Old School RuneScape Wiki
This article is about the guide for playing Barbarian Assault. For the main article, see Barbarian Assault.

General strategies

After defeating the Penance queen once, consider completing the hard Kandarin diary as you will get 10% more points if completed.

Using the cannon does not lose points for any players. Penance runners have low Hitpoints, and thus, die with 2 red egg hits, 3 green eggs, 2 green eggs followed by a blue egg or 1 red egg followed by either a green or blue egg. Killing penance runners will often cut down the times in games.

There are two further main strategies for maximising the points you gain as a team, in the shortest amount of time:

Those who are 80+ Defence, in a team with good healer(s) of a high level where team-members know their roles, should not wear armour for the first nine waves.

Two healers are suggested at the later waves (Wave 8-10), as killing both the penance healers and constantly healing team members will take longer time than the other roles. Those with Defence levels of less than 80 should be wearing armour to avoid death.

Wave breakdown

For waves with multiple numbers in a column, the number in parenthesis shows the total number of monsters in that wave, the first number shows the number of monsters that initially spawn, and the second shows the monsters held in reserve.

For example, on Wave 2, two runners spawn initially. Once the first runner is killed, another (the third) will spawn. On Wave 3, two runners spawn initially. Once the first runner is killed, one more runner will spawn. Once another runner is killed, the fourth (and last) runner will spawn. Creatures can be killed in any order, the first ones to spawn do not need to be killed first to allow others to spawn.

Monsters per wave

Wave Runners Healers Rangers Fighters
1 2 + 0 (2) 2 + 0 (2) 2 + 2 (4) 2 + 2 (4)
2 2 + 1 (3) 3 + 0 (3) 3 + 1 (4) 2 + 3 (5)
3 2 + 2 (4) 2 + 1 (3) 3 + 3 (6) 5 + 0 (5)
4 3 + 1 (4) 3 + 1 (4) 3 + 3 (6) 5 + 1 (6)
5 4 + 1 (5) 4 + 1 (5) 5 + 1 (6) 3 + 3 (6)
6 4 + 2 (6) 4 + 2 (6) 5 + 2 (7) 5 + 1 (6)
7 5 + 1 (6) 4 + 3 (7) 6 + 1 (7) 5 + 2 (7)
8 5 + 2 (7) 5 + 2 (7) 5 + 3 (8) 7 + 0 (7)
9 5 + 4 (9) 6 + 2 (8) 7 + 1 (8) 6 + 2 (8)
10 5 + 1 (6) 4 + 3 (7) 6 + 1 (7) 5 + 2 (7)

The Penance Queen

Penance information

Key: 3-1 means that 3 will come out early in the wave, while 1 is a reserve, that won't come out until one of the 3 dies.

Penance Information
Wave Fighters Fighter HP Rangers Ranger HP Healer Healer HP Runners
1 2-2 28 2-2 20 2-0 27 2-0
2 2-3 29 3-1 28 3-0 32 2-1
3 5-0 32 3-3 29 2-1 37 2-2
4 5-1 37 3-3 34 3-1 43 3-1
5 3-3 38 5-1 41 4-1 49 4-1
6 5-1 49 5-2 50 4-2 55 4-2


5-2 50 6-1 50 4-3 60 5-1
8 7-0 55 5-3 54 5-2 67 5-2
9 6-2 56 7-1 58 6-2 76 5-4
10 5-2 50 6-1 50 4-3 60 5-1


While playing Barbarian Assault, players may only suffer melee, ranged or poison damage from the Penance monsters. As such, wearing melee armour with both high melee and ranged defence bonus is recommended. During Wave 10, the Penance Queen will attack with a ranged attack when distant and a melee attack when in range. She can also use a strong group ranged attack at any time, even if you are not in her view, so using armour with high ranged defence is the best choice.

Melee barrows equipment is generally the best choice. An Excalibur can be quite useful for any role other than Attacker, as it increases the player's Defence level, which can help reduce damage taken overtime.

Many players wear Penance armour for visual appeal or as a sign of experience in the minigame, it may be worthwhile wearing any penance armour you have to help yourself get recruited into better teams.

Quick overview


  • Call quickly. Calls change every 30 seconds, attempt to get a feel for when this will happen. You can use the horn.
  • Usually a second Attacker or Healer is more useful than another Collector or Defender.

Attacker (red)

  • Bring your strongest weapons (Ranged is slightly better than Melee) with some potions. If bringing melee, bring weapons that cover all 4 attack styles (Accurate, Aggressive, Defensive and Controlled)
  • At the beginning of each wave, grab arrows from the red dispenser if using Ranged
  • Run north along the west-wall of the map to get to the northwest. Do not run in the middle of the map.
  • Kill Penance Fighters and Rangers using the attack style indicated in the topright.
  • Run away if at risk of dying and wait for the Healer to heal you.

Collector (yellow)

  • At the start of the wave, run west with the attacker. Do not run up the centre of the arena.
  • Load eggs at the end of the first call, or after collecting a half invent of eggs and converting to red.

Healer (green)

  • Run to use the dispenser as quickly as possible, run north-east and call for Defender (consider doing this first).
  • Use one pack of food on each Healer, then re-use a new food when the poison is damaging 3's or lower.
  • Watch players' health carefully - do not let anyone die. You can heal team mates while letting the poison do its 4's damage.
  • Learn the Spawns of Penance healers.

Defender (blue)

  • Run to dispenser as quick as possible, run east around the cannon and call for Healer.
  • Run one square north of the trap, drop 3 correct foods. Run north-west and drop 1 food west of the first big spike, and proceed to drop 5 correct foods west of the second big spike.
  • Grab 2 logs and the hammer (from the North spawn), and make your way back to the trap.
  • Call for Healer, and drop 9 more correct foods one square north of the trap.
  • Standing on the food pile by the trap will prevent runners from getting it. You can use this to get multiple runners (up to 5) to be killed at once.
  • Learn the Spawns of Penance runners.
  • For any loose runners, use wrong foods to bring them back north.

Here's a map for reference

Gameplay strategy

See Barbarian_Assault/Gameplay#Job_summaries for basic gameplay information before perusing the strategies listed below.

Barbarian Assault gameplay is not quite as straightforward as it sounds. There are many ways your team can maximise the number of points earned. The following outlines some tactics players may employ in order to earn a high number of points each round.

The most basic rule of Barbarian Assault, and one of the easiest ways of avoiding penalties, is to remember to continually call with the horn given to each player at the beginning of the wave. Players should always promptly call out the correct action or item name to their teammates each time it changes. If players do not call, their team-mates are likely to perform the wrong action and, thus, incur penalties. Players should also remember that if they find themselves idle after completing their tasks, using the Horn of Glory is an excellent way of making sure that all members of a team are kept up-to-date. Using the cannon's red eggs to kill off penance runners is also efficient help for teams where everyone is being called. Red eggs should be used only on runners until all runners are dead—otherwise, they would be wasted, as the other Penance monsters can be killed rather quickly and easily.


See Barbarian_Assault/Gameplay#Attacker for basic gameplay information before perusing the strategies listed below.

In Barbarian Assault, Ranged is slightly more effective than attacking with melee. The optimal setup, as listed in the gear chart below, is full void with a magic shortbow (i). Before the round starts, ensure that your combat style is set to Rapid and that Auto Retaliate is turned off. As soon as each wave begins, click the red dispenser near the spawn point to get four types of arrows. Pay attention to the arrow that you should use as indicated in the top-right; these arrows are colour-coded based on magic spells so you don't have to memorize their names. For example, if the collector calls Aggressive/Blunt/Earth, you should equip the green arrows because earth spells are green. Once you have the arrows, run along the west side of the room (behind the cannon) to the northwest corner where the attackable monsters spawn. The Collector will call the correct arrow type with his horn. Make sure you call with your horn the type of egg that the Collector should pick up.

If using melee, make sure to have weapons that cover all four attack styles: Accurate, Aggressive, Controlled and Defensive. The Dragon Scimitar has all four styles. Alternatively, you may bring two weapons such as an Abyssal whip and Saradomin Sword. When the wave starts, run up along the west side of the room (around the cannon) to the northwest corner where the attackable monsters spawn.

You should bring potions as an attacker. If using Ranged, bring approximately 2 Ranging potions and 2 Super defence potions. If using melee, bring 2 Super combat potions.

In teams with two attackers, one should focus on the Penance Fighters and one should focus on the Penance Rangers; this allows for faster wave completion and reduces the burden on each attacker. In teams with one attacker, it is advisable to swap between fighters and rangers so as to kill each at approximately equal rates. Remember to stop attacking when the call changes so you do not incur penalties from wrong attacks - each wrong attack will hit 0 damage on the penance, deal 2 damage to you, and cost a everyone on the team 1 point per missed hit. When you have finished your job, run to the eastern cannon platform and prepare to shoot eggs at healers or any stray runners.

If you find yourself at low hitpoints, run onto the western cannon platform to avoid most attacks, and then call for the healer by right-clicking your horn and clicking the "Medic" option. This will let them know you need healing. You may potentially attack fighters that are unable to reach you from this vantage point. However, be aware that rangers may still hit you unless you stand off to the side, so if there are rangers targeting you prioritize your own survival over continuing your role.


By collecting as many eggs as possible, you earn more honour points, so collect every correct egg you see until the wave ends. Call out to the attacker when the style changes if you want the egg colour called to you. When you have 5+ poison and explosive eggs, deposit into the egg launcher for the defender and other idle teammates to use against the penance runners. If you have a full inventory but cannot deposit into the egg launcher since it's full, use the egg converter to rid yourself of most of your eggs. This is one reason why you may not want to level up your collector level; the egg destruction method works best at level 2. You cannot use egg converter when level 1 collector. Another method to get rid of eggs, is to simply right-click and chose the option "destroy". This may come in handy if you don't want to run to the converter. Note that with "destroy", it destroys the first egg of that type in your inventory, which makes it easy to quickly destroy plenty of eggs, but the eggs in the bag are not destroyed. The best way to do this is to drag any egg of the colour you would like to destroy, to the last position of your inventory. Then, right click that egg in the bottom-right hand corner just right so that if you right click it once more, your cursor is already on “destroy”. This makes it as previously stated, easy to destroy a whole inventory of eggs in a matter of seconds so you can begin collecting more. During gameplay, it is important that the egg launcher is used to kill runners whenever possible, in order to prevent high penalties from runners that get away.

The egg launcher is almost completely useless against other monsters (except, of course, omega eggs used to kill the Penance Queen) due to their high HP, however, if they are hit by a large amount of poison and/or explosive eggs, it does help. Hitting any penance with an egg will also damage penance within a small radius around them, maximising damage per egg fired. During Wave 10, before the queen arrives, you can stand at the Horn of Glory to call for teammates and/or collect, convert, and fire eggs to kill penance because you cannot attack the queen until they are all killed.

There are times though that level 5 collector does come in handy, as you can pick up any egg type and convert the eggs into red; getting red eggs into the cannon faster than a normal level 2 collector who has to wait for the cycle to give him/her red eggs. This 100% red egg feedback function can be very helpful if the defender is either away-from-keyboard or is inexperienced at their job. Red explosives can save a lot of points for your team when used on runners.

Collectors in Wave 10 should start picking yellow eggs as quickly as they can, always watching their own health and keep trying to pick the eggs that are close to the pool, so the healer doesn't have to run and fight to be able to click on the collector. Before the queen arrives, it can be useful just to stay at the horn of glory and call out to team-mates as you will not get any extra points for collecting normal eggs. Take into account, however, you must kill all other penance before you can damage the queen so it could be useful to collect a few eggs for the purpose of killing the last one or two. Only a single egg is required to kill the queen, but up to eight can be used.


This is perhaps one of the most difficult jobs to master. But, as impossible as it may seem, a skilled defender can easily be finished far before any of the other teammates. One way to stop runners from reaching the lure cave is by dropping a straight line of random types of bait parallel to the south wall, as it is almost an impenetrable barrier that stops runners from getting past. Important: There is no penalty for using the wrong type of bait, and there is also no penalty for using the egg launcher, so you can put up a line of bait and use explosive/poison eggs instead. Two explosive eggs/five poison eggs/one explosive egg plus two poison eggs kill a runner. Remember to call to the healer frequently. Blocking the caves using planks will only slow your team down and will not be required if you play defender properly and keep the bait line in place. Keep an eye out for the occasional single runner that gets past on the far left side. In Wave 10, you will not lose points if the runners go through the lure cave. Because the collector may not get the eggs loaded fast enough, here is a good strategy for actually getting them to the trap:

As soon as the wave starts, get the food and run north-east. Drop some of the correct food north of the trap or anywhere around it. Run north-west dropping correct foods, and focus on dropping a larger amount next to the big spike by the runners spawn cave. While there, grab enough logs and a hammer. Run back to the trap, and by now the call should be changing. You can time yourself being slow or fast by paying attention to which step you are when the call changes. Place the rest of the 2nd call food at the same spot you dropped the first foods, and make a pile of correct foods. An easier way to get multiple kills at the same time is to stand on top of the pile until you have 4-5 runners standing around you, waiting to feast on the lures. After you deem there are enough runners to be killed, move one square south off the pile. This will make a single runner eat the 1st food, but after some ticks the rest of the runners will eat all at the same time, performing a multi-kill. Remember that the trap will then be broken, so you'll have to fix it by using the logs and hammer. Repeat the process of stacking/killing and fixing when needed.

Amount of logs per wave needed:

  • Wave 1: 0
  • Wave 2, 3 & 4: 1
  • Wave 5, 6 & 7: 2
  • Wave 8: 3
  • Wave 9: 4
  • Wave 10: 2

Note: As said above, if you lure several runners at a time to multiple correct foods next to the trap, the trap will kill them all, even if it should have been broken. This way, you can kill, for example, three runners before you need to repair the trap, saving logs and time from the method.

After repairing the traps, look for any runners which may have gotten past. A good strategy to lure them back is to place a correct foods where you want it to go, then run to place a wrong food where you don't want it to go. Note: You need to drop the correct food on the traps; otherwise, the trap will not spring! The trap is good for killing two runners before it needs to be repaired. It's also a good idea to stick to the east trap as it's closer to the spawn tunnel. The western trap should hardly ever be used. Tips for when healers don't call (or don't call correctly):

  • Try to drop all three types of food equally, the runners are sure to pick up the right one eventually.
  • Don't forget to make the runners recoil by dropping food if they're getting too much south. You've got a 2/3 chance that they'll run back north once they come across your food.
  • Always call the healer, even if he doesn't. It is possible he just isn't good at calling, or simply forgot once. Chances are he'll get kicked out of the team on the next wave for not calling or not killing the penance healers.
  • If performing the strategy correctly, you should be able to stack all the runners around you with a pile of random food under you. You can wait for the correct call (if it happens) while having all runners gathered and drop 5 of the correct food under you. Wait 6 seconds at least, and move one square south.

Note: This will surely slow your defending down, but it is still better than just letting them all go south (making you lose points). Your teammates might get angry at you for being slow, but don't mind them.

A slight variation to the above method is to barricade the runner’s cave (the third cave, going west to east) before checking on the trap. This gives you time to grab more logs, repair your trap and bait it again, before letting another two runners through and re-barricading the cave. This way is slower but better for points because it is unlikely many runners will reach the south cave. It should also be pointed out that this method is redundant for Wave 10, where you lose no points to runners getting past.

Here's another method, which works very well for some people. It is quite easy to do, and does not require a higher defender level. First, you should call and get the bait. Then, run to the right platform and use up all but 12 baits. Use ALL types, in a few different locations above the platform. Then, use ALL 12 of the other baits right on top of the trap. Now, go refuel baits and pick up logs/hammer. Repair as necessary, and keep stocking the baits as indicated above. Since the wrong bait only causes the runners to recoil, you can ensure that they all stay in the top right corner of the map. It seems as though the runners "pick" one bait within their range to go eat, and they will eat/recoil based on what type it is. This method may seem slow; however, it usually finishes faster than most other defender methods. Essentially, this method traps all the runners in one spot so they can't escape, and some of them end up running to the trap. As long as the defender restocks all the bait and repairs the trap, this method will allow the defender to get through all the waves with no escaped runners. Don't forget to call often! Another good thing about the above method is that it does not require the defender to know what type of bait is called.

At Wave 10, speed is of the essence, so don't mind runners getting past as much (though it might slow you down). Make sure they're dead before the queen shows up, since it will be very risky for you to kill them when she's shooting at you. Not to mention how stressed the healers will be if they need to keep running between you and the pool.

When you get the eight spiked eggs, dip them into lava (preferably the pools west of the healer pool, since it's the closest) and pass them on to the collector. Remember the collector is the only one who can load the omega eggs.

Also on Wave 10, the defender's job will get very easy as the east hill will be gone and the runners cave will now be the last one on the right instead of the second last one. This will make it possible to just put food on or around the trap and wait for runners to pass. Plus, there is a spot just south of the trap that runners might get stuck in, making it easy to pull the runners back to the trap by putting food behind them.

It is best if you work out your own method, like less barricading or luring the defenders from their cave to the trap with only correct food. Changing your methods often result to faster killing, but might let one runner slip. You will notice for example that a more defensive tactic is needed when doing higher waves, while you don't need to nearly drop as much incorrect food when in wave 1.


The healer level is second in importance after the attacker level as the amount of HP restored per dose can greatly affect a team's survival chances. If the team does not have two healers, it is important for you to generally heal first and kill healers later on in Waves 9 and 10. You can drop a poison pack into healers when you are near one, but by concentrating on healing you ensure the team's survival.

On a team with two healers, the higher levelled healer should concentrate on healing while the lower levelled healer should kill the penance healers. In most teams though, both Healers try to both kill Penance and heal. On every wave except wave 10, the more Hitpoints healed, the more honour points earned from healing (capped at 512 HP and 28 points). For this reason, it's a good idea to heal every teammate to the maximum after the penance healers are dead. If you are confident in your healing skills, you can concentrate more on killing the healers. One way to balance poisoning-healing, is to wait to heal teammates until their health drops below 40. This gives you plenty of time to find and patch them up, though this is a bad idea if you are only a level 1 healer or if your teammates are low-levelled (level 1 can only heal 10 hitpoints per dose).

Because of the complexity of the defender's job, healers are often the ones who need to keep up on their calling the most. Although healing is top priority to avoid losing a teammate, failing to update the defender on proper bait can result in the loss of a lot of points and a long time waiting for all runners to be killed. It is a good idea to check every seven or so seconds to see if you need to call for the defender again. Remember that calls change every 30 seconds, so it may even be smart to count in your head the seconds that pass as you either poison or heal.

On Wave 10, two healers, or one maxed healer, is recommended since the Penance Queen damages quite frequently. It is a good idea to kill the penance healers as fast as possible so that you don't need to search for them after the queen has arrived (which is generally a bad idea). You only need to use two packs on each healer in order to kill them, so it's best to use them both fast and then go on to the other healers. When you receive the eggs, make sure your teammates do not die before poisoning the eggs. Do not bother to poison more than eight eggs, since all above that amount is a waste of time. If all eggs are poisoned, heal your teammates again and then pass the eggs to the attacker. Keep track of your teammates' HP until the queen is dead.

Advanced Strategies


The collector's job is to pick up the eggs that the attacker calls, which are dropped from fallen monsters, and, if needed, to load them into the cannon. If you look on the advanced part of the points received screen you will notice that it shows for collector "eggs picked up, minus eggs exploded." As such, any penalties incurred can be offset by collecting more eggs.


Similar to the strategy above, defending advanced tactics has the same steps, but a few variations. Defender is a support role for an advanced Healer, and so it's the Defender's job to help keep control of the penance healers. The variations to defend for an advanced team includes speed, delays, timers. For the low waves (1-4) The Defender has to rush the 3-1-5 drops (trap, trail, mainstack) in order to force new runners to spawn earlier. For mid and high waves (5-10) the Defender shall delay on the south-east corner of the cannon, where he can watch the penance healers spawn without being in lure range. After the 2nd healer spawns, the Defender shall perform the 3-1-5 drops (trap, trail, mainstack) with speed and cosistency. By the time you're dropping the mainstack (pile of 5 foods) the 3rd healer should be spawning, and you have delay to make sure it poisons you before you run to the logs and hammer. For the sake of keeping the spreads and running back in time, the Defender is expected to pick up only 1 or 2 logs, grab hammer and run back to trap, where later on the Defender should be able to multi-kill runners and lure the last penance healers to spawn. Better defenders will also stagger the kills, leaving one last runner roaming north-east of the map with the trap fixed, so the defender can run to lure the last healers earlier. Luring the last healers is important to have the advanced healer spam the remaining foods on it until its death.

Number of runners to kill on each wave using this method:

  • Wave 1: 2
  • Wave 2: 1 then 2
  • Wave 3: 2 then 2
  • Wave 4: 2 then 2 (or 1 then 3 if you're confident with multi-killing)
  • Wave 5: 2 then 3 (or 1 then 4 if you're confident with multi-killing, or 3 then 2 to stagger)
  • Wave 6: 2 then 4 (or 2-2-2 if you are quick enough to get the repair & to stagger)
  • Wave 7: 2 then 4 (or 1-3-2 if you're confident with multi-killing)
  • Wave 8: 2 then 5 (or 2-3-2)
  • Wave 9: 2 then 5 then 2 (or 2-4-1-2 to properly achieve staggering)
  • Wave 10: 2 then 4 (or 2-2-2)


In order to heal advanced strategies, the player must first learn the penance healer spawn numbers per wave.

The strategy behind advanced healing is to have the reserve number of healers coming out ASAP while killing the remaining healers slowly, and once the new reserve healers are out, kill them ASAP to match the timing with the slow-dieing healers. I.g. for wave 8, the number of spawns is 5-2 (means 5 healers will spawn at the same time, and 2 are reserves waiting for other healers deaths to spawn), means you have to kill 2 healers quickly while letting 3 healers die slow. Then for the last 2 healers that actually spawn, kill them asap while the other 3 you picked to die slow will be dieing as well.

Although this sounds simple, it can be quite a task to keep track of which healers you've decided to kill fast, when to repoison slow dieing healers, being at the spawn cave to poison the fresh spawned reserves. This is the skill it takes to be an elite healer.

To be safe, you can use another piece of food on a repoison healer whenever the first food is damaging 3's. This will ensure the healers death.

If you are done make your way to the cannon and help out whoever's falling behind. Remember, the team still gets full points when using one of the cannons.