Storm the Castle!™ | Fun Teamwork Training Activity

A fun team activity that encompasses teamwork, planning, strategy, risk analysis - and an element of luck!

Learning Objectives

  • Bonds groups together in a fun environment
  • Identifies team players
  • Shows the steps in planning a small project
  • Shows the importance of having a properly thought out strategy
  • Introduces the idea of risk assessment
  • Shows that quality work pays off

Repeat Use Licence

This Northgate training activity comes with a licence for repeat use with up to 24 participants per training session within your organisation. Please ask for a discount for use with larger groups.

  • Participants

    6-24 (2, 3 or ideally 4 teams of 3-6 per team)

  • Timing

    2 hours + debrief

  • Uses a computer?

    Not required

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  • UK delivery

    (normally next working day)


  • Europe delivery

    (1-2 working days)


  • World delivery

    (1-5 working days)



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The Activity

Use as a purely fun activity to relax groups but it also has a lot to say about how teams work together, plan and implement their ideas. Up to three teams are primed to attack a castle with a trebuchet (or siege catapult) – which first they must construct and test. The fourth team constructs the castle and prepares for its defence. They have a number of strings to their bow: hiding archers in nearby woods, undermining trebuchet sites – and a secret weapon!

At the start of battle Defenders hold all the points but if the castle takes a direct hit from an Attacker points transfer from Defender to Attacker. The better the hit the greater the points won. The distribution of points at the end of battle determines the winner. Carefully made plans are put to the test but as in real life things don’t always turn out as expected!

Trainer's Role

  • Divide the group according to instructions in the Trainer’s Notes and briefly introduce the activity as an opportunity to work as a team on a fun task
  • Begin the activity by issuing the appropriate Team Briefs. When asked by teams issue the appropriate Construction Plans and Set of Resources
  • After a further 20 minutes issue each team with a Deployment Form and explain you’ll collect them in 30 minutes
  • If teams ask, allow them to set up a dummy tower for firing practice. And award extra points to Defenders IF they build an impressive castle with imaginative embellishments!
  • Collect Deployment Forms to establish the outcome of any pre-battle activity and announce current point scores for each team
  • Give go-ahead for the castle and trebuchet(s) to be placed on the training room floor. Check distances are as per the map. Let battle commence, trebuchets firing alternately and scoring accordingly. Be prepared for the ‘last throw of the dice ‘option for both Defenders and Attackers
  • When all boulders have been used, or before if Defenders are reduced to a zero score, the battle ends
  • Announce the winner(s) and lead a short debrief

There’s a Team Review Sheet to hand out and full details on running and debriefing the session are given in the Trainer’s Notes.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer’s Notes
  • Team Brief - Attackers
  • Team Brief - Defenders
  • Trebuchet Construction Plans
  • Castle Construction Plans
  • Deployment Forms
  • Sets of Resources (card, tape, scissors, ruler, wood sticks, elastic bands etc)
  • Pad: Team Review Sheets
  • Tape Measure & Dice

We used 'Storm the Castle!' at the start of a three-day course where participants didn’t know each other. We started at 4pm and it ran for two hours and when battle commenced it was mayhem! Many useful learning points emerged about group dynamics and the characteristics of effective teams – not least in bonding and celebrating success. Afterwards the trebuchets were taken to the bar and were the centre of discussions for the whole evening.

J. Lane, Independent Consultant

As a general comment, Northgate activities are quality materials with good Facilitator Guides. On 'Storm the Castle!' - it's a fun activity and illustrates lots of points: the importance of planning at the start, attention to detail, group decision-making, organising the team and good team dynamics. Using the Team Review Handout lets participants lead the review.

Moira Robertson, Training Manager, Scottish Prison Service College

'Storm the Castle!' is really interactive and highlights the need for good teamwork, good strategy and the effective allocation of tasks. Northgate activities are very good, very informative and do what they say they do!

Colin Osborne, Learning & Development Manager NW Europe, Kuehne + Nagel

Fun and informative! 'Storm the Castle' highlights the need to work as a team, to have effective communication and to plan and organise. Really gets minds and fingers working. Well paced, well thought out.

K. Gale, First Great Western

'Storm the Castle!' was great fun. We used this activity during our Graduate Management induction week. Not only did it help with problem solving, planning and relationship building; it also brought out how competitive and creative they all were. A great activity to use to be able to pull out some key team building behaviours.

Kevin Larvin, Learning & Development Manager, The Doyle Collection

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