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My current playthrough of JA2, changed things up!


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Not sure how you guys usually play it.. but for quite a few years I've been approaching my gameplay loop of JA2 pretty much the same way. Boring??

Because I play with these options:


Drassen will be invaded with about 60-64 Troops.
... I need more mercs and money to train troops in Drassen!

My usual gameplay loop went as such:

- Hire a few 'cheap' but dependable mercs (my usual picks): Buns, Igor, Barry, Grunty and a one-time merc like Bull or Grizzly (or a keeper like Dr. Q, Blood or Malice). <- this all depends on my mood at the time of starting a game, who I want and wtv.
- Get Ira.
- Head for San Mona, complete tasks there, liberate Maria, get the leather shop Deed, trade it to Kyle Lemmons for $10 000. Trade a few guns with Tony that I might have picked up on the way to San Mona. Use that one-time merc to win the Boxing matches and make 15 000$ (minus the costs of hiring that merc for a day).

- Get into the San Mona mine and steal Kingpins $30 000!
- ...around the $45 000 - $50 000 in the bank at this point at day 1. Not cheesing the game at all.

- Hire a couple mercs with high leadership (Hitman, Stephens and maybe a merc with good equipment/marksmanship). This part, again, depends on what I felt like at the time and depends who I started with. Sometimes I go for some MERC mercs as filler and eventual town trainers.
- Head back to Drassen, capturing the Ariport and the Bar sectors. I'll then start training all the militia I need to fill those two sectors as much as possible. Usually one sector filled with light blue militia and one sector with green militia (because with the new mercs, funds are already near the limit at that point.

- I then storm the mine sector, which triggers the Queen telling Elliot to send out her troops to bring our heads back.
- I usually have time to train one last little regiment of militia (10 or so). I make sure all the troops are in the mine sector and Bar sector (the leftovers in Airport) because only an adjacent sector can reinforce. (mostly green troops in the mine and blue troops that slowly reinforce).

By this, I am near day 5, 6 (maybe even 10.. depends on if I had injuries and whatnot) or something of the sort. I might have MP5, Remington M870, and a Mini-14 to help defend against mostly pistol and cheap SMG's from the Queens massive invasion force (they might have a few Grey shirts with basic rifles (a SKS or SL8 is scary as heck!)).

This time, I wanted to switch things up for once.

- I repeated everything from hiring to winning the boxing matches, but this time, I wondered what would happen if instead of stealing Kingpins money, I stole the Chalice for him. 🤯
- With about $20 000 in bank, I had enough for a trek to Balime and back. I think.

- This is still day 1/2, so as I'm adjacent to Cambria, I noticed the sectors are really empty (only about 7-8 troops!!!), I ponder my options and decide to take on 3 sectors, Hospital, University and Town (shops).. this is the only way to get the support above 20%, to train militia. So I spend a few days training militia to the max in all 3 sectors (only a handful of light blues).
- Shopkeeper "Terry" (Terry??) tells me the hicks are terrorizing the town and they are to the East (I like this randomization of these locations)..
- So I wipe out that inbred family once and for all and get myself some nice SPAS-15's (troops are mostly still pistols and really cheap SMG's).

- I then finally really head towards Balime for that Chalice! No real heavy resistance anywhere.

- In Balime though, I am quite shocked and surprised that they are mostly defended by grey shirts who, honestly are pretty scary compared to the hardware I am carrying: MP5, Mini-Uzi, Mini-14, SPAS-15, Colt Commando.
- I take a few heavy hits and heavy injuries by the end, but the fact that Balime has these heavy walls around it, means I can kind of cheese the enemy by keeping a Crouched stance, meaning they MUST target my head at range and when I want them to get closer, I simply prone so that no one is visible, on the next turn, when I pop my head back up, I might get a few surprise shots at me, but they only have my head to target and I can finally take shots at them with small calibers and wear them down with quantity over quality. Shock grenades also helped alot!
With many enemies having low stamina, they can't take many AK 47 shots, so my high rate of bullet discharge is trumping their scary stuff.

- End up stealing the Chalice. And head back to San Mona.. with a few AK 47's added to my team.

I believe it stirred up some movement, because the sectors I used to come down from Cambria seem to have more enemies...
- I take a detour by Tixa, but sneak out of it because over 25 troops stationed.
- I head West towards Estoni. Where I add Maddog to my team.

In my usual gameplay, I get Maddog by the time I have a pretty good team, so he ends up on a secondary team that does more menial tasks like training or repairs. This time though, he is with Ira, Igor, Steroid, Blood and myself. The only team. And to be honest, his VERY high Dexterity and Agility, his good health, strength and his Expert Engineer trait means he will replace Steroid who won't stay because of "Igor the Communist". His Wisdom of only 56 is not the end of the world, as the Dexterity and Agility are what I favor in my main squads for firefights. As long as I put him through some battles, he'll be fine!

- I end up in a sector adjacent to Grumm before finally being back in San Mona...

- I hand over the Chalice for a nice $20 000 reward......

- ..... and head to the San Mona mine to steal the $30 000 Kingpin likes to hide in "plain sight". 🤣

- Finally! With almost $60 000 in bank, I head back to Omerta where I meet with a few more hired mercs (Raider & Fidel) to get to Drassen.

What is weird at that point, once I capture Drassen Airport and Bobby Rays comes online.. the stock is already showing some early AR's. Did I break the game!?!

Exploration does ADD to the game % of completion, and I explored alot on foot.

- I do all the boring work before the Drassen mine.. and when I am hit with the 64 Troops sent by Deidranna.. oh man, I am assaulted with AK's, rifles and a few Snipers (Steyr Scout's). I survived, but because of good armor, equipment, mercs and light blue militia.

Anyways, this has dragged on long enough.. but it's an interesting way to go about it and is already giving me new ideas for future plays.

I don't need Bobby Ray's THAT much after all!

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