The Engineer supports the team by handling engineering tasks such as constructing static weaponry, cutting wire efficiently and deploying extra defenses and obstacles around the battlefield.
Italian engineers constructing wire on Monte Sabotino.
Military engineers have been a feature of armies for a long, long time. Since early siege engines required specialists to build and operate them, engineers have accompanied armies. Also responsible for field defenses, engineers were vital throughout the First World War for all sides. On the Italian Front, the mountainous terrain would pose a constant challenge to both sides as they struggled to build defenses, supply their troops, and launch attacks in the rugged terrain. Engineers were responsible for more permanent fortifications, logistics systems like cranes or cable cars, and their work was important for offensive actions too.
Part of the Austro-Hungarian tunnel complex carved out from the Marmolada Glacier in 1916.
In the Dolomite region, there were more than 30 mines detonated between 1916 and 1918, with explosions large enough to change the landscape: peaks lowered, cliffs shifted. The tunnels for these mines would be dug by engineers. We also saw back in Blog #12 how Italian engineers prepared mountainside walkways to get the jump on defenders!
Equipment and Skills
Engineers can choose from a few different rifles, sidearms, and grenades if they wish, but combat isn’t their primary task. Instead they should be focused on supporting their team in a few different ways. First off, engineers can build heavy weapons in pre-set locations on each map. This includes heavy machine guns and mortars - the firepower of these weapons can be game changing.
Second, they can very effectively build and cut wire - often there will be nearly impenetrable lines of wire facing attackers when the battle begins, only needing defending engineers to close up a few gaps. These chokepoints will be high priority areas for both sides. Attacking engineers can more quickly cut wire, or potentially even blow it up to prevent the defenders repairing it.
But engineers are not limited to these pre-set points of interest when building…
In Isonzo, certain classes are able to build fortifications which can be freely placed anywhere with enough clear space. The Engineer has the widest variety of things to build, all focused on providing cover to allies or providing obstacles to enemy movement. All buildable items in Isonzo have a maximum amount which can be built at once - there is a per team limit, and a per player limit. So as an Engineer your team might be able to build 20 sandbag positions, and you personally can place 5 of them. It takes a short time to put things together, and you can deconstruct them as well (including enemy items). Let’s look at what kind of things you can build…
An engineer built sandbag position.
There are two forms of sandbag available, one straight piece of sandbag wall, and one curved sandbag position. The curved sandbags are ideal for standalone defensive positions where you want to provide a little cover against flanking enemies. The straight sandbag walls work better when combined into a larger position, or as an extension to map features like buildings, stone walls, and ruins. In some places you might be able to use sandbags to hinder enemies trying to climb onto ledges.
Barbed wire works exactly as you’d expect, slowing and hurting soldiers who get caught up in it. There are two types available, but we’ll go into more detail in a future dev blog.
These specialist items are small metal shields with a firing slot in them. When carefully positioned they will protect a soldier from enemy fire while allowing them to shoot back. However, finding a good spot with a decent field of view through the tiny slot is not easy!
An engineer constructs a sniper shield.
Engineer perks tend towards construction and demolition. The Sapper Company perk gives a bonus to planting and defusing sabotage bombs, making it equally useful when attacking or defending. Support Company gives a bonus to operating heavy weapons: for instance faster reloading and aiming. This has natural synergy with the Engineer’s job of constructing those heavy weapons, allowing them to then provide better fire support to their team. The Death Company perk gives players body armor they can equip during battle. As with the marksman armor, it protects from explosions and suppression - useful when trying to build or sabotage under fire!
Armored engineers in action.
We hope you enjoyed meeting the engineer…
See you next time and don’t forget to wishlist Isonzo!