Stealing Guide

Introduction

Why stealing?

If you don't play with the Drop All feature the enemies you kill will not drop all their carried equipment. Stealing allows you to get equipment that you otherwise wouldn't get. This can be very helpful at any stage of the game as it allows you to get better equipment then by drops and stores alone.

If you do play with the Drop All feature you will not gain anything at all by stealing, you still get everything the enemies wears when they die. If you play with this setting I can highly recommend trying at least one game without it as it makes it a bit harder and you get to practice stealing.

How is it done?

It is pretty straightforward, first you need an enemy with equipment. You put your mouse cursor over this enemy, press the CTRL button to change the cursor to a hand and click the left mousebutton. One of three things will happen:
You will steal the enemy's main weapon
You fail at stealing, the enemy will keep his weapon and will probably shoot you.
You will get an interactive box where you can choose the equipment you want to steal from the enemy, this is the best situation as you can steal their entire gear.

Now anyone familiar with the game realizes that walking up to an enemy and expending a lot of action points will get your mercs killed. There are several ways of avoiding this, I will describe them in later sections.

Can I use all mercs or does it have to be someone specific?

You can use any merc when stealing, you can simply use whoever you have at hand. It is of course better with a high agility merc since they can get in and get out faster. One with high strength and/or hand to hand or martial arts skill is great too.

Picking the target

Anyone labeled as enemy can be stolen from, this includes civilians turned enemy, terrorists etc.
But as stealing is a pretty risky and time consuming business you want the best possible stuff for it. Therefore I recommend that you use play with tooltips on and use the ALT button when the cursor is over an enemy to see what that enemy is carrying. I prefer to have the tooltips show weapon type, visible attachments and armor. This allows me to decide whether or not it is worth trying to steal from that enemy (also called the mark below). A few questions helps me decide if I should go ahead with the steal, wait, abort or pick another target:

  • Does this mark have anything I want?
  • Can I knock him out?
  • Can I get to him safely?
  • Can I safely make the steal and get away? (remember that stealing cost a lot of Action Points)
  • And finally, is the loot worth the risk?

Preparations

The real secret when stealing is to knock out the enemy, this allows you to close in on the mark and when you CTRL + click you will always get the interactive box as they can't prevent you from stealing everything they have when they are unconscious.
There are several ways to knock out an enemy, they all have their pros and cons.

Melee attacks

The simplest way is to knock him out by using the mercs melee attack. The drawbacks is that you have to come close to the mark and it will usually take several punches. Having a strong merc or one with martial arts or hand to hand skills makes this easier and faster. The upside is that you can do this even if you don't have any equipment with you and it is almost completely silent.

A variation of the above is to use a melee weapon such as a crowbar, baton or knuckle duster. You still have to close in on the enemy but it drains their breath bar faster so you don't need as many hits.

One thing to keep in mind when using the above methods is that while two or three hits may put the mark to the ground there is no guarantee that he won't get up the next turn so you should hit him an extra time once he is down.

Using normal weapons

Attacks to the legs will get your mark down on the ground but this is neither silent (unless you use a suppressor) nor reliable. One hit can make the mark tumble to the ground but there is always a chance that the enemy will still stand up when you run out of action points. Good in situations where you have many mercs who can take shots at the mark and when sound is not a problem, doesn't require anything more than the weapons your mercs carry.

Attacks using hollowpoint or Glaser round can be used if the enemy wears armor, you simply fire at the mark's torso or legs until he is knocked out. This is probably the worst way of doing it as it is loud, requires extra ammunition to be carried and most important of all it does have a chance bypassing the armor and killing the enemy. Only do this if you know the mark is wearing heavy armor.

Bringing them back from the (almost) dead. This is not so much a technique as it is a way of taking advantage of a situation. When an enemy is at the state Dying you cannot steal from him, but you can use a first aid or medical kit to bring him to critical at which point you can steal his stuff. Thought I should mention it since it happens from time to time both when actively trying to steal or when in normal combat.

The Dart Gun and grenades

The first and only truly specialized equipment for stealing is the Dart Gun which can be bought from different stores (Bobby Ray's, Balime store comes to mind). They are loaded with a single dart which can knock out an enemy in one shot and keep them on the ground for several turns, giving you plenty of time to rip off the mark.
They do however have a few problems, the first is that they can be stopped by armor and another problem is that it sometimes take a turn or two for the tranquilizer to take effect giving the mark plenty of time to alert his friends or shooting at you. Neither of those problems can be prevented but some steps can minimize the occurrence. First aim where the mark doesn't wear armor, usually the legs, if he wears armor all over aim for the legs since I have found that this works best. Secondly have several mercs with Dart Guns, one of them is bound to hit and have the tranquilizer take effect. Silent, quick and funny.

Stun grenades are pretty effective and my favorite way of knocking out a mark, you do however need to throw two or three of them for a guaranteed effect (usually 2 will do the trick). For me this is no problem as I almost always have my mercs carry at least 2 stun grenades each, partly for stealing and partly as a defensive grenade when being rushed. You can also throw one to get the mark on the ground and then run up and punch them.
The big drawback of them is that they are loud. I tend to do my stealing openly while the fighting is going on or else I try to keep the mark alive until the main battle is over. At this point stun grenades can be used without problems. It is also worth mentioning that you can use underslung or standalone launchers for this purpose, this is especially useful if you have a merc standing by to steal from the mark (and punch him a couple of times) and a merc further back launching the grenade. Great when used in combinations with the other methods.

Normal grenades and mini grenades can be used to achieve a similar effect but their damage can kill the mark and they are less effective at draining the breath of the mark. One grenade followed up by punches works OK if you don't have anything else.

Gas can also be used but make sure of two things, first that the enemy is not wearing a gas mask, secondly make sure your merc(s) is wearing one if you are thinking about entering the gas cloud. Mustard gas will most likely kill the mark before you can get to him so you should use tear gas.

This guide will probably be expanded at a later date with more information and scenarios. If it is something that is unclear or if you feel I have missed something please send a mail to moc.liamg|sediug2aj#moc.liamg|sediug2aj

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