Sep 9, 2010

Posted by Paul Humphreys in Locations, Rodentia | 0 Comments

Zugzwang’s Tower

Zugzwang’s Tower

An ordered chaos consumes this enchanted tower as the technological chess mice do battle with their mystical counterparts, all under the auspices of a dark game master who hides in the shadows. Conquer both Kings to find what lurks beyond the chess board, but beware: this is a place of powerful magics, where things are not always what they seem.

 

  1. Overview
      Requirements
      Hunting Tips by Larry
      New Mice
  2. Cheese and Mice
      The Mice of the Zugzwang’s Tower
      Mice Populations
  3. Setup Options
  4. Goals
      Using a Pawn Pincher
      Catching Knights to Queens
      Catching Kings
      Catching The Chess Master
      The Kings Gambit
  5. Related Articles

 

Overview

Zugzwang’s Tower is a Tactical area that offers new challenges to hunters in the form of new game mechanics and plenty of strategic options. Because of the number of these, many hunters will find themselves feeling a little confused when they enter this location. Hopefully we’ll help clear some of that up here.

Before you enter the Tower, you should ensure your Amplifier is fully charged in the Seasonal Garden, and you have purchased all the cheese and traps you want. If at any point you leave the Tower, your Amplifier and progress through the Tower will be reset to zero.

The Tower has a chess theme, and there are two teams of mice, the Mystic mice and the Technic mice. Each team has a separate progress bar that can be seen in the HUD under your amplifier.

When you do enter the Tower you will only be able to attract two types of mice, the Mystic Pawn and the Technic Pawn. After you catch 8 Pawns from one team, you will be able to attract Knights of that team as well as both types of Pawn.

To begin with you will attract roughly equal numbers of the Pawns (unless you use a special trap, see below for more information on those). Once you unlock the Knights of one team the population of mice encountered will change, and you will attract more Knights and Pawns of that team than the other team. If your progress in both teams is at the same stage you can expect to attract roughly equal numbers of each team again.

After you have caught two Knights of a team you will be able to attract Bishops of that team. After catching two Bishops you will be able to attract Rooks. After catching two Rooks you will be able to attract Queens. After you catch the Queen you will be able to attract a King. Once you catch a King of a team (unless using a special cheese, see below) you will be moved out of the Zugzwang’s Tower into the Seasonal Garden and your progress and amplifier will be reset.

Each mouse you catch, and each failure to attract will reduce your amplifier (see below for the amount each mouse will reduce it by). Failures to Attract reduce your amplifier by 3%, so a good cheese can be very useful.

As you progress through the Tower the mice become stronger and your amplifier reduces, making it harder and harder to catch them. Towards the end of your progress you will be failing to catch a lot more of the mice.

There are a number of advanced strategies for improving your performance in the Tower, and reducing the chances of you failing to catch a King before your Amplifier runs out. These are discussed in the Goals section below.

Requirements

To hunt in the Zugzwang’s Tower a Hunter must have:
    A Hunter’s Title of at least Lord or Lady.
    Zugzwang’s Tower Key, obtained from crafting loot found in the Seasonal Garden.
    A Tactical weapon.
And it is recommended that a Hunter should have:
    At least one strong Tactical weapon, or some of the specialised traps designed for this location.
    At least Gouda Cheese.

Hunting Tips by Larry

Greetings, Mousehunter!

I hope you’ve got your Tower Amplifier charged, because the mice of Zugzwang’s Tower are going to put up a fight unlike any other.

Long ago, the Tower mice became enchanted chess pieces in a game that never ends. The two teams, Technic and Mystic, use a clear strategy when attacking, much like real chess pieces. Catching eight Pawns releases the Knights. Catching two Knights releases the Bishops. Catching two Bishops releases the Rooks. Catching two Rooks releases the Queen, and catching one Queen releases the King.

Did you get all that? Don’t worry if you didn’t– when you enter the tower, your Tower Amplifier also comes equipped with a progress bar to let you know how close you are to the King!

Each time you catch a mouse, or fail to attract, your Tower Amplifier’s charge decreases. Make sure you don’t leave the Tower before you catch a King, or drain your Amplifier. If you do, your progress, and your Amplifier will be set back to zero.

If your strategy is sound, and you capture the King, your progress will be reset and you will be whisked away to the Seasonal Garden. If however, you catch a King using the rare Checkmate Cheese then you shall remain in the tower and a greater adversary will await your challenge.

 

New Mice

The Zugzwang’s Tower has 13 new mice that you won’t have encountered before, all of which are only encountered in this location.


Chess Master

Mystic Bishop

Mystic King

Mystic Knight

Mystic Pawn

Mystic Queen

Mystic Rook

Technic Bishop

Technic King

Technic Knight

Technic Pawn

Technic Queen

Technic Rook

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Cheese and Mice

Here we give an overview of the mice that can be encountered in this location, and how often you can expect to see them using various cheese.

The Mice of the Zugzwang’s Tower

Here is a breakdown of the various mice that can be found in the location, and what loot they might drop:

Mouse
(Known Cheese Preferences)
Group
(Weaknesses)
Loot Drop Rate Amplifier
Mystic Pawn
Wizard’s Pieces
None 1%
Technic Pawn
Wizard’s Pieces
None 1%
Mystic Knight
Wizard’s Pieces
None 3%
Technic Knight
Wizard’s Pieces
None 3%
Mystic Bishop
Wizard’s Pieces
None 3%
Technic Bishop
Wizard’s Pieces
None 3%
Mystic Rook
Wizard’s Pieces
None 5%
Technic Rook
Wizard’s Pieces
None 5%
Mystic Queen
Wizard’s Pieces
None 9%
Technic Queen
Wizard’s Pieces
None 9%
Mystic King
Wizard’s Pieces
Up to 1 Mystic Crystal Unknown 10%
1 Mystic Curd ~100%
Up to 1 Torn Mystic Page Unknown
Tehcnic King
Wizard’s Pieces
Up to 1 Droid Jetpack Unknown 10%
1 Technic Cheese Mould ~100%
Up to 1 Torn Technic Page Unknown
Chess Master
Wizard’s Pieces
Up to 1 Master Bindings Unknown
Up to 1 Zugzwang’s Left Sock Unknown

Mice Populations

Here is a breakdown of the populations of mice in the location based upon cheese used (these results come from our survey); the values given are a percentage of all attractions, and how many of these mice you are likely to attract in 100 hunts using base attraction:

(Please note, results with less than 1,000 hunts submitted have a low level of accuracy and should be used as guidelines only)

Pawn Stage
Mouse
Super Brie

Checkmate
Mystic / Technic Pawns

~100% ~100%
 
Hunts Submitted 103 6
Base Attraction Rate ~100% ~100%
 
Knight Stage
Mouse
Super Brie

Checkmate
Mystic / Technic Knights

~62% ~67%
Mystic / Technic Pawns

~38% ~33%
 
Hunts Submitted 122 6
Base Attraction Rate ~100% ~100%
 
Bishop Stage
Mouse
Super Brie

Checkmate
Mystic / Technic Bishops

~46%
Mystic / Technic Knights

~40%
Mystic / Technic Pawns

~15%
 
Hunts Submitted 180
Base Attraction Rate ~100%
 
Rook Stage
Mouse
Super Brie

Checkmate
Mystic / Technic Rooks

~36% ~50%
Mystic / Technic Bishops

~31% ~0%
Mystic / Technic Knights

~23% ~25%
Mystic / Technic Pawns

~10% ~25%
 
Hunts Submitted 299 4
Base Attraction Rate ~100% ~100%
 
Queen Stage
Mouse
Super Brie

Checkmate
Mystic / Technic Queens

~29%
Mystic / Technic Rooks

~23%
Mystic / Technic Bishops

~25%
Mystic / Technic Knights

~19%
Mystic / Technic Pawns

~4%
 
Hunts Submitted 294
Base Attraction Rate ~100%
 
King Stage
Mouse
Super Brie

Checkmate
Mystic / Technic Kings

~14% ~44%
Mystic / Technic Queens

~21% ~8%
Mystic / Technic Rooks

~20% ~12%
Mystic / Technic Bishops

~20% ~24%
Mystic / Technic Knights

~14% ~8%
Mystic / Technic Pawns

~11% ~4%
 
Hunts Submitted 112 25
Base Attraction Rate ~100% ~100%
Chess Master Stage
Mouse
Checkmate
Chess Master

~93%
Mystic / Technic Rooks

~7%
 
Hunts Submitted 14
Base Attraction Rate ~100%

 

 

A strong cheese is recommended in Zugzwang’s Tower. When using Gouda you should try to maximise your attraction bonus.
Checkmate Cheese is best used for attracting Kings and the Chess Master.
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Setup Options

We currently do not have enough results for Setup Options.

 

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Goals

Here is a selection of Goals that a hunter may like to achieve:

Using a Pawn Pincher

The two Pawn Pincher traps come with a high price tag, and if you’re looking to make back your gold then you’re probably going to be disappointed. However, they are a very powerful tool in helping you catch a King of the desired team.

At first glance these traps look pathetic – at only 60 tactical power you might wonder how they can be any use in a location as difficult as Zugzwang’s Tower. Well hidden away in their mechanics are two advantages.

The first is that they actually attract more of the Pawns of their relevant team than the Pawns of the other team so you’ll be able to collect the Pawns you want almost twice as quickly.

The second is that they have a very large effectiveness bonus against the Pawns of their team. Against the Pawn they are more equivalent to a trap of several thousand power, making catching those pawns very easy. Against the Pawns of the rival team, they are very weak, meaning that you will normally fail to catch those Pawns.

At first this doesn’t sound too attractive, but if you realise that this actually preserves your tower amplifier then a few misses isn’t that high a price.

When choosing which base to pair with a pawn pincher, the key is as little power as possible! While this sounds strange, it gives you the best chance to fail to catch the rival Pawns and preserve your amplifier.

The Wooden Base with Target is an excellent choice for most, combined with the impressive attraction bonus of the Pawn Pinchers this should avoid most FTAs with Gouda. For those using Super Brie the Wooden Base may be the way to go.

Using this strategy and with a little bit of luck, you should collect all 8 of your desired pawns in about 10 hunts and using only 8% of your amplifier. This gives you a good boost for catching the Knights and later mice, and because you haven’t even started to unlock the rival team yet, makes it much more likely you will attract the mice of the team you want.

Don’t underestimate the boost this will give you in catching the King you want, this strategy can make a big difference.

Finally, remember to switch traps as soon as you’ve caught all 8 Pawns of the team you want. These traps aren’t very useful for catching most of the mice you need next.

 

Catching Knights to Queens

There are a few different strategies to use when hunting for Knights, Bishops, Rooks and Queens.

The simplest is to just arm your most powerful tactical weapon and base and keep hunting. Players who own the 2010 Blastoff Trap and the Magma Base might want to consider using those when hunting Knights, as you should catch slightly more, but switch out to a more powerful trap (such as Zugzwang’s First Move) when they begin to hunt Bishops.

Players using Gouda or even Brie to hunt in the tower may wish to arm the Wooden Base with Target to reduce the chances of failures to attract and the 3% drop in amplifier they bring. These players should use their most powerful tactical weapon.

Players using Super Brie are advised to use a powerful weapon such as Zugzwang’s First Move. The choice of base will depend on what the player has already collected. The Spellbook Base is the best choice if you have already collected the loot required to craft it. If not, the Magma Base is probably the better choice when your amplifier is over 100% and Molten Shrapnel Base should be better if your amplifier is under 100%. Players without a full selection of bases should use the one they are happiest with.

Players with limited Super Brie and looking to use a mixture of cheese will generally find their Super Brie is best used at the start of the run, with the higher amplifier the added power counts for more, and maintaining amplifier at the early stages gives a better chance of catching a King later on. When these players begin hunting Rooks they may wish to consider the Gouda option at that stage.

For hunters with the Obvious Ambush Trap or the Blackstone Pass Trap, those weapons can be used for hunting from Knights to Queens. These traps receive a power bonus against the team you want, and a penalty against the opposite team. This helps prevent you from catching too many mice of the wrong team and hampering your progress by introducing more mice and should help to maintain your amplifier for later mice..

The most economical strategies for this location require you to vary your setup during this stage. Players are encouraged to experiment and find one that works for them.

 

Catching Kings

As soon as you have caught a Queen you can begin the hunt for a King. At this stage hunters with Checkmate Cheese will need to decide if they wish to continue hunting in the Tower after catching a King or return to the Seasonal Garden. This choice will depend on your current amplifier, if you look like you’re in a strong position using Checkmate Cheese will be worth using.

Again there are a few different strategies for hunting Kings that depend on what traps you have available, which cheese you’re using and what your amplifier is.

The simplest strategy is to continue using whichever setup you caught your Queen with.

In general a high power tactical weapon and base are the best choices for hunting a King if you wish to catch it. However the King mouse is not particularly strong against any Tactical trap, so catching it may not be an issue.

Hunters with the Obvious Ambush or Blackstone Pass weapons may wish to continue using those when hunting for the King. They’re not the best weapons for catching the King, but they do reduce the chances of catching the mice from the wrong team.

Hunters running low on amplifier and getting concerned about being forced to leave the Tower before catching the King may even consider using a Pawn Pincher. The advantage of using this type of trap is that they should miss most of the other mice you encounter, preserving the amplifier until you encounter the King. They also have a bonus against the King which makes it quite possible to use them effectively for this. Minimising power in this respect helps, so using the Wooden Base with Target may be a good idea.

Kings can be attracted with Gouda and Brie, so using a Pawn Pincher and the Target Base help to offset the lowered attraction rate.

Unless you’re using the Checkmate Cheese when you catch a King, you will be moved to the Seasonal Garden and your amplifier and progress in the Tower will be reset.

Both Kings drop loot that can be used in crafting Checkmate Cheese and the Spellbook Base. They also drop loot that can be used in the special trap for their team. After catching enough Kings to gain the loot it should become easier for hunters to progress through the tower with their new traps.

 

Catching The Chess Master

If a hunter uses Checkmate Cheese to catch a King they will remain in the Tower and can begin to hunt for the Chess Master. The Chess Master is only attracted to Checkmate Cheese so keep it armed.

At this stage most of the team you were hunting is removed from the population of mice you can attract in the tower, but a Rook remains to protect the Chess Master.

If you have only made minimal progress against the other team by the time you caught the King your chances of attracting the Chess Master are quite good. However, if you have made roughly equal progress in both teams before catching the King you may find the Chess Master to be quite elusive.

Fortunately tactical traps have a good effectiveness bonus against the Chess Master, so they are quite capable of catching it even with a reduced amplifier.

The Chess Master drops the Master Bindings which are used in crafting the Spellbook Base. It can also drop Zugzwang’s Left Sock, nothing more is currently known about the sock except that it can be sold in the marketplace.

 

The Kings Gambit

If the challenge of catching a Chess Master isn’t enough for you, you might want to consider catching both Kings in one run through the Tower.

To achieve this you will want to make sure you still have a good amplifier left when you start hunting the King. Arm Checkmate Cheese in order to capture the King and stay in the Tower, then change to your regular cheese as soon as you catch the King.

You will remain in the Tower and you won’t be able to attract the Chess Master. The mice of one team will mostly be removed from the population in the Tower as well, making it easier for you collect the mice you want.

Now it’s simply a case of hunting as normal and making it all the way to the second King. If you do want to catch a second King, arming Checkmate again at this stage would probably be a bad idea. Of course, if you want to catch both Kings and the Chess Master then it will be required.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this will be an easy task, Counts / Countesses using Super Brie have failed this plenty of times. If you do manage it, congratulations! You don’t get anything special apart from the bragging rights, and less time spent in the Seasonal Garden.

 

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Related Articles

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Seasonal Garden
Rodentia
Unknown
Related Cheese

Checkmate

Super Brie

Gouda

 

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Thank you to all who have contributed so far and will do so in the future.

 

This article contains information that was accurate up to MouseHunt v3.1.0.4.

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