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YMMV / Jagged Alliance

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  • Complete Monster: Deidranna Reitmann, from the second game, is the despotic ruler of Arulco. As Queen-Consort, she murdered her husband's father and framed him for it, becoming the new ruler. After turning the country into a brutal dictatorship, Deidranna had people tortured and executed for minor offenses. Worst of all, she ordered the death of everyone she condemned as too weak—elderly, sick or disabled—not even sparing infants. Even her own troops weren't spared from her cruelty, as Deidranna would threaten to execute their families for failing her. In the Sci-Fi mode, she's also responsible for the creation of the Crepitus and gives orders to lure them to the surface by no longer feeding them, not caring in the slightest that the creatures will not only eat her enemies, but her own troops as well.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Gumpy from 2 has a lot of fans, not only for his adorkable nature, but because his high wisdom offsets his initally-terrible stats; with some training (preferably from an experienced merc with high leadership), he can quickly become a crack shot, expert medic, and ace engineer, rivaling the likes of Gus or Mike.
  • Even Better Sequel: Jagged Alliance 2 surpassed its predecessor in every aspect of gameplay, music, writing, and humour. The game is longer, has more tactical features and far more weaponry, more mercenaries with a myriad of responses and interactions between each other, and a larger and more active gameworld. It also got rid of many of the annoying aspects of the first game, such as the need to carry a knife to safely swim and having to manually travel across sectors, as well as only dropping into turn-based mode when enemies are spotted. The fan-made 1.13 modification for 2 takes this even further by adding a massive amount of new features, hundreds of weapons, smarter AI, various tweaks to gameplay, and makes it easy for others to mod it in turn.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The CAWS will ruin anyone's shit in vanilla JA2. In 1.13... it just got deadlier.
      • Not always, as 1.13 introduced "readying" costs, so heavy weapons often subtract AP while aiming, often only allowing one or two not-very-well-aimed shots. Combine that with the not so great range, it can quickly become Awesome, but Impractical.
    • Sniper rifles and rifles. For the latter, anyone within your range is going to die, even with a Winchester '92 (which has a pitifully short range, comparable to that of pistols). In the case of the former... the Erma. Just... the Erma. It's so accurate, even a non-sniper with average marksmanship can out-snipe Scope with it, and it's only a touch below the Barret (the strongest sniper rifle) in damage, with a much better range and weight.
    • The ACR, G11, or FN-SCAR-H Sniper variant. Both are accurate, versatile, and damaging; the only downside being finding G11 and ACR ammunition.
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    • AET, "cold-loaded" (subsonic), or match ammo. The only downside for AET rounds is that the weapons they're used from degrade faster, while cold-loaded rounds have less penetration against body armor. Match ammo performs against body armor about as well as regular ammunition, but is more accurate, letting you get headshots more easily.
    • Mortars, mortars, mortars, oh, and mortars. Bad thing is, it'll go both ways - you can easily decimate a 50+ invasion force with only Barry, Red, and Fidel casually lobbing shells at the bunched-up goons, or your EOD armor-wearing strike force can be literally reduced to ashes.
    • Among the v1.13 weapons, the MP7 = best sidearm in the game, period.
      • So do the FN P90 if you prefer More Dakka instead of Guns Akimbo (and if you like either of these, then I'd assume you always fight at night). Some mooks do have them now, so you can easily get a reload. The only disadvantage is that in 1.13 they have long magazines, which means you can't store them in standard AR magazine pouches, so you have to get specialized equipment to carry them or stuff them in your backpack. Though this does make them good for medics, techs, or grenadiers, as it frees up AR magazine pouches for medkits, tech gear, explosives, and grenades/grenade launcher ammo.
    • Same with Metal Storm's Surf Zone, the best thing to hit CQC weapons. Fire and the person in range is DEAD. DEAD. DEAAAAAD!!
    • One key change in v1.13 is that by default, income will not decrease when you stall your overall operations against the Queen's army. Enrico will still get fed up if you hole up (i.e. in Drassen) and send you angry e-mails, but your account is credited the same amount of dollars, based on your holdings and local support. This allows you to hunker down, i.e. to stockpile weapons and supplies from Bobby Ray's online shop or to train your members... some of whom will need it.
      • And of course you can edit your starting funds. Say, start with 10 mil in day 1.
    • Not just the guns, but some attachments do count. To start with, the Aimpoint Projector gives quite a ridiculous aiming bonus. And later, the Rifle LAM Flashlight combo which have less aiming bonus, but compatible with more weapons and have a slight vision bonus at night.
      • The Insight-2000 will fit any gun, and is a choice for rifles that can't accept LA Ms. Couple it with a ACOG-Reddot combo. You're guaranteed to hit a lot of things.
      • The Old Aimpoint Projector is balanced out in 1.13 by the fact that it fits a grand total of three rifles: the G3, G3KA4, and the G41; and all three rifles are only decent at best. In particular, the old 7.62mm rifles—particularly the FN FAL variants—have lost their gamebreaker status in the latest 1.13 builds, which incorporate aimed autofire (a feature not present in the original game) and heavy recoil. For ranged automatic weapons, there is suddenly a reason to go back to the 5.56mm rifles: the recoil of the 7.62 NATO weapons is too heavy to be of practical use in automatic fire. (Unless you get a grippod/foregrip.)
    • The OICW - while, in statistics, appears to offer the same range/accuracy bonuses as an ACOG-Reflex-Insight LAM combo, is far more accurate than it lets on.
    • The XM 8 marksman variant is the only assault rifle that allows a sniper scope - less readying costs than most sniper rifles, for obvious reasons. Mercs with a decent accuracy score can regularly score headshots.
    • In Unfinished Business, Charlene "Raven" Higgins. You only need to pay mercs once when you hire them in this game, and Raven offers a ridiculous bang for the buck. She is among the best snipers in the game, and much, much cheaper than the only two better than her (Lynx and Scope). Outfit her with a powerful sniper rifle and she will one-shot almost everything from ridiculous distance. She is, in fact, so powerful that a lot of players at the time considered it almost cheating to bring her along.
    • A surprisingly subtle one: Leadership plus wisdom. High leadership helps boost morale. Deputy/Squadleader (in 1.13) further boosts it. But high wisdom lets your poor-leadership mercs develop that particular skill very quickly, and once you've got several regular mercs with good leadership alongside Deputies and Squadleaders, the morale across your personal army will be sky-high, which in turn greatly boosts everyone's performance in combat. Even the piss-poor MERC mercs and the weaker RPCs will be regularly hitting targets with deadly accuracy.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series is highly popular among Finnish PC gamers with Jagged Alliance 2 getting voted Game of the Year by both the readers and the editors in the largest gaming magazine in Finland. It also was among the best-selling PC games in Finland for months. In fact, in Finland Sir-Tech is mostly known for Jagged Alliance series rather than Wizardry.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Mass Effect had a main character named Shepard, who fought Reapers. Jagged Alliance 2 has a character named Sheppards who goes by the code-name "Reaper".
  • Ho Yay: If MD and Danny work together for a while, MD has some...complimentary things to say about Danny that can readily be interpreted this way.
  • Quicksand Box: The equipment in 1.13. There are SO MANY weapons, armor variants, accesories, ammo types, and LBE gear that an inexperienced player who isn't a gun nut can be easily overwhelmed, especially since the up-front stats about the weapons may not always convey how useful (or not...) they actually are, as well as what can actually fit in the various LBE slots.
  • Sequelitis: The series hasn't done well since 2. Both Back In Action and Crossfire were negatively received by fans and critics due to heavily simplifying the game mechanics, removing a number of features, and lacking much of the charm and depth of the first two games. A crowdfunded game, Flashback, was hoped to finally break this trend, but the developers ran out of funding and released the game as an Obvious Beta that was not received well. Rage! began to reverse the trend somewhat, but is still only considered So Okay, It's Average.
  • That One Level:
    • The 1.13 modification adds in an enemy counter-attack on Drassan once your mercs take control of the town. This was a feature Dummied Out from the original game, and it becomes clear why once you play through it: Your mercs, likely inexperienced and armed with pistols and perhaps a few sub-machine guns and shotguns, are attacked by dozens of enemies storming in from multiple sectors (thanks the 1.13's reinforcement feature). You're actually expected to retreat and retake the town after most of the attackers leave the area, but the game never tells you this and so players often have their mercs wiped out here. Thankfully, it is fairly simple to disable this event through configuration editing.
    • The Cambria hospital, especially in 1.12. The game isn't built for in building combat, causing mercs who open doors to put their entire body in front of the door and eat lead from an interrupt given to the enemy on the other side. A lot better in 1.13, as the new AI will cause most of the enemies to investigate the lobby (which is where you've most likely shot someone), but chances are, there's one or two enemies that hole up in the cafeteria or the room in front of it. Fortunately, you do have one big advantage: Bobby Rays' entire explosives catalogue, which can open up all kinds of doors.
    • Tixa Prison's basement is a tight mess of corridors with enemies firing from behind slitted or barred windows. Bring a few LAWs; you'll need them to root the buggers out.
    • Orta's labs render some of your most common tactics to deal with tight corridors impossible with all those indestructible walls and that one chokepoint at the end of a long hallway, through a single narrow doorframe. The enemy elites love pouring automatic fire and grenades into that tiny room before running in with knives that go right through your Spectra/EOD armor.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Ira and Skyrider in 2. Not so much because of gameplay reasons, but because of their voices; Ira's shrill, thick Brooklyn accent and Skyrider's constant chatter whenever you start ordering his helicopter around proved less than endearing to the fanbase. The latter was bad enough that the 1.13 mod added an option to silence much of his dialogue.
    • The mercs added by the Wildfire expansion, mostly because of a combination of sub-par voice-acting, bland characterization, and Character Shilling. Plus some of them replace better characters in the regular game's roster. Even in the 1.13 mod, where they are added without replacing any of the existing mercs, they find themselves rarely used by players.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Back In Action and Crossfire. Beyond the real-time/turn-based debate, the series' fans were less than pleased by the simplification of game mechanics (mecrs aren't hired for a month but permanently, training militia don't require to perform some drill by your mercenaries but is made by paying to upgrade them), the absence of actual cutscenes after Back In Action intro, and the removal of the feature which allowed to create your own custom merc from scratch. Rage!, on the other hand, reduces the huge Ensemble Cast from dozens of mercs to just six (Ivan, Shadow, Raven, Grunty, Dr.Q, and Vicki), and reduces the maps to fairly small areas.
  • The Woobie: Elliot, as the result of being the frequent victim of Shoot the Messenger, literally in the end. Though seeing as that doesn't do squat to hinder him in his diligent if unappreciated service to his beloved queen, he's also a Determinator.


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