end game defense

If your opponent has a dynamite 2 @ 12 bot, what do you think about having one of your alliance bots drive within the home zone and play defense, take the 30 points in penalties and keep them from scoring the 60? Net 30 to the good if you don’t have 2 @ 12 capability on your alliance.

I think intentionally incurring penalties, even if it results in a net advantage in the final score, is a Bad Thing. It’s an abuse of the rules. If I were in charge, I’d probably give a yellow card to any team doing it.

I believe it is part of the game. A net gain in team-to-team point ratio is just that… a gain.

You shouldn’t get there by being graciously unprofessional, but I see nothing against GP in following the rules. If the game design committee didn’t want this to be an option, they would have made it a DQ offense. There will always be people that don’t like it, just as there were people who didn’t like getting on an opponent’s ramp last year, but it is part of the game.

My team thought of this, but I don’t think teams will do it. First you’re breaking the rules which most people dont’ want to do even if there is a finite penalty you can get for it. Secondly just by driving around the endzone you don’t guarantee that you’ll stop the other team. If you get those penalties and the other robots get lifted then you’re really in trouble. Its better to just try to play your defence just outside the home zone and hope to stop at least one of the robots from getting back. The risk of loosing even more points is just too high.

It is absolutely a part of the game and absolutely a viable strategy. To suggest otherwise I don’t think gives the GDC enough credit. After all, there wouldn’t be such a specific penalty if they didn’t think long and hard about it. Is a basketball player slow to get back on D wrong to foul the guy and give him two from the line? Of course not.

The yellow and red cards were adopted from soccer (football). As a soccer ref, if I see a team deliberately breaking the rules, someone would get a caution (yellow card) for unsporting behavior. Specifically, for “bringing the game into disrepute”.

Teams can deliberately break rules to their advantage, but if they do so they have to accept the consequences. I hope we have enough yellow flags in queuing.

Which brings up a point - somebody’s gonna have to keep track of who is on a yellow card. I’ll bet that’s a new head queuer function.

Gary brings up a very interesting strategy. We can all talk about GP and how it is encouraged throughout game play. But seriously, if you’re going for a regional or national championship and it comes down to you blocking an opponent from getting on their partners back, I think GP goes out the back door.

Yellow and red cards are for excessive rough playing. But I don’t believe that sitting in front of a ramp, or actively blocking another robot can be considered rough playing. Ramming them into a corner, shoving them repetitively against the rack, full-field runs into a robot… penalize them all. But blocking, that’s just part of the game. The national and divisional finals in '06 had plenty of strong defense, but I didn’t see anyone crying about GP. Getting trapped on top of the ramp was a brilliant strategy. I see the prevention of getting on this years ramp as an equally great strategy.

Now, do you have to be IN the endzone to be an effective blocker? Probably not. Will I cry if someone is in there defending me? Nope, I’ll be out scoring more ringers or dropping a spoiler. Thanks for the extra 30.


Ideally, most of the alliance would be trying to make up the 60 points by placing additional ringers and/or spoilers on the rack, but this may not always be possible. When it isn’t, who says you have to wait until the opponent is in the home zone to try and stop them? You can get the same 30 point difference by keeping one of the opposing robots OUT of their home zone, and away from the lift bot. If the lift bot is out and driving around, you can negate all 60 points by keeping them out of their home zone.

My personal opinion is that purposely violating a game rule for your own benefit would not fall under the category of a gracious professional behavior.

To the GDC: It would have been helpful to provide examples of what egregious behavior would be.

I would say that purposely causing penalties would be egregious behavior. A strategy that gives an alliance an advantage by breaking a game rule would seem extraordinary in some bad way to me.

It seems that I am definitely in the minority with respect to this question. I expect to see yellow and red cards issues for aggressive play, but not for smart play. The gracious professionalism of breaking certain rules has already been discussed in another thread, particularly in an excellent post by George1902, and my follow-up.

The rule being discussed is different, but I think the same logic applies. I’m certain you will see teams intentionally driving into their opponent’s home zone after the start of end game, and I would not expect to see it frowned upon.

Begging your pardon, what rule was broken by the team staying in the opponents’ endzone? As far as I can see, rule <G25> was followed, and that team was assessed three 10-point penalties as per that very rule. Yellow and red cards in soccer are awarded for very specific infractions that must meet certain criteria as per the FIFA Laws of the Game. In soccer there is a specific rule against fouling someone that’s clearly about to score, the penalty for which is a straight red card (and possibly a penalty shot if it’s committed in the 25-yard box… Think Jens Lehmann in the UEFA Champions League Final last year, although the ref probably should have played advantage and cautioned Jens in that case… it’s not important). Point is, in the FRC, the penalty is in <G25>: 10 points every five seconds, *not *a card.

Now, inevitably, someone brought GP into this discussion. This has nothing to do with GP I would argue. GP is about how you and your team conduct yourselves at all times (on and off the field) and includes elements of sportsmanship, keeping a calm demeanour, and all-around resourcefulness. I’m sure there are a couple people out there that can’t get their minds around the fact that the practices of defensive play, descoring, or in the case of this game, using spoilers, are perfectly legitimate. I guess what we need to do is step back and analyze whether doing this violates the spirit of any part of Gracious Professionalism:

Can we agree that there’s nothing ungracious in principle about deducting your alliance a few points to deduct a few more from the opposition? Think about it; it could just save you, and even if it doesn’t, you should be applauded by the other alliance for thinking on your feet rather than whined at because they foolishly thought their strategy was safe. If you agree with that much you’re over the biggest hump, because I’m sure you’ll all agree that there certainly isn’t anything unprofessional about it; quite the opposite, it’s a calculated move that might only be performed by the most reactive strategists on the field. It’s more than safe to say the GDC put in a very specific rule with a very specific penalty, knowing fully well that in certain situations it would get used. They can add. If they wanted it to be a bigger deal, they would have made it so.

Un-GP play on the field in my opinion would be intent to damage, or actually trying to make the opponent take a penalty. There are however, specific rules against both of these, which is not the case with <G25>.

I agree. It is a strategy because it involves manipulation of the score. If an ALLIANCE desires, they can take a 10 pt. penalty and cap the opposing alliance’s ringer onto an empty spider foot. There is no Ungracious or Unprofessional act involved in this.

All of the discussion here has been focused on <G25> and the associated penalties. But what about <G03>? It states:

<G03> END GAME - The final 15 seconds of the TELEOPERATED PERIOD is called the END GAME. During this period, no ROBOT may be in an opposing ALLIANCE HOME ZONE. (emphasis mine) The intent of this period is to permit ALLIANCES to attempt to score bonus points without undue interference. An audio signal will sound five seconds before the start of the END GAME period, and again at the start of the END GAME period.

This clearly speaks to the “intent” of the GDC for the End Game period. Violating the intent of the GDC could well be considered an egregious violation of the rules. I would not be surprised to see yellow cards handed out for “intentional” violations of <G03>. Or perhaps a further clarification of this rule may occur?

I’d tend to agree. To me, I see <G03> as the primary rule for prohibiting defense and aggressive driving in the opponent’s home zone during the end game. <G25> restricts you ability to enter their home zone for other reasons (picking up ringers) which may cause accidental interference or take up space. Additionally <G25> adds more “teeth” to <G03>. Intentional defense of other bots, specifically the bot that is lifting the others, would be a flagrant and egregious violation of <G03>. Depending on the state of the other robots, you may also be able to make a case it violates <S01> and/or <G35>

“Penalty” does not mean “if you pay x points, we will make an exception in the rules for you.” If the rules were made to allow an exception, the rule would clearly state that you can pay points in order to do certain things. Forget GP: Whether the penalty or punishment for an action is a number of points, a card, or disqualification, the action still breaks the rules.

Would the referees let it go if they see a team repeatedly break a rule?

I don’t think that the repetitive use of this strategy is even necessary. It is quite possible that there will be several matches per regional, or even more, where this technique would be pointless because the opposing alliance doesn’t have a robot with a ramp.

On the other hand, I do agree that it is indeed a great example of creative strategy, not bad usage of GP. But it is also a tradeoff that would have to be determined on a match by match basis. Similar to how an alliance would decide if they wanted to rush all 3 robots back to the home zone to get on a ramp or deploy a ramp, or would they sacrifice one to play defense on their scored ringers with spoilers.

I think that wouldn’t be worth it The referree would most likely give you a yellow card and then you could only do that once.

It isn’t worth it and it isn’t “gracious professionalism” :o

I think in the spirit of GP the rule allows blocking as a strategy, because otherwise robot design takes a huge advantage over strategy in this situation. I have always thought the game designers included situations like this on purpose to make sure even well-designed bots can be countered strategically by a lesser bot (in this case anything with a drivetrain).

In any case, we probably wouldn`t see much of this activity in seeding. Strategy just gets so much more drastic in the finals…

So you are saying GP means intentionally cheating? :eek: I don’t think that the game designer’s wanted this strategy, otherwise it wouldn’t illegal.

A HUGE part of robot design is strategy! How else do you know what to build?

I think that this supposed ‘strategy’ is disgraceful and I will lose all respect for those who attempt such a horrid method of winning. :mad:

whoa, Im sorry. I didnt mean to offend. I think no blanket statement will cover this little loophole, because there definitely is the possibility of using it in a very malicious way. I`m sure a rule clarification as to whether or not this would result in a yellowcard would clear this all up - if a yellowcard is issued for this type of blocking it is obviously not in the spirit of the rules. In my opinion, however, if the rules are clarified to state that it does not merit a yellowcard, then it is a valid strategy.

Either way it`s risky business, and a team would have to be in a pretty bad situation to opt for this.