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Here's a quick rundown.

- Started all cocky on Experienced
- I don't know what I'm going into so I create a "rounded" team to cover any situation
- Created a team of 4 for a week - Brain (lock), Red (demo), Spider (doc), Scream (killer), and Henning as my 1 day ace-in-the-hole killer
- Was fired upon the moment we dropped into the northwest corner of the map near Omerta
- Couldn't get past the swampy-forested I was dropped into, this happened 4 times, wiped the whole crew before I could even get to the buildings
- Tried variations of running, crawling, crouching, rushing-in, or hanging back and waiting for the enemy to come to me while prone

My guys can't seem to hit the broad side of a barn unless they're right next to something, even when using up as many points as possible for the shot, but the enemies are marksmen at 100 yards.

- Changed to Novice
- Kept the same team figuring it's still a decent plan, just that I am doing something wrong, I mean the first gunfight shouldn't be THIS hard on Novice
- Pretty much the same experience

Part of me wants to think the game is just really hard. The realistic part of me thinks that I just suck. Another part wonders if there's something I just don't understand about the game that isn't obvious even after reading all of the help info before even trying to fight.

Any tips, suggestions, etc? I don't want to cheat or exploit anything. I also don't want to follow a guide that says "You must choose THESE guys for this mission". However if the game is that strict about who you choose, I should probably give it up right now.
While I haven't played JA2:WF, if the maps are the ones that inspired the maps found in AIMNAS, there should be a house a bit to the southeast of your starting position. Hustle towards that house, and barricade yourself in it, so you can open fire at closer ranges with more of your mercs. If you can post an overview of the map, I could probably point a few positions one could mount a proper defense.

P.S. JA2:WF was made to be a challenge to JA2 veterans, so it is more difficult than JA2.
That explains a bit. I didn't realize Wildfire was a follow-up.

It is definitely different than the original. The drop-point can be seen on the attachment. Apparently in the original you're dropped inside the town.

When you start there is usually a guy or two near the swamp to the northeast. There's another guy or two near the swamp to the southwest.

I do reasonably well taking out the guys near the swamp and move southeast toward the wooded area for cover, but that's where things start to go awry.

The clump of trees center screen and above Steroid's bars hides a pair of guys who seem nearly impossible to hit. I've tried running someone around the swamp to the northeast to flank them, but there's usually another soldier behind the large boulder and shrubs nearby and that slows their progress.

While writing this and looking at the map, I'm starting to think the best course of action is to try to take everyone toward the swamp to the southwest.

Overall I think my inexperience and want for a fun jaunt through shanty towns and jungles is getting in my way. I think I might just have to wait for JA2 to go on sale and start there.
wildfire1.jpg (292 Kb)
YardGnomeNinja: snip
Ok, map seems to be the one I was playing in the previous version of AIMNAS. At the bottom left of the screenshot, there is a house. You should be able to move towards it, taking cover in the trees, and if you do enter combat, running for the door. Remember that if you move crouched and in stealth mode (ctrl-z I think? could be ctrl-x) you make less noise, but if you are already discovered, noise is the least of your problems. I think you should be able to baricade yourself in there so you can survive the first enemy contact, and then you'll have a bit more freedom to move.

On the other hand, the above is based on a game I played ~1.5 years ago, so take it with a grain of salt.
I haven't played WF either. But:

-Your mercs are most likely equipped with nothing but pistols. Pistols are embarassingly inaccurate in every JA game I've ever played, they are simply not made for mid-long range firefights. For now you're forced to short range combat, once you get your hands on better weapons it will be a whole different world.

-Kneeling or standing prone increase accuracy. Make sure you're not aiming for the head or legs, as they're harder to hit compared to the body. Even with sniper rifles, it's rare to land a headshot without a scope.

-Positioning is important. JA2 introduced two very helpful functions (which I assume are still present in WF) to evaluate cover and awareness of your mercs. Sometimes it may seems that your mercs are safe and have a good visual of the field, while, in fact, they don't. Press End to show your merc's line of sight and Delete to show cover effectiveness. Ideally you should have your mercs always on green squares whenever possible, and never on red zones. They are two very helpful commands, make sure to use them often.
YardGnomeNinja: Overall I think my inexperience and want for a fun jaunt through shanty towns and jungles is getting in my way. I think I might just have to wait for JA2 to go on sale and start there.
Based on what you describe, I'd say you definitely want to start with JA2. Even on novice mode, it can get somewhat challenging, but the first few fights (especially Omerta) are easy enough to help you get into the game. It will give you your "fun jaunt through shanty towns and jungle" and more :)

I completed the main JA2 campaign twice, and my recent try on the Wildfire Omerta mission on "novice" was a nasty surprise. Wildfire is a "hard mode" campaign for JA2 experienced players. Start with the original game.
Thanks for the advice everyone!

I'll keep these things in mind.

I'm definitely going to pick up JA2 next time a sale comes around.