Before You Go To Battle
a guide to Jagged Alliance 2 and other JA series games
title: Before You Go To Battle
author: Randok (email@example.com)
last modified: 07.08.2006
written for: Liberate Arulco (http://www.jaggedalliance.pl)
text formatting by: scooly (firstname.lastname@example.org) [Polish edition], Khotar [English edition]
In this guide I introduce some general rules that JA2 players should abide. Hopefully it will make their games run more smoothly and they will avoid many unnecessary problems. These rules are based on my experience with JA2, JA2.5, mods and additional campaigns. They apply for daylight as well as night combat.
QuickSave and even faster Load
Using Save, QuickSave (alt+s), Load and QuickLoad (alt+l) is very essential for the game. Use Save after capturing a sector and after capturing a part of a very hard sector. Use QuickSave (alt+s) after every successful turn (ie. on 'green' - when everybody has a full number of AP's and nobody was hurt). In case of getting into some complications – return to this state (alt+l). This way you progress efficiently killing enemies.
When problems rise, you move back only a few moments, not 20 or 30 minutes. Repeating the same thing again and again can get your goat, bore you and eventually dishearten you from playing. So remember: mercs - bang bang, enemies - bang bang, if everyone's intact – alt+s. One more thing – don't use alt+s on 'yellow' (interrupt). Might be tricky!
IMP character for starters. I think that if he's to perform well in combat in the very beginning and then become your main merc, who goes to battle first, he needs to have his attributes set properly. That's why you should give him maximum marksmanship, intelligence, health and strength. Agility is also important. You can even boost up agility at the cost of health or strength OR at the expense of setting some other attribute to zero (I don't practice that). Having IMP, who is a dimwit in medicine or explosives is just embarrassing.
Companions are next. Here everything is at your own discretion. But in every group there should be someone, who can open doors and crates plus, if player is having problems (mercs are often injured), he should have a good doctor.
Equipment is very important. Especially after capturing a sector. Distribute it as equally as possible. Automatic weapons are fundamental, one sniper rifle (alternatively one more with a very long range and good firepower). For night operations – guns with silencers, knives. Plus magazines of course. Appointed mercs should also have: mortar (one is sufficient) + shells, a few LAWs, RPG + shells, grenade launcher + grenades. Fill the rest of your free space in backpacks with ammunition, first aid kits, energy/regeneration boosters (if you use them) etc. General rule is: take what is useful, throw away what is of little use or useless. You should also distribute other equipment equally: laser sights, sniper scopes, rod & spring, sun goggles, extended ear, night vision goggles, helmets, leggings etc.
When distributing items, the first merc to get them should be IMP or other merc, who goes to battle first. If it's possible – burden your mercs equally. Don't lead to situation, where one of the mercs is loaded in 85% and the other in 175%.
Put your stuff in backpacks economically. For example, small pocket can hold two normal or three small grenades, (usually) two magazines etc. When arranging, first join all the items that are incomplete, ie. magazines, camouflage kits, first aid kits etc. and then put them into the backpacks.
Before entering the sector
Weapons should be fully reloaded (full magazines), exchanged between the mercenaries, with new additions attached. Then we fully repair all mercenaries' equipment. Then we order them to sleep (treat the wounded if necessary). When they are healthy and their equipment is repaired they can enter the sector occupied by enemies. Make sure they enter at a suitable time of the day (day or night – depend on what you like). If the time is not proper, make them rest a bit more.
We enter the sector in a group, because it means more power to attack and defend. Everyone should crouch or lie down (depending on the terrain) facing the direction of potential attack. Put down additional items from their 'main' hands, for example toolkits. Put down (only those, who will fight) all unnecessary stuff (that is – useless for fighting or if there's too much of something) that overloads mercs. This way they will have a maximum number of AP's. And that's very important. After capturing the sector you will take them back. Put camouflage (depending on the sector and your own choice) on mercs, who will go to fight. And then... tactics, depending on the sector you're in.
Original version by Randok, English version by TT
Link to the original version (in Polish): Click
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