I just realised I forgot to do something.
I forgot to turn off the Drassen counterattack.
Playing Jagged Alliance with the 1.13 fan patch makes things so much better than they would be otherwise. Aside from the general UI, AI and gameplay improvement, aside from the zillion new guns the patch adds, it comes packaged with an ini. editor the lets you change just about anything in the game. For example, I turned off that thieving bastard Pablo at the airport as well as lowering the possibility of my arms shipments randomly getting lost in transit to zero. That sort of thing is just unfun. However, what I didn’t do was turn off the Drassen counterattack.
What is the Drassen counterattack? The story goes something like this: the people who made the Jagged Alliance 1.13 patch — being the obsessive fan type – found the beginning of Jagged Alliance 2 a little bit too easy, facing as you do yellowshirt conscripts armed with awful pistols and nothing else which made it trivial to take over and fortify Drassen, from which point it was very very difficult to lose the game outright. Their solution was to add the Drassen counterattack; this is a hardcoded assault by sixty-odd soldiers – about half of whom are elite blackshirts, tougher and better armed than the typical soldier – that occurs once the player has taken all three areas of Drassen.
Now, in vanilla Jagged Alliance this might not have been too bad. It might have been possible to cope with the Drassen counterattack if I were facing dumb baddies with crappy weapons. With the AI improvements in 1.13, however, trying to face down the counterattack with a bunch of pistols is tantamount to suicide. The baddies are smart, tough, well-armoured and very accurate and there are, as mentioned, about sixty of them. 1.13 is a game where being outnumbered two to one in a firefight makes a battle very difficult unless you have long range rifles. Being outnumbered ten to one with pistols is completely unwinnable.
But you know what? I’m going to do it anyway.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to fight fairly, though. The plan is to hole up inside this toilet block for the duration. It is cramped and unsanitary but, importantly, it has no windows and only two doors, turning it into a rather smelly Thermopylae. Josh and Cate are hanging out by the urinals on one side. Kenti and Janek lurk in the cubicles on the other side. Jim and C-Dave are stashed in the back rooms to provide fire support. LET’S DO THIS.
The battle starts with M-Dave’s elite forces exterminating the half-dozen militia I’d managed to train up before they attacked. Crouched behind their prepared positions the mercs listen to the screams and gunfire as the poor saps are hunted down and destroyed. Then the enemy pushes up to the toilet block. I’m not going to sully what happened next by trying to describe it in mere words; instead, I’ll let the following sequence of pictures tell the story.
It’s a victory, and all my mercs – incredibly – managed to survive. All but one of them are severely wounded, however, and while C-Dave is able to bandage those wounds temporarily he runs out of medical supplies before he can start surgery to heal them permanently. More are ordered from the handy online arms dealer, but until they arrive the combat force in Drassen is going to be substantially weakened.
Which makes the third wave that shows up at night more than a little bit irritating. C-Dave, Jim and Josh are utterly crippled from the previous fighting and no use whatsoever; however, the weapons I scavenged from the enormous pile of dead bodies in front of the toilets make a world of difference here. They might be WW2-era Finnish machine guns but they ‘re still far more effective than plinking away at the baddies with a pistol and missing fifty times. Cate’s managed to loot a very swish rifle which, once I stick a scope on it and get it repaired so it stops jamming every other shot, should increase her killing effectiveness tenfold.
The battle for Drassen is finally over. I spend what’s left of my petty cash on training up a strong force of milita so that I don’t have to worry about my sole source of income being taken over, as well as ordering in literally all of the medical supplies the online shop has in stock so that C-Dave can do his surgery. With only two mercenaries who are combat-effective, the team is firmly stuck in Drassen for the time being.