The Jagged Alliance online DOS game center on strategically controlling mercenary squads, on and off the field, who complete various missions such as freeing countries from oppressive dictators. The games feature a mix of turn-based battle simulation, 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) elements and role-playing.Humour via spoken character comments is a trademark of the series. The personalities of the individual mercenaries range from mildly eccentric to disturbed. This contrasts the games' setting which is otherwise closely linked to such subjects as war and death.Each mercenary is an individual with their own traits. Part of the strategy was the player's freedom to select a multi-faceted team to win the game in different ways. Not all teams would work; for example, Ivan and his nephew Igor, who work well together, are hated by Steroid, the Polish bodybuilder. "Buns", a Danish markswoman, hates "Fox", a medic with centerfold looks. In contrast, "Fox" loves working with "Grizzly," on whom she has something of a crush.The mercenaries may be out on various assignments, determined randomly, so that the available pool of characters is never the same for each game.The player has to maintain a level of reputation in the Jagged Alliance games. If the player gets their troops killed often, regularly hires and dismisses members or generally is insensitive (such as not paying for deceased merc body shipments back home), their reputation will lower. Bad player's reputation affects all mercenaries. Mercs may demand a significant pay raise to consider working for the player. Hired mercenaries may quit unless the player discreetly pays them a bonus. And only desperate-for-work mercs will agree to work for really notorious players.