JAGGED ALLIANCE STRATEGY GUIDE CONTENTS: Page 1 Introduction Pages 1 & 2 Section 1 Game Objectives Pages 2 - 6 Section 2 Hiring,Firing & Dealing With Mercs & Natives Pages 6 - 20 Section 3 Game Tips Pages 21 - 23 Section 4 Breakdown of game items INTRODUCTION: Jagged Alliance is a combination Strategy,Role-Playing game with a touch of Adventure added in. It features turn based combat at the squad level much along the lines of XCOM. It's most endearing feature is the interaction between its characters. There are over 4,000 lines of spoken dialogue, much of which is highly entertaining. The dialogue is skillfully blended into the game, and the voice acting is terrific. One publication called it "XCOM with personality". Well put ! The combat is often a bit slow-paced and less "edge of the seat" than XCOM, but the personality part of the game adds something special that other combat games lack. Strategy Plus called it "addictive alliance" and applauded its innovation. PC Gamer awarded it an Editors' Choice award. And Computer Gaming World gave it 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars and described it as "truly a genre-busting product........must buy." On the down side there are some frustrating and un-realistic aspects to portions of the game play . The save game scheme needs to be sent out to sea. Version 1.0 is prone to crashes. You need to get the Version 1.1 patch asap and do not use smartdrv under any circumstances. Glitches aside, this is one heckuvva good game. And since it's a "first try" it will hopefully evolve into a much better one in subsequent incarnations. (A Head To Head offspring is already in the works). The primary purpose of this Strategy Guide is to help beginning players get started and shorten the learning curve. It is not intended to be a detailed and all encompassing FAQ. Enjoying the game right off the bat is the goal. And of course ultimately winning. Short and sweet. Winning at Jagged Alliance revolves primarily around Strategic Thinking,Combat Skills, Cash Flow & Resource Management. Now let's get to the meat of the matter. SECTION 1 - GAME OBJECTIVES: You must rid the Island of Metavira of Lucas Santino and his armed thugs. To achieve this you must eliminate the enemy in all of the 60 sectors on the map of Metavira. You start the game with only one sector "in hand" #60. "Milestone" objectives along the way are as follows: Day # 1 Find the "micropurifier". You will find this in the 1st sector you capture. I reccommend Sector 59. You must find the micropurifier to be able to resume Fallow Tree production. Day # 3 Secure the "Water Source". Capture Sector 29 to accomplish this. Capture Sector 30 to complete the re-taking of the entire water source. Day # 4 Capture "Brenda's Lab" Capture Sector 28 note: The enemy will attempt to re-capture Brenda's Lab and kidnap Brenda. This may or may not happen and is dependent on certain variables (some of which may be beyond your control). There are two paths to the game which diverge here depending on the outcome of the above. You continue to capture sectors regardless of which occurs. However, if Brenda is kidnapped, you will need to find & rescue her along the way, as she is a vital factor in the health of your income producing Fallow Trees. Day # 5 or later Capture the 2nd Factory This allows you to increase your Fallow Tree production as by now your first factory in Sector 60 is probably running at or near capacity. Later on: You must find the "Pomillia Flowers" and return them to Brenda. They exist in only one sector & they can be vital in your attempt to win the game. Also later on you need to: Capture the 3rd Factory Capture the Natives' "Sacred Burial Grounds" Capture the 4th Factory Find "Brenda's Journal" Find the Natives' "Sacred Headstone" & Ultimately Get Rid of Santino (and possibly save the sapling) SECTION 2 - HIRING,FIRING & DEALING WITH MERCS & NATIVES To accomplish all of the game's objectives, you will need to hire (and sometimes fire) Mercs. They are your only means of dealing with Santino and his thugs. This takes money. You start with a set amount of capital depending on the difficulty level you are playing. Starting amounts are as follows: Easy Level: $25,000 Normal Level: $20,000 Hard Level: $15,000 Mercs are paid a daily salary,Natives are also paid daily to act as "Guards" or tree "Tappers". You will find that your starting capital can be quickly eroded without a source of income. That source is the production from Fallow Trees captured in ensuing sectors. Money and personnel management is vital to your success in the game. Natives must feel secure that their lives are not in danger,and that they are being treated and paid properly. Mercs in addition to wanting money all have distinct personalities that can come into play. Some of these personality traits can be quite trying to you the "master of mercs". You are their employer, and like all employer\employee relationships, things are not just cut and dried. Some mercs don't want to work with other mercs, some will quit or demand more money if you fire one of their buddies. Personality conflicts and idiosyncracies are just as prevalent on Metavira as in the ordinary,everyday outside world. You may also find that firing mercs early in the game can have some very negative bearings on the proceedings. (For example: if you fire "Tex" he will bad-mouth you to all the other mercs.) You may also find that it is often better to "let" a merc be killed rather than firing him or her early in the game. However, if too many mercs get killed early in the game, other mercs may turn down your offer of employment on the grounds that they would have to be crazy to hire on with someone who keeps getting his mercs killed off in short order. On and on it goes. The majority of the best Mercs are too expensive to hire at the games onset, and many of the best ones won't work for you anyway, until you "prove" yourself. Almost all of the cheaper Mercs will be only too happy to work for you. But as in real life you generally get what you pay for, and in the case of "El Cheapo" mercs this is often the same. Some of these people are real misfits,from the word go. And most of them can't shoot worth a hoot. And Mercs that can shoot are critical to your chances of survival on Metavira. There are some "cheap" Mercs that will prove to be good team members with a little experience. There are also some medium priced Mercs that worth vastly more than their salaries would indicate. Below are some ideas to keep in mind when hiring Mercs and some reccomendations of specific ones to consider. Don't load your boat with Mercs the first day. Hire 4 or 5 at most to begin with. Most of the first sectors you will go after are not difficult enough to justify a full boat's worth of overhead. As you assemble your team, you will ideally want a final early game group that has 2 Mercs with good skills in each of the main skill classes. These skills are Marksmanship,Mechanics,Medical, & Explosives. (I prefer all of these to be decent shots or have high wisdom so that training will resolve the deficiency. I also want high Agility ratings so that they can move and act as a team with no laggards). Other important traits are high ratings in Agility,Dexterity, & Wisdom. Agility is directly related to Action Points. You want all high agility types in the field. If a merc has low agility, forget him or her for field duty. Low agility types will always be lagging far behind everone else in traversing the terrain. Dexterity seems to play into several equations. Reaction time,etc. Wisdom means smart Mercs learn fast when trained and don't do stupid stuff in the field. Experience Class as the manual will tell you is the most important in the game. However, in the beginning this is not an option that you can do a lot about. So concentrate on the above. Kills seems to be directly related to gains in experience class. Ivan is a 2, but when I finished the game he was a 5 with 90 kills under his belt going into the final day. You want at least one of the following in your employment by day # 4 : Category Reccomendation Comments Marksman Ivan $1,500 but worth every penny. a "must have". cheap at twice the price. Only speaks Russian, but it would be okay with me if he could only speak Swahili the way he shoots. Mechanic Vinny a good mechanic at a good price $385. needs a couple of canteens at all times. Those Brooklyn types can't hack the humidity. Medic Fox good $ value with high wisdom. She won't work the first day,but will arrive on day 2 if asked. $515 Explosives Fidel expensive at $1,550, but highest rated explosives guy in the game & good marksman. I would wait until Day 4 to hire him. Another canteen carrier. Jack of all trades Grunty good $ value & much better than his stats would indicate. Start with him. $490 Wolf a good mid-game choice --- a bit expensive at the start. $1,850 Budget Marksman Hector good $ value and learns fast. $410 Native Guides Elio is offered to you on Day #2. all are free but of limited value. They do however give you some interesting information on the history of each sector. Accept ELIO when offered to you, but allow him to be "killed off" the same day and a few days later you will be offered HAMOUS,who is a 74 mksman compared to Elio's 28 "Stay at Home" Medic,Mechanic Eli Can alternate between being an in house Medic and Mechanic. Can also alternate in the field if needed. I would not hire him until Day #4. $1,400 2nd premium Marksman Ice 2nd only to Ivan in this price range $1,300 add him when cash flow allows Other Possibilites Speck excellent in house only mechanic-budget price $365 Sparky in house mechanic - very cheap. $205 Jimmy very good in\out mechanic. mediocre shot $800. Hurl budget medic. decent shot. low agility $400 I'm sure there are probably other good possibilites in addition to the ones above, but these are ones that I have either personally used or in the case of a few of them----- have been reccommended by a number of other players. Mid Game Possiblities when you have a big positive cash flow Dr. "Needle" Kranhium Top Medic and can shoot $1,900 "Doc" Koolhan Very good Medic and can shoot $1,750 Rudy "Lynx" Roberts marksman supreme $3,300 Victoria Waters multiple talents $2,850 Mid-Late Game it only takes money, and lots of it "Magic" multi talented super star at a price $5,600 Leo Kelly $4,700 excellent marksman. good mech. "Scully" Very good all around (with an M16 rifle to boot) $7,500 End Game Mike when money is no object and you need the very best (and you might,as the final sector has more red- shirts than you can shake a stick at) $12,000 SUGGESTED MERC HIRING SCHEDULE DAY # EASY or NORMAL LEVEL NORMAL or HARD LEVEL 1 Ivan,Grunty,Vinny,& Hector Ivan, Grunty, & Vinny 2 Fox Fox 3 ----------- --------- 4 Fidel & Eli Fidel Later as cash flow permits Ice Eli, Ice, & Wolf or "Doc" Mid Game if needed see Other Possibilities see Other Possibilities below below note: if Ivan,Ice,& Fidel survive to the late game, they will be just as experienced as the "Heavy Hitters" ( and almost as Expensive as some of them,too !) note: The Easy or Normal Merc hiring scenario makes your personnel handling simpler, earlier in the game than the more difficult Normal or Hard approach. By having Hector you can train him in marksmanship,and he is available as a replacement for a wounded Merc that might require a day as a patient. You acquire Eli sooner, and with him on board, you no longer need to have Vinny take days off to repair items, as Eli can do this on days wehn there are no wounded to tend to. This also frees up Fox to speed up her marksmanship training and to be available for missions as a replacement along with Hector. So all in all, though it costs more per day in the early game, it's much easier to get started with Easy or Normal team. The other scenario is much more difficult but is affordable even at the Hard level (which is really the only reason to use it if you are a beginner). SUGGESTED MERCS - SALARIES & STATS NAME Salary Hlth Agil Dext Wisd Medic Explos Mech Marks Exp. Cls Ivan Dolvich $1,500 94 90 95 83 5 40 10 91 2 Helmut "Grunty" Gunther 490 82 79 76 72 14 25 40 69 1 "Vinny" Massimo 385 73 75 74 65 0 4 87 65 1 Hector Alvarez 410 79 84 88 72 6 17 38 61 1 Cynthia "Fox" Guzzman 515 77 85 100 76 60 8 15 54 1 Fidel Dahan 1,550 88 83 64 71 3 97 6 85 2 Dr. Eli Summers 1,400 81 73 58 77 70 0 65 49 2 "Ice" Williams 1,300 90 88 87 71 0 0 35 86 2 OTHER POSSIBILITIES "Wolf" Sanderson 1,850 87 73 84 74 44 32 48 74 2 Dr. Ahmad "Doc" Koolhan 1,750 74 77 61 83 83 0 3 66 2 Rudy "Lynx" Roberts 3,300 81 79 86 71 23 50 19 99 3 Victoria Waters 2,850 79 85 72 85 16 28 90 80 3 Col. Leo Kelly 4,700 95 87 91 81 13 0 67 94 4 Earl "Magic" Walker 5,600 90 99 88 80 14 22 91 93 4 Robert "Scully" Sullivan 7,500 90 90 96 93 36 58 61 91 5 Mike 12,000 97 95 94 96 67 97 98 99 8 SECTION 3 - GAME TIPS: (in no particular order)The following should help you get "rid of the red-shirts" (and hopefully some of the game's frustrations) CAPTURING SECTORS Capture 3 sectors every day possible. This will do more for your cash flow than anything else in the game. (example: if your overhead per day is say $8,000 and you are able to capture 3 sectors instead of 2 for two days. you will have 6 sectors, (and their income-producing trees) for a overhead cost of $16,000 as opposed to 4 sectors at the same cost of $16,000. Thus you have saved a full day's overhead of $8,000 (assuming only 2 sectors captured per day). This adds up to big bucks as time goes by. (note: to do this requires adequate combat skills ----- which is up to you to learn and learn fast. If you have early difficulty picking this up ----- it is best to replay perhaps the 1st 3 days worth of sectors until you've gotten the knack than to plunge ahead after having gotten off to a bad start. Yes, this means starting the game over, and possibly over again, and this is of course a total pain in the neck, but this game can get you far behind the eight ball in a hurry---- making catch up later on very difficult ------ so believe me "practicing" & polishing your combat skills right off the bat ----- will make the game much more enjoyable later on. Capturing 3 sectors in a day is actually easier early on than later---- if you have the necessary skills. Many days of course this is just not possible. But another thing you can do is finish the 1st two sectors and go into the 3rd sector, kill as many of the enemy as possible, and retreat before dark (you must be back in a "friendly" sector before 7:00 p.m. or the game will wound and/or kill some or all of your mercs "....while retreating"). The enemies killed in a sector even though the sector is not captured will not be there to harass you the next day ------- thus speeding your capture of the sector. Another important thing to know is ------- don't waste a lot of time picking up things in sectors until the sector is captured. This is very time-consuming . And just as important is --------- don't waste valuable time after the sector is captured trying to pick up every known goodie ------ get only those you really need (which will be most of them the first few days) and move along rapidly to the next sector. If worst comes to worst you can always have your mercs traverse through and pick up some goodies on the way to somewhere else in later days. (And speaking of cash flow, for a moment,after you have your basic team in hand build a POSITIVE cash flow of $4,000 - $5000 before making any further major expenditures. The reason for this is quite simple. The early game seems to try to lure you into the feeling that you have the cash situation well in hand, before it throws the next monkey wrench in your lap. Forewarned is Forearmed.) Where you enter a new sector FROM, is often important. Look at the sector map to get some idea of the lay of the land. You normally will want at least a little nearby cover to use in your advance. Advancing across vast open spaces is often an invitation to disaster. Sometimes where you enter from can greatly affect the difficulty of the sector. Sector # 38 is classic example of this. Most of the places you can enter this sector have a lot of open space to cross, and there is a guy with a shotgun here that can do major damage to your mercs caught out in the open with little cover to protect them. This can quickly become one big nightmare. On the other hand if you enter this sector in the NW corner coming from the SW corner of S-28 you have a small building to shield your entrance and then a line of trees to follow while moving South. The guy with the shotgun has lost his open spaces long-distance shooting advantage and the sector becomes pretty much of a quick and easy proposition. Sector 39 which I call the "3 Bridges Sector" is another example. If you enter this one anywhere East of the river, you will have to cross at least one of the bridges to get anywhere. And bridges are a constant source of enemy "booby traps" throughout the game. This sector being no exception. But if you enter S-39 from the South or North West of the river, and stay far to the West side of the sector, you will probably never have to cross any of the bridges, as the enemy will likely come to you. So look before you leap. And yes ,make a conscious effort to make the enemy come play where its advantageous to you and not vice versa. Avoid the Jungle,bushes, and bridges that the red shirts love to lure you into. This is not always possible of course, but do your best to make him play on your turf, not his. SECTOR SCHEDULE - A Plan for Capturing Sectors in a Scheduled Sequence You Begin the Game With Sector # 60 DAY # SECTOR # COMMENTS 1 59 Find the Micropurifier. transfer 4 guards here. 50 Get your first big batch of trees. put the other 4 guards here. 49 "Warehouse" sector. Finish the day here. Stay in the sector til dark if completed as you won't have enough guards to transfer any here until the next morning and by staying you can defend it against any attacks. 2 48 "Booby Trap" Sector. Find the Shotgun but beware of the 2nd box. & avoid searching buildings 40 Traverse back to this sector and find .357 Magnum & 9mm pistols. 39 enter from the South only. Stay West of the bridges. this requires traversing. get out before 7:00 pm if not captured by then. 3 39 finish "3 Bridges" sector # 39 if not done so on day 2. 29 "Water Source" sector. enter from the South. stay in the long N/S corridor on the West side of the sector and "draw" the enemy out to you. The last enemy will probably require a trip into the bush. 30 Enter from SE corner of S-29. get the silencer & other goodies. 4 19 9mm w/silencer,TNT,Cash to find in this one. Takes some looking. 28 Brenda's Lab, take metal detector and search diligently. 5 38 enter from SW corner of S-28 stay near treeline bearing South. find .357 magnum pistol and Shotgun Ammo. 37 take TNT w/detonator in case Vinny can't pick lock,or keys not found 27 2nd Factory - use silencers only to capture if possible. this prevents "sabatoge" and saves lots of lost cash flow if successful. Any enemies located must be whacked in the same turn or they will alert the others, who will in turn start the sabatoge process. note: there is around $4,700 in hidden or sometimes obscurely located cash in these opening sectors (that I know of). Find it and your cash situation will be further enhanced. Cash finds can occur from time to time throughout the game. So keep your eyes open & go get the greenbacks. This should get you off to a good start in sector capturing (and cash flow). The rest is up to you. AFTER CAPTURING A SECTOR note: "linked sectors" are not possible if a body of water separates the sectors that are linked. ALWAYS PROTECT A CAPTURED "EXTERIOR" SECTOR WITH 8 GUARDS. Don't believe anyone who tells you that less will suffice,it may but don't bet on it , as I have seen sectors with 8 guards re-captured by the enemy,and more than once. Guards are cheap, save money some other way. DON'T GO TO THE NEXT SECTOR UNTIL ALL GUARDS ARE TRANSFERRED AND HAVE ARRIVED. (unless you feel it necessary to race to Brenda's Lab or some other vital sector to save the sector from an imminent attack) TRANSFER GUARDS IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CAPTURE OF A SECTOR this stipulation may help avert an "ENEMIES NEARBY" attack, and even if they don't avert it,your team is already in the sector and can join in the battle and eliminate the enemy. note: "enemies nearby" attacks almost always seem to happen after you have captured a sector and are either waiting for guards to arrive, and\or searching the sector for goodies. The frequency of these kind of attacks seems to be influenced by whether or not you have ordered in new guards for the sector in a timely manner after its capture and at other times seems to be influenced by how well you are doing that day ------ as in -----if you are mopping up and capturing the sectors in short order ------- it seems to be a way of slowing down your progress towards another sector. When the "enemies nearby" status initiates, you will once again be encumbered by action points and have to battle the incoming enemy to rid the sector one more time of the enemy. What further distinguishes this kind of attack from an ordinary "sector attack by the enemy" is that the guards you have in the sector with you, and any guards in transit that arrive prior to your disposing of the enemy will actually join in the battle with you . Each group,guards,mercs,& enemies receiving a turn at a time until the situation is resolved. This does add an interesting and fun element to the game even though it does seem to be clearly designed as a way for the enemy to hamper your progress when you are doing "too well". SECTOR ATTACKS BY THE ENEMY the majority of sector attacks by the enemy seem to take place late afternoon, or shortly after you capture a new sector. The frequency of attacks seems to be often related to how well you are doing in the game. If it's only 3:00 pm and you've already captured your 2nd sector of the day, chances are the enemy is going to go on the warpath --- real soon. I've also seen attacks take place in the morning --- but almost always in this case----- if you captured your 1st sector of the day early in the morning, instead of the more usual 11:00 am to Noon. At least one or two enemy attacks per day seems to be the standard, no matter how well or poorly you are doing. Attacks most of the time seem to be against vital sectors, as in sectors with labs,factories, lots of trees, or in sectors adjacent to the aforementioned. Most attacks of this nature seem to be unsuccessful (other than killing off some of your guards). With most resulting in no more than the death of 4 guards. However, some can be successful even if you have 8 guards. Attacks against Brenda's lab S-28 and some of the sectors in "Lucasland" can be particularly virulent. resulting in the deaths of all 8 of your guards and then of course any and all tappers you may have employed in the sector in question. Don't transfer guards across water unless absolutely necessary. Move them around by land. If you ignore this, you may very well lose some of your guards in transit to drowning or Metaviran reptiles. Pick up and search\find ALL goodies AFTER you capture the sector. This will save your time and much needed action points for when you need them - combat with the enemy. The only exceptions to this stipulation are obvious, such as when you see an item that you need NOW. (more ammo,etc.) Pick up only those items, that you really need, and be quick about it, it's much more important in most cases, to push on to the next sector, and beat the cash flow time clock, than to waste time picking up the umpteenth box of .38 ammo, you don't really need. This loading the vests, and rearranging to cram in more goodies is one of the biggest time consumers in the game and severely impedes your progress. Know what you need in the way of old items, in advance. RECOVERING ITEMS - use the pg. down key to get to the overhead map view of the sector you are in--- look for flashing white objects -------click on one --- and the currently selected merc will go stand on it. Exit the map and have him pick it up. A note of caution: be sure that the route the merc will travel to get the Item will not take him into the water as you may lose your merc. Please also note that the map will only show objects in portions of the map you have explored. There may in fact be other objects that you have not been close enough to in your sector travels to show up on the map.You need to have someone scurry around the entire un-traveled parts of sectors to illuminate these objects. Buried or hidden objects will not show up either. Nor will objects in boxes or cabinets you have not opened. However, one of the most important aspects of the map use is that you may see flashing white objects which are obscured by trees or otherwise, that are NOT visible to you from the regular "on the ground" view. Very often these non-visible objects can be the most valuable "find" of the sector. Other "most valuable" areas often turn out to be small islands or peninsulas off the beaten path, or boxes hidden in the jungle. HIRING GUARDS For a good deal of the game, you will need to hire at least 16 guards (and sometimes 24) to occupy newly captured sectors and perhaps some extras to replace guards killed the previous day. Guards are needed in all sectors that are adjacent to enemy controlled sectors (not diagonally). Even if water separates the enemy sectors from your own this is still necessary. Later on when you have "safe" interior sectors you will often not need to hire new guards. "SQUARING OFF" BLOCKS OF SECTORS - TO REDUCE GUARD OVERHEAD The best way to cut down on guard overhead is to '"square off" or "fill in" your block of sectors. Then eliminate un-needed groups of guards. For example: if you have an enemy sector anywhere within your block, depending on where it is ------ it can often take 3 to 4 groups of guards to keep the enemy from taking over an adjacent sector. 3 sets of guards at $38 per guard = $912 per day in increased overhead. Multiply this problem by several times and you are talking thousands of dollars per day in overhead that can be reduced. Early in the game, there is not a lot you can do about this but by day # 8 or #9 you should be in a position to start eliminating a lot of these kinds of situations, and of course as your block grows in size you will not need guards in most of the interior sectors. You will always want some extra guards - ------ the 16 to 24 needed to expand outward and perhaps 4 extras guards to fill in during the day in sectors where enemy attacks have resulted in depletion of some of the existing guards. MERC'S ACTION POINTS - I personally think it is best to have all mercs move with Maximum Aim or at least Reserved Points . This allows you to Interrupt the enemies movement and return fire, before your next turn. If you choose to move any or all of the mercs further (thus nullifying these reserves) just click the mouse and off they will go to wherever you send them. This is a little annoying, but it is the safest way to assure that some or all of your mercs will be in an interrupt position. PS - it takes 2 action points to crouch. COMBAT TACTICS This one is pretty much up to you. Combat tactics seem to be a very "personal" thing, with people seeming to always have their own particular method of doing things the "right way". As a number of different approaches can often be "right", I'm not going to touch this one. "LINE OF SIGHT" You can use the F9 key to obtain a "line of sight" reading for each merc in regards to the enemy. I would not accept this as gospel. I have killed many "red shirts" that I could not "see" according to the F9 key. I have also missed many enemies that I could "see". I would use this simply as an aid, that's all. If you have what appears to be a do-able angle of fire, I would shoot, regardless of whether I can "see" the enemy in question. What this game begs for is a "Line of Fire" similar to XCOM. SILENCERS These are vital for capturing new factories and Lucas's lab without the enemy sabatoging the facility or in the case of Lucas's lab Brenda's Journal. Sabatoge of factory facilities means that there will be no production from the newly captured factory until 2 days of repair work has been done by Jack's men. This means two days of lost cash flow on any harvestable trees you own in excess of your currently producing factories capacities. They must be used exclusively in the capture of these sectors, with no other "noisy" weapons being used. This does not assure success, as you must also kill all enemies spotted prior to the next turn ( in theory this extra turn gives the enemy time to alert others and to put the sabatoge mechanism into action) You must also not be "spotted" by other enemies (usually out of windows) for the silencer only routine to be effective. Not all weapons can use silencers. Colt 45's will accept them, as will 9mm pistols,however regular .357 magnums will not. You must modify your .357's by merging a "chunk of steel" with them to produce a "modified .357 magnum pistol". The modified version will accept a silencer. As chunks of steel are not found in great quantities, I usually try to save them to use first on the .357 magnums, then later on the M-14 rifles. A modified .357 is perhaps the best all-around gun in the game, as it doesn't use as many action points as shotguns and rifles, but has an extended range that only seems to be exceeded by 12 guage Rifles,M14's , & M16's. This is a matter of personal perception and may not in fact be borne out by the facts ------ whatever they may actually be. COMBAT KNIVES FOR MERCS What seems like a pretty worthless weapon is actually an essential one in some cases. At least some of your merc's MUST have combat knives. Though of limited value,except for an occasional up close "hand to hand combat" type of situation, they play one very essential role in the game. THE MERC WHO GOES INTO DEEP WATER (and sometimes it is difficult to tell where deep water begins and ends) WITHOUT A COMBAT KNIFE IN HIS HAND,HAS A GOOD CHANCE OF WINDING UP SLEEPING WITH THE FISH ! AS IN DEAD ! IT TURNS OUT THAT THE WATERS OF METAVIRA ARE ABSOLUTELY TEEMING WITH MERC EATING EELS (SNAKES)! IN FACT YOU CAN LOSE MORE MERCS TO METAVIRAN REPTILES IN THE COURSE OF A GAME THAN YOU CAN TO THE "RED-SHIRTS" BOMBS AND BULLETS. So when deep water calls------- make sure that those mercs who are going to have to cross it------ are equipped to eliminate eels. Which brings me to what I call: THE SWIM TEST ( this is perhaps a more "fun" thing to do than anything else, although you may find out some useful info concerning some of the mercs aquatic abilities) Mercs are also susceptible to drowning ----- some more so than others ---- and of course,except in rare cases no-one has bothered to tell you which ones can swim---- and which ones can't,and how good are they if they can. So in order to get some kind of clue as to their abilities, I devised what I call the swim test, which works as follows: If you are in a sector which has a lot of water ----- preferably next to a large body of water,or the ocean I suppose would be even better, AFTER CAPTURING THE SECTOR -- SAVE THE GAME. Equip all your would be swimmers with knives ----- so that you will know swimming is their problem, and not eels----- - and march them all off into the deep water. You will find out real fast, what's what. But also note that some merc items are extremely heavy ------ SPECTRA SHIELDS, being the worst offender, I have found. In fact I never let anybody go into any kind of deep water wearing a Spectra Shield,because I may never see them again. Test all of your mercs with their normal weight loads, then perhaps test them without heavy items, so forth and so on. I found, for example when I did some of this that Fidel and Vinny, had a real good chance (particularly Vinny) of not returning to dry land --- whereas Ivan----- seemed to be part fish. I also had very little trouble with any of the natives drowning ---- although I did not test all of them. THEN ABANDON THE GAME AND GO BACK TO YOUR SAVED GAME AND BACK TO PLAYING. CHASING ENEMIES INTO THE JUNGLE In a word --- Don't ! Try to lure them out into the open, away from where they want you to go. They seem to want to get you in the underbrush, where they can "cheat" and shoot thru places you seemingly can't. I've seen instances where one lone enemy was able to wound 3 of my troops from behind a bush, yet my 3 troops are shooting at him from virtually point blank range through the same bush and never hitting anything but limbs --- this may just be bad luck ------ but the poor end results remain the same. Avoid this kind of situation if at all possible. And if you are seemingly stuck in this scenario with no apparent means of retreat ------ it's time to pull out that precious grenade you've been hoarding for a rainy day, and "equalize" the situation. Particulary if there are 2 or more "red-shirts in close proximity to each other. MAGNIFY ITEMS - Right click\ ctrl REPAIR ITEMS - Toolkit in Mechanic's right hand. 1st item to repair in left hand. Top vest slot on down establishes the order or repair preference. He (the mechanic) needs to be "assigned" to Repair. USING CANTEENS - Go to the Inventory screen, pick up canteen, and apply to the mouth of the mercs "silhouette" in the middle of your screen. Click until content or the canteen is empty or the merc is out of action points. Watch your merc's Blue graph to see to what degree his thirst problem is being alleviated. note: both Fidel & Vinny seem to be constantly "thirsty" and therefore in need of water. I can only assume that there are other mercs in the game, which I have not used, who will have this same problem. When I use Fidel and\or Vinny, I have them carry all the canteens for the entire squad, (I found that the other squad members I used, seldom had this "thirst" problem). Thus they can both give canteens to other mercs when necessary, and have extras on hand to take care of their own problem. This also makes available extra vest pocket slots for the other mercs that don't have this constant dire need of drinking water. APPLYING CAMOUFLAGE - Use the exact same procedure as the canteen (except of course, the blue graph is not relevant here). and of course you apply the camo to his body not to his face. Apply the camouflage to your mercs at the beginning of the day BEFORE the mission begins. This eliminates the need for hauling the camo kit around on the mission. Have the guy with camo kit apply it to all the mercs that need it while you are "gearing up" in the morning. EXPLOSIVES Always send your explosives expert to get these and disarm them unless you're ready for "sick bay" at the hospital,or worse. This includes grenades, as some of them are "live". Always try to have a medic type nearby , so he can immediately heal your "expert" if his disarming fails. Even Fidel sometimes meets his match. The medic on-hand can save him from meeting his master. Grenades : nothing beats the plain old,ordinary grenade ------ this is the game's great "equalizer" ----- horde these puppies til you really need them ---- -- they can save the day--- when nothing else will. (particularly useful for disabling multiple enemies with one pop----- especially when they're safe as can be behind some of the game's seemingly "for enemy use only spectra shield bushes". TNT & Plastic Explosives: each of these must be merged with a detonator to become operational. Have your explosives "expert" do this in the morning "gear" sessions prior to taking to the field, as this will save much needed vest pockets. Live Plastic Explosives are a result of merging with detonators, but can be found already in this state. Since they no longer require merging, they only require 1 vest pocket slot. Mustard Gas Grenades are quite deadly and are almost as useful as grenades. It's probably best that the thrower and all your nearby mercs be equipped with Gas Masks. Tear Gas Canisters will disorient and befuddle the enemy, however they and Stun Grenades seem to inflict no lasting damage. One negative (in my opinion) of Tear Gas Canisters is that they tend to make the enemy run away, necessitating using up more action points in chasing them down. CORPSE EXPORT Pay for all burials. If you don't people will start quitting and demanding pay raises to stay, far more than offsetting the costs of the pine box. In this case it just does not pay to be a cheapskate. GOING IN BUILDINGS When possible, wait until sector is cleared of enemies. This will save a great deal of time. Many times you will find an essential key\keys needed for entering on a dead enemy. Use your WALL PROBE ,when necessary ,to determine if enemies are inside a building prior to entry. If no enemies are inside, there is no need to enter the building in question until the sector has been captured. And of course if enemies are inside, they must be eliminated before the sector is secure. Always have your Mechanic be the first to enter, as his lock-picking talents are often necessary. It's best to have him with full Action points prior to opening the door, this way he can open the door and be able to step aside and let your killer merc\mercs with full Action points,who you have stationed just behind him at the door take care of the enemy who is often lurking at,or near the door. If you don't use this procedure, Vinny may be a dead merc in very short order, or a very badly wounded one at best. Have your explosives expert (Fidel or whoever) open all the boxes, with the other mercs in the building at a safe distance. Booby-traps are a way of life on Metavira. USING EXPLOSIVES TO OPEN DOORS Grenades will open any WOODEN door. Be sure and throw the grenade AT the door, not at the foot of the door, as this will do nothing but waste a valuable grenade. note: regular fragmentation grenades only ------ stun grenades,et. al do NOT work. METAL doors require the use of other exlosives (grenades will not work). Live Plastic Explosives have one large advantage over TNT, and that is that's all you need to carry with you. TNT requires you to also have a detonator, which you then merge with the TNT. (see above about merging TNT and Plastic Explosives before starting the days mission). Wall Cabinets - look in all of these as many tend to have goodies ---- I suppose these could be classified as "medicine cabinets" as they tend to contain medicine kits,1st aid kits, and cloth rags (for molotov cocktails) MERGING ITEMS For most successful results always use your Mechanic or your Explosives guy (depending on what the items are) to perform "merging" operations. Generally this means your Mechanic., but anything to do with explosives is best handled by your explosives expert. To merge: put the item in right hand. put item to be merged in the "manipulation" slot just below the right hand, if the two can be merged, you will get a message asking if you want to do this. If you have a top of the line Mech or Expl guy the result will USUALLY be successful, Other than top of the line types often have very poor results. You can also use this "merging" to consolidate tool kits,med kits,lockpick kits,etc. If you are using a Vinny or Fidel or some other very highly rated expert, and the initial try doesn't work. Try again. It once took Vinny 3 tries to merge something for me. It's best to do all your merging in the early morning ---- "gear up" sessions. Some items to merge: Chunks of Steel: I personally prefer to use my chunks of steel , initially to merge with the first few .357 Magnum pistols I find ---- as this accomplishes two things. It converts the ordinary .357 pistol to a "modified" .357 magnum which has a longer barrel ---- making it more like a rifle, and at this point in the game ------- there are no rifles that I personaly have found-- ----- except for the 1st shotgun. And the 2nd thing it accomplishes is that it makes your .357 able to accept a silencer which is vital in taking over sectors with factories in them without the enemy dis-abling the facility for several days which can cost you a lot of lost cash flow. Later on I use newly found chunks of steel to modify M-14 rifles. Compound 17 (glue) there are likewise multiple uses for this item,just as there are for the chunks of steel, but I personally prefer to use the first of these to modify my "Spectra Shields"------ this then becomes a "Treated Spectra Shield" and this is the "piece de resistance" for bodily protection in the game. Both of the above need to be done by your Mechanic. Some fun things for your Explosives expert to create are: Molotov Cocktails: Merge Glass jar with tin of oil,then merge gasoline with the jar,then merge a cotton rag with the jar, and voila ! a molotov cocktail ! Ready to throw! Other cute things for your explosives people to make ( though of dubious value in terms of cost) are the: "Eagle" weapons: combo of gas can,cloth rag,tin of oil, and the various grenades or "canister" weapons. Resulting in: Eagle Fearball: use the grenade Eagle Dog: use the mustard gas grenade Eagle Screamer: use the tear gas canister Eagle Silencer: use the stun grenade Eagle Smokeball" use the smokeball note: I never personally used a smokeball that worked ------ so can't reccommend these at all. note: "Eagle" weapons are "cute" and entertaining but are basically the waste of a good grenade. DEALING WITH LAND MINES Get your Explosives expert with Metal Detector in hand in the lead. preferably a bunch of action points worth of steps in front of everyone else, and have him clear a path. Then have the others march (single file if necessary) in his footsteps. This advice is primarily intended for implementation in sectors where land mines seem to be everywhere, in most sectors this is an un- necessary,time consuming procedure. "JAMMED" GUNS This is one of the most "overdone" elements of the game. The number of "jammed" guns at times gets completely out of whack with reality. I once had 7 different "jammed" guns in the same turn. This only happened twice in the two times I have played the game (although one was in the final sector) , and may have been some one in a million type of occurrence, however, the incidence of "jammed" guns on a regular basis seems to be way beyond the borders of reality. After capture of sector --- try repeatedly firing them until they unjam ----- this works most of the time. The chances of this succeeding may be enhanced by having your mechanic do the firing. If all else fails leave the weapon in question for repairs with your "stay at home" mechanic the following morning To subvert this problem to some extent, it's best to have at least one and possibly two of your mercs carry an extra gun, that they may hand off to the merc\mercs with jammed guns. Late in the game when many of the items to be picked up are often duplicates of items already held in sufficient numbers in inventory, I tend to have my main "killer" mercs carry two weapons, preferably a modified .357 magnum pistol and either a M14 rifle,12 guage rifle, or 12 guage shotgun. This gives them both long range capability, and more killing power when needed. MERCS WHO WON'T FOLLOW ORDERS ONCE OBTAINING A "BEAD" ON THE ENEMY Fidel, amongst others, will refuse to follow orders once they feel that they have a "sure-fire" bead on the enemy. This can be a real pain, when you would like them to move to a better shooting angle, or some other reason of your own. Solution: simply take their weapon out of their hand, then they will follow your orders without further ado, then put the weapon back in their hand. No more problem. TRAINING MERCS TO IMPROVE THEIR STATS Put merc in training ----- select Marksmanship ( or whatever skill you wish to improve). If he or she has a wisdom rating of 70% or higher gains of 2-3 pctg. points per day of training are not un-common. So in a matter of only 5 short days, you've gotten a 10 + point gain in the skill involved. Then get them out in the field again to gain that other vital missing ingredient. Experience. HEALING WOUNDED MERCS At the start of the day change the status of wounded mercs you wish to leave behind and heal to "Patient" . Be sure that the status of your stay at home medic is on "Doctor". Put a Medical Kit in the Doctor's right hand. 1ST AID KITS Are only useful in lieu of not having enough Medical Kits. Better than nothing at all. MEDICAL KITS Your stay at home doctor needs one of these in his right hand. You should strive to have two of these in the field on missions. Two different Mercs should carry these in the event that one of them gets killed, or wounded so severely that they are unable to get around to perform their medical duties. ENEMY GRENADE ATTACKS These often happen at the very beginning of a sector when your team is tightly bunched together. The biggest clue to this possibility (enemy grenade attacks) is the sudden appearance of an enemy in very close proximity to your squad, who with one fell swoop can do massive damage to your guys health before they can spread out. When you see the nearby enemy in this type of situation, you need to take him out first, before giving any of the other enemies that you can see even a second thought. If all else fails, keep one of your men who has a grenade, with action points intact, so that you may grenade the nearby enemy , rather than risk a squad imperiling attack. GAS MASKS All your in the field Mercs need these babies ---- especially later in the game when the enemy starts barraging you with Tear Gas Canisters and Mustard Gas Grenades. SNIPER SCOPES Attach these to all of your rifles (including the 12 guage rifle) EXTENDED EAR Your lead Gunners need these for hearing the enemy at a distance. An Early warning system of sorts. This device fits in the slot which is normally occupied by your Merc's radio. Fear not, as only 1 radio is necessary per squad of mercs. SPECTRA SHIELD "The very latest in bullet absorption technology...........capable of withstanding the most powerful of handguns,reducing impact of most rifles & deflecting shrapnel with ease." Get your guys and gals each one these ASAP. (Kevlar Vests are the predecessor to these) When merged with compound 17, it becomes a "treated spectra shield". This is the best body protection in the game that has pockets. An "Ultra Shield" provides even better protection, but has NO POCKETS, thus it has more for end game use when pockets for inventory items is much less important for all mercs to have. CROWBAR Is needed for prying open boxes. However, there are many times in the game when your explosives person will not be able to open some of the boxes even with the crowbar "It's Stuck !" This is when your mechanic must then take the crowbar, and get the job done. A top-notch mechanic in the field, in addition to one doing repairs at home base is essential. Certain tasks, such as lockpicking, and some of the crowbar assignments, simply cannot be done by anyone other than a top-rated mechanic. note: although there are times when an ordinary non-mechanical merc may just need to have his "blue" indicator enhanced in order to successfully use the crowbar, a drink from the old canteen can provide a quick boost to his "blue" indicator. WOODEN SIGN POSTS located throughout the game can be read for possibly valuable information by magnifying them. MESSAGES (NOTES) Found throughout the game. These offer clues which are sometimes quite obvious ("S 36 D9" refers to Sector 36 Day 9). Other times they are in "code" and must be decoded. One is in Spanish. So forth and so on. Some give very useful information. But don't worry, if you're not a cryptologist or fluent in pig latin ------ the world won't end, and you can still successfully complete the game. CAMERA, & CASE OF BEER I know of no one, myself included, who has found any use for these particular items. "THE VIRUS" It will spread and continue to kill the Fallow Trees,unless an antidote is prepared . Seems to first occur around Day #16 (at least this was the timing the two times I played). POMILLIA FLOWERS These flowers can be used by Brenda to prepare an antidote for the "Virus" that starts killing the Fallow trees. They are only found in one specific sector. IF YOU FIND THE FLOWERS BEFORE THE VIRUS APPEARS The game will not recognize that you have already obtained the flowers, since it apparently does not look in your base inventory to see if they are there or not. This means that you should have one of your mercs take some of the flowers with them on the day's mission, after it has been announced that the "virus" has arrived. When he returns at the end of the day with the flowers, you should then be credited with having found them. When I first played the game I captured the sector with the flowers prior to the "virus's" outbreak, fortunately I had been forewarned about this problem, just to be safe I took some of the flowers back to base, and left 1 batch lying on the ground where I found them, in the event that the game would require me to actually go and pick up the flowers. This extra precaution does not seem to have been necessary, but might be worth doing, just in case, my first solution does not work for you. HEADSTONE Stolen from the native's burial grounds by Santino's henchmen. You are implored by Jack to find the headstone and return it to the natives. The implication is that "dire" things may happen if you don't find this headstone asap. As far as I could tell this is just more "smoke" to add to the urgency of the games goals. The headstone can be found in one of the sectors in Santino's stronghold area (NW portion of the sector map). YOU'VE READ THIS ENTIRE GUIDE & YOU STILL HAVE MANAGED TO GET YOURSELF IN A "LIFE OR DEATH"MONEY BIND: Last Gasp Solution: (This is great "trick" to play on "Jack"). REST EVERYONE for a day or however many days it takes to restore your finances. Resting mercs only receive 1/2 their normal salary. Thus the trees will produce and you will come out thousands of dollars ahead. ( I hope you've got 8 guards in every necessary sector before you try this) Jack will hate this tactic and will complain and tell you how "lucky" you were to survive the day with NO MERCS IN THE FIELD, but nothing really awful will probably happen other than a lost day or two and you'll be back in the chips again.( There is a chance that some of the natives may start quitting. "WHEN THE NATIVES ARE RESTLESS" - you may be forced to raise their pay. Offer them pay raises $1 worth at a time to determine the level of their discontent. This also applies to when you get the message NO WORKERS AVAILABLE.) AND IF YOU ARE REALLY DESPARATE , YOU CAN RESORT TO: GAME CHEATS & AIDS- One of the purposes of this guide is to give people ample information, so that they can play the game in its entirety without having to resort to cheats. I personally think that cheats can ruin a game. However, I realize that there are some who just cannot resist, there are also some who simply just don't have the patience (or in their minds,perhaps the time) required to play the whole game on the up and up, and of course there are some who just enjoy the combat and don't really care about the resource and money mgmt. part at all. So for those who simply must have a "cheat" for whatever reason, I list below the only ones that I am personally aware of. All of the below can be found on Compuserve in the Games Forum. I believe they are in the strategy section. These particular cheats or aids can also be found on the Internet. QHEAL.EXE is a cheat that allows you to heal your mercs wounds. It is by Jeremy Reaban. This cheat of course will take the "medical" part of the game and turn it to ashes, so I would not use this unless you just cannot be bothered with healing your troops and only really care about the combat portion of the game. There is also an editor JAEDIT15.zip ---- I have no idea about its merits or demerits. JAGCHT.ZIP has a list of all the items in the game along with an explanation of how to use them with UGE.EXE (Universal Game Editor) . Once again I am unable to comment on its respective good or bad points. JA Table of Mercs is an IBM\Word 6.0 Document which allows you to sort your mercs according to various skills. This is not a cheat, but is a very useful aid in examining Mercs stats. If you prefer spreadsheets,you can paste one of the tables in this document into the spreadsheet of your choice and sort any which way until your heart's content. And last, but certainly not least: SAVING YOUR GAMES Jagged Alliance has a very quirky save game scheme. Below are some tips designed to help you overcome the disadvantages inherent in the save game mechanism that comes with the game. KEEP EXTRA COPIES OF SAVED GAMES IN A SUBDIRECTORY YOU CREATE. Give it some obvious name like "Savecopy" or "Saves" or whatever suits your fancy. To save the day's game in progress to this subdirectory you will need to save the following files: QUICK.SAV,OFFICE.SAV, & DAY.SAV SAVE OFTEN: Even during turn-based combat--- you should hit Alt X and save the game, exit to dos and then re-start. this will save your days progress and leave you less vulnerable to crashes that will wipe out your entire day's progress. Save the game at the end of each sector you complete,before moving on to the next, Exit to Dos and copy these saved game files (quick,office,day) to your saved games sub-directory. Just prior to the end of each day (before 7:00 PM), save the game,exit to dos, and copy the files again to the same sub-directory. I know this sounds like overkill, but I have had the game crash several times after the "day" is complete but before I could save it in the "calendar" save game slot--- ---- thus losing an entire day or at the least the last sector's worth of work. The reason this unfortunate situation can occur is that the game DELETES the Quick.sav,Day.sav & Office.sav files when you complete the game day. This happens prior to your saving of the game at the Calendar, so if the game crashes in the interim --- you are just plain out of luck. ELIMINATE SMART.DRV and a large part of this problem will go away. I was told that eliminating QEMM and using a "clean" boot disk would eliminate the rest of the problem. That may be so for some, however in my case - ------ I then had to deal with an INVISIBLE MOUSE CURSOR after eliminating QEMM. So my "clean" boot disk meant I could'nt really play the game at all. I'm sure there was probably some way around this latest problem, but by then I was out of patience with the whole save game scheme anyway. Besides, once in the habit, I liked the idea that I had a safe way of saving my games and even a catalog of all the days of the game (see below). At the end of each "day" --- after I have successfully saved the game in a Game#.sav slot, I personally go to a sub-directory I have named "history". If I have just completed Day 7 for example, I make a new sub- directory under History, named DAY7 and then copy the day's game#.sav file to this directory------- this way I don't have a bunch of duplicate game#.sav files, and I know exactly which day is which. All of this is of course a total pain in the neck. However, replaying a lost sector or day, is an even bigger one. JAGGED ALLIANCE - GAME ITEMS WEAPONS & AMMO .38 Revolver .38 ammo Colt 45 .45 ammo Modified Colt 45 9mm Beretta pistol 9mm ammo .357 Magnum pistol .357 ammo Modified .357 12 guage shotgun 12 guage ammo 12 guage rifle (uses 12 guage ammo) M 14 Rifle M 14 ammo Modified M 14 Rifle M 16 Rifle M 16 ammo Modified M 16 Rifle Knife Combat Knife EXPLOSIVES Hand Held Grenade Stun Grenade Tear Gas Canister Smoke Bomb Mustard Gas Grenade Created by Merging Molotov Cocktail Eagle Smokeball Eagle Screamer Eagle Silencer Eagle Dog Eagle Fearball Live TNT (TNT + detonator) Live Plastic Explosives Plastic Explosives + detonator) OTHER EXPLOSIVES Mines Detonators for merging Plastic Explosives TNT ITEMS FOR USE IN MAKING EXPLOSIVES Gas Can Jar Cotton Rag Tin of Oil MERC EQUIPMENT Helmets Helmet Treated Helmet Kevlar Helmet Treated Kevlar Helmet Vests 2 pkt 3 pkt. 4 pkt. 5 pkts. Kevlar Treated Kevlar Spectra Shield Treated Spectra Shield Ultra Shield (no pkts.) MISCELLANEOUS Sun Goggles Gas Mask Radio Extended Ear Canteen Sniper Scope Camouflage Kit First Aid Kit Medical Kit Wall Probe Camera Metal Dectector Tool Box Locksmith Kit Compound 17 Gas Detector Chunks of Steel Silencer Crowbar OTHER ITEMS Case of Beer Notes ( approx. 8 different one found throughout the game) Door Keys Padlock Keys Pomillia Flowers Bra Rock Brenda's Journal Micro Purifier Alarm Clock (with transmitter detector) Antidote Sapling Torn Piece of Paper (several of these) THE END "THAT'S ALL FOLKS"