Jagged Alliance: Online – 10 “Survival” Tips

5. Swapping the Old for the New – But, let us say that you wanted slightly better starting gear, and you hired a few Mercs with their equipment, what happens when they become too expensive? Here is the problem, a Merc whom you dismiss, so let’s say a Merc you trained from Level 1 to Level 26, will end up on his default level. So Ira, whose default is level 3, could turn from level 22 back to level 3 when you dismiss her. It sounds like an end of the world, since you have to eventually get rid of your Mercs, and you cannot change their contract because his or her level will drop to default and as such they will be too weak for your current missions and PvP.

Here is my tip. Let us say you hired a Merc with equipment, and your company reached level 22 before his contract ended. At level 22 you unlock a new batch of Mercs of different types that you can hire. So, you have the “Old and Expensive” Level 22 Merc, you strip him off the equipment you bought him, and then you hire a brand new Level 22 Merc and give him the equipment you know he can use. You pay around 1,800 for a Level 22 Merc with a two week contract and he or she gets decent equipment you bought previously. Best part? After just one lost PvP battle you can extend the Merc’s contract for another two weeks.

There is another good thing about hiring higher level Mercs. Lower Levels Mercs always have two negative traits, while a Level 22 Merc will have one negative and one positive trait. That means that just like with equipment you swap the old for something new and better. Of course, it might take some time getting used to these new Mercs but money-wise you will be better off.

6. Upgrade your Hospital (always) – Your Hospital is a “Buff Machine”. It is not so much tasked with healing your Mercs as it is with improving their stats. Observe even before you upgrade it that a Merc’s stat will increase by the number represented by the upgrade. At first this benefit might be marginal but the more you upgrade the Hospital the higher the benefits. It does get very expensive later on, but in the end all your Mercs benefit from the Hospital so it is a worthwhile investment.

7. Know your guns! – Each guns has different range effectiveness. For example, SMGs are most deadly at close and point-blank range. Machine Guns work at short to medium range, but if somebody stands at point blank range the Machine Gun will not hit. Rifles and Assault Rifles are also good at Close to Medium ranges, and they can even perform “ok” at very close ranges. Sniper Rifles are most effective at Medium to Long ranges. Pistols are also close to medium range weapons… you get the idea. You have to observe, both during single player and PvP at what range is each weapon best, so that you know how close you have to advance to an enemy to do most damage. This in turn also allows you to exploit the weaknesses of your enemies. For example, you could use a Commando with an SMG to run right up to a Gunner with a Machine Gun. The Gunner has to move in order to hope to hit your Commando, but he can at best fire a single shot.

This does mean that eventually you might multi-task your Mercs to hold different types of weapons, in case the enemy tries something funny. Different weapons also have different AP costs, so you might opt for a Sniper to use a Pistol at close range, and pull off a few shots, rather than have to move back and fire a single shot with a sniper rifle.

Jagged Alliance: Online

My opponent is about to win, but I will not go down without a fight! In this case I am seeing which of the two enemy Mercs is the better target. The one I am aiming for has very solid armor, but because she is exposing her side I will be able to cause much more damage.

8. Understand Armor – Jagged Alliance: Online is in many ways an Arms race. You want to have better guns and armor than the enemy, but it’s not always easy to say when is the enemy better off than you. The simplest way to tell whether the enemy has better armor than you, at a glance, is to compare the Durability of your and his armor. If you know you have guns on the same level as your armor then you should be able to penetrate enemy armor of the same level/durability. However smaller durability means weaker armor so you know you might have an easier time. It is a bad idea to look at an armor’s appearance, because, by the game’s logic, a fluffy beret can offer more protection than a steel helmet.

Certain types of weapons will have problems even with equal level armor. SMGs, for example, will have a hard time penetrating Heavy Armor. Thankfully, there is no “perfect” armor, and each suit tends to have some weakness. In case of heavy armor this tends to be the flanks or rear, so a Commando with an SMG can quickly run around an enemy and then spray bullets at their weak spots. You can tell where an armor has weak spots by holding your mouse over an enemy merc. The redder the region the “softer” it is. Some armor has tougher sides than the front or rear, and such armor can be very effectively used when storming an enemy concentration, since they will not have “easy shots” on the Merc’s flank.

Tough enough armor can literally “Absorb” shots, which will result in no health drop, but the durability of the armor will reduce. Armor that is “destroyed” during combat will not stop bullets anymore. Take note that having a solid helmet is usually as important as having a well protected chest, since a skilled sniper could easily take away half of your health, on higher levels, with a single shot.

9. Tactics! – Sometimes you have to use those brain cells. Here is an example, a Scout could signal the enemy where you are. The enemy aims and charges in that direction, hoping to mob you. While they follow the Scout your Sniper then fires at them, and a small firefight between the enemy and your Scout and Sniper begins. The enemy might grow furious and charge with his Commandos or Soldiers, but if you played it smart you would have a Gunner and Soldier/Commando hiding behind a wall/cover, ready to fire at the flank of the charging enemy.

Surprise, visibility, stealth. You have to pay attention to your surroundings, since your Mercs have very limited eyesight and hearing. Same goes for the enemy. If you manage to tie down the enemy in a long distance fire fight you might have an opening for your other soldiers to flank the enemy. Running is loud and highly visible. If you do not have enough AP you might suddenly stop right in front of the enemy guns, in the open. Always calculate your dash. Do you have enough APs to get to the enemy? Will you have enough left to fire? Where will you aim? etc. Stealth is good for creating a surprise, and trust me, nobody wants to suddenly wake up with a gun up to their head, when they thought the enemy is only in front.

Having a versatile squad helps you adapt to any situation. The a fore mentioned Scout, Commando, Sniper and Gunner setup offers you a lot of the “skills” and equipment you need. A scout will spot enemy Mercs. Your gunner acts as heavy support, or a nasty surprise when the enemy runs around a corner and forgets to look in his direction. The Commando can run right into the middle of the enemy group, wrecking havoc on lightly armored Mercs, while the Sniper acts both as long-distance support and bait, since a lot of players feel that killing the Sniper is a sort of a priority. Rightfully so, but they do not think it’s a trap.

10. Understand Action Points - In a PvP situation you have to be careful how you use your Action Points (APs). Each action point could be a difference between standing in the open like a turkey, firing that crucial kill-shot or turning around and realizing you just got flanked. Observe in each game how much AP it takes to fire, crouch and move. Whenever a round is about to finish try to get your character to crouch and prepare him to fire. If you spend a few more APs this turn then next turn you might have more of them to fire accurately, or to quickly flee. The best practice for this are Single Player games, as PvP games might be far more demanding, and then you will have to really show that you know how to play the game.


About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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