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So, you wanted your own private war? What's that? You want to be paid for it too? Well, merc, your wishes are about to come true! Your renowned skills have landed you the job of winning back the country of Arulco for deposed ruler Enrico Chivaldori. And he really doesn't care how you do it, as long as you get it done! The decisions, planning and strategy that permeate a successful operation are entirely up to you!
You'll need to recruit specific squads of mercenaries from a pool of 70, each selected for his or her specific skills and attributes, from the rolls of the Association of International Mercenaries (A.I.M.). You can even create your own merc with characteristics ranging from attitude to expertise. It'll be your responsibility to pick the right soldiers for the right job, keeping them inspired, providing sufficient ammunition and, most importantly, ensuring that paydays are never missed - after all, they're not fighting for the glory of it - they're mercenaries, just like you!
Mercenaries in the game improve with success in typical RPG fashion. Individual characteristics include initial fees demanded by each merc, skills (medical, explosives, mechanical, marksmanship and experience) and attitudes (which can change during the course of the game). Attributes are measured on a scale of zero to 100 and include a sliding pay scale commensurate with experience gained, health, agility, dexterity, strength, wisdom and leadership. Morale, training and individual energy levels also enter the mix.
In Jagged Alliance 2, you'll be required to mix equal parts of role-playing, strategy and combat to reach your main objective. There are many roads to victory and you'll have to travel most, if not all, of them. Diplomacy, sheer guts, determination, tactical planning, the ability to select wisely those mercs needed for each mission and economic concerns (ammunition, bribes, salaries, weapons, equipment, etc.) are just some of the aspects you'll need to master.
Resources can be found in the secret mines of the region, mines you'll have to ferret out, then take by force and exploit to finance your squads that can range up to 18 individuals for any given mission. You'll need to use the available human resources as well — treat the locals nice and they may just help you in any number of ways (information, money, warnings, etc.). No less than 150 in-game characters communicate with you and your squads, utilizing more than 10,000 digitized lines of speech as the missions unfold.
Gameplay is non-linear with real-time exploration and turn-based combat. Multiple options are available that allow you to customize your game. These include three difficulty levels, timed turns, normal or precise gun selections and a choice of a science fiction or realistic based campaign! Toggle options are provided for speech, mute confirmations, subtitles, shadow usage, blood and gore, the original Jagged Alliance character selection procedure, movement paths, metric measurement system, selected character highlighting during movement, glowing items, tree tops on or off, wire-framed structures and many more.
The manual contains a four-part tutorial that leads you through the steps of selecting and assembling a team, travel options, interacting with characters you'll encounter during your campaign and the art of killing those who would impede your progress. Assignments, weapons handling, inventory management, shopping for equipment, combat options, communication via your (in-game) laptop and a host of other gameplay techniques and explanations are covered as well.
All right soldier, get moving — the citizens and leader of Arulco await their freedom at your hands. And, oh-by-the-way, don't always expect your mercs to get along — these are highly-strung, sometimes eccentric, but always proud individuals with distinct personalities who can clash in unforeseen ways. You've been warned! So, still feel up to the challenge? Good. Your mercs are counting on you! ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide