Jagged Alliance 3 is a complex strategy game combining real-time stealth and party management with turn-based combat and a West African setting rarely seen in video games these days. Players control and organize a group of Mercenaries as they seek to liberate the fictional nation-state of Grand Chien from the grip of a tyrannical warlord named “The Major” along with his followers “The Legion.”
The game features a number of complex mechanics, not all of which are obvious to the player at first. Staying on top of each of these elements can be a considerable challenge. Fortunately, with a bit of patience and experience, the game can become a lot easier to understand. Players will be able to excel with multiple mercenary squads as they seek to control the entire Grand Chien region, as long as they avoid making these common mistakes.
5 Not Preparing For Missions
Given that some sectors of the map will leave players with little to do and little to gain from staying there, it can be tempting to rush to the next sector in order to capture more territory. However, if players are not careful, their mercenaries can become tired and injured over time. This will mean that when they engage enemies in a new sector, they will not be anywhere near their optimum strength. With enemies already attacking territories spontaneously, it is ill-advised to go on the offensive all the time.
Mercenaries can be healed using the “Operations” tab on the Satellite View, and will recover their stamina over time if simply left to their own devices. Similarly, all gear should be checked in case it is in need of repair or extra ammunition. It is also handy to organize each mercenary’s inventory in advance, since when combat begins they will be unable to exchange items. Finally, it may be beneficial to convert any spare weapons and gear into scrap in order to make way for any upcoming loot in the mission ahead.
4 Always Going For Headshots
The turn-based combat in Jagged Alliance 3 allows players to specify a target area for their weapons when aiming at individual enemies. While headshots will certainly do the most damage, they can be difficult to pull off at long range. Missing shots can be costly, especially with limited ammunition. It is important to accumulate as much damage on each target as possible with every turn, even if it is not always possible to kill every enemy instantly.
Targeting the arms will provide a penalty to accuracy for the afflicted target, which can be especially useful against Snipers and other Marksman-style enemies. Similarly, targeting the legs will give the target a movement penalty. This can be especially useful against Melee and Explosive classes, since preventing them from getting into range is crucial for limiting their combat-effectiveness.
3 Accidentally Buying Items
The trading system in Jagged Alliance 3 is not the simplest or best of the game’s mechanics by any means. Players will be able to buy and sell items at market stalls once the respective settlements have first been liberated. Rather than interacting with any merchant or bringing up dialogue options like ordinary NPC interactions, players will purchase items by clicking on the market stall selling that product.
Inevitably, this can lead to frustrating accidental purchases that can tank the crew’s budget, while simply trying to navigate the squad through a busy market. Equally, the selling system can be confusing, with players required to first scrap items and then sell the scrap rather than being able to outright sell weapons and gear.
2 Neglecting Militia Training
In addition to liberating new territories, players must also keep a watchful eye over those they have already taken control of. Legion troops are also capable of traveling around the map and re-occupying territory if it is left unguarded. Ports and major settlements in particular must be well guarded. The easiest way to ensure an area’s protection is to recruit Militia via the Operations menu in the Satellite View.
Failing to do this will result in a lot of frustrating back-tracking in order to recapture previously owned territories, and can lead to cat-and-mouse style chases around the map. In addition to this, players will also lose all access to the benefits of the given location. These benefits include any income generated, travel routes accessed, and markets unlocked.
1 Being Spotted Early
Jagged Alliance 3 features a unique blend of real-time and turn-based action, with deployments starting in real time, allowing players to set up traps, collect resources, and position their mercenaries before and after combat. Many mission sectors will also contain additional points of interest such as fences to cut through or mines to defuse and avoid. Even for players not looking to take an entirely stealthy approach, it is helpful to start these segments in a stealth stance. Being spotted too early can be detrimental to running a successful mission.
Often, it can help to split the squad up and have them work on different tasks as well as attacking from different angles. It is important to stay aware of all squad members and where they are on the map in relation to enemies. Being caught out in the open can put the squad at a serious disadvantage, while remaining hidden and springing ambushes will put them on the front foot as soon as combat is initiated.
Jagged Alliance 3 is available now on PC.
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