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Up to date as of February 07, 2010

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"CW" redirects here. For the minigame in the Wilderness, see Clan Wars.
"Catapult" redirects here. For the quest, see Catapult Construction.
"Castlewars" redirects here. For the music track, see Castlewars (music track).
This is a safe minigame. If you die here, you will not lose your items.
Location on World map
Observatory
Poison Waste Slayer Dungeon Castle Wars Yanille
Jiggig
The Castle Wars arena

Castle Wars is a members-only minigame released by Jagex in December of 2004, but was added to the world map in the month previous to its release as a spoiler, with text explaining it was "Coming in December 2004". It is similar to Capture the flag, but with a RuneScape twist. Please note that this is a "Safe" mini-game. Upon death, you will NOT lose your items. Currently the official worlds for this minigame are worlds 15, 24, 52, 166 and 82; although worlds 15 and 24 are the main worlds. The majority of Castle Wars players are high levels (combat levels over 75) so it may not be worth playing if you are below this level, unless you just want the tickets. It can be worthwhile just to use the catapults.

In January 2009, Castle Wars was voted the most popular player-versus-player minigame in a poll[1].

Contents

Travel

Castle Wars is found in the south-west corner of Kandarin and may be accessed via a number of ways:

Help

Once you are in castle wars, you CANNOT take capes or helms into the arena, as the Zamorak/Saradomin cloak will be on you when you enter the waiting room and in the game. There is a bank chest on the west side of the entrance room of the building.

Game mechanics

Standards found in the Castle Wars minigame.

The aim of Castle Wars is to take the enemy's standard, or flag, from their castle and return it to the standard in your own castle's keep, gaining 1 point each time. You must prevent the opposing team from taking your standard by blocking them from your castle (place barricades, lock doors or collapse tunnels underground), or by killing them. (Note: Your team has a maximum of 10 set barricades on the field). Slain players will respawn in the Starting area within the game, so both sides are constantly fighting with a near (if not totally) equal numbered team. Each game lasts for 20 minutes, and the team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. You will gain two castle wars tickets if your team wins, and one ticket if the score is tied. You will not gain extra or bonus tickets if you kill another player or score a point. Castle Wars tickets are redeemable for a number of decorative armours and other rewards only available through the game. To be successful in Castle Wars, it is better to have a higher combat level, but lower level players can focus on the defensive measures mentioned below.

Also, be warned that there are "veterans" at this game that will take it more seriously than others. They often know all of the tricks of the game. If your team has a few of them, you're most likely going to win.

Formations

When playing Castle Wars it is best to sort out who's going where. Mages using Ancient Magicks and high level rangers are normally put on the section near the catapult so they can kill potential flag-stealers quickly without getting killed themselves. Also when a ranger or mage runs out of ammo, they can use the catapult or turn melee and join the fight below.

Warriors tend to split up. Players levelling over 100 normally get the flag underground or above, if not they are normally found defending their flag. Warriors normally have an edge over rangers or mage. When a mage is defending the castle from the catapult the warrior may climb over the wall, using a rope and attack them. Due to low defence the warrior normally comes out on top. Lower levels (under 60) normally just go to get the flag but are normally killed in seconds by rangers or mages. Lower levels are also more well known for guarding their team's standard.

Restrictions

The Castle Wars bank chest, surrounded by boxes.

Players are only allowed combat items into the waiting area, including potions, runes and armour (with the exception of helmets, hats, pets, scarves and capes). Recently, Jagex has allowed players to bring in Castle wars tickets won for being on a winning or tying Castle Wars team to the Castle Wars minigame, meaning that winning team members no longer need to rush to the bank chest after a game ends to deposit their tickets, and can go straight back to the portal. Food cannot be brought in, but bandages can be obtained within the arena - which are used to heal players, cure poison and give approximately 30% energy. Alchemy spells cannot be used during the game along with Lunar spells such as Heal Other and Cure Other. Also Dwarf Multicannons cannot be brought into Castle Wars, as they are a non-combat item when unassembled. Originally, players were allowed to bring their pet cats into the arena, but after many players complained, Jagex removed this ability. Some players have noted that it is difficult to get the enemy standard when it is in possession of the enemy, for example, a level 138 Saradomin player will hold the Saradomin standard whilst being defended by other level 100's for the entire game; thus creating an "impenetrable fortress". This can be very irritating to other players.

Unlike the Duel Arena, arrows will not be returned after each match. It is the player's responsibility to pick up any projectiles fired if they choose to do so. However, upon completion of Animal Magnetism players to speak to Lanthus in order to receive the effects of Ava's Device during play. Also, unlike Fist of Guthix, runes are not supplied.

Also, if players are wearing armours or prayer symbols/books of the three gods (Saradomin, Guthix, Zamorak), they will have strange effects on the wearer if they enter the wrong portal. Saradomin will turn a player into a hare if they are wearing a Zamorak or Guthix symbol or armour when entering his portal; Guthix will turn them into a sheep if they are wearing a Saradomin or Zamorak symbol or armour upon entering its portal; and Zamorak will turn them into an imp if they are wearing a Saradomin or Guthix symbol or armour when entering his portal. Players transformed into a rabbit, sheep or imp cannot perform any tasks. They also cannot view menu screens other than private, public and clan chat, music and settings. However, when the waiting period elapses and the game starts the player will be turned back to normal. Void Knight Equipment counts as a Guthix Symbol.

The castles

The large square formation covering most of the map is the actual arena. Inside the arena there are 2 smaller castles, one for each team. There are 5 levels to a castle.

  • The ground floor has two outer walls facing into the arena, one with a large door that can be attacked and broken down (or barricaded by the defending team) and another with a smaller door that can be pick-locked (or locked by the defending team). If you use rope on the outer walls, you can climb up onto the top of the wall(note that the ropes do disappear eventually). The battlements on the ground floor are accessible via a staircase near the small door, and there is a catapult on top of the outer wall. Within the walls there is a staircase leading to the battlements, a staircase leading to the second level, a ladder leading to the second level, and a ladder leading to the underground passages. There are tables where climbing ropes, rocks, barricades, pickaxes, toolboxes, and explosive potions are attainable. There is a tap, two bucket respawns, and a tinderbox respawn. When players die, they are returned to a respawn room in the appropriate castle.
  • The second floor contains a passage bent at a right angle, enveloping that team's spawn room, which is only accessible to the castle's team. There is a staircase leading to the next level. Inside the spawn room there is a bandage table, a tinderbox respawn, a ladder leading to the next level, and a portal to leave the current game. If any player does so, players on the same team in the waiting room will be asked if they wish to join the current game. The first to accept takes the previous player's space.
  • The third floor has a small inside wall enveloping a trapdoor that leads down to that castle's spawn room. The trapdoor is only usable by that castle's team. There is a one-square-wide passage around this wall. A staircase leading to the highest level is located against one of the walls.
  • The highest floor contains only a standard stand, which may or may not hold that castle's team's standard, depending on whether the enemy team has taken the standard or not.
  • The underground passage level can be accessed by two ladders in the middle of the arena or by a ladder from either team's castle. Either castle's ladder is located at opposite ends of the underground area, each with two passages towards the central cavern. At the mouth (facing the centre area) of each passage there is a deposit of rocks which may be removed or replaced with explosive potions or pickaxes. The central area is a small castle that has two ladders leading up to the centre of the arena's ground level. This area can be used for ranging and maging.

The prizes

Trading with Lanthus will give you this interface.

All players on the winning team receive two Castle Wars tickets. In the event of a draw, all players receive one Castle Wars ticket. These tickets can be used to purchase decorative armour, capes, and, hoods. The lowest decorative armour is red and blue, which has the strength of Steel. The mid-strength decorative armour is silver and blue, which has the strength of mithril. The strongest decorative armour is gold and navy, which has the strength of adamant. Players may also purchase (with tickets) Saradomin and Zamorak capes and hoods. Anything bought by using Castle Wars tickets cannot be traded to another player, but can be sold back for the same number of tickets it can be bought for.

Here is a list of the prices:

Item Equal To Cost
Red-blue Decorative Helm Steel med helm 4 tickets
Red-blue Decorative Shield Steel kiteshield 6 tickets
Red-blue Decorative Armour Steel platelegs 6 tickets
Red-blue Decorative Armour Steel platebody 8 tickets
Red-blue Decorative Sword Steel longsword 5 tickets
Silver-blue Decorative Helm Mithril med helm 40 tickets
Silver-blue Decorative Shield Mithril kiteshield 60 tickets
Silver-blue Decorative Armour Mithril platelegs 60 tickets
Silver-blue Decorative Armour Mithril platebody 80 tickets
Silver-blue Decorative Sword Mithril longsword 50 tickets
Gold-navy Decorative Helm Adamant med helm 400 tickets
Gold-navy Decorative Shield Adamant kiteshield 600 tickets
Gold-navy Decorative Armour Adamant platelegs 600 tickets
Gold-navy Decorative Armour Adamant platebody 800 tickets
Gold-navy Decorative Sword Adamant longsword 500 tickets
Saradomin Hood - 10 tickets
Saradomin Cloak Normal cape 10 tickets
Zamorak Hood - 10 tickets
Zamorak Cloak Normal cape 10 tickets
Castle Wars Handbook - 5 coins

Note that Castle Wars tickets, armour, and weapons are non-tradable.

Features of the arena

The catapult

A working (left) catapult and a broken (right) catapult.

One catapult is located in each team's castle's wall. Players may use the catapult if they have ammunition, which they can obtain from tables on the first floor. After players have ammo, they can operate the catapult by clicking on it. A display will open up and players must then choose the X and Y coordinates of where they wish to fire; however, often the shot will not go exactly where you aim. The highest X and Y coordinates are (30,30). All players near the area of impact, regardless of which team they are on, will take damage. Catapults can be destroyed by the enemy team using a tinderbox or an explosive potion. A toolkit can fix a broken catapult. The catapult is not often used as players normally keep moving. A catapult that is on fire may be put out with a bucket of water. Be careful when using the catapult, because it is possible to harm and even kill your own team-mates with it if you haven't finished the Catapult Construction quest. So be on the look out for renegade flying rocks!

Stepping stones

These are located in the North-east and South-west points of the river. Players can jump from stepping stone to stepping stone to cross the river in the middle of the arena. The stepping stones have many uses, one main use is to escape the enemy team while capturing the standard. If the standard is dropped while standing on stepping stones it returns to the base. Players were once able to evade Ancient Magicks ice spells by crossing these stepping stones but this was recently changed so that bind spells now prevent you from crossing the stones.

Collapsible rocks

Collapsed rocks.

The collapsible rocks are located in the caves below the arena. Using a pickaxe or an explosive potion, players may collapse the walls and fill the cave passageway with rocks, so that players may not pass. To get past the collapsed rocks, players must use either 2 explosive potions or a pickaxe or both. If rocks are collapsed on top of a player, he or she will die immediately. This is an excellent trick if you are running through the tunnels with the standard, as it gets rid of many chasers and blocks the rest, but they could also kill you. The best trick to use is when it's clear, put a barricade on one side of you and put one under you. Therefore, the player doesn't see it under you, and when they go to attack you they actually attack the barricade, then you can use an explosive potion on the wall, killing them.

One useful strategy:

  • One player brings a Dragon Spear, and another player has an explosive potion. The player with a dragon spear uses its special to push someone into the rock slide area and another player then collapses the area.
  • Placing a barricade beneath you negates any dragon spear effect on you from another player from the opposing team.
  • If there is a barricade beneath you, while a player tries to cross, the player will be trapped in the rock slide area, which you can either immediately collapse or slowly mine.

In the caves, the most popular cave tunnel is the one on the right when coming down the ladder in a castle. The least popular is the one on the left.

Collapsible stones are also subjects to many minor bugs. For example, a player may appear to be collapsing the tunnel from inside of it, and when it collapses the player walks out unharmed. If someone dies directly when a tunnel is collapsed over them, you might see a zero over a red background. If you kill a player holding a standard in the tunnel, you may mine through it and if you are fast enough, the standard will appear on the floor where the player died. If you drop a standard under the tunnel and then collapse it, take the standard you may walk into the cave without taking damage while it is collapsed. If you take two standards and put them next to each other (so that each one is on a different side of the cave) and collapse the cave, and take both the standards, you may walk all the way through the cave. Note: the two previous glitches may cause the cave to become "broken", where they will not collapse and the cave will stay open until the world resets. Most of these bugs have been fixed, though.

For some players, mostly mages or rangers, the rocks provide a great bonus. They can shoot arrows or cast spells from the other side of the rocks even when they have fallen. The players can attack their opponents without being harmed themselves.

Middle island

A small island with two bridges connecting it is found in the middle of the map.

It has four ruined towers on it with stairs leading to the top. Mages/Rangers can snipe enemy players from above there.

It has two ladders leading down to the middle of the underground caves. It allows either team to reinforce their comrades down or up in the middle, preventing the other team from completely dominating it.

This area usually the site of a brutal slug-fest between both teams during the beginning of the match. Players slam into each other and attack whoever with no discretion at all. *Controlling the middle gives the team an advantage over the other. But mostly in a typical match, the middle area is contested by both sides with no gain to either side. But occasionally, one side manages to drive back the other team and technically controls the centre. While attackers from the driven-back team still make their run for the enemy flag, the other team is given a clear route to the enemy castle. The majority of the fighting now takes place at that castle where the invading team storms the castle, allowing someone to swiftly steal the flag.

Useful battle tactics

The battle tactics in Castle Wars vary. This is because each and every game of Castle Wars have different players, different situations and the balance of power changes every game.

Using & Countering Ancient Magicks

Effective Usage

One useful tactic is to block off the corridor going around the teams room (the one you start in). Most of the time, each team will have at least one Ancient Mage. The Ancient Mage often tries to defend the castle from potential standard stealers by freezing them with spells like ice barrage. Once frozen this gives the melee attackers a chance to finish off the helpless thieves. Sometimes the ancient mages will also have a bow to use, so they can range after freezing enemy players.

Very rarely, a very high-levelled player able to cast Ice Barrage and Blood Barrage, (some of them have level 99 summoning and come with a steel titan) might camp at the enemies spawn zone and use the area spells to demolish enemy players. The caster uses Ice Barrage to freeze enemies, but when the caster is getting piled by enemies, he quickly switches to blood barrage and uses to restore health. Most of the players tend to have low levels and weak magical defence, allowing the blood barrage user to stay alive a lot longer and give his team a diversion to capture the flag. The caster will end up racking a lot kills when the game ends.

Ancients are also useful underground for stopping standard Thieves as they try to infiltrate the castle from the underground passages.

Tactics for countering Ancient Magicks

A strategy to counter the use of Ancient Mages lies in the reduction of the magic stat. By lowering an opponents mage level, a player is often likely to prevent them from using their higher level spells. Due to the innate high mage levels required to utilise the Ancient Magicks, almost any reduction in magic level will render an Ancient Mage useless. The most readily available magic reducing effect comes as a result of the magic attack Flames of Zamorak. However, this attack is somewhat flawed in this scenario since an Ancient Mage will in all likelihood be wearing armour that provides good magic defence. However, it may take just one hit to disable an Ancient Mage so it is well worth the slightly reduced accuracy.

The most effective way to cut an ancient mage's magic level is through the use of the Seercull bow's special attack, Soulshot, which when used in conjunction with Eagle Eye can stop a mage's magic attacks instantly. The special attack reduces the magic level by the amount it hits and drains the special attack energy 100%. With a max hit corresponding to your range level, you can lower the mage's magic level significantly! To recharge your special after using it, simply get killed, and you will have full special attack energy again. In this manner, you can render mages useless if you hit a high enough amount to render their spells useless. Against a person wearing full Ahrim's and 99 magic, a hit of 6 or more would render Ice barrage useless. This can be achieved through the use of range boosting prayers and ranged armour.

General Mage & Range Tactics

Mages and rangers tend to hang on the top of the castle near the catapult where they can see enemies storming the castle. They then strike down potential threats at the safety of the wall. This however may not last long if a powerful melee shows up on the wall. Then they will attack the mages and rangers taking them down quickly because of their low defence due to robes and dragon hide armour. This has however been compromised if there are enough mages or rangers to quickly take the melee player down.

Strategies for lower-level players

Lower level players often stay in the underground with a pick and collapse the tunnels with explosive potions and picks. Normally they will wait for the person to walk under the tunnel when trying to attack them, then collapse the tunnel instantly killing the other player. Other methods for higher-level players wishing to use low-level strategies include ranging them in order to lure them under the tunnel or using an ancient spell to trap them under the tunnel have been used, although not as often due to expenses.

Lower-level players may also operate the catapult as a team and attempt to fire on the opponent (Note: Catapult attacks can damage your own team as well as your opponents). Another thing lower-level players can do is heal your teammates with bandages; a better target for your bandages would be the flag carrier and their bodyguards.

You could also set up barricades around the arena in strategic locations. Make sure you think before setting up a barricade because there is a limit of 10 barricades that can be set up at one time. Handy places to set up are around the stairs leading up to the flag or other narrow pathways.

Standard Defending

As for standard defending, most people barricade the standard and the exit so that when a standard stealer comes they are trapped and quickly killed. Usually players stealing the flag will carry explosive potions with them, placing a barricade and burning it makes it unable to be exploded and giving more time to kill the thief. Sometimes if players are quick enough in the beginning they may be able to capture the opposing teams standard room and defend it for the whole game taking the standard when it shows back up from a score. This may sometimes backfire if a low level player takes the standard. When this happens the other team will allow the player to leave the castle then take him down and take their standard and hold it. This may cause the defeat of the standard room raiding team.

Stalling, Buying time and other hindering tactics

Also, if nearing the end of a close game, it may be wise to attempt to stall the enemy rather than outright killing them. For example, ancient magicks or the spells bind, snare, and entangle may buy valuable time. Time for your team to either set up defences or catch up with the enemy. Barricading the enemy castle becomes a viable tactic to prevent the enemy runner from scoring, as well as hitting them with the dragon spear's special ability, "Shove", which stuns them for five seconds. This is because they have most likely used up their resources trying to steal the standard in the first place.

Other tactics

  • Some players who perform the following tactic correctly can easily win tickets. They gather a group of friends or random people, at least 15-20. They decide which team will 'lay down' and give up there standard by letting the other team run in and grab the standard. They then go into the castle wars arena with 10 on each side. After the 20 minutes, swap roles so the winner will lose on purpose. You can easily get 8+ castle war tickets because of this.
  • Getting past the underground collapsible rocks are quite hard. So when entering the game bring your pickaxe. Preferably the best you can hold. Make sure you are wearing the pick and bring your weapon in your inventory. This makes it much quicker getting past the rocks if you can't be bothered to take some explosive potions.
  • To get into the castle without going through either of the doors, you can use a rope with the outer wall to climb onto the top, or enter through the ladder underground. These are also useful tactics when trying to kill the mages or rangers on top of the wall.
  • When being pursued by the other team while carrying a standard, it is a good idea to set up a barricade while running. This blocks the path of your pursuers, buying you valuable time while they try to destroy the barricade.
  • Standard defenders should set-up barricades after the enemy attackers so all the defenders can pile the attacker whilst they try to deal with the barricades. This tactic should only be used if the defence is mainly melee. If the defence has rangers and mages setting up barricades before the attackers arrive is fine.

The teams

The castle wars lobby

To join a team, either enter the red portal (for Zamorak, God of Chaos) or the blue portal (for Saradomin, God of Wisdom). There is a possibility that the team you are trying to enter has too many people, so to keep the teams balanced you may not join it at that time. However, if you enter the green (for Guthix, God of Balance) portal, you join the team with the fewest number of players.

When you enter the portal, Hooded cloak will be equipped automatically, with the colour depending on your team, either red for Zamorak or blue for Saradomin. This cloak cannot be removed in game, as it serves as an indication of which team you're on.

Waiting area

This is the waiting room.
This is what you look like if you are an imp.

Once you join a team, you have to wait in an underground cavern until the next game starts. The Time remaining till the next game begins is displayed near the top of the screen in white print. The time to wait is always 5 minutes longer than the current game lasts, so if a game have 12 minutes left, the time to wait in the waiting area is 17 minutes. When a game has just finished, the next game will start in 5 minutes.

If you need to leave, you can do so through the portal of the god's colour located inside the waiting area.

If another player leaves an on-going game, a window will appear asking if you wish to enter the game, "There's a free space, do you want to join? Yes. No." First player to answer Yes will join the on-going game.

If you wear an item associated with a particular god in the opposite god's room you will be turned into either a sheep (if entering Guthix), hare (if entering Saradomin) or imp (if entering Zamorak) for the duration of your stay in the waiting room (you will be transformed back to your regular form for the game itself).

Tools

Various tools can be found at the supply room.

There are a number of special items that players can pick up while playing Castle Wars. These items are free and respawn immediately; however, they disappear once the game you are playing is over. (Also, if you choose to teleport back to the waiting area during a current game with these items in your inventory, you used to be able to keep them until you either entered the game and used them, or left the waiting room. However, Jagex recently changed this so the only item you keep when you exit the game is a tinderbox.)

Barricades

These can be picked up on one of the tables on the 1st floor of the castles. Barricades can be placed anywhere in the arena, and they are used to "block" the opposing team, hindering their ability to capture your standard. When somebody tries to walk around the barricade, the player must manually click to walk around it, otherwise he will be stuck. If barricades are set up at the ends of the stairs, it will only allow one way direction transport; for example, if a player is going up the stairs and the other end is being blocked by barricades, the player can still go back up/down without leaving the stair's end or go through the barricade without destroying the barricade for the first time. However he/she cannot go back up/down to the stairs after leaving the stair's end, unless the barricade has been destroyed.

Barricades can be destroyed by setting them on fire, by manually attacking them, or by using an explosive potion. One of the downsides to setting up barricades is that a team can only set up 10 at a time and it also blocks the way of friendly forces.

Barricades are not favoured among many players. Some people will knock them down, even if the barricades are helping them. This is because inexperienced players tend to set them in illogical places, like stairways to block everyone, and doors, blocking their team. This could lead to the loss of the game.

Other useful tools

Other tools which can be outside Castle Wars or can be obtained in Castle Wars are:

  • Bandages - Heal 10 percent of your total HP level (for example if your Hitpoints level is 74, you get healed 7 points for every bandage), cure poison, and increase energy by 30%. Can be used on other players of the same team. Players may stock up on these greatly and become Medics for their team, breaking off and hiding near where they might be needed.
  • Climbing Ropes - Used to scale the battlements on the other team's castle. These ropes are one way (in other words you can't climb down them, only up.) and can not be cut off. Some people will sabotage the other team's wall by getting a full inventory of ropes and running to the other team's wall. They will try and set up as many ropes as they can on the wall before being attacked and killed. Some attack the catapult by setting up rope next to the enemy, climbing up and blowing the catapult up. The ropes will disappear after a period of time.
  • Pickaxes - For collapsing the underground cave walls to block the enemy. They are also used to clear the way through the collapsed walls. Players typically wait at the rocks and try to time their collapse perfectly as to hit a player trying to run through, although this is easier with explosive potions. Barricades may be used in combination with the walls to guarantee the player will have difficulty getting through. Some people bring their own pickaxe, like rune, to clear rocks/collapse tunnels faster.
  • Tinderboxes - For setting fire to barricades and catapults. The fires can be put out by buckets of water. It is typically good practice to have a tinderbox in your inventory regardless of your choice of "profession" in your game, whether you're a cleric, warrior, or anything else.
  • Buckets- Fill them with water at the tap and the bucket of water is usable to put out anything on fire. These are almost never used though due to the fact that they must be refilled every time they are used and the person that set the fire can easily relight it.
  • Toolkits - Used to repair broken catapults or doors.
  • Explosive potion - Used to blow up barricades, unlike tinderboxes they can only be used once. Also used to collapse the cave walls instantly, killing any person running under. If dropped, this potion explodes and deals 15 damage to the player who dropped it (not anyone else). When damaged by this potion, the player also says "Ow!". Many players commit suicide with these to regain health, special attack energy, or prayer.
  • Rocks - Used to fire the catapult.
  • Castlewars bracelet - Made by enchanting an emerald bracelet. The wielder will do an extra 20% of damage against a bearer of their side's standard. Castlewars bandage also heal 50% more to wielders of the bracelet (15% of health instead of 10%)

Positions

Due to the many features of Castle Wars, players may choose to perform one of several unofficial roles:

  • (very common)Attackers: High level players who go and get the enemy's standard and bring it back
  • (common)Scouts: Low level players who go and get the enemy's standard and bring it back
  • (very common)Defenders: Players who defend the standard around their own castle, keeping the enemies from scoring points. They often use barricades and many fight with magic.
  • (semi-common)Tower attackers: Players that are located on the outer wall near the catapult that attack incoming enemies players that invade the castle wall using swords
  • (common)Tower mage: Players that are located on the outer wall near the catapult that attack incoming enemies players using magic
  • (common)Tower archer: Players that are located on the outer wall near the catapult that attack incoming enemies players using ranged
  • (very rare)Medics: Players who heal other players using bandages, usually the standard holder.These people stand behind stronger allies and need a lot of protection.
  • (semi-common)Catapult Artillerymen: Players who attack incoming enemies using the catapult
  • (uncommon)Door men: Players who keep on closing the door on incoming enemies stopping them from coming in and leaving
  • (semi-common)Engineers/Sappers: Players who set up barricades slowing enemy players down from taking the standard
  • (very common)Miners: Players who go down in the dungeon and clear the way for their team and setting up collapsible rocks on the enemies
  • (uncommon)Saboteurs: Players who use Explosive potions/tinderboxes on the enemies catapult
  • (very common)Standard Holder: Players who grab their own standard after an enemy player has dropped it outside their castle and retains it to prevent enemy possession
  • (very uncommon)Climbers: Players who throw ropes over the battlements
  • (very common)Slayers: Players who will try to kill any player no matter what level. (This is not the same as an attacker.) Slayers tend to attack players with a lower level, considering them to be easier prey.
  • (very common)Mid-way attackers: Players who try to take over the mid-way battlements.
  • (very common)Mid-way defenders: Players who defend in the mid-way battlements.
  • (rare)Decoys: Players who confuse the enemy by pretending to take the flag and reduce the enemy teams effectiveness.
  • (common)Summoners: Players who use their summoning skills to summon a monster to aid them. This goes along with any other role. Lower-levelled monsters tend to be not very useful and end up getting killed by annoyed players.
  • (rare)Assassins: Players (usually come in packs) that kill certain enemies players that are the best on the team (example: Players with dragon claws)
  • (rare) Charges: Players from over half of the team (usually 20-30 players) that charge straight on the enemy's defence line and almost always destroys and scatters the opponents defence.
  • (uncommon) Raiders: Players who storm the enemy positions with a goal of causing distress and confusion, usually dying very quickly and causing short-term annoyance for the enemy. Often combines with the role of Saboteurs. Come in much smaller groups than Charges and sometimes even only one or two players.

Flag holding

Standard holding in Castle Wars.

Flag holding is a tactic used by teams to ensure that the opposing team is unable to score points. This consists of a player grabbing their own team's standard after an enemy player has dropped it outside their castle, and then holding on to it, rendering the opposing team unable to pick it up. To retrieve the standard the opposing team needs to defeat the player holding the standard and pick it up.

When the opposing team has taken a team's standard, the team waits until their enemy is outside the castle and kills them, taking their own team standard in the process (if the standard is dropped inside the castle, attempting to pick it up will result in it being moved back to the standard stand).

A player cannot go into the base when holding their team's standard. This includes climbing up from the ladder underneath the supply room. Attempting to do this will result in the standard going back to the stand.

Flag-holding tactics

The standard is often taken to a corner of the field, near the stepping stones, with some players protecting the person holding the standard, as a player can be easily protected using two barricades, using the walls as defence from the other two sides.

Another tactic is to hide underground, next to the collapsible walls. The standard holder can then use an explosive potion or a pickaxe to collapse the walls when their enemies try to reach them, thus killing them. One way of using this method is by placing barricades on the spaces where a player can collapse the walls. The standard holder stands in one of the barricades, they put it down, then doesn't move. This way, if a player tries to attack the standard holder, the standard holder can simply collapse the tunnel. The attacker, having no way to move out of the way, dies. The only way they can reach the standard holder is by going around the other tunnel.

One more common tactic is to stay around the spikes near the outer wall of your own castle. Running around these spikes when attacked often traps the attacker on the other side, out of melee range. This buys time for the standard holder's team to kill the attacker, and prevents them from taking damage. This strategy also leaves the enemy attackers within attack range of the mages and rangers on top of the outer walls.

The player holding the standard will very rarely hide in the corner of the third level of there own castle while blocking the entrances of with barricades. The only allow a small space to be open within the barricades and will fill it up with body guards.

The player that holds the standard will often be someone with a high defence level and bonus, or a high level Magic or Ancient Magicks user. Defence and armour help protect the standard holder from attacks, and players with high levelled Magic or Ancient Magicks can use spells such as Entangle, Ice Burst, or Ice Barrage to immobilise the enemy team without the need to hold a weapon. This is advantageous as they can protect themselves using Magic, whereas a player using Ranged will be unable to attack as they will be holding the standard, and a player using Melee will have their attack power compromised by holding the standard, as they will have to use the standard as their weapon (the standard gives no bonuses to Attack, Defence, Strength or Prayer, and has the same attack styles as a spear).

The player will attempt to stay alive for as long as possible, with a group of other players acting as bodyguards. Donating bandages and other supplies to the standard holder may also prove useful.

Standard stats

Red= Taken, which means someone has the standard,
Yellow= Dropped (on the ground),
Green= Safe, in proper area.

Views

Some players have argued that flag holding stops the fun of castle wars, as it stops the game from being "Capture the standard" and turns it into a "Hunt and Kill" game. They argue that standard-holding is basically unfair as if a high-level player gets the standard, they consider the game to be essentially over, especially if their team does not have a player of matching combat ability (This is also known as "Stacking" among the "Veterans" of Castle Wars). However, some players consider standard holding another method of strategy used to outplay the other team, even if perceived as unfair.

Jagex has made an update to balance out the effects of standard holding by making 1 of the enchanted bracelets to a Castlewars bracelet. A castlewars bracelet works for 3 games and is then destroyed. While wearing this bracelet, players will deal 20% more damage to the holder of their standard, and bandages heal 50% more health to them.

Lag issues

Many players have lag issues when playing Castle Wars. Immediately after getting out of the waiting room, if there are high numbers of players, there is an off-chance of an automatic log out for lag-related server issues.

  • To prevent this, players have several options:
    • Wait awhile until the people that log out come back in.
    • Climb up the ladder that leads to the second floor, then go back down using the staircase after several moments.

Trivia

  • Castle Wars had bugs in which some aspects of the game remained active once players had left the game. These include but are not limited to:
    • Players remaining as imps, sheep or hares after leaving the waiting area.
    • Players still holding their team standard after a game.
    • Players having an attack option on other players outside of Castle Wars, despite not being able to attack anyone.
    • Players appearing as if they are still in the dead position.
    • Players remaining poisoned after leaving the game.
  • A significant bug at the release of Castle Wars allowed players who correctly exploited it to keep bandages from the Castle Wars area. Bandages were not considered food at the Duel Arena and could be used to beat stronger players even with No Food set, resulting in many players being scammed out of items. Jagex never took action against the players responsible.
  • Castle Wars games do not have random events. Players used to use Castle Wars as a random-free area in which to cast High Level Alchemy on a large number of items without being attacked. Because of this, Jagex banned non-combat items from the game and made it impossible to cast alchemy spells on items in the battlefield. Jagex also made it impossible to bring any non-combat items into the waiting rooms. Now, players may only bring potions, weapons (including runes) and armour into Castle Wars.
  • The bandage table was once located on the ground floor alongside the other tool tables. This was moved to the team's spawn room due to the fact that opposing players could effectively camp the enemy's castle with an unlimited health source.
  • For a short time, male players that entered Castle Wars would appear to be missing their head. This was soon fixed.
  • At one time, it was possible to leave the game with equipment for the next game. Players were also able to log out with materials and have them in the waiting room. Both of these have been fixed.
  • At one time, the red and blue decorative armour was equivalent to Mithril. This degraded Mithril before the update, which made decorative armour equivalent to steel.
  • Because of players having to sacrifice the helmet and cape slot to wear their team colours, the set effects of the Barrows equipment and Void Knight equipment is not active during games of Castle Wars.
  • Previously, if you had level 99 Hitpoints and drank a Saradomin Brew and the wall in the tunnels collapsed on you, you could be hit for more than 100 damage.
  • A while back, team members would appear as green dots on the mini-map. It was later changed to blue to avoid confusion with friends.
  • At one point, players were able to make multiple copies of flags to confuse other players on which flag was real.
  • Castle Wars could be seen using the Gnomecopters, but you only see NPCs fighting instead of a real Castle War.
  • When explosive potions were allowed to be taken to the waiting room, players could drop them and take damage; however, they would not die and, instead, continue to stay in the waiting room.
  • When barricades were allowed to be taken out of the game to the waiting room, players were allowed to drop them and attack them, gaining no experience whatsoever.
  • Before the HD update, if you examined the table that supplies bandages, a message that appeared would read, "A table in which I can get pickaxes."
  • The messenger will appear in Castle Wars to give you the letter needed to start Regicide.
  • There is currently a glitch allowing food into castle wars. This involves waiting for an imp to teleport into the arena, it is possible to kill it, making it possible to obtain a cabbage, healing 1 hitpoint when consumed.
The bridge is gone.
  • After the graphics update, on Standard Detail, the bridge leading to the lobby was transparent. This has been fixed.
  • While using Quickchat in multiplayer FunOrb games, such as DekoBloko, Castle Wars is referred to as Castlewars, without the spacing. The Ring of duelling also uses Castlewars, when equipped and right-clicked.
  • There used to be a glitch where a player could capture his own team's flag and get attacked by his teammates as well as the enemy. It was done by logging out and quickly logging back in. The player would usually take his team's flag and run out so his team would be able to hold the flag.
  • Castle wars also played host to the popular noclip glitch. Where players could enter the game at any time (even before the game has begun) through the south wall Saradomin wall. Players could walk around freely with both helm and cape on and be immune to attacks. They could also wield either teams flag and not be killed for it.
  • When Summoning was first released, there was a bug where the moment the game started, the players were logged off the game when they passed through the door. Players could tell this would happen because when the player walked, it looked like other players were walking the same way. During that time, players had to use the stairs to avoid the bug. This was later fixed by Jagex.
  • If standing correctly next to a wall, a Summoning familiar would be positioned as if it were walking on the wall. It is unknown whether this was fixed.
  • There is a glitch where under certain circumstances, the attack option does not appear on the player's right-click info; this glitch is yet to be fixed by Jagex.
  • There is a glitch where sometimes if you are on the river stones at the moment a game ends, you will be trapped there until logging out and logging back in.
  • A former glitch, before the mining animation update in 2007, player could keep collapsing the rocks in the underground even when the rock are already collapsed, thus, making it very hard for players the get through the passage where the rocks were collapsing.
  • To buy all the decorative armour, cloaks and hoods, one must have 3259 tickets, and must have won 1,630 games. This will take 22 days, 5 hours, and 20 minutes of playing, not counting time spent in the waiting room.
  • A click-delay issue has been fixed in Castle Wars. The game engine has been modified to adjust the behaviour of these clicks back to their previous speed.
  • The catapult sounds in Castle Wars were improved on 9 November 2009.
  • The Arcanists map, Sky Castles, looks similar to Castle Wars, with the exception that there are two Saradomin statues on the map.

References

  1. ^ Player-Submitted Polls #15. RuneScape Polls. Jagex Games Studio (2009-01-07). Archived from the original on 2009-11-14. Retrieved on 2009-11-14. “Question 2 - What is your favourite PvP (Player versus Player) minigame? ... Castle Wars, 31%”
Mr. Mordaut

Featured article
March 2007

Mr. Mordaut thinks that many things are dumb. However, the editors who wrote this article clearly were not. In fact, it was written so well that it is one of the few selected articles currently featured on the Main page.

This article uses material from the "Castle Wars" article on the Runescape wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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