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Anyone tackle INSANE difficulty?[message #329769] Tue, 14 January 2014 17:49 Go to next message

Registered:September 2013
Hey guys, wanting some advice about how to play through the INSANE difficulty. It seems simple enough but I'm getting bogged down with having too many mercs to move around (though at the same time that's part of the appeal, having a platoon vs a huge army).

How do you play on INSANE?
What mods do you have and use?
What mercs do you hire?
How do you divide your squads up?
Have any awesome stories to tell?
What weapons do you prefer?
How do you handle the early game (before you can order from Drassen Airport)?
What edits to the .ini do you use?
Anything else you want to share, advice or otherwise?

[Updated on: Tue, 14 January 2014 17:50] by Moderator

Re: Anyone tackle INSANE difficulty?[message #331411] Thu, 20 March 2014 02:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:August 2007
Yes, I mostly play on insane for the last several years although I tend to go away for 6 months then play for a month, etc. I've never gotten all the way through on insane, but the game just gets easier after Drassen. Also by then I usually want to update the game and have to start over. Additionally I tend to mod the .ini's to make it even harder.

"ja2_settings.ini diff from 6670"

These settings make the game an economic challenge as well. I can't afford the good AIM mercs hardly ever (although I sometimes hire them for their gear). I forgot some things I usually choose like enemies always wear armor so it was a lot easier in the early stages with glaser. I also usually boost the number of elites, the insane enemy ap bonus, and enemy group size but didn't this time. I allow max IMPs (but scaling costs, see above), pick drop all, and slowest item progression, worst BobbyRays. I also change the imp_items.xml to give a 9mm MP5 instead of 10mm otherwise it's useless as soon as you run out of ammo. I turned zombies off as it makes the game easier but is fun/silly when it doesn't crash.

The same strategies that work in vanilla still work great. Roofs at night! Crouch with three tiles between you and the edge(prone during the day). Omerta is the trickiest and the only time I will reload until I don't get shot before I can move. After Omerta, I go to the woods west of the middle section of Drassen and sleep until dark, the you can jump on the building closest to the edge. The way I play BobbyRays is never very useful except for breaklights and flares but taking all three sectors will trigger the counter attack, so maybe leave somebody alive here or in the airport. When you are ready to take on the counter attack, the key is to retreat and wait until night when you can comeback and get on the bar in the NW corner(see below). It is lit on three sides already so if you have some lights is becomes simple. If not, the enemies coming in from the west will be a little tricky. This game I only had ~180 and with all the glaser I picked up and no "enemies always wear armor" I was fairly soon dropping them faster than they could run in. Picture is kinda hard to see, but I have two IMPs, Igor, Barry, Ira, Razor, and Haywire and have just got IMPs and Ira off the roof to cleanup the stragglers. Was only shot at about 5 times, never hit. Zero reloads. You might noticed I used some militia to cushion my insertion, but it was not worth it.


Places like Chitzena which have no roof, you will need to wait until you can field large teams with heavy weapons, smoke, and lights (all three together at the same time is almost as good as roofs). In my game as soon as I have enough scopes to go around the game gets very easy (why I keep BobbyRays on terrible).

After this do the SAM site, get Skyrider and start the NW corner of Alma which is pretty easy to rush the gate and get on one or both of the big buildings. Almost all your opposition will be coming in the gate which makes it super easy although watch your back on the roofs for a bit. By Cambria it starts to get boringly easy.

Well, for the first time ever the Drassen mine is running out just as I'm about to assault Alma... no good, I need me my helicopter and I won't stick around a town with no mine. Ahh, just got 7066 on 1971 ready to go. Making this game really Insane would require editing a lot more fixed sentries as that is often the most tricky part until I memorize where they all are. Having lots of roam about troops with the AI in charge is not challenging.
Re: Anyone tackle INSANE difficulty?[message #331789] Fri, 18 April 2014 01:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Interestingly I do play Insane level a fair bit. I edited gun progression a lot but I have BRays on second lowest to start not the lowest. Mainly as a way to source ammo for the rarer ammo types.

However I challenge peeps to do something else. The hardest game I ever played of JA2 was a modified Easy game. If you feel the need you can lower starting funds or whatever, but increase the difficulty of the AI to that of Hard/Insane, keeping the lack of enemies. You will be scraping and hoping for income from mines and any other source as all the phat loot you get in the normal Hard/Insane modes is just not there.

I was astonished that I got my first AR by Alma having ignored Chitzena and taken over the east side of the map. If a Bloodcat attack happens you are almost guaranteed a squad wipe as you just don't have the guns and ammo...

I've had a lot of fun with the Insane modes, but that Easy mode game was nuts...

Re: Anyone tackle INSANE difficulty?[message #335096] Wed, 20 August 2014 20:59 Go to previous message

Registered:August 2007
Try AIMNAS with bigmaps for a different kind of insanity... a real game changer.

@Kaerar: Interesting, yes, turning drop all off and limiting it to mostly elites, few in number would make it way harder. There would still always be the fixed sentries as well. I also always work Alma after Drassen for the good weapons and such good roofs (with standard maps) it's hard to stay awake. Going inside to clean up is always tough though. Using the Rocket Rifle acquisition trick works pretty well when you know where they are... aka blow a whole in the wall with several snipers hidden but with clear LOS.
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