New Free Map Set in the Icy Marmolada Glacier Tunnels in WW1 Isonzo: White War

New free White WarToday’s update for Isonzo is a WW1 FPS., bringing a new map set in and around the ‘Ice City’, an extensive network of tunnels carved into the ice of the Marmolada Glacier. Marmolada stands at 3,343m (10,968ft) and is the tallest mountain of the Dolomites. New weapons and cosmetic DLC focused on cold weather gear are included with the Marmolada Map.

BlackMill Games’ team continues its efforts to highlight lesser-known aspects of the First World War by recreating the Ice City, the Marmolada Mountain and other locations. Western Front conditions were brutal, and trench warfare was the main cause of death for soldiers. But other fronts of the war came with their own challenges – with cold, snow, and avalanches posing threats in the mountain regions between Italy and their foes Austria-Hungary.

Austro-Hungarians established combat positions at the top of Marmolada Glacier before building the Ice City. They had a difficult time getting supplies to the top, due not only to the high altitude of the mountain but also the fact that Italian troops were watching them from the bastion Serauta which looked over the glacier. What started out as a simple tunnel to allow passage through the glacier while staying safe from Italian fire, quickly grew into something much larger as soldiers discovered the benefits of living in the ice: no avalanches, protection from bad weather, and cozy temperatures of 0°C (at least much better than outside!). The tunnels were 12km long, with enough room to accommodate more than 200 troops.

Isonzo historical map
Source: Marmolada Grande Guerra Museum

What is the portrayal of this in Isonzo? Battle begins in open on the mountainside. At this height there is snow everywhere, and if you’re playing as the Italian attackers you’ll have to advance carefully along narrow mountain trails or utilize small tunnels and gullies carved out from the rock. Your objective is a single point atop a local peak – while many of Isonzo’s battlegrounds have sectors with multiple objectives, in this first sector of Marmolada it’s all about that one point meaning there will be intense fighting. Austro Hungarians can use barbed-wire and machine guns to try to stop the Italians from closing in. Keep in mind that the Italians will be closing fast. IsonzoThis class is perfect for building new sections of barbedwire to block off narrow pathways and tunnels.

isonzo battle

Once the Italians have taken control of the Ice City, they will be able to move the fight into that sector. The attackers must also find ways to cross the deep drop and many traps within Ice City. There are bridges, but these can be sabotaged and destroyed by the Austro-Hungarians, requiring reconstruction before they can be used again – not always easy to do under fire! The ice all around can give an otherworldly feel to the action here, quite unlike anything you’ve encountered before. A small base is located on the opposite side of the Ice City. It must be taken. The Ice City has many entrances and exits, as well as many paths through it. Therefore, the Austro-Hungarians need to be very careful in order to maintain a good overview and prevent any Italian troops from slipping through and advancing on their objective. 

isonzo dolomites

Both sides must rely less on their usual officers to provide support while in the glacier. Artillery, air or gas bombardment cannot penetrate thick ice walls. WW1 soldiers had to be prepared for close-quarters combat because of the need to clear trenches. Many rifles come with bayonets, a number of classes can employ dedicated melee weapons like knives, clubs or ice picks – and if you want to keep a little more distance then pistols will serve you well, making up for what they lack in power at range with handiness up close and rapid fire (at least compared to bolt action rifles!). And don’t forget grenades! You’ll need to throw carefully in the tunnels where they could bounce back or fall down a chasm, but a skilful grenade can hit enemies round corners or behind fortifications!

isonzo soldiers

The new map takes center stage, but it’s not all that comes with the update! Every faction in the game (Italians, Austro-Hungarians, and Germans) get a new rifle, and there is also an optional cosmetic DLC pack available for purchase – the Glacial Units Pack. Glacial Units offers a wide range of accessories and uniforms that represent the struggles of soldiers in freezing mountains to stay warm. There are a number of greatcoats, a sheep’s wool vest, a lot of face coverings from balaclavas and goggles to rough fabric wraps to keep out the cold. There are also several new choices for facial hair.

Isonzo weapons

We’re hyped to see what everyone thinks of the Ice City – it’s certainly one of the most novel environments we’ve recreated so far. Marmolada, the first part of the adventure is still to come. White War – another new map will be coming…

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