Capture the Bag

A fast paced, high-heart-rate role playing game with dedicated roles for runners and ruckers. 


If future pax are reading through backblasts looking for ideas, I recommend skipping this one. It was a lot of fun to plan, but would have worked better with a smaller field of play or about 20 more PAX. Regular capture the flag might be fun to try. If you need a visual cue to recognize who is one what team, I thought “hats vs heads” worked well.

For natural and healthy reasons, our Mondays are divided between ruckers and runners. But there is much that unites us, not the least of which is sweating with friends before the sun comes up.

A game was designed with the following goals

  1. Ruckers carry heavy things
  2. Runners gonna run
  3. Everyone sweats 

Before the game starts, each pax will choose a running or rucking role, and maintain that role for the entire game. 

Runners will be running throughout the game, unimpeded by weight or pain stations. 

Ruckers will be carrying their rucks and occasionally a sandbag. Runners cannot carry. 

The entire pax will be divided evenly into two teams, with the runners and ruckers split evenly between the teams. 

The AO is divided into two even halves, four bridges divide the territory. Islands belong to the Northern team.

All of our available sandbags will be divided evenly between the two teams, let’s say team had 2×60 pound sandbags. 

At the start of the game, the ruckers on each team will carry their sandbags away from the starting bridge all the way to the other end of the park. If all pax reach the other end, they earn one point (In hindsight, this was probably unneccessary. It did create a more traditional ruck feel, but used up most of the time that could have been spent playing the strategy game).

The ruckers are trying to defend their sandbags by moving them around  constantly or by stashing with partial visibility them within 12 feet of the outer track.  Each sandbag was given a “certificate of visibility,” which had to be visible. (in hindsight, we had more daylight than expected and slightly less visible sandbags would have been fine.)

When ruckers are on their home turf, they will be referred to as “defensive ruckers”.

When a Rucker leaves his home turf and crosses a bridge in search of the other team’s sand bags, he is acting as an offensive Rucker. 

The runners primary job is to gather intelligence for their team. Runners should be able to spot the location of stashed or moving sandbags and report it to their Rucker teammates. Stashed sandbags must always be visible from the outer track. Runners also have the ability to send an offensive pax to jail when he is discovered out of his home territory. Finally, runners can empty their own jail by running past and tagging it. (in hindsight, the runners mostly just ran.)

In order to steal a bag, the offensive team has to challenge the defensive team to an exercise. If there are more than 2 pax involved, the challenges take place man-to-man. If one team is outnumbered, their pax have to compete more than once. For this reason, numbers are an advantage.

In the end, Archive’s team was a strong contender, both in strategy and exercises. Sparrows team (hats), proved a competent defender. Each team stole one bag, defended one bag, and made it across the park, for a tie score of 3:3.

Welcome FNG “Babysitter”
Welcome back Kotter, “Picasso”

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