Updated 10 December 2016

This page has not yet been fully updated to reflect changes in v1.06 in Arulco Vacations

The first thing you'll notice in-game about the Arulco Vacations Militia Tweak is that most of the militia are women (let's call them La Madres de Guerra). Say what?! Well, you can call me sexist for having women with guns running around Arulco, or you can call me a feminist for the same reason. Doesn't matter to me either way because it's more a reflection on your thoughts than mine. Here's some historical background for my decision, in pictures:

Cuban Militia, 1960
Cuban Territorial Troops Militia, 1990
Contra Commandas, 1987
3 of the 15,000 women in the 20,000 member Kurdish Militia, 2014

I could post a lot more photos of women militia from Mexico to Mali to The Philipines, and on every continent, but this page is for my .XML tweaks of the JA2 v1.13-7609 Militia. Never fear, there are a few guys in this militia also. I left room for the game engine to spawn a few militia, and it invariably spawns a lot of guys when the number of militia start adding up. Where all the guys are coming from, I don't know -- after all, the Queen is drafting every available man for her army, and keeps adding men to her army all game long. There's a finite number of military-capable men in the country so you're going to have to train some military-capable women.

Consider this tweaks the Militia to be similar to those depicted above, especially the Contra Commandas and Kurdish Militia. Bear in mind the general time frame this whole Arulco Vacations Tweak is happening . . . early-mid-late 1990's actually, going by my weapon picklist tweaks and how much sci-fi you want to include as a reason for some of the weapons showing up in-game. I'll talk about that on the Weapons page when I put it up. Notice also in the 1987 picture the jungle behind the Commandas . . . the maps I am creating will try to get more of that jungle feel into the game.

The second thing you will notice is that the militia has different color clothes than in vanilla 1.13.  The Militia Recruits now have Jean Pants (Light Blue) and Grey Shirts (i.e. street clothes). The Regular Militia has Green Army Pants and Brown Shirts (i.e. army uniforms), and the Elite Militia has Green Army Pants and Green Shirts (i.e. better army uniforms).

Another thing you'll notice in-game is that the militia have names and traits (i.e. training, experience, skills). I got tired of no-trait militia running around willy-nilly shooting my guys and other militia in the back. Having traits helps the AI a little more, I think, as the incidence of friendly fire has dropped dramatically. Even though the .INI files allow for tweaking of the incidence of militia traits, I found that even at the highest setting the game engine was spawning mostly no-trait militia with a few one-traiters mixed in. That might be enough for you, but not for me.

There's a new Militia feature in more recent unstable v1.13 releases where you train individual militia, and each of the militia are persistent in the game-world. When that becomes acknowledged as a stable feature you know I'll be upgrading -- and this whole section will be re-done.

Now, don't get me wrong, having traits doesn't make my militia super-soldiers. The AI is still controlling them, remember, and the AI doesn't come close to the tactical skills you and I have. Militia with traits are still sub-par when compared to Mercs with traits, as well. That said, however, giving them traits does make them better soldiers, no doubt (!), and expand the possibilities within each firefight. The Militia and the Arulcan Army (who also have gotten Traits) will surprise you if you take them for granted. This is especially true of the Army Elites, of course. Having traits now makes them competent much of the time -- when you hear that sniper rifle fire you had better find cover because if you heard it this time, you won't hear it next time. As one of my IMPs said after a close shot whizzed by, "Good thing I'm not afraid to . . . crack/headshot/face to the ground twitching . . .! The Arulcan Elite Forces know how to use that thing now; same goes for machine-guns, martial arts, knife-throwing . . . and so on. Don't worry, you can always reload (save often!!!). Think of it as an opportunity to use all your character skills against a worthy opponent.

The game engine does do a random bit of eliminating a trait or two from the Militia even though three traits are defined for each. So that gives some randomness to what these Profiles will generate, in addition to the random picks within the list the game-engine performs. The intent of the game as of v1.13B7609 as far as I know is that Green Militia can possibly get 1 trait, Regular Militia can possibly get 2 traits, and Veteran Militia can possibly get 3 traits. In my game experience the key word there is "possibly", and it gets all capital letters, bolded, italicized and parenthetically triple-exclamated . . . see below. (Ed Note: Hmm . . . JA2 always surprises . . . in my first big battle after writing this all the Militia had 3 traits, none were de-selected by the game engine . . . this is why there's playtesting, so I don't make stupid comments like that.)

As for the same name/Militia popping up everywhere you have Militia, and the same name/enemies also, just consider it a bit of "Call of Duty"-ness . . .  where you kill'em and they just pop back up somewhere else. Really though, just consider the names as "types" of militia/enemy, a certain basic set of traits a certain type of soldier has. The game engine selects each militia randomly, and doesn't duplicate within the same group,  so the same ones don't always appear across all militia groups unless you max them out. Therefore, you can fine-tune how many detailed Militia and how many random Militia you want to appear in every full platoon (the game gives us 20 militia members max in one group, so I'm saying 2 squads of 10 equals a Militia Platoon). If you want 10 detailed and 10 random, just have 10 defined in the Arulco Vacations SoldierProfileMilitia Green/Veteran/Elite .XML files found in the ../TableData/Profiles folder. The game engine will spawn the other 10. Now . . . a caveat . . . when Militia platoons reinforce each other (this goes for Enemy platoons as well) the game engine still does not allow duplicates (except for its own random no-traiters (OK, POSSIBLY(!!!) some with up to 3 traits). So if you have 10 defined, and 40 show up . . . then 30 will be random and most of them will be males. It is analogous to having a dedicated core of militia (the defined ones with traits) that show up at every battle because they are the backbone of the People's Militia. Then you have all the other game-spawned, no-traiters who are from the local population and are people with little militia training but a lot of heart. So, you see, what I'm doing here can be modified easily to your own likings and sensibilities, and is easily reckoned with real-life (tm).

Castro and his rebel army in the mountains.

It also means you will know who the squad leader of the Militia is, and know you should pay attention to that one and keep her alive -- just like real, yo. As well, you'll know who the sniper is and you won't be setting up in her line of fire, hopefully. Same goes for the rest, you'll know who they are -- after all, you trained them right? You equipped them, right? You should know their capabilities.

I thought about following the intended 1 trait per level scheme, but decided against it. The militia gain levels as they progress from Green to Regular to Veteran which makes them more proficient in the traits just like Player Mercs and every other Character in the game. So why shackle the Rebel Militia (and the Arulcan Army) with a restriction no other character in the game has to deal with? In other words, what makes them sub-human? Is it because the Player usually uses them as meat shields? Is it because traditionally the non-playable characters in PC games are considered cannon fodder? Hmm. Not a good reason in my book. The Arulco Vacations Militia Tweak actually restores a balance that was missing in this respect.

This Arulco Vacations Militia Trait Tweak is designed to be used with the setting that demands you equip the militia yourself, and that they do not spawn weaponry out of thin air. This adds a new dimension to the game, and makes it even more difficult and involved -- and much more realistic and movie-like at the same time. Since you will have to provide them their weapons and gear this tweak doesn't touch the Militia Item Choice files or the Militia Gun Choice files. Those files will be ignored if the .INI file is set for you to equip the militia.

Militia costs will be set a little higher (in the .INI file) to offset the advantages of this well-regulated militia (but then, I also include a much larger starting amount of ready cash, so this is really not an offset of this feature, but of the larger starting cash feature). What is more of an influence are the tweaks done to Town Loyalty, and minimum & maximum Leadership needed to train a full squad. If you do not have a fantastic Leadership score you will be stuck with training 1, 2 or 3 Militia at a time. This makes it imperative that you either have an I.M.P. (player-character) with high Leadership, or hire someone who does. There's no gamey exploit of having some cheap merc from M.E.R.C. like Biff or Flo training top-notch Militia for you. You will need Raider or Gus from A.I.M., Rev or Leon from M.E.R.C., or your own squad leader.

The people who become the Militia know the Queen will send the Army to slaughter them. The people do not want to be your meat shields, yo. They don't want to die so you can get rich. They don't want to be raped, mutilated, and tortured so you can have a little glory. You have to convince them you will protect them, and that they will survive. Otherwise, Yankee go home.

You will also notice that all the defined militia are Hispanic, Afro-Caribbean or Indigenous (i.e. not the lighter shades of skin color for the on-screen characterization, and names that are not Anglo-Westernized). I consider this is a people's rebel militia somewhere in the middle of the Central American Caribbean. Arulco is a country like Belize, still heavily colonized and controlled socially by Europeans. There are a lot of Whites who are rich and in power, and a lot of non-Whites who are poor and not-in-power. When we get to the Enemy we'll get to the White people. Oh, and there are ordinary and non-ordinary White people on your side in the game. They certainly are represented and as usual get better representation. So don't get your knickers in a knot. It's wholly cosmetic, and only holistic eye candy, even though provocative.

When I get to adding factions to Arulco Vacations I will make it obvious that the indigenous folk mostly live over by, and in, Chitzena.

Scared yet? Don't be. It's just a game, but since I'm a radical activist in real life my game tweaks will reflect my understanding of the social structures -- and my sometimes sarcastic stereotyping/ridiculing of them. It's only natural, yo.

Leila Khaled, a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine


  1. Ed.
    The Militia have stolen all my guns lol.

    This may teach me to read all the instructions first.
    But it probably won't :(

    Will they steal my ammo and other gear too?
    Do they NEED to steal my ammo if they take my guns?

  2. lol Yeah, in AV you gotta arm the Militia yourself, and whatever you leave lying around they will pick up.

    There are a couple ways to stop them from taking whatever they want. And, yes, they will take ammo and even some gear -- though not always. But they will always take weapons if they don't have any -- unless you do one of two things. The easiest thing to do is after a battle immediately do a CTRL-SHIFT-F. That will empty all weapons of their ammo and pick up your backpacks that you dropped. Militia won't take a weapon that doesn't have ammo in it. There's another way, and it is more specific -- you can designate items for all Militia (default), or just for one type --Green, Blue or Dark Blue --or even for no militia. That is done in the Inventory Screen in Strategic View. I'll write another reply detailing that -- I gotta find the directions so i don't mess up the description. but removing the ammo with CTRL-SHIFT-F (ALT-SHIFT-F works also, but doesn't pick up your backpacks) will keep the weapons out of the Miltia's hands.

  3. OK. After the battle you can go to the Strategic View Inventory screen and designate which weapons & other stuff the Militia can have -- and also designate which weapons & other stuff each specific type of Militia can have. You'll have to reload those weapons you designate for the Militia if you used the CTRL-SHIFT-F (or ALT-SHIFT-F) hotkey combo to unload all weapons. In the Inventory screen leftclick on an item while holding 'TAB'. This toggles it, if the colour is green, the militia will not take this item from the sector (it can still steal it in tactical though). This even works in sectors where you currently have no Mercs.

    LEFTclick a second time while still holding TAB and a turquoise overlay will cover the item, and GREEN Militia will NOT take that weapon. LEFTclick a third time while holding TAB and a purple overlay will cover the item and only DARK BLUE (Elite) Militia will pick up that item. LEFTCLICK a fourth time while holding TAB and a tan/brown overlay will cover the item and NO Militia will pick up the item.

    In TACTICAL mode you can use CTRL-. (control+period) to bring up a command menu that includes "Militia Inspection" -- that will cause the Militia to drop all gear.

    Militia will also drop all gear when you leave a sector -- and when you return you can quickly go into STRATEGIC inventory and steal back whatever you want that they had taken.

    Once you designate a weapon or piece of gear for a specific Militia type it retains that designation even after the Militia drop it. So you don't have to do the whole process over and over.

    What I do is simply unload all weapons with the CTRL-SHIFT-F combo, then go to Strategic inventory, take what I want, load up enough weapons for the Militia, and leave the rest unloaded. For all other gear I just take what I want at the moment and leave the rest. I know I'll soon have more gear than I can carry so I'm not greedy with it. Oh, and I also sell off weapons and gear that I don't want and don't want the Militia to have. You do that in Strategic Inventory by holding the ALT key (gives you the prices for each item over the item -- which is 1/4 of the normal), and then LEFTclick on each item I want to sell. It is immediately sold to "locals", the cash goes into my bank account, and the item is gone for good.

    Hope this helps.

    You only took 1 IMP in? No hired help? Ay, caramba! Either you have a death wish, or you are elite, yo!

  4. Also, the setting in AV is such that Militia will prefer weapons loaded with 20 or more ammo. So if you leave 20 weapons for 10 Militia they will take the ones with 20 or more ammo available first. Then for the rest there is a formula which takes into consideration the worth of the weapon (quality and repair status) plus how much ammo there is for the weapon.

    So leaving a M1911 with 20 bullets available in the sector and a M16 with 19 bullets and a Glock with 19 bullets available available in the sector with 3 Militia without weapons -- will have the M1911 be taken first, the M16 second, and the Glock last. When you leave the sector, they will drop the items they have. If they are attacked, they automatically pick up what they had dropped. If you come back with more stuff and leave it for them, they will perform the selection process all over taking into account the new stuff.

  5. That's great.
    Cant tell you how much I appreciate your help, advice and instruction Ed.

  6. Oh, and unlike other mods you can almost always find 1st aid kits in people's homes . . . you'll need them.

  7. Yes.
    Yes I DO need them lol.

  8. Hello. Does the state of the gun,how damaged it is, has any play in this?

    1. How do you mean? The state of the gun & equipment dropped by the army is controlled mainly by settings established during the making of the maps. I started out giving Red Shirts Average status weapons and gear, but as I continue to modify the maps I am upgrading that to Good, because Average is just too low. As far as Militia are concerned, if you play with the setting that you have to furnish weapons to the militia they will have what you give them -- they do not choose weapons based on status, they mostly choose weapons based on ammunition available. The AI, enemy & militia, do not seem to be hampered by jammed weapons like the Player is.

  9. Thank you :). I was afraid that weapon status would determine what they use or that jamming would hinder them.

  10. How is it with militia fighting off for adjacent sector? Will they take weapons with them, or will they take just items from the sector that is being contested?

  11. Hi Ed,

    I am having a problem with trying to train militia. Firstly, I have turned off Mobile Militia in the JA2_Options.ini file. I have also turned off the Militia using sector inventory guns and equipment. I am trying to get the militia to be as close to JA2 vanilla as I can. I have taken Omerta and have a loyalty rating of 63%. When I click on Train/Militia, I get the following pop-up: "You cannot train more mobile militia because the maximum is reached (0/0). You have to progress further first in order to train more." Is this a bug? If not, what do I have to do?

    1. Do you have Ira? You need to have recruited a Rebel (i.e. Ira) in order to train Militia.

    2. Also, that error message is misleading -- it shouldn't have the word "mobile" in it.

    3. Thank you Ed for your quick response. I had neglected to hire Ira as I can't stand her voice. I will take care of that now.

  12. I over train my militia at SAM site that never be attacked. Can I dismiss or do something about it? Some militia dont have gun. But in which sector they are, i dont know. Notification massage keep coming. Is mobile militia automatically have equipment with it?

    1. All militia can be dismissed -- I forget exactly how it's done 'cause I haven't done it it in a long time.

      No militia come with gear -- you have to provide all weapons and gear. The nitification message comes because you are in that sector where the militia have no weapons.