Strategy Guide - Guide for Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business
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This is the very preliminary version of the Jagged Alliance 2 FAq I've been working on. Right now the text version is very poorly formatted. I wrote it in Word and when I save it to text it came out very poorly. If you'd like to look at the Word version, check it out at: http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~bcr19374/JA_FAQ.doc Since this is the first version of the FAQ, I know there will be inaccuracies. Please let me know if you see anything that is wrong or questionable in the FAQ. The section on generating custom mercs is completely untested (at least by me), so if you have results either way, let me know about them. Finally, I got most of my material from this newsgroup, from posters with questions and those with answers. I gave credit where I could, but I admit I didn't keep very good track of who wrote what. Anyways, I don't really claim authorship of this document, so if you see something you wrote in here, don't think i was trying to steal it from you. Send me an email and I will properly credit you. Well, withou further ado (I really reccomend trying the .doc version)... Jagged Alliance 2 FAQ v1.0 by Brian Christopher Robinson email@example.com Section 1: Interface Q: How can I deposit cash that my merc's are carrying into my account? A: Simply get the money and click it on the "$" icon in your merc's inventory on the tactical screen. Q: Is it possible to unload weapons? As in, remove the current ammunition from them without putting a new clip in? A: Sure. Right click on the gun to get the info screen. Under the picture of the gun you will see a bullet that has a number like "10/15". That means the gun can hold 15 bullets, and currently has 10. If you click the bullet, you will get the ammo out of your gun. Comes in real handy when you have to convert between pistol and rifle clips. Remember that putting in the wrong kind of ammunition (pistol to machine gun or vice versa) costs ten APs in combat. Q: What do the red "?"'s mean on the strategic map? A: There are enemy soldiers there, but you don't know how many. Q: I heard that the random number generator saves some value so that you get the same results every time you reload a save. Sometimes this is true, but other times it is not. Why is that? A: In turn based mode, if you reload a save and make exactly the same actions, you will get exactly the same results. But if you make different actions, you will get different results because the random numbers are being used in a different order. In real time, however, the random numbers are constantly consumed to check on various things, so although the seed is saved, a very small amount of time will make a difference. Q: I can't get this damn door/crate open! What should I do? A1: Use a merc with high strength to try and force it open. A2: Get a merc with lockpicking or expert lockpicking, such as Gasket, Dynamo, or Maddog to try to open the lock, or a merc with very high mechanical skill. Preferably both. A3: Try a crowbar on it until your merc says it is useless. Then kick the door until merc says it's useless. Then crowbar again. Then kick again. Rest. Then repeat all actions again. Do this until the door is opened. You can pass crowbar to another merc and try this with him. Sometimes it takes 30-40 attempts. A4: You can use a shaped charge on the lock (little bomb that blows it up). However, you may still need to pry the door open. Q: Is there a way to close doors after opening them? A: Yes. Hold down the control (Ctrl) key while hovering the mouse cursor over the open door. The hand will go red and will say, "Opened door." Click, and you will get the option to close the door. Q: The manual says pressing the 'E' key will cycle through all of the enemies my currently selected merc can see, but it doesn't seem to do anything. What's up with that? A: It doesn't work. You can hit enter to cycle through all enemies visible to all mercs, and the ones that aren't blackened will be the ones that your merc can see. Also, if you click on the number box in a merc's portrait, it will cycle through all th e opponents visible to the selected merc. Q: I have a grenade launcher attached to a rifle, but I can only make regular shots with it. What do I have to do to get it to fire grenades? A: You can only fire the grenade ammo that was meant for the grenade launcher, not regular grenades. You have to "arm" the launcher for each shot by loading a grenade into one of the rifle's attached slots. This means that you have to have 2 slots free , one for the Talon (launcher) and one for the grenade. Q: Okay, but is there a key I should hold down to make the gun fire the grenade instead of the bullets? A: You need to cycle through the guns firing modes. Hit the 'B' key until you get the grenade cursor. Q: I order equipment from Bob's page, and I get the Email that it arrives. Then why I can't find it? A: First you have to order the stuff to Drassen. When you get the Mail your stuff can be found in Drassen in a box in the store room. (The little room in NW of the airfield). See also: Pablo Q: Does "out of weapon range" mean there is no chance to hit, or could someone still get lucky? A: You can still make hits that are out of range. They are just much less likely. Q: How do I climb onto a roof? A: First, you must be in a square adjacent to a building, and that building must have a flat roof. You can check this by hitting tab to see the upper level. Once that is set, you can move your cursor over your merc and pull up until the arrow changes to a long arrow with lines. You can also hit the ladder button on your merc's inventory screen. To get down, pull the arrow down or hit the ladder button. Q: Help! My mercs were captured. I've searched the surrounding sectors. No Luck. A: Try Alma, Tixa or the prison 2 sectors east of Meduna. Sector N7. Section 2: Militia Q: How can you assign militia to guard SAM sites? A: While you can't transfer the militia from a city into a SAM site, you can train militia directly at a SAM site. Q: Do I have to train militia in each sector of a town? A: No. You can train in only one sector. Once you have some guys, right click on any sector in the town in the militia view of the strategic portion, and you will get a screen that will allow you to reassign the militia to different sectors within th e town. Q: Is it better to autoresolve the fights that my militia have, or to supervise them? A: Although the autoresolve should result in about the same as a full battle, many people believe that autoresolve produces much better results. However, the same is not true of battles mainly consisting of your mercs. Section 3: Program Bugs Q: After my helicopter is "being hit for good", the game throws me out to Windows. Why? A: There is a file missing, and when the game can't find it, it crashes. You'll just have to avoid getting your chopper hit until the patch. Section 4: Items Q: Why should I use knives? They seem to suck. A: If the enemy does not see you and you throw a knife with full aiming, you have a chance for an instant kill. Very good to use in combination with stealth. Q: Do batteries ever run out of juice? A: Yes they do. Be careful. Q: What's up with that G11 gun? A: It fires caseless 4.7mm through a floating breech, and the cyclic rate of fire is so godawful high that every bullet from a 3-round burst clears the barrel before you feel the recoil. Which means you can put bursts into a 2" circle at 200 yards. It costs only 1 extra AP to fire a 3 round burst over the cost of a single shot. The fact that you don't feel the recoil between shots in the burst is also reflected in the game. Q: Is there any way I can duplicate items? A: Not without using an external cheat. However, you can sometimes use one attachment on a number of items to create a number of attached items. For instance, if you apply a spring to a stack of two rods, you will end up with two of the bolt enhanceme nts. Q: What does this item do? A: Here is a listing of items and their uses: X-Ray Tube: Makes X-Ray Unit. See below. Chewing Gum: Makes X-Ray Unit. See below. Fumblepack: Makes X-Ray Unit. See below. Copper Wire: Makes LCD Display. See below. Lameboy: Makes LCD Display. See below. LCD Display: Makes X-Ray Detector. See below. X-Ray Unit: Makes X-Ray Detector. See below. X-Ray Detector: It functions like a small radar device, which detects nearby enemies not already highlighted on your miniature combat map and reveals their positions. It has a limited range, however. Batteries: Powers X-Ray Detector. Bipod: Good only when prone. Helps when shooting prone, cannot be used together with underslung grenade launcher. Energy Booster: A drug that temporarily increases your APs over their normal maximums. After it wears off, though, your merc will go well below their normal APs, so only use it when you know you will be down in five turns or less. String: Combine with soda can to make alarm. Soda Can: Combine with string to make alarm. Alarm: Attach it to a door and whenever the door is opened there will be much noise. Spring: Combine with aluminum rod to make AP enhancer. Aluminum Rod: Combine with spring to make AP enhancer. AP Enhancer: When attached to a gun, it will make the gun fire faster. Glue: steel pipe + glue + tape -> Barrel Extension Duct Tape: steel pipe + glue + tape -> Barrel Extension Steel Pipe: steel pipe + glue + tape -> Barrel Extension Barrel Extension: Attached to a gun, it will make the gun have a longer range. Laser scope: Increases accuracy of the gun to which it is attached. Sniper Scope: Allows your merc to accurately shoot enemies that would normally be out of their sight range. Bug/Cat parts: Sell them to Mickey or the Gabby. Sunshade: Raise your sight range a little during the day. Night vision goggles: Increases your sight range during the night. UV goggles: Like night vision goggles, but better. Do not work underground. Q: How do I make the X-Ray Detector? A: To make an X-RAY Detector, combine the following items. You need a merc with high mechanical skill and electronics skill to make it work. X-Ray Tube + Chewing Gum + Fumblepack = X-Ray Unit Copper Wire + Lameboy = LCD Display LCD Display + X-Ray Unit = X-Ray Detector Section 5: Mercs Q: When you make your custom merc, how do you view the stats to see if you got all the critical ones? Do you have to rely on that silly e-mail. I can't seem to find the special abilities listed for any of the guys. A: Just look at the personnel section of your laptop. It will give you various information about your mercs, including the custom. It shows the skills but not the personality. Q: What does autoweapons skill do? A: Reduces the inaccuracy of burst fire only (rather than increasing the accuracy of any automatic weapon). This was confirmed by Chris Camfield, JA2 programmer. Q: What does Psycho personality do? A: From Linda "Meltdown" Currie: "Course if you do get psycho, you do get a bonus to hit... and if the psycho merc doesn't have a burst fire capable weapon, its a little hard for them to get crazy (must not be as thrilling to kill with a single shot...
). BTW, using max aiming points does make them more likely to retain control over their psycho emotions.... (I personally loved it on my IMP merc.. she was a killing machine ; )" Q: How can I raise my stats? A1: You can choose for your mercs to practice them while not fighting. A2: In general, your stats are raised through normal use. So, if you shoot a lot, you will gain marksmanship. If you mess with bombs a lot, you will gain explosives skill. However, there are some specific ways of increasing them that verge on cheatin g, but are possible in the game. Both types are listed below: Leadership: Train militia. If you have two people in the same sector training, some of the leadership may rub off from the higher skilled merc to the lower. Strength: Punching things, opening crates. You can increase strength rapidly by finding something you can punch indefinitely without penalty. These things include the crows that appear on rotting bodies, vehicles you don't own, cows, and the robot (if you don't o wn it). Dexterity: Punching (see strength), throwing knives, repairing. Health: Travelling, especially with heavy equipment (ie, your merc's weight percentage is over 100). Agility: Getting interrupts, crawling with stealth mode in the presence of enemies. Someone suggested an easy way to raise this was to crawl around in front of the bugs while you are using the elixir. Wisdom: Combine TNT and a detonator. Plant the bomb and disarm it. After doing this about 15 times your wisdom should increase. However, there is a chance that the bomb will explode as you try to disarm it. Another way to increase wisdom is using a merc as doct or. It takes a very long time to increase the stat this way, but it happens. Marksmanship: Goes up by firing weapons and throwing knives. Can be raised by throwing knifes at crows (they are not consumed), or shooting off otherwise useless .38 ammo later in the game. Mechanical: By repairing things, picking locks, repairing Medical: Do first aid or doctoring. Someone suggested that if you beat up your militia and then heal them you can gain points easily. Explosives: Setting and disarming explosives. To gain this skill quickly, set and disarm a mine over and over in real-time. Level: Gain points in other areas. Rack up kills. Q: How do I get xxx for my custom Merc? A: Although nothing is certain, you will find a number of strategies below. I have not tested any of these, but if you do, let me know how it comes out. Remember to be focused on the skills you choose, though. Chris Camfield (JA2 programmer) had thi s to say, "AFAIK, the game randomly picks between all skill choices made through the questionnaire." ================================================================================ |A 1 2 3 4 5 6 --+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+ Q |==========|==========|==========|==========|==========|==========| 1 | martial | loner | H2H | lock | throw | optimist | 2 | teach | stealth | psycho | friendly |==========|==========| 3 | lock | arrogant | stealth | normal |==========|==========| 4 | auto | friendly | normal |unfriendly| loner |==========| 5 | coward |aggressive|==========|==========|==========|==========| 6 | coward |night ops |==========|==========|==========|==========| 7 | elec. | knife | night | ? |==========|==========| 8 | ambidex | ? | optimist | psycho |==========|==========| 9 | ? |pessimist |pessimist | ? |==========|==========| 10| ? |pessimist |unfriendly| ? |==========|==========| 11| ? | teach |aggressive| normal |==========|==========| 12| martial | knife | ? | auto | H2H | elec. | 13| ? | normal | normal |==========|==========|==========| 14| ? | normal | ? | ? |==========|==========| 15| throw | ambidex | arrogant |==========|==========|==========| 16| ? | ? | ? | ? |==========|==========| --+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+ ================================================================================ When you have answered the first question and are on the screen for the second, you will see that the "prev" and "next" buttons are lit up. You can *SKIP* questions to get your desired results. I can get Stealthy and Throwing *EVERY* time by JUST answering the questions that make sense to that type of character and hitting "next" to avoid the irrelevant ones. ================================================================================ Question 1: 1: Martial Arts 2: None 3: Hand to Hand combat 4: Lock Picking 5: Throwing 6: Optimism Question 2 1: Teaching 2: None 3: Psycho Personality 4: Friendly personality Question 3 1: Lock Picking 2: None 3: Stealth 4: Normal personality Question 4 1: Automatic Weapons 2: Friendly Personality 3: Normal Personality 4: None 5: None Question 5 1: None 2: None 3: Aggressive Personality 4: None Question 6 1: None 2: Night Ops 3: None 4: None 5: None Question 7 1: Electronics 2: Knifing 3: Night Ops 4: None Question 8 1: Ambidextrous 2: None 3: Optimistic Personality 4: Psycho Personality Question 9 The answers to this question have no effect on skills/personality. Question 10 The answers to this question have no effect on skills/personality. Question 11 1: None 2: Teaching 3: Aggressive Personality 4: Normal Personality 5: None Question 12 1: Martial Arts 2: Knifing 3: None 4: Automatic Weapons 5: Hand to Hand combat 6: None 7: None Question 12 1: Martial Arts 2: Knifing 3: None 4: Automatic Weapons 5: Hand to Hand combat 6: Electronics 7: None 8: None Question 13 1: None 2: Normal Personality 3: Normal Personality 4: None Question 14 1: None 2: Normal Personality 3: None 4: None Question 15 1: Throwing 2: Ambidextrous 3: None 4: None Question 16 The answers to this question have no effect on skills/personality. ================================================================================ You may have to run this a couple of times, every now and then it will turn up Stealthy(Expert) instead of Stealthy/Night Ops. 6434-1331-2343-3441 and 6234-1333-2343-3441 works as well Here are some other useful combinations: 6232-1332-2243-3441 Stealth(Expert) If you answer the fight question as NRA vs. Congress and the truck question as #1, you should end up with Auto Weapons/Stealthy 2234-1333-2333-3441 Night Ops(Expert) ================================================================================ Here is a 50 point stealthy(expert): 4215 4312 1343 4431 ================================================================================ I've seen some posts here asking for the stealth/night ops combo, and to the best of my memory, here it is... (in the order that I can best remember, for a female custom) Wish to be Catwoman. Throw darts from where the punk cant' see you. Follow the guy and mug him. Steal the night vision goggles and book. Barney is a Role Model. :) Your Redneck truck has a peace sticker. The slow driver should have your curses on his stereo. Baseball fame is from the salary. Lead everyone down the mountain to safety. In the summer, your kids drive you crazy. You're too old to live beside the sorority house. You'd pay to see Van Damme vs Jacky Chan (?) Hide under the bed from the intruder. You'd do anything, except develop software. You dress up nicely for the butcher interview. You stay up at night and pace back and forth when your hubbie is 3 hrs late. ================================================================================ Section 6: Non Player Characters (NPCs) Pablo: Q: Who is this guy? A: Pablo keeps watch over the crate that contains shipments you receive from Bobby Ray's gun shop. Q: What can I do with him? A: He may steal something from one of your shipments. Give him money or attack him and he will give you your stuff back and some other stuff like .38s and tool kits. Q: When I attack him, he just says, "What is wrong with you!" I can't seem to stop him from stealing my stuff. What should I do? A: Unless one of your mercs says, "Something is missing" or something similar while getting your order from the crate, Pablo has not stolen anything. If you attack him before this happens, he will just run off and probably be killed by militia. Ignore it if he says anything about your stuff missing before your mercs tell you it is. Skyrider (The Pilot): Q: Who is this guy? A: He's a helicopter pilot that will help you out. Q: That Pablo guy says I killed the pilot! What can I do now? A: You killed the pilot that worked for Deidrianna. Not Skyrider. He should be fine. Q: So, where can I find Skyrider? A: His location is random in each game, but he is never far from Drassen. There are two houses directly NE and SE of Drassen in the swamps; he's usually in either of those two. If he isn't, the peasants in Drassen will give you a clue. Doreen: Q: Who is this girl? A: She's a sweatshop manager. Everyone in Drassen hates her. Deal with her and Drassen's loyalty should go up. Q: How do I "deal" with her? A: Although it is possible to peacefully resolve things with her (use "Threaten"), there's no compelling reason not to just drop a cap in her ass. Either way she is taken care of. Q: Hey! Last time I played I found a key/MP5K in the sweatshop and it isn't here this game. What gives? A: It appears these items are random. Father: Q: Who is this guy? A: A drunk priest. He will help you with the rebels, though. Talk to him and he'll provide food for Omerta. Q: I haven't found him yet and its day xx! Will my game be screwed up? A: Nope. You don't actually ever have to talk to him. The only real benefit is getting Dmitri and possible some more loyalty in Drassen. Q: So, where do I find this guy? A: Before Noon he is usually in C13 (Drassen bar), after Noon in D13 (church building). You may not find him on your first attempt, though. Its a good idea to leave a cheap merc in Drassen and check every so often until you find him. Kingpin: Q: Who is this guy? A: He's a criminal. You can steal his money. However, if you do, he will send guys after you. Q: How can I get the better of him? A: If you can get into Kingpin's house without starting a combat, simply drop a mustard gas canister near him (but NOT right on him). The gas will eventually kill him and you can take all his stuff without ever angering anyone. From there you can go in the mine and get his buried money. Remember to exit from the main entrance and not the trapped ladder. Tourists: Q: Who are these people? A: Tourists in Arulco. Q: Where are they? A: Chitzena. Q: When is the best time to find them? A: Around 11 am. Tony: Q: Who is this guy? A: An arms dealer. Sometimes a lot better than Bobby Ray. Q: Where is he? A: In the back room of the San Mona porn shop. Q: But I can't get back there! How can I get the shopkeeper to let me in? A: You need to get rid of the pesky customer for him. Look around town until you find an X rated videotape and give it to the "lady" in the shop. Then talk to him again. You can just kill her. Devin: Q: Who is this guy? A: He will sell you explosives, but won't buy anything. Q: Where do I find him? A: In bars across Arulco. Grumm is a good one to check. Mike: Q: Who is this guy? A: Mike was the top mercenary in the previous two Jagged Alliance games. Apparently he was hired by Deidranna this time. Q: How do I know if Mike is around? A: Once the queen has had her little speech where she says something like "I'll give them a surprise they will not soon forget," you will encounter Mike in one of your battles. Q: Where is he? A: His location is random. Joey: Q: Who is this kid? A: His Mom in Cambria will ask you to find him for her. Q: Where is he? A: In San Mona, looking in the front window of the brothel. Gabby: Q: Who is this guy? A: He will buy and sell bug parts, and also an elixir to make your mercs invisible to them. Q: Where is he? A: It's random. Another said "between Alma and Tixa." Yet another said H15. He's been found in I4. He's generally on the lower half of the map. Carmen: See bounties. Bounties: Q: Who are the bounties? A: In one of the bars in Arulco, you should meet a man named Carmen. He will give you a disk which contains information on some suspected criminals within Arulco. If you meet any of them, kill them and cut off their heads, then bring the heads to Car men. He will give you money for them. Q: How can I cut off their 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: Who are the bounties, what are their pseudonyms, and where can I find them? A: Kris: Chris, ?? (Has bad Canadian accent) Druggist: ??, Bartender in Grumm Tiffany: Joe, in factory in Grumm Mom: Annie, ?? ??: Terry, Cambria University sector (in wheelchair) Hirable NPCs: Q: What is special about hirable NPCs? A: They will join your team from one of the sectors rather than being hired over the web. Many of them are free or very cheap, although some are quite expensive. Q: When I find them, how can I make them join? A: Unless otherwise noted, just hit recruit while talking to them. Some may require you to go through some of their other dialogue first, though. Q: Who are they, where do I find them, and how much do they cost? A: Ira: Omerta rebel base. She will join as soon as you talk to Miguel. Free. Dmitri: Omerta rebel base. He will join after you have found the Father and arranged for food for Omerta. Free. Carlos/Miguel: Omerta rebel base. They will join after you take five cities. Free. Conrad: Alma training building. He will ask for 5500, but if you refuse he will drop his price to 3300. Dynamo: Tixa prison dungeon. You must hear all of his "Friendly" speeches before he will join. $50/day. Shank: Tixa prison dungeon. 20/day. Maddog: Estoni. Free. Robot: To the west off Cambria, in a farmhouse. You need to get a rifle and a video camera to the scientist here, and then the robot is yours. ?? Iggy: San Mona bar. 1500/day. Hamous: Random, but typically between Cambria and Drassen. Has the ice-cream truck. 250/day. Section 7: Mining Q: How does mining work? A: From: DAU@uni-muenster.de (Peter Quebec) Well, here are some tips on mining income. At the start of a new game 50 points (normal; easy will get more, hard will get less overall points) will be distributed on the five mines. The range goes from 6 points to 14 points for each mine (The exact values may be a little off, but I think, this is the way it works.). The distributed points are then multiplied with the base income for each mine (400$ (Chitzena), 800$ (Drassen), 1200$ (Alma and Cambria), 1600$ (Grumm)) to give you the maximum income of a mine. So the maximum income for the Drassen mine will range from 4800$ to 11200$ per day. To get the actual income you have to multiply max. income with town control and loyalty. So if you control 2 sectors of Drassen (66% town control) and have a loyalty of 45%, while the mine has a max. income of 8000$/day, your actual income will be: 8000$/day x .66 x .45 = 2376$/day The daily income will be paid in four shares at 9.00, 12.00, 15.00 and 18.00. You can check the maximum income of all mines at the start of a game. Just click on the mine (?) tab in the map screen and then right click on the mine sector itself. An information window should pop up and tell you, among other things, the max. income of the mine (This is from memory, so if it doesn't work, try similar things). About two weeks into the game, one of the mines may run out of ore. A miner will pop up and tell you about it. The income of the mine will be increased significantly and then drop to zero during the next four or five days. AFAIK this will only happen to one mine and in my first game it never happened to me at all in 70 days. If you're playing sci-fi mode, you will eventually get the message that the Drassen mine is overrun by bugs. The income will drop to zero until you clear the mine. To do this, enter the mine and proceed to the second screen. You should notice a hole in the ground. Enter it and go down further, killing all the bugs. If the new levels are empty, then you have encountered a (computer) bug. This happened to me the first time I played sci-fi mode. I went to the final room without meeting any bugs. But when I went back one room, all the bugs were suddenly there. So try this, if it happens to you. AFAIK the bugs will always appear in the Drassen mine first. There is a small bug, if the Drassen mine has run out of ore. If this has happened, you won't be notified by the miner about the bug plague. But soon after the start of the bug plague, city sectors of Drassen are attacked by bugs. In order to end the attacks you have to clear the mine and kill the bug queen. Section 8: Vehicles Q: What are the vehicles and where do I find them? A: Here's a list: Chopper. Northern Drassen, find pilot before (pilot is randomly placed to one of swamp sector somewhere around Drassen). Ice-cream truck. You can also hire its driver Hamous and use him as common merc (asking $250 per day). Placed randomly on road. Hummer. Somewhere North from Balime. Its price is $10000. Section 9: The Queen Q: Where is she? A: You have to go to the Meduna-sector with the garden. there is a small house in the bottom left corner. in this house is a switch, that open a door at on of the three statues. you can go in there and you will find her there. Fireplace is an entrance to her underground levels or there is one in the garden maze but it is harder to find and needs a key card. Section 10: Tips [This section is just some newsgroup postings that contain tips and various information on how to play the game. When I have time, I may try to put this stuff in a FAQ format.] -- >Is there any way to tell what your % chance of making a particular shot is? > >I'd really like to be able to figure out tradeoffs of whether taking extra >time for aiming, what the impact of kneeling is, etc.... but I can't find >any way to tell other than just experimentation! It's part of the fun of the game, to figure out the various combos in absence of hard figures. I'm sure it's intentional that the various Sir-Tech personnel didn't blurt out answers when asked of them. That said, there's a couple of good fan sites on the Sir-Tech JA2 page. One has a listing of all the tables on merc stats and activity scores (Neil Fradkin posted this in one of his MSG's). The other is Terra Virtua. Some stuff I've found, mostly by experience: Max aiming is a must, especially at early stages when you have crap for weapons. If you can't get +3 or +4 aim and you're not 2 squares away, don't bother. Crouch/prone is enforced from the outset, as your mercs will get dropped like flies if you don't use them. I've found the formula for healing, mostly by using existing figures on the above site's charts and applying some curve-fitting techniques and fudges. It's (Dexterity + Wisdom + (Level x 10)) x Medical / 485 = healing (round to nearest integer) This isn't the exact formula. I suspect the actual formula has medical as a percentile, and some of the other attribs divided by 5 or 10, but the above is very close. It's accurate on the 6 samples I've tried, and I think about .1 off (considering rounding) when applied to a merc I had in the game. The biggie is figuring out the formula for APs. If I'm sufficiently motivated, I'd tackle that next. Some stuff can't be figured out (e.g. picking locks) as the game doesn't provide a number for them. -- > I constantly hear this advice, and yet it never works for me. >They always just wait for me. I can sit around all I want, and they never >come. Once they are alert, if I try to sneak up on them, they just kill >me. Fight at night, with a night ops character, preferably your custom merc if you can arrange it (see below). Crouch and sneak up on the enemy. Kill those you can see then just hit done a couple of times to go back into real time so you can get your interrupts with full AP again. Repeat as needed. Always crouch everyone in real time, make short moves, move from cover to cover and wait a few seconds. If the enemy heard you he will likely move towards you and you can get an interrupt. -- >Finally (and my main reason for writing), how the hell are people >doing so well? My main problem is that there's no freakin' cover. You cannot rely on cover any more. The Culver bushes are native only to metaveria. ;) >JA had so many damn trees and buildings it was nearly impossible >to not be behind *something*. In JA2 my stomach sinks as I enter >a sector with enemies and all I see is a field of waist high grass >that doesn't seem to provide any cover at all. The key in this situation is to retreat. You don't have to fight every combat. Fight the important ones on terms of your choosing (i.e. night missions). Use a spotter (ideally a stealthy, camouflaged night operative with good stats so he won't get interrupted). Don't give away your position until you are damn good and ready to. >I know grass won't >protect me from bullets, but it should keep me from being visible. Once you shoot from within visual range (and then some), you are completely visible. >I hear >people touting hit and run tactics and stealth and all that, but >I usually end up sneaking very silently right into the middle of >an enemy's field of vision, whereupon after firing a shot 10-20' >to either side of him from 10 spaces away, he calls for backup >and brings 5 other guys down to start filling me full of holes. Don't shoot with your spotter. When you spot the enemy, bring your team into position. When choosing the position to bring the team up to, note the direction the enemy is facing of what route he seems to take if he is patrolling. While your team moves up, try and see if there are other enemies close by so you can determine if this is a good opportunity or not. After getting in your initial shots, run away, literally. Use one merc who's good at getting interrupts to cover your troops as they disengage (put him prone and/or behind cover a little in front of where your merc will be after their first turn of running away). After you have successfully disengaged, move all the way around to the flank of the area where you last engaged. You should see some enemies crouched behind trees facing the area where you previously were. Snap off a few rounds and repeat the process. Until you have long range capability, have the shooting team crawl stealthily up to just within visual range (keep your high interrupt cover guy a couple of squares back) have everyone fire one max aim shot and use the rest of their movement to crawl backwards (using the alt key). The key in this technique is to break visual contact so they must move to find you (hopefully giving your cover guy an interrupt). >And I almost *never* spot the enemy without them seeing >me. In JA this happened all the time. Maybe I'm just trigger >happy. Anyway, advice in this area would be appreciated. Crawl prone in stealth mode, favor night missions using a night ops merc as a spotter. Careful hit and run tactics can take forever, but they are worth it in the time saved waiting for your guys to heal up from normal firefights. -- ensure that before you start another battle, that your current weapon is reloaded to the maximum possible. Going into battle with an MP5, with 2 rounds in it can get you killed..... Also, reload all weps every time the game goes to real-time mode. This can definitely save your ass. -- "Because most general surfers are ignorant, they will think I'm supporting pornography." - Teddy Pastras http://www.wired.com/news/news/email/explode- infobeat/technology/story/20101.html