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Alma is hard![message #265802] Thu, 28 October 2010 04:21 Go to next message

Registered:September 2010
Location: Dallas Texas

Hello there,

Im having some trouble with a certain city listed in the title. After I completed Drassen and took out the SAM site, I figured Alma would be a good next goal because its the only other town outside of Anti Air Range. However, when I got there the town was a heck of a lot harder than the fight at drassen was. The soldiers there have me outmanned and outgunned by a large margin. I started with the bottom right section so i could get at the mine first, but it seems I either am trying the wrong things or the wrong part of the game because I get butchered no matter what tactics i try.

Is Alma a town I should be attempting at this stage of the game or are all the other towns going to be that hard as well?

thanks in advance
Re: Alma is hard![message #265806] Thu, 28 October 2010 08:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:July 2009
Alma is one quarter mine and three quarters military base.
You can of course take the towns in any order you want, but for new players, I wouldn't recommend taking Alma as the second city. Chitizena or Cambria are far easier with the mediocre gear you're likely to have after Drassen.

Re: Alma is hard![message #265808] Thu, 28 October 2010 08:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:April 2010
Location: Germany
In vanilla times I always captured Alma after Drassen, but 1.13 on higher difficulty settings beefed it up quite a bit, especially because of the AI climbing roofs much more frequently.

The first sector to take was the north-western shooting range/training facility.
Back in the days, the shooting-range sector could almost be a walk in the park if you managed to get in through the northern fence and on the roof without being noticed (preferably at night) and just position your mercs in two groups, each facing one door to the small "courtyard" with the chests. The hardest part was really getting up there unhampered, after that it was like shooting fish in a barrel. After capturing the sector you would have some great guns (I'm still talking about vanilla, mind you, although the HK G3 the general wields is still a great toy) which would make the next parts of the game considerably easier. So I usually took on the weapon factory next with a similar tactic (missing soldiers but hitting the explosive barrels behind them can really tip the scale there), which provided me with more good gear to take the prison sector and ultimately the mine. By that time I'd have some pretty decent guns and it felt as if the hardest part of the game (until Meduna, that is...) was over.

Although a bit harder due to the enemies constantly joining you on the roof to backstab you, it can still be pulled off this way with a single-group approach where one half of the squad takes care of the climbers with automatic weapons and the other half tries to shoot those on ground level before they can climb up as well. It's mostly CQB so you can basically cope with it using SMGs (like the Tommy Gun you almost always get at least once from someone in Drassen with it's large magazine), the odd SKS or Mini 14 and even some pistols.

Another option now is approaching from the west, lying low and setting up a killzone at the guarded gate, since it is a serious bottle-neck (AI doesn't cut fences). The downside of this is that you need rather decent equipment especially in terms of weapon range, which you might not have at this early stage unless you went on a shopping spree at Bobby Ray's after liberating Drassen (or having been extremely lucky with the weapon drops). Additionally, if you enabled enemy reinforcements in cities, that can come back at you to bite you in the ass quite literally, since you are very vulnerable to attacks from the sides and from behind.

So in the end you might prefer to focus on another city instead. If Cambria seems too much to handle, go the northern route straight on to Chitzena (some players like to make a detour over San Mona to do some questing, earn some money and buy stuff at Tony's, but personally, I tend to ignore San Mona completely nowadays - so that's up to you).
Chitzena is quick to capture with a lot of cover and - having only two sectors - rather cheap to secure with town militia and you can recruit (or rather draft) Dimitri in Omerta on the way to help with training and repairing so Ira can stay in Drassen and keep training militia there.
After taking out the SAM site south of Chitzena you even have a small almost missile-free margin at the top of the map to fly your mercs and John and Mary back to Drassen where with the additional income from the Citzena mine you should be able to afford some mail-order goodies.
Re: Alma is hard![message #265810] Thu, 28 October 2010 11:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:November 2009
Location: Vault 13
If Alma feels way too hard then retreat/load an old savegame and go for Chitzena after completing Drassen.
Chitzena is usually easy to take plus you can capture the nearby SAM site.
After Chitzena (and probably San Mona and Cambria) you'll have more experience and better gear (BR, Tony?)
so you can kick ass in Alma.
Re: Alma is hard![message #265826] Thu, 28 October 2010 17:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:September 2010
I would suggest Cambria as second town, mostly for strategical reasons:

Chitzena is rather remote, in particular because you cannot reach it by road (=truck); save for from Grumm. Defending it and the respective SAM when returning your attention to the east can become a challenge. In return Cambrai is the most central town with good road connections to Drassen (airport), San Mona (Tony), Estoni (fuel), and Grumm and Alma for further operations. On top of that, most enemy patrols coming from Meduna and heading north have to pass by Cambria, so you should have an easy time intercepting them before they can cause any trouble in the north.

When securing the SAM in Cambria you have full control over the skies in eastern Arulco, including Alma and Balime. The SAM at Chitzena only controls the western coast, what is rather useless for you unless you are going for Grumm thereafter (something that certainly not is recommended rather early in the game).

The hospital in Cambrai, in conjunction with the ability of unopposed air-transport for your woundeds, can seriously ease your operations. There also is Keith's shop, Jake, and Perko's repair service. That makes four "facilities" in or near Cambria as opposed to "nothing" in Chitzena. All but one RPCs outside Omerta of which you know where they are (Maddog, Vince, Shank, Dynamo) are to be found here too. The one you don't get there is Conrad (Alma).

You can make the Hicks- and the Tixa-quest, and also get the second vehicle (it's just across the road from Tixa). Having freed Dynamo before going to Alma would make things in Alma much easyer loyatly-wise.

Makes for me:

Drassen & SAM
Cambria & SAM
(see above)
Moving your team to Balime after Alma, and having an eye on Estoni, effectivly allows you to intercept all patrols heading for Alma and Drassen as well. You anyways need some fighting around it to raise loyalty high enough for training militias. That's better now than when you have to worry on what's going on on the west coast as well.
The mining sector of Grumm controls the road along the west coast. Having a squad there (with vehicle) will allow you to intercept anything coming up from Meduna. So, keep one squad in Balime, attack Grumm with the other two. Of these keep one in Grumm mining sector and do the following with a single mobile squad:
Chitzena & SAM
You don't have to endlessly train militias there, ten greens in each sector would be sufficiently because with you holding Grumm, Cambria and Balime Deidranna already is checkmate.

After that have the two western squads attacking Orta, and then all three joining forces for the final assault on Meduna.
Re: Alma is hard![message #265827] Thu, 28 October 2010 18:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:December 2008
Location: B
right now my second town was grumm - a piece of cake
Re: Alma is hard![message #265828] Thu, 28 October 2010 18:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:September 2010
ehrm, Grumm as second town?!? What was your first?
Re: Alma is hard![message #265829] Thu, 28 October 2010 18:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:December 2008
Location: B
drassen (not fully taken - i needed the airport) - right after grumm b-company cleared chitzena - i don't own any sam
Re: Alma is hard![message #265856] Thu, 28 October 2010 23:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:September 2010
Location: Dallas Texas
Thanks for all the help guys!

I didnt expect so many replies but welcome the help. Ill be sure to try the strategies listed by you in the post.

Again thanks for the help!
Re: Alma is hard![message #315440] Fri, 15 February 2013 01:49 Go to previous message

Registered:February 2013
(yes, I know it's an old thread, but there aren't too many posts here)

I'm new to the game as well, and from one of the FAQs, I went to Alma early as well. That was my first game, so I made some mistakes/bad decisions, did some zig-zagging back and forth, didn't do the chopper pilot or east SAM site before going to Chitzena.

Progress of the game was Drassen, across to Chitzena, left a few troops training militia and brought the vacationers back. Found the chopper pilot and then took the SAM site. Left a full squad there (healing up, one repair guy fixing guns, and training the militia). A small group went back to Chitzena, and by the time they got over to San Mona, rested up, and prepared to attack the west SAM with the Chitzena trainers, the east group was ready. So, I sent 8 mercs south in 2 groups to Alma. Positioned them to attack the NE corner, with 4 on the the north side and 4 on the east side, both groups had a guy with wire cutters. Came through the wire pretty far to the south on the east edge (middle of the north side was fine), and both groups slipped in, and dealt with the snipers on top on each building. Lining up on the roofs and sending a couple of guys to hit switches triggered a nice turkey shoot.

The mine was pretty easy, sent 5 troops south (left MD and the two worst wounded mercs), still fighting at night. Took that area with only minor scratches. Went west with the full group, and did the prison by daylight, again shooting from the roofs (picked up a nice Dragunov with scope and laser sight in the first quadrant, so Hitman racked up a nice string of kills). Rested until nightfall and went north to the NW quadrant. That was a tougher fight, but I went in on the west side (sneaking around the lit areas and cutting through the wire several paces north of the SW corner of the main building). Dynamited my way into the building through that corner after a few reloaded attempts to go in other ways, let me get to the sergeant quickly. (yes, I believe in walkthrough/guides, with limited gaming time, I don't want to waste a lot of time blundering through).

The total haul was pretty nice, an AKM, a pair of AK74s, a G3, a G41, a pair of Dragunovs (the one decked out with attachments), 3 or 4 sets of night vision gear, quite a lot of nice armor, and quite a bit of other war material. Should set me up pretty well to take Cambria and then move on.
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