Wanna be a mercenary? Let's Play Jagged Alliance 2!:

Total posts: [298]
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1 Nimitz16th May 2010 05:32:09 PM from Netherlands Antilles
First time readers, head here for the first entry!

Hey everyone. Welcome to my LP of Jagged Alliance 2. The Jagged Alliance series has always been a favorite of mine. It basically takes the gameplay of X-COM and refines it. The result is a turn-based strategy game that is polished, realistic, and above all, fun as hell. Vanilla JA 2 is fun all by itself, but I'm going to play it with the 1.13 & HAM patches. It enhances the game with a ton of new features, like adding new weapons and ammo types, fixing bugs, improving the AI, adding a suppression mechanic, and so on. I'd go so far to say that the 1.13/HAM patches are essential for anyone who has JA 2. This will be a video LP, but this entry will only contain pics for convenience.

When you choose to start a new game, you get to choose some options that change how you play the game. Here's how I'm playing it. The game provides a decent challenge on Experienced. Bobby Ray's is the game's main gun store, and I've never played with the setting above normal. Iron Man mode is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Any merc who dies in battle will stay dead, unless I screw up royally and get stuck. As for Game Style, sci-fi has you encounter insectoid monsters called the Crepitus in Cambria (I think), while Realistic gets rid of them. We'll choose the former 'cause it's more fun that way. :) I never played with the Inventory System setting on old, and I don't plan on doing so. Items is self explanatory.

So, when we start, we find out that a man named Enrico Chivaldori wants us to liberate his country of Arulco. He used to be its ruler, but he was overthrown by the eeeeevil Queen Deidranna and was exiled. Now, he wants me to take it back, and to do that, I'll need to hire some mercenaries.

We're treated with the sight of our laptop, and when we look at our links, we see only one entry called A.I.M. Anyone who played the first Jagged Alliance should know about it. Their roster is quite extensive. However, we're not gonna hire any of these mercs...not yet, anyway.

We've got a new e-mail, let's see what it is...oooh. Very interesting. That's right people, you can create custom mercs in this game. Who's going to be these mercs? Why, you are, of course! That is, if you're interested.

There are five steps in the creation of a custom merc. First, your name and gender. Second, your appearance. Just tell me what you want your character to look like. I'll find the closest equivalent. Oh, there are three voices for each gender, meaning we can only have three mercs of each gender. Again, tell me what you want your character to sound like, and I'll try to find the voice that matches best.

Third, your traits and disabilities. These affect your abilities in battle. I think the traits affect performance in a passive manner, but disabilities have a more noticeable effect. For example, a merc that is forgetful may forget his orders, and a psychotic merc will sometimes go a little crazy with the trigger. Fourth, your specialties. You can have up to two, but if you only choose one, you get an expert rating with that specialty, and if you don't choose any, you get fifty extra points to spend on your skills. (That's 100) The specialties are pretty useful, though, so don't ignore them right off the bat. A merc with the Night Operations specialty will be much more observant at night, spotting enemies before they see him, and Auto Weapons allows a merc to have better control when firing at full auto, which means he won't lose as much accuracy and he won't fire more shots than he intended to as often as someone without it. Finally, your skills. These are self-explanatory. You don't have to calculate how many points you should spend. Just tell me what you want to be best at.

So that's it. Once again, I can have three males and three females. The next update will be a video, and it will come once I have six custom mercs. Hope you enjoy!

Hired mercs

IMP Mercs (6/6 slots filled)
  • Nadja "Sirocco" Van Rockopolis
  • Ashley "Ash" Wells
  • Carl "Big C" Xavier
  • Daryl "Bunny" Bunzowski
  • Frances "Ivy" Burton
  • Lance "Flanker" Silvis

AIM Mercs
  • Igor Dolvich
  • Keith "Blood" Hansen

MERC mercs
  • None

Deceased mercs
  • Roger "Korgmeister" Kismet

edited 28th May '10 11:04:35 PM by Nimitz

Rock On
Nice, looks like someone beat me to the punch. Good luck with this.
  • Hmm...I had 1.13, but I don't think I had HAM; I'll have to look into that.

Personally, I would have gone with AIM or MERC; the IMP mercs don't seem to have as much personality as the original ones.

I seem to remember all the advice saying sniping was the way to go; CQC is just a good way to get killed, so as much as I want an Eighties Action Herocool...

This is a bad idea, considering how often and how horribly I remember most of my characters in that game dying...

edited 17th May '10 9:18:30 AM by DrRockopolis

[[tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=12919183980B30760200 Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
3 Nimitz16th May 2010 06:12:55 PM from Netherlands Antilles
I agree, the AIM and MERC mercs are a lot more interesting than IMP mercs, but I wanna give people a chance to have a part in this, like English Ivy's X-COM liveblog. Of course, if the majority wants me to hire AIM mercs at the start, I could do that, but only if it's the majority. :)

Anyway, you're in. ^_^

edited 16th May '10 6:13:17 PM by Nimitz

4 TriggerLoaded16th May 2010 06:13:21 PM from Canada, eh? , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
$50 a day, plus expenses
Aw, man! I was thinking of LPing this game, but you beat me to it! Ah, well.

Where's this HAM patch? Sounds like even more improvements over 1.13, which I have played with. I wonder what the "new" inventory system means.

Anyways, for my merc?

Name: Ashley Wells
Nickname: Ash
Gender: Female

Portrait: The blond girl just previous to the portrait you start with, right after the girl with short red hair and a tank top.

Voice: #3 ("Okay, let's pop some zitz!")

Traits: Hmm... let's say Optimistic.
Flaws: Psychotic.

Skpecialties: Heavy Weapons and Throwing.

Skills: Explosives Expert. Is the limit still 35 points or else no knowledge in a skill? Basic knowledge in everything else. (I always like a merc to have basic medical skill.) Physically, whatever works well for you, though I forget what stats are needed to be a good grenade tosser.

edited 16th May '10 6:16:17 PM by TriggerLoaded

Don't take life too seriously. It's only a temporary situation.
5 TriggerLoaded16th May 2010 06:15:21 PM from Canada, eh? , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
$50 a day, plus expenses
Heh, both Rockopolis and I wanted to LP this game, eh? Guess we were both beaten to the punch.

And forget sniping. The killer skill is Night Ops. Max Night Ops lets you see TWO squares farther in the dark. Sniping I find isn't all that effective. It's situational, as you have to be on the roof to reap the benefits. (And being on the roof isn't always recommended.) Or Stealthy and Night Ops for a good combo.
Don't take life too seriously. It's only a temporary situation.
6 Nimitz16th May 2010 06:23:47 PM from Netherlands Antilles
I believe HAM is already included with every 1.13 version after February, but you can get the settings package that activates it here: http://ja2v113ham.wikia.com/wiki/Jagged_Alliance_1.13_HAM_Wiki Sorry for being faster than you. :P You're in.
Carl Xavier

"The Big C"


Any appearance fitting Caucasian with sunglasses, preferrably looking like Albert Wesker in some vague sense. Black clothing.

Friendly, but Forgetful. He's a bit out there, getting so wracked up in whatever he's doing at the moment he may forget what he's SUPPOSED to be doing.

Specialty: Electronics and Lockpicking.

Emphasize Dexterity, Leadership, Explosive, Marksmanship, and Mechanical skills. He's the squads Combat Engineer, and has the mindset to boot. Despite his absentminded tendencies.

Prone to going off on seemingly random tangents ostensibly related to what he or his squadmates are doing, at a time that's least convenient for them.

Really nice guy. Really smart, too. Also a total pain in the ass. evil grin

Joined the army to pay for college, somehow wound up going freelance.

No favored weapon, as changing circumstances demand familiarity with a wide variety of weapons.

edited 17th May '10 9:28:44 AM by Charlatan

Rock On
Oh, was it on the roof? I thought it was adding to accuracy when aiming with a scope; my mistake.
  • Though, in general, perk or no, most of the advice I've heard disdains CQC in favor of shooting people from across the map.
    • I don't think I've ever tried Night Ops, though; I haven't done much night-fighting, which is possibly why I'm constantly dying.
      • Though, come to think of it, when I did, I died; I just died a lot in that game.

Aren't Psychos less happy when they're not doing autofire?

Hmm...does Martial Arts still boost your endurance?

edited 16th May '10 6:33:28 PM by DrRockopolis

[[tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=12919183980B30760200 Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
9 Nimitz16th May 2010 06:30:21 PM from Netherlands Antilles
Unfortunately, there are no portraits with sunglasses, but I'll find a good one. You're in. I hope we get at least one medic on the team.

edited 16th May '10 6:37:00 PM by Nimitz

10 TriggerLoaded16th May 2010 06:37:34 PM from Canada, eh? , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
$50 a day, plus expenses
Maybe they changed it, but I'm pretty sure Sniping was giving a bonus for higher ground. I will admit I could be wrong here.

And yeah, pretty much every CQC trait (Hand to Hand, Martial Arts, Knifing) is just a fancy toy that rarely serves a purpose. Especially as there's nothing stopping you from shooting somebody at point-blank range. You pretty much have to kill them in one turn, or else they'll fill you full of holes. No clue on if Martial Arts boots endurance. I do know it boots melee dodge chance.

Yes, Night Ops is THE skill! Fighting at Night is practically a requirement for the game, especially the early game when you're using pistols and SM Gs.

Psychos less happy without autofire? Possibly. I just know that it means they'll occasionally switch to full-auto when firing. However, I have heard that they get a bonus to aim when auto-firing like this. (A psycho merc with Auto-Weapons skill is a good combo, I've heard.)

Hmm, maybe I should swap out throwing in favor of Auto-Weapons... Do I want her to be accurate to my character, or more effective? Not that throwing isn't a bad choice (Throwing knives are DEADLY) but still, may help mitigate the psycho trait.
Don't take life too seriously. It's only a temporary situation.
11 Nimitz16th May 2010 06:39:47 PM from Netherlands Antilles
Your choice. :) Be sure to decide before the queue fills up.

edited 16th May '10 6:40:16 PM by Nimitz

Rock On
Well, not being accurate when hurling grenades is probably a Psycho trait...
  • I must admit, I was tempted to go with Navajas (Danny Trejo) from Desperado, flinging throwing knives everywhere.

I think I was hesitating to LP this because I'm outright bad at this game, as much as I like it.

Oh yeah, did you set Drop All?

Personally, I like to set Bobby Ray's to the second highest setting, just to get a big variety of guns.
  • It's a pity the MAC-10 isn't a particularly good gun; I miss The '80s.
  • Do you think we can get our hands on a VSS Vintorez anytime soon?

Stealth and Night Ops probably is the CQC build...and the VSS Vintorez is probably the gun to use for that role.
  • Switch over to Stealth/Night Ops, I suppose; not like there's any perks directly for sniping.

If you need a Medic...you could probably shift some of Nadja's points around.

edited 16th May '10 6:46:14 PM by DrRockopolis

[[tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=12919183980B30760200 Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
13 Nimitz16th May 2010 06:49:51 PM from Netherlands Antilles
Yeah, I set "Drop All" on. Always have. And sure, Night Ops/Stealth it is. I've never been particularly stealthy in my previous playthroughs, but I'll try here.

When you say bigger selection, do you mean at the beginning or later on? 'Cause I don't want to have a bunch of powerful guns right at the beginning of the game. That's not fair. :P And I'm willing to wait until someone gives me a medic. It's only you three so far. If we don't, I'll make some adjustments.

edited 16th May '10 6:53:39 PM by Nimitz

Hooray! :D

I'm thinking my character should employ some measure of Schrödinger Fu. It's all part of the plan. Or so he claims.
Rock On
I usually don't go with the highest setting, since that gives you access to Everything, but I like to have a wide variety at the beginning; I usually can't afford most of the really good stuff at the start, anyway, and you have to take Drassen before you can get any of it, anyway.
  • Hah, that just bugs me me, that you can't use Bobby Ray's to equip mercs while they're out of the Arulco.

Hmm...do you have the Drassen Counterattack set?

edited 16th May '10 7:00:58 PM by DrRockopolis

[[tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=12919183980B30760200 Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
16 Nimitz16th May 2010 07:01:48 PM from Netherlands Antilles
Yep, you have the 10mm MP 5. As for the counterattack, no. Hell no. That kicked my ass so many times. I don't even know if it's winnable.

edited 16th May '10 7:02:39 PM by Nimitz

What weapon classes are there?
Rock On
All of them.
Me, I like the Battle of Drassen; makes for a nice change of pace, and I've almost won it, a couple times. It helps if you can prepare ahead of time, with weapons, a fresh team of mercs, and lots of militia.

edited 16th May '10 7:13:46 PM by DrRockopolis

[[tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=12919183980B30760200 Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
19 TriggerLoaded16th May 2010 07:12:41 PM from Canada, eh? , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
$50 a day, plus expenses
I'll stick with Throwing.

Interestingly, when I played the 1.13 version, I made my starting team all IMP mercs. I ended up giving them personalities and what-not, and stole a few of them for use in my actual story ideas. Ashley here was one of the mercs that was developed that way.

Not that it'll ever show in game, but Ashley Wells is a happy-go-lucky pyromaniac. She likes things that go boom and setting things on fire. She's always cheerful, and has this grin that's halfway between cute and disturbing. She knows exactly how to light an aresol can on fire and how long to hold it, and she's quite skilled at juggling, though people would prefer she doesn't use grenades when she does this.

I'll probably show this if/when I do write-ups for this game like I did for the X-Com one.

As for the Drassen Counterattack, I won that through attrition. I let them take the mine, and then over the course of two days I made quick forays into Drassen, shot a few people, and then fled back. They'll take over the mine, but aren't too interested in the rest of the town, so you can run a guerrilla campaign.
Don't take life too seriously. It's only a temporary situation.
I'll try my hand at a medic.

WARNING: I have no clue what I'm doing and just wanna create an asshole medic.

Name: Daryl Bunzowski

Gender: Male

Codename: Bunny

Personality: Asshole

Disability: Psychotic

Specialties: Knifing,Stealth

Stats: Raise Agility. Medical should be maxed and dex apparently helps medical, so try to max that too, and just put stats towards surviving/stabbing things. Lower mechanical, marksman, leadership. Give him decent explosives and wisdom.

Daryl is a rather angry person. He only likes to patch up wounds so that he can verbally berate them while doing so. He would like his teammates to not get hurt so that he can focus on stabbing and blowing things up, but his teammates always come first. He may not be the smartest person around, but he realizes that everyone will be better off if he heals first and stabs later.

edited 17th May '10 7:13:02 AM by Deathonabun

One of my few regrets about being born female is the inability to grow a handlebar mustache. -Landstander
21 Nimitz16th May 2010 07:29:55 PM from Netherlands Antilles
Heh, I like it. I'll explain the stats for you.

  • Health is just that, health. I like to keep it over 60-65.
  • Dexterity affects how fast you can repair stuff, how well you can dodge melee attacks, and it allows you to make more reaction shots.
  • Agility affects your speed.
  • Strength affects how much damage you can do in melee and how much stuff you can carry without being slowed down, I think.
  • Wisdom is important. The more wisdom you have, the faster you can improve your skills.
  • Leadership makes it easier for you to pursuade people, and you'll have an easier time training militia.
  • Marksmanship is self-explanatory.
  • Explosives is also quite obvious. You don't wanna use TNT or throw grenades with a low explosives stat.
  • Medical is obvious.
  • Mechanical is also obvious. It's a must for repairing items and unjamming weapons.

edited 16th May '10 7:37:19 PM by Nimitz

Hm. In that case, maaaaybe have wisdom be a little above average...=P

Well, he is wise enough to not go around stabbing while his friends bleed out...or worse, stabbing his friends.
One of my few regrets about being born female is the inability to grow a handlebar mustache. -Landstander
23 Nimitz16th May 2010 07:34:25 PM from Netherlands Antilles
Heh, will do. Melee fights don't happen too often, but at least he'll be prepared for it when the time comes. Knives can do quite a bit of damage.
I'm hoping he can do some decent damage with explosions in the meantime.
One of my few regrets about being born female is the inability to grow a handlebar mustache. -Landstander
25 Nimitz16th May 2010 07:37:53 PM from Netherlands Antilles
If we find enough grenades, you will.

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