Micro Mods

What is meant by "micro mods"? These are ways of playing JA2 that are radically different than the standard way BUT can be played using the standard game and files, perhaps with some .ini file editing.

Living off the Land

The idea is that your band of 6 IMPs1 is recruited to help out the rebels (not run the whole rebellion) and arrive in country to find everything in shambles. What's left of the rebels don't have the equipment you were promised they were holding for you, the people are completely terrified to fight back (with a handful of exceptions), and you're stuck in country until you take out the queen. You don't have the manpower to hold any sectors and have to sneak around the countryside raiding the towns and outposts for equipment.

General rules:
1) You start out recruiting 6 IMPs and can't recruit from AIM or MERC. You can replace dead IMPs. You can recruit in-country people (like Ira and Dmitri).
2) No using Bobby Ray. You can use Tony and other in-country dealers.
3) No training militia.
4) No getting income from the mines.
5) When you leave a sector destroy everything left behind that you aren't carrying (CTRL + LMB). See below about "safe" sectors to cache equipment.
6) Use drop all for enemy equipment.

For IMPs this team works well: a medic/sniper, a mech (lockpicking and electronics), a heavy weapons guy, and 3 "grunts" (various autoweapons, stealth, night ops, etc.). Everyone gets a minimal rating in everything (see below) because everyone will be helping out.

Playing this way is liberating. You don't spend a lot of time messing with militia and moving equipment around and you don't have to worry much about money. You do spend a lot of time dealing with Tony (trading in guns and getting a bit of cash) and Devin, too. Dodging patrols while trying to make it to a "safe" sector to rest gets really hairy. You can raid a sector by just moving in, taking out a couple of soldiers silently and grabbing their gear, then moving back out without taking out the whole sector. You have to be real careful about accepting locals (like Conrad and Iggy) because of the lack of income.

Be sure to adjust the game progress settings (set income and sector control to 0 and exploring and killing soldiers to 40-60, 50-50, or 60-40). You might want to adjust the IMP settings to allow up to 90 for stats (so you can make a heavy weapons guy with a 90 STR, nothing else above 85) and to allow down to 25. You also might need to up the starting guns and armor a bit; I suggest AUG Paras or perhaps M4s. You can use SciFi but no bugs; they wouldn't matter anyway.

Allow yourself one or two "safe" sectors to store some consumables (ammo, grenades, etc.) and other equipment. Estoni works well though staying there to repair and heal can be dangerous as soldiers commonly move through and thus sometimes discover and confiscate your stored ammo, which is goodness. Actually, getting to Estoni early is key because the stuff Jake carries (med kits, repair kits, armor inserts) is crucial early on and Estoni makes a nice spot to raid in all directions. The sector in San Mona where Tony is at also works well. Don't store tons of equipment, though. The idea is that you have a few things stashed away where the soldiers won't easily find them.

Warning: the final push on Meduna is a real challenge. But remember that you don't have to kill everything, just get through to the palace.

1 Note: In case you didn't know you can create more than one IMP mercenary ("IMP" mercenaries are those that you create by following the instructions in the email you get from, well, IMP). After you create one you can create another (up to 6 total) by re-entering the code (XEP624) into the IMP web page.

Scout's Honor

The general idea of this variation is that you have been hired to conduct reconnaissance, establish supply lines and make contact with rebel forces in the country of Arulco in preparation of a larger scale mercenary operation aimed at taking down the queen.

General rules:
1) You were hired alone which means that you may take 1 I.M.P and nothing else.
2) After a while you are allowed to bring in reinforcements and start the operation. There are variations on when this can happen, pick one or more:
A. You may bring in reinforcements when you have reached a level of your own choice. I recommend 6-9.
B. When you have scouted (so it lights up) all sectors north of, and including H. That means all sectors beginning with a letter from A-H. While you are not expected to enter town or SAM sectors you may do so at your own risk.
C. When you have collected a certain amount of money, for example $100 000.
When you reach one of the points the game turns into a regular game without the rules in this section.
3) Difficulty and .ini settings is up to you, I highly recommend turning off enemy reinforcements. See below for suggested settings.
4) You may hire one (1) additional merc for one day if you feel you want their equipment. He or she must be fired before you engage in combat.
5) You can keep and use all money you have left after getting your merc(s).
6) You may NOT recruit any in-country mercs before the actual operation begins (see #2). There is one exception to this and that is if you run into Hamous and the ice cream truck, you may hire him to get the truck but must fire or kill him right after. You may also buy the Hummer.

The point of this game is that you get to experience a large part of the game by yourself, honing your skills in single merc combat and also in inventory management and the very important ability to know when to fight and when to leave. You are supposed to stockpile weapons and equipment for the main force but remember that this is a secondary goal to survival and completing your main objective (#2 above).

One decision you have to make is if you want to play with drop all on or off. With it on you will get a lot of weapons and other items but there is no way you will be able to carry those, and you end up selling them.
I believe playing with it on takes away a large part of the game since you just get all the items without any extra effort. Let's say you see an enemy with a weapon you really want, for example a FAMAS. With drop all on all you have to do is kill him, without it you have set it up so you can isolate him and knock him down to steal it, giving you an extra challenge. Anyway it is up to you and the best thing about this setting is that it can be changed at will.

Tips & tricks:

  • Know your surroundings, make sure you take it slow and take note of every enemy you see, what he is carrying and if he is carrying body armor or not (via tooltips).
  • You must be able to adapt to the situation, chances are you won't be able to use a single weapon through the entire scouting phase, you might have to shift to a different caliber when you run out of ammunition. Be sure to move your attachments. This mostly applies if you play with drop all off.
  • Raid a SAM site for some nice weapons and equipment, this is especially true if you play with the Wildfire maps. Remember that you don't have to arm an entire squad so even one great weapon is enough.
  • Burst capable weapons is preferred since you don't want to risk firing too many shots with automatic fire.
  • Common sense but I put it here anyway: be sure to visit Tony once in a while as he may have items that may be hard to come by from enemies, most notably suppressors and other attachments.
  • Don't be afraid to kill Carmen, Devin and Mickey if you find them, they have some nice weapons and money and you don't need them, especially not Mickey. Up to you but if you need some weapons go for it.
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