Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner’s Combat Task Guide

This article examines the mechanics of combat tasks in JA3, discussing the various types and rewards associated with them.

1. Introduction

This article pertains to Jagged Alliance 3 Game Version: Larry (1.5.1)

It is important to note that the information presented here is based on anecdotal evidence and personal experimentation. While I haven’t had access to the source code, I will be glad to make any necessary corrections if more accurate information becomes available. Feel free to provide feedback either in the comments below or on my HIVE blog version of this guide.

Occasionally, you will be assigned a random mission that can be carried out by one of your mercenaries or your entire team. While completing these combat tasks is optional, there are several advantages to doing so. This guide will provide a detailed explanation of how combat tasks function.

A combat task may be assigned to you when you are in a sector that already contains hostile enemies and your team needs to be deployed. However, if the sector is initially peaceful and combat later ensues due to scripted events, interactions with NPCs, or attacks on friendly NPCs, you cannot receive a combat task. There is an element of random chance involved in receiving a combat task, determining which mercenary is selected for the task, and the nature of the combat task itself.

Based on my own experiences, it appears that there is some sort of cooldown period for each mercenary before they can receive another combat task. As shown in the screenshot above, it is possible for the same squad to be assigned multiple combat tasks in the same day, and it is also possible to receive combat tasks in neighboring sectors. However, there are certain battles or sectors that do not generate combat tasks regardless of how many times you attempt to reload. Once a mercenary completes a combat task, it seems they must wait a few days before being eligible for another one.

Although rare, it is possible for multiple mercs to be assigned combat tasks simultaneously. I have encountered situations where different mercs in my team were given two combat tasks at the same time. However, I have never received more than two combat tasks concurrently.

2. Combat Tasks Overview

In my experience, I have encountered a total of 20 different combat tasks. These tasks usually involve killing enemies in specific ways such as targeting certain body parts, utilizing particular weapon types, or dealing and receiving damage. There is a possibility that combat tasks involving weapon types check the weapons equipped or in the inventory. However, it seems that any mercenary can receive the task of “killing an opponent with an unarmed attack.”

The combat tasks themselves appear to be randomized. Reloading the game before entering the sector can result in different tasks assigned to different mercs, or it may even result in a completely different combat task. Furthermore, I have noticed that aimed melee attacks do not always count for body part targeting combat tasks.

Here is a list of the 20 combat tasks I have discovered so far, with “XXX” representing the assigned mercenary:

Careful Combatant: The team should sustain less than 50 damage during the conflict.

Ardent Defender: No mercenary other than XXX should be wounded during the combat.

Destruction Distributor: XXX must inflict 150 damage to the enemies.

Headhunter: The team must make 5 headshots.

Mutilator: The team must make 5 limb shots.

Put This Apple…: XXX should hit 3 enemies with headshots aiming 3 times or more.

Make Them Suffer: The team must kill 3 enemies with attacks to the groin.

Elusive Killer: XXX should achieve a kill without sustaining any damage during the combat.

Stealthy Approach: XXX should initiate the first combat in stealth, and the team should kill 2 opponents before the end of the first turn.

Killing Spree: XXX should eliminate 2 opponents in the same turn.

Point-Blank: XXX must kill 2 enemies at close range.

Specialist: The team must make 3 kills using special attacks.

(Note: Mobile Shot, Run and Gun, Pin Down, Long Burst with a machine gun, Launch Rocket (i.e. RPG-7), Brutalize (i.e. Knife or Unarmed), Charge, Throw Knife, Throw Grenade, and Throw Stick Grenade definitely count as special attacks. It is also probable that Distracting Shot and unique mercenary-specific attacks count as well. However, triggering a remote detonation or shooting an explosive like a proximity explosive nearby does NOT count.)

Handgun Kills: The team must kill 3 opponents using handguns.

Automatic Kills: The team must kill 3 opponents using assault rifles or SMGs.

Sniper Rifle Kills: The team must kill 3 opponents using sniper rifles.

Shotgun Kills: The team must kill 3 opponents using shotguns.

Machine Gun Kills: The team must kill 3 opponents using machine guns.

Explosive Kills: The team must kill 2 opponents through explosions.

Melee Kills: The team must kill 3 opponents using melee weapons.

(Note: Melee takedowns via stealth do not seem to count.)

Brutalizer: XXX must kill 1 opponent using unarmed attacks.

3. Rewards

There are three potential benefits associated with completing a combat task:

  • XP: By completing a combat task, the assigned mercenary will receive approximately 300 XP. The amount of XP can be affected by the mercenary’s Wisdom stat and the presence of Teaching or Old Dog. For instance, a mercenary with 100 Wisdom gained 360 XP without Teaching or Old Dog, while another mercenary with 100 Wisdom gained 396 XP when there was a mercenary with Teaching in the team.

  • Possible stat point: Upon completing a combat task, there is a chance for the assigned mercenary to gain field experience for a random stat point. However, this is only possible if there is an available point in the “statGainingPoints” pool. It is important to note that receiving a stat point is not guaranteed if there hasn’t been enough XP gained or if the pool is empty due to recent field experience. If there is an available point in the pool, it appears to be random whether the mercenary gains a point or not. Additionally, it seems to be pseudo-random which stat point is increased when reloading, with occasional instances of a different stat increasing but most of the time, the stat type remains the same.

  • $2,000: For every 5 completed combat tasks, a reward of $2,000 is earned. The first time this milestone is reached, an e-mail regarding “A.I.M. S.T.A.R.” will be received. Subsequent milestones of 5 completed combat tasks will result in an e-mail titled “Loyalty Rewards.”

In case you lose track of the number of combat tasks completed, you can refer to your History to count the completed combat tasks. By cross-referencing the dates of your Loyalty Rewards e-mails, you can determine when you reached your last multiple of 5.

4. Are They Worth Completing?

Generally, it is worthwhile to attempt completion of combat tasks due to the XP gain and the potential chance of increasing a stat point. However, the $2,000 earned every 5 combat tasks is not particularly significant.

The worthiness of completing a combat task depends on various factors, including the specific task, the mercenary assigned, the composition of your team, and the nature of the battle, such as the number of enemies and the battlefield conditions.

In my opinion, it is usually acceptable to play slightly sub-optimally, such as allowing one mercenary to attain more kills or utilizing different weapons, in order to complete a combat task.

However, it is not worthwhile to attempt a combat task if it poses too much danger to the mercenary or your team. Perhaps save scumming is an option, but otherwise, there may be certain combat tasks that are either impossible or too hazardous to complete:

  • Many mercs realistically won’t be able to kill an opponent with an unarmed attack. Therefore, if a mercenary who normally stays in the back, like Livewire, is assigned this combat task, it may be wise to skip it. It might also be too risky for support mercs to kill 2 enemies in close range combat.
  • For certain mercs and maps, killing opponents with melee weapons may not be feasible.
  • In the early stages of the game, when action points are limited and weapon choices are restricted, many mercs may struggle to kill 2 opponents in the same turn.
  • While headshots and groin shots are usually manageable as they deal extra damage, limb shots typically don’t cause significant damage. Therefore, when facing a swarm of enemies, you may not have the luxury of making limb shots, as each shot needs to result in a kill.
  • If you receive the Ardent Defender combat task, which is exclusive to mercs with the ability to withstand wounds, it may not be worth exposing them to harm if they don’t make effective tanks.

5. Common Issues

There have been a few instances where I initially thought there was a bug, but it turned out to be working as intended:

  • If you don’t receive a $2,000 A.I.M. reward after completing a combat task, it’s probably not a bug. You only receive the reward for every five (5) combat tasks completed.
  • – If you don’t receive a stat point after completing a combat task, it’s probably not a bug. You only receive a stat point if there is an available point in the “statGainingPoints” pool.

However, there have also been some situations where I encountered apparent bugs:

  • Occasionally, I haven’t received any XP from completing a combat task. This definitely seems like a bug. However, it’s important to check the Snype summary and scroll up, as sometimes the XP is earned earlier in the sequence and can be easily missed.
  • On one occasion, the combat task didn’t seem to trigger/complete correctly when another squad in the same sector fulfilled the requirement. This is just a single anecdotal occurrence, so it’s possible that I missed a detail. I haven’t had many instances of multiple squads in the same sector, so I haven’t extensively tested this.
  • I encountered a bug with the Elusive Kill combat task (which involves making a kill without suffering damage). If I killed the final opponent with a stealth kill, combat would end and I would gain control of the sector. However, the combat task wouldn’t complete and remained uncompleted in the upper right corner of the screen. I believe this bug occurs because the combat task conditions don’t always account for combat ending with a stealth kill. When I reloaded the game and killed the opponent normally (without stealth), the combat task completed correctly. This occurred in Version Wolf (1.4.1). I tested it in Version Larry (1.5.1), and it seemed to work correctly, so hopefully, this bug has been fixed.
  • Another issue is with the Stealthy Approach combat task (which requires starting the first combat in Stealth and killing two opponents before the enemy takes any action). The task actually means before the enemy takes any action, not the end of “Turn 1” as labeled in the saved game. So, if you kill one enemy with a stealth kill but this activates other enemies who then move and attack, you will fail the combat task even though it’s not yet the end of “Turn 1.”
This guide about Jagged Alliance 3 was written by halcyan2. You can visit the original publication from this link. If you have any concerns about this guide, please don't hesitate to reach us here.

About the author