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 Post subject: Silent Storm or Jagged Alliance 2?
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 4:38 pm 
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Title: Oh my giant of Lannister
After a day of leisurely walking around town, I stopped by a computer store, and started browsing the bargain bin for lack of anything better to do. Anyway, whilst browsing I found both SS and JA2, and since I've heard good things about both of them, I didn't know which one to get.

So here's the thing: Due to an embarassingly low cashflow at the moment, I can only afford one of the games. Yes, it's that bad. And since I've never tried any of the games, I need *you* people to decide for me! Which one should I get? Think carefully now...

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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 7:42 pm 
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I would say JA2, but then, I've never tried SS, so I might be a bit biased :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 10:46 am 
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i've spend quite much time with both, so heres my thoughts

i'd say go with JA 2, but it depends on what you are searching for, in my opinion JA 2 is better in the weapons environment, their guns are more in number and have you sit up more when you find something, on the other hand, the miscellanous items are a bit worse in JA2, for instance the number of situations in which grenades are useful and can be used is much more numerous in SS, and have greater variety.
JA 2 has a more strategy like campaign, since it comes with areas that you will need to capture and defend, train militia and keep a cashflow steady from mines, whereas SS simply has you pick a team at the start and start gathering.
The combats are a bit comparable, both are tactical turn based, going to real time when there's no enemy around. Difference is that SS supports 3d environments better, you will find no multi-story buildings in JA2, and definitely not ones you can blow up.
Worth to note btw is that both have random encounters in them, but they are more obligated in JA2, because you will travel more, and when you travel you go trough areas, if those areas contain an encounter you'll have to fight it, whereas in SS you can easily evade them if you want to.
Another big difference is that JA2 keeps you more in the dark, you have options to display you line of sight or cover, but you will not see you chance to hit, or how good your cover actually is in hit% and such. SS does show hit% (and LoS), but doesnt show you cover, although you can make educated guesses about that. It's more of a preference what you like, you will be trying and learning the system in JA2 for a longer period.
The character systems are a split in my opinion too, JA 2 is more fun, the characters have better voicing and are quite funny, and have some interaction on not liking each other, etc. SS doesnt have such things, but it does have a more advanced leveling system. In JA2 you simply go up levels by doing much and gaining a certain number of skill points (a la Morrowind), and the levels give you things like better awareness for interrupts and the like. SS has a system that works with xp, but more notably, you gain special skills as you gain levels, a bit like Diablo 2's system. This benefits variety and replay value for SS greatly.
SS does have the bad point about Panzerkleins, according to me and Josan that is (see the 'games you've played' thread). PzKs are like full plates from the medieval times, your characters can take loads of damage and move at a slow rate. Its a preference whether you like sci-fi stuff like that, but when you get to that stage of SS the game undergoes quite the change, tactically (it also severely limits the variety of guns you use). On the other hand 3/4 of the game is before that, and theres two campaigns, so you'll have enough time playing in more realistic environment.
JA2 in my opinion is, mission like, a bit less diverse, but since you will be doing a lot at the same time (you will lead several squads instead of one, you will defend captured cities, buy and sell guns, etc) you will not be bothered much by it.
Both games have a rich modding environment, and both have some expansions, so after you finish the main game you can still spend enough time with the game (JA Gold comes with 'Unfinished Business' which is a mod thats combat oriented, without all the capturing/defending/money issues. SS has an expansion called 'Sentinels', which includes a money system, item durability and has the PzKs toned down a bit, and used less). There's also a number of mods for both games, JA2 for instance has a quite fun mod, Urban Chaos, which sets you in a city environment with underground train stations and such, SS has a mod where you will play a Russian campaign, and mods where the scripting is more interesting goal-wise.
SS also has a lot more objective wise possibilities, like capturing people, or having a certain before the level blows up, JA2 doesnt have stuff like that, its not even possible for the engine, and the mod community of SS expands on this. (undercover agents, etc) JA2 however doesnt need this of course, since you're doing one big mission, instead of several connected ones.
both games are non-linear, they do have places that you will visit, and certain areas of higher difficulty where you dont want to go, but the order in which you take them, and what parts you skip are up to you, great about both games.

I think this should give you a bit of an idea comparing the two.
If you'd ask me what's best i think you'll spend the most time with JA2, and have the most fun with it too. However when you like variety in tactics SS is more fun, because grenades are a viable tactic, you can blow up whole buildings for alternate strategies, etcetera.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 2:31 pm 
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Thanks man, that post was worth its virtual weight in gold! I must confess that I'm a bit torn between the two, but I think I'll be going with JA2. Of course, this depends on if it hasn't been sold yet :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 6:41 pm 
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Finally caved in, and went with JA2. I decided in the usual macho fashion, that the only way to learn this game, was to dive right into it. Seems like I bit off more than I could chew though, since I have absolutely no idea what to do. So once again, I turn to you boys!

1) What kind of character do you recommend for my custom merc? Should he focus on leadership, mechanics, or what?

2) How many mercs should I hire on the first day? For how long should I hire them? And which ones should I choose?

3) What should my first short-term goals be? What territories should I go after? And what are my long-term goals?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 2:37 pm 
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1) its pretty much your preference, i usually make my custom merc last, filling in the gaps. There is one important thing though, take a high wisdom, it decides how fast you gain skill points, which you probably will be doing with your level 1 custom merc. My last char was a leadership guy with high wisdom, heavy weapons trait, ok markmanship and a bit of medical assistance.

2)again preference whether you want some strong ones or five or six lesser ones. I usually create a party with a somewhat stronger marksman (stronger in level, for interrupts) like Buzz, and furthermore i make a party with an explosive guy, a mechanic, a leader and a medic, at least one of which has an ok markmanship too. I'd hire them for two weeks if possible to make a good start, one week if not. Try searching for characters that combine roles, Nails is a good mech/exp guy for instance, Thor is a good leader/medic. This my preference however, there are also people that hire one or two large characters (like Reaper or Shadow) for a day and in that one day press on until they have Drassen so they start earning money.

3) your best bet is to go for Drassen after Omerta. It has a first mine, an airport where you can start buying guns, and somewhere near is a helicopter you can hire. After that i'd advice Cambria or Chitzena. If you chose the last one watch out what you're doing in San Mona. Your first salesman will also be in San Mona. If you want to take the SAM sites near the cities immediately is pretty much up to you. Your long term goal is getting a good cash flow running, from preferably three cities. In the long line, as you can guess, it is needed to kill the woman that slaps her subordinates, the one that dictates the country.

if you are really in the start of the game however (omerta) and dont know what to do to start up your game
POSSIBLE SPOILER
there's a (named) woman somewhere in the middle of the first map, she will lead you to the resistance HQ

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 5:34 pm 
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Went with your advice, and hired Thor and Nails for a week each. Buzz wasn't available at the time, so I hired Buns instead. Together with my custom merc "Dogfood" (marksman, leadership), we pretty much mopped up Omerta in a few minutes. Took me a while to figure out the controls, though. Hired Ira, though I'm starting to wonder why I did so. Is there anything she *doesn't* fail miserably at? She can't shoot, her action points are miserable, and she has that Imoen-ish annoyance factor.

Anyway, I headed out towards Drassen straight away, and took the airport, though it was not without a few hassles. Thor got shot up pretty bad, and Nails blew most of his ammo on not anything at all. So it was up to me and Buns to take care of the resistance. Oh, and Ira sucked.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 5:45 pm 
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Well, since you found Ira, you have found the "starting point" of the game :cool:

She is no good, just preachy and annoying. I managed to send her out on her own in my current game and surrendered to the enemy. She is now stuck in a prison somewhere :)

As mentioned, the first target should be Drassen, especially the airport and the mine. Remember to talk to the priest there, to set up supplies for the rebels in Omerta.

I usually make my next stop the SAM battery next to Drassen, as it is fairly lightly guarded and gives me some starting room to maneuver with my helicopter.

Next stop is Chitzena, being the second easiest target to conquer and giving you nice new source of income.

Next stop is the SAM south of Chitzena. The reason for that is easy access to the arms dealer in San Mona. I'm a lazy bugger, so I like to be able to fly between Drassen and San Mona.

After that, I usually pick different paths, depending on what I feel like.

Places of interest: The arms dealer (for buying and selling weapons) in San Mona, the junk yard in Estoni (for selling junk and buying useful stuff, especially compound 18 and ceramic tiles).

Non "merc" NPC's you run across: Vince the medic in Cambria, Hamous with the ice van in the wilderness, Iggy with the rocket gun in San Mona (late in the game), Conrad the army officer in Alma, two prisoners in the jail in Tixa, that scottish guys who travels around and sells explosives (I prefer to keep him as a merchant though, if you recruit him, you can't buy any more from him), Mad Dog the mechanic in Estoni and of course Sky Rider (who flies your chopper for you once you find him in the swamps).

Remember to follow all the links on the web pages. For some fun, try sending a postcard and some flowers to Deidranna :wink:

My starting party usually includes Gorth, Barry, Fox, Igor and Grunty.

My character has like 75 in the physical stats and I drop the mechanical skill completely. Plenty of those in the game. I usually do some explosives myself and I also do the 35 minimum requirement in medical so I can patch myself up with a first aid kit (without needing a team member nearby all the time).

In my party, Grunty, Igor and I do the shooting, Barry and I the explosives, Fox the scouting and everybody can to medical chores in a pinch (although Fox is the medic specialist and Igor tends to be the best shot). Once the money start flowing, I replace one or more of them.

Once you expand to two squads, just experiment and have fun. They all have some interesting personalities and things to say during the game.

A note on MERC, the recruiting alternative: If you can stand them for a while, go for Biff, Flo and Gasket. Pretty cheap, can do mule tasks and train militia. Not to mention, spending money there enables Speck to hire some quite good employees later. I often have Numb and Larry in my team later and give Biff, Flo and Gasket the kick.


A few hints on how to improve skills other than markmanship:

Let your characters carry more than 100% weight when walking to increase strength.

Throw knives at the crows to improve agility (dodging knife and bloodcat attacks also does that, but I don't recommend it as exercise).

Repairing items benefits dexterity.

Training militia improves leadership.

Edit: Once you start liberating towns, remember to check back with Miguel, he will start giving you his henchmen as npcs as you progress. First Dimitri, then Carlos and finally himself will join you (all for free).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 7:21 pm 
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Title: Token Archer Fan
JA2, never heard of the other one

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 12:37 am 
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I've played JA2 and tried out Silent Storm as well...

You made the better choice.

While JA2 is nothing compared to the greatest tactical combat game in the fallout universe ever (FO:T!!!) it's still a LOT better than Silent Storm in every way other than being a boring b-war-movie interpretation, where Silent Storm rules supremely as the most boring game ever. Some swedes like it, but they also like Oblivious or whatever... *farts*

But don't listen to Gorth, you need to play this game for yourself. Shame on you Gorth to ruin what little suprises this game has in store.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 1:03 am 
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Some swedes also liked Fallout: Tactics.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 1:10 am 
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Some Swedes and Danes have no taste then.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 2:18 am 
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Some Faroe Islanders have recently begun *again* after yet another TPK in Drassen. Fuckin' annoying.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 12:45 pm 
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about Ira, she has good wisdom so you can actually train her qutie well if you take her with you all the time. However, she's also good as a trainer, i use ehr as my preferred trainer, every new city i conquer she trains the militia all the time. after some time i usually hire some of the cheap MERC guys to do this job if i need more, and they're quite good mules.

another possible party member is the Robot, near Alma.

my last party inlcuded: Me, Thor, Buzz, Barry and Steroid
in later stages (after Chitzena or Cambria) i added Raven, Sidney, Ice and Wolf, later on dumped Wolf (see my thread on JA2) for i believe Grizzly or someone alike. In Alma i added Conrad.

ow and from here:
http://www.ja-galaxy-forum.com/
you can find some good forums, fan sites, details and mods.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 11:35 pm 
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On a slightly unrelated note, knowing JA2 inside out (except how to use the damn jury-rigged scanner) I decided to try a mod.

Enter stage left, Urban Chaos. I've only tried it for a short while, but hot damn, talk about breathing new life into an old game :shock:

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