Defensive or offensive? (to you)

Being a team with no current programmers, we have been looking for a very simple autonomous strategy. We’ve currently have a couple on the table, including grabbing an auto-loader tetra, setting up in the human player loading station, and running defensive interference on the opposite side of the playing field with the intention of blocking camera stackers. I ask you, potential alliance partners, if such an interference strategy would be a nasty trick in your eyes, or just another part of the game. Before we make any enemies, I’d like some opinion on the matter. It seems to be right on the line of G.P., or maybe stepping over. It really only matters what side of the field you look at it from.

In my mind, defense is a perfectly legitimate strategy. It’s part of the game, and teams who make autonomous modes to stack should account for teams trying to get in their way. It’s going to happen. So, no, I don’t see it as a “nasty trick”.

I see a few different view points. You’re right, depending on how you program, you are definitly walking a very thin line. It truly depends on your partner and how they will react, but here is my take on the issue.

While it’s a decent defensive strategy, I don’t recommend it for the autonomous mode. First of all, you have no control over what your robot does if something happens, like two robots become intertwined and have a huge issue. Such a collision could disable both you and your alliance or your opponent’s robot, and could result in penalty, and is most importantly not GP.

Another issue is the interest of time. Will you really have time to run effective defense across field, and will that extra tetra really help? It seems more logical to be able to control your robot during a defensive or offensive situation, instead of hoping that the code will work every single time.

The last thing that you may want to consider is whether or not you want to salvage that extra 15 seconds of defense in lieu of points. Points are good, and the race for them will be tight in the 2005 game. Getting an extra 10 at the beginning may be more effective for you than trying to do too much at once.

With that said, here are a couple suggestions:
Your idea to be an offensive robot is good early in the game. Stick with your idea of maybe getting closer to the other side to work with robots and tetras there, but focus less on the defense part and more on positioning yourself so that you’ll be in a good position to react quickly at the beginning of controllable mode. :slight_smile:

Just my $.02, and thank you for asking for community advice.

  • Genia

Defensive “interference” is expected. It’ll be a major disappointment to have an otherwise flawlessly consistent autonomous action disrupted by an opponent, but it’s part of the game.

I personally wouldn’t mind if an alliance could safely get across without ramming the opponent at high speed. Also if they could do it without going out of bounds and getting disabled. Nor would I want them to attack us or our alliance partner during this defensive run.
15 seconds is a long time if your autonomous isn’t doing or going where you want it to. It can be dangerous if you haven’t had the time to try it out. Or if you aren’t using sensors to ensure you’ll be where you want.
My whole thing this year is penalties. They’re huge! if you get 1 - 30pt penalty it’s over we lose. So if your allied with us, and you want to take a run across the field. I’m going to ask: Are you going to slow down over there? Are you sure you’ll go where you want it to? Will it go out of bounds if it gets hit? Will it attack us? If you weren’t sure about these things, I wouldn’t want you trying it.

If I’m against a team that draws a penalty on us I’m going into defense mode because they now have to score at least 2 rows to make up for it.

So anyhow I’d suggest if you don’t have programmers, or sensors setup to navigate properly. Don’t attempt the defensive autonomous. Running wild is just going to get you in trouble. But a little jaunt to the loaders or smacking the hanger off is safe and easy.

I seem to remember a rule or some mention of teams not being allowed to go over to the other side of the field and drive around, hoping to hit another other team. Can someone clarify? If this is true, I fully support it.

Then again, what is “random”? Driving to the other side and sitting in front of a goal seems defensive to me while driving quickly and in circles (or something similar) seems reckless.

Theres no rule against intentionally disrupting other robots during autonomous period… I would think of this as a highly defensive move and one that i would really like to have in the arsenal of an alliance partner. Theres not a thing wrong with doing this as your strategy.

I considered a similar question several weeks ago. As our teams programmer I was very dissapointed when it became clear that we wouldnt be able to use the camera on our robot. I was then faced with deciding what exactly we will do in autonomous mode. The obvious thought was to try to interfere with the other teams. But then I thought back to my time trying to program the camera and I decided that if anyone can make their robot stack a tetra, then more power to them, and I am not going to waste 15 second per match on the off chance that we will ever come up against a robot that can successfully stack. Just think of it from the point of view of the other teams programmers who spent weeks perfecting their programs, and trying to coordinate with their build team to make sure they get everything right. How would you feel if you were them, but then some robot that someone wrote a basic drive around autonomous program for got in your way and screwed up your chance for success? While the strategy is perfectly legit, I just felt that any programmer who can make their robot cap even without interference totally deserves those couple of points. If we make it beyond the elimination matches we (by which I mean I) may change our strategy, but until then I can think of better things to do in autonomous.

A defensive autonomous mode strategy is very much one of the easier to do. My team this year had a purely defensive bot. we were not good at scoring in any way, so in Autonomous our goal was to move to the opponent’s side and sit in front of the center goal. This is pretty easy to do by dead reckoning, or even easier through copycat. It’s just a matter of lining up right. Unfortunately, in our matches, we never were able to get through the pass between the goals…

At FLR, Team 1405 had a nicely done ‘defensive’ auton for one match. They started directly accross the field from 1126, which had an awesome and dependable autonomous that capped a corner goal and caused the hanging tetra to fall. So, 1405, for that match just put in the auton code:

//pseudo code: driveForward()

The robot drove straight forward and rammed into 1126 and completely messed up 1126’s auton.

That was actually a bug in their code that took 2 matches to find.

It wasn’t a bug, it was a feature :wink:

I find it to be completly fair and it’s your duty if they the other team can stack in auto…
since nobody is stacking in auto… I believe we should celebrate the few teams that can… and not interfere with them

contradiction… I think not!

Looks like you’ll have a promising career in programming. :smiley:

I believe we should celebrate the few teams that can… and not interfere with them

The object of the game is to win…well, I suppose GP is important, too. :rolleyes:

The object of the game is to win, certainly. But the object of FIRST is to inspire. Whether we win or lose the game, we win the competition merely by competing to the best of our ability.

I would suggest a simple yet usefull auto, just drop the hanging magnet tetra. While only giving 1pt alone just having that corner on your back row can easily lead to a 30pt tick-tac-toe hub. Its proven useful in my matches to have an alliance member do this simple task.

-But thats just my opinion.

can you get a 30 point penalty in auton mode?

I thought those were only given for bashing a robot with the human player was interacting with it? Doesnt happen during auton, right?

A 30-point penalty is also given if a human player leaves their pad during autonomous mode. This is in rule G29 which was added in Team Update #10 (11 Feb).