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This new game mechanic allows you to disguise your mercs. They can disguise as civilians or soldiers. They will then not be detected by the enemy, as long as they do not raise suspicion.

This is very strongly tied to the new 'covert ops' trait (new trait system only). A merc without this trait can only disguise as a civilian, and will be automatically detected if he comes to near to a soldier.

You will be discovered if:
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Covert Ops Trait

  • You attack anyone, plant bombs, pick locks etc.
  • As civilian:
    • you have any weapons, armour or explosives that are not hidden
    • you have any camouflage
    • you behave uncivilian-like
    • you are in a restricted sector, like Orta. Civs will be shot on sight here.
  • As a soldier
    • you target 'fellow' soldiers with your gun
    • you are drunk
    • you are close an only have the first level of this trait
    • your equipment is better than what one would expect from a typical soldier
    • you carry a suspicious amount of weapons

These are just some of the conditions for exposure.

There are also some special items for this feature:

  • Civilian clothes is a new item with which you can disguise yourself as a civilian
  • A garotte is a devastating close combat weapon that can instantly kill someone if the target is unaware, and you are familiar with this.
  • A neurotoxin dart will inject a devious drug into the target and kill him a few turns later
  • Items can now be covert, which excempts them from detection. This works on guns as well as on LBE items itself. So a 'covert' revolver holster can hide any revolver in it.

Not that as the enemy checks our inventory, and as LBE gear can hide gear, this feature will work as intended only with NIV. In order to make it work for OIV, I have to adjust the inventory checks (no LBE), so hiding equipment gets much harder... really, just play with NIV.


Corpses can now be picked up and dropped. They will keep their colours, skin, hair etc. This is recommended to use, as being seen near a fresh corpse will cause you to be discovered. 

  • IMPs can select the new trait in the IMP creation process. Mouse and Raffi have it too.
  • Should you, however, decide to lend that skill to existing mercs in their profiles: This is the skill number 20.
  • This skill is new trait system only. Also, while still possible with OIV, I strongly recommend using NIV with this feature (with OIV you will have some serious drawbacks, as you can't hide anything in your inventory).
  • The new dialogue for the handling of corpses (decapitating, gutting, stripping or picking up) requires a knife in your first hand, as it is directly based on the old decapitation action.
  • If you kill a soldier with bullets or stabs to the torso or legs, you won't be able to use this uniform later on.
  • There is no animation for carrying a corpse, you just have the item in your hand (it does not fit into the inventory). 
  • To those who are interested: When covert, the AI does not react to you if in green state. On yellow, they are sometimes driven near you (because you suddenly become a bit interesting). On higher alarm levels, they will cling to you. This is achieved by reducing the amount of 'noise' they hear from you on lower alarm levels. They don't really follow you, they just follow the sounds you make...
  • The garotte is a new melee weapon designed for the covert ops trait. It deals low damage, but has the cahnce to deliver instant kills. The propability for this is raised by your covert ops skill (look in SkillSettings.ini for the settings). It is severely reduced if the enemy is alerted, and if he sees you. Thus, it is a perfect weapon for quick takedowns on unsuspecting enemies from behind, but almost useless you attack the enemy in the open.
  • LBE gear with the COVERT entry in their -tag will hide all equipment inside from enemy inspections (when covert, your inventory is checked by the enemy for suspicious items). All other items can also get that entry directly. At the moment, the Standard holster, C1, C4, PSM and Dart gun have this tag.
  • Recruitable NPCs (but not the rebels) are at first known to the enemy as neutral. Thus, on recruitment, they will be covert civilians or soldiers (Iggy and Conrad). As long as they have this initial covert property, they are not bound to the usual trait restriction, which means that Iggy and Conrad are treated by the enemy like soldiers, even though that should normally be impossible, as only mercs with the trait can disguise as soldiers. Once they lose this initial cover, they can't regain it.
  • Even mercs without the trait can disguise as civilians. But they will automatically be discovered if too near to the enemy.
  • There is now a new ammo type property. We can now set ammo to contain neurotoxin (used on the neurotoxin darts, item 1578). Any ammo with that property will add the 'lifedamage' drug effect on the hit target (except tanks). Anyone with that effect will die in a few turns. This is unreversible, there is no cure (until I might be convinced to add one). Only way to slow the effect is by resetting the timer: hit them with another dart.
    Be careful with these thingies, friendly fire is even more regrettable than usual.
    Not recommend with non-dart ammo, because 'Why would you?'.
  • Kingpin's hitmen are now better disguised. They will wear a random set of clothes and it'll be harder to spot them. This can be turned on/off via setting ASSASSINS_DISGUISED to TRUE/FALSE in the ini.
  • EPCs (like John&Mary) will be treated as civilians when you recruit them. Which seems fair, as they are civilians.
  • When you get uncovered, the messages will now inform you which item caused this, if it was an item.
  • Maximum allowed coolness is now  rounded up(current progress/10) + modifier
rounded up(current progress/10) + modifier

Modifier is 1 for admins, 2 for redshirts and 3 for elites. So disguising as an elite allows better gear, and admin is harder.

  • Option 6 in the tactial function selection menu ('Ctrl' + '.') allows a spy to check his own disguise - the resulting messages give a hint on wether this disguise would be good or not. Of course, this can not take into account an actual enemy seeing you next to dead bodies, or your spy targetting an enemy, but it works well enough for inventory-related pitfalls to disguises (like too many/too cool guns etc.).
  • If COVERT_ELITES_DETECT_NEXTTILE is set to TRUE, elite soldiers will uncover spies disguised as soldiers next to them if more experienced. Covert trait levels also count to your experience levels in that regard. This only affects spies that are disguised as soldiers, not those disguised as civilians, to give more value to that option.
  • Bleeding will get you uncovered only if COVERT_DETECTEDIFBLEEDING is set to TRUE in Skills_Settings.ini (default FALSE). 
  • Throwing/lobbing items and shooting rockets is now deemed suspicious, and will uncover you.
  • Whenever a spy performs a suspicious animation (or certain non-animated actions, like igniting a mustard gas grenade in his inventory), I set up a small combined timer - a few seconds and an AP counter. If an enemy tests the spy before either of these run out, he successfully uncovers the spy.
    there is a new Skills_Settings.ini setting: If your spy is closer than COVERT_ELITES_UNCOVER_RADIUS tiles to an enemy, he will be uncovered if
    • the enemy is an elite and the spy is disguised as an admin or regular troop or
    • the enemy is an officer and your spy is disguised as an admin, regular troop or elite. Note that civilian disguises do not fall under this!
  • The justification is that troops higher in the hierarchy would know the platoon they're with, and would point out if they saw someone they did not know pretend to be one of them. Officers are really dangerous now. Sorta like the old commandos game, where your spy had to avoid the SS even if disguised. If you don't like this change, simply set COVERT_ELITES_UNCOVER_RADIUS to 0.
  • If the new skill setting COVERT_STRIPIFUNCOVERED is FALSE (which is now the default setting),
    - we can only disguise successfully if we haven't been seen recently (last 3 turns)
    - disabled automatic clothes stripping when uncovered
    - redisguise automatically if spy haven't been seen by enemy recently and wears correct clothes

As a result, you no longer have to worry about stripped uniforms fitting in your inventory, and will be automatically be re-disguised after 3 turns out of the enemies sight. But until that point in time, you cannot regain the covert property, even if you manually apply another uniform. This seems a bit more realistic than the current system. The redisguise check is performed at the start of every turn.

Juicily enough, the check on whether any enemy has seen you in the last 3 turns only refers to alive enemies at that time. So if you are uncovered, you can drastically lower the time until automatic redisguise by quickly murdering any witnesses (technically, collapsing or coma-ing them suffices).

Set COVERT_STRIPIFUNCOVERED to TRUE and the old method, without any redisguising, will be used.

  • If a merc intentionally removes the diguise property via the [Ctrl] + [.] menu, the disguise property will not be reapplied until new clothes are applied, even if COVERT_STRIPIFUNCOVERED is set to FALSE in Skills_Settings.ini. This allows dressing up mercs in other colours without them being subject to covert mechanics.
  • If we disguise someone (by telling them to put on clothes), we immediately test their disguise.
    JA2 1

    JA2 1.13 distract enemies

  • A spy can talk to a non-alerted enemy and pull them into a conversation. The 'spoken' parts are just more or less gibberish - what the hell are they talking about? The important part is that the enemy won't move or look around, making it easy to slip by with another merc. That state lasts until alert is raised or the spy moves. This is obviously useless just with a spy, but can be very useful if you infiltrate with several mercs. Like when, say, trying to get inside a prison with a team not purely made out of spies, and without as little bloodshed as possible.

External Links

thepit.ja-galaxy-forum.com/index.php?t=msg&th=20228&

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