This article contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If adding new Q/A, please stick to the format here.
- Q: What is HAM?
- A: HAM is a mod for JA2 1.13.
- Unlike some mods that add new characters or maps, HAM tries to make gameplay itself more interesting. It adds a lot of features, tries to add realism, and also fixes a couple of things that never quite worked properly, along the way.
- Q: What kinds of things does HAM add to my game?
- A: Many different things,
- ranging from better interface, to better customization, even a different way of fighting! HAM doesn't concentrate on a single aspect of the game, it tries to add things that are useful, interesting, and/or fun. All you need to do is have a look at the HAM Features page to get an idea of the kinds of things you should expect.
- As an added bonus, some versions of HAM are actually more stable than the version of 1.13 they were based on. Note the use of the word SOME.
HAM vs. 1.13
- Q: Is HAM better than JA2 1.13?
- A: That is really a question of taste.
- HAM has the ability to change the game drastically, both in the Tactical game (the shooting part) and the Strategic game (the management part). The only way to tell if it's "better" is by playing it and deciding for yourself.
- Q: If I install HAM, can I ever go back to just "plain" 1.13?
- A: Actually, HAM is designed from the ground up so that you can turn it off whenever you want.
- Almost every feature in HAM is controlled by an INI setting or XML file, and if those are gone (or left at the default 1.13 values), then HAM is effectively turned off. HAM even contains copies of these files that, when placed in the proper folders, will make HAM behave as though it wasn't running at all.
- The best way to restore JA2 1.13 is to learn how to use the new 1.13 VFS system (available since June 2009), and set it up so that a single edit in notepad can switch HAM on and off like a lightbulb. Otherwise, restoring your old INI and XML files, then running the original .exe file that came with JA2 1.13, is also a good way to go about it.
- Q: Is HAM harder than JA2 1.13?
- A: That totally depends on the settings you choose.
- Some features in HAM have the potential of radically changing the way you play the game, including how you load your men, how you fight enemies, and even how you run the country. Getting used to these things can be challenging in itself. Most often, people will refer to HAM Suppression in combat as being very different from how JA2 combat is played. Your experience may be different, and again, the many options and settings can make a huge difference, and you can tune the game to your liking as well.
- Of course, there are always those who think it makes the game EASIER... and on the other hand, some people claim that the NOVICE and EXPERIENCED difficulties are actually harder. In other words: decide for yourself.
- Q: What's HAM 3.5? Or HAM 3.6? Alpha? Beta? Gamma? Nicaragua?
- A: There may be several versions of HAM available at any given time. There are important differences between them all.
- Starting with HAM 2.8, the oldest version still available. This has actually been integrated as part of JA2 1.13 itself, so the vast majority of players today have their HAM built in.
- Players who want some extra HAM usually download HAM 3.5. This is the latest version of HAM that has been confirmed as STABLE. It is also part of many newfangled mod packages, so it's usually easier to acquire and install alongside other mods. Heck, some mods even exist that have been intentionally merged with HAM 3.5, to make good use of its many features.
- Finally, there's HAM 3.6. That one deserves a Q/A session all to itself.
- Also remember that HAM is always in testing. It is not meant as a stable, full-fledged mod. In fact, it is sort of a testing ground for features that would, ideally, be introduced into JA2 1.13 and be available to everybody. Before that happens, of course, we try to test out all the features to see that they don't cause any trouble. They don't... usually.
- Q: So what's HAM 3.6 (Alpha)?
- A: HAM 3.6a is the latest existing version of HAM. In fact, it's gone up to version 3.6a v7, which is sort of like saying HAM 3.6.7, but isn't.
- HAM 3.6 contains a lot of new features, and some are pretty significant to boot. However, the "Alpha" part of the name means that there's practically no guarantee that your game will run well. This version is only released so that people can test for bugs and errors, several of which have already been discovered.
- In other words, HAM 3.6 is for experienced players who don't mind the risk, and are willing to report the bugs they find so that those may be fixed.
- In other words, better than HAM 3.5, unless you don't like your game crashing unexpectedly or having to blow up Tony's shop just to get a couple of the guns on sale. Yeah.
- Eventually, HAM 3.6 will be completed, and will go to Beta status. At this point it will likely be more or less stable, and after a certain testing period will be "approved for use". If/when that status is reached, work will begin on making HAM 3.6 an integral part of JA2 1.13, effectively replacing all versions that came before it. Huzzah!
- Q: Where can I find a list of facilities and what they do?
- A: Answer
- Q: I get confused by all the INI and XML files... what goes where? Which ones do I choose?
- A: Because of the ability to turn HAM on and off at will (see below), there's no way around this problem.
- What you need to know is that the HAM download contains two (or more) separate sets of files that change HAM behavior radically. One set is the "JA2 Default" set - this makes HAM behave almost exactly the same as 1.13. The other set(s) contains possible configurations for HAM to make it to different stuff. You can mix and match some of these files, but if you're having issues then make sure you copy only one set. This means copy the INI files from the "HAM Default" folder, and the XMLs from all the different "HAM Default" folders. You can find all of these inside the main HAM download.
- Q: Which JA2 1.13 version is compatible with HAM?
- A: This depends on the version of HAM you've got.
- Each version tries to keep up with the latest 1.13 release, and so may or may not be compatible with previous (or later) releases. To see a full compatibility chart, please read the article "What is HAM?".
- Q: Does HAM work with other Mods?
- A: That depends on the mod, really.
- Mods that add/change items or sector maps, and even characters, are normally compatible with HAM. Mods that have their own EXE file are not normally compatible. Installing HAM together with another mod may be very tricky, and can be very specific to the mod you want to use. I can't give a better answer than this - you'll need to look for the answer on the Bear's Pit Forums.
- Extra note: Some mod packages nowadays offer an easy-to-install combination of HAM and other mods. Check the forums for more information.
- Q: I can't train Militia anywhere!
- A: This is a common question since HAM 3.5, and has to do with the new Facility System.
- If you've installed HAM 3.5 with the "HAM Default" XMLd, you might find that Militia training is impossible in most places. However, this isn't true - Militia Training has simply been restricted to sectors containing specific facilities. For instance, sectors that have A.C.A buildings allow 2 Militia trainers to work there. Such sectors include Drassen B13 (the Airport), Chitzena B2, Cambria G9, etcetera. Also, the Military Base in Alma is the best place to train lots of militia, as it allows 2 Militia trainers in each sector of the city.
- You can right-click a sector on the strategy map to see what facilities it contains.
- If you want to turn this feature off, you need to extract the "JA2 Default" XMLs from the HAM 3.5 Zip File into the proper directory. There is a TXT file in there that explains the entire process. When this is done, you can train militia in any city sector as before. This is done using "invisible" facilities that allow 2 Militia trainers in every city sector on the map.
- Q: I can't train Militia to defend my SAM Sites!
- A: That's true and intentional.
- As above, if you're using the "Default HAM" XMLs, then SAM Sites do not allow Militia training. Instead, you must train Mobile Militia in a city, and they will eventually roam into the SAM site and stay there (provided they can reach it alive). It's more tricky, but provides an aspect of strategic management that didn't exist in "regular" JA2.
- If you want to turn this feature off, you need to extract the "JA2 Default" XMLs from the HAM 3.5 Zip File into the proper directory. There is a TXT file in there that explains the entire process. When this is done, you can train militia in any SAM sector as before. This is done using "invisible" facilities that allow 2 Militia trainers in each SAM sector on the map.
- One good way to ensure that the Mobile Militia get to the SAM Site is to lead them there. Mobiles always try to follow your mercs wherever they go, so simply move a merc sector by sector to the SAM site, making sure that the Mobile are following you every time you move, until you reach the SAM site. Then they'll follow you in there, and they will stay there. Normally, however, Mobiles will find their way to the SAM site even without your help, but this is more randomal and tricky especially if you haven't got a lot of them.
- Q: Whenever combat starts, the game shows "??" on my weapon!
- A: This is the "Hidden Bullet Count" feature, which is meant to make the game more realistic.
- If your soldier lacks Wisdom, Dexterity, Experience Level, or more than one of these, he may not be able to remember the number of bullets left in his gun. This only happens during combat, and the effect will disappear whenever Turn-Based mode ends. As your character gets more skilled or experienced (or both), you'll find that the true number of bullets left reappears more often during combat. The most experienced soldiers will probably be able to avoid the effect, unless using large magazines (100+ bullets).
- Q: The enemy keeps running away from combat!
- A: This is a result of successful suppression on your part.
- Suppression Fire reduces morale, and may end up making the enemy run away. As enemies increase in level, you'll find that they are harder to suppress in general, and will thus run away less frequently. The best way to solve the problem is either to activate the "INCREASE_AI_WILLINGNESS_TO_SUPPRESS" INI option, or increase the value of "MIN_SUPPRESSION_TOLERANCE" by a small amount. Or both.