This section is for users to get together and tell their HAM experiences, as well as their own custom INI and XML settings to share with other players!
In other words, let everybody know why HAM made (or spectacularly ruined) your day.
HAM Suppression - Battle at Alma I14 (By Headrock) Edit
This is a diagram of the battle of Alma Mine as played in HAM 3, with all HAM features turned on.
It was the second attempt at taking the sector, after having failed spectacularly on the first attempt.
This battle was part of my first campaign on INSANE difficulty. I started the campaign to test HAM, but also to test the ManyMercs mod which had just been integrated into JA2 1.13. For this campaign, I boosted Mine Income to 1000%, which enabled me to hire two dozen mercs. Despite this great number of mercs, most battles in HAM 3 were very difficult, because HAM tactics often require numerical superiority. Therefore, even with so many mercs on my team, many of the battles were exceptionally difficult, and several men had already died earlier in the campaign. The mine at Drassen ran out unexpectedly while we were building up a proper militia defense for Drassen. It was therefore imperative to try and take a second mine, and Alma was the most reasonable target.
The team consists for 24 mercs, and as befitting HAM tactics, they are armed with a good variety of weapons, anything from Machine Pistols to Sniper Rifles is used, and every character has a specific role on the battlefield. Managing 24 mercs in battle is challenging, but the battles themselves are so dynamic that you hardly notice it - you just do your best to outwit the enemy with whatever resources you have at the time.
After taking Alma H14 with some injuries, and having wasted most of the team's ammunition in that battle, the decision was made to assault the mine immediately and attempt to hold it against enemy attacks while it made the vast amounts of money required to continue paying the team. Taking Alma I14 was strategically imperative, although there was no time or equipment enough to allow more careful operations like clearing out adjacent sectors. Therefore, it was obvious that the enemy were going to reinforce from at least one side of the map.
Battle #1 Edit
HAM tactics revolve mainly around aggressive advances and pincer movements, similar to modern-day infantry warfare. Due to the importance of suppression, it is imperative to stop the enemy from occupying tactically advantageous locations on the map, while attempting to control those same locations yourself. In Alma I14, there are several important strategic locations, including all houses as well as the fence on the northwestern corner.
For the first battle, I figured that enemies might stream in from the south, occupying and controlling the southern buildings across the road. My strategy was to focus my forces in two main assaults, one going around the eastern side of the map to drive the enemy away from the houses, the other attack going between the buildings in the center and trying to force the enemy back. This is a very aggressive tactic which is useful when confronted with massive enemy reinforcements coming from all sides - it was meant to dominate the eastern and central areas, confining enemies to the southwestern area where they could be suppressed and killed more easily (out in the open).
Unfortunately, this proved to be far too aggressive for the situation. The force flanking along the eastern side of the map encountered very light resistance from the local troops, but no enemy reinforcements came up from that edge at all. Therefore, half of my force was wasted in flanking reinforcements that never came. On the other hand, enemies did reinforce from the west, and once my troopers crossed the main road to occupy the souther houses, they were utterly crushed by the combined might of roughly 30 enemy combatants. The enemy position across the fence also played an important role - the treeline behind the fence provides almost absolute cover, making those enemies almost impossible to suppress. Three mercs crossing the center of the map were slaughtered by the enemy, having sacrificed their own suppression capabilities for the speed I thought I would require to get across the road and occupy the buildings there.
The tactical mistake later went downhill, and eventually I was left with less than half of my original force. The battle was a bitter loss, and would be the end of the campaign. After releasing a new version of HAM, I went at it yet again, this time trying a more relaxed and sensible tactic.
Battle #2 Edit
As you can see in the diagram above, in the second attempt I used a much more reasonable battle plan, involving three distinct forces working for different goals. While I did have the knowledge that enemy forces would only be coming from the west, this tactic would probably have worked just as well against enemies coming both from West and South.
In the second battle, the majority of my force set up a base of fire along the northern houses. Two smaller, quick forces were responsible for flanking on either edge of the map.
In the northwest, a team was dedicated to breaching the fence and cleaning out the area behind it. Those enemies proved to be the most dangerous, and thus had to be taken out as quickly as possible. The fence was breached with launched grenades, and a team armed with close-ranged weapons closed in directly on their flank to annihilate them. They then took positions behind the fence to help stop the assault coming up the road.
In the meanwhile, troopers with assault rifles and carbines set themselves up along the northern house row. Their job was to hold back any enemy advances between the southern houses, while the other groups maneuvered to flank the enemy. Several mercs actually crossed the road to take ambush positions along the southern side of the road (once the threatening enemies in the northwest were cleared). I was especially cautious not to let those ambushers go too far as I did in the first battle, as that made them unsupportable by other troops (that's what got so many mercs killed in the first battle - an over-zealous assault for tactical gain that ended in enemies ambushing ME instead of the other way around).
The eastern force was greatly reduced in size, although it was still necessary for closing the pincers. This force met with some strong resistance from enemies near the southeastern houses, but careful use of fire-and-maneuver tactics enabled this team to reach its objectives faster than before.
As the enemy force pushed its way between the houses and up the road, the tactical choices began to pay off. My Fire Teams kept the enemy from getting too close, while Ambushers darted past the alleyways to kill any enemy who was getting a bit further ahead. As the southeastern force began closing in on the south-center, the entire force leap-frogged across the road. One ambusher (Thor) entered one of the buildings to stop enemies from coming through that way - he managed to kill several of them with nothing more than a pistol, finally running out of ammo and switching to a knife. The most useful weapon in this battle turned out to be a shotgun, as Fox eliminated most of the enemy forces in the northwestern corner with it. Sniper rifles, while useful, cost too many APs to be useful in stopping large enemy assaults, and while the snipers on the northwestern roof (big blue box) did help considerably, they were unable to kill more than three or four enemies during the entire battle.
The battle was won when the eastern force swooped in across the road, suppressing enemies in the yard between the houses and allowing the assaulters to finally run up the alleyways and waste them all.
This battle was won with 0 casualties. While some characters were heavily injured, the result was far better than expected, and gained me the Alma Mine sector which was so desparately needed. Alma did not capitulate until two weeks later, but I had bought myself the time to even the odds with the many enemies that were expecting me in the remaining two sectors.
Lessons Learned Edit
HAM Suppression requires the use of smart tactics. It encourages aggressive advance, but discourages neglecting your defense. While denying enemies control over tactically advantageous locations, you need to quickly establish your own base of fire and try to hold off the enemy's advance. Sometimes, giving up a little ground gains you more than trying to take ground from the enemy.
Know which force is supposed to do what. Plan contingencies, and never over-extend yourself. Expect the unexpected and try to outwit your foe, but don't forget that you are also trying to survive.
And finally, don't be tempted to exploit every opportunity you see. You might be walking into a lot more danger than you thought.
I hope you enjoyed my war story! And feel free to add your own! After all, that is the very purpose of this page .
HAM + WildFire (by Mauser) Edit
- This is an edited version of Mauser's review on HAM and Wildfire 6.06 combined, along with Smeagol's Alpha Item mod. This review was posted on Bear's Pit on July 20, 2009.
On Map Design Edit
The wildfire map design and guns fit very well with the HAM features and make for some quite dynamic battles where burst and auto fire is much more frequently used for suppression.
I always have one of my two IMPs as a dedicated squad machine-gunner who heavily employs full auto fire to suppress the enemy so my other dedicated sniper IMP can pick them off and my other assaulter/spotter/grenadier mercs are used to flank the enemy, protect the flanks and flush the enemy out of their cover with grenades and heavy weapons.
Due to suppression, battles are much more dynamic and you often have to change position and even fall back if too many enemies assault your position or manage to come too close.
On Light Machine Guns (LMGs) Edit
LMGs are now essential for winning battles against greater numbers of enemies and the dense, cover rich WF maps make for some intense firefights at closer distances where sniper rifles don´t rule supreme anymore, yet still have their moments where they really shine and often are the only chance of success, especially when employed as counter-snipers.
One thing the designated LMG gunner is for to deny the enemy certain paths of approach, effectively turning them into corridors of certain death and suppression, usually the path with the least cover where most of the enemies will have to go through.
My LMG IMP also is my field mechanic and lock-picking expert as well as explosives guy, basically a full auto substitute of Trevor. so he usually doesn't do much besides going prone at a strategic position and covering an as wide as possible area together with my sniper IMP, whilst my other teammates advance. only other equipment I give him are some grenades, especially smoke grenades for covering the retreat or position change and explosives to make himself a way where there is none, but because of the explosives I also have to keep him outside the line of fire of the enemy.
One dedicated LMG gunner can be terribly effective in situations like the Drassen counterattack, where he can keep a huge number of enemies in check and kill many of them.
Still LMGs aren't as effective as in DBB mod it seems, especially on longer ranges, where those are true WMDs that can mow down whole armies with full auto bursts. Together with suppression effect, an MG3 or similar high RPM LMG could become a truly devastating, if not over-powered weapon because as long as you have ammo, you can basically suppress the living hell out of the enemy until they become practically immobile and depressive, whilst their comrades around them fall like flies due to stray bullets alone.
With tracer ammo all auto weapons become much more effective, but you also reveal the position of your gunner. But still worth the added accuracy.
On INI Settings and Weight Restrictions Edit
I play with 20% higher gun damage but keep the weight ratio at 1.0 which still gives you enough troubles in outfitting your mercs right for their combat role.
My sniper usually carries 2 sniper rifles and a pistol/SMG for CQB defense. one long range high accuracy rifle with sniper-scope and one semi auto DMR with battle scope for quick medium to close range sniper support. That, coupled with the necessary ammo and low weight armors alone, brings him to his limits. Most of my mercs are average strengths between about 75 - 80, with only my LMG and heavy weapon guys going into and over 90s.
With strength 80 and full set of armor, you can really struggle at times to keep the weight below the 100% mark if you outfit your mercs for extended missions ranger style. One main and one backup/heavy weapon with a couple of grenades plus some extra small stuff and ample ammo supply for extended firefights usually is enough to max their weight out.
But i agree, you just have to tinker a good bit with the LBE items to allow for the perfect loadout for a tactical role and have the best storage room with the least weight.
On Item Variety Edit
The selection of heavy weapons and explosives already is excellent and very diverse, leaving almost no wishes open. Although the mortar can be severely reduced in effectiveness through HAM option, which makes it more unreliable but also more realistic. no longer is the mortar the prime and almighty anti-tank weapon!
currently, WF6.06 mod + Alpha item mod + HAM 3.5 proves to be quite a winning combination that combines many exciting and excellent features.
it´s more of an evolution than a revolution, but a sound and substantial one! And it´s also a pretty stable one too regarding the past of 1.13.