Mole Shopper

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(Up to Schemes)
Click to watch (W:A + Beta Update required) W:A replay: Mole Shopper, played by Prebba
and Silver86 for the 2006 Worm Olympics
Download · Info
Digging for victory

Mole Shopper is a shopping-style scheme in which players start with a very limited choice of weapons and must use their digging tools (primarily Mole Bombs) to burrow through the landscape and collect weapons from crates. It is played on a map that comprises a solid block of land, in which randomly-placed holes are generated to accommodate the worms and a few barrels.


Game setup
Mole Shopper:
View scheme settings
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

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 their advantage, digging large caves to 'attract' crates to where they can collect them.

Players are provided with unlimited Blowtorch, Pneumatic Drill, and Mole Bomb to dig through the map, along with unlimited Girder, Parachute and Bungee to help with navigating around the caves.

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 at Sudden Death after only 5 minutes of round 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. However, the surface itself can be a hazard, as it is exposed to air strikes and worms can easily be blasted into the water with even a moderate explosive.

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.

Initial worm placements, which are random, can have a significant impact on a player's chance of winning. Worms spawning closer to the top of the map will naturally have an advantage throughout the game. Worms that spawn close together are also at an advantage, as they will find it easier to support each other in securing a region of the map and outnumbering the enemy locally. Although a player can select which worm to use, this only last for the 5 minutes of round time until Sudden Death, after which an isolated worm can become a burden. A single Teleport helps to mitigate this, providing players with a way to bring crucial reinforcements into an disputed area at a critical moment.

A single Kamikaze, Fast Walk and Low Gravity are also provided. Like the teleport, players will usually save these for critical moments.

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.

There are no rules.

The scheme is supported by HostingBuddy.


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 be devastating, especially if you've left a worm on a steep slope.


The origin of the scheme is unknown, but it has existed since 2002 at the latest, when a Mole Shopper scheme was uploaded to Blame The Pixel (Internet Archive snapshot)

The scheme has featured consistently in competitions, appearing in the Worm Olympics every year from 2006 to 2016, and in cups and tournaments hosted on The Ultimate Site between 2010 and 2018.

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