Things the game doesn’t explain clearly, some of my advice and tricks, and general survival recommendations. All here in this handy dandy, and fun to read guide! From Weapon Durability to being a decent passive thrall.
It is the 1840s, during the height of the British Empire
Much of the world is mapped and explored. From the darkest Jungle of Africa, to the highest peaks of Asia, to the plains of America.The Age of Exploration is seemingly dead. But yet, one final blank spot on the map awaits…
The Northwest Passage.
A stretch of water in harsh arctic of Northern Canada, and for the British Admiralty (in a time before the Suez and Panama canals were a thing), a faster means for merchant ships to reach China for business. Success would mean no more rounding South America for a long trek across the Pacific, or a dangerous turn on the Cape of Good Hope off the coast of South Africa.
And so a ship and crew were selected, in 1847. A former Bomb class vessel, HMS Wendigo and her crew of Seven, set out from London, arriving in Greenland, where they had to stop for supplies, and picking up and 8th, a quiet yet professional Huntress. Yet despite finding signs of ruined Igloos of the natives, and horrifying scenes of debauchery and cannibalism, the crew steams head on, into the Canadian coast, and into the passage.
…But not all is well, and two members of the crew, dream dark thoughts and desires, corrupted by some forgotten deity. Stomachs rumbling…for the “other” white meat.
The Intrepid (and Doomed) Crew of the HMS Wendigo 1/2
Explorer: The Captain’s passive pretty much puts him as the man in charge of driving the ship properly through the narrow, and iceberg ridden channels of the map.The Cup of Tea is nice quick warmth if you find yourself out in the wilderness, but most of the time the Captain should be on the boat, waiting for more fuel to come in so he can drive onward. The Saber is a nice DPS weapon compared to the Axe, but sadly the sword requires repair if it hits anything, flesh or not, otherwise the blade dulls and damage is lowered to a whimpy 8 per swing. In downtime it’s not a bad idea to hop off the ship to grab supplies, just don’t stray too far, lest cannibals take you out.
Thrall: Outside of “accidentally” hitting ice bergs or just turning the ship in a weird position before running off, or maybe even going slow on purpose, there’s not much a Thrall captain could really do given his passive is based on driving the ship, and that goes out the window if you get sussed out. Being alone on the ship sometimes is a good time to cast a spell on people outside, and if you find some wood and bones, don’t be afraid to build a sneaky totem in the crows nest, and feign ignorance if it get’s discovered.
Explorer: As the Ship’s second (and only other) Officer on board, your main bonus is extra shift speed, and having a powerful telescope. This telescope not only tells the user what’s been looted or not, or how badly a player is hurt, BUT it amplifies sound! (Think the scope from Dishonored). If you have the space and want to commit, being the eyes of the crew can be handy in looking for suspicious things from the comfort of the Crow’s nest.
Thrall: On the flipside, the Scope can be used to spy and listen in on what the crew is up to while far away from them; a very nice way to intercept their plans. The speed you have over them means getting to places first to steal stuff away from the crew before they even get there. Beyond that it’s up to a Thrall Navigator on how they want to play their hand.
Explorer: As the Ship’s Chief Medical Officer, your main job from the get go is raiding all the Doctor’s bags before others do, grabbing as much Laudanum, Scrap, and Herbs, and crafting medical supplies; Scrap for Healing Syringes (50HP over the mere 25HP for just drinking Laudanum before your passive), and Herbs for making into Antidotes to cure poison. Occasionally call for medical checks on crew members to keep their health up, and don’t forget to have at least two Syringes when you head out with the Nitro party. Be mindful not to take stuff from untrusted crew, lest you accidentally poison someone, or try to cure it with poisoned Antidote.
Thrall: As the one person who should be making Syringes and gathering herbs, you’re poised to be a venomous type of Thrall. Though it’s a hand that should be played carefully, as other characters might end up having clean Antidotes from storage boxes or even crafting, and it’s easy to get sussed out when a mass poisoning occurs. Try to have clean and “dirty” medical supplies to earn trust on your crew. Poison in one hand, Cure in the other. Just make sure to either sharpen that Cleaver if you find a Whetstone, or better yet, make an Axe for later use.
Explorer: You are the Ship’s fuel monkey. When you’re not gathering coal, you are gathering wood and iron scrap to turn immediately into nails before Thralls can get their mitts on them. A good Engineer will manage their inventory, and try to come back to the ship with, at minimum, four coal, and on a good day eight or even nine pieces! Any Engineer that brings little or none at all should be either new to the role, or a suspect.
Thrall: You are the most Aggressive Thrall in the entire game. Make Coal barrels, keep Wood and Scrap away from crew, and make bombs with the gunpowder formed from Coal you stole away. It’s not uncommon for good Engie Thralls to make at least 2-3 bombs, and once they go off, setting ALOT of Bear Traps all over the ship while waiting with a sharpened axe to kill, or maybe watching from the distance. I mean they can’t really win if they can’t move or fix the ship before it sinks; a slow death.
The Royal Marine
Explorer: The Ship’s Sole Bodyguard, the Marine starts out with a Pistol and a single shot in the chamber. Don’t be fooled, while the Marine’s passive might look useless, bullets are easy to find/craft, and long as you keep up maintenance, you have a good upperhand with reload speed when dealing with the dangers of the arctic wastes. If the Armory is opened, the Marine SHOULD be able to grab a Musket to utilize his ammo and reload speed in dealing with Bears and Thralls alike!
Thrall: Starting out with a gun might feel powerful, but don’t waste it from the get-go, tempting as it may be. Your pistol does a whopping half to a crew’s HP, meaning if you time it well and maybe ask how someone’s health is, then you can drop ’em in one shot. Dropoff is your only weakness until you can grab a Musket. KEEP IT MAINTAINED! Six Shots and the gun will break, and if you don’t repair it, then a bullet will misfire and be wasted. After that it’s just taking aim and pulling the trigger.
Explorer: A young man of God, you venture with shovel and key to find more keys and loot all the lovely yellow storage boxes you can get your hands on. Finding goodies like gun parts, cooked food, medicine, even Coal and Swords of the corpses of Officers! Your passive is basically the chance of finding more Skeleton keys, which is important not just in opening these boxes, but letting your crew out the brig for a second chance.
Thrall: A young man, turning his back on a false God, you venture with shovel and key to find more keys and loot all the lovely yellow storage boxes you can get your filthy little paws on. Finding goodies like poison, coal barrels and gunpowder, and gun parts, even bones on officers that can’t be reached by the crew. Your passive means finding keys. Keys to let your friend out, or burn on opening all the boxes you can find.
The Intrepid (and Doomed) Crew of the HMS Wendigo 2/2
The Ship’s Cook
Explorer: MEAT AND WOOD. That’s your priority. Collecting meat and blubber to make hearty stews and wood to get the stove hot without wasting blubber (Start the fire first, THEN put ingredients in). A great Chef will make at least 3-5 Stews (Animal or Cannibal) by the game’s end. Don’t go cannibal until it’s either a dire situation that required people still eat, or it’s Blizzard day and people need to have one final meal before setting out for the nitro, as by the game’s end the punishment of eating human meat is lessened since the cold will doom the ship regardless.
Thrall: You are the most trusted member of the crew, and as long as you cook clean stews and stay out of trouble, no one will suspect you. I know it’s tempting to make poison and ruin the entire batch from the get go, or add in a bone to make people rely on human meat for the rest of the game (if done early enough), but resist, as you can get away with locking yourself in the Kitchen and casting spells, provided your Thrall companion is making totems. If anything, around the second or third batch, then I say poison the stew. Don’t be afraid to make a syringe if you find a Laudanum and Scrap and add poison. Time it right and they might blame the doctor and cause a fuss instead of getting resources.
Explorer: Your main task is using your bow and (recoverable) arrows to gather alot of meat to hand to the cook to turn into delicious stew. Though bear in mind if the Cook is absent, a Thrall, D/C’d, or just sucks, you might end up being replacement cook, to which I say refer to what I said about Explorer Cook. Bear in mind that arrows aren’t exactly powerful on their own, so just let people with guns deal with Polar bears, unless it’s a bad situation, in which case, make bear traps and arrows.
Thrall: As a Native Huntress, the Arctic is your home, and as such with faster harvesting, food shouldn’t be an issue. A good Huntress can survive alone in the wilderness and barely come back to the ship, if ever, choosing to focus on totems, arrows, and destroying any coal she finds, before hunting for manflesh, as, opposed to guns, a Bow never loses durability.
- Coal, Wood, and Iron Scraps are Vital!
- Always turn Iron Scrap into Nails unless making a Weapon or Tool that is needed like a Syringe or Ice Axe
- Don’t aggro the Polar Bears if they’re not in your way! You WILL die and risk others getting killed too!
- Don’t Panic!
- Drip Feed Coal (puttin one at a time before the gauge runs out) to provoke whiteouts and prevent boiler sabotage from destroying eight coal worth of fuel.
- Coal, Wood, and Bones are Vital!
- Always try to squirrel away Coal and destroy by either burning it as fire for warmth or cooking, or turning into gun powder.
- Deny Wood and Iron to the Crew; they can’t fix the ship, keep warm, cook, or build better weapons without those.
- Always try to build Totems if you’re away from the ship, or if you’re going Aggressive.
- Don’t stay in Thrall Vision forever, it pauses your Mana regen. Let it build and once it’s like tier 2, then look around for potential targets to cast on.
- DON’T JUST STEAL THE STARTING COAL AND THROW IT IN THE WATER! While it technically is a valid tactic, it’s not a very fun or clever one and just makes you the ♥♥♥♥ laughing at your own joke.
- Don’t be Toxic please, remember it’s only a game
- Don’t be a “Third Thrall”, whether trolling or upset that you don’t get to be Thrall alot, it’s REALLY not cool and will get you in trouble if reported.
- Don’t be racist, I know it’s tiring getting flooded by Chinese players, but it’s no excuse to be an a*s.
On Nitro Rushing
Nitro Rushing: A tactic that involves one player (typically a Navigator) running ALL THE WAY to the Nitroglycerin, clearing the easier and longer path to it, going down to the giant Iceberg, and blowing it up early in the game.
On paper it’s a nice idea. Blow up the iceberg now, everyone just rushes to find Coal, and chugs to the finish line without a problem. What could go wrong right?
In Practice: It’s foiled by Thralls naturally stealing coal and supplies, or sabotaging the voyage regardless of the giant iceberg being there or not. Can’t move forward if there’s no Coal to find, and can’t waste the Coal if the ship moves too slow from damaged hulls not being fixed due to lack of supplies. It’ll feel nice for a few minutes, before the Explorers realize they still have to deal with actually getting there without issue. Thralls should not panic if a Nitro Rush succeeds. Players still need to eat and get warm, and find Coal.
Author’s Opinion: I don’t like it as it hurts the pacing of a match. The Nitro run should be the climax of the game, coming far through hunger and chilled bones to make this hail Mary as the Blizzard approaches on the horizon. That final push as Cannibals are summoned and your fellow crew drop one by one to ensure you get the Nitro to the berg and blow it up! Clambering onto the ship with coal and wood, and praying it’ll be enough to make it to the finish line as the timer winds down, and you slowly die of exposure. In Triumph or in Failure, the fun was the entire journey the match took to this moment. Not some show off to blow it up and everyone to speed run to the finish just to win.
Glossary of Terminology
- Nitro Rush: A tactic involving blowing up the iceberg early in the game
- Third Thrall: A Explorer sabotaging the voyage on purpose. Reasons being to Troll, or frustration at not being Thrall
- Codes: Numbers gained from finding slips of paper while exploring. Used to unlock the Ship’s Armory
- Whetstone: A block of metal used to Sharpen some weapons to do more damage (+5)
Weapon Information, Durability, and Whetstone Upgrades
- 10 Damage (15 /w Whetstone)
- Can chop limbs off corpses
- Starting Weapon of Cook and Doctor
- Easy to craft with 2 Iron Scrap
- 14 Damage (19 /w Whetstone)
- Used to dig up graves and storage chests
- Starting Weapon/Tool of Chaplain
- Useful early on, not so later in
- 14 Damage (19 /w Whetstone)
- Used to climb ice walls (bright blue in color) to access out of reach places with treasures galore!
- Can only be found in storage chests or crafted
- Usefulness depends on map.
- 15 Damage (20 /w Whetstone) (8 if broken)
- Best DPS compared to Wood Axe
- Must be repaired to avoid dulling the blade
- Breaks after 12 hits
- Starting Weapon of Captain
- Can be found on Skeletal Officer corpses if dug up
- 16 Damage (21 /w Whetstone)
- Best Damaging compared to Saber
- Doesn’t require repairs
- Starting Weapon of Engineer
- Can be crafted easily
- Breaking up wooden objects creates more wood!
- 19 Damage per Arrow Shot
- Good DPS compared to guns
- Arrows are recoverable so long as they hit creatures/humans
- Starting Weapon of Hunter
- Bow and Arrow easily crafted tho may waste wood and scrap.
- 52 Damage per Shot
- Slow Reload unless Marine
- Starting Weapon of Marine
- Damage Drops off
- Can be crafted with Gun parts and Scrap, but Gun parts are only found in storage boxes
- Breaks after six shots. If not repaired, the next shot will misfire and bullet will be wasted
- 75 Damage per Shot!
- Slow Reload unless Marine
- No Damage Drop Off
- Can only be found in Armory. Must be unlocked first!
- Only Four Muskets are available.
- Breaks after six shots. If not Repaired, the next shot will misfire and bullet will be wasted
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