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  #46   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 03-30-2004, 12:29 PM
KenWittlief KenWittlief is offline
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

I dont think there is anything wrong with playing defensively in the elimination rounds, as long as you are not mixing it up to the point where your bot gets damaged, or you forget that you MUST score points yourself to win

but in the qualifying matches focusing on defense is a mistake -it will knock you down in the rankings

in general I have seen more teams playing defensively in the elim rounds - which indicates that most teams understand all this

I think the fact that the national high score (220) happened during a quarterfinal at buckeye only shows that 4 exceptional bots were on the field in that match - all 4 bots were on the bar, and small balls were scored and goals were capped.

but teams are being defensive in the playoffs.
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Unread 03-30-2004, 12:44 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

I agree with John that you have to know when you are beat offensively. Sometimes you just go against teams that can score more points than you. I do not agree that you shouldn't play defense in qualification. I think it comes down to picking your battles well.

Too many teams are going out onto the field just expecting to score as many points as they can and win. Well when you are playing against an alliance who can score 200+ points and your alliance can barely break 150, it's time to play some defense. Most teams score FAR less points if you just get in their way a little.

In AZ team 60 was scoring 100+ points per match on their own. Team 1011 had a simple swerve drive robot. 1011 stuck on 60 the whole match, they kept them from hearding, they kept them from capping and they kept them hanging. Could 1011 have outscored 60? NO WAY! but they stopped them from scoring a ton of points, and showed other teams that they had the ability to stop big scorers (they got picked by the second alliance).
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Unread 03-30-2004, 01:36 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Basically, we have "played to win" this year, and let the points fall where they may. If you end up 10-0-0, or 9-1-0 in the Q matches, you are going to be in good shape, even if your opponents' ave score is zero. Our primary offence has been to hang every match, and we have used various bits of defense to reduce ball scoring and hanging by our opponents. So far, though, we have not faced alliances capable of scoring 200+ points in a match, as will be the case at Atlanta.

It is now going to be a more complex thing to come up with a winning strategy, when we will start seeing super ball scorers. When 210 and 220 points are scored, as in some matches at Cleveland and Evanston, two robots hanging and a few balls in an uncapped goal obviously isn't going to get it. If two robots like our very good hanger, but without ball collecting capability, are on the same alliance, we will have to have a very offensive defense to beat teams who can score and cap 15 balls and whose partner can hang.
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  #49   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 03-30-2004, 01:58 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Pettit
As a team that was taken out of the semi-finals in LA by 22's exceptional defense, I can see the worth of planning defense into your strategy.
I think that was a good example of why your alliance needs to be flexible. 1127 and 22 were big ball robots that could hang. 330 hangs, defends the bar, and keeps the doubler off the stationary goal. The plan was to have 330 hang and defend the whole match while 1127 and 22 switch out and play offense. That worked fine in the quarterfinals, but when they came up against 991's alliance, it was apparent that since 330 wasn't being effective at keeping the doubler off, and 1127 and 22 weren't being effective at hanging, they had no chance to outscore 991's alliance.

So, for the second match of the semi finals and on, 22 played defense on the opposing robots. They had a very good drive train: 6 wheels, 4 motors, shift on the fly. They were quite effective at stopping everyone in the semifinals, because they only had to concentrate on 1 robot at a time. 991 when they were pushing balls, and 968 when they were putting the doubler on.

When it came to the finals, though, that strategy broke down. Both 69 and 980 could handle the doubler, and both could hang well. So, 22 could harass 1, but not both, and the other one was always scoring. 330 couldn't effectively keep 2 robots off the bar at the same time, and that's why they lost in 2 rounds in the finals.
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Unread 03-30-2004, 02:48 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JVN
Screw the statistics... play the match SMART.

(This is a greatly simplified situation that I'm going to use to prove a point....)
Let's say I can score 4 balls a match, my partner can score 8 balls a match.
We are against a team that can score 20 balls a match, and their partner can score 6 balls a match.

Strategy dictates that I stop the "20 ball" team from scoring, such that my "8 ball" partner beats their "6 ball partner".

Why would we lose 26-12 when we can potentially win this thing with some good defensive play.
This simplified analogy also applies to this years game.

John
You are crazy. This is ridiculus. There is noooo reason to play defense in this year's game. None. Just let those ball scoring teams do what they want.

"... these are not the droids you are looking for."

Andy B.
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Unread 03-30-2004, 03:38 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Baker
You are crazy. This is ridiculus. There is noooo reason to play defense in this year's game. None. Just let those ball scoring teams do what they want.

"... these are not the droids you are looking for."

Andy B.
Haha, I see where Andy is coming from, being from a team with awesome small ball capabitlities, however I disagree entirely... I am so confident in our ability to score the small balls that I say LET teams try to defend against us, that way the opponents score will be minimal and when they realize we are gonna score the balls anyway it is too late for them... (once again I have to thank Andy for those transmissions, they make ball delivery oh so much easier)
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Unread 03-30-2004, 03:58 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Baker
You are crazy. This is ridiculus. There is noooo reason to play defense in this year's game. None. Just let those ball scoring teams do what they want.

"... these are not the droids you are looking for."

Andy B.

not true. not true AT ALL. team 138 had to fight to win, and we fought well. though we didnt score as well as other teams, we won on defense and being able to hang.

i recall one match where we were allied with 1152 where all they did was ram another bot into the corner to keep them busy while we racked up a few points. we won.

another example: how did we lose the final match? 501 and 69 teamed up on 40 and flipped them. then they blocked BUZZ from doing anything, and then 501 left buzz to hang. match over. the statement that there is "no reason to play defense" is a product beyond brain damage, it is just plain ludicrous.
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Unread 03-30-2004, 04:00 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoteAugen
not true. not true AT ALL. team 138 had to fight to win, and we fought well. though we didnt score as well as other teams, we won on defense and being able to hang.

i recall one match where we were allied with 1152 where all they did was ram another bot into the corner to keep them busy while we racked up a few points. we won.

another example: how did we lose the final match? 501 and 69 teamed up on 40 and flipped them. then they blocked BUZZ from doing anything, and then 501 left buzz to hang. match over. the statement that there is "no reason to play defense" is a product beyond brain damage, it is just plain ludicrous.
The small ball bots are just scared. Thats all. Distraction

..just as I am doing now.
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  #54   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 03-30-2004, 04:12 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

I've received some advice from my lawyer ()...
He urges me to make the following statement.

If you are looking for defense in the finals and end up seeded... you can look to 229. Among our OFFENSIVE capabilities... we've got some defense up our sleeve. Surprise, surprise.

John
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Unread 03-30-2004, 04:54 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Bareiss
In AZ team 60 was scoring 100+ points per match on their own. Team 1011 had a simple swerve drive robot. 1011 stuck on 60 the whole match, they kept them from hearding, they kept them from capping and they kept them hanging. Could 1011 have outscored 60? NO WAY! but they stopped them from scoring a ton of points, and showed other teams that they had the ability to stop big scorers (they got picked by the second alliance).

I have to completely agree with Eric and John in the sense that you have to pick your battles wisely. There are always going to be bots out there that are designed efficiently, run like a dream, dominate every match in their sight, etc. For some teams, if they aren't big scorers or very reliable (or even if they just think it's within their best interests), defense could possibly be the way to go. Especially if you have a reliable partner who could score... what would be stopping you? Fear of not having an entertaining match for the audience?

Or what about teams that show off what they can do in the qualifications at the expense of the match? The '2x the loser's score' rule was disregarded at times so that teams could show their stuff... go out there and show how effectively they could block or do what they did best. A lot of times, capabilities can't be assumed - strut your stuff and don't let rankings matter.

There is no 'better' way to go. This argument, in some ways, is a bit out of hand and a bit offensive. Every match isn't determinable by simply offense or defense by any means - it's a combination of factors. Reliability of robots, skill of drivers, limitations of robots, timing, partners, opposing teams, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on. You can attempt to simplify matches into black and white, but offense will get you nowhere if an arm falls off while capping; defense won't win the game if you aren't very good at it.

Strategy is strategy. That's why it exists, and that's why it's used match after match. Play the game for what it is, don't oversimplify it.
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Last edited by Amanda Morrison : 03-30-2004 at 04:58 PM.
  #56   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 03-30-2004, 05:08 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Yeah... I remember a particular match at SLR where I think it was the prank monkeys..could be wrong.. got in a battle to stop one of the better hangers from making it to the bar. Whatever team that was..still thinking prank monkeys..kept them from getting to the platform the whole match and the alliance won because of that.

Defense gives every team to compete and levels out the playing field for teams with less resources. If you read at least part of the archived thread mentioned earlier, especially Jason and Bill's parts you will see this. When there is no defense the best robot with the most resources win.

BTW- they said build robust. They expected defense win they came up with this game. The lack of offense last year has left some weary about defense but FIRST can't progress in its goals without the excitement that defense brings to this competition.

Also, I in no way support team intentionally tipping, ramming, entangling, or damagin other. That has been outrageous at point this year and I personally think the refs should do more to get rid of these actions.

And to stay on everyone's good side. I appreciate everything all the volunteers, including refs, do for us. You all should be proud of the jobs you have done and please come back next year.
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Unread 03-30-2004, 05:22 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Baker
You are crazy. This is ridiculus. There is noooo reason to play defense in this year's game. None. Just let those ball scoring teams do what they want.

"... these are not the droids you are looking for."
Unfortunately we fell for your Jedi mind tricks at MWR and paid for it. We didn't realize that we had no chance at outscoring the high-powered alliance of 269/45/930 and lost a couple of close matches. Had we played some defense and stopped the 45 machine from feeding what seemed like dozens of balls to the HPs and capping the overflowing goal we may have had a chance. As John has already said in this thread, it all comes down to strategy. Realize when you're outgunned and when you can't keep up in a high scoring match and play some defense instead. Slow down the flow of small balls, prevent the goal from being capped, and hope you have enough points to squeak out a victory.
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Unread 03-30-2004, 07:41 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Baker
You are crazy. This is ridiculus. There is noooo reason to play defense in this year's game. None. Just let those ball scoring teams do what they want.


Andy B.
If we are allied WITH TechnoKats, that sounds like a great idea. If we are AGAINST Team 45, we'll have no choice but to play great defense if we are to have a chance of winning the match.
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Unread 03-30-2004, 09:33 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rourke
Having watched many of the "high scoring" elimination matches over the weekend, it strikes me that too many teams were focused on getting the "50 points" from hanging - and ignoring the fact that their opponent was racking up huge a score by accumulating/herding 5 point balls and capping with the 2X ball. The teams that were good at this seemed to be able to do it unencumbered. No one seemed to be running interference. There was very little defense. And teams didn't adjust their strategies to cope with it. You could almost predict what each match was going to look like. Did anyone else observe the same thing?
If you can, see if you can get ahold of some video from the BAE Competition in Manchester. There were quite a few matches where teams stole the x2 balls right at the end of the match and capped their own goals, or where some other teams negated well thought out strategies by pushing a ball collector away from the drop zone. Our team was mainly a defensive robot in these seeding matches and for the most part we tried to hold other robots off the ramp while our team mates scored. In our competition at least, the defensive robots usually ended up on top if they were teamed up with strong scoring robots or other defensive robots.
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Unread 03-30-2004, 10:28 PM
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Re: Where's the defense this year?

I feel the need to toss in my two cents here.

First off, I'm going to limit my discussion to the elimination rounds, because that's where defense really becomes a factor. (Although, with the consistency that FIRST has given us this year between the qualifiers and eliminations, it should extend to the qualifying rounds as well.) I think the main reason that there hasn't been much defense played is because teams are reluctant to admit that another team is going to outscore them. Most teams have designed their robots to play offense, so that's what they do. Unfortunately this is not the best option when playing against a team with superior scoring capabilities. It's not an easy thing to admit that another team is most likely going to outscore you. But doing so is the first step to employing a successful defensive strategy.

We would not have won the Long Island regional without the superior defensive play of team 229. Period. We never lost a match in which they played. Everytime they were on the field, they neutralized our most offensive opponent. This paved the way to victory.

This strategy was no fluke, one of the biggest reasons we picked 229 was because we knew how powerful their drive train and arm were. i.e. We picked them for their defensive abilities. It didn't matter that they weren't seeded high. (On a side note, Clarkson does have more than a few offensive moves, on another side note, Clarkson was the number 3 seed going into Friday night)

There are a lot of offensive juggernauts this year, teams 45, 60, 67 and 254 are a few that stand out. Instead of fighting an uphill battle of trying to outscore them, I think playing some carefully planned defense is a much easier solution. What's easier outscoring them or getting in their way? This is the question that needs to be answered when planning a match strategy.

That being said, just remember, for every strategy there is a counter-strategy. I know I'm planning for them, and I know most other teams are as well. The high scoring teams are going to be expecting that teams are going to try and play defense on them. They will be ready and armed with their own counter-moves.

This is why I love this game. It's like high speed chess with flashing lights and lots of noise.
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Last edited by Karthik : 03-30-2004 at 10:32 PM.
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