The More Economic Recruiting Center (M.E.R.C.), A.I.M.'s bargain-basement competitor, is introduced in Jagged Alliance 2. It was founded by Speck T. Kline and Biff Apscott, both former A.I.M. operatives.
Personnel initially offered by Speck are very cheap, but consisting of mainly amateurs and criminals with little to no combat-experience. As the roster expands, so does the average skill of the mercenaries available. While most of the M.E.R.C. roster makes for poor soldiers in the short term, their low rates can make them very cost-efficient as they improve - Providing you can keep them alive for long enough.
M.E.R.C. mercs work strictly under daily rates, with no discounts or options for long-term deals available. As Speck will tell you, however, payment is not required upfront, nor is it requierd to be paid by the day, but instead accrues on your M.E.R.C. account, to be paid when you are ready to pay. While Speck won't press the commander for their wages, he will eventually bring it up if enough time has passed. If a week passes without pay, the player will receive an email reminding them of their outstanding balance, and if several more days pass after that, the mercenaries themselves will voice their concerns, having been contacted by Speck. Any longer than that, and they will simply quit.
At the beginning, your choice consists of 6 mercenaries. Speck will expand the roster over time if you make use of (and pay for in a timely manner) M.E.R.C.'s services. As more money is paid to M.E.R.C., Speck will bring aboard more and better mercenaries to expand the roster. If you never make use of M.E.R.C., however, the roster will remain the same for the duration of the game, and Speck will complain about funds being worryingly low and eventually will dissolve M.E.R.C..
M.E.R.C. is disbanded by the time Jagged Alliance: Crossfire takes place, though several former M.E.R.C. mercenaries will be found in A.I.M.'s employ, having undergone extensive retraining to become properly able mercenaries.
List of operatives
- Biff Apscott
- Frankie "Haywire" Gordon
- Doug "Gasket" Milton
- Bill "Razor" Lamont
- Florence "Flo" Gabriel
- Tim "Gumpy" Hillman
- Thorton "Bubba" Jones
- Larry Roachburn
- Tim "Numb" Sutton
- Jim "Cougar" Wallace
Unfinished Business adds two new mercenaries:
In Wildfire most mercenaries from Jagged Alliance 2 have returned, however some A.I.M. mercenaries have been replaced by new ones. The replaced ones either died, resigned or moved to M.E.R.C. (notably Blood, Hitman, Scope and Stephan).