're lying prone. The actual damage inflicted on the enemy (or you) is likewise modified by a number of factors. Among them are the armor type, weapon type and damage, ammo caliber and type (see: AMMUNITION), distance, APs spent on aiming (max aiming resulting in "critical hits" usually does greatest damage), which body part was shot, whether the hit was direct or ricochetted and so on. Check out also the Official JA2 Website for more detailed info and sample calculations of to-hit chances. NOTE: There is a user-made JA2 utility which calculates the chance to hit of every shot (see: SECTION 10) RECOMMENDED GUNS NOTE: This chapter deals only with the weapons available via the "Normal guns" setting. The choice of a weapon depends largely on the tactics you employ. Some players prefer sneaking with close-range fights; others go in with their guns on full auto. I personally favor long-range precision shooting. This enables me to take out the enemies from a significant distance before they approach my squad. At the same time the foes themselves are too far to take accurate shots - if they ever get a chance to shoot ;) The gun I need must meet three conditions, in order of importance: long range, fast operation and high damage. On these grounds I rule out shotguns (short range, slow) and sniper rifles (excellent range and damage, but awfully slow) But few other guns fulfil the above criteria and are thus worth serious attention (ascending by overall value): Glock 17 Your initial weapon. It's the best pistol: quite fast with 15-round magazine and easy to repair. On the downside, its short range and low damage make it effective only at close quarters. But what else can you expect from a pistol? MP5K This SMG has a longer range. Fast operation and big magazine make shooting easier. And you can burst at short distances. The MP5K is a very common gun. Several can be already found around Drassen. Mini-14 Once you use it, you will see the difference. This single-shot rifle can be fitted with a scope plus sight (see: GUN ATTACHMENTS), making it first sniper's weapon. It uses the popular 5.56mm round to deliver high damage. It's also quite fast and has a better range. G41 This should become your standard weapon. A good all around gun. Comparable to the Mini-14, with even longer range and auto capability. M14 One of the guns to use until the end of the assignment. With 7.62mm caliber it dishes out the greatest damage of all rifles. Quite fast firing with range slightly longer than the G41. Ammo is scarce, though. C-7 Many people regard it as No.1 gun. No doubt it makes the best use of the 5.56mm round. And it's Canadian ;) Superior range and fast operation make this versatile assault rifle the preferred weapon. FN-FAL There is no better firearm. The FN-FAL offers the finest in long-range precision shooting, along with very fast operation. You will only get a couple of these and 7.62mm clips are hard to come by. Some people believe that the rocket rifle beats all other weapons. In my opinion its slow operation and small magazine downplay the exceptional range and damage. Worst of all, it doesn't accept any attachments (see appropriate chapter) This excludes accuracy at long ranges and the built-in laser doesn't help much. The RR is also extremely hard to repair and the mini-rockets are in short supply. If you decide to give it a try, keep in mind that the RR can be used exclusively by its owner, i.e. the first merc to use it. Some RRs may have an ID lock on them, which can be broken only by the fix-it man in Grumm (see: SECTION 6 - Fredo) In addition to regular guns you may come across some unique weapons. They can be sometimes found in random locations (e.g. P90, CAWS) or taken from certain enemies (G11, auto rocket rifle) - see: SECTION 4. You can also obtain some by completing quests (Automag); see: SECTION 6 - John and Mary. Of these weapons I find the G11 useful: it becomes a gun of choice after modifications (see: GUN ATTACHMENTS) To my knowledge only one such rifle can be recovered (see: SECTION 6 - Mike) The G11 uses very rare ammo that pierces armor with ease (see: AMMUNITION) It is also very hard to repair. GUN ATTACHMENTS These accessories can be fitted to guns to increase their firing capabilities. A firearm will accept up to 4 different attachments. Some of them can only be used with specific gun types (listed in brackets) and some cannot be used in conjunction. Make sure to keep the attachments in a top condition, otherwise they will make the weapon less accurate! Sniper scope (some SMGs, shotguns, all rifles, LMGs) A must for any gun. Equip your snipers with these ASAP. The scope decreases penalty due to distance with every extra AP spent on aiming, thus allowing accurate shots. A hell of a difference especially at long ranges, the sniper scope makes penetration of the enemy's skull a "remote" possibility ;) Laser sight (all guns) Second most wanted supplement. Gives a flat bonus to hit for any/every shot taken. Nicely enhances the sniper scope. Rocket rifles have a built-in laser targeting system. Bipod (all rifles, LMGs, CAWS) Slightly increases the chance to hit when shooting prone. Since all shots ought to be taken while prostrate, the bipod makes a valuable implement. Silencer (pistols, some SMGs) Muffles the gun it is attached to. This allows taking out the enemies one by one without attracting unwanted attention. Possibly reduces the bullet's power (?) Duckbill (shotguns) Changes the pattern of buckshot fire from the regular circle to a horizontal spread, thus providing wider coverage. Not much difference at a close range. Barrel extender (all guns) This non-removable attachment should be installed by a skilled mech only after repairing it. The extender increases the gun's range by 10 when in perfect condition. Created by combining a steel pipe with quick glue and duct tape. Rod & spring AKA spring-bolt replacement (all guns) Second permanent supplement, reduces the AP cost of single and burst shots by 1/6 (the difference is rounded down) Best results achieved with slow guns. Created by joining an aluminium rod with a spring. Talon (standard and assault rifles, LMGs) Underslung grenade launcher. Requires 2 slots, as one slot must remain empty to load a 40mm grenade. Operates very much like the M79 launcher (below), except that it must be attached to a firearm. Apart from this fact, the Talon works like a heavy weapon and as such it retains all their characteristics (not sure about the bonus for HW, though) Unfortunately, this weapon is very inaccurate, possibly due to a bug. A word about weapon modification. Save the permanent attachments for best guns, the ones you intend to keep till the grand finale. Don't trouble with other weapons, unless you are really pressed for money. Budget solutions are the Commando with an extender (comparable to the G41) and the Mini-14 or the G41 with an extender plus bolt (comparable to the C-7). The M14 with an extender and bolt is a killer, on a par with the FN-FAL. The extender attached to the C-7 or the FN-FAL gives them an incredibly long range, and the bolt makes them *lightning* fast. A modified FN-FAL sometimes needs just 1AP/shot (unaimed)! Also the G11 with an extender and bolt is a premium weapon. Remember, however, that adding permanent supplements practically excludes the use of the Talon which occupies 2 slots. In long-range shooting you definitely need these slots for the scope and the sight. One way around is to use the M79 or hand grenades (see: HEAVY WEAPONS; GRENADES) Another is to carry the Talon and to attach it only when necessary ;) Still, because of its large inaccuracy the Talon seems unusable. As stated earlier, the choice of armament is determined by tactics. The one that works for me involves daytime attacks. My fire squad is 5 to 7 snipers with MRK trained to 100 (see: SECTION 2) I equip them with the best guns available (from the selection above) and later modified. All guns have the scope, the sight and sometimes the bipod attached. In combat I almost always go for long-range head shots with extra aiming. They inflict greatest damage, but occasionally a torso shot does more harm. I use only the AP ammo (see: AMMUNITION) and always fire prone from behind a cover to avoid being shot. Fast guns allow my mercs to shoot at least 3 times per turn, with aiming. In many cases the enemy dies already from the second bullet :) AMMUNITION Since ammo goes pretty fast, you should heap a nice stock of it. Each of your snipers should carry at least one spare clip. Nothing is more infuriating than running out of bullets in the middle of the fight. Remember to reload your guns whenever the game enters real-time, especially during a battle. This saves APs which you will need in turn-based mode. When picking up items collect ammo for your guns first. Merge half-empty clips to save space. The damage inflicted by ammo depends on its caliber and type. Guns recommended above use 4 calibers and 3 types of ammunition. The 9mm pistol round (Glock 17) is the weakest one. The 9mm SMG round (MP5K) is a bit better. These two are compatible, i.e. pistol ammo can be used in SMGs and vice versa. The 5.56mm round (Mini-14, G41, C-7) does average damage and the 7.62mm NATO round (M14, FN-FAL) is the most powerful of all. The 4.7mm is a unique G11 round with power comparable to the 5.56mm. Besides the caliber, ammo comes in 3 types: AP (armor piercing, red), HP (hollow-point, blue) and standard. AP ammo can penetrate armor, but it delivers less damage. HP ammo inflicts great damage on unarmored targets, but can be stopped by basic body protection. Regular ammo is a trade- off between the two, and the 4.7mm round is AP *par excellence* Since you can't tell which enemies wear armor, it is best to always use the AP ammo. You will only need the 9mm ammo in the beginning and there is enough of it around. Better guns use the 5.56mm ammo which is also common - you will quickly gather a load of it. However, 7.62mm clips are hard to get and even more are the special 4.7mm magazines. The only advice is to buy them whenever they become available. I have also noticed that enemy soldiers tend to drop ammo of the same caliber as used by your squad. See also: SECTION 4. HEAVY WEAPONS These big guns cover wide area in a single discharge. They do not accept any attachments. Because of the explosion they create and due to their limited accuracy, they work best against clusters of enemies. Heavy weapons are slow to operate, allowing only 1 shot per turn. They should be handled by HW specialists (see: appropriate chapter in SECTION 1) who take more accurate shots with any weapon of this type. Talon See: GUN ATTACHMENTS. For effects of damage refer to GRENADES. M79 This 40mm grenade launcher is fired from the shoulder and has a longer range. As with the Talon, the effects of damage depend on the type of grenade used (see: GRENADES) Since the M79 has no problems with accuracy, the bug makes the Talon rather useless. LAW Designed to destroy tanks, this anti-armor weapon is just as lethal against infantry platoons. You don't wanna be standing at *either* end of it ;) Comes loaded with one missile, after discharging becomes scrap. The LAW operates much like a firearm, which means that the missile must hit something to explode. Keep some of these babies for your final assault on Meduna (did someone say "tanks"?) Mortar Bow to the M224, Master of Destruction. This powerful weapon can easily smoke multiple enemies in a single discharge, regardless of aiming. Like the LAW, it provides broadest spread. It is excellent against both personnel and tanks. Use the mortar wisely, shells are sparse. Bring it to Meduna to im-press the Queen's Elite Guard ;) GRENADES Like the heavy weapons, grenades are most effective against groups of enemies. Some grenades serve special purposes. They come in 2 sorts: hand grenades and 40mm shells. Hand grenades are intended to be thrown (what else did you think? :) This makes your merc vulnerable to enemy attacks, since in order to throw a grenade s/he has to stand up. Throwing range depends on the merc's strength (STR) and throwing accuracy on their MRK and LVL. The throwing trait increases both. Already described grenade launchers (M79/Talon) use the 40mm type and can be fired when the merc is crouched or prone. Grenades seem to do more damage to standing targets. Their varieties are as follows: Mini (only hand) Throwing range of this baby grenade is longer, but it lacks spread and damage. It can be used to weaken low-rank soldiers and to finish off groups of severely wounded enemies. Regular (hand & 40mm) Standard fragmentation grenade. Good spread and damage. Tough enemies often ask for another. Ah well, some folks just can't get enough ;) Can be also used against tanks. Stun (hand & 40mm) It doesn't do damage. But it takes the enemy's breath away - literally ;) The stun grenade saps the energy (blue bar) of the victim, bringing their APs down to zero. Nearby targets are also affected, though to a lesser degree. 2 or 3 stuns are usually enough to exclude an enemy (or you) from the ongoing skirmish. The stunned person becomes a sitting duck: he can't move or shoot for few turns. Wearing a gas mask does not help. Smoke (hand & 40mm) This grenade creates an expanding cloud of harmless smoke. The fumes drastically restrict visibility, making it hard for the enemy to spot you. Useful in stealth maneuvers. It also offers a good way to mount the attack by firing 1 or 2 smokers into a batch of foes. Nothing feels like shooting the blind pups as they emerge from the haze ;) Alternatively, you could draw enemies towards your position, drop a smoker right beside your tightly-formed squad and shrouded in fumes wait for an interrupt when a groping enemy pops right in front of your mercs! Tear gas (hand & 40mm) The tear gas grenade will have the enemy on the run. It works much like a stun: a growing cloud of irritant drains the energy, causing the subject to pass out. Useful for flushing out those annoying well-covered snipers or for clearing out rooms. A gas mask prevents energy loss. Mustard gas (only hand :( Extremely harmful. Releases a dispersing toxic cloud that kills anyone engulfed in it in a couple of turns. Gas masks offer protection for just a short time and only when in perfect shape. If your merc finds himself in the fumes without it, get him out in the same turn and rush a medic to save his life - and your money. These type of grenade is very effective in enclosed areas, provided you are not the one inside. Deidranna's elite soldiers are keen as mustard to taste some ;) EXPLOSIVES Not only grenades and heavy weapons make a blast. Explosives are capable of causing even more damage. They are primarily used to blow up solid structures (like walls/doors) and other objects restricting access to enclosed areas. They can be also planted as booby traps intended for enemy units. Explosives are particularly effective against tanks. Every now and then you will also discover a locker/door trapped with explosives or with some other booby trap. If you manage to disarm it, you will usually get your hands on some goodies. But keep in mind that dealing with explosives is touch-and-go. Not everything may go as planned. Generally all the job should be done by the explosives specialist (see: appropriate chapter in SECTION 1) Even he can sometime meet a serious challenge. Therefore it is strongly advised to save before any "explosive" encounter. TNT Good ol' trinitrotoluene. Average power and dispersion; best used straight. C1 Powerful composite that generates a blast bigger than TNT. Better still as an ingredient of C4. RDX These strange crystals will not go boom on their own; they need to be detonated with grenades or combined with other explosives. RDX mixed with TNT or C1 yields their stronger counterparts. Still, the process of blending the components can prove a formidable task even for top explosives specialists. HMX This is what you get from joining TNT and RDX. Blasting power comparable to C1. Not much use, since RDX produces better results with C1. C4 The ultimate in explosives, obtained by blending C1 with RDX. C4 has greatest blast radius and inflicts tremendous damage. Unfortunately, it is hard to create. Detonator No explosive material will go off unless you attach a detonator to it. The ignition can be set for a period of 1 to 4 turns. Once you plant the bomb, allow some time and APs for evacuation, unless you wanna kiss your bomb dude goodbye. Remote detonator Works like the regular one, but it allows precisely timed explosions. Requires a remote trigger to operate. Great for ambushes. The remote detonator can work in one of 4 different frequencies, but several explosions can be set on the same frequency. This type of detonator is difficult to install; in addition to proficiency in explosives, the electronics trait may be necessary. Remote trigger Once you've installed the remote detonator and planted the explosive, use this radio transmitter to blow the device up. The trap(s) can be set off at any time by choosing an appropriate frequency. One remote trigger suffices per squad and should be carried by the explosives specialist. Shaped charge Every now and then a secured door will prohibit your entry. There are many ways to deal with this obstacle, and some have been already mentioned (all methods are listed in SECTION 9) Placing a shaped charge on the door is one possible solution. A small explosion will destroy the lock, but not the door. It may be necessary to force the door open afterwards. Land mine This booby trap is supposed to snuff a wandering enemy. But it turns out pretty useless in combat. Chances of laying a mine near an enemy without being noticed are minimal. Even when you succeed the soldiers will rarely fall into it, unless you plant a lot of mines in close proximity (which requires carrying the whole bundle) And still it will explode only when the enemy steps *precisely* on it. Land mines can be used to create nice chain explosions, but on the whole usage seems justified only in narrow passages, like doorways. BLADED AND BLUNT WEAPONS These weapons can be put to use when fighting at close quarters. In some circumstances they may prove more effective than firearms. Blunt weapons will quickly knock enemies out, which allows stealing their weapons (see: SECTION 4 - HOW TO GET EQUIPMENT) Blades penetrate any armor, causing great harm. Different skills come into play when working with bladed/blunt weapons. Mercs with the knifing trait are more likely to stab their victims with a combat knife or a machete and are also better at parrying knife blows. Throwing knives ask for the same abilities as hand grenades (see appropriate chapter) The damage inflicted by knuckles and crowbar is proportional to merc's strength and is additionally increased by the hand-to-hand trait (H2H, see: SECTION 6 - Darren) However, using bladed/blunt weapons has its drawbacks. To employ them, you have to get very near to the target, unnoticed. Unless you slay your victim promptly, you risk serious injuries in his counter-attack. Since enemies usually appear in groups, you could also be spotted by other soldiers and get under heavy fire. Therefore bladed weapons are best suited to eliminate stray enemies, particularly when backed up by sneaking (see: SECTION 8) Combat knife There's quite nothing like sinking a steel blade between the enemy's own shoulder-blades. Three stabs will eliminate even the roughest and toughest of them. Machete Slower than a combat knife, but deadlier. Sometimes just one swing will make your opponent think of a better life. As with the combat knife, go for the neck to inflict most severe injuries. Throwing knife In favorable conditions a single throwing knife can score an instant kill (critical hit) Doubles as a toothpick ;) They are also invaluable aids in raising some stats (see: SECTION 2) Knuckles Make your blows a little stronger. Two punches should put the foe "at ease" Crowbar Who said a crowbar is merely for opening stuck covers? (see: SECTION 8) If knuckles seem not enough, take this bar to crack some ribs. Section 4: WAYS TO GET EQUIPMENT & FUNDS You know the deal. No weapons, no progress. No progress, no dough. No dough, no weapons. And so on. Apart from Deidranna, equipment and money are the two things you will be looking for in Arulco. And you will need both in large quantities. Finding them fast gives your team a much better chance to survive in this harsh country. HOW TO GET EQUIPMENT Once you know what to choose from, it would be nice to lay your hands on some good arms (pun intended ;) Without them even the best mercs will be nothing but cannon-fodder. Proper weapons and equipment are the key to victory. You can get these items from various sources. Hired personnel When hiring AIM mercs, you have the option to buy their equipment. This purchase is obviously necessary when you assemble your first team. With later hires you will already have a stock of items to deal out. Other recruitable characters (MERC, NPCs) also have some belongings, which become yours as soon as you hire them. Generally, more expensive personalities posses better inventories, although cheap ones can have something valuable on them, too. You can make an easy start in Arulco in the following manner: hire a merc with a good weapon for a day and when his/her contract is over, give the equipment to someone else. This will give you the edge in initial battles. Killed enemies Deidranna's men will constitute your primary source of new stuff. Her soldiers carry diverse combat equipment - why not "free" them from this burden? Some enemies will leave their things when killed, but not all of them are that "kind". So, how to get "more bucks for your bang"? There is yet another way to get the enemy's gun. Just *steal* it from him *before* you waste the bastard! This is hard, but worth the effort. You will need a stealthy agile merc. Sneak upon the enemy and knock him out (H2H & martial arts welcome; see also: SECTION 8 for tips on stealth) Two - three hits and the sap lies flat. Now use the "hand" cursor (the "CTRL" key) on him to take his gun! This may not always work. In any case finish him promptly or prepare for a nasty stab (ugh!) Sometimes also militiamen drop items. This could happen if they die while defending their sector (see also: SECTION 5 for tips on militia battles) In like manner killed bounties will leave good guns and other equipment (see: SECTION 6 - Bounties) NPCs' dwellings Equipment can be found in areas inhabited by Arulcans. This means not only towns, but any sectors with buildings or other structures. Whenever you enter/take such a sector remember to check every chest, locker, drawer, workbench and so on. In some cases explosives or mechanical skill may be necessary to open them (see: chapters on specialists in SECTION 1; SECTION 8) Items may be also found in the mines (underground) You may discover a couple of well-defended sites out of town. These are the army stations. Such sectors will contain a lot of equipment. Their location is random, but you will find at least two, one being not far from Meduna (N7) Items found in some sectors reappear (may be a bug, see: SECTION 9) Weapon dealers In certain places you can buy equipment - but don't expect credit ;) One way to do it is to place an order at the Web-based Bobby Ray's Gun Store. You need to pay cash up front and ordering has some drawbacks. You have to wait for the delivery and the cargo can be sent only to Drassen. From there you have to pick it up yourself (see: SECTION 6 - Pablo) The cost of freight is high, especially if you want it fast. Fortunately, in Arulco you will find some stores. Apart from money, their owners may be interested in some of your items. You can trade in, barter or sell them the things that you don't need. To let the merchants refresh their cash and goods' supplies you have to leave their sector for a day. Tony in San Mona, Keith in Cambria, Jake in Estoni and Franz in Balime will sell and buy items. Sam and Howard in Balime and Devin (random) only sell things. See also: SECTION 6 for info on specific traders. Quests Once in a while you may get some items from NPCs that are in need. If you do them a favor, they will usually give you something in return for your trouble. Be friendly and talk to all NPCs you encounter. See: SECTION 6 for details. HOW TO GET FUNDS As in real life - money is everything ;) Without it you can't hire personnel, buy equipment or train militia. In brief, you can't go on with the assignment. The funds received at the beginning will run out very quickly. Finding new sources is imperative. How successful you are at it will determine further development of your mission. Securing a stable income early on will put you closer to victory. Here are the ways to make money in Arulco: Mining This is the primary source of dough - the most efficient and the most reliable one. Mining provides steady positive cash flow which will constitute the greater part of your income. That's why gaining control of the mines pronto is crucial. Their location can be checked on the strategic map. To make them generate profit, persuade the head miners to work for you. Remember to station a full garrison of regular militia there (see: SECTION 5) Sometimes a mine may run out of ore. Unluckily, there is no way to prevent it or to replenish its deposits :( See also: SECTION 6 - Head miners. Mines Note that this is different from the *process* of mining. Mines themselves present an additional source of capital. In their underground chambers you will find silver and golden nuggets which serve exactly the same purpose as cash. They can be deposited into your account by mercs who carry them. Collected nuggets will reappear (not sure if this is a bug; see: SECTION 9) Trading You can sell some of your items to certain NPCs. Among them are the storeowners: Tony in San Mona, Keith in Cambria, Jake in Estoni, Franz in Balime and Micky. Some traders will pay more for specific items. Tony offers highest prices for weapons, ammo and attachments, Keith pays more for any other equipment and Jake gives best bargains on junk. All merchants have a limited amount of cash, which is renewed on the next day. See also: SECTION 6 for info on specific merchants. Quests Money can be also earned by taking part in some quests. Most profitable are bounty hunting (see: SECTION 6 - Carmen & Bounties) and the Extreme Fighting Competition (EFC) in San Mona (ibid. Darren) To get rewards for killing the felons you must find Carmen and accept his offer, then deliver their heads to him. Each noggin is worth $10K. With 6 terrorists this means $60K, but you could get more money due to a bug (see: SECTION 9) Another way is to win the EFC. Fighting takes place on alternate days. With $5K (max bet) placed on each fight and a skilled merc you should be winning $15K every other night! A grand idea to make big bucks this way is to hire a cheap merc skilled in H2H or martial arts, airdrop him in San Mona (see: SECTION 6 - Skyrider & SECTION 7) and keep him just for the fights. This merc must be able to get into the club. If he cannot persuade Spike to let him in, use another merc with higher LDR. Remember to leave the sector for 2 days after the fight, otherwise you won't be able to compete again. However, there is a nasty bug that can screw this bonanza; see: SECTION 9. WEIRD ITEMS Every once in a while you will stumble upon an object with no apparent purpose. Seeing no use for it you leave it behind. But some of these items are quite useful. Here's what you can do with them (info in some places incomplete, ideas anyone?): Silver/gold nuggets See: Mines above Marbles Throw them on the ground and whoever steps on them will fall down. Very handy in the Extreme Fighting Competition in San Mona ;) (see: Quests & SECTION 6 - Darren) Walkman, portable TV Distract the merc who uses them. S/he can't hear approaching enemies (why the hell would you wanna use it?) Platinum watch Sell it for some cash (?) Deidranna/Arulco T-shirt Put these on and enter an enemy-occupied sector. After some combat you should be given a chance to surrender. When you agree you will be taken to prison in N7 and interrogated by Deidranna and her aides. If you survive you can escape from the cell (" Elliot, you IDIOT!" ;) Find your stuff nearby, or at least some weapon. With a bit of luck it is even possible to kill Deidranna here, in which case the game will end. It seems that the interrogation takes place only if Tixa and Alma were taken before. Save and check this out (then load and complete the assignment properly!) Rock Position your mercs outside and throw a rock against closed doors or through a window. Enemies soon come out and you should get an interrupt (other use?) Steel pipe + quick glue + duct tape Aluminium rod + spring All of them used to make gun attachments, see appropriate chapter in SECTION 3. Soda + string Combine them to make a door alarm. Never tried it (?) X-ray tube + fumble pack + chewing gum Use a highly skilled mech with electronics to merge them into an X-ray unit. Lameboy + copper wire Do likewise to create an LCD display. X-ray unit + LCD display Join them to make an X-ray detector. This device works like a radar, when used it displays positions of enemies not seen by your squad. It has a limited range and requires batteries. Batteries Power the X-ray detector. Yes, they do run out and yes, they are non- rechargeable ;) Gas can Fuel for the ice-cream truck and the Hummer (see: SECTION 7) Video camera Necessary for Madlab's robot to work. Give it to Madlab, who will install it and offer you the robot afterwards (see: SECTION 6 - Madlab & Robot) Glass jar These are useful only in the SF mode (not covered by this guide) Cigars, golf clubs, silver platter, rubber band, porno mag, 2nd porno tape They seem to serve no purpose in the game. Jake buys and sells them as junk. May be just artwork (?) Section 5: MILITIA So, you've liberated Drassen? Good work, Commander. Now other towns are waiting for your intervention. People throughout the country still suffer under Deidranna's regime. And your mission is to end her reign of terror. Your team has to move on. However, it would be stupid to lose this bridgehead. You have just secured a strategic location of Arulco (the airport and the mine) and the Queen is not the kind of person to take such losses lightly - you sure can tell that by her speeches ;) In fact Deidranna will soon try to recover Drassen. But don't expect civilians to fight back on their own - they are merely intimidated citizens. Stationing your mercs to guard towns makes sense, but you must get on with the assignment. So other means of defense have to be found. What you need is to convince the locals to join your cause. You need militia. Militia will defend their town whenever it is attacked by Deidranna's army. She will send her grunts to reclaim almost every lost location, so it is crucial to keep garrisons in all areas under your control. Militia can be recruited in towns and at SAM sites, but still in some places it is not possible (and don't ask me why) The golden rule is to have defenders in *each* secured location. This will save you much unwanted trouble, including the dread necessity of re- taking the same town. LOYALTY The factor that makes militia training possible is the town's loyalty; with SAMs it is irrelevant. If the loyalty is quite high (indicated by a green number on the strategic map) the inhabitants in that town will cooperate, but if it falls below 20% (not sure, the number turns red) they will refuse to be trained. But even if this happens, any militia that you already have there will still follow their orders. Loyalty is conditioned by a number of factors. The first one is the number of controlled sectors of the town: if you secure the whole place, its loyalty will rise. Conversely, when you lose control of town sectors, the loyalty will drop. Training militia in towns also improves their loyalty, as do completed quests assigned by their residents (see: SECTION 6) Won battles help increase loyalty, while lost and abandoned battles work the opposite way. Beware of killing innocent citizens, especially those mistaken for the bounties(see: SECTION 6 - Eldin & Bounties) Doing so will drastically lower the town's loyalty. It will also go down when there is no offensive action on your part for more than a week; then you will get a message from Enrico urging you to move on. Note that also the output of the associated mine is highly dependent on the level of loyalty in its town. In simple words, higher loyalty equals higher income! (see also: SECTION 4; SECTION 6 - Head miners) TRAINING Basically all mercs can teach militia, but why leave the job to rookies when it can be handled by professionals? Skilled trainers (see appropriate chapter in SECTION 1) will create the garrison much faster. Other mercs may not be able to train enough militiamen before the army strikes back. This means you will have to defend the town with one of your own squads - provided that it happens to be there at the moment of the attack, which is very unlikely with SAM sites. In other case the attacked location can fall to Deidranna again. That's not precisely what you wanna see... To prevent such situation never leave the place until you've trained the maximum amount of militia (that's when the message "You can't train more militia in..." appears) Up to 20 militiamen can be stationed in one sector. Always put at least 2 mercs in the same sector to train them. To create the garrison fast, place other trainers in the adjacent sectors and have them all train militia simultaneously. 4 skilled trainers should soon get the job done. Remember to rest them fully before they start and put them to sleep after they've trained a new group of militia - leave them on "train militia" and after some rest they will resume automatically. In this way they will finish their job in a shorter time. The militiamen come in 3 ranks: novice (green in strategic view), regular (blue) and veteran (dark blue) The greenhorns appear first. Further training turns them into regular units. Veterans cannot be trained - militia attain this rank only thru battle experience. Hence before you proceed to another site there should be 20 regular militia in each sector of the captured location. The enemy will mostly go for strategic areas, like the mines and SAMs. Place your first militia there: they can be moved within town borders using "view militia" and right/left-clicking a sector on the strategic map. The garrison will stand their ground when attacked, but sometimes even 20 regulars can lose a battle. On the experienced level I've seen assaults of 20+ enemies, including a dozen elites - especially on those critical sectors. Oddly enough, veteran militiamen usually die first. I guess the enemies simply go for best guards :( This also has to do with the militia's crap AI. When you do take part in a fight involving militia, you will see how ridiculously they die. AUTORESOLVE VS. REGULAR BATTLES So, is it better to join your militia in combat or rather to resolve their fights automatically? In battles consisting of militiamen only the latter way causes fewer casualties on their part, especially with the "instant resolve" (skip forward) button. However, the same is not true of your mercs. You should *never* autoresolve battles in which they participate, as this often gets them killed. Don't rely on that stupid CPU when you can do better. Remember, tactics is your advantage! Another thing is that in battles resolved automatically both enemies and militia tend to drop only few items and of little value. Battles fought the regular way will usually provide much better spoils. See also: SECTION 4. Section 6: NPCs FAQ Interaction with non-player characters (NPCs) constitutes a crucial part of your mission. You will mostly meet them in the towns you conquer, but sometimes also in other sectors. In the latter case you will be notified of their presence when entering such location ("Squad x has noticed someone in Sector x") You have a greater chance to find most NPCs by day, as many locales close for the night. Contacts with NPCs generally call for a skilled negotiator (see appropriate chapter in SECTION 1) Most Arulcans when talked to will utter only a brief comment, sometimes disclosing important clues. The ones listed below are vital to your goal. It may be even impossible to accomplish the assignment without their help (see also: SECTION 4) Whenever you encounter an NPC, let your negotiations expert step in. Be "friendly" until they have nothing more to say. This conversation may have various outcomes. Many NPCs will ask for your help (quests) and several may agree to join your team (see: HIRABLE NPCs) NPCs will not talk until you liberate their sector or the neighborhood. Approach them again when you've gained control of the whole town (see also: SECTION 5 for info on loyalty) Not all NPCs will be kind towards you. Sometimes it may be better to be "direct" instead of "friendly" But be careful using "threaten", or better don't do it. Many NPCs will ignore your threats, others will warn you to stop (or not) If you don't, they will attack and their buddies will join in. Such encounter may put your team six feet under before you get a chance to retaliate. Always remember to save before talking to an NPC - in case you screw something up. And don't kill innocent NPCs! (see: SECTION 5 - LOYALTY) NOTE: Though this section covers all but few of the NPCs appearing in the game, it does not describe *every single* one you may (or may not) encounter on your way. Some insignificant NPCs have been left out because they have no bearing on the play, or because they are discussed together with other NPCs. OMERTA NON-HIRABLE NPCs Fatima HIRABLE NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Ira, Dimitri, Carlos, Miguel Fatima (and Pacos) Q: Who is she? A: One of the rebels. Either she or her son will be the first NPC encountered by your team in Arulco. Q: Where do I find her? A: In the sector where you start your mission (A9) Talk to Pacos and follow him into the demolished house. Q: How do I deal with her? A: Fatima will acquaint you with the rebels, but she needs a proof of your meeting with Enrico (your employer) Give her the letter and accompany Fatima to the adjacent sector. Inside the rebel hideout she will introduce you to their leader Miguel. You will be able to recruit Ira then. This is the only way to gain cooperation of the rebels. See also: Father DRASSEN NON-HIRABLE NPCs Pablo, Doreen, Father, Fred (head miner) HIRABLE NPCs Skyrider RANDOM NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Carmen, Devin, Micky Pablo (and Sal) Q: Who is he? A: Pablo keeps watch over the shipments you receive from Bobby Ray's. Q: Where do I find him? A: In the airport (D11) Q: How do I deal with him? A: Talk to Pablo and he will (unwillingly) agree to supervise your cargo. When the shipment arrives (notification via e-mail) talk to Pablo again and take the ordered stuff from the crate. See also: SECTION 4 for more info on Bobby Ray's. Q: How come the equipment I ordered is missing? A: Does Pablo look honest? He may sometimes steal from your shipments. When this happens, bribe him ($10 will do) or use "threaten" Or just test your hook on him ;) He should then return your stuff along with some other items (.38s, tool kits) If you already have some militia at the airport and give Pablo cash, he should never steal in the future. Q: When I attack Pablo, he just shouts "What is wrong with you!" Then he runs off and gets killed by militia. A: Unless one of your mercs says that something is missing while taking the items from the crate, Pablo has not stolen anything (yet) In such case when you attack him, the militia will most likely take him for an enemy and shoot him down. Q: Thieves must be eliminated. But can I still receive shipments when Pablo is dead? A: Is this the way to treat a trusty worker? Yeah, right ;) But fortunately a new guy will arrive soon. Q: So, who is this new cargo supervisor? Is he any different from Pablo? A: His name is Sal. He will make you long for Pablo. Really. Sal is such a nice boy; he won't steal from your cargo. Instead, he will lose *whole* shipments. Say goodbye to those mortar shells or the FN-FAL, because they're gone for good. Bribe him, threaten him, beat him or whatever, but this won't change a thing. Q: That does it! I killed the moron. Will there be another replacement? A: Nope. Forget Bobby Ray's. Understand? F-o-r-g-e-t! Loyalty in Drassen will also go down drastically. Moral: don't kill civilians (see also: SECTION 5 - LOYALTY) Doreen Q: Who is she? A: She's the sweatshop manager exploiting child labor. Everyone in Drassen hates her. Q: Where do I find her? A: In the small textile factory (C13) Q: How do I deal with her? A: Persuade her to leave ("friendly" or "threaten") or simply kill her for a loyalty boost in Drassen. She may drop a key to the adjacent small room, where you can find an MP5K (random) Father Q: Who is he? A: A drunk priest. He will help you gain confidence of the rebels. Q: Where do I find him? A: Before noon he is usually in the bar in C13, after noon in the church (D13) Q: How do I deal with him? A: The rebels in Omerta need supplies and Father can arrange them. Talk to him and he will attend to the problem. Then go back to Omerta and see Miguel again. The loyalty in Omerta and Drassen will go up and you will be able to recruit Dimitri. See also: Miguel Head miners Q: Who are they? A: They are the supervisors of Arulco mines. Q: Where do I find them? A: The first you will meet is Fred in Drassen (D13) Others are Calvin in Chitzena (B2), Carl in Cambria (H8), Oswald in Grumm (H3) and Matt in Alma (I14) Q: How do I deal with them? A: The head miners control the extraction of Arulco's natural resources. However, the mines will remain idle unless you gain cooperation of their supervisors. First you need to liberate the bordering town and then talk to the miner. Afterwards the mine becomes operational and the ore is automatically converted into money on your account. The output of the mine depends on its base income (modified by the difficulty level), town control (# of sectors annexed) and the loyalty. The mines will be prime targets of Deidranna's attacks, so don't leave them without proper guard (see: SECTION 5) See also: SECTION 4 for more info on mining. Q: One of my mines is running out of ore! What can I do? A: This may occur about two weeks after the start. A miner will pop up and tell you about it. The income of such mine will be increased significantly and then drop to zero during the next couple of days. I think only one mine (if any) will be affected. This situation is random and may not even take place, but once it happens nothing can be done. Q: That miner in Alma says something about his missing brother. What's the story? A: Matt will tell you the location of Deidranna's hidden penal compound in Tixa. He will also ask you to liberate his brother held prisoner there. Freeing Dynamo will raise Alma's loyalty. You don't actually need to bring him there, but you can keep Dynamo on your team. See also: Dynamo Q: One of my mines has been overrun by aliens! A: You must be playing the SF version, which is not covered by this guide. Refer to the LINKS section or check some other guide on the subject :) Skyrider Q: Who is he? A: He's a helicopter pilot that will help you out. Q: Where do I find him? A: His location is random, but he is never far from Drassen. The NPCs here will give you a clue (Skyrider is hiding in a house in the nearby swamps) Q: That guy says I killed the pilot! What can I do now? A: You killed the pilot that worked for Deidranna, not Skyrider. He is fine. Q: How do I deal with him? A: Once you've found Skyrider, he will ask you for an escort to Drassen. Take him to the airport and there he will offer you his services. Q: So, how can he help me? A: With his helicopter Skyrider can deliver your mercs just about anywhere. But air transport is not for free. Skyrider charges $100 for each safe sector en route and $1K per unsafe one. A safe sector is one outside SAM's targeting range (shown as green on the air map); an unsafe one lies within the SAM's range (red) The chopper will take damage when entering such sector; it can only endure 2 attacks per flight. Be careful - or you will lose the aircraft, not to mention its pilot. The game will also crash due to a bug (see: SECTION 9) This loss can put you at a disadvantage especially later in the game. After delivering your squad to its destination Skyrider has to fly back to the airport to refuel. He doesn't charge for the return. Later on it will be also possible to refuel the chopper in Estoni (see: Jake & Shank) But remember: if you fly over an unsafe sector and take damage, the helicopter will very likely get hit again on its way back. Some time into the game Skyrider will mention on the air map the coordinates of all SAM sites. Additionally, whenever Skyrider detects enemy movement while flying over a sector, he should tell you so. Strangely enough, he will refuse to land in such a location, while airdrops in "red" sectors are not a problem. See also: SECTION 7 for more info on vehicles. SAN MONA NON-HIRABLE NPCs Angel and Maria, Tony, Kingpin, Darren, Joey (see: Cambria) HIRABLE NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Iggy RANDOM NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Carmen, Devin, Micky, Bounties Angel and Maria (with Madame, Billy and Kyle) Q: Who are they? A: Angel is the leather shop owner and brother of Maria. His sister was captured by Kingpin to work in his, ehm, house ;) Q: Where do I find them? A: Meet Angel first and he will tell you where to look for Maria. He is in his leather shop (C6) Q: How do I deal with Angel? A: He will try to palm off a jacket on you. Refuse his offer but continue the conversation and he will ask you to rescue his sister. Liberate Maria and bring her back to Angel. To express his gratitude he will give you the jacket for free and also the deed to his shop. Take the deed and go to the Tattoo Saloon (C5) Talk to the pansy there (Kyle) and give him the deed for $10K. Q: A damsel in distress! Where is poor Maria? A: In the Shady Lady brothel (C5) She is in the room at the end of the hall. Q: How can I rescue her? A: Still wondering why this dumb guard blocks the entrance? Ah yes - you need to pay. Cash only, no credit ;) Talk to Madam and pay for the "service"; it's possible for $100. Billy will then step aside. You might also try the back door but the alarm on it is extremely hard to disarm. Inside, in watchman's room on the left (the one with the open door) there is a key and a switch. Sneak into the room unnoticed, take the key and push the switch to disable the alarm. Go into the room where Maria is, talk to her and offer an escort. Then using the key get out thru the double back door. If you didn't get the key, open the door from the outside with your mech. Watch out not to set off the alarm or you will have the whole town on your back. You cannot be seen slipping in or out of the watchman's room or together with Maria. Even if you escape the guard or kill him right after he spots you, other grunts will attack you. Leave the brothel unnoticed and go to Angel. Listen to Maria's speech to learn whether you were successful in eluding her "protectors" Tony (with Hans and Brenda) Q: Who is he? A: An arms dealer. He offers prime wares, at least most of the time. Q: Where do I find him? A: In the back room of the porn shop (C5) Q: But I can't get there! How can I get the storekeeper to let me in? A: You need to get rid of the pesky customer for him. Look around the sector for an X-rated videotape (2 can be found) and give it to Brenda, the dyke in the shop. When she's left talk to the storekeeper again and he will introduce you to Tony. Then whenever you want something from Tony just be "friendly" to Hans and he will let you in. Q: How do I deal with him? A: Tony sells weapons, their attachments and ammo and also buys them at the highest price. Sometimes he has rare armament that cannot be gotten elsewhere. Every few days he may leave for new merchandise. See also: SECTION 4 for more info on traders. Kingpin Q: Who is he? A: He's the infamous "mayor" of San Mona. Q: Where do I find him? A: In his mansion in the lower part of D5, but you cannot just walk in. To meet him you must either win 3 consecutive fights in the Extreme Fighting Competition (EFC) at the club (see: Darren) or somehow open the back door to his mansion. Q: How do I deal with him? A: When you are introduced to Kingpin, he will offer you $20K for bringing an ancient artifact called the Chalice of Chance. But you definitely should return it to the people of Chitzena. Still, it is possible to complete *both* quests. First take the Chalice from Balime and send a fully armed squad to San Mona with it. Give the artifact to Kingpin, take the money, then assume positions and... let's rock! Kill Kingpin and clear the whole town of his goons. You will end up with lots of stuff. Pick up the Chalice from Kingpin's cadaver and head for Chitzena to return it where it belongs. Of course, now you won't be able to make money on the EFC (see: SECTION 4), so think it all over before the attack. See also: Yanni & Eldin. You can also steal Kingpin's funds stashed in the abandoned mine ($30K) The cash is buried underground in D5 (enter and exit via D4). However, in such case he will send his thugs after you. They will pursue you throughout Arulco and will get tougher with time. While this seems a good way to get extra equipment, you won't be able to enter San Mona (and Tony's store) without starting a fight. But there' s no problem in taking Kingpin's money after killing him ;) Q: Do I really have to fight the whole town to recover the Chalice? A: There is another way, which seems to be a bug. Get into Kingpin's mansion without starting a combat. Then drop a mustard gas grenade *next to* him, but not right on him. Nobody should attack you and the gas will eventually kill him off. Now you can take all his stuff without ever angering anyone. You can also go into the mine and get his buried money. Remember to exit by the mine entrance and not by the trapped ladder ;) Darren Q: Who is he? A: He is Kingpin's honcho running the club in San Mona. He organizes the Extreme Fighting Competition (EFC) Q: Where do I find him? A: In Kingpin's club (D5) after 8 PM. Q: How do I deal with him? A: To enter the club you must get past that blockhead Spike. Any merc with some LDR should be enough for this. Inside always save before talking to Darren. He will challenge you to enter the Extreme Fighting Competition. If you accept, you can place a bet of $1K-5K on each of your fights. In the case you win, you take double the amount. If you lose... oh well. You can withdraw after any fight. Remember that you cannot use any weapon in the ring (with the lucky exception of knuckles :) or you will lose your bet. Even worse, the spectators can turn on you and this almost spells death. Win 3 fights in a row and Kingpin will ask you for a favor (see: Kingpin) You can participate in the Extreme Fighting Competition every second night. See also: SECTION 4 for more info Q: How do I win the Extreme Fighting Competition? My merc always gets beat up! A: You will need a H2H or martial arts (MA) specialist here. These skills give your merc a bonus to hit and dodge plus a damage bonus in bare-handed combat (double bonuses for experts) Fidel, Grizzly, Thor, Malice, Bull (expert!) and Bubba (MERC) are skilled in H2H; Blood, Dr Q and Numb (MERC) are skilled in MA. Dusters - the only weapon "allowed" in the ring - provide additional damage, but only to H2H specialists. However, mercs good at MA can deliver a special windmill kick, which inflicts double damage on a weakened enemy. Before you agree to fight, sleep your merc so that his energy is at its peak. An agile and dexterous merc will be able to deliver more blows during his turn. The key to win the fight is to strike first - try entering the ring in different places. You can also use an energy booster to increase your APs for a couple of turns. The drug will then wear off and the merc's APs will fall below their normal level, but the injection can help you win. Or simply use the marbles ;) (see: SECTION 4 - WEIRD ITEMS) To win you only need to knock the other contestant out and for good. Don't kill them - this will only screw other fights, possibly due to a bug (see: SECTION 9) CHITZENA NON-HIRABLE NPCs Yanni, John and Mary, Calvin (head miner) RANDOM NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Bounties Yanni Q: Who is he? A: A Chitzena elder who acts as a tour guide. Q: Where do I find him? A: In the sacred ruins (A2), by the entrance. Q: How do I deal with him? A: He will tell you the story of the Chalice of Chance, which was stolen from the ruins by Deidranna. Yanni will ask you to return it to the people of Chitzena. The Chalice is on exposition at the museum in Balime. Bring the sacred artifact back to its rightful owners and see a major loyalty boost throughout Arulco. In this way you will also be able to recruit militia in Balime, otherwise the loyalty is too low for training (see: SECTION 5) See also: Kingpin & Eldin John and Mary Q: Who are they? A: Tourists lost in Arulco. Q: Where do I find them? A: Somewhere among the ruins (A2), generally before noon. Q: How do I deal with them? A: All they want is to leave Arulco - small wonder why ;) Escort them to the airport in Drassen for $2K in cash. Air transport (see: Skyrider & SECTION 7) is the fastest (though quite expensive) solution here, with at least 1 merc as an escort. Some time later John will also send you 2 powerful pistols and some ammo for them. CAMBRIA NON-HIRABLE NPCs Martha and Joey, Keith, Perko, Steve, Carl (head miner), Daryl HIRABLE NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Vince RANDOM NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Carmen, Devin, Micky, Bounties Martha and Joey Q: Who is she? A: Mother of Joey, an impudent teen. Q: Where do I find her? A: In her house in the western section of G8. Q: How do I deal with her? A: She will ask you to find her runaway son. Bring Joey back and the town's loyalty should reach 100%. Now you can get free medical treatment in the hospital and recruit one of the doctors there (see: Steve and Vince) Q: The kid sure needs his ass flogged. Where do I find Joey? A: In San Mona. Hans or the barkeep will tell you where. Joey is either looking in the front window of the brothel or nosing around the abandoned mine. Threaten him to come with you and escort to his mother promptly. Keith Q: Who is he? A: A merchant dealing in various goods. Q: Where do I find him? A: In his general store (G9) Q: How do I deal with him? A: He sells chiefly secondhand equipment. His goods are cheap, though not much useful. Keith will buy most items at best prices (except for weapons, see: Tony, and junk, see: Jake) He will also ask for your help with the Hicks (see: Daryl) When you're done with them, talk to Keith again. He will now offer a better selection and Cambria's loyalty will rise. See also: SECTION 4 for more info on traders. Perko Q: Who is he? A: He is a handyman. Q: Where do I find him? A: In his workshop (G9) Q: How do I deal with him? A: Perko can repair your damaged equipment for a price. However, he is quite sloppy (can't you tell?) and may not fix your stuff on time. He won't take electronics (for these see: Fredo) Perko does his job faster if you give him the items shortly after midnight and also when you collect them one at a time. Keep in mind that with beat-up equipment the cost of repair is usually higher than their sell price. So pay only for fixing the items that you really need and intend to keep. Sell all other things. Leave any minor/periodic repairs (like guns) to your mech(s) See also: Arnie Steve and Vince Q: Who are they? A: Doctors at the only hospital in Arulco. Q: Where are they? A: Where else but in the hospital? (F8) Q: How do I deal with them? A: They can heal your wounded mercs for a fee. If you gain more loyalty in Cambria, they will lower their price or even treat you for free. Vince can be also recruited (see: HIRABLE NPCs) Q: How can I get them to heal me? All they do is say the hospital is out of supplies! A: The doctors will help you only if you didn't open any crates with medical equipment in the hospital storehouse. If you did, forget the treatment. They won't do shit for you. Daryl and the Hicks Q: Who is he? A: The leader (and father!) of a hick gang harassing Cambria. Q: Where do I find him? A: East of Cambria, inside the farmhouse (F10) Do not confuse him with his son Darrel (standing by the door) Q: How do I deal with him? A: First talk to the storeowner in Cambria, who will ask for your help (see: Keith) It is impossible to resolve things with the Hicks in a peaceful manner. The only way to settle the issue is to kill all of them (must be the redneck temper ;) When a woman merc talks to Daryl, he proposes to her. If you agree, you can take Hicks' weapons without bloodshed, using the key in the hovel by the house. But in such case you will lose the gal! She will leave the team to join other "girls" in the barn... I don't know whether it is possible to rehire her after exterminating the Hicks. Q: How do I execute the damned rednecks? There's too many of them! A: This will be a tough battle - the Hicks have shotguns and Mini-14s. One shot from a short distance can seriously injure your merc even if s/he is wearing top armor. But 3 mercs with a good interrupt (high LVL) can do the job. To avoid getting shot and under crossfire, put them in the small room with no window, crouching and facing the door. Make a Hick enter this room or have him stand in the doorway by exchanging places and attack the boor. All your mercs must be inside. You can also shoot one of the Hicks and rush back into the room, closing the door after you. Either way the Hicks will start pouring into the room and you should be getting interrupts all of the time. Fire with no extra aiming to conserve APs. With good fast guns you should be able to kill any Hick with 2 (or even 1!) shots in the head. You can hide in the weapon shed instead, having killed the guard there. Or you can climb onto the roof and snipe 'em down. In any case - save! GRUMM NON-HIRABLE NPCs Arnie, Fredo, Oswald (head miner) RANDOM NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Carmen, Devin, Micky, Bounties Arnie Q: Who is he? A: He is a skilled handyman. Q: Where do I find him? A: In his workshop (H1) Q: How do I deal with him? A: He can repair your broken equipment for a price, except for electronics (see: Fredo). And he does it really fast. Q: How come he doesn't want to take my equipment? A: Sticky fingers, huh? If you take any item from Arnie's workshop, including the ones in the crates, he will refuse to repair anything. See: SECTION 8 about "owned" items. Q: I could really use these mortar shells... Any way to get at them? A: There is a way. Leave a merc in the workshop for the night and when Arnie's not there... Fredo Q: Who is he? A: This transvestite is the only handyman dealing with electronics. Q: Where do I find him? A: In his workshop opposite Arnie's (H1) Q: How do I deal with him? A: He will repair damaged electronics (night vision goggles, laser scopes, etc.) Fredo is also the single man in Arulco capable of breaking the ID lock on rocket rifles (see: SECTION 3 - RECOMMENDED GUNS) Q: But he doesn't want to take my equipment! A: See: Arnie. ESTONI NON-HIRABLE NPCs Jake, Skipper HIRABLE NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Maddog Jake Q: Who is he? A: A junk dealer. He will also arrange gas supply with Shank. Q: Where do I find him? A: In front of or inside his house at the junk depot. Q: How do I deal with him? A: He sells beat-up, but sometimes useful stuff, like the compound 18 and ceramic plates. He pays best money for junk (discarded LAWs and other useless items) Jake will tell you about the Tixa prison and ask you to find his friend (see: Shank). Rescue Shank, bring him to Estoni and talk to Jake. Now he will also have some gas cans in his stock and it will be possible to refuel the chopper in Estoni (see: Skyrider & SECTION 7). Jake's son Maddog can be recruited. See also: SECTION 4 for more info on traders. Skipper Q: Who is he? A: An old derelict who lives by collecting trash. Q: Where do I find him? A: Wandering around the junk pile. Q: How do I deal with him? A: Unbelievable as it seems, this bum can actually help your team. Offer him any junk item and in return he will give you a keycard to Deidranna's secret research facility in Orta (see: General & Walter). How he came by the card is simply beyond me ;) TIXA (J9) not shown on the map until you talk to Jake in Estoni or Matt in Alma NON-HIRABLE NPCs Warden, Brewster HIRABLE NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Dynamo, Shank Warden Q: Who is she? A: She is in charge of the prison here. Q: Where do I find her? A: In her office at the end of the right wing of the main building. Q: How do I deal with her? A: I don't think it is possible to talk to her, she attacks when she sees your team. So just kill the bitch. When you clear the sector (including the basement) you may find your captured mercs here. But of course no one on your team was taken prisoner :) There are also 2 jailed NPCs here that can be hired. Brewster Q: Who is he? A: He is the unfortunate Warden's hubby. A good reason to feel like this, don't 'cha think? Q: Where do I find him? A: In the small house in the lower right corner of the compound. Q: How do I deal with him? A: Sneak past the guards into his house (use stealth and/or wire cutters) Brewster will tell you how to surprise the Warden off duty and will also give you the key to her office. There you will find 2 red buttons. The one on the left sets off the alarm and the one on the right releases tear gas inside the building. Put the gas masks on before pushing it and then eliminate the dazed guards ;) ALMA NON-RECRUITABLE NPCs General, Sergeant, Auntie, Matt (head miner) RECRUITABLE NPCs (see appropriate chapter) Conrad General Q: Who is he? A: He is one of Deidranna's generals, and one totally devoted to his employer. Q: Where do I find him? A: In the training facility, AKA the Military Academy (H13) Q: How do I deal with him? A: If you talk to him long enough, he will disclose the location of Deidranna's secret research facility in Orta. Visit this place with a strong squad for lots of quality equipment. See also: Walter & Ernest. Sergeant Q: Who is he? A: Another fine representative of Arulco's armed forces. Q: Where do I find him? A: Also in the Academy (H13) Q: How do I deal with him? A: Unlike the General, this soldier can actually think. In fact, the Sarge wants to desert the army. He will even offer you his rocket rifle as a token of good will. You must find the Sergeant really quick (possibly using stealth) and speak to him before anyone pushes the red button nearby. You can also position one of your mercs right before the button so that no one can touch it. The enemies will run about - you know what to do. If any soldier hits the red button, Sergeant's RR will explode and the blast will wound him. Bandage him if this happens (but of course it won't) Talking to the Sergeant will also increase loyalty in Alma. Auntie Q: Who is she? A: A dweller concerned about her town's safety. Q: Where do I find her? A: In her house in I14. Q: How do I deal with her? A: She will ask you to kill the bloodcats, which have long plagued the town. In order to fulfil her request you will need to wipe out the bloodcat den in I16. Send a well-armed squad there and when done talk to Auntie again. Alma's loyalty will go up. Remember to pick up the animal parts and sell them to the appropriate trader (see: Micky) See also: SECTION 8 for hunting tips BALIME NON-RECRUITABLE NPCs Eldin, Franz, Sam, Howard, Armand and Laura, Dave RANDOM NPCs Bounties (see appropriate chapter) Eldin Q: Who is he? A: He is the museum janitor (and security guard) Q: Where do I find him? A: Hmm... (L12) Q: How do I deal with him? A: Chat with him for a while to find out when he goes off duty. Don't go into the museum at night or Eldin will take you for a thief and attack you. Then everything is lost. The thing is, you cannot kill him no matter what. If you do, the town's loyalty will drop to zero and you will not be able to have militia there (see also: SECTION 5) But you need the Chalice of Chance. In order to steal it bring a full squad of mercs to the museum by day. When Eldin leaves the display room block his passage so that he cannot enter the main lobby or return to the exposition. Go into his office and switch off the alarm, then take the Chalice. Make sure Eldin doesn't see you walking out with the artifact. Another way is to sneak into the museum at night, disable the alarm and decamp with the Chalice, avoiding Eldin. Make sure to bring the Chalice to Estoni afterwards, possibly stopping in San Mona on the way ;) See also: Yanni & Kingpin Franz Q: Who is he? A: He runs the electronics store. Q: Where do I find him? A: Behind his counter (L12) Q: How do I deal with him? A: He sells electronics and buys some items. Among his selection noteworthy are the video camera, needed for Madlab's robot (see: Madlab & Robot) and the components used to make the X-ray detector (see: SECTION 4 - WEIRD ITEMS) See also: SECTION 4 for more info on traders. Sam Q: Who is he? A: The owner of the hardware store. Q: Where do I find him? A: It's your guess (L12) Q: How do I deal with him? A: He sells various items but does not buy anything. Sam also has the video camera. See also: SECTION 4 for more info on traders. Howard Q: Who is he? A: Yet another Alma merchant. Q: Where do I find him? A: In his drugstore, of course (L12) Q: How do I deal with him? A: You can get medical equipment here but Howard will not take any of your items. See also: SECTION 4 for more info on traders. Armand and Laura Q: Who are they? A: A rich spoilt couple, friends of Deidranna. Q: Where do I find them? A: In their mansion in L11. Q: How do I deal with them? A: Armand is a man both affluent and influential. Take advantage of his first quality by threatening him and be sure to mention his wife ;) He will give you $10K to leave her alone. Dave Q: Who is he? A: The service station manager. Q: Where do I find him? A: He is just east of Balime (L10) Q: How do I deal with him? A: Dave has a Hummer to sell. Give him the money he wants and you can take the car next morning. He will also refuel her for free, if he has gas. See also: SECTION 4 for info on vehicles ORTA (K4) not shown on the map until you talk to General in Alma NON-RECRUITABLE NPCs Walter, Ernest Walter Q: Who is he? A: He is the head scientist of the secret research facility here. Q: Where do I find him? A: Inside the compound. Q: How do I deal with him? A: There is more to this building than just the ground floor. The hitch is how to get inside. You can bribe Walter with around $20K and he will open the basement door. You can kill him afterwards to get your money back. If you have the keycard from Estoni (see: Skipper), you can use it on the door instead. You may also use explosives to blow a hole. The basement is where the fun begins. Make sure to bring gas masks, unless you like mustard ;) Ernest Q: Who is he? A: Another scientist putting Deidranna's twisted plans into life. Q: Where do I find him? A: In the left part of the vault, in one of the small rooms behind a locked door. Q: How do I deal with him? A: Once you've eliminated the security, talk to Ernest. He will open the door to the armory if you give him about $20K. Gee, they all must have been underpaid ;) As with Walter, you can reclaim your cash by putting him to a long-deserved sleep. Ernest will also open the door if you keep threatening him. MEDUNA NON-RECRUITABLE NPCs Elliot :), Joe, Deidranna (duh!) Elliot Q: Who is he? A: Deidranna's thoughtless personal assistant. Unless you skipped the cut- scenes (and missed a great deal of fun) you should be pretty familiar with him by now ;) Q: Where do I find him? A: He should be in the Palace (P3) or rarely in the underground shelter there. Q: How do I deal with him? A: About the only thing you can do is to put an end to his miserable life. Kinda felt sorry for him... I guess I liked poor Elliot after all ;) Joe Q: Who is he? A: Queen's Chief Security Officer (or something) Q: Where do I find him? A: If you decide to take the Palace (P3), you will encounter him in the SW corner with the Queen herself. You have to find them fast, otherwise Joe will retreat with Deidranna into the bunker. Q: How do I deal with him? A: Joe is very tough, but you need to waste him. Or you can pay him off and thank for his sudden change of heart. Deidranna (at last!) Q: Who is she? A: Please tell me you're joking ;) Q: Where do I find her? A: If you are quick in assaulting her residence, you can catch her in the SW corner of the Palace (P3) with Joe. No, it's not what you think... ;) If you don't get there fast enough, they will descend into the bunker underground and you will have to hunt her down there. Of course she won't be alone (now can't you really think of anything else?) The secret entrance to the bunker is the fireplace in the room with the piano. There is also an easier way to find Deidranna, which obviates the need to storm the Palace. Go into the maze (gardens) in O3 and find a remote there. Obviously, it must have been lost by Elliot ;) Once you have the device, use it on one of the 4 statues nearby. Enter the vault and proceed N. You should surprise the Queen in the Throne Room. Either way you choose, you will need a good explosives specialist with a metal detector. Q: How do I deal with her? A: Oh well... If you don't know how to deal with Deidranna, then how did you get this far??? RANDOM LOCATION NPCs These NPCs are randomly placed across various sectors of Arulco. Their location is different each time you start the game. However, there are some clues for finding them. Madlab, Mike, Micky, Devin, Carmen, Bounties Madlab Q: Who is he? A: He is a scientist who had worked for Deidranna, but escaped after finding out her cause. Q: Where do I find him? A: He can be found in a non-town sector after Deidranna finds out about his leave. He is usually somewhere in the upper half of the map. Madlab is hiding in a secret partition of a barn. To access it you must activate a switch hidden in a cabinet in the adjacent farmhouse. Q: How do I deal with him? A: Madlab is working on a robot. He is willing to give you the droid, but it needs a rifle and a video camera. The camera can be bought in Balime at the electronic or tool store (see: Franz) or even taken from the museum there. The choice of weapon for the robot depends on how you are planning to use it. I recommend only top guns (e.g. the C-7), since a poor rifle will limit the droid's capabilities. The rocket rifle is also a good choice, but it cannot have an ID lock on it (see: SECTION 3 - RECOMMENDED GUNS) The weapon will be installed permanently, so choose wisely. Before giving the gun and the camera to the scientist make sure they are in perfect shape. Madlab will also give you the headset required to control the droid. If the robot gets destroyed, Madlab will build another one (not sure as I did not verify it) See also: Robot Mike Q: Who is he? A: Mike was the top mercenary in the previous two Jagged Alliance games. Apparently, he was hired by Deidranna this time. Q: Where do I find him? A: He always guards a crucial sector (e.g. a SAM site or a mine) as reinforcement of Deidranna's elites. Q: How do I know if Mike is around? A: After you seize 2 cities (Omerta and San Mona don't count) the Queen will have her little speech where she says something like "I'll give them a surprise they will not soon forget" You will then encounter Mike in one of your battles. Mike is a very tough opponent, but with proper tactics killing him should not be a big problem. He has a unique powerful rifle - kill prior to taking ;) (see: SECTION 3 - RECOMMENDED GUNS) Micky Q: Who is he? A: He was the cheesy arms dealer in JA: Deadly Games. Now he's changed to animals. What a relief! ;) Q: Where do I find him? A: In one of the bars in Arulco (Drassen, San Mona, Cambria or Grumm) Q: How do I deal with him? A: He buys only bloodcat parts. Pick them up and sell if you manage to kill those beasts. See: SECTION 8 for hunting tips. See also: SECTION 4 for more info on traders. Devin Q: Who is he? A: An explosives dealer. Q: Where do I find him? A: In one of the bars in Arulco (Drassen, San Mona, Cambria or Grumm) Q: How do I deal with him? A: He sells all things that go "boom" (and their accessories), but doesn't take anything. Devin can be later recruited (see: HIRABLE NPCs). However, in such a case he will give up his trade. So it is better to use him as an explosives retailer instead. See also: SECTION 4 for more info on traders Carmen Q: Who is he? A: He is an international bounty hunter pursuing his prey in Arulco. Q: Where do I find him? A: In one of the bars in Arulco (Drassen, San Mona, Cambria or Grumm) Q: How do I deal with him? A: Carmen will ask for your help in finding some criminals at large (see: Bounties) He will give you a diskette with info on the suspects. If you meet any of them, kill them and cut their heads off, then bring them as proof to Carmen. He will split the reward in half ($10K per each head delivered) However, he does not pay immediately. Give the head to Carmen and meet him in the bar in Drassen after one day. There you will get your share. See also: SECTION 4 for more info on traders Q: How can I cut off the criminals' heads? A: Use either a machete or a combat knife. Put it in your main hand and right click to bring up the knife cursor. Click on the dead body of the bounty. You may have to try a few times because only one of the squares will let you cut off the heads in some circumstances. Q: I cut the bastard's head off, but now I can't find Carmen anywhere! A: He is always in one of the bars. It he is not in the bar you enter, talk to some NPCs and they should tell you of his whereabouts. Q: I forgot to meet Carmen in Drassen! Is my reward lost? A: No :) Other NPCs will tell you where Carmen is. Better yet, he may pay you more than once for the same head because of a bug (see: SECTION 9) Bounties Q: How do I spot a bounty? A: The bounties are always disguised. Their names and looks are altered. But an observant Commander like yourself should notice that in some cases the faces of certain NPCs and the bounties' mug shots on Carmen's diskette are quite similar. Another clue is that the bounties are not chatty and cannot be hired. If you are still unsure, attack the suspected person and see if his/her name changes to anything else (save your game first!) If it does, this is one of the bounties you are looking for. After killing the criminal cut his/her head off (it may take several tries) and bring it to Carmen. The bounty's head will be described with his/her alias. But beware of killing innocent NPCs! (see: SECTION 5 - LOYALTY) Q: How to take out the damned criminals? They kill my mercs! A: You have to be extremely careful in approaching the bounties. All of them are well armed and dressed in best armor. Always "ALT+S" before trying to kill one. This will save you much stress and often the lives of your mercs. Sometimes a shot in the head from point- blank range (using a good gun) or a burst will give you the edge - provided that the bounty will be injured seriously enough not to fire back. Another good idea is to shoot the bounties while they are inside buildings. Wait for the suspect to get into a house or make him do so by exchanging places. Have your mercs lie outside under the windows and facing the bounty (he will not see them), then move one merc as far from the house as possible, but so s/he can see the bounty inside. Have this merc lie prone and/or take cover if possible, but s/he still has to see the suspect. Now shoot at the suspect with one of your mercs. It can even be a merc who doesn't see him, although s/he will obviously miss. The suspect will attack back, hopefully spending his whole turn to fire at the far-away merc - the only one he can see. The bounty will most possibly miss all of his shots. Then it's your turn. Crouch the mercs waiting outside the house - at least one of them should be able to see the bounty now. Shoot the bastard inside dead, he won't interrupt. With a good gun one merc can kill the bounty by putting 2 or 3 bullets in his head. This technique requires some practice, but works every time. Remember to cut the bounty's head off and bring it to Carmen for your reward. As a bonus you get to keep the criminal's all personal belongings (good guns!) Alternatively, you may try some explosive weapons against the terrorists. However, in this case their equipment will be much damaged. Q: Who are the bounties and where can I find them? A: Except for the Druggist their locations are random. However, they are always found in the following towns: San Mona, Chitzena, Cambria, Grumm and Balime (never heard anybody find them in other locations) Keep this in mind when visiting the above places. Whenever you stumble upon a suspicious character there, chances are s/he is a bounty. Use the tips above to reveal their true ID. You may not be able to find all the terrorists, though: Impostor: Chris, impersonates a Canadian (ha-ha, Sir-Tech) Druggist: Charlie, bartender in Grumm (H2) Tiffany: Joe, impersonates a tourist MOM: Annie, impersonates a student Slay: Terry, impersonates a wheelchair case T-Rex: Jasmin, impersonates a moron ;)(or does he really?) HIRABLE NPCs These characters are different from other NPC in that they can join your team. Just like normal NPCs, they are found mostly in towns. Many of them are free or very cheap, although some are quite expensive. Recruiting is simple: be "friendly" until they have nothing more to say. Some NPCs will offer you their services on their own, with some you will have to use "recruit" when they've finished. As with ordinary NPCs, use your best negotiator; otherwise they may refuse to join you. With certain NPCs additional conditions must be met (e.g. completing a quest) After the recruitment they can be given orders just like regular mercs. And just like AIM/MERC personnel they have stats, skills, traits and preferences. Here is a list of all hirable NPCs found in Arulco with their locations, prices and usefulness: Ira, Dimitri, Carlos, Miguel, Skyrider, Hamous, Devin, Vince, Iggy, Maddog, Dynamo, Shank, Conrad, Robot See also: SECTION 1 for info on specialists Ira Underground rebel base in Omerta (A10); free She can be recruited right after Fatima introduced you to Miguel. Ira will be your guide in Arulco, providing interesting info on the country along the way. She is a good trainer and an average medic, but useless in combat (very low MRK) I also use her as a spotter and a mule ;) Dimitri Underground rebel base in Omerta (A10); free He joins after Father from Drassen arranged food for Omerta. Dimitri sometimes forgets his orders. He will make a good mech and can even be a sniper after training DEX with MRK (see: SECTION 2) He is also an excellent thrower. Carlos Underground rebel base in Omerta (A10); free He will join after you take 5 cities (Drassen, Chitzena, Cambria, Grumm and Alma) Average trainer and a strong thrower, but poor aim. Miguel Underground rebel base in Omerta (A10); free He will ask you to find Father in Drassen, who can provide food for the rebels. Afterwards you can recruit Dimitri. Like Carlos, Miguel will join after you take 5 cities (Drassen, Chitzena, Cambria, Grumm and Alma) The rebel leader is a top militia trainer and a good marksman with LVL6. Skyrider See: OMERTA & SECTION 7; free apart from the flight charge Hamous Random road sector between Drassen, Cambria and San Mona; $250/day He has the ice-cream truck. If you want to use it, you have to hire him. But once the truck is yours, its previous owner can be dismissed. He only shows up once, so don't waste this chance to get the vehicle. Hamous himself is rather useless. See also: SECTION 7 for info on vehicles Devin One of the bars in Arulco (Drassen, San Mona, Cambria or Grumm); $800/day He sells explosives and cannot be recruited immediately (business affairs?) It is better not to hire him and have a steady source of grenades and other stuff instead. Besides, though Devin is a top explosives specialist (what did you expect?), he is slow and has a low MRK. See also: SECTION 4 & 6 Vince Cambria Hospital (F8); $500/day In order to recruit him you cannot open any crates in the hospital storehouse. You also must bring Joey home (Cambria's loyalty must be around 100%) Vince is the best doctor and a good trainer, but his abysmal MRK and AGI exclude him from any combat. See also: Steve Iggy Usually in San Mona, the bar above the Shady Lady (C5); $1,95K/day He appears after your encounter with Mike. Apart from the rocket rifle he also has multiple abilities. Iggy is a HW expert, an average mech and a mediocre medic. His other assets are high MRK, LVL5 and top vitality. Maddog Wandering around broken fuel pumps in Estoni (I6); free He has a CAWS shotgun. Maddog is a good mech with top vitality, but his poor aim makes him hopeless in battle. Dynamo Tixa prison dungeon (J9); asks for $50/day, but if refused joins for free His brother Matt in Alma will ask you to rescue him (see: DRASSEN - Head miners) You may need to try a few times until he agrees to join. Dynamo is an average mech, but slow and a poor shot. If you decide to keep him, you'd better do something about his health. Shank Tixa prison dungeon (J9); $20/day Bring him to Estoni and talk to Jake. Now you will be able to buy gas and refuel the chopper here. Shank himself is absolutely worthless. See also: Jake, Skyrider & SECTION 7 Conrad Alma training building (H13); asks for $5,5K/day, but if refused drops his price to $3,3K Hiring him is tricky; he may even get mad and attack you. A multitude of talents: top training and explosives, excellent MRK, average medic and LVL5 to boot. Only his price... Robot Random sector generally in the upper half of the map; free In order to get the robot you must find the missing scientist and bring him a rifle and a video camera. The robot can move and shoot like a human merc (it cannot reload) but it is slow and its stats are poor. However, it has a decent MRK (80) and high HEA. It also takes much less damage than your mercs when shot. A battered robot can be repaired by a mech. When employed properly, the droid can make a valuable addition to your team. The robot is only active when a merc uses its remote control, which excludes using any other headgear. See also: Madlab Section 7: VEHICLES Using vehicles will notably shorten the time of movement from one location to another. Not only will you get there faster, but also your team will be less tired after the journey. This aspect is very important in combat, as the mercs' condition is reflected in their APs. However, not all vehicles come free and some cannot be used to reach certain areas. Up to 6 mercs (a full squad) can be accommodated in any vehicle. This is done by assigning them to a specific means of transport in the strategic view. After reaching your destination assign the mercs to a squad again. Three vehicles can be found around Arulco: Helicopter To use the chopper you have to find its pilot (see: SECTION 6 - Skyrider) and clear the airspace by capturing (or destroying) the SAM sites. Once you achieve this, you can dispatch your team just about anywhere by air. It takes only 10 minutes per sector to travel. For his service Skyrider charges a fee which depends on the distance. Also, the helicopter needs to refuel after each journey, either in Drassen or later in Estoni (see: SECTION 6 - Jake & Shank) This operation is performed automatically. While airborne avoid travelling thru unsafe sectors. The helicopter will get hit and eventually shot down by SAM missiles, which additionally induces a bug (see: SECTION 9) Flying the chopper is definitely the fastest way to move a squad over long distances, though not precisely the cheapest one. Ice-cream truck The truck can be found in a random road sector between Drassen, Cambria and San Mona. To get hold of it you need to hire its driver (see: SECTION 6 - Hamous) Driving is restricted to roads, but it takes just half an hour per sector. This vehicle only shows up once, so don't waste the opportunity to acquire it. Hummer This civilian version of the famed military Hummvee is every man's dream :). And it is waiting for you east of Balime, in L10. All you have to do is pay $10K to the guy there and pick up your car on the next day (see: SECTION 6 - Dave) Unlike the real Hummer, this one can travel only along roads. And I certainly *don't* like this! Driving takes half an hour per sector. The truck and the Hummer need gas, which is scarce in Arulco. Several cans can be found in non-town sectors and more can be bought from Jake after rescuing Shank (see: SECTION 6 - Jake & Shank) To refuel the car put a can into the merc's hand, then right-click and left-click on the vehicle. You can check how much gas there is in the tank by moving the cursor over the two bars in the vehicle's picture. One of the bars represents the car's condition (can be repaired by assigning a mech), the other shows the amount of gas left. When you run out of juice while traveling, you will have to abandon the vehicle (you can still pick it up later) To avoid such surprises always fill 'er up before the journey and have a spare can on hand. Enemy encounters while in a vehicle will proceed in the normal manner. But if you withdraw your team from the battle, the car will be left in that sector. Ground vehicles can be also boarded in tactical by "CTRL"+ left-clicking on them. Section 8: MISCELLANEOUS TACTICAL TIPS 1. Unless you have a specialized well-equipped night-ops squad, avoid attacking by night at all costs. These encounters are very hard, especially in the beginning of the game. 2. Always shoot prone taking a good cover, thus minimizing the enemy's chance to hit you. 3. Always finish off those "critical" enemies. While they don't seem dangerous, they can still make a very lucky shot or even surprise you with a LAW! 4. If after movement you don't have enough APs to shoot, don't forget that you can always run in combat. Running uses less APs (and more energy) than walking, which can give you the chance to make that crucial shot. 5. Always remember to quick-save and to reload your guns whenever the game enters real-time during a battle. This can save your ass on many occasions. 6. In an enemy sector move on stealth mode to avoid being spotted (especially in real-time) Crawling, camouflage, high LVL and the stealthy trait add to your sneaking skill. Make a good use of smoke grenades. When you discover the enemy's position, most of the time you will also gain AGI. 7. Keep everything in perfect shape. Use only top condition guns, attachments, equipment, etc. This does not apply to explosives and grenades (they can also be repaired!), although beat-up items may not go off at all. 8. HP ammo works wonders against bloodcats. Don't bother with other types of ammo, unless it's a burst at a very close range. Use fast guns and don't waste APs on aiming. Someone suggested tear gas as a defense barrier while fighting the cats, with the masks on. It seems that the beasts attack only squads traveling on foot (not in a vehicle) Large groups of mercs should not have much trouble in exterminating the bloodcats, though it might as well turn into their carnage. Small teams stand no chance unless equipped with fast HP loaded weapons. Bloodcat parts can be sold to Micky (see: SECTION 6 - Micky) 9. Some items in the sector inventory may be grayed-out in the strategic view. This is either because your mercs can't pick them up (e.g. they were left in the store that closed for the night) or because they are owned by somebody else. If you try to take such things (in tactical) while the owner is near, expect trouble (yes, they will attack you) The trick is to pick them up while their holder is away and can't see you stealing his property. You can block his way with other mercs or move him out by exchanging places. However, this is not always possible. 10. Whenever you stumble upon a locked door, crate or locker, first check if it is not trapped. The merc may not discover the trap on his/her first attempt. Have your mech or explosives guy remove any traps before proceeding. Then see if you already don't have a key for it. If not, have a merc with high STR force it open or use a crowbar on it. Alternatively, a mech with a high PICK rating can pick the lock. Also the bomb dude can destroy the lock (but not open the thing) with a shaped charge. All these actions are performed by choosing a proper icon from the "open" menu. The merc attempting them must have the suitable items in his/her inventory. When you are still not successful, you can shoot at the thing until the lock gives way. However, this doesn't seem to work on all doors/crates/lockers. As a last resort you might try explosives, the LAW or the mortar - with extra care not to hurt anyone near (unless they are enemies) This only works with doors... you guess why ;) See also: chapters on specialists in SECTION 1. 11. Some advice on destroying the tanks. The LAW seems the natural choice, but also the mortar works well against armor. The drawback of this method is that the enemy will know the position of your squd the moment you fire. Another very effective technique is to plant a strong explosive right by the tank (the C4 is preferred here) This method requires superior sneaking skills and/or luck. Move under the cover of smoke, stay prone and crawl next to the tank. You may be attacked by its machine gun, so make sure to wear top armor. Leave enough APs to place the bomb and to get the hell out of there. It is best to use remote detonators; sometimes 2 explosives may be necessary. If you have nothing else on hand, you might also try regular grenades. They are far less effective, but will eventually do the job. And remember to save! 12. If any of your mercs are captured by the enemy, there are three locations where they can be taken. Until you conquer Alma, they are held in the Military Prison there (I13) Afterwards the POWs can be found either in the Tixa jail (J9) or the army station in N7, known as the "LAW cache" (you will know why once you get there :) This is also where they may be interrogated by the Queen herself (see: SECTION 4 - WEIRD ITEMS). But of course you will never surrender or abandon the battle, Commander! Section 9: PROGRAM BUGS NOTE: These bugs appear in version 1.03 US. I hope the patch will have most of these fixed. Well, maybe not all of them... ;) 1. In the Extreme Fighting Competition in San Mona, while in the ring, your opponent will sometimes start shooting at you in the middle of the fight. I believe this was not intentional, but there is not much to be done about it. You can either knock the boxer out the normal way (taking some serious damage) or reload a game and try your luck again. If you use any weapon, you will lose the bet and everybody will turn on you. There is also another bug. Incredibly, it' even worse than the previous one! It can happen that after giving your bet to Darren the fight will not start at all. If you leave the ring, your cash is lost. When you talk to Darren he acts as nothing had happened. Losing $5K this way is extremely annoying :( I suspect it has to do with killing the opponents in an earlier fight, instead of just knocking them out. This happened to me, and boy, was I pissed off not seeing these 15 grand every second night! 2. In few non-town sectors items will reappear once more some time after taking them. The respawning stuff seems to be random. This also happens in the mines: after collecting the nuggets new ones will appear in few days, but only once :( I don't know if this was meant to be. 3. After taking the items from a mine the town's loyalty goes down by 1% This is not so relevant, but I see no reason why it should happen. 4. When you don't meet Carmen on the next day in Drassen after delivering a bounty's head to him, he will pay you for this same head multiple times - whenever you find him. Nice compensation for the screwed EFC ;) 5. If the chopper gets hit for the third time, the game will crash and kick you out to Windoze(tm) It seems that there is a voice file missing. In order not to encounter this bug, don't fly over unfriendly sectors, and if you really have to, make sure there is only one en route (Skyrider will usually take the same way back home!) 6. Sometimes the mercs will move in a funny way, sideways and backwards, as with the "ALT" pressed. To remedy the problem, depress this key and quickly double-click around them. After some attempts they will walk normally. 7. On some occasions you may end up with duplicated items while picking up stuff from the ground. This happens when the merc's backpack is full and one hand slot remains empty, while trying to pick up more than one item. I'm not trying to suggest anything here, but... (wink-wink :)) Section 10: LINKS If this guide did not answer your JA2 problems, I strongly recommend visiting the following sites: Jagged Alliance Galaxy www.tacticalplanet.com/ja-galaxy Probably the best and most comprehensive JA site on the net, part of the Tactical Planet network. CW: Postcards from Arulco www.redrival.com/rakki/ja2 Excellent JA2 site with many funny accents throughout. FREELANCER: Your tactical source www.freelancer.ag.ru Very detailed stats of JA2 equipment and characters. Also lots of stuff on other tactical/RPG games (Fallout, X-COM, etc.) Magnum's JA2 Equipment Field Manual redrival.com/magnum Another very good source of item info. Official JA2 Website www.jaggedalliance2.com Many JA2 links and game info straight from the programmers (check out the secrets section) and of course: Sir-Tech Canada www.sir-tech.com Homepage of the creators of JA!