[The game has come to the final phase- Meduna City is within range. Once you choke off the narrow path, the rest of the map is safe.]
It’s been months since a decent game arrived and ‘Jagged Alliance: Back In Action’ (JABIA) recently made it to Singaporean market. While there have been many negative reviews on the game, but honestly, I personally find it enjoyable and the sequel is as lovely as ‘Jagged Alliance 2’. While many complained about the real time engine of the game, getting used to it means it’s somehow easier to play than turn-based.

[This is team Alpha, and they are the best of the squads. In every team, there must be one mechanic and one field medic.]
Basically what you need to do in JABIA is to get first squad of Fox, Grunty, Steroid then Buns when you have more money. This initial team has a mechanic with decent marksmanship and a field medic to revive any fallen comrades. After completing a quest, I have added Devin in alongside with a MD. It’s necessary to have a full squad of 6 mercs because Meduna City is crawling with a huge number of foes and you will need alot of ammo to cover that many targets.

And it is very important to get a mechanic guy who can open locked doors before you entered an area whereby your enemies are behind locked doors and you are stuck unable to clear the area. There is also a need to observe that reaction time to shooting may be reduced by choosing someone of high agility… or dexterity. It’s always better to be able to shoot first.

The game gets tougher with days gone by as invading squads from Deidranna are upgraded from ax wielding folks to squads with full armor and machine guns. So it’s necessary to have a trained squad ready and to ‘liberate’ Arulco efficiently. After one occupied Cambia City, it is about time to create a squad Bravo to guard the parameters and to transport supplies from the airport when needed. When you have enough money, you can create a supply squad solely for the purpose of transporting purchases from the Airport to Cambia City. The next site of storage as you are approaching Meduna City would be the Supermarket.

[There are tons to loot with every kill, but you can’t loot and store everything because Alpha squad is solely for attacking. So Charlie squad usually comes in to loot clean the scene and store the items somewhere nearby. Efficient logistic is also a key to winning the game easier.]
The first challenge I had encountered was at a supply base south of San Mona. The Alpha squad was only 4 guns then and they couldn’t handle the rush-in of so many enemies. Therefore, it was the first battle whereby a combined-squad action took place as Bravo squad was moved in. There is a glitch in that a room on the second floor of the warehouse cannot be acessed. So you have to shoot the lone trooper using the windows.

The second challenge came when the squad encountered the first tank since none of squads were equipped with AT missiles. The squad occupied a building next to the tank and looted a LAW and 4 missiles, and used one missile to destroy the tank. Interestingly… there was no tank in Meduna City. The Maze does have one and was the prioity to be disposed off. Though I have not tried, but it is said that flak grenades can destroy tanks… Amazing.

[Here are the mercs I hired for the job. Jagged Alliance is great because you got choices. And you can go online to order supplies.]
JABIA is pretty dynamic. You can also choose to scavenge weapons from fallen foes to give to townfolks hence creating a militia unit… but don’t count on them to really guard your areas. Their main use is to draw fires while you concentrate on deleting foes on the battlefield. Actually, all my weapons are scavenged from dead bodies… There is no need to really buy anything… but at the later part of the game, you have no need to save money since you have nothing much to waste money on than ammo when you are flooded with gold.

[A couple of characters will join you if you complete the quests. But so far, only two can shoot well, and the rest are weak. Devin is obtained this way, he is ok with shooting but he is taken to Alpha squad for his extremely high explosive skills. So Devin deals with the tanks. Don’t expect too much, Conrad ain’t good at shooting.]
You can regroup at the global world page, but the most important thing is you have to ‘rest’ before trying to occupy an area. Resting means stopping the squad for a while at the global map, letting the health and stamina meter rise back to normal, then you invade and try to liberate an area.

Every so often, a random squad will be generated from Deidranna’s palace. Once you have occupied the Meduna SAM site, you can have your squads to choke the invaders off at the site.

[This is team Charlie at a storage site. Their initial job is to transport supplies, and when they are fully equipped and got a medic, they end up as the support for Bravo squad in battle. Luckily, they ain’t too weak for the job.]
Alright… at times I did wave my middle finger at the game because the AI fucked up, messed up the plan and… gosh~ I don’t understand why when it should be able to shoot but the shooter still shout “I can’t make that shot”!!! And then he was killed. What the fuck AI was that, right? But still, I am not after perfection. So as long as I can clear out the area, no problem.

Moreover, if you need to face a direction, press and drag the right button of the mouse in the desireable direction.

[Dealing with tanks is stupid because they really need one shot from LAW and will expire. But their long range fire means getting close for the shot could be a challenge.]

[Tactics] In order to hunt down targets especially in tight rooms, you have to deploy tactics…

1. One runner will run across the room attracting the target’s attention, at that point, the shooting comrade will enter from the other direction and have enough time to aim. The running makes use of the game rules that all shooters will take time to shoot. While you run from side to side and not direction to or from the shooter, the shooter could take forever to fire.

2. In rooms with windows, prone at windows and try to distract the target… then rise and shoot once and prone again.

3. In open fields, you attract attention by shooting at one chap at long range, best with single bullets allowing him time to sound the alarm, and create a rush-in of enemies to you, or if you are attracting attention of melee combatant, simply run about and as he chases after you, your mercs will be ready in formation for him as the comrade runs back to them.

4. Note that if you shoot from X position and the target alarms the nearby guards, they will rush in to X position, meaning if you shoot and have run to Y position, they will be stuck at X position. You can make use of this to land mines at strategic points.

5. When confronting an invading squad from Deidranna, if you must, you have to shoot them from afar as they rush in or… if you can’t, let them take over the position since it is usually easier to ambush and reclaim than occupy for the first time. But note that areas which have tanks will mean the destroyed tanks will be back when you try to reclaim the area.

[These are 2 of the 3 end game pictures; a sovenir for completing the all time favorite Jagged Alliance sequel.]
[The Final Battle] Something noteworthy about the final battle when you have reached the last point of Meduna Palace is, send someone to dash into the room from the right and Queen Deidranna will herself rush out of the heavily guarded hall. So you have to station your best shooter at the right end of the south door and shoot at her once she comes out of the room hereby finishing the game. This is probably a joke provided by the developer. If Deidranna won’t rush out, I could imagine the super toughness of clearing the entire room.

There is a chance that she may not rush out. If so, send the best shooter in using the door nearest the left walls, enter and you will face a lone figure. That will be Deidranna. Do a duel, kill her, and the game is finished. Don’t worry, Deidranna’s not a good shooter, it so seems.

It would have been better if they have a better closing than 3 pictures depicting the aftermath events. I have gotten the ‘biochemical attack’ ending, clueless of what have I missed in the game… I don’t really understand why there is such an attack on Arulco. Maybe I have not cleared Meduna Airport or have missed out a quest…? And there is no bonus given for completing the game. Just too bad~

[This is team Bravo. Another two mercs will join the team, but four is enough when Charlie squad is providing the support. They are not the best, but they do a neat job reclaiming lost areas and fending off invaders.]

[About The Game] I don’t really understand what’s so bad about JABIA to garner the negative reviews from some quarters, but I basically find it special and basically am enjoying it. This is a remake of ‘Jagged Alliance 2’ and it is a good job done. The graphic is nice though the dialogues could have been more. I like choosing the mercs for the squad… and I like to end Deidranna’s stupid reign… JABIA is one of a kind, and I am glad after so many years, it’s ‘back in action’.

If you are looking for something unique, JABIA could be what you don’t want to miss. I definitely look forward for a sequel soon so that I can hire mercs again for a new occassion. I am glad that Kalypso Media and Bitcomposer Games have done a good job in this remake; hopefully the next one won’t be like forever.

Another piece of good news is, Wasteland2 is on its way. Inxile seems to be making progress. As a gamer, I look forward to both Fallout4 and Wasteland2.