Does G12 mean anything in playoffs?

G12 states that you can’t mess with your opponent’s control panel (wheel of fortune) if an opponent robot is in contact with it and they have reached capacity. The consequence for this, however, would lead me to believe that there is no penalty for interfering with the control panel in playoffs:

Violation: Opponents are awarded one (1) SHIELD GENERATOR ENERGIZED Ranking Point if not completed at the conclusion of the MATCH.

Obviously ranking points don’t mean anything in playoffs, so does this mean my alliance can deny my opposing alliance of 10 or 20 points by spinning their panel while they’re trying to earn points from it? Is this even a good strategy anyway?

I won’t comment on if it’s a good strategy, but it does look to me like there’s no effective penalty for violating G12 during playoff. I suppose there’s a chance it might fall under C1 if egregious, just because it is a rule being violated. It’d probably be good for somebody to ask Q&A to confirm whether G12 applies in playoffs at all, or if it’s “against the rules” even if there’s no foul or other infraction associated with it.

Concur, looking through the manual I’m also not immediately seeing any real penalty for doing this. I strongly suspect there will be a Q&A about it (if there isn’t one already, I haven’t checked).

As far as strategy goes, it’s a dangerous one due to having to be in the opponent trench, and at best could get you a 30-point swing in elims (though, at the cost of having a robot camp in a dangerous spot). I feel like, if it remains legal, it would be well at the bottom of our playbook. But we’ll see. Sometimes you have to get creative, especially in playoffs.

I think you just pointed out the practical argument against this, which is having to be in the opponent trench in order to pull it off. All your opponent has to do to counter the points you might cost them is to hit you twice, and there’s 30 points of tech foul to counter the 30 points you might cost them. If they can hit you more than once per Control Panel action (rotation and position), then you’re giving them more points than you’re costing them and they lose nothing (since rank points don’t count.)

That said, it’s also pretty much against the spirit of the game, since it’s actively interfering with the opponent’s field elements, not just playing defense. I’ll be very surprised if there’s not a rule clarification that imposes another penalty for playoffs rather than the rank point award.

There was a similar rule last year. Contact with your opponents’ rockets late in the match gave them the rocket RP in quals and nothing in playoffs. But, that particular called out that it meant nothing in playoffs IIRC.

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Came here to say that, so


Good question. I agree with the above statements that it seems like there is no punitive deterrent in place to prevent G12 violations in elims, where RPs don’t matter. But FIRST can always do a rules update and change that. Since the game manual specifically states that capacity to reach stages may change as the season progresses, or at champs, I wouldn’t be shocked if later in the season they change G12 to be a tech foul AND the RP, or some other switch-a-roo.

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For reference:

Seems a bit weirder to me this year though since it seems like there are a lot of points tied to the control panel even in playoffs. I guess blocking the rocket in playoffs last year could have had a similar impact if most other scoring locations were used though.

Another distinction is that G16 last year was only the last 20 seconds, while G12 this year covers the whole match. Finally, G16 last year included a foul in addition to a free RP, while G12 this year only awards a free RP.

I would agree, but I do find it interesting that they even opened the door for interference to occur on the control panel. If the GDC saw it as a direct violation of the spirit of the game then I would think they would penalize any opposing interaction with the control panel, not just interaction under a specific set of circumstances.

Looking at it strategically from both sides… it’s a question of offense versus defense. Going after the control panel offensively is worth points, but at the cost of time away from cycling balls. Defensively, it’s worth tying up an opponent robot for however long they keep at it - essentially the same as getting in their way while they’re trying to cycle balls, but possibly more effective if they keep it at for a while. I don’t see it as any different than playing good defense, but the location and risk of a penalty is pretty significant - the same as playing defense in some of the other zones on the field.

G12 itself seems to allow the interference on the color wheel by an opposing alliance, so in theory it would be possible. However, most robots’ color wheel mechanism won’t allow them to spin from outside the trench run, so pursuing this strategy would risk G10, especially if you were trying to stop the opponent’s robot while they were spinning the wheel.

You could be on the other side of the TRENCH, which would be perfectly safe against a tall ROBOT, assuming you are not violating G12.

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