Isonzo – Ultimate Mountaineer Class Guide

Mountaineer has the greatest variety of utility and playstyles avalable to player in Isonzo, it can be used by new and experienced players alike and still contribute to the team. This guide will showcase some of the ways you can play as mountaineer.

Guide to Mountaineer Class

Intro

Isonzo features six playble classes; while most of them are self-explantory, like Marksman or Infantry, mountaineer class is rarely seen in other games and it is not evident what its role and best use is. A minor hint would be a class icon, binoculars, which suggests that mountaineer is a team scout; his equipment and abilities, however, can specialize him in more than a few roles, that feel like different subclasses altogether.

What Are Mountaineers Or Mountain Infantry?

Mountain infantry units are a type of infantry units that receive specialised eqiupment and training to be able to operate in mountainous terrain. Mountain combat and movement involves a lot more verticality than fighting in level terrain, temperatures are considerably lower, wind is stronger and air does not have as much oxygen as we humans would like. This makes maintaining a large complement of mountain infantry troops a costly and difficult task, which is why mountaineers are considered to be elite troops, to be used sparingly and not thrown into battle as a replacement for regular infantry. Their elite status, hovewer, means that these troops are more experienced and versatile, and can adapt to changing tactical situation – which is how they are depicted in Isonzo.

Lack of infrastructure in mountainous areas means that mountaineers are light infantry units at their core, which, in turn, means that any equipment they have, they should be able to carry themselves, at most using horses, mules or donkeys. This means all their equipment has to be as lightweight as possible, heavy items, such as mortars and mountain artillery should be able to be dissassembled and reassembled by their crews in field conditions and so on. On the other hand, mountain infantry would carry some extra equipment, such as ice axes, crampons, ropes, to aid in traversing rough terrain, which, again, explains the wide choice of gear available to this class in Isonzo.

Equipment

Primary weapon of mountaineer in Isonzo is a bolt-action rifle, just like all the other classes, with some exceptions. However, it is not standard-issue infantry rifles that they get, but carbines. Carbines, in terms of WWI, are versions of a standard issue rifles that have shorter stocks and barrels, trading some range and accuracy for lighter weight and better handling.

The overall philosophy of firearm usage in combat in WWI is still on the same trajectory that started with arquebus and musket, which is “shoot far – good”. This was exceptionally demonstrated with appearance of rifled weapons, which would offer vastly superior range compared to smooth-bore muskets, so it seems natural for militaries of the time to want rifles with as long range as possible. This trend continued to WWI and even WWII, and is the reason that weapons of the era have ridiculously long-range open sights, adjustable to more than 1000m.

However, thetradeoff of range for weight was deemed acceptable for mountaineers and they received shorter rifles. In game, mountaineers start with carbines, and can work their way to full-size infantry rifles. However, unlike Assault of Marksman class, their main weapon is not a center of gameplay; for some playstyles it goes to your back as you spawn and stays there until you die.

The secondaries, however, are what makes mountaineer special. The first one, available, from level 1, is binoculars:

Binoculars are a great tool for new players and those with not so good PCs and internet connections. They do not require fast reaction, good aim, or even that much map knowledge. What they do is provide a zoomed view of the battlefield – and they are free, in contrast to sniper scope, they have no muzzle flash, giving away your position, and they mark enemy troops, helping your team understand where the enemies are concentrated.

Spotting for teammates is a good way to be useful as a newbie – it certainly is better than aimlessly running forward to be shot, and zoomed-in view is great for learning common paths, firing positions and training yourself some concealment.

Next on the list, probably the most important item – flare gun:

Flare gun is available after completing a level 1 quest – spot 10 enemies with the binoculars and get 10 kills inside contested areas. Flare gun has two shots, that can be fired in quick succession or separately. First flare is a spotting projectile – aim with your minimap to an area of interest, shoot, and after a few seconds, all enemy troops in that area ill be marked on a minimap for all your allies, that is simply invaluable information.

If you decide to fire the next shot shortly after the first one, not only will it spot enemies, but also friendly mortars firing in that area will be aiming a lot quicker and have a pinpoint accuracy. Last, but not least, you flares are also marks that can be used by officers to call down support. And, in a pinch, you can fire flare gun at someone, usually with lethal results, though its not the most effective use of a gun, unless you want that achievement.

On level 5, after spotting 5 static weapons (machine guns, mortars, mountain guns), mountaineers get to raid a stockpile of Assault class and get away with a couple of crates with booze canteens:

Booze canteens work as advertised – drink from it, and your character forgets about machine gun fire and runs like a marathoner. While it can be useful in some instances, this is one of the less useful items in mountaineer loadout.

For the next item, you will have to wait until level 15, and also put in some work with a flare gun and carbine. 50 spots and 30 kills seem like a lot, but in reality takes about 1-2 sectors on the map worth of gameplay, and the reward is Trotsky eliminator Ice axe:

Melee weapons saw extensive use in trench warfare of WWI, assault squads came into trenches with knives, sharpened shovels, maces, and so on. Ice axe is an essential piece of equipment for mountain infantry, as its used for climbing steep slopes.

As it is supposed to have a sharp point, able to penetrate ice, packed snow or soft rock, and stay in it, it is no surprise that it can be used to stick it inside human bodies too, with gory and probably lethal results. In terms of stats, it has the same reach and speed as Austrian Assaults’ mace, while Italian dagger is somewhat shorter and faster.

Last, but not least, at level 18, 5 broken skulls later, mountaineer can put away his ice axe and cheer himself and his comrades with some choice tunes with a horn:

Playing some cheery music raises everyones spirits, which, in turn, makes everyone run to their deaths faster. For some reason, it also makes everyones weapons to cycle faster. Like a whistle, it also has a cooldown and cannot be used inside gas (or rather, using it inside gas is the last thing you will do, until you respawn). Jokes aside, it is a powerfull AOE buff, that, when properly timed, can be used to start unstoppable pushes and quick unexpected breakthroughs.

And, of course, like everyone else, mountaineers get a wire cutter, a shovel and some bandages. There is nothing special about these items and their use is self-explanatory.

Perks

Like every other class, mountaineer gets 5 perks to choose from, which can improve some of his equipment or completely change the gameplay.

First of the perks is Light Infantry:

Being used to and trained in mountain conditions, and also leaving some of the equipment behind when going into a charge, it is no surprise tha mountaineers can traverse terrain a lot quicker than regular infantry. This perk is available on level 1 to all mountaineers.

The level 1 quest to open a flare gun also unlocks the next mountaineer perk, Observer:

This perk allows you to construct a periscope, which is essentially a binoculars that anyone can use and in a fixed postion. Your character stands up when using periscope, so it might be a good idea to place it behind some cover, or it will be an easy shot for enemy Marksmen. Otherwise, it is the same as using binoculars.

Another perk is unlocked at level 5, along with canteen, and it is also a mobility perk, Alpinist:

Alpinist is pretty self-explanatory, your character climbes faster, again, something that is expected of a mountaineer. As during climbing your character is most vulnerable – can’t shoot or manuever, is often on exposed position – it is a good idea to try and minimise time spent climbing over sandbags or whatever.

Next perk is unlocked on level 10, and it requires use of Observer perk to complete the quest (spot 20 enemies with periscope) that unlocks it. This new perk is called Spotter:

Spotter supercharges your ability to mark enemies, with this perk, your team will always know exactly where everybody is, and your enemies will stay marked pretty much forever or until they are shot.

Final mountaineer perk, is unlocked at level 18, together with horn, and also requires some close and personal ice axe work. The reward is the Sniper perk:

This perk makes mountaineer a better marksman than a non-scoped Marksman, and given that there are only two scoped rifles per team (and in these early days it is more likely to be just one), it is a very strong perk. Extra zoom really helps landing shots from afar, and is one of the ways a mountaineer can be useful on the defence.

Builds

Now that the equipment and perks available to mountaineer are covered, it is time to talk about some of their combinations and gameplay styles.

Spotter mountaineer

Spotter is a more passive, noob-friendly builds. It involves using binoculars and/or periscope to spot and mark enemy troops. Spotters should stay away from the front line, preferably on a vantage point with a wide field of view. Spotter perk with binoculars is probably the best combination for this playstyle. It has great synergy with non-scoped Marksmen, Sniper mountaineers and back-line HMG operators, but indirectly helps all of your team.

Flare gun operator / officer deputy

This build revolves around using flare gun as much as possible, providing map markers, vision and mortart support. This build will not get you many kills, but it will make life for your team a lot easier. This build also requires a degree of map knowledge and map awareness, to predict enemy movement and place flares to maximise detection and impact of Officer abilities. Another great synergy is ammo box Infantry, constant resupply means flare gun spam means constant full map enemy detection. Combine that with a mortar operator and you get a very powerful force that can turn the tide of battle on their own with just two or three people. Flare gun operators usually stay just behind the frontline, as range of flare guns is limited; if there is no resupply available, then the quickest way to replenish ammo is to die and respawn; any kills made during this time is a bonus, as Flare gun operator should focus more on spotting and placing map markers, than on kills.

Ersatz-Assault

Mountaineer is a class that sometimes can do other classes’ jobs better than them. Now, Ersatz means substitute, often of inferior quality, but in this case exceptional mobility of mountaineers makes them better at offensives than actual Assault class. The build consists of a carbine (because of faster ADS and bolt cycling), canteen for unlimited sprint and Light infantry or Alpinist perks for mobility. Mountaineers job is to flank enemy positions, use their speed to surprise enemy and attack from unexpected angles.

This build requires good map knowledge and awareness to go around usual positions and not expose yourself too early. It does not have that strong synergy with other classes as other builds, it is more of a “lone wolf” type. Still, Ersatz-Assault can be useful to the team building forward respawns, saboting enemy equipment and causing a general distraction.

Ersatz-Marksman

Continuing the theme with mountaineer being better than other classes at their jobs, picking an infantry rifle (level 10 unlock), for better damage and Sniper perk turns mountaineer in a pretty good marksman. Again, as mentioned before, there probably is only one scoped rifle per team, at most two, so a boost in long-range firepower is nothing to be ignored, especially on some of the larger maps/sectors, like Dolomiti first sector.

Secondary weapon choice is not that important in this case, although binoculars or a flare gun seem like a more useful ones. This build works better from behind the frontline and on flanking positions, there is not point in rushing to the frontline to use better zoom there.

Mass-assault specialist

One of the things that influence gameplay dynamics of Isonzo is the fact that most players are equipped with relatively slow-firing bolt-action rifles. A direct consequence of that is that one-on-one encounters are undecided, in one-on-two encounters the two group will most likely (but not always) win, and anything greater than three-on-one is always if favor of a bigger group. This leads to a conclusion, that a successful charge needs more people than defenders can quickly kill, while some losses are to be expected, when a large group of people runs into an objective, it is very hard for less numerous defenders to stop them.

What is mountaineer’s part in all this? It is in his last equipment piece, horn, that buffs all allied troops nearby. A well-timed horn, just before a charge, can help your team overwhelm enemy defences, for example in a last charge in a low-ticket situation. It requires more team coordination to be most effective, but is still useful even is used on a respawn point in a group of bots – at least they will get to enemy positions faster and put pressure on them earlier than without horn. Other than coordinating horn use, this build plays about the same as Ersatz-Assault.

Berserk

Lastly, there is a build that offers most fun, active and unique gameplay mountaineer can have. It may be not thte most efficient way to play and your KDR will probably suffer, unless you are that good. The basic idea for Berserk is to get an ice axe, pick Light infantry for extra speed and run screaming toward enemy lines hoping to plant your ice axe inside someones skull.

Bringing an axe to a gun fight might not be the best idea (and you will be shot just before reaching enemy more times than you would like), but if you catch enemies unaware, it leads to a very satisfying, although usually short rampage. Bots are bad for this build – they don’t panic in close combat, they have better awareness and rarely miss, even is your run erratically. This build requires even more map knowledge and awareness to be even remotely successfull – but when it does, it gives some of the more fun and unique experiences Isonzo has.

Outro

Hope this guide helps you understand what mountaineer can and what are some fun and effective ways to play this class.

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