Tactical tips for the second released map, “The Mountain”, for both innocent explorers and thralls!
The mountain itself is a tall cliff face which can be scaled either by walking up the side or a lengthy ice wall which requires an ice axe to climb. There is one cave up its side and, at the top, another cave which hides the nitro within. A tall hanging rope ladder allows you to get back down from the summit if you’re not burdened by explosives. A polar bear lies at the entrance to the nitro cave, and another one sits on the (much, much shorter) walk down towards the iceberg.
- The Hunter’s new kit is crucial to dealing with the polar bear threat. They are very dangerous and boast large amounts of health; any melee combat is to be avoided as much as possible as you will almost certainly lose. Upon death they give 6 meat and potentially enough sinew and pelt to craft a satchel for your efforts. Although you can kill them dead by any means of dropping their health, bear in mind this simple tactic: 6 arrows and 5 traps. This is all you need to drop a bear. Lay out 5 traps in front of you, shoot an arrow to aggro the bear, and allow him to run over all 5 while you keep shooting at him. The Hunter is crucial as she naturally starts with two traps as well as a bow, giving her a striking edge in terms of the resources needed to bring the foe down from the start. Faster meat harvesting also means that once dead, the bear can be picked clean that much quicker. As a final note, polar bears can also be blown up with the nitro, however be aware that this is a death sentence unless you carefully manoeuvre things from a distance.
- Take extra caution when loading coal at the start. The ship spawns a fair distance from land, and the level’s long layout makes expeditions out from the ship much less fruitful on a return trip. The Approach could see you take a different path and loot new things as you came back; not likely the case here.
- Get the nitro going as early as possible. The original map’s nitro could be done in half a day without much issue in its own right. However, unless most of the crew goes together, it will likely take a couple of days to blow up the iceberg even with determined effort. It takes quite some time to run down the river, walk up the mountain, and kill the polar bears. All the while you will of course be managing your hunger, warmth, and health. It’s a much shorter journey up the other side, but you will not see any of the resources the nearer side has, as well as the fact that you can only ascend that way by going to the very end of the level. Without proper preparation, you will face a great challenge getting past both polar bears on the mountain. My recommendation would be to take the hunter and one or two willing souls, and start heading to the nitro crates immediately when the game begins. You will likely blow up the iceberg on the third day or late the second.
- Take advantage of the open level layout. Get familiar with the location of the few private areas and take a look at them from time to time to clear any totems.
- Keep the ship moving as much as possible. This sounds like an obvious statement, but the level’s long, narrow geometry means it’s much easier to hop off the ship to collect things quickly while making it harder to go far away and come back. If the ship can keep going then the crew can have a reliable headquarters and short excursions.
- Be more liberal in crafting than you might be otherwise. Crafting stations and ovens are bountiful, so feel free to pick up as much as you can see and want; go to the nearest crafting station and stock yourself up on high-level goodies. I strongly recommend a satchel on this map.
- Consider using explosive barrels instead of nitro for the iceberg. Destroying that much coal will ruin any one person’s score, but for the sake of victory it could be worthwhile to circumvent the ascent altogether. It takes about 40 gunpowder in a barrel to blow up the iceberg, Less will weaken it enough to allow the ship to ram it through. Be careful to ensure enough coal is left to get the ship to the end.
- The nitro cave is your friend. It is very long and dark with no other approach than the front entrance. If you can beat the innocent members of the crew to the punch and load yourself with traps, guns, sabres, healing, and ammunition, you can make getting to the nitro a living hell for the others.
- Let the valley be your firing range. Having such a great view of the whole map means that, with a little discretion at hiding yourself, you can pick off your enemies from a great distance nearly anywhere on the map with a musket. The centre area of the map will be the most effective hideout. Conceivably, two thralls with muskets could hide together and pick off everyone else they see one at a time.
- Blend in more, be less audacious. The Approach’s vast expanse meant a thrall could act evilly in plain sight and hide far away with reasonable safety against a scouring. Far be it on The Mountain. Tight quarters means that sandbagging and silent acquisition of tools is the way to go. However, people are also much more willing to trust those that are around, so as long as you check in with others reasonably often, flying under the radar is quite easy.
- If you’re alone running down one side of the ravine, take the opportunity to pick the area clean of coal and toss it in the drink. It’s not too hard to clean out a lot of containers in a short time.
- Be sneaky and very deliberate with your totems. The first map had areas which were visited with reliable infrequency. The lack of discrete areas on this map, however, means that you’ll have to be much more clever in finding places to put your totems. Take advantage of what hidden spaces do exist and tuck the rest of your totems in corners and behind structures. Keep in mind, explorers who’ve scaled the mountain will also have an easier time seeing what you’re doing down there.
- Blowing the ship up, with a stronger explosion, is easy to do if you go on quick spurts of coal-hunting along the narrow shores of the valley.
- Leave bear hunting to others.
- Although you likely won’t have a lot of totems (and thus strong spells), white out is very useful as the river in dense with icebergs. Even a short one could end in a broken ship or a timorous captain who doesn’t want to risk it.
Hope these tips help out those who are playing the map!