Runescape – Castle Wars Guide

Introduction

Castle wars is a Runescape spin on the well known game Capture The Flag. The rules of the game are similar; to score a point you must capture the opponent’s flag in their base, and take it to your own base. The team with the most points at the end of the 20 minute long game wins.
Simple though it is, there are various tactics and hints that can help you win for your team. I will address these in my guide.

Equipment

As far as equipment is concerned, I always try to bring at least 2 styles of combat when playing Castle Wars, if not 3. In Castle Wars capes and helms, and food are not allowed so that is why they are not present in my equipment guide. I’m going to assume that you are able to afford and wear rune and above items, if you aren’t then just wear the corresponding lower levelled items. I’ll also assume you can’t afford the new ancient armours (Torva/Pernix/Virtus), if you can then you won’t need this guide!
Top tip – bring Ava’s device from animal magnetism to Lanthus to receive the effects of Ava’s device during castle wars.

Gear – Melee

Castle Wars Melee Gear

Castle Wars Melee Invent

Gear & Invent – Melee

Weapon: Chaotic maul/CLS/CR>Godsword>Whip>Korasi>Dragon scimitar
Platebody: Barrows>Bandos>Dragon>Rune
Platelegs: Barrows>Bandos>Dragon>Rune
Shield: Dragon defender>Rune defender
Amulet: Fury>Glory>Power
Gloves: Best RFD gloves>Regeneration brace>Combat brace
Boots: Dragon>Rune (or infinity if mage defense is an issue)
Ring: Berserker>Warrior>Recoil
Ammo: Best you can afford for the corresponding weapon

Inventory

As extra items I like to bring a spec weapon, a ranging body for magic protection, a bow if you are binded, and a shield for tanking.

Spec weapon:
Defensive: SGS>Enhanced Excalibur>Excalibur
Offensive: Dragon claws>AGS>Korasi>Dragon dagger
Body: Karils>Arma (negative melee bonus)> D hide
Shield: Divine>Elysian>Chaotic shield>Spectral>DFS>Arcane>Blessed>Spirit shield>Rune kite
Bow: Chaotic crossbow>Rune crossbow>Crystal bow>Magic shortbow
Potions: Extreme melee>Super melee>melee potions
Pouch: The best you can use

Gear – Ranged

Castle Wars Range Gear

Castle Wars Range Invent

Gear & Invent – Range

Weapon: Chaotic crossbow>Rune crossbow> Crystal bow>Magic shortbow
Body: Armadyl>Karils>Dragonhide
Legs: Armadyl>Karils>Dragonhide
Shield: Divine>Elysian>Chaotic shield>Spectral>DFS>Arcane>Blessed>Spirit shield>Rune kite
Amulet: Fury>Glory>Power
Gloves: Best RFD gloves>Dragonhide vambraces
Boots: Ranger boots>Snakeskin
Ring: Archer>Recoil
Ammo: Best you can afford for the corresponding weapon

Inventory

In the inventory I like to bring some melee platelegs in case I am outnumbered by attackers, and I need to boost my defence, and I bring a spec weapon, potions and a familiar. You can also bring a few enchanted bolts to in your inventory to unleash devastating special attacks. If you bring a spec weapon with different ammo you will also need that type of ammo in your inventory.

Spec weapon:
Defence: SGS>Enhanced Excalibur>Excalibur
Offensive: Dark Bow>Magic shortbow
Platelegs: Barrows>Bandos>Dragon>Rune
Potions: Extreme ranged, defence>Super ranged, defence> Ranged, defence
Pouch: The best you can use

Gear – Magic

Castle Wars Mage Gear

Castle Wars Mage Invent

Gear & Invent – Mage

Weapon: Chaotic staff>Staff of light>Ancient staff (wands are good too but provide no damage boost)
Body: Ahrims>Battle robes (no set effect)>Infinity>Mystic
Legs: Ahrims>Battle robes (no set effect)>Infinity>Mystic
Shield: Divine>Elysian>Farseer shield>Arcane>Spectral>DFS>Blessed>Spirit shield>Rune kite (or zamorak book for magic attack bonus, though you will die more easily)
Amulet: Arcane stream>Fury>Glory>Power
Gloves: Best RFD gloves>Infinity>Mystic
Boots: Infinity>Mystic
Ring: Seers>Recoil
Ammo: Runes for your corresponding spell(s)

Inventory

As a mage I always bring melee armour, because magic robes are so weak. I also bring a melee weapon, because when in melee armour it is very difficult to not splash with magic attacks.
Spec weapon:
Defence: SGS>Enhanced Excalibur>Excalibur (or use staff of light, which is wielded)
Offensive: Melee weapons
Weapon: Chaotic maul/CLS/CR>Godsword>Whip>Korasi>Dragon scimitar
Platebody: Barrows>Bandos>Dragon>Rune
Platelegs: Barrows>Bandos>Dragon>Rune
Potions: Extreme defence>Super defence> defence (+ extreme magic potion if you want to boost damage, or normal magic potion if you want to your boost magic level for a spell)
Pouch: The best you can use (Wolpertinger gives a nice damage boost for magic)

Hybrid tactics

As I stated before, it is foolish to not bring 2 or more types of combat to castle wars, due to enemies using protection prayers and the variety of circumstances you will face. For example, ancient mages with ice spells are highly sought after to freeze opponents, most notably enemies holding a flag. Ancient mages are also capable of producing the best damage per second, however they have the most expensive supply cost. Rangers are very useful for killing mages and flag holders, and warriors are good all round players, their high defence armour gives them good resistance, and their weapons are very powerful against nearby rangers and mages.
Because of the use of all 3 types of combat in castle wars, I always bring 3 types of combat. Here is a typical setup I might use.

Castle Wars Hybrid Gear

Castle Wars Hybrid Invent

Gear & Invent – Hybrid

The equipment used is as stated in each individual class, but beware that you will not have enough space to bring boots/gloves/amulet/rings for each class when you hybrid, so you have to compromise. When using magic, it is best to always use magic boots and gloves, because the other types of boots and gloves have high negative bonuses to magic, whereas magic boots and gloves give no negative bonuses to the other classes. RFD gloves provide high bonuses to all classes, so for hybriding purposes, I strongly recommend them.

Tactics & Gameplay

When you visit Castle Wars, you can enter the waiting lobby by choosing one of 3 portals, the red portal will put you on the zamorak team, the blue portal will put you on the saradomin team, and the green portal will put you on the team with the least players. Personally I would not recommend the green portal, as it increases the chance of you losing the game, so unless rewards aren’t important to you, you should go to the red and blue portals, scout each one for the best players, and join the team with the highest levelled players. This can improve your chances of winning.
When you enter a lobby, you will be presented by a timer which tells you how long you have to wait until the next game. As there are 5 minutes between consecutive games, you will see most of the players run in when the timer reaches 5 minutes. If you wear certain god items, you will be transformed into a type of animal whilst you are in the lobby.

Castle Wars Waiting to Start

Castle Wars – waiting to start

As well as the general multicombat style of fighting in Castle Wars which is found throughout Runescape, there are also specialised tactics which can be used in Castle Wars. When starting the game there are a variety of items you can use to aid your combat. These have unlimited stock, but your inventory is not unlimited, so you have to manage your space. A very common tactic in Castle Wars is to take enough bandages at the beginning of the game to fill your inventory, and then rinse and repeat when you die. At this point I should probably point out that this is a SAFE mini game, and you will re spawn in your base when you die, and you will keep all of your items.

The other equipment available for pickup includes catapult ammo, explosive potions to destroy rocks underground, pickaxes to cause rock falls underground, barricades to stop people from moving in a certain direction (these can be attacked and destroyed), tinderboxes to burn barricades, flares to direct catapult attacks, ropes to climb up the battlements, and repair kits to repair the front gates of the castle. Repair kits are much neglected; I have never seen someone use one.

On the top of the battlements, there are catapults which can be used by anyone, provided that they pick up some catapult ammo from the tables on the ground floor of the base. The catapults are a great way to get your own back on high levels if you are a low level, because any player can use them, and they are extremely powerful, if slightly annoying. The catapult shots can fire anywhere except for the enemies base, and have a very high radius of impact. Because they can’t reach the enemies base, a usual target for shots is the island in the middle, so you should be careful when you are on the middle island.

Castle Wars Catapult

Castle Wars Catapult

The battlements are a good place for rangers and mages to attack other players invading their base, as it offers protection from warriors, and almost all castle wars players are warriors.

Castle Wars Battlements

Castle Wars Battlements

In Castle Wars there are 3 basic player types, those that defend their castle, those that attack the other castle, and those that run to the middle and attack other players (most players do this). As a defender, it is your job to stop all enemy players from taking the flag. The best strategy for this is to place barricades along the top floors to slow enemies. It is also very helpful to have an ancient mage to freeze enemies going for the flag. You should fill your inventory with barricades to replace those that get destroyed when you are defending.

When attacking, the most important thing to remember is defence. You will need substantial magic defence to stop yourself being frozen, but you will also need good melee defence or you will be killed in seconds. A typical tactic employed by players is to equip mage defence gear, eg armadyl, karils, dragonhide, and use protect from melee with a defence potion to block melee attacks. A few useful tips for improving magic defence are:

1.Equip a staff, all staves have good magic defence
2.If you can afford it, use a spectral spirit shield, this gives the best magic defence bonus, with a great melee defence bonus too.
3.Invest in an amulet of fury; it gives great all round defence bonuses.

I would not recommend trying to capture the flag with 70 or lower defence, such an attempt is very unlikely to bear fruit. On reaching the enemy based, a very common situation is to be faced with a large number of barricades, and to die trying to clear your path. Because of this, you should plan an assault with other players so that the damage is spread between all of the attacking players, and so that the barricades can be cleared more effectively.

Castle Wars Barricades

Castle Wars Barricades

If you plan on playing as a ‘run to the middle’ player like most players (and me), then there are still tactics to apply to certain situations. If you meet a magic user, a great way to annoy them is to use the special attack of the seercull bow, which reduces their magic level by 1/10 of the damage you hit. This is especially effective against ice barrage users, who will be unable to use ice barrage if you hit above 55, and because they are unlikely to be carrying chaos runes, they will be unable to use ice burst instead.

If you want to try a more efficient way of killing, you could try to assemble all of your team players in a clan chat (or better, bring your clan!), and give them directions. Piling enemies will see them die much faster, and result in less opponents attacking you at a time.

When you see an enemy running with a flag, a useful tactic is to attack them with the dragon spear/zamorakian spear special attack to stun them for a couple of seconds. This can be very valuable when they are in high magic defence gear and they are not being frozen.

Sometimes when an enemy flag runner holding your flag dies, one of your team members might manage to take the flag, and another tactic known as flag holding comes in play. If your team holds your flag, then in order for your opponents to score, they will have to kill that team member and take the flag off them.

Various tactics can be utilised to ensure this doesn’t happen, if your team is in the lead, then your team should guard the flag holder, and set up barricades around them. It is beneficial for the flag holder to have use magic attacks, because when holding the flag you can only attack with the flag, which is very weak, or use magic. With enough ancient mages, barricades, and attackers, you can guarantee your team a victory by flag holding.

Rewards

Castle Wars Rewards Shop - Decorative Armour

Castle Wars Rewards Shop - Consumables

Castle Wars Rewards Shop - Miscellaneous

Castle Wars Rewards Shop

Various rewards can be bought with the use of Castle Wars tickets, which are gained by winning or drawing a game, 2 tickets for a win and 1 ticket for a draw. The most obvious choice is the Castle Wars armour, which can be mounted in the skills hall of a POH, or worn in Castle Wars to great effect. The lowest levelled armour gives a 10% damage boost inside Castle Wars, this increases by 5% per set, but the armour sets only have a defence bonus comparable to steel, mithril, adamant, and rune respectively. You only need to wear the body, platelegs and shield to gain the set effect.

You can buy parts of a ballista with tickets, but in my experience the catapult is far more powerful than the ballista, so it’s somewhat a waste of tickets. You can buy potion sets for tickets, but these potions can only be used inside a game of Castle Wars, so they are useful if you have a low number of tickets floating around and nothing else to buy. I wouldn’t buy them unless you have serious money making problems, because much more money can be made by money making, buying potions, and then playing Castle Wars.

You can also buy decorative capes and hoods to show off your Castle Wars achievements, or you can buy the new halos or faithful shield. The halos each reduce the drain rate of certain prayers. Guthix reduces the rate of attack prayers, Saradomin reduces the rate of defence prayers, and Zamorak reduces the rate of strength prayers. I personally can’t find much use for these, because they don’t work for protection prayers, and in most situations I would prefer a helmet with strength or defence bonus. I currently own the faithful shield, which gives a nice +6 prayer bonus with stats comparable to a rune kite, and looks very nice, sporting the new particle effects recently added to Runescape.

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