From Worms Knowledge Base
| W:A replay: An example of a Mole Shopper|
game with Random00, SPW, EviL and
WilWil; taken from Worm Olympics
|Download · Info|
|An island map consisting of a solid rectangular block of land (random holes will be generated when the map loads)|
Examples at the WMDB
|4 per team is recommended|
In the Mole Shopper scheme, players must use their digging tools to burrow through the landscape and collect their weapons from crates. It is played on a solid block of land, in which randomly-placed holes are generated to accommodate the worms and a few barrels.
As with most 'shopping' schemes, players start the game with a very limited choice of weapons and tools - in this case with mole bombs playing a central role.
With just a few digging and transport tools at players' disposal, only crates can provide the weapons they need to win the game, but the restrictive map forces them to appear only in the spaces which players create by excavating the terrain. A player can manipulate the probabilities to his advantage, digging large caves to 'attract' crates to where he can collect them.
Although crates will not appear on the top (or surface) of the map, players can walk their worms along it, allowing them much greater access to the map's lucrative crate-rich caves beneath, and giving them a vantage point from which attacks can be more easily and more effectively conducted. Access to the surface also gives players a stronger position to prepare for and survive the moderate flooding which occurs after only 5 minutes of game time. These advantages make the surface a much sought-after territory, and experienced players will fight bitterly to gain a monopoly of control over it.
The race to create and gain access to crate-rich caves while working towards a controlling presence on the surface, all in the context of a looming flood, makes for a tense and highly territorial game, in which forward planning is crucial for ultimate success.
Along with its unique gameplay the scheme is notable for its weapons' power settings, which are set to very high values for many of them. Mole bombs in particular are considerably more powerful than usual, capable of creating a large enough cavity when they explode that crates can land within them - making them essential for gaining early access to weapons.
Experienced players will be familiar with the scheme's principle strategies:
- Get your team together. When the game starts, scan the map for your most clustered worms and start planning on getting their caves connected. This'll help you access crates and defend your territory from those who want a piece of it. Focus on developing a region on the top half the map - the bottom half will be a lost cause when flooding starts and you'll want to have easy access to the surface.
- Beware worm select. Although you will be able to choose which worms to use during the opening moves of the game (useful for developing or defending a cave), Sudden Death will take this ability away. This could leave you wasting away turns with a worm stuck in a hole in the far recesses of the map, while your opponent treads all over your turf with impunity.
- Save that teleport. You only get one and it has one purpose. Should you find yourself encumbered with an isolated worm sucking up turns after Sudden Death, use the teleport to whisk it away from its useless position and reinforce your lair. You could do this in the lead-up to SD, but it'll cost you a turn in a time when turns are more valuable and you won't gain the advantage until SD is in effect anyway.
- Cut loose burdensome worms. If you don't have a teleport, don't waste time getting an isolated worm to the front line by burrowing. By the time he gets there there'll be no one left to save. Suicide your liabilities instead by drilling into the water or using the kamikaze if you can damage the enemy.
- Be the first to the top. The easiest way to control the surface is to get there first and shoot everyone else back down when they try to join you. Get access early and move quickly when your monopoly is threatened, but don't leave worms hanging around on top or you might find them blasted into the sea or wiped out by the over-powered airstrikes.
- Keep your opponents down. An opponent can ruin everything if he manages to climb to the surface without using a weapon or tool. Make sure that doesn't happen, by using girders and well-placed attacks to ruin any paths to the top.
- Don't get caught out. Memorise your opponent's worm rotation sequence and make a note of whether or not he's used his Low Gravity utility. Watch out for players with the over-powered cluster bombs - they come in packs of three and each one can devastate.
- Mole Shopper on Nanacide