Another Stack Attack

Do you think that this year’s game will degenerate into another stack attack where nobody does much stacking? With 6 robots, nine goals, and remaining vision tetras, things are going to be extremely crowded. I predict that most stacking mechanisms will be rather slow. It doesn’t take much to block a goal or interfere with another robot stacking. I am a little worried.

Despite the large number of robots and tetras I have seen some proto arms in action. They only take 5-10 seconds to cap so it will not be something unusual. Its not going to be like Stack Attack.

In stack attack, there was a large amount of bins available, and not alot of room to work with them. This year, you need to grab them off a loader, so I’m sure most grabber designs will be able to stack effectively.

I would think of a ‘stack’ in this years game not as a stack, but more of a ‘cap’. (Think previous years)

yes, but there will be teams who decide to be a PITB (Pain In The ‘backside’) and don’t even try to have an arm. There will be some major pushing wars on the turf this year.

We actually have bets running on what will be the maximum number of tetras capped at the VCU regional. I said 5, some have said up to 9. But its going to be pretty tough with a lot of defensive rules allowed. So stack attack…more like block a bunch.

At first I though this, but I don’t believe it will be another battle-bot competition like Stack Attack. But I Do definitely believe it will be a very brutal game, with robots ramming into each other and lots of defensive maneuvers. The finals will be even more brutal. But the one advantage that every team has, is that it is a flat playing field, meaning that they can keep there robot very low CG. With a low CG I don’t think there will be to many tipped robots this year.

Also FIRST has added protections for teams. Like rules against de-scroing, and not messing with a robot in the loading zones. These rules will make scoring more possible, then stacking did back in 03. Also the Home Zone is only worth one row, unlike 50 points for the KOH back in 03.

In 2003, the teams that would try to stack bins would usually get them knocked down, cause it was allowed, but this year you can not un cap the tetras. In 2004 you could uncap the 2x balls and defense didn’t need to be that strong because after a team scored, you could go back and uncap. This year, teams that want to defend, will need to be able to stop the opponent before they cap. This game will certainly contain a lot of pushing, and if an alliance is playing the defensive, the other alliance will not have that easy of a chance to cap. In general, this game may turn out somewhat like stack attack, it will not be for the same reason.

This year I think the offensive team will have an advantage because it would be a full time occupation to try to keep them from scoring so all they have to do is score one point in order to win. If one robot from a defensive team is stacking and two are defending then the two robots on the offensive team that are getting blocked will try to get blocked in such a way as to interfere with that third defensive robots getting anything done. Something like that. In any case I think offense is not only a better strategy, but also more in the spirit of the game.

It seems to me to be rather difficult to block this year as there is pretty much always another direction to go if a robot is blocking. Of course temporary pinning is possible, but it has always seemed that this is relatively rare because the teams with the drivetrains powerful enough to make other robots go where they want will generally have the resources to make a good offensive part of the arm (tetra manipulator).

With soooooo many places to score a fast robot this year can do well. As anyone who goes to NJ regional know we at team 25 love defence but this year we with 3 robots i think if you play all defence you will lose the game.

No, because you can’t rack up the points by pushing a scoring object around…if teams turn to that, they’ll just end up defated…thats all there is to that

The field is big. Theres always another route around your obstacle, or just go for a different goal. I won’t say I’m 100 percent…but I lean twoards no.

This is our Third year and so far we have had good luck with being able to push most robots around. Having a good manipulator… that’s another story. So I guess maybe we’re an exception lol.

There are several huge differences between this year and Stack attack. Then, it took a minute to score, and 1 second to descore. This year it may take a minute to score, but either it stays scored, or you score even more if it is descored.

In stack attack, you could play defense for 1:45 and rush for the top at the end, and usually there would be room for 3 robots, so there would be a clear winner. This year, if everyone plays defense for 1:45 and then rushes back, they both score exactly the same, so people will need SOME offense.

I think the key reason it won’t be like stack attack is because you can’t win the same way. In the games of the last three years, teams with big beefy drive trains won. The reason behind this was built into the games.

In zone zeal, you could get rid of another teams points at the end, by pushing their goal out of the scoring zone and getting into your end zone. An entire game of effort wasted by 10 seconds or less of a simple pushing robot.

In Stack Attack, the issue was even worse. It took so long to gain any points that a pushing robot had a whole minute and half basically to ruin the opponent. Then once again a quick dash to the top of the ramp and the robot with the better drive train won.

In First Frenzy the issue was once again existent but not as bad. A robot could spend the time getting balls into a goal and they wouldn’t be able to be removed. A very important change. Hanging robots though could still mess ball collectors till the last couple seconds and then dash for the bar. The simple drive train bot didn’t win, it also had to be able to hang quickly. It still made hanging a very dominate force against all but the very best ball collectors.

This year though its a whole new game. There still is the bash and dash strategy but its much harder to achieve. Every robot must make it to the end zone, and its not worth as much. This throws the game back firmly into the tetra manipulating bots favor. Like First Frenzy ever tetra scored stays, and even if each bot on a team only stacks one tetra, if they do it in the correct order they will have completely dominated the bash and dash strategy. Now this isn’t to say that the strong defensive robot won’t do well. I think having a defensive robot that can slow two to three tetra stacker’s while two teammates stack will be a very valuable asset. The difference is that at the end of games we will see robots continuing to stack tetras instead of dashing for the end zone.

Good bye bash and dash, hello tetra towers.

I agree. Just watch the FIRST competition video. The blues had a defensive robot, and lost. The reds, on the other hand, had all stacking robots. Of course, it was demonstrated that a robot with a high center of gravity can be knocked coughor pushedcough :rolleyes: over pretty easily. But the blues lost anyway (albeit by only four points), and FIRST should know something about the competition. :wink:

This year’s game really can’t be compared to Stack Attack, outside of the concept of “stacking” the game pieces. The first obvious difference is de-scoring, and it’s legality this year (mainly, you can’t do it). In 2003, de-scoring was the only realistic way to ensure victory- by knocking over opponent stacks and taking those bins to the home side of the field (or even just knocking them out of the scoring zone).

The second major element is the tic-tac-toe scoring. It’s not so much about having a stack of 2 or 3 tetras on a single goal, but having 3 tetras capping 3 linear goals for the 10 point bonus. Three tetras on a single goal are worth 9 points. Three tetras on three goals in a row are worth 19 points.

The third factor is the shape of the goals and objects themselves- tetrahedrons. People could argue which is more difficult to manipulate, a tetra or a storage bin, but in competition, I expect the tetras to be far more resistant to the bashings of robots than the bins.

The fourth thing is the distribution of the scoring objects. In Stack Attack, all the game pieces were on the field at the start of the match. The obvious problem is the chaos spawned by so many bins with such powerful robots. This year’s game is much more sane in terms of the number of tetras on the field at any given time. Other than the vision tetras already on the field, new objects may only be introduced by the automatic loading station, or the human players. I’d be very surprised if all 39-40 tetras end up on the field at the end of any match. This makes life much easier for the refs to score the match, and much easier for spectators to calculate scores on their own.

I appreciate that you’re not making it sound like you know what’s going to happen out there, Ryan, and that’s what really makes this game like Stack Attack and all of the other games that I’ve been a part of. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen on a huge field with 3 on 3, strategy, scoring ability, etc. The only thing for sure is that it’ll be crazy!!!
I do think that there will be robots out there that were built to score tetras but, for whatever reason, cannot do it. With the stock drive and chassis this year, they should certainly still be very mobile and controllable. What do they have left to do during a match other than play defense?

Of course it will be unpredictable. The game would be no fun if everyone knew exactly what would happen. But I think we can get a general concept of what is probable.

IMO, this year wont end up like a direct stack attack, BUT it definitely could. I can see the rows ending up as the stacks this year. You could try and get rows, but all another bot has to do is put one on top and you could have up to a 20 point swing in the score. The problem with stack attack, like said before, was it took 1:45 to score the stack, and :01 second to descore it. This year it could take :30 - 1:00 to score a row, and with one :10 second cap, that row is invalid… :rolleyes: … I dont want to see this happen, but I definitely could see it.