Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag is a gametype in Tribes Ascend in which players are divided into teams and try to retrieve the flag from the opposing team. The team that captures a flag from the opposing team and returns it to their own base earns a point. The first team to earn five points wins
Capture the Flag (CTF) is often considered the quintessential Tribes game mode: it involves breathtaking speed, incredible accuracy and surprising mobility. There are many roles to fulfill, and - in true Tribes fashion - most classes can serve in multiple capacities. The aim of CTF is to capture the opposing team's flag and then return it to your base's flag stand. Your flag must be at its stand for you to be able to capture the enemy flag. Each capture is worth 1 point and the first team to capture the flag 5 times wins the match. Teams can also win by being up by at least 1 capture at the end of 25 minutes or be tied with their flag at its stand during overtime. A stalemate (or draw) can occur if both teams are in possession of each other's flag at the end of overtime.
Exclusive to the Capture the Flag game mode, each base contains a Generator, 2 or 3 Base Turrets and Radar which can be destroyed by the other team. If the Generator is destroyed, all Base Turrets, the Radar, Inventory Stations, Vehicle Pad and Player deployables will be disabled until the generator is repaired. Repair tools can be found inside each of the bases which any weapon can be swapped out for. The Generator has an automated repair timer in which it will come back online after a certain amount of time which reduces when the Generator is upgraded. The Base Turrets and Radar do not have this ability but can still be upgraded.
Strategy in a CTF scenario has two basic components: Base Defense and Flag Capturing (aka capping).
Base Defense focuses on preventing enemies from taking your flag and hunting them down if they do. Heavier classes should attempt to kill or severely damage any enemy that approaches the base, while lighter classes should be prepared to quickly build up speed and pursue the enemy flag carrier. The enemy’s flag can only be captured if your flag is on its stand, so proper defense is paramount.
An offshoot of Base Defense is Generator Defense. A base’s most valuable assets are its turrets; upgraded turrets can one-shot-kill light classes with uncanny accuracy. Defensive players should always monitor their generator, as the turrets will stop working if the generator is destroyed, along with the radar sensors, the vehicle pad, and deployables. However, it is not wise to dedicate too many players to generator defense, as these players can usually be put to better use defending the flag or on offense.
Flag Capturing has three basic stages: elimination of defenses, flag-grabbing, and flag returning.
1. Elimination of Defenses: well-placed mines, force-fields, and turrets can instantaneously destroy potential cappers. Damage-focused classes should attempt to either destroy the enemy defenses individually or shut down the enemy generator.
2. Flag Grabbing: Once the defenses are down, the stage is set for lighter classes (typically Pathfinders) to make an attempt at capping. Potential cappers should build up high speeds before grabbing the flag, and should plan their routes to avoid obstacles. Players who are not actively trying to cap should engage enemy defenders to distract them from cappers.
3. Flag Returning: Once a capper has the flag (and the upbeat track starts to play), it must be returned to the flag stand. Enemies are bound to follow, so potential cappers are advised to take the swiftest route to their base. If possible, the capper should have an escort to kill pursuers and grab the flag should it be dropped. If your flag is not at its, stand a capper must avoid death for as long as possible until his teammates retrieve the flag. If low on health, a capper can and should pass a flag to a teammate by dropping it (default Z-key).
The Pathfinder's main role in CTF is to capture the enemy's flag by building up as much speed as possible to make runs at the enemy's flag stand or to chase down the opposition's flag carrier. The Pathfinder can also use the Impact Nitron grenade to help gain speed as well as knocking the flag out of the enemy flag carrier's hand.
The Sentinel class is effective in eliminating flag cappers either before or after they grab the flag, especially as they are likely to follow known routes to capture. Lowering mouse sensitivity is said to improve accuracy with the scoped weapon for some.
Infiltrators can use a number of tactics to aid their team. Disrupting base defences, useful with sticky grenades, is a possibility, and if nothing else, keeping enemies wrapped up in gen-wars distracts them from their flag. Hiding by the enemy base for an e-grab is a sly tactic but one which can prove useful. Some are also fond of stalking Sentinels for backstab-related glory.
A soldier's primary concern should be in base and flag defense. If a Juggernaut moves into position an starts shelling the flag stand, the soldier should move to take them out. They should also try to keep an eye out for incoming cappers and offence and try to kill or stop them. Raiders, brutes and infiltrators will constantly be streaming in, trying to clear your flag stand, base assets and kill snipers. Make sure to deal with them so your HOF and sniper don't have to. A well timed spinfusor shot or anti personel grenade will take out a capper in a single hit. Try to time them so they hit the flag stand the same time the capper does. If a capper gets the flag and gets away with it, some soldiers will chase, often using discjumps to catch up with the capper. If the flag gets dropped in a good spot that would be hard for a capper to grab at high speeds, sit and guard it. Return it if your capper is about to reach your stand or if an enemy is inbound to make a high speed grab you can't prevent.
Raiders are a mainly offensive class focused on clearing light defenses and flag defenders. Their loadout uses powerful explosives, and their shield pack also makes them incredibly survivable in duels versus any class.
Defense Clearing- Raider ability to clear defenses make them a vital part of flag capturing. Before orbital strikes are available, your grenades are the easiest way to remove mines, turrets and force fields from the enemy flag stand. Many times, sweeping these defenses will also heavily damage the Heavy on Flag, allowing you quickly switch to your SMG and mop them up. EMP grenade are especially deadly since they can virtually paralyze heavy units while decimating base defenses, so be sure to use them often. Try teaming up with a Brute and or Infiltrator you can wreak havoc on an enemy base.
Duelist- Raiders shield pack and high mobility make them deadly in 1-on-1 duel. Heavy units can easily be whittled down with your high rate of fire explosives and the SMG negates the mobility advantage of lighter classes (especially cappers). Medium armor units are likely to pose the most difficult challenge, since your explosives have a limited blast radius and the SMG is too weak to effectively bring down units at full strength. EMP grenade can help versus medium armor units by slowing them down enough for you explosive to be more effective.
Flag Capper- Though not as skilled as Pathfinders, Raiders are still capable cappers. With the whiteout grenade you can easily distract chasers and unlockable grenade launcher, you can essentially nitron yourself and clear base defenses. Once your speed is built up, the shield pack can also help counteract the regeneration disadvantage of flag carrying.
The Technician is a defensive class best suited for keeping base assets running. The Improved Repair Tool significantly reduces repair time on base assets from the repair tool available to all classes. The light turrets are a valuable tool for area control, usually placed to either help defend against flag cappers or defend base assets, especially the generator. Technicians are often picked before entering a vehicle in order to enact field repairs when their vehicles have sustained damage.
The Juggernaut is a versatile class in CTF matches, with a wide range of offensive and defensive roles available. Despite being heavily armored, Juggernaut's lack of mobility and slow rate of fire loadout make it an easy target for many more mobile classes, especially those with access to explosives. This is more evident that in Brutes and Doombringers since Juggernauts role often requires fights in the open over a large area. It's best to practice dueling in combat oriented game modes as an effective Juggernaut is often a main target for the enemy defense. Unlocking the LMG can greatly increase your ability to drive off more agile classes.
Offensively, Juggernauts extreme range and high damage is their biggest asset. A single mortar round can decimate light and medium armor units and clear most base defense, but the round's high visibility, arc, and hang time make scoring direct hits challenging. Newer players are best served by practicing before entering a match as ammunition is limited and poor shots send a red flag about inexperience. Prime targets are the flag stand, sensors, and any area around static defenses as direct hits will damage both the asset and any Technicians attempting repairs. Though each explosive does less damage, the MIRV allows the Juggernaut to hit a larger area and whittle down deployables and idle defenders. Stake out a minimum of 2-3 locations on each map and zero in on various hot spots on the enemy base that allow clearing the flag stand and adding support for direct attackers. Juggernauts can also be effective generator destroyers as 2-3 rounds will usually wipe even an upgraded generator out. Mortars are surprisingly effective indoors due to their large blast radius, but the spinfusors is still a better choice for dueling due to the time delay on mortar rounds. However, indoor combat is weak point for the class and is best left to others when not in dire times.
On defense, juggernauts are best off targeting heavy and medium units in the midfield where you can use your mortar to force movement. You may also want to target enemy snipers as your range makes you one of the few units capable of targeting their positions before they have a chance to relocate. The fusion mortar can also help clear a generator room under assault and deter enemies in choke points. As a Heavy on Flag, well timed spinfusor shot or grenade can kill most cappers in a single shot, but the low rate of fire means you'll need very good aim and timing. A better bet is to leave this job to Doombringers and focus on assisting in duels near your flag stand, where your arsenal can do massive damage to a distracted enemy offense.
The Doombringer is by far the most defense oriented class available in Tribes: Ascend, and can be a valuable asset to any CTF team. Doombringers' primary rolls are flag defense and generator defense, and it's highly advisable to stick to these roles until you are extremely comfortable with the unit. More experienced Doombringers can also be effective at area denial against Sentinels and Juggernauts with the proper loadout, or as support for Juggernauts and Infiltrators in preventing repairs to enemy generators.
This is the most common role for a Doombringer to take on. If you plan to play this role, enter the round quickly, and set a forcefield and mines protecting your flag along a popular capture path. Pathfinders going for an early capture often aren't prepared for this and it's an easy way to rack up credits early on. Once your field is placed, becoming the Heavy on Flag (HoF) is your next move. This forces cappers without the Reach perk to ram you, significantly reducing their speed (as well as damaging them with a maxed out Super Heavy perk) and allowing your chasers a better chance to hunt them down.
As a general tactic, keep a saber launcher ready to pick off any high fliers or vehicles, and when you see an incoming capper, switch to your primary weapon and lay down suppressing fire. The chain gun is more effective in this role, but with good timing and aim, the bolt launcher can also be an effective deterrent.
While it may be tempting to help chase down cappers, your limited energy pool makes this a poor choice. Instead, use your saber launcher to assist in taking them down from afar, or your primary weapon to clear any attackers left near your stand. You can also use this time to restore any forcefields or mines, and replenish your supplies at an inventory station. In many maps, calling in an inventory station near your flag stand is a smart way to save a long run.
As the match wears on, orbital strikes make the HoF tactic harder. Be prepared to clear the flag platform for incoming strikes then quickly restore your forcefield and mines. It's smart to save some credits so you can send your strikes back. You may also want to invest some of your credits in upgrading base turrets and your sensor to assist your technician.
Though not as common as flag defense, generator defense is another role Doombringers can excel at. In close quarters, your low energy pool matters far less in 1-on-1 fights and your high health can be a serious asset. While the chain gun can be effective in this roll, its spin-up time and relatively low damage mean it's better to have your heavy bolt launcher unlocked. Begin by setting up forcefields at either entrance to your generator room. This can give you an audible cue when an Infiltrator is coming in, and help you avoid an embarrassing back stab death. Mine are especially effective in the choke points, so be sure to unlock them and use them liberally. In most maps, generator defense will leave you with plenty of credits, so don't skimp and upgrade your generator as quickly as possible. Also be sure to swap your saber launcher for a repair tool every time you reload and top your generator off after each assault. Be ready to deal with a steady stream of Raiders, Juggernauts and Infiltrators, and make frequent supply runs.