defensive strategies

what type of defensive moves can you do? i heard that you can knock an opponents ball out of the ring

…And it comes right back in. Do that too often, and the refs might call it.

In all seriousness, there is very little defense you can play this year. NASCAR style defense, maybe. Pin a trackball into a corner, maybe. Section 7 of the Game Manual has the rules on defense.

One thing you can do is block a hurdle if the opposing team no longer has control of the trackball being hurdled. This means that you could park a lift or an arm in front of a “shooter”-bot’s trajectory and keep them from hurdling.

Do you see something in the manual that tells you that, or is it just a gut feeling? I’m pretty sure that it’s a legitimate strategy, so long as you don’t take possession of the ball. Maybe not particularly worthwhile, but legit.

Unless the ball has already crossed the plane. Then you just scored points for them.:wink: Before it crosses, and assuming that you don’t cross, yeah, you could try it.

Knocking the ball out of the ring is allowed, but might be considered un-GP by some refs … so be careful with that one. Also be careful playing “keep away” with the opponents ball.

Knocking the opponents ball back across a line so that the opponent would have to go clockwise is a viable strategy.

Knocking the opponents ball off of the overpass at the end of a match is viable.

Pinning the opponents ball against a wall may work.

There is a shortest distance around the track that can be used to force your opponents to drive further.

There will be a decent amount of NASCAR style “rubbing” as the teams jocky for position … enough so that I feel the required bumpers rulings are a good idea. I can see “bumping” to pass getting testy as well as teams “bump” corners of robots and turn them into the wall.

All-in-all I see some fun “interaction” between the robots.

Oh, and all of the above we can (and for some we will) do.

Gut feeling. Also, a robot routinely doing this could take a hit from <S01>. (Something about the Trackball being good for human bowling…:D) Again, that’s gut feeling.

Not to mention that the only places that you stand a chance of doing it without possessing are the same places trackballs are most likely to come in.

I think it’ll all be about bumping with no intention to pass, rubbing, shoving and otherwise redirecting opponents as they travel around the track. I can’t imagine for a second that everyone’s going to play nicely as they drive around and around. There’ll be as much pushing and shoving as any recent game.

The rules make no provisions for referees to make their own determinations with respect to a gameplay strategy being graciously professional… they merely enforce the rules given in the manual. People who spread this myth are discouraging teams from developing and attempting innovative ways of playing this game.

A defensive bot can slowly herd an opponents ball preventing them from scoring. A couple of them could play a game of keep away. Could get ugly having teams jostling fort a ball.

Every one of our experienced team members laughs when the animation says “Robots can signal the desire to pass by gently bumping.” We hear “Ramming is legal this year, have fun!”

When you do any of the strategies that have been mentioned above, you almost inherently take yourself out of any sort of scoring position. Sure, you could pin the ball against the wall and never move, or pin a backboard against the overpass so the opponent can never hurdle – but the opponents have other ways to score, and you do not since you’re sitting still.

At best, a bot built for a defensive strategy will be able to successfully use the strategies at spur-of-the-moment oppotunities. Still, a steady-scoring opponent will consistently outscore the defensive bot. The scores for the two alliances will be low, but I’m willing to bet that the “defensive” alliance’s score will be the lower of the two almost every time.

All of those strategies are losing propositions; scoring is where its at this year.

Not if you have also have a solid scoring robot on your team or a real screamer that can burn the track.

I’m not saying that defense will be anything like it has in the last two years but an offensive team that is ignoring the possibilities is making a big mistake.

Strategically, trading machine for machine is a wash, and most teams will not shoot for this as a viable strategy. It marginalizes you into the masses (you are at maximum offsetting whatever machine you are defending against), making it hard for you to reach the top 8 positions, and this usually means that other teams will pick a scoring machine over yours.

Some situations arise though, where defensively one machine can effectively shut down, or slow the progress of multiple opponent machines or scoring strategies. When this is feasible some very tough decisions come into play, like subjective rule enforcement, and how to deal with subjective views on the GP of your strategy. Some games lend themselves to this, and others do not (I really wanted to see a bar defending robot in 2004, we tried but failed). Do I think this year you could win with a defending robot? Probably not. But many teams whose ball manipulation devices fail or fall short of being effective will default to some defensive strategies that while secondary functions, if the team is smart enough and talented enough to pull it off they may do very well in the competition - especially at weaker regionals where there might not even be a full list of 24 scoring machines. It is good to have a lot of this stuff available to your team if it becomes necessary.

In 2005 my old team could only get 1-2 tetras on the entire match, but we went 6-0 in Atlanta almost purely on defensive and offensive strategy and teamwork.

Defensive strategies do not mean that the ‘defensive robot’ isn’t scoring as well.

Consider 2 robots running around the field at 12+’/sec and 1 “gently bumps” the others corner and turns them into the wall. Thats a defensive play that will be seen again and again.

Or a robot shooting an opponents ball 10+’ outside the playing field. it may take 15 seconds for the volunteers to corral the ball and get it back into play where that ‘defensive bot’ may have just run a lap and is ready to field the opponents ball again.

Or in the last 10 seconds of a match a ‘defensive bot’ knocking off 2 opponent track balls off the overpass stoping 24 points from being scored.

Are you sure you can outscore your opponent each and every match? I think defensive bots … especially since there is less scoring objects than alliance robots … will play a huge role in the game.

I think teams that use that strategy will end up with to many penalty points assed to themselves.

I think there is a great deal of strategic defenses (without giving up on scoring) , but not for teams with the “A” type personalities that are going for the big points. There are to many weaknesses for those “A” type teams, that rookie teams (and the TrackBall) could easily spoil.

Penalties based upon what?

This is the year for the best defense being an amazing offense. Specializing in defense is not a good idea. Defense doesn’t win matches. It helps but the ideal alliance will need three amazing scorers that are not going to be interfered with much by ramming. Some NASCAR style defense will be played such as ramming and bumping corners. We might see a bump and run move for position on the field.

we plan to knock off opps. balls all during the game and it works really well