Drown Syndrome

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Drown your enemies with as many weapons as you can.

Drown Syndrome is a scheme that relies on the "shot doesn't end turn" feature of RubberWorm, that allows players to use as many weapons as they like in a single turn. However, the scheme also uses the "infinite health" mode, so worms can be killed only by drowning them. Ammunition is strictly limited and there are no crates provided, so players have to carefully conserve their arsenal while getting as many kills as possible each turn. Games tend to be chaotic and brief, clocking in at around 10 minutes.


Click to watch (W:A + Beta Update required) W:A replay: An example of a 2v2 match
with Run, Rioter, Snoots, and Pisto
Download · Info
Game setup
Drown Syndrome:
View scheme settings
Any open island map, preferably bulky
Best played 2v2 with 6 worms per team. If played 1v1, have each player put two teams in to bring the worm numbers up to 12 per player. Other player combinations don't play well.

66 seconds of turn time is generously provided, giving players ample time to kill opponents. But because worms have infinite health, players are required to get enemy worms into the water - where they will drown. Achieving this, especially in parts of the map where the water isn't easily accessed, is often not simple. Continuously firing weapons at an enemy to blow a hole right through to the water just isn't an option, because all weapons are limited (to just 6 of each) and many of the more powerful weapons are absent.

As a result of these settings, the game becomes a challenge of delicately balancing the need to conserve weapons with the need to drown as many enemy worms as possible every turn. Efficient use of weapons demands creative gameplay, with players reforming the map to generate tunnels and slides, then blasting enemy worms down them - or gathering enemies all into one pile before dealing the killing blow(s). Every turn brings with it the possibility of a unique combination of weapons.

Sudden Death occurs after just 6 minutes, bringing on fast flooding and ensuring that each round comes to a quick close even if everyone has used up their arsenal.

The lack of transport tools makes the game even harder, especially with the flooding of Sudden Death looming. Only parachute and bungee are unlimited. Girders are provided, as well as digging tools, but are limited to six just like almost everything else.

There are no rules.


The ability to combine weapons in a single turn opens the game up to a number of novel strategies.

  • Distribute your worms around the map - the most time-consuming part of any turn is travelling over (and often through) the terrain. Use this to your advantage by keeping your worms well distributed around the map, forcing your enemy to spend more time moving and less time killing your worms.
  • Put terrain between your worms and the water - though no spots are truly safe, the most difficult worms to kill tend to be those with a huge block of land between them and the water. Give yourself some time to make a retreat to a safer spot, and consider a girder or two to make it difficult for your opponent. Even if you can't save your worm with these considerations, you can at least cost your opponent time and effort.
  • Slow your enemy down with petrol bombs - in "infinite health" mode, contact with fire will not end a turn, but an enemy can still waste a lot of time stubbing it out if he doesn't have any alternatives for getting past.
  • Pile your victims up - if you can pile enemy worms together, work on doing that first before you start killing them off. It'll save you weapons and, even if you run out of time, you'll probably get another chance to attack before your opponent can get any worms to safety.
  • Try a multi-nade - if you need to pack a powerful blast, try dropping a 5-second Grenade and then - precisely one second later - a 4-second Grenade in the same spot. The blast can easily be powerful enough to throw a worm off the map when a Firepunch just won't do it.
  • Dig a slide for your enemy - when a lot of land stands between an enemy worm and the water, considering using a mole to dig a hole all the way down. Then simply knock your victim down into it.
  • Terraform first, terrorize later - not every shot has to hit an enemy. Sometimes you just need to reshape the land before a particular weapon will work. If an obstacle is preventing you from Dragonballing a worm over a cliff, just shoot it out of existence with a few bazookas.


Modifications with relatively small detail changes to the scheme.

Drown Syndrome 36sec

Click to watch (W:A + Beta Update required) W:A replay: An example of a 1v1 match with
Run and Noodles, using a 36-second variation
Download · Info

Experienced players may find that a turn time of 66 seconds is too long, and allows for too much death to be dealt each turn. For a more challenging match, lower the turn time to 36 seconds.


The scheme was devised by Run sometime in October 2008, shortly after RubberWorm introduced the "shot doesn't end turn" feature.

Competitive events

The scheme has featured in a cup on The Ultimate Site in 2016.

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