Hired Guns – The Jagged Edge FAQ
First off - the contents of this FAQ are included with the documentation that comes with your copy of the game. I'm reproducing the FAQ's content here for comment, discussion, and expansion. If anyone would like to add something, explain something, or would like further tips and tricks please don't hesitate to ask!
SPOILER ALERT – Read on if you want hints, tips, and secrets for Hired Guns. Some of these tips may contain spoilers or further information about the game that you have not yet encountered.
This game is pretty hard, what am I doing wrong?
It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that all players start their first game on the “Newbie” difficulty. Hired Guns can be difficult even for players already acquainted to the tactical turn-based style of gameplay. After at least completing several days of the campaign you can try a harder difficulty but it is still recommended to stick with the easiest difficulty the whole way through the game first.
My mercenaries can’t hit the broadside of a barn!
It’s very important to use the “aimed” mode when firing. While there are instances where you may want to use fewer APs and fire unaimed, those are situational choices you’ll be able to make when you’re more experienced. Especially when you’re just starting out, always fire with the “aimed” mode selected.
I thought I could bribe people and talk to a large variety of characters but everyone seems to just shoot at me right away.
Cash and smart talking can go a long way in the game – but you have to approach the situation appropriately. For example, the first mission has two different groups of characters you can talk to (both of which can be beneficial for the player). The first group you will probably see (if you deploy to the middle or south end of the map) is a mechanic and a soldier fixing a jeep on the road. Since you are approaching a soldier, having your weapon in your hand will most likely cause him to fire at you since you are rather threatening in this case. To approach the soldier, put your weapon in your backpack and approach with no weapon in sight. Make sure you initiate dialogue mode from as great a distance as possible so that he can’t spot your concealed weaponry. Then quickly start talking to him and see what you can find out. You can also speak with a local man in the south central part of the map. In this case, you can have your gun out since he is only a civilian and will not attack you. Depending on the strength or wisdom of the character talking to him, you can reach a variety of outcomes from that conversation.
Spoiler: If you read your journal and e-mails before going to the North Road tactical map you can find a special code phrase that will make the civilian give you a jeep without paying for it.
How do I complete the safari mission at the very beginning of the game?
The first mission assigned to you by Janus at the beginning of the game is to rescue a colleague of his from the “Safari” map. This mission is deceptively difficult. Keep two very important things in mind. First, if you fail the mission the consequences are negligible. Don’t bother to restart the campaign unless you want to if you don’t complete this task because it won’t affect the game substantially. Second, when finally reaching Janus’ colleague take care not to shoot any civilians on the tactical map (use aimed mode and single shots that don’t have civilians in the line of fire). Given the circumstances of this rescue, even accidentally injuring a civilian can have disastrous effects (in most cases mission failure). Also, if you have a character with high Strength strike up a conversation with the leader of the marauders when you enter the mission, you may be able to talk your way through to rescuing your hostage without having to fight at all.
I’m broke – and I keep going broke no matter what I do.
If money is continually tight (especially at the beginning of the game), be sure to take areas that can make you money. The damn and the diamond mine are the best places to start. The enemy will put up a good fight for both of these locations but the benefits of capturing and upgrading them are excellent. Overall you will need to manage your finances closely and make sure that you only hire mercs that you need. Also bear in mind that for a place like the Diamond Mine you will need to capture some form of infrastructure to transport the goods in order to make money (the train yard generally is the easiest at the beginning of the game).
When I hire a new mercenary should I buy their weapons or purchase my own and custom equip them?
This is largely a subjective decision. On one hand, the mercenaries you initially hire often carry ineffective loadouts especially since there is better equipment available from Dickie Jay’s. However, bear in mind that all mercenaries carry weapons that they are best suited to use. If you hire a character that carries a shotgun but you want them to be a sniper, chances are you’re hiring the wrong person to fill that role because that merc probably functions best with a shotgun in their hands. This is not to say that mercs can’t fill multiple combat roles because they most certainly can. Just remember that everyone has their specialties and the weapons you can purchase with the merc as their “package” are probably indicative of the specialty.
Additionally, be sure to upgrade your equipment whenever possible. Replace their crummy old submachine gun with a newer and better weapon of the same class. Just because a merc functions well with the loadout you can purchase them with does not mean that they won’t function better with improved hardware in their hands.
My squads are getting ripped to pieces by grenades. What can I do to stop this?
There are a variety of things you can do. The most obvious answer is stay out of range. Most enemies can’t throw grenades very far so if you engage them at a long distance you should have them on the ground dead before they can charge close enough to chuck a grenade. Second, you can keep low. Stay ducked down or, if you can maintain line of sight, keep prone. With plenty of objects lying around where the grenade explodes you can minimize the negative effects by letting your cover absorb most the punishment.
Also, and perhaps most importantly, keep your spacing. Hired Guns is a tactical game at its core and so a lot of emphasis is put on having your mercs provide mutually supporting gunfire without them crowding on top of each other. Spread your mercs out enough so if the enemy gets a grenade close to someone it will only damage that one person. On the other hand, don’t spread your guys out so much that they can’t influence one another’s tactical situation. It’s a fine line, but practice and experience will go a long way here (and developing that knack is half the fun!).
I’ve overextended my reach and now the enemy is attacking a territory that I can’t get a squad to in time. What do I do?
You have two options: First, you can cede control of the territory if it is non-essential (this is not always the worst option). Second, you can hire mercenaries that you cannot control to help. If you don’t have any of your own mercs in the area and you hire a group of “temp” mercenaries to protect the area you will see the battle for that territory resolve in the strategic map. Early on in the game mercenaries are pretty much invincible so you are almost assured a victory when hiring them to defend for you. However, they are EXPENSIVE. Make sure you release them from service right after they’ve defended your territory in question or they will continue to charge you payment every day (and a hefty payment it is indeed!).
Later on in the game you will see substantial enemy forces levied against you on the tactical map. Sometimes even a full squad of 6 of your own mercenaries may not have the firepower to best a large group of motivated and well-armed soldiers (especially on smaller maps). “Temp” mercenaries would also be helpful in this case. Again, you will not be able to control them directly but they almost always are very effective at helping you out. If nothing else, they will give the enemy someone else to shoot at to take the heat off of your own characters.
I don’t see any enemies on the tactical map yet I can’t exit the area. What gives?
You cannot exit the tactical area until you see a message saying “Sector Clear” even if you enter back into real time mode and can move your mercs freely. The reason for this is there are still some enemies somewhere out in the map. Generally this will happen when there are only one or two stragglers left somewhere far away from your mercs. The advantage of real time mode in this case is that you can send your mercs over to unchecked areas much quicker than in turn-based mode. However, real time mode can be a double edged sword. Do not spread your mercs out all across the map and do not advance too quickly. As soon as you spot an enemy OR the enemy spots you (the enemy can still remain hidden) you are back into turn-based mode. Don’t let your guys get separated too much or you will end up losing a merc unnecessarily because his buddies couldn’t help him in time.
The airport is really well defended and I’m having a hard time capturing it. Do I really need this territory or can I bypass it?
Spoiler: Capturing the airport is essential if you continue to complete missions for Janus. But remember that you can do missions for a variety of factions within the country so just because Janus wants you to do something by no means are you required to in order to complete the game.
The airport has another extremely helpful bonus in that it replaces the jeep you use to move your squads with a helicopter. This is as cool as it sounds. Your squads can now effectively move anywhere you’ve revealed on the map instantly. Provided you have enough firepower in the squad, you could essentially relegate that one squad to just hanging out at the airport and bouncing from one side of the country to the other to defend territories. This saves you money from hiring temporary mercs and it also really ruins the enemy’s day when you show up out of nowhere.
Another bonus of using a helicopter is you can fly into territories that are surrounded by enemy-controlled areas. For instance, if you capture a territory that you can only access via one road and the enemy takes a territory that cuts off access to that road you can still fly in to your stranded territory. With a land-based vehicle you would have to drive to the enemy’s conquered territory first and recapture it before you could again access the stranded area. Use this to your advantage. If you’re attacking a heavily defended target you can fly in multiple squads from different directions. If you send two squads into an enemy territory from two different directions, you will be able to deploy them on opposite sides of the tactical map. This is a significant advantage.
My mercs keep collapsing to the ground and sighing as I give them orders. Why is this happening?
Your mercs are exhausted because they’ve been doing too much in too short a period. The blue bar on your mercs’ dog tags denotes their current stamina level. Physical fitness, the weight of their equipment, and injuries all affect your characters’ ability to sustain prolonged periods of physical activity. Running, for instance, saps virtually every character of energy very fast. Walk to a location unless you absolutely have to run. Additionally, fatigue will diminish over the course of several turns as long as you keep that merc’s action to a minimum. It may be inconvenient, but unless you give an exhausted character a moment to rest in the heat of battle they will continue to collapse on you, and sometimes at the most inconvenient points in the battle. As a general rule, unless your character is strong and in good shape you should be sure to keep any equipment not absolutely necessary for combat at the supply depot and out of their backpacks to keep their loadout weight down. Weighing down your mercs with ammo for guns they don’t have or tons of grenades they won’t use is a sure way to exhaust them in a hurry. Your mercenaries will also recover fatigue very quickly when in the real-time mode with no enemies nearby, so a tactical retreat to rest and regroup and avoid new enemy contact is sometimes a good option.
Can I choose which skills my Trainer merc will trainer their Students in?
No, your Trainer will train in the skills that they are the best in first. If their Student is already as good as them in that skill then the Trainer will train the Student in their second best skill and so on.
I used a medkit on my merc and they’re not healed. There’s just a light pink bar that partially filled up their health bar. Is my merc healed or what?
Medkits are used only in the tactical mode only to stop a bleeding injury or to temporarily boost the health of an injured character. In effect, medkits serve as a temporary stabilizer/boost for an injured character but they bring no permanent health repair. Additionally, medkits have no bearing in the strategic map mode.
The only way you can heal a merc back to full health is using the role assignment options in the strategic map mode. Do this by assigning a character with decent medical skill to the Doctor role and then assigning your injured merc (or mercs) to the Patient role. As time advances through the game the mercs will slowly recover their health bar.
I used to be able to assign a merc to the Doctor role but now my squad doesn’t have that option any more. The same thing happened with the Mechanic role as well.
You only have the option to assign the Doctor, Patient, and Mechanic role to a merc when the conditions exist for these roles to be needed. You can only make one of your mercs a Doctor or Patient when there is an injured merc in the squad and you can only make a merc(s) a mechanic when there is equipment to maintain and repair.
Picking up looted equipment during a battle tires my mercs out, but I don’t want to lose the loot!
Don’t worry, just make sure that you’ve removed any loot that was in containers (like crates or cabinets) and drop it on the ground. Then when the sector is clear, make sure you answer affirmatively when asked to approve looting. You’ll find all the equipment from your vanquished enemies and anything that was on the ground in the sector storage screen. You’ll have all your loot and your mercs won’t have to lug it around during battle.
I have a high turnover rate for my Mercs. But after I let a lot of them go less people are willing to work for me!
Try to hire new mercs before you fire the old ones. Laying off your existing team members hurts your reputation. (No one likes to be out of a job!) This is not to say that it's a bad idea to shed the deadweight: By the time that you can hire the second-tier of mercs the bottom-tier mercs you hired on day 1 will cost you about as much and they will not be as good, so you're probably better off replacing a couple of them.
Thanks to ShadoWarrior for the tip!
How do I unload bullets from my gun?
If you "right click" on the weapons icon you will get a dialogue box explaining the weapon's condition, range, etc. Directly below the weapon's picture will be a box with two number separated by a slash. The number to the right indicates the rounds left in the magazine. The one on the right is the maximum number held. If you "left click" on this box it will unload the weapon. You can then place the mag in your inventory.
Alternatively, you can hold ALT, left click on the weapon and drag to an empty inventory slot to unload the rounds from the gun.
Thanks to ArtMiser, Sarge, and Shrum for this tip!
Can I run the game in windowed mode?
Yes! In order to run the game in windowed mode you will need to make a small edit to a file:
WARNING: This method of playing Hired Guns is not officially supported and has not been fully tested for stability or performance. A known issue that causes the game to crash is attempting to resize the window Hired Guns is in by click one of its corners and dragging.
- Go to the Hired Guns - Jagged Edge folder where the game was installed to. (The default location is: C:\Program Files\Matrix Games\Hired Guns - Jagged Edge).
- Right click on the file called "system.cfg" and then left click "Edit".
- Notepad should open up and a bunch of variables should be listed with values next to them. Find the line that says r_windowed = "0" which is about 75% of the way down the list (line 107 - notepad displays the line number in the bottom right of the screen).
- Change the 0 on that line to a 1. Hired Guns should now run in a window rather than full screen.
How do I take screenshots?
At any time in game, press the PrtScn (Print Screen) button and a bmp file will appear in the "C:\Program Files\Matrix Games\Hired Guns - Jagged Edge\shots" folder if you installed to the default directory. The file sizes average about 5 MB so if you're tight in hard drive space don't get too trigger happy.
< Message edited by SeanD -- 12/11/2008 8:27:36 PM >
Sean Drummy Marketing and Press Relations Manager