From Frozen Synapse wiki
In the Disputed game mode the objective is to collect and safely extract from the map boxes that appear on it at the end of the fourth turn. While for the first turns the game plays like most games of Extermination, the overall emphasis of Disputed is on gaining control of the map, particularly the center.
In the first turns of a game of Disputed the units are deployed in fixed locations for both players. The unit composition for each team may or may not be the same.
At the very end of the fourth turn, boxes appear as red squares on the map. Players are able to see the position of the boxes when they are planning their fifth turn.
At the same time, the extraction (green) zones are activated. Until the end of the game, any unit that enters a green zone is extracted. This currently includes units that are not carrying boxes, so be wary of having units in the green zone at the start of turn five.
To collect a box, simply walk a unit over it. To get credit for taking the box you must then extract the unit that collected by walking it into the green area around the edges of the map.
If a unit who collected a box is destroyed while trying to extract it to the safe (green) zone, the box is lost and no player is credited for its extraction (but see Ending Conditions for a possible exception to this rule).
The location of the boxes for each generated map is set: in every duplicate the position of the boxes is the same. The overall position of the boxes in a map is fair in terms of relative position of the boxes among themselves, relative position of the boxes towards the areas of the map the players start in and relative position to the edge of the screen.
This means that if two boxes are close together, they are very likely to be near the geometrical center of the game map, and if a box is slightly closer to one of the sides of the map, then it is more likely to be away from the edge of the screen, in a position where its extraction can only be accomplished with greater risk.
When one side's units are all dead or extracted, the game ends and any boxes remaining on the field are awarded to the remaining player. Think carefully before extracting your last unit!
The stated rules are unclear about what happens if the turn limit is reached while both teams still have units on the field. Boxes remaining uncollected are not awarded to either player. Boxes that have been picked up are counted, apparently even if the unit that picked them up was subsequently killed (see game 273759 on UK1; note that this was a custom Dark Disputed match with only 5 turns).
In either case, the winner is determined based on the number of boxes awarded to each side (see Scoring for further details).
The team who was awarded the most boxes wins.
Each team receives 30 points per box, and -30 points for every box awarded to their opponent. Boxes that are being carried by a unit that is killed are removed from the scoring and do not count to either side (but see Ending Conditions for a possible exception).
In other words, the formula is
your score = 30*x - 30*y x = number of boxes awarded to you y = number of boxes awarded to your opponent
If one side is wiped out before the boxes appear at the end of turn 4 the survivor is awarded 140 points.
Tips & Tricks
- Unless you can wipe your opponent out before the end of Turn 4, you gain no explicit advantage for killing opposing units. Focus on positioning your units and denying ground to your opponent over trying to wipe out the opposing side.
- The boxes mostly tend be clustered towards the middle of the map, so holding (or at least covering) this area of the map at the end of turn 4 will set you up well once the boxes appear.
- Boxes held by a unit that dies are removed from the scoring formula and not awarded to either team. This means that grabbing a box and suiciding your unit to deny the points to your enemy may be a valid move for boxes you have no chance of otherwise extracting. "If I can't have it, no one will."