Atlantic City is infested with gangs of criminals just trying to earn an honest living. While they are passive in nature and will not attack you directly, you'll encounter their henchmen very regularly during Combat Missions, especially when performing "wet works" for local Crime Lords.
Most criminal gangs are run by Gangster Bosses but they rarely show up in combat missions, preferring instead to send their henchmen to do the dirty work. Unlike you or your rival gang, the smaller criminal gangs don't have hideouts – or if they do then your informants aren't telling you about them! It makes you wonder whether they're somehow linked to the local Crime Lords or Deputies? After all, when you establish your own businesses they can sometimes lower relations with you, maybe because you're competing with their criminal businesses?
Criminal gangs usually have several established businesses set up long before you arrive in an estate. They have square icons, either pink or green...
Those in joints and construction lots, referred to as "criminal businesses", are overtly linked to the gangs (pink icons), while those in premises (referred to as "independent businesses") appear more independent in nature (green icons).
Their businesses and vacant buildings appear as blue crosses on the minimap prior to you inspecting them at which point they turn in to small blue circles. When any of their businesses go bankrupt and turn in to a vacant building, they'll initially be represented as a blue cross again until you inspect them.
The criminal gangs know better than to ever consider attacking you, but that doesn't prevent you from being able to attack them!
You can ambush, raid and even firebomb their larger buildings, not to mention the more normal drive-by shootings.
There are three primary ways to take over their business:
- Make them go bankrupt; then rent the property to establish your own business there
- Drive-by shootings; just scare them out, capturing the building in the process
- Buy them out; amazingly, you can buy most criminal businesses (those with pink icons) if you have the cash
Criminal speakeasies, in particular, are very cheap – usually costing about the same amount as renting a vacant joint. Their protection rackets, on the other hand, are so expensive it's cheaper to just shoot them up and establish new ones from scratch.
Other Gangs Edit
The criminals will interact with your rivals, often trading resources, but relations soon deteriorate and before long there will be violent turf wars. While this buys you some time to get your own operations established, you'll often find your rival's empire growing quickly at the expense of the criminals and that can become problematic.
You can improve your liked rating by holding parties at criminal hotels. For a mere 5 liquor, you can get +10 liked in return. If you use a Grifter to perform the action, you'll get an extra +2 liked!
You can raid all types of independent business to steal some of whatever resource they provide. You can also ambush money shipments at criminal protection rackets. It lowers relations, obviously, and if you do it too often they'll go bankrupt.
Note that there is a risk of complications; sometimes they'll be waiting for your henchman and ambush him resulting in a combat mission. You can use an Armoured Car to avoid this scenario. Also, raiding and ambushing raises heat; use a Hitman to prevent that.
Both you and your rival can trade with the criminals:
- Beer - sold by independent breweries, bought by criminal speakeasies
- Liquor - sold by independent distilleries, bought by criminal nightclubs
- Firearms - sold by independent independent gun runners and warehouses
Trading often improves relations, which can be handy if you want to buy out the speakeasies or nightclubs.