Mush Play

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More info Main article: Mush.

Here's various tips & tricks for Mush Play, starting you off with some advice on how to begin your conquest of the human crew (and race), and then some more specific guides. Also check the main articles on Icon The Mush as well as each of the Mush skills for more detailed information.

Strategy Ideas

Contamination

Ending-MassContamination.png

You start with another Mush, but expanding to more is always good! Contaminate the whole crew, one Icon Anonymush at a time, and NERON will end the game for you by venting everyone into space. It never could stand the dirty Mush.

Pay attention to when and where you extract spores, though. Besides the fact that this makes you Icon Dirty and costs valuable Action Point, cameras and other crew members will see you do this if they are in the same room as you. - This is the fastest and easiest way to get caught. A good strategy is to mask your dirtiness and Action Point / Health Point loss through other activities like repairs, and then team up on a single person until they have become a Mush by being infected with three spores. Coordination between Mush is important. And do not forget to check if there is no camera or Myco-Alarm when you infect! It would be a shame to betray yourself and your new companion.

Attrition

Sabotage equipment... destroy the right hardware... cause some misfortune... maybe spread a disease or start a fire. Do it right and the humans may spend more time trying to fix issues than looking for you!

Pay attention where you do it, since many actions can be seen if they are witnessed by other people or Icon Cameras. But also pay attention when you do it, so it will not be obvious that these things had an unnatural cause, and you were the only person there at the time! (At cycle change is always a good time.) Aim for equipment and materials that are essential to the crew such as frequently used doors, the Pasiphae, the Gravity Simulator and various terminals. But be aware that many items (except doors) generate a NERON message when they break spontaneously rather than through fire or electrical spikes, lack of which can be a dead giveaway of sabotage!

The advantage of this tactic is that it can be rather subtle, as it does not require spores. The disadvantage is that this alone will not win you the game on a decent ship, but rather slow the crew down and distract them for a bit while you enact other plans.

Easier to do when you have Icon Eleesha on your side. Because a competent detective will find you if you overdo this.

Mimickry / confusion

Cautionicon.png This is not a recommended strategy unless you are already familiar with the game and its rules. This strategy comes very close to anti-mush play and can earn you a sanction if you aren't careful. Despite acting human, it is very important that you work with the Mush team to ultimately further the goals of the Mush. Acting 100% human as a Mush is against the rules.

Sometimes the best Mush is the one that seems the most human. Accusing others can work for you, depending on the circumstances, but oftentimes just doing your jobs and seeming helpful - except when it really matters - can be all it takes to make others look more mushy. And while humans make mistakes and kill each other in a climate of increasing paranoia (and maybe even false security), you bide your time and wait for opportunities to present themselves.

Of course good research progress will make circumstances ever harder for you. And while skills like Icon Splashproof and Icon Phagocyte can counter your not-so-human traits well enough, it is only a matter of time until more and more people are proven to be human by contracting illnesses or, if you have that kind of crew, by blunt Mush testing. So your time window is not endless. (Unless you can actually convince the humans that they caught all the Mush.)

The deadly blow

There are many dangers that threaten the Daedalus! It is hard to manage all areas equally well, and every crew has its weak points and underrepresented skills. Whether it is because you recruited more helpers, caused enough trouble or just waited for the right opportunity - there may come a time when dropping the disguise and attacking where they are at their weakest may be enough to cause unrecoverable damage to the crew or their resources. And that is the time to strike.

Whether you go after their only remaining Icon Pilot to let Hunter waves do the rest, destroy morale by killing every Icon Shrink and Icon Leader (along with Icon Chun), or make off in patrol ships with their last O2 reserves in your pockets - the possibilities are many.

The important thing is that you can identify that weakness in order to act on it, and positively answer the question: "Will this be enough to KILL the ship before PILGRED can be completed?". (Which is a lot more likely if the crew has no Icon Technician.) - Because otherwise, all you do is seal your own fate and give the surviving humans a free (if slightly inconvenient) return to Sol victory.

So do not be the Mush who flies away in the Pasiphae on Day 1, just to become a research sample to be used against their lone partner. But do be the Mush who punishes a crew that carelessly leaves the Icon Commander on board while sending its most active people on expedition, or that leaves grenades and knives lying around in a situation where Icon Phagocyte is effective and Icon Transfer is a thing.

General Advice

  • First and foremost, communicate.
Mush is a social strategy game. The Icon Mush are severely outnumbered at the beginning and will fail if they don't coordinate with their partners. You also need to communicate with humans in general chat to avoid their suspicions, as your role is one of stealthy infiltration!
  • Tooltips are dangerous.
The in-game help tooltips tell you some possible Mush actions. However, they don't go over any of the ramifications, and following them as they appear is very likely to get you killed as an obvious Mush. Walk your own path instead, using information from this wiki.
  • Know what your skills do.
Don't be that person who asks in general chat, "Should I take Icon Phagocyte?" Find out how they work, ideally before you even pick them.
  • Don't choose your skills immediately.
Many Mush skills are situational. By keeping skill slots open, you can level up some for better skills, and take what you need when you need it. Saving a slot for Icon Anonymush is particularly useful for making the humans think that there are only 2 Mush when, in fact, you just created more.
  • The "genome" mushroom button under your list of Mush skills lets you pick your human skills.
Choose your human skills quickly so as to give you more ways to look useful while saving your Action Point for strategic mushery. You can only select skills you've unlocked for the respective character; this also goes for humans you've Icon Transferred into.
Cautionicon.png By default, the game will automatically choose your human skills if you haven't done so by the moment of Mush selection. Experienced players are likely to spot this if you gain skills without being active, or if your skill combination is strange. You may also get stuck with a skill that won't work at all for a Mush (such as Icon Caffeine Junkie or Icon Mycologist). It is strongly advised that you check the "Advanced Mush" box in your Mush account settings, to allow manual skill selection.
  • That Mutate button that costs 3 Action Point? Don't click it to find out what it does.
This changes you into an obviously Mush Icon Berzerker. You will drop all items you are carrying, be able to do more attack damage, and no longer be able to communicate on any channels other than the Mush channel. This is an endgame tactic, and will result in either you or the humans being dead shortly thereafter. Icon Bug: Misleading description. If base LUYTEN-CETI from day 6 is decoded you are able to talk as Berserker as usual.
  • Food does not nourish you.
Consumables like Icon Standard Ration, Icon Banana, Icon Coffee etc. do not give Icon Mush any benefits, so save yourself the Movement Point of walking to Refectory unless you're putting on a show for the humans.
  • Beware the food test.
Unlike with humans, eating ANY consumable will give you the Icon Full Stomach status, meaning you can't eat again after consuming a pill or Icon Banana. This can be used against you in an inescapable "food test", so be wary of requests like that.
  • Do not create a spore in front of other people or cameras.
If you create a Icon Spore in a room with another person or a Icon Camera, everyone who comes into that room will be able to check the logs and see that you're Mush. Always make sure you are alone and no Camera is on the wall before you make spores.
Remember that other Mush are people too; alone means completely alone.
  • Coordinate with other Mush regarding spores.
There are lots of limits surrounding spores. Only 4 of them - 2 after Antispore Gas is researched - can be spawned daily by all Icon Mush on a ship. Each Mush can carry a maximum of 2 spores, which do not take up inventory slots. Any given Mush can only infect a single human by direct "spiking" once per day. So, if you're sporing different people, or if one Mush is making all the spores a ship can make, you aren't playing effectively. Coordination is a must.
  • Be prepared with a reason why you're dirty.
Making spores will make you Dirty. Being dirty without a reason is likely to get you killed on an active ship, especially if you are a character who should never get dirty, like Icon Finola or Icon Paola. The best method is to pair your spore making with a legitimate human activity that has a chance to make you dirty, and say that's why.
  • Do not stay dirty for extended periods of time.
This is a good way to get found out as Icon Mush. You will take 4 Health Point of damage when you shower (unless you're Icon Splashproof), so putting it off as long as possible is good, but do so within reason. Saying you don't have the Action Point to shower only works for so long. Some characters can get away with staying Dirty easier than others (such as Icon Raluca), depending on how dirty your role about the ship is.
Also, remember that Icon Finola's Icon Germaphobe trait makes her lose Morale each turn she's dirty, so if you're a Finola Mush, you will raise a LOT of suspicion by staying dirty.
  • Do not shower a lot.
This might seem a bit contradictory after the "not staying dirty" tip, however showering does do 3-5 Health Point points of damage to you. Even if you're using Icon Phagocyte to mitigate the damage by eating spores to heal, picking up and putting down the Icon Soap shows in the room logs. An observant crew may start to wonder why you're showering as often as you are, if you're not a character who should be dirty a lot.
  • Mush cannot become sick.
If humans eat spoiled food, they have a chance of becoming sick and throwing up. If someone eats food 3 days after it was fresh, and does not become sick (at a 90% chance), that person is most likely a Icon Mush. Also, you cannot receive illness or mental illness from killing or being witness of death.
Illnesses you've contracted before you joined the Mush, however, stay on you for a while, which may be used as camouflage.
  • Do not sabotage things in rooms where people don't often go.
The display of sabotaged equipment follows different rules to regular equipment breaking, so pay attention how and when you sabotage.
Example: You go into the Center Alpha Storage and sabotage the Oxygen Tank there. It's found and fixed, and you're the only one who's been in the room, right around the time when a broken thing appeared, so now you're a suspect.
  • Be a good sport
Obviously, being injected with the Retro-Fungal Serum is most definitely not a good thing, since you will lose all your hard-earned Mush Glory and skills, the other Mush on board will lose a valuable ally, and if you've done a lot of damage the remaining crew might still be bitter against you, but griefing will solve nothing, except leading to a game end where you won't even get Human glory. So, don't actively try to be De-Mushified, but don't try to bring down the ship with you if you get cured, either. You're on the same boat as everyone else now (more than ever), so take it with dignity and do your best to help out your new team.

Specific Guides