Capture the Flag manual
- Capture the Flag
The following is a copy of the online HELP menu. It's included on
this disk for those who wnt to print it.
Beginners should just read this QUICK START section
before playing the game.
Capture the Flag is based on the popular out-door game
by the same name. The goal of the game is to find and
grab the other side's flag before they grab yours.
It is played on a large field divided into two equal zones,
one for each side. The zones contain a variety of terrains
that impact the visibility and movement of the team
members. At the start of each game your opponent's zone
is black, concealing his terrain, players, and flag. The
details are revealed as your team explores his zone.
Capture the Flag is a "turn based" game. During each
turn you can move some or all of your team up to their
movement point allowances. Unused movement points are
not carried over to the next turn. You can end your turn
whenever you want by pressing the END TURN button.
Then your opponent begins his turn and moves his players.
When he is done, it becomes your turn again.
A good starting strategy is to keep 50% of your (blue)
team on your side to defend your flag. Send the rest to
explore your opponent's (red) side to find and grab his flag.
To find your opponent's flag, explore his side of the
field. When black squares are uncovered they will reveal
the terrain and whether or not the flag is there. To capture
your opponent's flag, move your person onto it's square.
Defend your flag by trying to find and capture your
opponent's persons that are on your side of the field before
they find and grab your flag. To make a capture attempt,
move your person onto the opponent's person. You can
capture your opponent only on your side of the field.
You have now finished Quick Start. We recommend
that you either start playing now (help screens will popup
during the game) or watch the demo (very helpful to learn
the game fast). We recommend that you read the rest of
the instructions AFTER you have played for awhile.
During each turn you may move as many of your people
as you desire. At the beginning of each turn each member
of your team is allocated their MOVEMENT POINTS. It
costs one movement point each time you change your
player's STANCE. Whenever you move a player, you use
up movement points. The movement cost per unit move
varies with the STANCE and the character of the local
THE FOUR STANCES
A person can either be standing, crawling, walking, or
running. Each STANCE effects how far a person can move
in one turn (the movement point cost per square), how well
they can see, and how well they can be seen. Here is how
the four STANCES rank by three categories.
Stand Crawl Walk Run
How far they can move -- 3rd 2nd 1st
How far they can see 1st 4th 2nd 3rd
How well they can hide 2nd 1st 3rd 4th
RIGHT BUTTON (anytime)
Pressing the right button once will bring up the GLOBAL
MAP that represents the whole playing field. Moving the
mouse causes the SELECTION FRAME to move, and
pressing the right mouse button again will cause that
portion of the map covered by the rectangle box to be
displayed in the PLAYING AREA, and the GLOBAL MAP to
be removed. THIS IS THE MOST CONVENIENT WAY TO
LEFT BUTTON: ON THE PLAYING AREA
SELECTING A PERSON: Place the cursor over a person
and click it, and a white square will appear around the
person signifying this person is SELECTED.
MOVING A PERSON: Place the cursor at the desired
destination and hold down the left button until the selected
person arrives (or depletes movement points). The person
and the desired destination have to both be on the
SELECTING STANCE: Press the left mouse button
when the cursor is on the selected person and the STANCE
bar will appear. Then press the desired STANCE icon.
LEFT BUTTON: ON CONTROL PANEL
SELECTING A PERSON: Place cursor over the person
you want to become the SELECTED person. Then press
left mouse button.
SELECTING STANCE: Place cursor over desired
STANCE icon and press left mouse button.
LEFT BUTTON: ON GLOBAL MAP
DISPLAYING STATUS: Toggles displaying the
remaining movement points with each person's first letter.
A background of grey signifies that person has no more
movement points. Every other time this information is
displayed, the display order is reversed so that those that
are covered up are visible. This is a quick way to check on
the status of your team members and plan your tactics.
There are two ways of two people playing each other.
LOCAL - SAME COMPUTER
The first way is for them to share the same computer.
While one is moving his team the other person is in another
room. When the first person is done, he ends his turn and
then trades places with the other person.
MODEM/NETWORK - DIFFERENT COMPUTERS
The first player starts playing the game as the BLUE
team. At the end of his turn the game will be saved in a
special format. The first player then sends this little saved
game file to his opponent. The four most common ways
1) Call up the person with your modem and upload the
2) Call up a BBS (computer bulletin board) and upload
the saved game to it. On most BBS's you can
send an E-MAIL message to your opponent and
include (attach) the saved game as a binary file.
That way when he reads your message he gets your
3) If you are both on the same network, send him a
E-MAIL message with the saved game included as a
4) Give or mail, a disk, with your saved game to your
HOW TO START A MODEM GAME
To start a modem game, you select NEW GAME from
the FILE menu. At the first popup choose HUMAN VS
HUMAN. At the second popup select MODEM/NETWORK
and then enter your name and password.
Play your turn, and when finished, press the END TURN
button, then enter the filename that you wish to use for
this particular game. Since there will be a number of game
turns occurring, and since both the blue and red players will
be saving files, you might use a logical way of naming the
saved files. The program automatically adds the .md1
(.md2 for commercial version) extension and then stores it
in the directory where you have Capture the Flag. The
player then can quit the game and then send this .md1 file
to his opponent.
When the red player receives the file, he places it into
the FLAG directory, and then starts CTF. He then chooses
LOAD PBEM GAME from the FILE menu and begins his
turn. When he has finished his turn, he presses the END
TURN button, names his file, quits the game, and then
sends his turn file to the blue player.
ADVANTAGES OF PBEM
Capture the Flag is a "turn based" game. One person
moves and then the second person moves. For "turn
based" games PBEM (Play by E-MAIL) has two main
advantages over the direct connect modem method.
First, you can make your move whenever you want.
You don't have to wait until your opponent can play. For
example, one person could move and upload his saved
game to a BBS by 7 PM. His opponent, at his leisure, could
download it at any time and upload it by midnight. That
way you can complete one turn per day without the hassle
of trying to match up your free time with his.
Second, it frees up your phone. Instead of tieing up
your phone for the duration of the game you use your
phone only to send and receive the saved games. By
keeping your phone bills to a minimum you can now play
your friends who live far away.
I enjoy playing several games at the same time with a
friend. This reduces the time I spend on the modem. After
making my move in each game I then zip them together in
one file (using a data compression program like PKZIP) and
then send the single file to my friend.
Since INTERNET runs on UNIX you MAY need to
"uuencoded" and "uudecoded" to successfully transfer files
across the Internet. Look at the INTERNET.TXT file on how
to do this.
(Needed only if you don't have a mouse)
KEYBOARD NORMAL MODE
RETURN: Toggles the GLOBAL MAP on and off. This is
the EASIEST way to move around the screen.
ARROW KEYS: Moves selected person in chosen direction
Home,PgUp,End,PgDn keys: Moves selected person
CTRL ARROW KEYS: Moves screen 8 squares in the
ALT KEY: First step in pulling down menus (2nd step is to
press the first letter of the desired menu)
1: Change selected person to the walking position
2: Change selected person to the crawling position
3: Change selected person to the standing position
4: Change selected person to the running position
9: Increase movement points to 99 (commercial games only)
C: Center PLAYING AREA on selected person
E: End current turn
G: Toggle grid on/off
I: Gives name of person (either side) under mouse cursor
L: Select person by typing the first letter of name
N: Select next person
O: Option popup menu
P: Select previous person
S: Save game
V: Turn Vision mode on
KEYBOARD GLOBAL MAP MODE
ARROW KEYS: Moves SELECTION FRAME in that direction
CTRL ARROW KEYS: Moves SELECTION FRAME 8 squares
in that direction
RETURN: Toggles the GLOBAL MAP on and off.
SPACE BAR: Toggles display info of your team.
When the GLOBAL MAP is closed, the PLAYING AREA
will be at the SELECTION FRAME location.
The large playing field is represented by two maps and
the full detail PLAYING AREA. The LOCAL MAP is always
shown in the top right corner of the screen, and the
GLOBAL MAP appears in a superimposed window
whenever you push the right mouse button. The LOCAL
MAP (71 x 71 squares) is a portion of the GLOBAL MAP
(200 x 100 squares) centered on the selected person
(white dot in middle).
The GLOBAL MAP represents the complete playing
field. The blue on the edges represents the out of bounds
area. The yellow dots represent the visible flags. The
white dot represents your selected person. The blue and
red dots represent visible blue and red team people.
The blue and red hollow squares represent question
marks. Question marks are placed in the last square you
saw an opponent during either their last turn or your
The GLOBAL MAP SELECTION FRAME is 20 squares
wide (horizontal) and 19 squares tall (vertical), and is used
to select the portion of the GLOBAL MAP to be shown in
the PLAYING AREA.
When you play against the computer, you are playing
against an artificial intelligence program (it took months to
develop) that plays the game under the same ground rules
as you do. It cannot see your people or flag unless it
searches just like you have to do. It has no access to any
data that you don't have, and it DOES NOT CHEAT. In
normal difficulty mode, you face 8 people with the identical
attributes of your 8. In easy mode you face 6 people with
the same identical attributes of the first 6 people on your
side. The computer's names are randomized each game.
The members of the opposition team are normally not
visible to you, and are only displayed when they are seen
by one or more of your players. Your players may observe
them during your turn (when they are not moving), or
during your opponent's turn (when you are not moving).
After your opponent moves, the game enters the
PLAYBACK mode. PLAYBACK mode is like playing a VCR
tape of all the moves your opponent made during his last
turn that were visible to one or more of your people. If the
playback shows only a few or no moves, it either means
your opponent didn't move much or that his moves were
out of your sight. If a person seems to skip a square, that
means you were able to see him in the previous and current
square, but not in the square that he seemed to skip.
THE FOUR ATTRIBUTES
Each person has four ATTRIBUTES. The attribute levels
for each person is shown by the four color bar graphs on
the right hand side of the screen. A tall bar is an excellent
rating, a medium height bar is an average rating, and a
short bar is a poor rating. The four attributes determine
how skilled a person is at:
AGILITY: Determines how well the person is at
capturing and escaping capture. First bar
(color is red).
MOVEMENT: How far a person can move in one turn.
Second bar (color is yellow).
STEALTH: How well the person is at being hard to
see. Third bar (color is dark brown).
VISION: How well the person is at being able to see
others. Fourth bar (color is tan)
Question marks are place holders. They mark the
last square where you saw an opponent. They come either
from playback mode or from your current turn. A question
mark from playback most likely means your opponent isn't
there now. It's just where you lost track of him. A
question mark that appeared during your turn means there
IS an opponent in the square but you can no longer see him
because you moved away or changed to a STANCE with a
poorer vision capability.
The shareware version of Capture the Flag has no
prison. The person who is captured is sent back to his own
side. During the few turns it takes for him to reach his side
he is temporarily removed from the game (he is shown
behind bars on the CONTROL PANEL). The number of turns
he is out of the game is computed by how long it would
take for him to run back to his side.
The control panel is the right most quarter of the
screen. It is comprised of the following four sections.
In the top right corner is the LOCAL MAP. It is centered
around your selected player. It displays a large portion (71
x 71 squares) of the GLOBAL MAP.
SELECTED PERSON SECTION
Right below the LOCAL MAP. Only one person at a
time can be selected, and all the information about the
selected person is shown in this section. It shows the
name of the person, their current stance, amount of
movement points left for this turn, and a bar chart showing
their four attribute ratings (A = Agility, M = Movement
points, S = Stealth, V = Vision). For each attribute they
can either be excellent, average, or poor.
To the right of the bar chart is eight numbers
surrounding the square that shows what terrain the
selected person is on. These eight numbers show the cost,
in movement points, to move in the eight possible
directions in the current STANCE (crawling, walking, or
ICON MOVEMENT BAR
Right below the Selected Person section. Press the
desired icon to choose the STANCE for the selected person.
(Note: most of the time it'll be quicker just to press the left
button when the mouse cursor is on top of the selected
person on the PLAYING AREA.) This will bring up a special
STANCE icon selection popup.
Right below the Icon Bar. All members of your team is
shown here. Their icon depicts the player's STANCE, and
the small bar charts displays their four attribute ratings.
The number below displays how many movement points
they have left for this turn.
You can select any person by clicking the left mouse
button on them.
Watching the demo to learn strategy and tactics is one
of the quickest ways to improve your score.
It is crucial to take into account each person's strengths
and weaknesses because there is such a GREAT difference
between an excellent rating and a poor rating.
You must prevent your opponent from moving his
people within one turn's movement of your flag. If Aaron,
for example, gets 30 movement points a turn and starts out
his turn within 30 movement points of your flag, then you'll
lose. That's because he'll be able to bypass all your people
and grab your flag before you can do anything about it.
Therefore, you must make sure that you capture Aaron
during your turn before he gets to make his winning move.
In other words, you have to prevent your opponent from
starting his turn within 30 movement points of your flag (if
the terrain is clear, that means 30 squares). One helpful
fact is that each unsuccessful capture attempt reduces your
opponent's next turn movement points by 10% to 25%.
Use the vision mode (v key) to learn how far people (in
different stances and terrain) can see and be seen.
Moving diagonally takes less movement points than first
moving horizontally and then vertically.
In most cases it's best to end a person's movement
standing up. That way he has the best view during the
other side's movement. Also, he is somewhat harder to
Using the 'I' key will help you keep track of your
opponent's movement by allowing you to identify who is
Read the entire help section, especially studying detail
The purpose of vision mode is to allow you an
opportunity to see how far away you can see your
opponent's men. This is especially helpful in deciding
where to place your defensive men.
For example, if you want to make sure no opponent's
men who are running can slip by a defensive line then
select the stance of running and stealth ability of excellent.
Vision mode will then show you the field of sight for all of
your team. This shows you how far you can see your
opponent's men who are running and have excellent
stealth. You can then try positioning your men to close the
gaps and then use vision mode again to make sure there
are no gaps.
Hint, after moving make sure all your men are standing.
This gives them the best vision. To add uncertainty, vision
mode is slightly optimistic on who can be seen at the max
Capture the Flag uses realistic line of sight rules. Black
(undiscovered) squares change to colored terrain squares as
you move or change to a movement position with a better
Even though you can see what terrain is in a square,
that doesn't mean you are close enough to see if an
opposing player is located there. The ability to see your
opponent's people is determined by six factors:
1) Distance from your person to his person
2) Vision level of your person
3) Stealth level of your opponent's person
4) STANCE of your person
5) STANCE position of your opponent's person
6) Amount of medium & heavy terrain in the line of
The terrain in the square the person occupies does not
affect how he can see, but it does affect how he can be
seen. The following table illustrates how far (in squares) a
standing person of average vision ability can see an
opponent of average stealth ability:
Opponent's stance position
Standing Crawling Walking Running
18 9 21 35
Multiply the above figures by 70%, 40%, or 30% to
obtain the numbers on how far you can see your opponents
when your person is in the walking, running, and crawling
positions. This assumes there is no terrain between the
two people. Otherwise reduce the distances by 7 (except
for cabbages and rough dirt) for each medium terrain in the
way and by 12 for each heavy terrain (except for streams
and canals) in the way.
An average rating is twice as good/powerful as a
poor rating. An excellent rating is three times as good as
a poor rating. For example, an excellent stealth person
would be three times more difficult to see than a poor
stealth person. The only exception is that the maximum
vision distance is 35.
The initial probability is determined by the movement
points remaining for the person who is trying to make the
Points 1-3 4-6 7-9 10-12 13-15 16-18 19-21 22-24 25+
Probability 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%
The agility probability is added to movement
probability and then the result is divided by 2. The agility
probability is 25% if the defender is two agility levels
better, 33% if defender is one agility level better, 50% if
defender has same agility level, 66% if defender is one
agility level below, and 75% if defender is two agility levels
below. For example, if attacker has 10 movement points
left and has excellent agility and the defender has average
agility then the odds would be (40 + 66) / 2 = 53%.
Finally, the probability is increased by 40% for each
capture attempt already made this turn on the same person.
Movement points used to move into a square in the
Crawling Walking Running
Light terrain 3 2 1
Medium terrain 6 4 2
Heavy terrain 9 6 3
1) 20 points for each clear square on opponent's side, ie.,
each square you uncovered.
2) Add 20 points for each black square on your side, ie.,
each square you prevent your opponent from uncovering.
3) Add 400,000 if you found your opponent's flag.
4) Add 400,000 if your opponent did not find your flag.
5) If you won:
a) add 200,000 points.
b) If it took less than 40 turns, then add
(40 - number of turns) * 10,000 points
6) Reduce score by 40% if easy mode is used.
COMMERCIAL GAME OPTIONS
At the beginning of each turn, your opponent's side
becomes solid black except for what you can currently see.
Therefore you will need to remember the areas that your
team has already explored.
Vision is 40%, 60%, or 80% of normal.
Only 20% of normal vision! Takes forever to explore.
MAKE OPPONENT'S FLAG VISIBLE
The opponent's flag will show up on the global and
local maps, so you do not have to search for it.
MAKE OPPONENT'S PEOPLE VISIBLE
The opponent's people will show up on the global and
When a person is caught they go to their opponent's
prison, with a delay corresponding to the time it would
normally take to travel there. They can only return to their
side after they have been rescued, which is done whenever
one of their team mates successfully dashes into the prison
and stops on top of any prisoner. At this point, all of the
prisoners (and the person who rescued them) are returned
back to their side, delayed by as many turns as it takes to
Prisons are represented as yellow rectangles on the
GLOBAL MAP. You can always see your own prison. You
can see your opponent's prison when the first person from
your side arrives as a prisoner.
Also, you'll be able to see your captured people in your
opponent's prison if they are not on black squares.
When a person is caught, they are returned to their own
side after a delay corresponding to the number of turns it
takes for them to run back (same as shareware version).
MULTIPLE FLAG CAPTURES
How many times a team's flag must be captured before
By pressing the 9 key, the current selected person will
be given 99 movement points. This can be done as often
as one wishes, even after a failed captured attempt. This
is very useful for experimenting!
Each side can modify their probability of a successful
capture from 20% to 200%. They can also modify the
amount of movement points they receive each turn from
20% to 200%.
Permits one to select, load, and commence playing on
any of the 30 maps provided in the directory (or any maps
that you create using the great MAPBUILDER program
provided with this commercial version!)
Select one of the eight computer opponents
provided. Each one has a different playing strategy.
Allows one to place their own flag and people.
However, only in this mode, the flag not permitted to be
placed near (a 20 by 20 square) to the corners. When the
computer places the flag, (automatic placement) there is a
small chance it will place it in a corner.
This permits you to select any of the 50 different
scenarios provided. Each scenario varies the number of
people on each team and their skill levels. The averages
shown are the averages for the whole team and are based
on 100% for excellent, 70% for average, and 40% for