Defensive Strategy - cornering opponents ball

This appears to be legal and a good strategy if you are going up against 2 good hurdlers, or if you have one big slow robot. If you push your opponent’s trackball into a corner and “trap” it there, you can prevent them from getting potentially 8 points per lap versus the 2 points per lap you give up sitting there. The definition of herding allows continuous contact, and it doesn’t meet the definition of being captured since the ball wouldn’t keep the same position relative to your robot if you moved. You aren’t impeding traffic so there is no requirement for you to move.

I’m pretty sure they mad the corners like they did to stop the balls from getting trapped in the corner. I’m pretty sure it says that somewhere in the manual

I agree that the 135 degree corners will make it more difficult to maintain control of the ball then a 90 degree corner, but I think it’s still possible. We’ll see how well it works if anyone tries it.

What if a robot on the opposing alliance nudges you? If they got in a postition where you were technically impeding them, then you would have to move out of his way and free the trackballs from the corner. This is unless of course the rules specify that you only have to move if you are in the straightaways, which I believe they do not.

If you are in a corner, then you won’t be impeding traffic, unless there are a lot of robots around you.
The rules say that you can herd as many balls as you want, potentially both of your opponents’ :yikes: If you get them both into and inaccessible corner for half the match, then you would be making the game less fun, but you would get a serious advantage.

I thought the rules said that you could only herd 1 trackball

The only way I would be technically impeding them is if one of my alliance partners was blocking the rest of the track; there is over 14 feet worth of space between the corner and the lane divider, my robot and the ball will take up 6.5, which leaves enough room for a robot (even 2 robots) to go around me.

<G27> HERDING TRACKBALLS – ROBOTS may HERD one or more TRACKBALL at one time. ROBOTS shall not HERD a TRACKBALL while also being in POSSESSION of a second TRACKBALL. A PENALTY will be assigned for each infraction.

I hadn’t thought of that - trapping both trackballs with one robot. Brilliant!

If I am not mistaken, you can “herd” as many as you can get your hands on. If you are in “possession” of a ball, then you can’t herd any others.
Like I said, I think that ball-hogging will make the game get very old and dry very quickly and I hope that teams find strategies that go along with the spirit of the game instead.

I thought is would be niffty to wait next to your opponents ball until they came into that zone to get it, then hit it into the previous zone, therefore making them go all the way around the field to retrieve their ball.

I believe it is in the spirit of the game is to score more points than your opponent within the rules. That means offense AND defense.

this seems like a very good idea:]

Lets say you were cornering the ball. If one or two opposing robots came up beside you, so together you were all blocking the track, could they then bring in another robot and bump you to pass? Might be a counter to this strategy.

It probably be more interesting to simply knock the ball out of the field, but that’s unfair to the other team.

you could have one of your team bump them to counter the counter

Note that a ROBOT is not IMPEDING traffic if:
• there is a clear “passing lane” around the ROBOT, or
• the IMPEDING ROBOT and the approaching ROBOT are from the same ALLIANCE (i.e. a ROBOT can not impede another ROBOT of the same ALLIANCE), or
• the ROBOT is in the process of HURDLING (except as noted in Rule <G43>).

My interpretation of this rule is that you are not impeding if the clear passing lane is blocked by the other alliance. They can’t simply declare you to be the one who is impeding by bumping you.

Get your alliance partner to act like he’s stuck on a corner. Then you bump the opponent who’s trapping the ball. BAM opponent has to move. Counter to the ridiculous counter of the loophole through the rule.

So let’s say you decide to take this strategy with your bot:

There are now 3 opponent robots working together with a single track ball who are STILL scoring points. You my friend are not. You built a $10,000 robot that has the objective of sitting in a corner entraping a ball – $10 worth of cinder blocks could do the same thing, so why even waste the engineering effort and money to build the machine?

Take this strategy and you will be outscored by an alliance that works together, and believe me after last year’s bot-to-bot ramping there are quite a few teams who are figuring their strategies & designs based upon helping their alliance out in addition to their own team status.

I think the purpose of this strategy is to be a designated defensive bot its not a strategy that is going to ruin the game. There are still 2 other robots on your team. You would not be wasting money or engineering if your strategy pays off and wins you the match like Gary’s signature says an ugly win is still a win…

You miss the point completely.

I don’t think anyone is proposing building your robot with this as its sole purpose. If your [mechanism] breaks and you’re up against a couple of good hurdlers, this might be a very useful strategy in your repertoire. You could drive in circles for a couple points a lap, or you could pin the ball and reduce one of your opponents’ scoring ability from ten points per lap down to two. That seems like a useful backup strategy to me.

OK, I guess I miss your point also. What was it exactly?

There are 3 robots on each alliance, and only 2 trackballs. Ignore hurdling for a moment; the other alliance can score 8 points per lap (3 robots + 1 ball x 2 pts each) and yours can also score 8 per lap (2 robots + 2 balls x 2 pts each) while you sit in the corner with 1 ball, so that’s a draw. If you can trap 2 balls then the other alliance can only score 6 per lap versus your 8.

Now add hurdling. Your alliance has 2 balls with opportunity for the 6 point bonus each lap; the other alliance only has 1. How can that not be a benefit?

And why not use cinder blocks? Because accomplishing this strategy is not a done deal. You are going to have to fight to contain the balls - your robot needs traction, a good plow that protects but doesn’t possess, some maneuverability. It needs to stow in the envelope and deploy to work.

If my robot can keep your robot from using its fantastic hurdler to score, who wasted the $10k? If defense wasn’t a desirable aspect to the game, why not just put one alliance on the field at a time? Certainly you can score better with noone going against you. If your strategy involves scoring the ball you better design your robot to obtain a ball - which includes from the overpass or from the track or from another robot trying to block you.