Never thought so soon after ‘Back In Action‘, Jagged Alliance will have a sequel. After completed the game, it’s time for a review. If you are new to ‘Jagged Alliance: Crossfire‘, you must read this review. Failure to do so will give you a 80% chance of restarting all over…

While ‘Back In Fire’ is a remake of a story based in Arulco fighting Deidrianna, ‘Crossfire’ has its own story in ‘Khanpaa’. Sadly, it’s not important to know the story, since the main issue of this game is simply shoot shoot shoot till you reach the goal. Markers to people you need to talk to are readily given, so there is very little thinking involved. While some said ‘Crossfire’ is an add-on or expansion, after playing, I’d suggest that ‘Crossfire’ is a game of its own. It somehow uses the same engine and some details still were displayed as if the game is based in Arulco, but ‘Crossfire’ sees a new map with a couple of subtle but important changes which affect gameplay.

While I am glad that there are more mercs to choose from since M.E.R.C is bankrupted and A.I.M has absorbed some of the mercs, most of those M.E.R.C mercs absorbed are outright garbage. Which is, in the order of value for money, you will hardly end up choosing them. Besides, more mercs don’t make a bigger map or many more places than in ‘Back In Action’. The map of ‘Crossfire’ features relatively far fewer places than ‘Back In Action’, which is a major disappointment.

Hilariously, at the back of the package, ‘M.E.R.C is back’ is printed.

But for gamers who enjoy this genre, ‘Crossfire’ is still pretty decent.

There is no visible improvement to the graphics, the mercs will still run into each other and get stuck. It’s a real disgust and often disastrous after planning out every move, then you see your mercs running into each other or the enemy and got stuck or chopped by the enemy. The mercs still cannot avoid crushing into another… There are also other bugs in ‘Crossfire’ which I don’t see in ‘Back In Action’. When an enemy merc is killed in ‘Crossfire’, the loot may not even appear until you saved and reload. In Kalaya Yuta, there is a cupboard that simply can’t be looted. And mercs can have very weird travelling routes…

For instance, Kalaya Yuta is a circular path all the way up, if you press for a merc to hit A-point to the west, the stupid merc may just try to take the shortest direct path and got stuck at the ridge instead of moving upon an established route through the circles to A-point. Interestingly, if you hit space-bar, there is an established path through the circles to the west indicated but the merc just won’t follow! It’s very dangerous if you are trying to avoid mines or enemy gunners because their travel routes just won’t make sense!

This happens also when you want to travel from the hydro electric power station to the talking head to the northwest corner of the map. Instead of going through a path leading to the main road from the south exit and making turns to meet the chap, the merc will simply dash back west into the power station and got himself stuck at the fence.

‘Crossfire’ doesn’t even have an opening cinematic of actors performing as in the opening of ‘Back In Action’, and I wonder why. Was there such a need for the haste to start selling ‘Crossfire’? Or there is a competitor coming for the same genre and the same idea? Nor has the ending presentation improved. There is also no cinematic during the entire adventure other than the talking heads.

Now we go into the game proper.

The starting amount ($30,000) will only afford the recruitment of two decent mercs. I made a mistake in the first trial choosing Steroid. Gasket is the better choice when you need to have a mechanic who can shoot well. In choosing mercs you need to focus on first Marksmanship, then Agility, then Dexterity, and calculate their maximum values when they reach level 10. For the maximum value for money, the starting team will be Biff and Gasket. For a medic, Biff shoots exceptionally well. Then as the game progresses, you bring in Thor and Raven then Fox and Ivan. Another reason to give Steroid a miss is there are very few ammo loots around for his starting weapon, and a replacement at such early stage will be mostly the lousier makes.

The funny part of starting out in ‘Crossfire’ is the first loots include a grenade launcher… It is fucking slow to operate for a new cheaper merc that given the accuracy, it’s basically junk. Actually, the grenade launcher is basically a piece of junk till the end of the game since by the time you can handle the weapon effectively, much better assault rifles will be available. So sell it and the ammo for cash.

After you have taken the Harbor, you will have to decide whether to arm the partisans.

There is no need to.

There might be available guns to arm them, but all of those available should be pistols or small sub-machine guns… The real ‘threat’ the Harbor faces will be the ‘reinforcement’ who will be equipped with assault rifles and heavily geared, so the partisans will be easily overwhelmed. So there is really no use to arm those partisans. Thus, sell all of those pistols and sub-machine guns for cash, using the cash you can recruit better mercs sooner and invest in ammo.

From the Harbor you will clear two towns, and there will be two paths. It is either North or South. However, a quest at the Sawmill will fetch a huge amount of money, another quest needing you to find stolen goods then Coltan ores will lead you first to Khadwan to the south. Since only the mine and the hydro electric power station will yield decent daily income, you will need the financial  boost by completing the quests in order to recruit better mercs. Besides, the Northern path to the mine is mainly for the collection of Coltan ore, and to start that lucrative quest you still have to visit Khadwan first. And if you visit Khadwan, the Sawmill will be just next door.

When you reached the Sawmill, you clear out the Outpost. Here’s the important thing to note…

There is a rocket launcher in the Outpost with 4 rockets. You MUST obtain the weapon and ALL the 4 rockets and remember to take them with you when you have reached the Military Base. Failure to do so means ‘game restart’ because there is a tank in the Military Base, without the rockets you can’t take the base, you will be stuck. And many walk-throughs will tell you 3 rockets will be needed to take out a tank at Normal difficulty, that’s rubbish. It took me 4 rockets to blast the fucking tank. Carry the launcher with you whenever you need to visit the Military Base in case the enemy took it back and the tank is regenerated.

Some called this a ‘glitch’, I simply see it as a menace. Hours of play and looting will be wasted simply because you can’t deal with the tank…

By the time you have reached the Military Base, you should have started making orders for supplies, particularly ammo for assault rifles and landmines. You also need to order equipment to remove landmines. At Monk Village, you’d encounter landmines. By the time you have reached the Mine, the quest to collect Coltan ores should be available. There are at least 13 Coltan ores in the game, about 6 in the Mine, at least 2 at Monk Village, 3 at Military Base and 1… where the fuck was it… Can’t remember.

There is something to note after you have taken the Outpost. The Military Base doesn’t produce income, and the partisans are few. The only reason to occupy the Base is to recruit an NPC called Dariush for free. The NPC will want a G36C and MP7, his dialogue says G63C which is an error. Early in the game, roving enemies will not be equipped with such guns. MP7 will be scarce, Bobby Ray’s won’t sell either. You will probably only see some MP7s to loot when you reached Kalaya Yuta. Or you can recruit Fox and give the weapon away to complete the quest and recruit the NPC. Either way, you probably can’t recruit Fox that early as well. Once you recruited the NPC, you can still retrieve the MP7 and G36C from his inventory. The point is, unless you can defend the Military Base with another squad, there is really no need to take the Base that early. For income’s sake, after taking the Outpost, some may consider taking the Mine and Power Station to the North.

As for me, I simply took the Base, head towards Monk Village and… after you occupied Monk Village, your main force will literally be stuck at Monk Village because roving armies from Kalaya Yuta will be sent to Monk Village at short intervals. And you start with about only 4 partisans who can be armed… Bad deal.

By the time you reached Monk Village, you should have already recruited two NPCs to transport your supplies from the Harbor to Monk Village.

The easiest way to defend Monk Village is simply to guard the long straight path to the Northeast just right of the temple. The enemies will appear at the bridge area to the North and must cross this straight path. By now, you should have at least 4 shooters all equipped with rifles and scopes. The defense becomes easier if you have spare time or squad to take the Mine and go online to purchase landmines… plenty of landmines. If at any point some invaders got stuck and not charging to the path from the bridge, simply sends one merc running to them and one by one, they will start moving to your line of defense. The enemies at Monk Village will also provide better and better weapons for looting. The secret of defending Monk Village is after the game passes 28 days, roving armies from Kalaya Yuta stop coming.

You can choose to immediately attack Kalaya Yuta or hold off the invasion till the 28th day… the catch is, before you talk to the old monk at Kalaya Yuta, you need to exit Kalaya Yuta and head straight for the Power Station to collect one of the artifacts. If you have given the ring to the trader, you have to buy it back. You should also have come across a sceptre worth $1,200 in earlier missions. I have brought the screpte to Khadwan and deposited there before making my way to Kalaya Yuta. Upon talking to him, you will only have 3 days to bring him the 3 artifacts. The 3 days are for you to talk to the monk at Khadwan for the last artifact. And if you do occupy Kalaya Yuta, do not arm the partisans because once you exit the place, those partisans will form a renegade squad E and travel the map. I think that’s a bug…

There is also one chap who will want a saber from you to join your course at Kalaya Yuta… Forget it, there is a bug that you will never be able to give him the saber.

Going back to the occupation of Khadwan…

When you enter Khadwan, most likely that’d be during the infancy of your squad. Unlikely you can afford 3~4 mercs.  But the enemies will be equipped with rifles which are lethal at long range. Your pistols or sub-machine guns look feeble against them…

At Bras, there is a locked secret tunnel to a room. This will be the first place you can loot two powerful enough assault rifles. Just note that the ammo for the rifles will be limited for a while. So ration the use of the weapons carefully. Also at Bras, the chap who started the Coltan ore quest has the largest amount of cash to the point of beyond $200,000 for trading if you completed the Coltan ore quest. If you need money, after Kalaya Yuta is taken, you can take all the weapons from Monk Village and Kalaya Yuta and sell to him at Bras.

The trick to fight is the same as in ‘Back To Action’, but the AI will get increasingly tricky… which is, at the first few towns, if you charge towards the enemy, get close enough the enemy will switch to melee and chase you all the way into an ambush you have laid for him. But the success rate falls exponentially after you have reached the Outpost. After which, sometimes using ‘decoys’ will not work. So when the enemies got too uncooperative, you should have equipped the squad with assault rifles and interestingly speaking AK47 will be available in sufficient quantity by then rendering the other rifles, such as G36C and AKM rather redundant.

The above two pictures illustrate clearing rooms using decoys. Since all shots take time to be fired off, a decoy is mainly sent to run about to distract the enemy, allowing him to aim forever while a team of firing squad is sent to finish the enemy off. In order for the decoy to work, stamina, the distance from the decoy and the distance of the firing squad from the target must all be taken into consideration. The success of the decoy increases the closer the decoy is making a scene from the enemy, but being too close makes the enemy switches to melee mode and if the enemy chases the decoy about in a small room, the firing squad could take forever to aim as well.

When using decoys, always prepare to hit the ‘spacebar’ to observe the reaction of the enemy to the decoys. Very often, when the mercs move towards the enemy, he will make random moves and a re-planning will be needed.

The other way to clear small rooms is to choose mercs with obscene agility pts with a weapon registering high rate of fire so that you can shoot off from the hip stance. In order to succeed, a couple of mercs must fire at the same target so that the enemy won’t have a chance to aim and shoot back.  Shotguns are often used for firing from hip stance, but a more daring move will be simply to hack at the enemy with saber. Besides, the need for shotguns is undermined by the fact that assault rifles come with ‘burst’ mode. You can also try to make the enemy chase you into your ambush for him. If there are windows and doorway, simply make use of the prone and raise tactic. You plan a prone after every single shot for mercs aiming at the target from all directions.

When dealing with enemies at raised locations such as hilltop or top of building, throwing grenades do wonders. AI will usually makes the enemy run away from the grenade and the path he takes will almost always be towards the mercs, hence you can ‘force’ the enemy to run towards you where an ambush is waiting for him.

After equipping with assault rifles, long range clear-outs of enemies will be possible. But note that AK47’s range is only that far… and the enemies can also return fires with their rifles.

By the time you have reached Monk Village, a backup team should have slowly formed by the NPCs and mercs from A.I.M. The backup team’s primary purpose is transporting supplies and completing quests as many quests involve responses around the Harbor area. Once you reached Monk Village, the entire map will be safe from roving armies. If the main team will be taking the Mine or Hydro Electric Power Station, the backup team can be used while the path be laid heavily with landmines to guard the village. Larry, Vicki and Dr Q all are part of the backup team to increase fire support. You don’t really need to bother about all the other mercs when it comes to recruiting. They are the best value for money.

Other than the additional 10 mercs of whom 9/10 won’t be selected, the inventories window see changes, and some new weapons are introduced. The recruiting procedure remains the same, the phone calls made seem to remain unchanged from ‘Back In Action’. There are no options other than to hang up or perhaps merc A will suggest you hire merc B, or merc B will help bring in merc C at lower cost or some mercs could have another set of cheaper equipment …

The maximum rank remains at level 10, there is no way to raise the rank further via quests or to get additional points for the attributes and skills. In ‘Jagged Alliance’ world, there is no training centre for the mercs.

My choice of mercs never gave me this ‘I prefer to be under the employment of experienced employer’ or something as in ‘Back In Action’. I wonder if that idea has been scrapped. Basically, there is no graphical changes and the merc protraits are imported from ‘Back In Action’. The mercs still mumble the same lines wherever they go, whenever they open their mouths… There is simply no other way to interact with them. The lines generated to react to another merc stay the same throughout the game.

Obviously, no comradeship developed after the mercs reached Kalaya Yuta. Strange.

A major improvement in ‘Crossfire’ is the inventory option. Now, you don’t need to run about collecting items to equip or sell, there is a window covering all the loots you have found in the sector (Local Map). It makes sense since after the fight, you can take forever to run about collecting items to sell with the few spare slots in your inventory. This was real stupid in ‘Back In Action’. Which gamers love to waste time memorizing which loots are where then make multiple rounds collecting to the merchants?

Another improvement is that after liberating an area, running about won’t consume stamina. This also makes sense. There was really no need to waste time on stamina consumption when all you need was to rest… and gamers don’t play Jagged Alliance to rest for no events.

Also, in ‘Crossfire’ you can’t miss the phenomenon that armors lose effectiveness at a lesser rate as compared to ‘Back In Action’. My vests last all the way to Monk Village while in ‘Back In Action’, their effectiveness easily becomes 0% after being shot a couple of times. Given the daily income of ‘Crossfire’, this is a welcomed situation.

But the most significant improvement is the game doesn’t end once you have liberated the supposedly last area. In ‘Crossfire’, enemy reinforcement arrived and took the Harbor after Kalaya Yuta is liberated. But that also presents a problem in ‘Crossfire’. It’s most probably a bug.

When you have retaken the Harbor, trying to exit the Harbor to the worldwide map will crush the game. That happened to me, at least. Which means…

If you have an existing squad ready for combat at Harbor right after your main team exit Kalaya Yuta, the squad at Harbor clears the place, you can’t exit the Harbor to finish the quests given in Kalaya Yuta! Because the game will crush the moment you try to exit the Harbor.

Bobby Ray’s gun selections are pretty random over time, the only pattern I have observed is Bobby Rays usually started out with a bunch of crap weapons which will need to be replaced in the future. The really good ones come later… And you won’t really get good rifles from the merchants in Khanpaa areas. In such a case, looting becomes seriously important as for most part of the game before you have liberated the Mine and power station, your daily income is mere peanut. You simply can’t equip the entire team with expensive rifles while looking to expand your team with even more expensive members.

So why is Bobby Ray’s selling weapons?

Bobby Ray’s weapon department becomes a redundant feature in ‘Jagged Alliance’. And when the shop starts selling some guns you want, you can start looting them. How hilarious.

While K&H21 is probably the best gun in the game, but in terms of cost and performance, VSS Vintorez aces the competition. Firstly, there are many enemies using Tec9 sub-machine guns which use the same 9mm ammo as VSS Vintorez. So the ammo will be available at considerable quantity to loot from the start of the game. Secondly, many enemies also carry 9mm ammo at the later stage of the game. Thirdly, VSS Vintorez is available for looting from corpses, which is… it’s a totally free model at a sufficient quantity to arm the entire squad. Fourthly, VSS Vintorez is a sniper rifle with a pretty relatively decent damage to all looted weapons, hence it has a long effective range. Its major problem is the rather poor rate of fire. But since most confrontations are based on long range sniping and tactical deployments, rate of fire becomes unimportant.

Biff is said to have a perk for trading… called ‘negotiation’, or something like that. However, I didn’t notice any big difference in prices for him or for the other mercs. The interesting point of this Amir the trader illustrated in the above picture is his mentioning of ‘Arulco’ in ‘Crossfire’.

“This is the biggest selection you will find in all Arulco!”

It’s probably a typo issue…

In this land of Khanpaa, it seems that nobody mentions Khanpaa…

This trader is found at Hydro Electric Power Station west. After you gave him the ring, he will trade with you. You will have to buy back the ring from him in order to finish the Kalaya Yuta quest to find the 3 artifacts. Surprisingly for such an important ring, it only costs like $1,800… Fucking cheap. It’s not even worth more than a piece of jewelry worth $4,000 you’d be given for completing another quest!

There must be something wrong here when designing the quest.

One interesting issue about Kalaya Yuta is you have to send the troops to this position as shown in the above picture to snipe two enemy mercs… without going a huge detour back… There isn’t a path or door to that area from the temple direct. And how to move your mercs to the above position? If you press the point for them to go at the foot of the hill in the east, instead of going west to the doors to exit the temple, making turns and going down the circular path, your mercs will be moving directly east instead to end up here. If you never paid attention, there they will be stuck and the two enemy mercs will be shooting them all dead!

Here’s the map of Khanpaa before Kalaya Yuta was taken… You can observe the days passed, available balance and the two teams created.

After you have exited Kalaya Yuta, Harbor will be taken. God blesses if you have a squad in Harbor because if you try to exit Harbor the game will crush. So your only option is probably to have that squad all killed… but will that mean no bug will prevent you from reaching the global map thereafter is a complete mystery.

You return to the Harbor for the final battle, now with a trained squad armed to the teeth and fully geared. If you are short on supplies, say ammo, before you have reached Kalaya Yuta, you can order something from Bobby Ray’s and collect those ammo from the boat. It’s the boat where you will talk to Behnam Atiqullah, the fucker who has employed you to embark on this mission with bugs… and end the game. To be honest, I like the scenery of this stretch of road. It’s probably the best design of the maps in ‘Crossfire’, next to the stretch of road would be the boats… romantic.

This is also a stretch of road you can mount a sniping session on.

The scenes of ‘Jagged Alliance’ reminds me of InXile’s efforts on Wasteland. Their design… the way the game would be conducted seems so similar to the presentation of ‘Jagged Alliance’ since ‘Back In Action’.

Surprisingly, the fight at the Harbor is super easy as compared to when you started off with only two jokers armed with water pistols…

This will be where Behnam talks to you and ends the game. And be reminded, if you try to exit the map your game will be crushed. At least mine did 100% of the time. The scene here is beautifully designed. This is the boat you’d get your supplies from. But in ‘Crossfire’, all you need is to be at the Harbor, open the inventory window of the sector, and transfer every crap into your inventory. Before the game ends, we shall see a few talking heads…

Actually, the main issue with the talking heads is you’d find a couple of occasions whereby those heads don’t talk according to the lines. One of such occasions is a complete mess because the chap literally was in a coded disaster; What he said wasn’t from the lines, what he said at the first segment of the talk was repeated at the last segment…

The problem with such chaps is, there is never really an option to say no… I mean, if you want the quests you have to choose the upper option. Given the current gaming environment, games with such inflexible quests are going to extinct very soon. There is one improvement in ‘Crossfire’ in that some quests will require you to find some people who will not be marked immediately upon you entering the local map. The quests tell you where the jokers would be in the local map and you have to find them. Surprises are hardly expected.

But in ‘Crossfire’, most of these sub-quests don’t seem to have any big deal affecting the ending. Which is, if you don’t need the money or to recruit the NPCs, you can totally ignore them.

There are by right a total of 4 NPCs you can recruit in ‘Crossfire’, but due to a bug, you can only get 3 NPCs. Here are the stats of all NPCs you can recruit. Dariush is probably the best among the three… but at level 5, he’d at best make an average merc. He’s the fucker who wanted the G36C and MP7… and his marksmanship is only 70 with a dexterity of only 71… But he has this trait called ‘Assault Rifle.

Big fuck~

This is Jamshed’s stats. He is basically junk… His marksmanship is total disgrace, yet he has the trait ‘Shotguns’ and a ridiculous strength rating. A born cow for loading up goods… The worst thing is, he is already level 3, given his rather average agility and dexterity, even if I pour in all the points to marksmanship till level 10,  his skill to pepper enemies with bullets would only be (7X7)+21=70. In the first place, how is he going to kill anyone with only 21 points for marksmanship to score experience points?

But he is an explosive expert, so if need be, he’d have to be packed with grenades. Grenades will be his ammo. But AI in ‘Crossfire’ helps enemies to avoid the blast by moving them away once a grenade is thrown at them.

Roshan has remarkable agility, starting at level 4 his marksmanship can reach 89 points at level 10 with an average dexterity. That makes him a pretty average fighter. Otherwise, he has no other use as medic or mechanic. He is carrying a scimitar meant for that bugged NPC at Kalaya Yuta.

There have been obvious efforts injected into ‘Crossfire’ to add in new elements. From the dialogue with Arjuna, the designer obviously thinks that every fan would expect Kalaya Yuta’s liberation to mean the end of the game… which is in a way right if not for the marked NPCs encountered along the way to clear out the area. I must say, it’s the right way to go for the game.

While it is nice to be able to hire mercs again to go on missions, the way the quests goes, the way the fighting goes, they are extensions to ‘Back In Action’ that doing the same things with similar expectations is going to get very boring. I didn’t notice easter eggs in the game as in Fallout 1 or 2 or probably the coming Wasteland2. The figure heads have little or literally no improvement, and interactions remain the same. The shops are selling about the same things when Bobby Ray’s should at least have a sales season or buy how much got a discount or free gift or a gold membership card or a free merc for X days… Enemy mercs also don’t have coupons to shop at Bobby Ray’s our mercs can loot and use.

Of course, I am not saying enemy mercs must buy from Bobby Ray’s, but Bobby Ray’s probably can’t survive merely selling to A.I.M mercs.

Most of the new items are pretty useless, because they are those guns you’d very quickly replace with model AK47, then with VSS Vintorez, the main problem about having new guns in ‘Crossfire’ is really that the map is too small and you’d quickly be exposed to AK47s, and you don’t have mercs who is like ‘Steroid will have bonus using G36C’ or ‘Fox can only be equipped with pistols’… so it’d be more convenient for all of them to be equipped with AK47s.

Besides, having the level cap remains at level 10, most rational gamers will certainly pour the points to boost marksmanship to the max first, then agility or dexterity, then the other skills or attributes… but with such a cap, there will only be usually enough points to max out the firing power of a character which is all important in the game. So why shouldn’t it be a fix upgrade of attributes and skill with every promotion instead? Unless you are the exceptional weirdo who rather expends ammo with a marksmanship of only 70pts when the enemy mercs seem to get better and better with marksmanship and damage at later stage. Without a 100pts marksmanship, how are the mercs to snipe effectively at a range far enough from efficient kill zones of the enemies?

The ‘fun’ level of ‘Crossfire’ is rather stagnant as compared to ‘Back In Action’. We really need more entertaining elements in future ‘Jagged Alliance’ products. For instance, why can’t we have bunny ears with 15pts protection? Why can’t we have a super ammo with quantity of 5 in the game? Why can’t we have more dialogues for starting a map, fighting and detecting enemies? There should also be some equipment or weapons Bobby Ray’s will never sell but can only be obtained by looting corpses. During an ambush on towns, the mercs can also encounter enemy reinforcement. During battle, after finishing off a quantity of enemies, a faction of enemies should have the random occurrence to flee the map.

Another problem of ‘Crossfire’ is, at certain establishments, partisans are really few. And when the spare weapons are mostly pistols at the beginning, it is actually rather troublesome to reequip them with assault rifles. And if they are fighting with pistols or with such few numbers, equipping them or not is really pointless when the turf will surely fall. Hence the point of having partisans in ‘Jagged Alliance’ is heavily undermined.

One of the major disappointment is the ending… it’s still a simple ‘newspaper report of events, no enhanced cinematic, no narration… I don’t recall there are voices cheering lines in ‘Crossfire’ when there were in ‘Back In Action’.

In short, ‘Crossfire’ is really a much smaller production built upon ‘Back In Action’ and they are priced almost the same in Singapore.

Despite all these… for Jagged Alliance fans, they will enjoy hiring mercs again for the new missions, and for those who have not tried Jagged Alliance, they should get the game and enjoy it. The reason why old fans of the game may have some issues is really because people want improvements and they expect new things. But for newcomers, ‘Crossfire’ may be awesome, if you are too used to FPS and simulation games. It must be noted among the old players of ‘Jagged Alliance’ that ever since ‘Back In Action’ further recruiting of mercs due to deaths of deployed mercs is virtually non-existence. That means weaker mercs will almost never have a chance of being selected unless the player is having special thoughts for the gameplay. In ‘Crossfire’, given the size of the map and the income derived from most of the places, it is unlikely that deaths are encouraged or even possible.

Say, assuming you hired two mercs with decent stats,  if the medic got killed in the first or second mission, you will be left with 1 merc with a cash level probably not able to hire another any time soon. And if both mercs are killed (I never tried that), you are stuck with the peanut income from the Harbor to start hiring the first merc with decent stats. Also, if your mechanic or medic is killed, getting a replacement medic means you might have to find more cash since the next medic would likely be more costly than (eg) Biff. Together with Coastal Settlement or even with Bras, your total income will be only about a thousand five. Which means if Biff is killed, you will have to wait for a few days to hire another medic. If both were to be killed, you’d need a few weeks…

And thanks goodness, I am not aware of any time limit to complete the game.

And I do not know if getting mercs killed will raise the price of hiring future mercs or otherwise.

While there may be no time limits, as the time flows, enemies will become more efficient and better equipped, so if you get the starting two chaps killed, getting an equally decent team after a few days mean that new starting team will be facing much tougher folks. Given that Scope and Raven and higher level killers may cost about more than $60,000 for the pair, that’d be a very long time to have enough income for the hiring.

So deaths of mercs won’t be expected especially in ‘Crossfire’, so the early enemies will be chicken feats, so for a long while, the fights will be like standard procedure… which could be very boring.

While I look forward to future ‘Jagged Alliance’ games to send mercs on missions, it must be noted that expectation for much better gameplay will be high, hence the sequel should see an overhaul  A suggestion is to focus on making the game some sort of ‘Romance Of Three Kingdoms’ play, whereby you have a couple of factions who will also be fighting against one another, the mercs will be recruited and ‘invade’ the places and to be deployed to strategic locations to fend against enemy forces, then with efficient partisan arrangement, “Jagged Alliance’ will be more entertaining.