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Ideas/rules for challenge/themed runs


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I am currently pondering on what kind of playthrough I want to try next and thought this might be a good time to start a thread to collect interesting ideas to keep the game fresh in the long run. There are the obvious elements like anything tied to an achievement (e.g. solo/duo run) or things like

  • setting limits on number of squads, merc level or allowed weapon types
  • solo/duo runs with or without switching mercs
  • squad composition based on personalities/backgrounds, basically anything that makes you pick mercs you'd normally never hire.

To give a concrete example, I already did an Ivan-Man (Ivan solo run) that included lots of saving so now I am looking at fun but realistic pairs to do a MI duo run without saves or temporarily switching mercs. Some ideas for those runs:

  • Dr. Q & Tex - A wise melee doctor and a cowboy cosplayer who can help out as a mechanic? Sounds like the perfect asian power couple.
  • Raider & MD - The optimistic and supportive dad type character seems like the perfect match for MD, the most insecure merc (for a good reason)
  • I.M.P & A.I.M marriage - You get one A.I.M merc and one I.M.P merc to balance out their flaws. This is obviously less about personality and more about stats.

Themes not limited to duos:

  • Getting the band back together - You start with your I.M.P merc and need to recruit all free mercs in the game (this should totally be an achievement if its not)
  • Senior Superiority - Your possible starter picks are Raider, Meltdown, Hitman, Fidel or Sprag. You get one squad max and three best spots have already been reserved for Len, Gus and Fauda - the Old Dog mercs.
  • Worst of the Worst - You are going for the worst possible ending in the game and for that you want the most reckless psychos like Fidel, Meltdown and Nails who somehow have to impress Sp*** enough to join them. Make Emma regret contacting A.I.M even more than hiring the M.E.R.C guys.

So, whether you want to suggest small elements/rules to make any given run more interesting, have suggestions to flesh out the ideas above or if you have a fully themed idea with a catchy title, 10 page ruleset, squad composition and a custom backstory ... lets hear it.

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What I like to do in JA2 is to not use healing and instead let wounds heal over time. Not only does it make the game more challenging in terms of staying alive, but it also forces changes to your formation and style. If your stealthy scout is severely injured, then you may not want to risk them being your scout for a while. In JA2 the effects of wounds were more severe (ability to carry weight...), but it should work for JA3 too.

Accepting the death of any merc and the entire team is obvious, but it also goes beyond the obvious and affects tactics and strategy: if you know you're going to reload, you can always renew every merc for 14 days and save a lot of money. If you never reload, you have to consider the risk of losing a merc you just paid for 14 days. As for tactics, it means you have to consider the possibility of retreat, and keep that option open for as long as possible, which in turn means less offensive positioning.


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