Castle Wars is a game of strategy, and battle prowess based on the popular Capture the Flag game. It is a combat based mini-game, in which 2 teams wage war against each other, the main objective being to infiltrate your opposition's castle, obtain their flag and return it to your flag at the top of your castle. Each captured flag scores 1 point for that team, and the team with the most points at the end of 20 minutes is declared the winner. 2 Castle Wars tickets are awarded to each member of the winning team, while the losing team recieve nothing. Should the game end in a tie, all players get 1 ticket.
Castle Wars is a safe mini-game, whereby if you die on the battlefield, you will keep all your items. However, runes and arrows will not be replaced after the match has finished.
There are no requirements to enter the game, so anyone from level 3 to level 138 can enter into a match. It is advised to be at least level 50-60 combat, although many high level players enjoy participating in this game. Since you do not lose any items if you die, many high-level players take the best of their equipment, such as Barrows armour, Crystal Bows and Ancient Magicks.
Because each member must wear a hood and cloak of their respective team (provided automatically when entering the portals), you cannot wear your own capes or helmets. This prevents anyone from wearing a complete set of Barrows equipment and gaining a further advantage on the battlefield.
 Points of Interest
The first room you'll enter, either by walking to Castle Wars or using a Ring of Duelling, will be the lobby. Here you will find a bank chest where you can store any non-combat items which are not allowed in the arena, including tickets won at the end of a match. The main NPC here is Luthas, who holds valuable information about the castle wars game, and has all the rewards you can claim once you have enough tickets. Through the lobby you can exit the north door, to the viewing wall, where you can spectate the game, whilst doing other activities such as high alchemy.
There are also three portals in the main lobby;
- The blue portal leads to Saradomin's waiting room
- The red portal leads to Zamorak's waiting room
- The green portal will have Guthix send you to the team with the fewest players, in order to balance the teams
If you enter a portal while wearing items aligned to another God (for example, entering the Saradomin portal holding an Unholy Book), the god of that portal will transform you into an animal for the duration you are in the waiting room (leaving or starting a game returns you to normal). Saradomin transforms players into a rabbit, while Guthix transforms into sheep and for Zamorak, into imps.
Once in a waiting room, you will have to wait between 5-25 minutes to join a game. A maximum of 25 players per team can play this game at any given time, while it's possible to have 1 player on each team.
 Respawn Room
Once the timer has counted down to 0 the game will begin, and you will appear in your team's respawn room. In this room is a bench from which you can fill your inventory with Bandages (sometimes referred to as 'Aids'). Only your team mates will be able to enter and leave your teams spawn room, and the opposite is true for your opponents respawn room. There is also a ladder leading to higher levels of the castle.
 Standard Room
Going up the ladder in the respawn room, or the stairs just outside, will lead to another floor with one flight of stairs. These stairs lead to the top floor of the castle, where each team's standard (flag) is located. This will be the main focus of the enemies attention, as they will want to steal the standard and return it to their own to score points. Defending this point is highly important
After leaving the respawn room, you can go down the ladders and into your team's armoury, which the enemy will also have access to. In this room there are many tables containing useful items, including barricades, exploding potions, ropes, pickaxes, buckets and rocks for the catapult. Each item will be explained later in the guide.
 The Wall
As you leave the armoury, you will no doubt notice the wall that surrounds your teams castle. At the corner of this wall is a catapult which any team member can fire onto the battlefield, provided the player has rocks from the armoury. This wall is most often used by rangers and magi to defend their castle from assaulting enemies, since warriors must use ropes to climb the walls, or enter the castle and climb the stairs, in order to engage in combat.
Beyond the wall is the battlefield, where both teams will engage each other in fierce combat. Running diagonally through the battlefield is a river with three crossing points; two sets of stepping stones in either corner of the arena, and the small stronghold in the centre. The stepping stones are an excellent strategic defending point if you are a mage and ranger and do not want to be drawn into close combat.
The central stronghold has four small towers, another ideal spot for rangers and magi to attack from. There are 2 ladders leading to the underground section of the arena connecting both castles, which can be a very dangerous place.
The Underground is one of the most dangerous places in the game. There is one centre area where most fighting will take place. Leading to the centre is 2 tunnels per team, if you manage to bypass the enemies defence, you can come up from underneath, and enter there base from inside. This way avoids all the enemy mages, and rangers as well as the catapult. You also will not have to face the trouble of attacking there main gates, which will have to be destroyed before you can just walk through the front door. There is nothing stopping the from barricading you in, or even the melee player chasing you down. However coming from underground does not come freely, much of the times, those players that cannot effectively fight the higher levelled opponents on the surface, will wait in the tunnels, and if they are quick enough, then can use potions to destroy the caves around you so they collapse in and instantly kill you no matter what your HP level is. However, dropping the rocks can be dangerous to your team, as the rocks can also crush your fellow team-mates! Some people do crush their teammates on purpose, so be cautious even if someone on your team is controlling the rocks.
When in a match, several useful pieces of information will appear around your screen in the Heads-Up Display. The status of different areas of your castle will be shown in the bottom-left hand side of the screen. If the text is green, that area is holding, but if it's red, it's a good idea to get a team member over there to fix it as soon as possible.
- Main door - The main door has a % rating which determines how strong the door is. If the door reaches 0%, it will collapse, allowing free passage to any players. Once damaged it requires a tool kit to repair.
- Secondary door - The small, secondary door is located behind the stairs up to the wall. Once this door is shut it is automatically locked to the other team, who will have to unlock it before going through. The status is shown.
- Tunnel - When the tunnels have collapsed, the writing will change to collapsed. This may not be a bad thing, as it prevents enemies entering your base from up underneath you.
- Catapult - The catapult can inflict a lot of damage to multiple targets where the rocks land, but your team will also be damaged by these flying boulders. Enemies can burn the catapult with a tinderbox, which can either be put out quickly with a bucket of water, or repaired afterwards with a repair kit.
At the top of the screen is the status of both flags. If a flag is labelled 'Safe', that flag is at the top of the respective teams castle. If labelled 'Dropped' it means someone has stolen the flag, but died or otherwise dropped the flag and is free to be taken by another player. If labelled 'Taken', a player from either team has taken the flag, but you don't know which team has taken it.
Castle wars will depend heavily on your ability to balance both attack and defence. At all times you should pay attention to your castle defences icons, and adjust your playing style to best suit the situation. Considering the large number of roles, locations on the map and paths between the castles, there are a lot of different strategies, and an efficient Castle Wars player needs to know as many as possible.
Melee players are in a sense, the iron fist of the team. These are the people which will be the heart of the force, and you want to try and control certain areas. Melee players should travel in teams, and work together to support each other. Try and control the centre of the map. Melee players team should have the best possible armour, such as barrows and dragon where available. There is no shame in meleers teaming enemies. Attackers should also use a dragon haberd in order to kill the enemies rangers/mages on curtain walls. Naturally attackers will have to run past the enemies curtain wall, so Mage protection prayers are essential for survival. Travelling in teams will prevent magi singling a single person out. The damage done will be spread around the team, and generally be a lesser threat to the team as a whole. It is a good idea that high level attacker take the enemy flag if it can be helped, as they have a higher chance of survival. Low leveled attackers should go under-ground and collapse the walls in enemies who try to use the tunnels to enter your base.
 Magic and Range
Rangers and Magi are the support team. They are equally valuable in the front lines. They should hang back, and focus on 1 enemy at a time, to deal the best possible damage. Rangers should use there special attacks when ever they can, this should be focus on enemy magers, as a mages weakness is range. In kind a mage should focus on the enemy melee players, whos metal armour will cause them to be dealt more damage. Ancient Mages should go towards the centre and immediately prevent the enemy advance. They may also wish to hold off any opponents chasing down your team mate with there flag.
Melee players should surround the top three floors of the castle, barricading all entrances and exists so that when the enemy attempts to take your flag, not only will it take a while to get to the flag, but it will also take a while running away with the flag. This should give players enough time to kill him and return the flag.
Some melee players may wish to defend the side gate, as many enemies will be attempting to enter via this gate.
 Magic and Range
A mager and ranger should try to attack enemies from a safe area, without being dealt damage themselves. The best place for this is the Curtain wall. It provides an effective means of attacking your enemies with the greatest team force possible. Whilst at the stepping stones, the Rangers and Magers are the key to defending. It is a good idea to barricade your side of the rocks, so you draw enemies in on the rocks and trap them, you can then launch an attack in great number to your enemies. Defending the flag is also a good idea, setting up barricades all around the flag will prevent an enemy from advancing and picking it up.
Defending the tunnels can be an enjoyable laugh at times. Theres nothing more satisfying than being level 3 and collapsing the tunnels on a level 126 at 99 Hp, you can take out an entire team doing this, or even lure there flag holder, and kill him instantly, giving your team a chance to score again.
 Flag Holding
This is an excellent tactic, however it is a real team effort to allow this to occur. 'Ancient mages' are the key to this strategy. This invloves actually allowing a low leveled player (50 or below) to take your flag, and leave the castle with it. Waiting for thisplayer will be a team of allies, most notable the Ancient mage, who will be able to carry out Ice attacks to freeze the enemy in place, preventing him from moving. The team can then gang up on him, kill him, and a member can actually hold the flag. The flag should be put in the safest hands possbile, with a team of allies surrounding him for protection. This will cripple any attemps of the enemy to score, and stop there efforts. Hiding with the flag is also a good idea, move to a secluded area of the game, so the least number of enemies see you. The trick when flag holding is to move around a least as possible. The more you move the high the chance you will run into enemies and enemies will run into you.
 Death Dot
One if not possible the most deadly of tactics. When flag holding, have the entire team (Usually 4+) all stand on the exact same spot. Enemies will only be able to see 1 white dot on there map, and naturally think its a single enemy, when they move in, the entire team braks ranks and charges them, you can effectivly kill an opponent in the blink of an eye with this tactic.
 Annoying your Pursuer
There are many ways to evade attack when holding your own flag. The most popular way is to use the stones on the sides and is VERY effective against meleers. Go onto the stones and wait for the meleer to come onto the stones to attack you. The funny thing is that he can only attack you if he is standing on the stone beside your stone. To negate this, when he comes to your adjacent stone, immediately go onto the stone with him so you and him are on the same stone. He won't be able to attack you and when he moves again to another stone, jump to the same stone as him or the far stone to run away.
Another common tactic is using the ladders on the middle island. When a pursuer comes, go down the ladder and when he climbs down, just simply climb back up. This can easily give you the space for you to run away and lose him.
Note that this armour does not offer any special bonuses when in the Castle Wars arena, even as a set.
The castle wars armour can be placed on a stand in a quest room in your house to show your success at this mini-game.
|Castle Wars Manual||5gp|
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