The purpose of the following guide is to develop an understanding of Penance Runner mechanics, the defender role & how it interacts within the other roles. This guide is aimed at defending in a leeching scenario with the A/C block, although core components within this guide will also be of use in fun runs. The guide is ordered intentionally & while it's recommended that you read it in order - you can skip the advanced sections or sections that you're already comfortable with.
A note on defending in leeches: Defender involves more than just simply killing Penance Runners. For the most part it is a support role heavily focused on not sabotaging the Attacker & helping the Healer as much as possible. You do not need to be able to perform the Attacker & Healer roles, but you are expected to understand how they interact.
The majority of this guide is aimed at beginners & to aid trials but it also contains advanced methodology to help with continued development for ranks. Thus, you do not need to know everything within this guide to trial. See the trial requirements for what you should be focusing on.
If you have any questions regarding anything in this guide then don't hesitate to ask a defender, trial or star rank or alternatively a BA teacher in BA School.
If you have any amendments, new strategies or gameplay examples that you would like to add to this guide please contact "EIIIIII" (6 x i's).
The following requirements must be met to pass a trial:
- Overstock call, drop safety food, cannon delay & mainstack delay on waves 5+.
- Stagger your runner kills.
- Multi-kill runners.
- Lure healers (& split if applicable to the wave).
- Be at logs on time (at 24 seconds) so that you don't lure fighters & rangers from the A/C block.
- Minimise hard crashes & recover runners
- Recover from any mistakes you make in an efficient manner.
Before trialling: We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the basic defender mechanics, the fundamentals section & understand the wave overviews in this guide. Although no-logging & relures aren't a requirement to trial for BA Boosts, they are both extremely useful in leeches & it is something we expect you to learn & apply over time. We recommend that you gain an understanding of these & apply them in your trial if you are comfortable.
A word of advice:
Some people regard defender as one of the easiest roles to learn when first getting into leeching. However, it's one of the hardest & most complex to master.
If you're using this resource to trial for another cc, make sure to read their requirements as they may differ.
I'd also like to acknowledge the following people for their contributions to defender research & development & for indirectly inspiring this guide:
Thank you to:
Thank you to:
Agv, Blue Whales, Dren, Drop Trou, Furret, General428, Henke, Hendi, I am Fixate, Juju, J xx, KuroKama, LHC, Messiah, RushyRulz, Sen Onara, Serpico, Snzx, Spread, Twoless, Whey, Zachulous, Zulc.
The Fundamentals section of this guide is ordered chronologically from Waves 1-10. The order it’s in acts to give you an idea of when you will be performing certain actions & how it all pieces together. However, this order isn’t necessarily the best way to approach learning the defender role when you’re starting out, as learning defender can be quite overwhelming.
Listed below is a general overview of how to incrementally progress when learning the defender role. The order is loosely based of RushyRulz’s Defender Concepts Checklist in order of importance & should help to guide those with limited experience. This order isn’t concrete because everyone learns in different ways. Therefore, if you’re capable of performing actions further down this list then you should continue to implement them.
Learning food placements - Waves 1-10:
The first thing to learn is learning where you should be placing food & how to place it efficiently. This includes learning buffer dropping so that food can be placed without delays, reinforcing good habits early will help you in the long term. When starting out you can also drop a piece of bad food on the logs every time to recover double west runners.
Slow multi-kills Waves 5-10:
Start out by slow multi-killing Runners while you get a feel for the Defender role, this will also give you plenty of time to look over your other notes until you can remember them.
- Runners & logs per wave - Waves 1-10:
Understand how many Runners there are & how many reserves there are on each wave. Once you're comfortable with how many Runners there are in each wave, you can start to passively reduce the amount of logs you use as your skillset improves.
- 1 tick multi-kills (Visual) - Waves 6-9:
A good defender is a master of south, east & west multi-kills. Start learning these until they become second nature.
- Recoveries - Waves 1-10:
Now that you're 1 tick multi-killing you need to know how to recover from any mistakes you make from missed multi-kills & crashed Runners along with being able to recover if you're phased at the trap. You should also learn to recover south Runners, double & triple west Runners.
- Start helping your Healer - Waves 5-10
Once you're comfortable with killing Runners you can start to help your healer more. This involves:
Overstock calling: You should give the first call prior to stocking on requested waves. You should know how to buffer the call menu before the wave ends so it carries onto the next wave, making the OS call easier.
Cannon delays: You should not run into the vision zone of healers until after 12 seconds (when the second healer has spawned) to prevent the second healer from targeting you.
Mainstack Delays: If the third healer is lured to you, you should wait for it to poison you before moving to the logs.
- Staggering - Waves 6-9:
Once you're comfortable with multi-kills you can start to practice staggering your kills. You should start by utilising the 2-x-2 staggers but also learn the alternative staggering patterns depending on the situation. An easy way to accomplish this is to learn when you should be multi-killing each wave. You'll also be able to start implementing basic lures by heading east into the crevice after you have multi-killed Runners.
- Identifying & Preventing crashes - Waves 1-9:
Bump the first Runner if it goes east on Waves 1-4. You can also start identifying when multi-killing with an east runner would result in another runner crashing & instead, delay your multi for the next runner. You can also start to identify & prevent double movement crashes, start out by learning the north food recovery.
- 1 tick multi-kills (timer) - Waves 3-9:
Multi-killing using a timer is a useful tool when a visual cue multi is not possible. It can also be useful for multi-killing bumped Runners & Runners that don't approach from the standard west/south/east directions. They can also be useful for certain Runner permutations & staggers or for blind multi-kill recoveries.
- Understand Healer spawns - Waves 6-10:
Understanding when Healer reserves will spawn will give you a better gauge of luring & how many Healers you'll be luring. This will aid you when you get into wave specific strategies.
- Wave specific strategies - Waves 6-10:
Once you have a full grasp of how the defender role aids the Healer along with being able to efficiently deal with Runners you can start to focus on improving specific wave strategies such as: calling the runner direction on Waves 2 & 3, the Wave 6 split & the Wave 10 Relure method.
- Log timing - Waves 6-10:
This is one of the most important skills to learn for defending in leeches. You must be at the logs at 24 seconds.
- Leech specific strategies - Waves 2-9:
These include learning to no-log, blocking your own west Runners & the log/hammer order.
- Reluring - Waves 7-9:
Learning to relure using the 'blughhhh' or Twoless relure depending on the situation.
- Advanced methods - Waves 2-9:
Expand your arsenal. Recommended advanced strategies: 2-1-x-x Wave 9 stagger & cannon splits.
Early waves: Bumps, blocks & preventing crashes
Defender is usually the last to finish during the early waves. Therefore, your goal is to finish as fast as possible limiting late spawns & crashes. A full overview of what to do is available in wave overviews, the information below will explain these mechanics in depth.
If the first runner is east it will reach the trap food too early, this will cause the second runner to hard crash & due to it being in a bad position when it crashes it will not be able to retarget the trap & instead will return to the mainstack extending the wave & delaying reserve spawns. To prevent this from happening the first runner needs to be bumped for 1 tick if it goes east. This forces the east runner to eat 1 tick later allowing the second runner time to be in a better position where it can retarget the trap food.
Bumping the first east runner
To bump an east runner 1 tick all you need to do is simply stand along its path to the trap. This stops the east runner from being able to move diagonally, adding 1 extra tile & therefore 1 tick to its route. The image below shows the tiles you can use to bump the first runner if it's east.
Blocking the second west runner
If the second Penance Runner on waves 1 & 3 goes west you will need to block it for at least 1 tick. If you don't the runner will move 5 tiles west which is outside of the target range of the trap. This means it will instead target the mainstack & go through an extra runner cycle before targeting the trap. On wave 1 this will result in a 30+ second wave 1 or a late reserve spawn on wave 3. If you're fast enough you should be able to block the runner on tile 1 below but it doesn't matter which tile you use, you can block on any of the 5 tiles west of the Penance Runner spawn outlined below. You are still expected to be able to block the west runner after bumping the east runner: Speed is key on early waves!
Example of both bumping the first runner east & blocking the second west runner:
Although bumping the first east runner is ultimately the defender's responsibility, the healer can also help out by bumping the first east runner for you. If you notice the healer in position to bump the first east runner, then you don't need to.
If both the first & second runner on wave 1 are both east you are required to multi-kill them. If both the third & forth runner on wave 3 are east then they also need multi-killing.
Optional: On Wave 3 if the first & second runner are both east you can call e-e in the clan chat, a good attacker can force at 30 seconds to delay the reserve runner check by 1 tick preventing a late reserve spawn, this is an advanced technique that isn't required by the attacker or defender.
Example of multi-killing the third & forth runners east-east on wave 3:
If the third Runner on wave 3 is east followed by a south runner then you will be unable to bump it to prevent a crash. Instead you can drop a piece of food either south, south-west or west of the trap. South Runners are unable to see south/south-west/west food but east Runners can, therefore the east Runner will target the south/west food whilst the south Runner will target the food north of the trap eliminating crashes.
A good Collector will block your first Runner if it goes west on Waves 2 & 3. If this happens then you should treat it as an east runner. Therefore, as you would with an east runner, you also need to bump the blocked west Runner 1 tile from the south, this can usually be done by standing on the mainstack.
Overstock calling & Cannon Delays
On waves 5-10 most healers prefer to overstock. Overstocking refers to the healer manual stocking extra of the called food, this allows them to force out reserve spawns earlier & minimise the re-poisons required for consistently quicker waves. In order for a healer to be able to overstock effectively they require the defender to call before they reach the dispenser to stock. Overstock calling is required by all defenders on waves 5-10, but may also be done on wave 4 on the healers request.
Because you'll be delaying as defender on waves 5-10 anyway there isn't any reason not to overstock call. The easiest way to overstock call quickly & consistently is to right click your horn before the wave ends. Right clicking your horn allows you to keep the horn interface open to immediately call as the wave begins.
Note: If the attacker spawns close to the trapdoor & is able to quick-start immediately there will be a 1 tick delay on the call appearing, this is the only time late overstock calls are excused.
On waves 5+ you're required to cannon delay. A cannon delay refers to the defender hiding behind the cannon so that they aren't in the target range of the first two Penance Healers. As a defender y ou must delay behind the cannon until the second healer has spawned. Once you have seen the second healer spawn at 12 seconds you can then move out from behind the cannon to place your trap food.
Safety food refers to dropping 1-2 'bad food' south of the stalagmite or the other highlighted tiles south of the cannon. The purpose of safety food is to help with preventing & recovering any Runners that crash south. The highlighted yellow tiles are the most common drop locations for safety food, due to the ability of being able to run directly to the delay location without being within target range of the Healers. Safety food any further west of these tiles will require you to manually run west before running north.
North Trap Food Placement:
North trap food placement involves dropping 4 good food north of the trap.
Note: On earlier waves such as 1 & 2 you can drop less food to suit the number of runners.
The reason we use the north drop placement is because:
You can block runners & fix the trap whilst dropping food from this location.
It's within line of sight for double south runners
Used in combination with Shir's main-stack, west-west, west-south & west-east Runners will automatically multi-kill.
Trail food has a reasonably large area in which it can be placed & as long as it's within the area shown above it will work as intended. The trail food should be placed whilst moving towards the main-stack, you should never have to stop to place trail food.
For the trail you can use either good or bad food, it's more common that bad food is used so that you can use the extra good food for the main-stack, this can be extremely useful in the event you get multiple west runners on later waves or a hard crash that causes a runner to eat the main-stack multiple times.
Good food can be more forgiving for beginners in the event that you place the trail too far east, if you do place the trail any further east than what is shown then the runner will target that instead of the trap food.
The purpose of the trail is to extend the target range of the main-stack for certain permutations. Without a trail certain runners will be out of target range of the main-stack & therefore won't target the trap food.
The main-stack involves dropping 4-5 good food on the tile identified above.
Shir's main-stack is the one pictured above & as previously mentioned, it's advantageous when used with north trap food placement, due to the fact that west-west, west-south & west-east Runners will automatically multi-kill.
The purpose of the main-stack is to help runners target the trap. Without a main-stack the trap is too far away for the majority of runner permutations to ever target the trap food.
Dropping food: Buffer dropping
Example of buffer dropping in slow motion:
1 Tick Multi-kills
1 tick multi-kills are an essential skill that you are required to master before trialling. They occur on tick 4 of the Runner cycle. If a runner eats a piece of food on tick 4, the other runners that have already targeted the food at the trap will be able to simultaneously target the next food in the stack. If those runners are within 4 ticks of the food (which is the time it takes the trap to break) & assuming there is enough food for them to eat (1 food per runner), they will all die simultaneously regardless of if the trap being at (2) or (1). There are 3 common multi-kills south, west & east although you will also need to understand how to multi-kill Runners outside of these permutations, the easiest way is using the Runelite timer or by counting movement ticks which are explained below.
Multi-killing guide - watch with sound
Movement after multi-kills
Something you might notice is that defenders more often than not move to the east of the trap when multi-killing. The reason for this is it allows the defender to block healers from moving south of the trap & helping with healer spread. It also allows you to easily catch healer lures after repairing the trap due to only having to move 1 tile to reach the wall lure location. You should be confident enough in your multi-kills that you shouldn't have to block runners from crashing south. There are some exceptions to moving east after a multi-kill, you can multi-kill by moving north if you're planning to Twoless relure directly after a multi-kill or move south of the trap to prevent a crash from a east runner or after a blurghhhh relure.
Normally we use visual cues to know when to multi. Thats all based on what kind of runners you have (S/W/E are the basics). A blind multi occurs when you dont have those visual cues & thus are 'blind'. You guess when the multi-tick has to occur. It happens for example when you missed a multi & have to recover, but there are no new runner spawns to base the visual cue on, thus you just guess when you need to walk off. These days with Runelite timer that guessing has been reduced as you can now look at the timer to see exactly when the next multi-tick occurs.
Blind multi-kill example:
Slow multi-kills are only used in niche situations in leeches, such as wave 10 or in recoveries. Slow multi-kills occur between ticks 7-10, 1.8-3.6 seconds after the multi-kill tick. Slow multi-kills require the trap to be at (2), as Runners will die in two seperate animations. The first runner will die & the others will soft-crash, but not move because it's performed after the movement tick (tick 6) so you don't need to block them from crashing south. The remaining Runners will simultaneously eat on the multi-tick.
Example of a slow multi-kill on wave 10:
Aside from the visual ques detailed in the 1 tick multi-killing guide above there are other visual queues that we can use to multi-kill.
Multi-killing off a timer
If you're multi-killing off a timer such as the Runelite timer:
1 tick multi-kills occur at 6 second intervals (30/0s, 6s,12s,18s, 24s).
Slow multi kills occur 1.8-3.6 seconds after the multi-kill tick to simplify this you can judge this on the timer at 3 second intervals after the 1 tick multi-kill & have a 2.4 second margin of error (3s, 9s, 15s, 21s & 27s). Unlike 1 tick multi-kills runners will die in 2 seperate animations: 1 will die first, followed by the others a few ticks afterwards.
This is because it takes:
1. 1 tick for your click to register.
2. 1 tick for your player to move off the food. NPCs have PID on players so at the start of this tick you were still blocking the tile when the runners attempted to move to it. Therefore, it remains registered as a solid tile, even though you moved off of it & the Runners cannot move onto the tile you were on until the next tick.
3. The runner then moves onto the tile with the food which takes 1 tick (as they move at a rate of 1 tile per tick).
4. On tick 4 the Runners will eat & multi-kill.
Poison ticks: Healers tick poison at 3 second intervals, with the exception of the first Healer & Healers that have been poisoned late. Therefore, you can use healer poison to judge 1 tick & slow multi-kill timings. This is a 50/50 chance for 1 tick multi-kills & requires good reactions & timing.
NPC Spawns: Unless interupted by the scroller (which is unlikely in leeches), then NPC's will spawn at 6 second intervals, this coincides with the multi-kill tick.
Counting movement ticks: We know from our standard S/W/E multi-kills & looking at the tick cycle that the timing for a multi-kills is 7 ticks after a Runner starts moving, Runners move at 1 tile per tick, therefore we can multi-kill any Runner by counting 7 movement tiles.
Runner wobble: When static Runners wobble back & forwards. Each movement forwards is one tick & each movement backwards is one tick. We can use this in combination with movement ticks to count 7 ticks. A common example is a south crashed Runner 4 tiles south of the trap food, leaving you to count 3 Runner wobbles.
An example of this can be seen at 17:12 of LHC's Advanced Defender Guide here.
Example of Runner wobble:
If you're not using Runelite then you can time your Wave 10 slow multi-kills off the visual ques above the same as any other wave. The most common method is to move when you see the last Runner move 3 tiles.
Alternatively LHC's multi-killing guide includes all 3 of the wave 10 1 tick multi-kills. Because we now use slow multi-kills on wave 10 for the relure method you can count 2-3 seconds after the 1 tick multi-kill timing or 3-6 movement tiles.
LHC's Multi-killing guide - Skip to 3:36 for wave 10.
Credit - LHC's multi-killing guide: LHC, BA United, Pole Met, Commie & TheNamesBurt.
Defending with the A/C block: Mainstack delays & log timing in leeches
The video below explains mainstack delays & log timing. If you prefer to read a text version then this will also be available below. Watch with sound.
One of the biggest things that differentiates defending in leeches versus funs is the importance of log timing.
Log timing is essential in leeches due to only having one Attacker. 6 seconds after a Penance Ranger & Fighter spawn they will randomly target a player within their field of view unless they are attacked first. They will then change aggression at 6 second intervals after this. Our goal as a Defender is to use this to our advantage by being at the logs by 24 seconds when the Fighters & Rangers change their aggression. This is so that the Collector & Attacker can trap anything that targets you as defender & block it from going east, this is known as the Attacker-Collector block or as it's more commonly known, the A/C block.
Note: It doesn't matter which log you are on at 24 seconds as they both line up with the A/C block.
If you’re late to logs you’re not going to be in line with the A/C block, which means you will sabotage the attacker by pulling their stack east. One thing to note is that if you’re at the logs early & have already grabbed two logs you still need to wait until 24 seconds because leaving the logs too early has the same result as being late to logs.
Logs re-spawn at 6 second intervals, so a good gauge of your log timing is to simply practice taking the south-eastern log twice.
There are some things we can do as defender that will ensure that we are at logs on time without sabotaging the healer in the process & it’s all dependant on whether the 3rd healer (which spawns at 18 seconds), targets us.
If the 3rd healer does target you, then you should main-stack delay. A main-stack delay is simply delaying at the main-stack for the third healer to de-aggro on you, the way you should be mainstack delaying is by stepping a couple of tiles east to de-aggro the Penance healer. Stepping east helps with limiting the healer spread as well as allowing you to de-aggro the Penance Healer faster, if you wait on the main-stack for the healer to get to you, you'll more than likely be late to logs. If you've had to main-stack delay you should go straight to the logs & grab the hammer on your way back.
If you’re new to defending & you're a bit overwhelmed with whether to go for the hammer or log first, then just practice main-stack delaying & grabbing the log first. You won’t fail a trial for not grabbing the hammer first, but you will if you don’t main-stack delay & don't get to logs on time.
If for some reason you are going to be late to logs, or if you notice some healers retarget you & you want to help with the healer spread, you can run north to de-aggro them & approach the logs from the east. The video below shows the Defender was technically late to logs but was able to limit the healer spread whilst not pulling any of the fighters or rangers east. This is an advanced adaptation, so don’t worry too much about this if you’re just starting out.
Staggering refers to how you arrange your runner kills, the idea is to 'stagger' them so certain amounts of runners are killed at different times. The purpose of staggering is simply to allow you to have finished multi-killing runners so that you can be in position to lure the last reserve healer spawns. As the attacker isn't able to lure healers like in funs getting lures as a defender is crucial in leeches.
As a general rule of thumb, staggering follows a 2-x-2 pattern where the first two runners will usually die while you're collecting logs & returning from the trap. Then you will multi-kill all but the last 1-2 runners of the wave. The stagger pattern that you use, will change dependant on the runner permutations & the reserve healer spawns.
The key points to staggering:
You need to know how many runners there are each wave.
Keep track of how many runners have spawned & died.
Aim to multi-kill the runners before the last healer reserves & runners are out.
Fix the trap after you multi-kill & let the last 1-2 runners die while you're in position to lure healers.
Learn basic staggers before moving onto advanced methods: You stand more chance of passing a trial doing the basics well, than making mistakes on advanced methods.
Basic staggering for beginners
Below is a full outline of different stagger patterns for each wave
Let's break down the stagger patterns for wave 8 as an example:
We know that there are 7 total runners for wave 8, therefore the classic stagger for wave 8 would be 2-3-2. If two runners have died before you return to the trap you'll notice the trap will be (0). You can then keep track of how many runners are around you & multi-kill the 3rd runner that reaches you. This will leave two runners remaining to die naturally while you're luring healers.
If the 5th runner goes west & the 6th runner goes south then they will multi-kill at the same time, thus changing the stagger to 2-4-1. Alternatively in this scenario you could drop a bad food for the last runner, this will make it 'blughhhh' north instead of dying, giving you a 2-4*-2 stagger, this is an advanced method. The * in staggers refers to a blughhhh.
The other variations on wave 8 all stem from how many runners have died by the time you return to the trap.
If you notice that the trap is still at (1) when you return, then you know only one runner has died. Therefore, you can simply add one extra runner to your multi-kill & use the 1-4-2 stagger.
Certain runner permutations will cause the second & third runners to auto-multi, therefore killing 3 runners before you return to the trap. If you notice this happen, it would then allow you to 3-2-2 or 3-3-1 stagger.
Variations of different staggers can be seen in wave overviews.
Example of 2-2-2 stagger on wave 6:
Understanding healer spawns
Before getting into lures & relures it's important to gain a basic understanding of reserve healer spawns. The healer & defender roles work closely together. In leeches this is even more prevalent due to attackers not being able to hit lures for you. Understanding what times each reserve will healer spawn will help your healer immensely, especially as leech healer codes & stagger patterns are designed around the defender being able to lure the last healer(s) &/or relure key repoisons.
Below are a list of the expected reserve spawns for the late waves:
Regular stock: 48-54
Regular stock: 42-48-60
Double overstock: 42-48-54
Regular stock: 42-66
Overstock 1-9-1-1: 36-66
Overstock 3-7-1-1: 42-48
Double overstock: 36-54
Regular stock: 48-66
Regular stock: 42-48-60
Important note on reserve spawns
Although these are expected times healers won't always be able to perfectly apply codes, especially if the spread is bad. As a defender it's worth trying to keep track of when reserves come out and also keep an eye on the chat-box in the event of the Healer calling early or late spawns. In these event where spawns aren't as expected just adapt as best as you can. If you're going to attempt advanced cannon lures then make sure you keep track of the reserve spawns & ensure that at very least you can lure the last reserve.
Specifics on how to manage them will be explained in the wave breakdowns.
Lures & splitting healers
This section will cover the basic theory behind lures & splitting healers. If you're looking for wave specific splits & lures they will be available in Wave Overviews.
Basics of lures & splitting Penance Healers
Unlike in funs with two attackers, the solo attacker in a leech will not be able to lure the reserve Penance Healers. Therefore, your job as defender is to aid the Healer by luring the reserves & repoisons instead. The chances of a Penance Healer targeting you are 1/number of players within the healers targeting range, in a leech this will usually be either 50% or 100%.
As a rule of thumb you should aim to try & lure (or relure) the essential repoisons but at very least you're expected to be able to consistently lure the last healer from waves 7-10. Different waves & healer codes require different strategies of lures dependant on the healer codes & the staggering pattern you opt to use.
There are 2 fundamentals you should always obey when luring Penance Healers.
2. Keep the last reserve north. Stacking Healers isn't ideal but it's okay if they are just re-poisons. The most important part about luring Healers is that the last reserve, known as the "spam" healer, is kept north & is kept alone. In whatever lure you decide on, ensure that you never stack a spam healer with repoisons.
There are different types of lures you can perform & each has its advantages & disadvantages depending on the situation. You aren't required to do advanced lures when starting out as a defender, build up to that in time as you get more familiar with leeches & reserve spawns. We simply expect you to be able to split the reposions from Healers with full health & follow the fundamentals above.
Cannon lure: This is an advanced lure technique, that requires you to understand the codes the healer is using & the reserve timings of those codes. The advantage of the cannon lure is that you're able to not only split the last reserve but also the re-poisons when executed correctly.
Wall lure: The simplest of lures, effective in allowing you to split re-poisons from the last reserve. The downside to this lure is that re-poisons will usually be stacked which can get difficult to manage when there are 3 or more healers stacked.
Cannon base lure: This is essentially just a wall lure in a different location. Although uncommon, it's useful when the Healers aren't in position to be wall lured.
Below are some examples of good healer lures & splits:
Left to right, cannon lure, wall lure & cannon base lure.
Avoid stacking all of the healers whenever possible, especially the last reserve!
Although not required in order to pass a trial, relures are an essential tool for defenders once they are comfortable with the pace of leeches & we expect you to have a basic understanding of how they work. You are expected to learn this once ranked. For the purpose of this guide relures will exclusively refer to the reluring of Healers, Runner relures will be covered in Recoveries & Preventing crashes: Waves 5-9.
Before we get into relures we first have to understand some basic Penance Healer mechanics:
Bad Food "blughhhh" Relure Method
The first method involves dropping a piece of bad food north of the trap. This can be done after a multi-kill using the last 1-2 runners or if the situation permits, as part of the multi-kill.
It's most commonly used in wave 7 when the healer uses regular or single over-stock, wave 8 when the healer is using the regular or single over-stock "1-9-1-1 code" & during the advanced "2-1-5*-2 stagger" on wave 9.
The second method is known as the Twoless relure. This method involves dropping 1-2 food north of the trap, the location of where you drop the food can vary depending on where & how you are planning to split the Penance Healers. The most common location is near the stalagmite north of the trap - that's used as a visual queue for east runner multi-kills. This method is extremely versatile due to the ability to change the drop location, it allows you to lure Penance Healers that are further north or west, outside of the target range of a simple bad food relure or to extend the relure duration by dropping more food. It can also be used to prevent a hard crashed Runner returning to the mainstack in the event the last two Runners are E-S. It is extremely useful if your Healer has a bad spread & the reserve spawns are late or there are multiple repoisons that need to be lured.
This method is commonly utilised when there isn't the time pressure of luring a new reserve Healer, such as when the Healer uses the "3-7-1-1 code" on wave 8 or during wave 10 on the advanced "2-1-4-2 stagger".
Twoless' Relure Example:
Twoless' relure guide:
Credit to: Twoless, Furret, LHC
Preventing crashes: Waves 5-9
Preventing crashes in later waves isn't just about saving time like in early waves, since the defender will almost always be the first to finish.
2. It helps to prevent runners crashing middle from being out of sight of the trap food.
3. It allows you to limit delays so you can perform optimal staggers and hit essential lures.
E-S Runners are still relevant on Waves 6-9. Unlike the early waves we won't be focusing on the first two Runners, instead for the later waves we will be focusing on the last two. Because you will be on the trap, you will not be able to bump the second-to-last Runner to prevent an E-S crash in later waves in the same way as you would on the early waves. So how do we solve this?
Preventing E-S crashes when multi-killing with an east Runner:
In certain situations, you can wait for a longer during on the trap & multi-kill the next Runner instead of using the east Runner to multi-kill. However, not all situations will allow for this. We can solve this issue the same way we would on the early waves, by bumping the east Runner that you're using to multi-kill. To prevent an E-S crash, run north as you multi-kill to bump the east Runner for 1 tick before returning to the trap to fix it. You must be careful not to block the Runner for too long as it will not multi-kill.
Preventing crashes after the multi-kill:
If you have already multi-killed the Runners then you can still prevent E-S crashes without losing the ability to lure Healers. If the second-to-last Healer is east you can drop a piece of good food east or south of the trap. Although not ideal, if you have no good food left then bad food will suffice to prevent a crash.
East food works in a similar way to bumping, it allows the Penance Runner to eat later due to it having a further distance to travel.
Not only is south food useful for east Runners, it's also useful after a relure attempt. On a bad food "blughhhh" relure the Runner that goes north will target the south food instead preventing the crash from the last south or west Runner. South dropped food should only be used in circumstances that don't result in losing lures.
These crashes are exclusive to waves 5-9 & are a result of the culmination of specific runner permutations. To simplify all of them: your goal is to prevent Runners from either crashing west of the eastern cannon where it is unable to target the mainstack or trail food, or to prevent them from walking west of the eastern cannon base where it cannot see the trap food, thus returning to the mainstack ( pictured below). All of these crashes will occur after another Runner eats the targeted food, so if you pay attention to the position of runners when you're returning from the logs you should be able to spot if any of these will occur: even without memorising every Runner permutation.
Fixing all double movement crashes
If you are too late to block the Runner in any of the following permutations then you can alternatively relure it by dropping food north of the cannon. As long as the dropped food or the trail is within 5 tiles of the runner it will be within the runners line of sight & the runner will be able to target it. You can then pick up the food on a soft multi-tick & return to the trap.
Example (SS-S Crash):
This is the most common crash you will encounter, as the chances of SS-S occurring is 29.63%. It is also one of the most forgiving, as failing to prevent this will result in the runner returning to the mainstack ( an example of this crash is pictured above).
The first Runner (SS) will cause the second runner (S) to crash, if the second Runner then starts moving west you need to block it for 1 tick north of the cannon. If the second Runner walks south or east, then just run straight to the trap before the 3rd runner reaches it. Alternatively relure it by dropping a food north of the cannon.
Wave 5 Example:
The first & second Runner will automatically multi-kill. When the third Runner walks south it will crash & needs to be blocked for 1 tick south, so that the trap food is still within line of sight. Alternatively relure it by dropping a food north of the cannon.
For any of these permutations, if the third Runner walks south on its first movement it needs blocked south for 1 tick if it crashes south, or alternatively relured north of the cannon. Note that if the Healer happens to block the 2nd runner (1st runner in the EW-W case) for 1 tick then you do not have to block or relure the third at all.
Drop Trou's method: Blocking the third south Runner to prevent SW-E / WS-E / EW-E / EW-W / WW-E Crashes
Here's a little trick you can do to prevent the 3rd runner south from crashing. Move to 1 square south of runner spawn, then move off at 21s. By blocking it for 1 tick the runner will crash but it will be 1 square higher up than normal & it will still be able to target the trap. If it crashes west though you won't be able to multi at 36s & will have to do a 42s multi. You can do this if you think a crash is likely to happen.
Note: The placements in the clip below are from Drop Trou's 1 log strategy which is an advanced method. The clip also shows the 1 tick east multi-kill bump detailed above.
The information above is from from Hendi's thread:
When to 1-log and how to do it | Casual Ba
Thanks to LHC for the Runner relure method shown in his guide:
[OSRS] Barbarian Assault - Defender Guide
Thanks to Henke for creating the: Line of sight tool.
Credit to: Hendi, Drop Trou, Blue Whales, Henke, LHC & I am Fixate.
Recoveries: West Runners & mistakes
Before we get into recoveries it's important to understand that the BA arena (like the rest of OSRS) is divided into grids of 8x8 tile zones, & these play a big part in which food a Runner chooses to target. If you want to understand more about how Runners target using 8x8 zones it's detailed in:
Defender Mechanics: "Advanced: Penance Runners - Targeting Mechanics"
In the image below the adjacent 8x8 zones to both the main-stack & the safety food are highlighted. By placing a piece of food within sniff distance of the Runner within either the blue zones (for the main-stack) or the pink zones (for safety food), a Runner will be able to re-target the safety food or main-stack, thus recovering the Runners.
Recovering west runners
If the first Runner randomly walks west twice it's known as a double west Runner, if it walks west three times it's referred to as triple west, simple enough? What differentiates double & triple west Runners from other permutations is that after moving west more than once, they will no longer be in sniff distance of the mainstack & you must recover them. The image above outlines the basic concept of why this works, but below are some examples of it being done.
Double west recovery
This is one of the easiest recoveries, dropping a piece of food on the logs is enough to recover a double west Runner. If this is performed on a no-log wave then run straight back to the trap after dropping food on the logs.
Example of a double west recovery:
Triple west recovery
Triple west Runners move outside of the blue zones pictured at the top of this page so they require an additional step compared to a double west recovery. You must first lure them back into the blue highlighted zone above so they are within sniff distance of the recovery food, only then can they can target the mainstack. The chances of getting a triple west Runner is 0.46% so they are quite rare, you are expected to know how to recover them, even if you haven't yet encountered them. There are multiple ways you can recover a triple west Runner but due to their rarity I'll cover the three most common methods.
This is essentially a double west recovery but what makes the west fix stand out is that it prevents triple west Runners entirely. This method allows Runners to target the mainstack before they are able to move randomly for the third time. In order to perform this method it's essential you are fast dropping the food before the Runner moves for the third time. The example below shows this being applied on a no-log wave, the application on waves 6-9 is exactly the same. Drop a piece of food west of the hammer immediately after dropping your mainstack & then return back to the main-stack to mainstack delay for the third Healer. If the third healer didn't target you then you can go straight to the logs & wait until 24 seconds.
Hendi's method: triple west recovery
Mainstack delay for the third Healer. Place one food two squares east of the south-eastern log, then run to the tile south of the runner & place one food. When returning get the north log first then the south. Whilst you're at the southern log block the Runner for a couple of ticks before grabbing the hammer. Blocking the Runner for a couple of ticks allows the Runner to eat at the mainstack later in its cycle & preventing it from crashing.
LHC's method builds directly on the on the double west recovery above by dropping food on the logs. After dropping food on the logs move an additional two tiles west & drop a second piece of recovery food. Wait until the Runner targets it & starts moving towards you before picking it back up. Then grab another log & the hammer before returning to the trap.
Recovering West Runners on Wave 10
Recovering from mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, so it's important to understand how to fix them efficently when they happen so you don't end up extending the wave or sabotaging the rest of the team. Below are some examples of how to recover from a crashed Runner, failed multi-kills or from being sabotaged by the Healer.
Recovering a south runner
To recover a south Runner you need to have safety food south of the trap. If for some reason you didn't drop safety food, or your safety food has already been eaten then drop another one before attempting to recover the south Runner.
Before recovering a south Runner, make sure to first deal with whatever is happening at the trap. Whether it's multi-killing Runners, or awaiting the healer to return from restocking so they can trap the reserve Healer in the north alcove. If you have no other choice you can drop the Healer lures, it's easier for the Healer to repoison healers in one location than having to chase them across the map because they are still targetting you, depending on when in the call you have to recover the south Runner you may be able to relure the Healers. This is a judgement call you will have to make.
To recover a south Runner simply drop a piece of food within its sniff distance, stay standing on the food so it retargets the trap. If the runner is outside of the pink highlighted zone in the picture at the top of this section then you'll need to improvise to relure them back into the pink zones similar to a triple west relure. One thing to remember is that Runners cannot phase through you so if you're recovering a Runner directly south of the trap drop food to the side of it so it can path directly north.
Recovering from a failed multi-kill: No-log waves
If you fail the multi-kill on a no-log wave then you need to act quickly to prevent delays to the round & further crashes. Before grabbing logs make sure to drop more good food if you haven't already. You should avoid having to restock at all costs so dropping more good food during the second call saves you from this in the event you get 1-2-1 calls where the first call is the same as the third. Once you have enough good food down then drop enough bad food for each of the Runners, this preserves your good food by forcing the Runners to 'blughhhh' north. Hopefully by this point the Healer notices & helps you by standing on the trap food while you collect a hammer & logs. On wave 4 you only need 1 log, on wave 5 you should grab 2 unless you're confident. Return to the trap & pick up any remaining bad food before fixing it. You can either slow multi-kill the Runners or 1 tick blind multi-kill.
Late wave recoveries
There are multiple scenarios that may require you to utilise a late wave recovery, whether it be from a failed multi-kill, getting phased by the Healer, the Healer bumping your last Runner so it doesn't multi-kill or the east Runner not dying due to 'currentNpcId' (see Defender Mechanics - Advanced: Penance Runners - Update order).
To avoid a trip to logs you'll need to act quickly utilising a recovery similar to the Twoless relure by dropping a piece of food north of the trap. Once the Runners have targeted the north food you can return to the trap. From here you have two options.
If the trap is still at (1) then you can use the next Runner to multi-kill as normal or 1 tick blind multi-kill the Runners. If you have another log & there are Healers around the trap you can drop a piece of bad food to relure the Healers.
If the trap is at (0) you can fix the trap & utilise the slow multi-kill to finish the Runners. You can also 1 tick blind multi-kill Runners however if there are Healers still alive the benefit of the slow multi-kill is that it allows you to relure the Healers on the cannon.
Example - trap (0):
Early waves: Stocking
No logging: Preventing automatic multi-kills
No logging requires you to only let 1 runner eat at the trap so you can multi-kill the remaining runners with a trap (1). Certain runner permutations will automatically multikill using Shir's mainstack & north trap food, most commonly this occurs on wave 4 with west-south or west-east runners. As a defender you need to know how to prevent the first 2 runners from multi-killing. Below are all examples of wave 4 permutations but all 3 can be utilised on wave 5 aswell depending on the runner permutations.
There are three simple ways of preventing west-south runners from automatically multi-killing.
Option 1: North West Food: Drop a single piece of good food north west of the trap & stand on the rest of the trap food.
Option 2: Using bad food: By dropping a piece of bad food on the trap when you return you can 'blurghh' the second runner to prevent it from multikilling.
West-east runners are simple to split due to the east runner's pathing. You can simply stand north of the trap food to body block the east runner & allow the west runner to eat the trap food.
Basics: Calling, Settings & Client
Along with calling for the healer using your horn, you should also help the healer where you can by calling the locations of Penance Healers that need repoisoning.
Unp: Unpoisoned Healer.
RP: Healer that's poisoned but needs repoisoning.
Stacked: An unpoisoned Healer (usually the last reserve) is hidden under a poisoned Healer.
These are all usually accompanied by directions or locations:
N/E/S/W: Cardinal directions - North, East, South & West
Locations: Logs, middle, dispenser (disp).
Example: rpw = repoison west.
Turn your NPC 'Attack' options to hidden, this avoids accidently clicking on fighters & rangers that have come east.
Using a third party client is entirely optional however because of the features Runelite offer for BA it's highly recommended.
The Barbarian Assault plugin allows you to have a call-change timer, this can be utilised for multi-kills along with tracking Runner spawns & reserve healers.
Ground Markers - Optional
Low detail - Optional
This is personal preference, it removes the detail in the ground so you can distinguish tiles easier. If you're use to the visual ques from full detail then stick to what you're comfortable with.
Tile Indicators - Recommended
Tile indicators allow you to view your currently hovered tile & highlight your destination tile. This is extremely useful in identifying the correct tiles quickly.
It is recommended to read & understand the Fundamentals section of this guide before moving onto wave overviews.
Click image to expand
Early waves: Waves 1-3
During the early waves you don't have to overstock call or delay, your goal is to kill runners as fast as possible. You must bump the first runner for 1 tick if it goes east & block the second runner from going west.
Multi-kill the runners if they are both east.
Call the direction of the last runner to help the attacker force end the wave (S/E)
Optional - you can call times:
- E Runner: 40s
- Late S Runner: 44s
- Late E Runner: 46s
Optional: You can drop a piece of food NW of the trap when you return from logs to save 1 tick on south runners.
- Late S Runner with NW dropped food: 43s
Split the first 2 Penance Healers if they both target you or 1 tick cannon delay to let the Healer go first.
Multi-kill (mk) runners if the last two runners are East.
If the third runner is E & the forth is S then drop a piece of food S, W or SW of the trap to prevent a crash.
Call the direction of the last runner to help the attacker force end the wave.
(S/E/W-S mk/W-E mk)
Optional - you can call times:
- E Runner: 46s
- Late S Runner: 50s
- Late E Runner: 52s
Optional: Drop NW trap food to save 1 tick on S Runners.
Note: If you use NW trap food W-E & W-S will no longer automatically multi-kill.
Waves 1-3 Examples:
If you use NW trap food, W-S Runners will not automatically multi-kill. However, if you stand one tile west of the NW trap food then you can bump the W-S Runners taking the effort out of multi-killing them.
Example by Dren:
Credit: Blue Whales, Dren & Spread
No log waves: Waves 4 & 5
No log waves
In order for you to no log you must prevent automatic multi-kills causing the trap to break.
To help the healer you can run to deaggro the third Healer as it spawns.
On Wave 5 you must overstock call so at the end of the wave right click your horn.
Wave 4-5 Example:
Click image to expand
Wave 6 revolves around being able to split the 42 & 48 second reserves on the Healer once they return from restocking. In order for you to do this you must multi-kill at 36s or 42. Most new defenders struggle to multi-kill at 36 seconds with a 2-2-2 stagger due to having to repair the trap, drop food & multi-kill within a short window. For this reason it can be helpful to drop 5 food north of the trap during the first call, you can also rearrange your food whilst mainstack delaying as to not lose too many ticks if you do opt to drop 5 food. In circumstances where you can't multi-kill at 36 seconds you should multi-kill at 42 seconds & lure the first reserve. Once the Healer has returned to body blocked it you can step out to fix the trap, if you're concerned about running out of food then you can drop food underneath you until the Healer returns.
Luring & splitting the reserves
Place a piece of food north-east of the trap, if the 48s Healer targets the Runner then step out one tile, if it doesn't then stay east to keep the 42s Healer in the crevice to the north.
Examples of Wave 6
36 second multi:
42 second multi:
Click image to expand
Wave 7 Defender - Single Overstock/Regular Stock
Wave 7 is similar to wave 6 in that there is only 6 Runners so you should be multi-killing at 36 or 42s with a 2-2-2 stagger or some variation of it. Unlike wave 6 you can relure if the healer single overstocks or uses regular stock codes.
One of the most common codes that Healers will use is regular stock granting 42, 48 & 60 reserves. Your job as defender should be lure the 48 reserve if it targets you or relure it if targets the Healer.
The Healer spawns you can expect from single overstock are 36, 48 & 60. This is should be approached exactly the same as if the healer regular stocks. The difference with single overstock is that the first reserve doesn't need to be repoisoned if the healer executed the code correctly. Therefore, you can drop this lure if you're able to (without losing other relures) & you can see that it'll die in time.
Relures: It's more common to blughhhh relure on wave 7 so you still have time to catch the 48 reserve, however a Twoless relure can be utilised if you have the time after multi-killing at 36.
Lures & Split: The key lures on this wave are the 48 & 60s reserves. If you're wall luring you can stack the first two reserves diagonally. Lure the last reserve in the crevice to the north on its own.
Wave 7 example with blughhhh relure:
Cannon relures on wave 7 can be useful to split all three reserve Healers if the Healer uses regular stock codes. This requires you to use a high Twoless relure to lure the 48 reserve in the northern crevice if it doesn't target you when spawning. If the 48 targets you then lure it north & wait for the 60 spawn.
To cannon lure you must first step out to bring the 42 & 48 south to prevent the 48 & 60 from stacking. Step out 3 tiles south & 1 tile west then run below your safety food. From there, head to the centre tile on the east of the cannon. Only move to perform this lure once you've seen the final reserve spawn in case it spawns late at 66. Remember to call quickly either during this manoeuvre or ideally before.
Defending for a healer double overstocking closely resembles wave 6 except there will be reserve spawns at 42, 48 & 60. Ideally you should multi-kill at 36 seconds to allow you to fix the trap & lure the first reserve at 42s. Again dropping 5 trap food the first call can be useful if you're not comfortable with both fixing the trap & dropping more food before 36s. If you have to multi-kill at 42s then you should still lure the 42s reserve & wait for the Healer to block it before fixing the trap. The 42s reserve is the most crucial for a successful 78s wave end.
Relures, lures & splitting healers: You should not attempt to relure Healers on w7 if the Healer has double overstocked, this is because you don't want to stack the repoison if you can help it. In the example below the repoison Healer stacked with the first reserve, this isn't ideal but if this happens there isn't anything you can do, if the repoison is lured diagonally to you then drop it if you can without losing the 42s reserve.
Example of defending with double overstock:
There are 4 commonly used wave 8 leech codes a Healer will utilise, each with varied spawn sets so it's important to keep track of reserve healers so you don't accidently cannon lure & miss the last reserve spawn. Until you're comfortable with keeping track of reserve spawns, stick to wall luring so you can make sure that you're getting the 54-66 spawn lured in the crevice to the north. Once you're comfortable then cannon luring is optimal for wave 8 for the ability to split healers.
Regular stock, single overstock 1-9-1-1, double overstock: These codes can both be approached the same way. For regular stock & 1-9-1-1 single overstock there will be a 66s reserve spawn whilst double overstock will have a 54 spawn. The logic for these is the same as wave 7 relure what you can diagonally & keep the last reserve lured in the crevice north. You can blughhhh relure or Twoless relure depending on where the Penance Healers are located & what time you multi-kill.
Note: If the Healer misses the yolo on double overstock then you can utilise the horn of glory lure which is explained in the Advanced section.
Overstock 3-7-1-1: This code is more common for advanced Healers, the downside to it is that the reserve spawns are at 42s & 48s when the Healer is still in target range so can't consistently be lured when spawning. Therefore, relures are essential for this code. You can utilise the blughhhh relure, however the more common option is the Twoless relure for the ability to cannon lure.
There isn't always a 1 size fits all to cannon luring, but to simplify it you can first make use of the wall lure until the reserve healers have targeted the Runner or you can move south, similar to the wave 9 split. This depends on where the Healers are positioned & the timing of the reserve spawns. If you don't have a reason to go to the cannon, just stay put with the wall lure.
Wave 8 example using the blughhhh relure - 42s & 48s reserves:
Wave 8 example using the blughhhh relure - 66s reserve:
Basic: 2-5-2 Stagger
Wave 9 has four reserve Runners, therefore you should always let Runners break the trap on wave 9 after you return from getting logs. You can then drop more food, fix the trap & await for the last Runner to spawn which you can use for your multi-kill. After multi-killing make sure to fix the trap because there will still be two more reserve Runners. Drop a piece of food south or east of the trap if the second-to-last reserve Runner is east. You should then move into the wall lure so you can catch the last reserve up high, you can choose to move to the cannon if you wish to split the repoisons but your priority should be to ensure that the last reserve is lured alone.
Using this stagger you usually won't need to attempt a relure because if the Healer is capable of achieving a 90s wave end the Runners won't die in time. If the Healer isn't likely to finish at 90s you can choose to Twoless or blughhhh relure if you have multi-killed at 54 seconds & Healers are north. Most repoisons will naturally relure off the last two Runners unless they are in the far north-eastern corner. Don't attempt a Twoless relure if you've multi-killed at 60s.
Advanced: 2-1-4/5*-2 Stagger
This stagger requires you to fix the trap after the first 2 (or 3 if they automatically multi-kill) Runners have died upon returning from logs & then allowing only one more Runner to die so you have a trap (1). Having a trap (1) allows you to fix it faster after multi-killing so you have time to repair the trap & move south so you can cannon lure the repoisons & split them along with the 66s reserve spawn.
There are multiple ways you can force a trap (1), if there is one Runner in the vicinity of the trap just let it eat. If there are multiple Runners in the vicinity of the trap you can:
Place a piece of bad food to prevent an automatic multi-kill.
Pick up food so there is only one remaining, the other Runners will crash so you must be cautious of this & place more good food as soon as possible as well as watching where other Runners are positioned.
- Block Runners from reaching the food - this is usually utilised when Runners are approaching from the east & south.
- Place a piece of food east of the trap, move off this food & on top of the northern trap food on a soft multi-tick.
- Move off the northern trap food on a hard crash tick, again you have to be cautious of the other Runners positions to preserve your mainstack & prevent a recovery.
- Move off the trap at 21 seconds (soft multi-tick) & place a piece of food north, pick it back up at 15 seconds then place your trap food.
Tip: If the last runner is east then you can place the bad food first before dropping 4 good food, this allows you to fix the trap earlier without having to wait for the last runner to eat. The bad food also doubles as a recovery tool too in the event that you get phased. The Runner will eat the bad food so it won't take the trap to (0). You can then use another piece of new food off the trap in combination with a false multi to save the wave.
Example by Furret:
After the blughhhh or Twoless relure make sure you drop a piece of food south of the trap to prevent crashes. You can then cannon lure the Healers or wall lure if the last reserve Healer is late.
This staggering pattern is explained in more depth along with a breakdown on cannon luring Healers on Wave 9 in the advanced section: Hendi's guide: Luring Healers on Wave 9.
There are also some things don't change on wave 10:
You are still expected to overstock call, just as you would on waves 5-9.
You are also required to delay until the second healer spawns: Although the location is different due to there not being an eastern cannon.
You are also expected to delay for the 3rd healer but this should be done at the healer cave.
If you're on the vanilla client without a timer then you can step north after the last runner has moved 3 tiles to slow-multi kill.
Method: Text Guide
Click image to expand
The following method is based on Hendi's guide from casualba.site which can be seen here.
Put 1 safety food west-south-west of the trap (make sure to stay out of sight of the healers and not to place it too far east as the last Runner has a chance of targeting it later on).
Delay for the second Healer.
Place 3 correct food north-west of the trap.
Place 1 food at the trail.
Place around 4 correct food at the mainstack south-east of the Healer cave.
If you’re fast you can get the hammer then run to the Healer cave to lose a potential aggro from the 4th Healer at 24s. Otherwise just run to the square west of the Healer spawn. You can also stand 1-2 squares south of the spawn, or at the square 4 until 22-23 to prevent stacking any healers on the spawn.
Grab 2 logs
Grab a hammer if you didn’t already picked up on during the previous steps.
Run to the west square of the trap. If there’s no food left at the trap, drop 3 correct food immediately so the Runners target it (if your healer calls late, drop 1 of any food. If it’s wrong, just drop 3 correct food and pick up the wrong food you first dropped. If it was correct in the first place, just drop another 2 food).
Wait until 44-45s and step north of the trap (if you don't use a timer, you can step north after the last runner has moved 3 tiles). This enables you to lure the 42s Healer at the crater north if it aggros onto you. Fix the trap and let the last Runner retarget the food at the mainstack by the healer cave.
If the 48s Healer aggros you, the Collector, or the Attackers, step east of the trap again & drop a correct food immediately. If the 48s Healer aggros the healer, delay dropping the last food until the 48s Healer aggros the Runner. If you see that the Healer is wandering too far away from the Runner you can just drop the food immediately & ignore the Relure, but this rarely happens. Many Healers will go for 78s end, & will kill the 42s Healer by this time, so lose it if the Healer tells you to.
Run to the cannon, but make sure you see the last Runner retarget the trap food, otherwise it won’t render (i.e. the game won’t register that it eats at the trap & dies).
Split the Healers on the cannon.
Wave 10 example - Drop Trou:
Note: in the video example Drop Trou drops the trial one tile north of what's shown in this guide, you should use the placement from this guide & not what's demonstated in the video.
Defender POVs & useful links
BA Services Defender Trial Expectations Commentary Stream by Furret
Rushyrulz Twitch channel
Recommended: Hendi Defender POV playlist
Blue Whales' YouTube Channel
Drop Trou's YouTube Channel
LHC's YouTube Channel
Henke's YouTube Channel
BA Services Leeching Scenarios by Mintos
Dren Defender POV YouTube: false trap 1 log method
Henke's line of sight tool
If you have some good defender gameplay & would like your YouTube or twitch steam listed here please contact EIIIIII.
Alternative trap & mainstack placements
On waves 1-3 it acts as both a trail & a mainstack, it can also be used with NW trap food to force early west Runners on waves 2 & 3.
Drop Trou's mainstack: Placed 1 tile east of Shir's mainstack. This mainstack is utilised in Drop Trou's one log strategy to prevent crashes.
Alternative trap placements:
NW trap food: Useful for waves 2 & 3. Allows S Runners to eat 1 tick sooner, therefore allows for a 1 tick faster wave end if forced. Can be used in conjunction with Henke's mainstack to force early west runners. The multi-kill timing is the same as North trap food.
Centre trap food: Because Runners eat 1 tick later than north trap food it removes the need to body block E Runners. The disadvantage to this placement is if you have double runner movements then SS Runners cannot see it.
Credit: Drop Trou, Henke, LHC & Shir.
Horn of glory lures
Horn lures are a very niche method of splitting Penance healers. They usually only occur with bad spreads or if the healer re-stocks wrong or runs out of food. Splitting healers using a horn lure is relatively easy, simply run down to the horn of glory ramp & move east one tile at a time utilising the stalagmites to split the healers.
Here is an example of a well executed horn lure from Furret's 'Barbarian Assault Defender Teaching Stream': the full stream can be viewed here.
Drop Trou's 1 logging strategy
You may want to pause at certain spots to read all the info.
00:00 - Food / mainstack placement
01:33 - West runner multi spot
01:38 - example of multi-ing at 36s wave 6, even with 4th runner west (greater chance of 60s wave 6)
02:40 - How to prevent most runner crashes by blocking 3rd runner (if south) edit: My MS also prevents west runners crashing into the "dead zone", shir's and henke's won't
03:10 - runner "dead zone" where they can't target trap
03:45 - Triple lure example, it's best to do this asap so that when healer get's back no healers are moving and they're all still.
03:54 - South-South (then west) crash fix. S-S is the most common combo so it's very important to learn this one!!!
04:52 - Triple lure wave 7 strat
05:05 - Double Westie recovery
05:36 - Triple westie recovery (if u fail 2x west)
06:11 - Helping healer spread by grabbing 1 log. I kinda misjudged how close that healer was lol but it's a good example anyway. Grab hammer first Trou u idiot
07:00 - West-West-South runner permutation
07:45 - West-west-East/west runner permutation
08:21 - How to lure a late healer as defender on wave 10 (bonus clip)
Credit: Drop Trou
Defender Scrolling, as the name suggests is a method that involves the Defender scrolling the team in the order Defender, Collector, Healer, Leech & Attacker.
The advantage of this is that it allows the Defender to extend calls so the Healer doesn't have to "YOLO" stock. This strategy is uncommon in most leeches due to the extra work required by the Defender, along with all members of the team have to be proficient enough to prevent late reserve spawns.
Defender scrolling requires a good knowledge of all roles but in particular both leech defender as well as main attacker to extend calls.
Considerations: Because all actions are based off the scroller, the Defender should avoid fixing the trap on 6 second intervals to limit delays as fixing the trap counts as an animation stall. It's also recommended to be on voice chat so that the Attacker & Healer can communicate without the Defender interfering.
Gear: The Defender can utilise a loaded fixed device to 1 tick force & save inventory space. They will also need a shrink-me-quick potion or equivalent to interface stall, extend calls & dupe the omega egg.
Example by El Prodigy:
Hendi's guide: Luring Healers on Wave 9
The following guide was originally posted by Hendi in Ba Services Guides: Luring healers on Wave 9 which can be viewed here.
Note: You will need to be logged into the BA Services site to view the illustrations in a readable format.
Wave 9 can be one of the most frustrating waves as a healer, and luring the penance healers makes the 3rd call easier for your healer since they don’t have to chance multiple penance healers during the 3rd and 4th call. An improvement to this is to split the healers on the cannon, which means that your healer will be able to distinguish which penance healers need to be repoisoned and which do not.
This method requires you to use the code 2-1-5*-2 or preferably 3-1-4*-2 when you have the chance. A couple of examples of 2-1-X-2 can be seen in Twoless’s videos here. The 5* and 4* indicates that you drop a wrong food for the 8th runner so that it ‘blughhhhs’ and walks 3 squares north. This allows you to relure all the healers that are surrounding you at 60s.
Whilst this is great, it also means that if you use the lure spot south on the wall, you tend to stack all the healers south on the wall, which makes if difficult for your healer to tell which healers they need to repoison. This post covers how to split the healers on the cannon such that you can get a up to a 5-way split in the best-case scenario. A 4-way split seems to be the most common when using this method, but it depends on how the healers move and exactly when the healers agro the 8th runner and you.
NOTE: This method requires the last healer to spawn at 66s. There are ways to adapt this which will be covered at the end. If the last reserve spawns at 78s or later, I recommend using the traditional lure spot south on the wall.
Some notes on 2(3)-1-X-2
There are several ways of pulling off this code depending on the permutation, and in many cases you can use Twoless’ method referred to in the previous section. Another way to execute the code is to drop 1 wrong food north of the trap after killing the first 2(3) runners, and multi the 3rd and 4th runners (or 4th and 5th if 3-1-X-2) – Thanks to Mottis for pointing this out.
Part I: The setup
When the 8th runner walks south or east:
Drop 1 wrong food and multi the 8th runner whilst stepping to the east side of the trap. This will prevent healers moving south
The multi kill will happen at 60s, so call for the healer immediately, then fix the trap
If you use the code 2-1-5*-2, put the 3rd food you have left in the inventory south of the trap. It does not matter whether this is the correct or wrong food, but will prevent the 9th runner from crashing. If you use 3-1-4*-2 you don’t need to put a wrong food south
Multi the 7th runner whilst stepping to the east side of the trap.
Repair the trap, and stand still and wait for the healers to agro the 8th runner which should be approaching the trap between 54s and 60s.
There are a few squares you can run to for the next part. The important thing to notice is that the distance between square you step on and the square you end up on at the cannon is an even number. This is to ensure you run onto the last square instead of walking. Walking onto the last square often results in 3 way splits that otherwise could've been 4-5 way. Note that you can always run to the square east of the hopper if you don't start from the squares marked below, but timing has to be adjusted accordingly, which will be covered next.
D1: The square where you wait until the closest healer reaches H1
D2-5: It takes 1 tick to run to D2, another tick to run to D3 etc.
D5: The square you want to click on when the closest healer reaches H1
H1: Healer’s starting point when you click on D5
H2-4: It takes 1 tick for the healer to reach H2 etc.
H5: The square that the healer ends up at
L1-5: Where all the final lures will end up, L1 being the last reserve which spawns at 66s.
Run to the square marked as D1 in figure 2 or 3, but make sure that the last reserve has already agroed you - it should spawn at 66s.
Wait for the closest healer to reach the line that’s diagonal with the trap if you’re using the starting square on figure 3 (marked as H1). Run 1 tick earlier if you use the starting square on figure 2.
Click on the square on the cannon marked as D5.
When learning this method, focus primarily on the first healer that is closest to you (lure #1) and run from D1 to the lure spot once the closest healer reaches H1. Once you become more comfortable you can start making a judgement call of whether to stack the 2 closest healers etc.
If the last healer spawns after 66s, you can stand on the square east of the trap for longer. If the last healer spawns at 72s you can just run to D1 at after it spawns, but if it spawns later you can either drop another wrong food, or simply lure on the wall since the healer should already have finished restocking at that point.
If you see that the 2 closest healers to you don’t need to be repoisoned, you can wait until the 3rd healer reaches its starting square H1.
You can run to the square north of D in figure 4 (east of the hopper) if you don't use the marked squares in figure 1, and you'll still run onto the last square.
Early waves: Forcing early west Runners
West runners will die late, resulting in a late reserve spawns on Waves 2 & 3 if they are not blocked by the collector.
However, there is a way the Defender can force early west Runners so that the reserve(s) spawn on time, even without the collector blocking. This method relies on speed & dropping food without losing ticks, if you don't place the food by the stalagmite in time the west Runner will target the mainstack instead.
Place food north-west of the trap.
Place Henke's mainstack.
Drop another piece of food W of the stalagmite.
Bump the west runner 1 tick by standing north-west of the stalagmite food.
If the Runners are west-west then drop a second piece of food & bump the second one as-well.
Get logs & a hammer.
W-S & W-E Runners will not multi-kill so you must multi-kill them manually if they.
Early west example with WS multi-kill:
This essentially combines Dren's E-E method and Henke's early unblocked west method. Saves 1tick on E-E on speeds, whilst still allowing early south forces & a 6 second time save in leeches.
Credit: Capeshit, Dren, Henke.
Hendi's method for defending with YOLO stock on Wave 5
On wave 5 Healers may fully stock their inventory with only 2 types of food, this is known as a 'YOLO' stock. If the second call is correct this allows the Healer to achieve wave times of 45-51 seconds, but if it's incorrect then the Healer will have to restock to try & salvage the wave by 60 seconds. Therefore, helping the Healer by luring the reserve can help extending Wave 5.
This method by Hendi allows you to lure the last Penance Healer in the event the second call is not what the Healer has stocked.
Place 1 bad & then 1 good food north of the trap.
Place trail as normal.
Place the mainstack: Use Henke's or Drop Trou's mainstack to prevent a W-S Crash.
After the first Runner has eaten, drop 4 good food east of the trap.
Move 1 tile east & immediately drop another piece of food: this should be done on the same tick as a multi-kill so that Runners will target it.
Pick up the piece of food underneath you on a slow multi-kill tick.
If the call is good &/or you need the second call you can remain on the food to multi-kill Runners as normal.
Basics of Penance Runners: Runner spawns per wave
Penance Runners will spawn every 6 seconds (or 10x 0.6s game ticks) until all the initial Runners per wave are out, on waves 2 - 10 there are reserve Runners that will only come out once another Runner has died, these are known as reserves. Reserves will also spawn at 6 second intervals. It's recommended to take note of how many runners are expected each wave, writing this down somewhere, such as in your Runelite notes until you can memorise them will help you later on when we delve into staggering & multikills.
Runners per wave:
Overview of Basic Defender Mechanics
When a player steps onto a tile that tile becomes solid. If a tile is solid, a NPC cannot move through or onto that tile and must either move around the player. In the instance where an NPC is targeting the tile a player is on, it will simply wait indefinitely until that tile is no longer solid or until the food despawns. If a second player phases through another player, the tile will no longer be solid & the player must move off that tile & back onto it, to make the tile solid again.
Good vs Bad Food
The food that the Healer calls for you is regarded as good food, the other 2 food are bad food. Once dropped, food will always remain good or bad, regardless of the call change so you should never have to pick up good food. Picking up food that a Penance Runner is targeting or allowing a Penance Runner to eat a food before it's time to multi-kill them can cause a Penance Runner to crash.
If a Penance Runner eats a good food within the vicinity of the trap (assuming the trap is not broken) it will die.
Bad food can be extremely useful for recoveries & relures. If a Penance Runner eats a bad food it will 'blughhhh', causing it to walk vertically north (waves 1-9) or south (wave 10) depending on the wave & its location. Bad food can also offset a runner's cycle along with adding a 'blughhhh delay', which means it takes longer to retarget food.
Once penance runners have targeted the trap area they will be attracted to the most recently dropped food whether it is good or bad.
A multi-kill refers to the killing of multiple runners simultaneously. There are 2 different types of multi-kills:
2. Slow multi-kills occur when a runner eats a single piece of food while the other stacked runners will stall & multi-kill a few ticks later.
There will be more on multi-kills later in this guide.
The trap has a kill area of 9 tiles, the trap tile itself & the 8 adjacent tiles surrounding it. A trap also has 3 states, (2), (1) & (0).
- A trap (1) is when only a single runner has died, this can be used to kill a single runner or it can still be used to kill multiple runners by 1 tick multi-killing. However, you can't soft/false multi-kill runners with a trap (1). The advantage of 1 tick multi-killing with a trap (1) is that you can begin to repair it before it fully breaks, therefore a trap (1) is faster to fix. This is because the repair animation begins before the trap breaks, yet the repair registers after the animation has finished (& after the runners are dead).
- A trap (0) is broken & needs to be repaired before it will kill runners.
Note: Apart from very specific scenarios, you should not fix a trap until it has fully broken (or it is about to fully break).
- Fun fact: If you use eggs to kill a Runner that's near the trap, it still degrades the trap.
Basics of Penance Runners: Basic Movement & Targeting
A runner will spawn & try to target food within it's 'sniff distance' (5 tiles if you're level 5 defender).
When a Penance Runner spawns, it spawns in a state that cannot actually target food. Therefore, the runner will start moving randomly in either a south, west or east direction for 5 tiles (unless it's blocked by a wall or player). It's also worth noting that a Runners random walk distance will decrease by 1 tile for every tick it's body blocked.
It will then stop & repeat the cycle of trying to target food again, however this time it is in a state capable of actually targeting food. If there is food within 5 tiles of the Penance Runner it will be able to extend its targeting up to 15 tiles. This means south, east or blocked west runners will be able to target the trap food, whilst unblocked west runners will target the mainstack and then the trap.
- During the early waves (1-4), it is your goal to prevent the runner moving randomly more than once. So after it has randomly moved once, the next movement should be towards the trap (or to the mainstack).
If there is no food to target it will move randomly again in either a south, west or east direction.
- During the later waves where you are required to cannon delay (5-10), the runner will move twice before you are able to place food in range for it to target. Your goal is to place food before the third random runner movement.
Because there is no food within sniff distance, the first runner moves south twice & the second runner moves west once. This is what we would refer to as a SS-W runner permutation.
Above we've already covered the basics of a Runner's cycle.
One important part to note is that a Runners target is set when the runner targets a new food but it's removed when the runner notices that the food doesn't exist on the ground anymore.
If a Runner has its targeted food eaten or removed, it will act similarly to how it does when it spawns. It enters a state that cannot target food until its next cycle.
The exception to this is the multi-tick which coincides with being the targeting tick for most Runners. Therefore, if you allow Runners to eat food on the multi-tick, they can simultaneously retarget another food before they realise it's gone.
So how does this affect us as a Defender?
Well, if a Runner has its food eaten too early in its cycle it will have no target on the random movement tick, so like a newly spawned Runner, it will move randomly in a S/E/W direction, this is known as a 'Hard Crash'. The problem with hard crashes is that because they randomly walk, they can move into locations that may be outside of the sniff distance of the mainstack, trap or trail & continue to randomly walk until recovered. Or they may simply move into a position in which they cannot see the trap food & therefore will instead return to the mainstack. This creates delays & also, can potentially completely diminish your mainstack.
Not all crashes will be before the random walk movement however. If a Penance Runner has its targeted food removed later in its cycle, after the random walk tick, it will continue walking in the direction of its targeted food until it notices the food is gone & then stop. It will then retarget during the next cycle. This is what's known as a 'Soft Crash'.
Advanced: Penance Runners - Targeting Mechanics
Before targeting, the runner first makes sure that there is at least one food within its 'sniff distance' & in line of sight. It will only continue with targeting if this is the case. This distance is 4 tiles for defender level 1, & 5 tiles for levels 2-5.
So assuming the defender is level 5, a Penance Runner will search for food within 5 tiles of it's location, if this condition is met & food is within 5 tiles it will continue to search for food in the surrounding 8x8 tile zones. It will then choose the zone with the highest priority and target the food that was last dropped in that zone that it can see.
If there is no food within 5 tiles of the Penance Runner it will wander randomly 5 tiles south (0.66¯%), east (0.16¯%) or west (0.16¯%). It will then stop and search again, repeating this cycle until it reaches the southern cave where it will "Raaa".
The image below shows the difference between an unblocked west runner which moves out of the 8x8 tile zone that it spawns and into another zone. Therefore, a west runner targets the main-stack before it goes to the trap. South/east/blocked west runners are all still within the 8x8 tile zone that they spawned in, this zone is adjacent to the trap zone and therefore, they are able to directly target the trap.
Recoveries using 8x8 Zones:
There will be more on recoveries later on in this guide but this is the mechanic that underlies them all, it also highlights the importance of safety food.
Credit to: Bakey, Henke18, Jad lost, LHC, Peterobyte
Advanced: Penance Runners - Runner Tick Cycle
There are 4 ‘states’ a Penance Runner can be in: 0, 1, 2 & 3.
Runners will spawn in state 0 but they will not cycle back into state 0, instead they follow the order of: 0 ⇨ 1 ⇨ 2 ⇨ 3 ⇨ 1 ⇨ 2 ⇨ 3…
A Penance Runner will change into the next state after each runner cycle.
Since it resets to 0 every time the runner targets, it's uncommon for it to ever end up in states 2 & 3. In normal gameplay this only happens for the first runner. If you let it walk twice before placing the main-stack it will be in state 2, & a triple west runner would be in state 3.
Penance runners will always spawn in state 0, this is because they are spawned by the scroller therefore skipping the first tick. In this state they are unable to target food & will always walk randomly on tick 6. Aside from spawning, Runners will not naturally cycle back into state 0, the three ways a runner can get back into state 0 are:
1. When they target a food.
Targeting a food will not cancel their pathing to the food, it simply refers to them not being able to retarget another piece of food. If a runner in state 2 targeted on tick 2 for example, it would be reset to state 0 & not be able to retarget again on tick 5.
2. If it noticed the target food is gone. If the food a runner is targeting is removed either from another runner eating it or from a player picking it up, the runner will be reset to state 0 & unable to target another food until the next cycle. This is what causes crashes & is why state 0 is referred to as the ‘crash state’.
3. It also happens after they eat a food, although one tick after they eat it.
States 1-3 depend on how many tick cycles a runner has gone through without targeting food. The major difference between the states is when in the tick cycle a Penance Runner will target food, as each state’s targeting tick is different.
Tick 4: The multi-kill tick.
Unlike the other ticks if a runner eats a piece of food on tick 4, the other runners that have already targeted the food at the trap will be able to simultaneously target the next food in the stack. If those runners are within 4 ticks of the food which is the time it takes the trap to break & assuming there is enough food for them to eat (1 food per runner), they will all die simultaneously regardless of if the trap being at (2) or (1). We refer to this as 1 tick multi-killing or in general terms simply; multi-killing. The reason why multi-killing is so important, is because even though a runner may not be within the distance required for it to die, it will still continue uninterrupted towards the target the trap food instead of crashing as long there is still food for it to target.
Later on in this guide we will cover different types of 1 tick multi-kills but something that confuses a lot of new defenders is that you multi-kill at 6 second intervals, yet the multi-kill tick isn't until tick 4 at 1.8s. This is because it takes:
1. 1 tick for your click to register
2.1 tick for your player to move off the food. This is because NPCs have PID on players. At the start of this tick you were still blocking the tile when the runners attempted to move to it, so it remains registered as a solid tile, even though you moved off of it. Therefore, the runners cannot move onto the tile you were on until the next tick.
3. The runner then moves onto the tile with the food which takes 1 tick.
4. On tick 4 then the runners will eat & multi-kill.
Ticks 1/2/3/5 & 6
The important things to note about these ticks is that they not only surround the multi-tick but they cause crashes. Therefore, if you mistime your multi-kill by 1 tick, only one runner will eat & the other runners will crash. Missed multi-kills are easily recovered if you’ve dropped safety food but due to the time wasted waiting for the runners to retarget it usually means you will have to sacrifice healer lures. Crashed runners will not eat on the multi-kill tick unless blocked from moving due to their random movement so must be manually multi-killed.
If a runner eats a food that another runner is targeting on ticks 7-10, the other runners will go back to state 1 staying in place until tick 4 when they will multi-kill. This is what is a referred to as a slow multi-kill. Although it's required that you 1 tick multi, slow multi-kills have their niche uses in leeches & is most commonly used on during the re-lure method on wave 10. It's worth noting that because a slow multi-kills have a 4 tick clearance on which it can be initiated, it doesn't need to be tick perfect unlike a 1 tick multi. Unlike a 1 tick multi-kill however, it does require the trap to be at (2), due to the Penance Runners dying on 2 different ticks.
Blughhhh delay: If a Runner eats bad food it will reset a Runner's state to 0. There is also something known as a blughhhh delay. The blughhhh delay is set to 3 if a Runner eats a bad food, this is decremented on ticks 1 & 6 until it reaches 0.
A value of 0 means the runner is not affected by the blughhhh anymore (or never blughhhhed). While it's above 0 the runner will not target, random-walk or cancel its destination.
Alongside this if a Runner eats a bad food on ticks 6-10, then it will decrease the current tick by 5. For example, if a bad food is eaten on tick 7, the runner would instantly set its current tick to 2, meaning its next tick would be 3 instead of 8.
Blughhhh destination: After eating a bad food, the runner will set its destination straight vertically, resulting in it walking either straight north or south. The height of the tile it sets differs between wave 1-9 & wave 10.
Wave 1-9: The destination tile is set straight vertically from the current position, so that it's 4 tiles north of the eastern trap.
Wave 10: The destination tile is set straight vertically from the current position, so that it's 4 tiles south of the eastern trap.
A crash occurs when a runner has targeted a food & it’s been removed, either from another runner eating it, being manually picked up or there isn’t enough food placed for the amount of runners being multi-killed.
There are two different kinds of crashes that can occur, a soft & hard crash. Whether a runner will soft or hard crash is dependent on the tick the runner eats, the runner permutations & the runners line of site after it crashes.
Soft crash: A soft crash is when a Runner notices it's targetted food has been removed after the random-walk tick (between ticks 7-10). The Runner's state will be reset to 0 but it will then change to state 1 on tick 1 of the next cycle & retarget the trap food on tick 4.
Hard crash: A hard crash occurs when Runners eat on ticks 1/2/3/5/6. Because a runner will be reset to state 0 after its targeted food has been removed, it won’t be able to retarget therefore on tick 6 it will have no destination. This causes it to walk randomly on tick 6 before it will go back to state 1 on tick 1 of the next cycle. After the random walk, if the Runner:
1. Has food within sniff distance & is within line of site of the trap food it will re-target the trap.
2. Has food within sniff distance & is not in line of site to the trap food, it will return to the main-stack.
3. Has no food within sniff distance it will walk randomly until it’s recovered, within sniff distance of food or reaches the cave where it will “Raaa!” on ticks 1 or 6 & respawn during the next cycle.
Note: If a hard crashed runner targets the main-stack it will be reset to state 0 & potentially eat the main-stack food too early in the tick cycle, this can cause another hard crash making it randomly wander S/E/W again before either targeting & eating the main-stack for a second time or retargeting the trap depending on its position. Therefore, it's important that we attempt to prevent or recover hard crashes as they happen in order to:
1. Prevent us from having to recover them from a bad position,
2. Risk runners reaching the cave,
3. Preserve our main-stack (especially on the later waves) &
4. To allow us to stagger effectively in time to hit essential healer lures.
Spawning off tick:
If a Runner's spawn is delayed, either from a scroller's force or an extension then it will spawn off tick. Existing runners would all remain synchronised but the delayed runner would be off-tick from all others. Therefore, it will not share the same multi-kill tick with all the other runners like it usually would & consequentially it will not be able to be multi-killed.
Note: This is not referring to late reserve spawns caused by an unblocked west runner, as this will still spawn on the same tick in the next cycle and only pertains true if the tick cycle has been manipulated. This is usually a rare occurrence in leeching scenarios.
Credit & disclosure:
The research above was originally conducted by Bakey, Henke, Jad lost & Peterobyte, then further refined by Henke. Although the research that's been undertaken helps us to better understand both how & why runners function, it is considered incomplete until confirmed by Jagex. It's entirely possible runners could potentially be on a 5 tick cycle but this doesn't change our interpretation of it. The research in the guide will be kept up to date as it develops.
Advanced: Penance Runners - Line of Sight
Knowing a Penace Runners los algorithm isn't something a defender is expected to know in depth. However, it does allow us to understand how & why, certain situations occur & how we can fix them.
Below is a common example of how we manipulate los to our advantage.
On Wave 3 it's common to drop a piece of food south of the trap if the third Runner is east & the fourth Runner is south. As you can see from the image below the east runner is able to target the food south of the trap while the south runner can't & instead will target the food north of the trap. This allows us to easily kill the east runner without having to worry about crashes or rely on multi-killing.
Credit to: Bakey, Henke18, Jad lost, LHC, Pterobyte
Advanced: Henke's Runner behaviour
This is an (almost) complete description of runner behaviour.
As a result it contains a lot of detail, most of it being useless for normal gameplay.
You might still find parts 1 and 3 interesting, maybe less so the pseudo code in part 2.
The runner keeps track of the following things in its little brain:
This is updated at the end of each tick.
will decrease the current tick by 5. For example, if a bad food is eaten on tick 7, the runner
would instantly set its current tick to 2, meaning its next tick would be 3 instead of 8.
2. A target food:
This is the food that the runner currently wants to eat.
Sometimes it doesn't have a target.
It's removed when the runner notices that the food doesn't exist on the ground anymore.
next tick when it notices the food is gone (it basically crashes itself).
The tile that the runner currently wants to walk towards.
Sometimes it doesn't have any destination (or is already at the destination).
1. When targeting a new food.
2. When starting random-walk.
3. When eating a bad food and blughhhhing.
4. When getting hit by a blue egg.
A number from 0 to 3.
It's updated in the following cases:
1. On tick 1, according to the pattern: 0->1->2->3->1->2->3->...
2. When targeting a new food. (Set to 0)
3. When realizing the target is gone from the ground. (Set to 0)
targetingState | Target on tick(s)
0 | None
1 | 4
2 | 2 and 5
3 | 3 and 6
Since it resets to 0 every time the runner targets, it's uncommon for it to ever end up in states
2 and 3.
In normal gameplay this only happens for the first runner. If you let it walk twice
before placing mainstack it will be in state 2, and a triple west runner would be in state 3.
The number of tick 1 and tick 6's to pass before returning to normal after blughhhhing.
While it's above 0 the runner will not target, random-walk or cancel its destination.
1. Set to 3 when a runner eats a bad food.
2. Decremented on ticks 1 and 6 (unless already 0).
Here is the instruction book that runners follow each tick (exception: They skip tick 1 when spawning).
It might be hard to follow, but if a runner can do it, so can you!
Before targeting, the runner first makes sure that there is atleast one food within
its 'sniff distance' and in line of sight. It will only continue with targeting if
this is the case.
So for example, if one defender is level 1 and the other is level 2, the average is 1.5
and rounded down this becomes 1. As such, the sniff distance is 4.
But if one is level 1 and the other is level 3, the average becomes 2, and the distance will be 5.
Targeting can happen on ticks 2-6, depending on the 'targetingState'. However, tick 4 is by far
the most common. The runner also can't be delayed from blughhhhing, must have a player within
15 tiles and the sniff distance check must've succeeded.
big part in which food a runner chooses to target. In the following explanation, the "self" chunk
is the one that the runner is standing in itself, and the "nw" chunk would be the one north west
of the self chunk etc.
ne, e, se, n, self, s, nw, w, sw. For each of these chunks, it will go through all its food, in
order from latest placed to earliest placed. For each food, it will check if it has line of sight
to it. The first food it finds with line of sight becomes the new target.
if you look closely.
You can also test line of sight with it. To do this for runners, use the single line or Player/Runner
option. Note that the only range limit for runners are the chunks, so set the range to at least 15.
On tick 6, if a runner either: 1. Has no target, 2. Just realized its target is gone,
or 3. Just ate its target, then it will random-walk (also can't be delayed from blughhhhing).
It's believed to be a 2/3 chance for south, and a 1/6 chance for west and east.
1. If the new destination tile is east of the eastern trap, then it's moved west to be in line with
the eastern trap. And yes, this means that if a runner is standing east of trap, and tries
to random-walk east, it will move west.
2. If the new destination tile is west of "the tile 1 west of western trap", then it's moved east
to be in line with that tile.
1. If the new destination tile is east of "the tile 1 west of eastern trap", then it's moved
west to be in line with that tile.
2. TODO: what about west side?
no longer random. Instead there are a few areas to the south, and the destination tile depends on
which one they are in. See https://i.imgur.com/e0Y4zyB.png for areas and destination tiles for
waves 1-9. For example, if a runner random-walks while in the dark green area, it will set its
destination to the tile at the dark green X.
After eating a bad food, the runner will set its destination straight vertically, resulting in
it walking either straight north or south. The height of the tile it sets differs between
wave 1-9 and wave 10.
The destination tile is set straight vertically from the current position, so that it's
4 tiles north of the eastern trap.
The destination tile is set straight vertically from the current position, so that it's
4 tiles south of the eastern trap.
Assuming the runner has a destination, it will try to walk 1 tile towards it each tick. There are two
exceptions to this however:
1. A runner can't move on the tick it eats.
2. If the runner thinks it has a target, but notices it doesn't exist on ground anymore,
then it won't move that tick.
set the random-walk destination on tick 6, but since it also ate that tick it will not move yet.
Since runners don't forget about targets when eating them, it will realize the target is gone on
the next tick. Therefore it will not walk on that tick either. The result is that it only
ends up doing a 3 tiles long walk, instead of the normal 5.
between walking west/east or north/south because of blocking, they always prefer west/east.
the horn of glory ramp are filled with such tiles. There are also some stray such tiles, probably
placed by mistake. On wave 1-9 there's one a bit east of the west cannon. On wave 10 there's
one far west, somewhere between all the pools.
When a runner eats, it instantly goes "Chomp, chomp.", but it's not considered dead until it
says "Urghhh!". Usually the delay between "Chomp, chomp." and "Urghhh!" is 2 ticks, but this depends
on how the runner was moving before eating.
1. If the runner was moving right before eating, then it urghhhs after 2 ticks. (Most common)
2. If the runner stood still for 1 tick before eating, then it urghhhs after 1 tick. (Very rare)
3. If the runner stood still for 2 or more ticks before eating, then it urghhhs instantly and
you never even see the chomp chomp. (Happens occationally)
It pauses its cycle for 10 ticks.
It forgets about its current target. (TODO: not sure about this)
It sets its destination to the tile of the cannon that shot it.
Sometimes useful in world 6 :-)
runner survives on 0 hp. It can then eat and die for a second time.
8. Update order:
In Runescape, two things can't happen at the same time. One of them has to happen before the other,
even if they both are in the same tick.
You can see each tick as turn based, and the order goes like this:
1. Players do their inventory actions. (Ex: dropping food)
2. Npcs do all their stuff here. (Ex: runner cycle)
3. Players do their movement and interactions. (Ex: picking up food, or repairing trap)
have probably heard of "pid", but here i will focus on npcs.
by static npcs (npcs that have a respawn point). The remaining slots are for dynamic npcs, such
the tick it has its turn.
spawns, this number is increased by 1 until it reaches an id that is not used by any npc in
the whole game. The new npc is then spawned with this number as its id. Once 'currentNpcId'
hits the max (~32k), it gets reset to 0 again.
they get updated before later spawned ones. However, if the 'currentNpcId' number
gets reset back to 0 between the spawning of two runners, the later one will get a lower id instead.
The main way two runners interact with each other is when one of them eats the food the other
was targeting. How the runner who has its food eaten will react depends on which of the runners
have the lower id.
and it works like this:
1. If the runner that eats has lower id, the other runner will realize the food is gone in
the same tick. This is because the food gets eaten before the other runner has its turn.
2. In the reverse situation (other runner has lower id), then it doesn't realize the food is
gone until 1 tick later. This is because it already had its turn before the food was eaten
in the first tick. So the food was still there when it checked.
multikill if they realize their food is gone on tick 4 (multikill tick). This is why a
first runner west and second runner south (w-s) will automatically multikill, even though
the south runner eats on tick 3.
happens if it spawns with a lower id than any of the previous runners. (Which is rare, see
the 'currentNpcId' stuff above)
a runner eats. This results in it not dying, since by the time it ate the food the trap
hadn't been repaired yet.
1. Runners don't tick poison damage from green eggs.
2. The trap takes 4 ticks to repair, or 5 if you were moving when interacting with it.
3. Runners have 5 health. (no shit)
4. If you kill a runner with eggs near trap, it still degrades the trap.
5. The exact spelling of things runners say are:
Advanced: Penance Runners - Update order
In Runescape, two things can't happen at the same time. One of them has to happen before the other, even if they both are in the same tick.
1. Players do their inventory actions. (Ex: dropping food)
2. Npcs do all their stuff here. (Ex: runner cycle)
3. Players do their movement & interactions. (Ex: picking up food, or repairing trap).
The main way two runners interact with each other is when one of them eats the food the other was targeting. How the runner who has its food eaten will react depends on which of the runners have the lower id.
Specifically, the difference is which tick the other runner notices that the food is gone, & it works like this:
1. If the runner that eats has lower id, the other runner will realize the food is gone in the same tick. This is because the food gets eaten before the other runner has its turn.
2. In the reverse situation (other runner has lower id), then it doesn't realize the food is gone until 1 tick later. This is because it already had its turn before the food was eaten in the first tick. So the food was still there when it checked.