Jagged Alliance... Why I want to know more
It was early in the 2000’s when I was browsing the PC shelf at my local Babbage’s that I stumbled upon the strategic classic Jagged Alliance 2. Released in 1999 by Sir-Tech the game is a tactical role-playing game. It is overflowing with character (no seriously character creation was hilarious), steeped in tactical depth, dashed in some resource management, and topped it off with a little bit of; for a lack of better terms, empire building. Throw in a couple more options like “Sci-fi” mode that added caverns filled with mutant bugs and advanced weaponry and the “tons of guns” mode that turned your weapons catalogue into loading scene from The Matrix and your left with a memorable gaming experience.
So why have I started rambling about an old video game on a minis site, you might ask? Because Underground Games is on the verge of fulfilling their Kickstarter for the Jagged Alliance Board Game and yours truly is waiting on his Veteran pledge filled with minis! (Including cave dwelling mutant bugs) So let’s chat about the wonderful world of Jagged Alliance and why I want to know more about this upcoming release!
Jagged Alliance feels like the Frankenstein’s Monster of 1980s action movie plots. A vicious dictator has seized control of the island nation of Arulco. Hired by the former ruler you and your crack band of mercenaries are tasked with slipping onto the island and, with the aid of willing occupants (who you could train to be militia in the video game) you have to take back the island one city at a time. Capturing a city gets you access to its mine, which provides you resources to use to pay your mercs, buy weapons, ammo, and equipment, and a population of willing fighters you can train to protect your newly liberated city from roaming patrols and counter attacks. The Board Game looks to emulate as much of the depth and charm of the videogame as possible. 1-4 players cooperatively work their way through a proposed 999+ minutes of scenarios!
Containing numerous scenarios and a variety of colorful dictators to thwart JA:TBG puts you and your friends in charge of an eclectic group of mercenaries fighting their way across a modular tile system (called Sector Maps) that could be hiding any variety of dangerous militants ready to die for their dictators will. With 40 different Sectors available the box comes with a wide variety of options. Players will need to balance completing their objectives with undertaking additional missions that bring extra money and equipment but also escalates the dictator’s response, deploying more dangerous forces to oppose the mercs.
That’s not all:
Remember the mutant bugs? The Underground expansion contains a collection of creepy crawlies, new equipment cards, new scenarios, and underground sector maps; plus a monstrous new dictator. With the boxes getting ready to depart Germany and maybe on my table before 2019 I personally can’t wait to get to know Jagged Alliance a little more.