Frustrated by Lack of Creative Defensive Options

I’m just curious if anyone else out there thinks FIRST should have allowed for creative defensive options, such as going to the other side of the field during Autonomous to try and control the opposition’s switch or “covering” the opposition’s rung without touching it for the end game.

I’m personally frustrated that these are not allowed because they take a big element of creativity away from the teams.

I think we may be surprised with the sort of defensive strategies that may arise. For example, 2013 initially did not seem like a defense heavy game early in the season, but in competition, the there were some cross field shooters and some teams adapted their robot at the competition to be able to block such shooters.

Sometimes the most creative defensive strategies might only come to mind upon seeing the game function in an actual match.

Greater restrictions can yield more creative results in the hands of creative people. I’m sure anyone who does scientific research could testify to that.

Well, ever since 2015, FIRST hasn’t allowed robots to cross the halfway point in autonomous. I feel like that would allow robots to cross the field to purely mess up their opponents autonomous. So I personally am glad that can’t happen.

As far as defensive creativity, I strongly disagree. I think a good defense this year is going to HAVE to be creative. Some defensive options include:

  1. attacking your opponents switch
  2. grabbing as many up-for-grab cubes as possible
  3. defending the opponent’s portals
  4. bumping/trying to increase the opponent’s cycle times

I am sure there are many more options as well, but those are just what I could think of off the top of my head.

Nah, the autonomous mode is already crazy enough with the randomization, and blocking climbs would just not be fun.

What’s fun is when people play the game. In this game, a lot of “defense” is counterplaying your opponents. This is interesting to watch. Watching a straightline auto barrel through carefully planned autonomous modes is not fun to watch. Watching a robot deny its opponents by climbing first and then wagging its finger at the opposing alliance from the top isn’t fun.

This game already allows for so much defensive and counterplay in all of its aspects that I just don’t see a need for these “creative” defensive options.

I would argue that yours are the less creative strategies. They’d almost certainly be done if they were allowed.

you could argue that the power-ups can be used defensively too.

I like the rules put in place to prevent teams from winning by essentially preventing their opponent from playing the game. If you were allowed to defend the rung, EVERYONE would defend the rung, because it is far easier than actually climbing. Even a basic kitbot could prevent most teams from climbing, simply by pushing them sideways.

As a programmer, Autonomous is complicated enough without another robot interfearing. Also, this sort of strategy could result in very ugly situations, such as robots that, through no fault of their own, are disabled for the entirety of TeleOp. Don’t tell me there would be a penalty assigned, no amount of penalty points can give a team their match back.

To each his own, but I think defense is fun to watch. And when I say defense I don’t mean “counterplaying”, I mean a team being denied offense because a team with a superior drive train or driver gets in their way. It’s a part of the game for me (and others I’m sure). It’s a whole half of the game.

If you enjoyed Stronghold defense, I suspect once we get into the competitions you will enjoy this defense. It really is very similar…

The scoring seems intentionally designed to skew small differences in capability, skill and tactics into large point differences. If there is no creative defense this year, I’ll have to go back and re-examine a lot of my basic assumptions. Things like length, time, and gravity.

I’d argue you’d create the exact opposite with your idea here.

If you were allowed to go all out in autonomous, you’d see fewer teams trying to perfect taking ownership of the opponents switch in a defensive way for a variety of reasons (field error tolerance, time required to handle this precisely, etc) and more teams just sprinting out to get in the way of the other bots in a way that’s dangerous to both bots. Keep in mind, preventing ownership is equivalent to dropping your cube in their switch.

There’s plenty of time for defense and tons of space for creativity. Limiting auton isn’t a bad idea here.

And I’ll add that when you’re considering HOW someone can mess up your offense strategy, you may come up with some very clever defense ideas.

I uh, don’t see how this game is significantly worse than any other modern FRC game for that kind of defense, which is a lot different from what the OP was suggesting.

Plenty of “creative” defense to be played:

Increase their cycle times (its a game of seconds)
Take away what used to be their protected cubes
Score on their switch net gain (prevent their ownership of it)
Prevent them from easily getting cubes to vault and the other plate scoring areas
Block/disrupt shots if they are launching
Dislodge carries/steal cubes
Delay access to their platform to set up to climb
Block driver vision (no height limit…hmm)
Hammer portals

Probably missing other opportunities…
I think teams may underestimate the very really possibility of solid defense ruining their plans.
At first look …easy vault, easy home switch , fairly easy climbs…then you think what could mess that up. A lot.

I’ll see you, raise you R08A, and add hammering the Exchange to your list instead.

You can’t be IN the Exchange for >5 seconds with a 6’ back-off distance, but there’s nothing saying you can’t hammer robots that are trying to use it if you don’t go in! (Given compliance with other rules, etc.)

Blocker for cube launchers?

There may be a lack of obvious solutions to a problem, but there is never a lack of creative solutions.

This field has a good mix of protected (yours) and unprotected zones (theirs) and for you to use wisely. Traffic patterns will be complex, and vary from match to match. This places even more emphasis than usual on good strategic driving and coaching. Defense may be difficult to play for some teams, but the smartest defenders will stand out more this year than most.

One area of creativity will be the preparation of the drive team so they play defense at the most opportune times and spots on the field given what’s happening in real time during the match.