Tribes: Ascend strategy — flag chasing

A pathfinder with recharge pack chasing a flag carrier


In most games flag chas­ing is easy, you just run after the guy with the flag, maybe try to flank him if you can, it’s a bit dif­fer­ent when the per­son who just grabbed your flag is trav­el­ing 200 kph, and almost out of sight already by the time you’re ready to start chas­ing.  This guide is to help you catch up to him, and hope­fully put a spin­fu­sor disc in his back­side.  Chas­ing is a full-​​time job, so you’re going to want to stay near your team’s flag stand, maybe take pot­shots at any­one close enough, but they’re not really the ones you should worry about, the one to look out for is the one you don’t see yet, pick­ing up speed off in the dis­tance, set­ting up his run, get­ting ready to whiz by you so fast you barely even see him, hope­fully the flag defend­ers can stop him, but if they can’t, that’s where you come in.

This guide has four sec­tions, I’ll be cov­er­ing pathfind­ers with recharge pack, and with thrust pack, but also sol­diers, and jug­ger­nauts.  Keep in mind, the heav­ier your armor the harder it will be to pick up speed, but you’ll also have weapons with stop­ping power.  So once you’ve cho­sen your class, you’ll want to get ready by climb­ing to the top of a hill near your flag, prefer­ably with a view to a few dif­fer­ent routes, because you never know what direc­tion a flag cap­per might be trav­el­ing. The most dan­ger­ous ones will take their time to setup their run, and come from behind your base, so that they’re already pointed towards their own.  At any rate, the goal here is to have a hill steep enough to gain some speed, prefer­ably with a grad­ual return to the hor­i­zon­tal at the end, since that will trans­fer your falling speed into for­ward momen­tum.  Don’t worry too much about your total momen­tum (dis­played when you hold down the ski­ing but­ton), really you need to be wor­ried about FORWARD momen­tum, that’s what’s going to catch this guy, espe­cially if he tries to gain speed by pop­ping into the air and falling onto a slope (fairly typ­i­cal strat­egy, but it slows him down while he trans­fers his momen­tum to the vertical).


Pathfind­ers (recharge pack)

The thrust pack is really rec­om­mended for chas­ing, but since you don’t start with that, you may not have it yet, but don’t worry, it’s still quite pos­si­ble to catch up, as with every strat­egy here, you’ll start by ski­ing down the slope you’ve cho­sen, don’t point straight at the guy with the flag unless he’s mak­ing a bee-​​line for his base, most cap­pers make a pretty wide swing around the map because the out­skirts are typ­i­cally less pop­u­lated, and allow for faster move­ment.  You’re going to want to be on an inter­cept course, that way you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to be trav­el­ing faster than him to catch him.  Pathfinder also comes with some very use­ful grenades that can speed you up con­sid­er­ably in a very short amount of time, just toss one at the ground right behind you while ski­ing, and hit the jump/​jetpack but­ton for a split sec­ond so you’re in the air when it goes off, this will typ­i­cally net you around a 30 kph boost at the cost of some of your health, if you only have one, save it for when you meet the flag capper.

Pathfind­ers (thrust pack)

A pathfinder with thrust pack chasing a flag carrier

This is the one excep­tion to the start­ing on a hill rule, it might actu­ally be eas­ier to start near, or on the flag, you can get a first shot in on the cap­per when he grabs it, maybe even slow him down by land­ing an explo­sive in front of him, then jet a bit to pick up some speed, and acti­vate your thrust pack to start your inter­cept course, this can get you in the area of 160 kph right off the bat, no hill required, although a hill is still handy to get just a bit faster.  As before, if you don’t think you’ll catch him in time you still have your grenades, but this time you have the option of keep­ing them all for try­ing to knock the flag out of his hands.  The thrust pack is also handy because it can be used to change your direc­tion very quickly, say if you mis-​​judge your inter­cept course and end up cross­ing his path in a per­pen­dic­u­lar fash­ion (cre­at­ing a very nar­row win­dow of time to get the flag from him), just hit the ground, stop ski­ing, and as before jet a bit and hit your pack, you should be able to make a full turn around in just a cou­ple sec­onds like that.  Very handy.

Pathfind­ers (either pack)

So now you’ve caught up to him, now what?  Some­times the eas­i­est thing to do is to hit him with one of your grenades (assum­ing you’re using the default pathfinder grenades), these grenades will knock the flag out of his hands, and if you do it JUST right, you can actu­ally catch it before it even hits the ground, but let’s say you miss, now he’s about to pick it up again, shoot the flag with your spin­fu­sor, this will both dam­age him, AND knock the flag away, giv­ing you a few more sec­onds to try to return it.  (some­thing like this applies to all of the classes, any explo­sive will do this.)

Sol­diers and Juggernauts

A juggernaut chasing a flag carrier

I decided to lump sol­diers and jug­ger­nauts together because the strate­gies are very sim­i­lar, in both you’ll be using an explo­sive weapon to boost your speed at the expense of health, and both will need to kill the flag car­rier at the end.  The Jug­ger­naut has a lot more health to spare, but the sol­dier has con­sid­er­ably more energy, and an eas­ier time pick­ing up speed.  At any rate, you ski down your hill that you picked in the begin­ning, if you’re a sol­dier, try to pick a path with some smaller hills you can use to increase your speed (by jet­ting over them and land­ing on the down-​​ward slope), try not to make the rookie mis­take of using an upward slope to get over a hill, this should only be done if you don’t have enough energy or time to jet over it from the base, as it will come at the expense of hor­i­zon­tal speed.  As a jug­ger­naut, you’ll want a path that’s fairly smooth, since you don’t have a lot of energy to spare, but the same tech­nique applies, you can use your spin­fu­sor to gain speed on the flat areas.  The juggernaut’s mor­tar can also be used to take pot-​​shots at the cap­per from long range, for most cap­pers a direct hit would be instant death, but it’s very dif­fi­cult to land.  Once you’re in close you’ll want to use your spin­fu­sor mkd, since it allows more direct combat.

Any class

Tribes Ascend, a recent kill, and a flag about to be returned.

If you don’t have the pathfinder’s grenades, you’ll have to kill him before he reaches his flag stand, you have a cou­ple options here, if you use an explo­sive weapon, you risk pro­pelling him even faster away from you, but if you aim your shot slightly in front of him instead of behind, it can actu­ally slow him down con­sid­er­ably, or even to the sides to blow him off course so he misses his flag stand. Alter­na­tively if you’re close enough you can use a bullet-​​based weapon, this might be able to kill him faster since it doesn’t rely on him being near the ground (unless you have ungodly pro­jec­tile aim and can mid-​​air every time), but you for­feit the abil­ity to alter his course/​speed.

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3 thoughts on “Tribes: Ascend strategy — flag chasing

  1. One thing that I didn’t prop­erly cover in this arti­cle is what to do after the flag is dropped, you don’t always want to return it imme­di­ately, you’ll have to make a judg­ment call on that. The flag stand is a hilar­i­ously easy place to snatch the flag from, so it can buy you some more time if you just let it set where it fell. When an enemy starts approach­ing you can then return it before he has time to get to it.

    Another con­sid­er­a­tion you’ll have to make is how far the flag is from the enemy flag stand. If it’s very close to the enemy base, you’ll want to return it imme­di­ately, pre­vent­ing any unex­pected maneu­vers from mak­ing a quick cap out of your deci­sion to leave the flag on the ground. Tribes play­ers can be tremen­dously com­pet­i­tive, often times if you make the wrong deci­sion, your own team­mates will be furi­ous with you. Just ignore them, and learn from your mistakes.

  2. Tarantulas says:

    Thrust pack, eh? I’ll have to try that for the Pathfinder. Some­times it can be tough try­ing to catch up with a flee­ing cap­per. Thank you for tak­ing the time to write this.

  3. It isn’t a magic bul­let, you’re still likely to need an inter­cept course to catch up, but it does let you take a more active role in the defense with­out com­pro­mis­ing your abil­ity to chase.

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