Since kickoff, I’ve had a nagging feeling that this game is actually going to be one of the worst FIRST games we’ve seen. This game has a lot going for it: scoring multiple different game pieces, new unique end game, a new take on autonomous mode, but it’s all going to be ruined by unprotected scoring zones. Privately I’ve seen lots of discussion about how defence is going to affect this game but I haven’t really seen a deep dive here on CD yet.
Let me first say that I’m super proud of the robot 610 has built at this year, technically it’s the most impressive we’ve ever built. We put thought into having scoring flexibility to be able to deal with defence, but still a well-driven kit bot can easily shut down an alliance from scoring a full rocket or a significant number of teleop game pieces. I’m not sure how many teams out there have practiced with a defence bot yet, but we always try to, and it was brutal. Scoring on an unprotected rocket is a bloodbath, there are going to be tipped robots and broken manipulators everywhere…
Unfortunately, with how this field is designed I’m not sure there was a good solution, making the rockets a protected scoring zone would have been foul central as there just isn’t enough space between the rocket and cargo ship. Splitting the rocket RP between the two rockets wouldn’t have fit the narrative of completing a rocket. Also, no one wants to see a fully protected defence free game like 2015 again, at least for a while.
I now understand why some top teams invested so much time into building triple climb robots, those 12 extra points (over 1 third level, and 2 second level robots) is going to be a huge advantage.
I just feel like this game is just going to devolve into an ugly game where aggressive defence is very very valuable, and it’s going to cause lots of broken robots and unhappy teams. I’d love to be proven wrong, but now that I’ve seen how brutal defence is in this game, and how tight your zone gets with 3 scoring robots, I’m going to be sending a defence robot to cause chaos every match.