Honestly, I believed that this thread was exaggerated with the effect that defense would have on matches. However, after just losing in finals because the other team sent a defending bot that rammed into our alliance partner full force — somehow turning them off when their breaker is placed in the middle of their bot — and then pushed us back to their side and gave us foul points, I’m starting to see defense’s magnitude. To be clear, I’m not taking a side as to whether or not defense is “ruining” the game or if FIRST made the choice in allowing defense. Instead, I wonder how my team could counter the defense better given that the rules aren’t going to change any time soon.
I noticed that the most effective part of the defense against us (beyond shutting off our alliance partner) was when the defending robot placed themselves in the narrow passage between the cargo and the rocket, after we already filled the other side of the cargo. They were able to keep us busy trying to go around them for ~20 seconds, and in the end, we shot out the cargo and went for a hatch instead (to cover the front cargo bay). See video . Do you have any ideas for how we could train our drivers to counter such defense — any special maneuvers we should perform to go around them…? Should we invest more heavily in preventative defense?—what the defending bot’s time is better spent interfering with the opponent alliance?