Defensive Free For All


Defenders by and large aren’t getting a running start at you. There’s just no room on the field for that kind of high speed travel. If a gentle but firm bump is causing issues, your robot might have some underlying problems you need to address.

My team was targeted by a defensive bot in about half of our 20 matches this past weekend and not once did defense break our robot. Poor wiring on the other hand caused us to sit dead on the field twice (in our 4th & 5th qual match) until we found the problem (thanks to an FTA).

If you think this is bad, you shoulda saw when there were no bumpers. Ah the glory days.


Based on your belief that editing a post once to tone it down not editing quotes previously made of your post would be corrected by a second edit, I’ll wager you don’t consider reactions and mostly consider actions.

You’re inferring intent. There’s a difference between intending to prevent you from reaching your maximum potential and intending to cause destruction. If you’d like to share a link to a video from the match I’d be glad to watch and offer any input I have on that. Others have also offered to help find ways to mitigate the effects of defense.

As a general rule, it’s not very classy to call others classless for playing the game in a different way than you do. From an effective standpoint, scoring 12 points is equitable to preventing 12 points from being scored. Both are valid strategies and both require careful planning and consideration. You’re ignoring the work they’ve put in to get to where they are because it didn’t follow the same path you followed. Why? Do you also get frustrated with offensive robots that specialize in different offensive tasks?


Uh, other than the long lanes parallel to the cargo ship?

Besides, modern drivetrains don’t need that long of a run up to get up to speed and once they reach top speed additional distance doesn’t increase the violence of the collision.

But, I mean, been doing this long enough to remember when defensive wedges were normal so, whatever.


I mean, there’s usually robots in those lanes trying to score game pieces, so it’s hard to full-out gas it the distance of the lane when there are other robots (from your own alliance) in the way.

I agree, but you still need some track distance to build up speed. What would you estimate, 10ft to get up to full speed with the new tech?

Weird flex but ok :ok_hand:


You know, I was just looking through some old photos of my teams robots and found this guy from '99;

The red pad on the front is connected to a pair of pneumatic cylinders that were capped off so they functioned as gas springs. It was dubbed something like ‘the kinetic energy transfer device’, basically a booper for whacking other robots out of position without harsh frame on frame contact (which was prohibited at the time, I think). High technology for '99.

So this kind of defensive play has been around for a while.

Also; totally unrelated to the thread, but check out that very early custom omniwheel, back before you could just by the things. I had one of those things salvaged and sitting on my stair case for years, but they’re all lost to time now.


If you don’t like defense, go play in the Indiana District.

You’re not wrong. It’s light compared to other regions and has been historically.

Also if you like the majority of robots being able to score points, come to Indiana. I think that contributes to why we see less of it - most teams can actually score points here. That’s not true for a lot of other regions.


Here is the link to the video to make life easier. Aggressive defense, but I see nothing in that video that could be suggested to be classless or attempting to damage.


At your next event, go to the practice field and ram your robot against the wall a few times. This simulates what will happen when your driver will do with your robot when trying to pick up the Hatch Panel or to score it. If your robot stops or glitches, you have not built a sufficiently durable robot, even for 2015. If you have loose wires or stray strands around the Weidmuller connectors that short across to neighboring wires, you have not built a sufficiently durable or reliable robot.


Nothing in here looks egregious or malicious in anyway. It just looks like a normal match of Destination: Deep Space (presented by the Boeing company)


At the end of the day, it all depends on how your robot is constructed. My team, 7502, made a very low bot with a low center of gravity, plus a low weight of 65 pounds, so naturally we can do defense very well since we are fast enough to intercept a robot before they can score. Obviously you aren’t going to see an elevator bot playing defense as often due to a higher center of gravity. @Taylor already posted our finals match above where we led a strong defense against the other team in which we stopped them from getting cargo for quite some time. Going into this year we realized that we needed to build a strong bot because we were going to play defense often due to our speed. FRC is like any other sport, defense is something you have to prepared to deal with, or do.


I understands the concern, but watching the match I saw nothing wrong at all. That is good FRC defense, an important part of many good games, and it is entirely appropriate for FRC.


FRC has seen some “light defense” agreements in other regions before (see Arizona 2014 “300 points and could’ve done more!” finals). TBH, I was under the impression that the entire Indiana district has unofficially agreed to light defense year to year. This was especially clear in the “4 rotor craze” of 2017 IMO.

Defense in 2019 is especially effective when the opposing alliance chooses to have three scorers. Considering all the prevented points a defensive robot can add to alliance’s success, and since most alliances were using a “three scorer” strategy in IN playoffs, I’ll definitely be interested to watch how gameplay develops in IN compared to other regions of FRC.




That’s not a thing. There is no agreement. Indiana may not produce robots like yours, poofs, 118, 148, etc. but the average offensive capability in Indiana is much higher than it is in a lot of other regions. It’s hard to send a robot that has the capacity to make a real offensive contribution
for your alliance to the other end to play defense, because of how it minimizes the relative value of the defensive contribution. It legitimately, strategically does not make sense with a relatively high degree of frequency and I totally get that culturally it doesn’t make sense if you haven’t experienced it. Maybe if California goes to districts you’ll have an opportunity to come play with us and see what it’s like.


This is what I came here to post.


FRC has seen some “light defense” agreements in other regions before (see Arizona 2014 “300 points and could’ve done more!” finals). TBH, I was under the impression that the entire Indiana district has unofficially agreed to light defense year to year. This was especially clear in the “4 rotor craze” of 2017 IMO.

What’s funny is that if there is an ‘agreement’, it’s 100% unspoken. I’ve never been in a match where we agreed to not play defense with our opponents. I think we just all know each other, we’re friends with most of these teams, so we try to outscore one another. But defense is always on the table in our discussions, it just doesn’t always make sense to send a robot over to do that when they can score a decent number of points.


Your robot should be durable enough to endure this:

Because when, and I mean when, it happens to you, you better be prepared to deal with it. It’s irresponsible to assume that no one will hit you hard. It’s irresponsible to assume that you wont drive into a wall too hard. Lots of unexpected things happen during FRC matches, you can either hope it doesn’t happen and get lucky, or prepare for it.

“It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it”


The driver for 1477 the year they won on Einstein spoke about how he learned about a different style of game play from the Toronto area teams on their alliance (1241 and 610). They had a less aggressive style of defense compared to teams in Texas and focused more on trying to outscore their opponents.


I think you may be referring to a style of play that focuses on scoring while playing zone defense, not as much in terms of hitting, but making sure you are able to hit your cycles and taking opportunities to slightly slow the opposing alliance’s cycles. This allows you to score, whilst taking potentially one to two cycles of your opponent, which may make the difference.


Got it, thanks for the insight.

Good luck to IN teams this year.



Reading the edits of the OP is like watching descent into madness. If you don’t like your thread, don’t edit to cover up, just delete it.