How many defensive bots will we probably see this year?

I’m thinking we may see just a couple in my opinion just based off of the lack of possible defensive positions.

I think with the openess of the field, defense will be a very important concept in this game. especially with only one protected zone, and that zone being so small. In human walking simulations we did during kickoff the protected zone was very easy to prevent robots from reaching, I think that there us a very high chance of a defense bot on at least half of the alliances at a regional or district event.

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Do you have any predictions as to what strategies they may use?

Do we include teams that over reached and resort to defense?

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yeah I think so

what about the fact you can hold 2 of your opponents cargo? You could keep those game pieces out of play for most of the match, correct? So its not just physical defense…

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So much defense. I’m thinking defense will be super important this year because of the lack of protected zones and how easy it is for a slight bop to interrupt your shots. Biggest reason it may be a struggle is for visibility reasons.

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ballpark 30%, give or take 15%.

Few (sub 10%), if any (by choice at least) by the time worlds comes around. You likely wont first pick a defense bot.

id also bet max 5% of all defense bots are actually any good at doing defense.

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How many robots are going to compete in this game? Because that’s the answer… every robot will play defense in some capacity. The best defense in this game is likely done while you’re in the process of playing offense.

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I’m thinking another possibility may be guarding the terminal. I feel like that may be something that we’ll see too.

The fact that the field is so open gives the advantage to offensive robots simply because there is more breathing room. I fully expect that ball starvation will be a problem come championships. Maybe we will we see it in regional playoffs but im not too sure. Given that the only way to score points this year is either scoring balls or climbing, I’m hoping that most teams will at least be able to score in the lower hub. Assuming 60-70% of teams can score balls in some capacity, you will have some matches that all three alliance robots will be scavenging for balls. Depending on how fast of a cycle time they have, they will eventually be indirectly competing against each other for balls and this will more than likely be to their detriment. I can definitely see a championship alliance being two fast and accurate shooting bots with a good defender as their third in order to counter the other alliance.

Good defense this year will be key. Not necessarily bumping and hitting robots directly, but keeping the opposing alliance’s cargo out of reach and harder to access in general.

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For what exactly?

I believe one strategy people might try is playing keep away at the terminals with the balls

All of these strategies assume a two offense, one defense strategy, and are for the single defense bot unless otherwise stated.

  • Have the defense bot hold two of your opponent’s cargo right off the bat. That drops them from 11 to 9.
  • In the end game, have your alliance pick up as much of the opponent’s cargo as it can. This limits any last minute scoring they can do. Could see this happening in quals to prevent the opponent’s alliance from getting the cargo RP. Points-wise, it would be better for the two scorers to continue scoring and the defender to keep defending.
  • Take advantage of the sightlines and push the opponent’s robot behind the hub from time to time. Difficult to see behind there from the driver station.
  • Cause some chaos. Knock the opponent’s balls away from them. Spread them out as much as possible.
  • Play positional defense. Block off where the opponent wants to score. Think of forming a perimeter around the hub, or near the launchpads. Let them go to the terminal, and keep them there. A lot of times you see drivers get impatient and drive their bot into the opponent, just to get spun off of. Just sit patiently in a zone and block it off.
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I’m not sure how much those terminals will be used, as of right now, I see only one cargo behind the alliance wall, and I haven’t figured out what the human player is really doing after autonomous. How do the human players even acquire more cargo and what is the advantage of feeding cargo back to the human player through the terminal? How many can they hold behind the alliance wall before having to redistribute them back onto the field?

so the robots can feed balls into the terminal through the bottom at least from what I understand

The advantage is that the terminal height is slightly higher than the low hub. So effectively you are outsourcing indexing the cargo to the human player.

are they limited to the number they can hold back there?

yeah I feel like the terminals are going to be a very strategic point this year.

well the bottom of the terminal can hold up to 10, so I believe that is the limit. But it’s not really specified in the manual