Capture The Flag Variations for Frag
by DensityDuck! (aka Mike Powers)
In Frag, Capture The Flag can be as much fun as Deathmatch, if not more. But even CTF can be more interesting with a few minor changes to the way the game is played. This article presents some concepts for changing CTF games in Frag, taken from the many interpretations of the game seen in First-Person Shooters; and since you don't need to be a computer programmer to change the way a boardgame plays, you can even try some of these yourself.
These are small modifications that can have an effect on the way the game plays, but don't change the basic rules of the match. These can be applied to any CTF game.
- Wave Spawn. Characters must wait until every third round to respawn, instead of respawning immediately after being fragged.
- Equip on Spawn. On the turn their character spawns, players draw one card from the Weapon deck and immediately put it into play. If they are incapable of using the weapon, it is immediately discarded.
- Auto-Return Flags. If a flag is picked up by a character on its team, it is immediately returned to its base rather than being carried back.
- Timer Flags. A dropped flag remains where it is until four rounds have passed, at which time it is returned to its base. The defenders may not pick it up. The attackers may pick it up; if one does, the "timer" is reset.
- Defensive Flags. A flag has a Beam Pistol (2D Energy) with unlimited ammo, which attacks any enemy character that comes within 4 squares using an Accuracy of 2. If the flag is being carried this weapon is inactive.
Variant Game Types
These modifications change the basic nature of the game, though the getting and keeping of flags is still be basic idea.
No-Team Flag (NTF)
Neither team starts with a flag. On the first turn, a flag spawns in a central area between the bases. If a team member carries the flag back to their base, their team scores a point; the flag respawns in the central area. The first team to score four points wins.
- Add multiple flag locations, and have the flag spawn at a random one.
- As above, but have flags at all locations; once a flag has been "captured" it respawns on an empty location.
- As above, but do not respawn captured flags; once all the flags have been captured, the round ends and the side with the most flags scores a point.
- As above, but allow the flags to be "recaptured" from the enemy's base; once one team has all the flags in its base, the round ends and that team scores a point. Flags still are not returned, even if they were taken from one side's base.
Destroy the Flag (DTF)
One team has a base with a flag; the other team must do 10 points of damage to this flag. The flag always rolls as if it had Health 4. Once the flag is destroyed the round ends and the teams swap roles. The team that destroys the flag in fewer rounds wins.
- Use unequal teams; give the defenders fewer characters to represent their advantage (they know the attackers' objective and can set up ambushes.)
- Rather than spawning defenders in random locations, limit them to spawning in the locations closest to the base.
- Make the flag immune to some weapons, or to some types of damage (e.g. no "splash" from shotguns, or half damage from energy weapons.)
Steal the Flag (STF)
One team has several flags in its base; the other team must take them out of the base to any of several "escape areas" (define these locations before the game starts). Once all the flags are in escape areas the round ends and the teams switch; the team that completes the objective more quickly wins. Flags can be returned in this game mode.
- Three-player STF. Two attacking teams compete for the defender's flags. Escape areas are specific to one of the two attacking teams.
- Allow defenders to destroy (or seal off) the escape areas to prevent attackers from using them; if all the escape areas are sealed the defenders win the round.
No-Base CTF (NBF)
There are two flags, but they spawn on a randomly-determined weapon space rather than in a set location. Either team's players can pick up either flag. If a player is holding their own flag and picks up the enemy's flag as well, his team scores a point, and the flags respawn in random locations. If a capture is not made in eight rounds, the flags will "hop" and respawn again; characters carrying the flag at the time automatically lose it. (This prevents one team from taking an early lead and then simply sitting on one flag for the rest of the game.)
- Multi-Flag NBF. Use three teams and three flags; a player can score by touching any two.
- If a flag takes more than a certain amount of damage (either by splash or by direct attack), it "explodes" and does 4D of damage to characters within 2 spaces, and respawns in a random location.
Article publication date: April 12, 2002
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