Is Defense key to this game?

I heard Adam on First cast knocking our concept of a big ramp and low scorer (expecting more from us - BTW I take no offense), Which I can understand. He expected us to bring back our 05 bot with the arm like 1345 has and the Exploding Minotaurs. Don’t think that this wasn’t our first initial design pattern. In fact plans were moving swiftly for the Exploding Minotaur design. But we took our 05 chassis and hung a ringer on it and then tried to score while playing average defense against it, and it became clear that defense is easy to play in this game. 1 bot on defense thats just halfway decent can shut down half the rack, of coarse the opponents side. Now all the great high scoring arm designs are held to maybe 2 scores until the end of the match. Yes they can keep capping while others are climbing but 60 points cannot be over come by 5 ringers “in a row”. These rows are going to be hard to come by if both teams are “atempting to score”. I think scoring is going to be more about having to score where you are forced to and not realy where you want to. We are planning to play a lot of defense.
For example, you’re allowed to pin somone against the rack for as long as you want if they are trying to score. Thats a big rule! Those arms can get tangled up in those chains ya know… if someone shoves you from behind while your trying to center a ringer above a stinger your arm is going into the chains, will it catch? If you dont let go of that ringer you can be held there till the end of the match. If you let go you just wasted a lot of time picking up a ringer and going to score it. I’ll bet that if you wind up with a great capper on your alliance, they will require somone on the alliance to play defense in order to “reserve” the spider legs they need to get better rows. That defender is critical in usefull scoring that can over come the ramp points. BTW from our estimates the best possible scoring from a single team/bot will not be more than 6 hung during a live match (this will be rare and undefended).
Granted that defense won’t happen all the time and these great scorers will score. But when they do get shut down “all these ramps” are going to start looking pretty good. As long as they are truley big and wide and stable enough for frantic teens to navigate. Or the lifts, which kind of scare me, but are a good idea.

What do you think? :smiley:

I love the idea of a defensive bot. With the 3 omniwheel design you can scoot around the rack with the greatest of ease.


While I do agree a defensive bot may be useful in particular matches, especially when it can also offer a chance at bonus points, I don’t think this game is highly defensive (or nearly as defensive as last year). Because you can approach this scoring object from 360* as opposed to about 120* (like last year), it makes it much harder to run a solid “zone” defense. Especially considering the shape of the rack creates a great place for other teams to “block” for eachother (preventing the defensive bot from getting to the scoring bot).

Also, I think you misunderstood the pinning rule. I think it says the robot that is SCORING is allowed to pin the defender, not that the scoring robot is allowed to be pinned.

<G39> Pinning - While on the carpeted field surface, a ROBOT cannot pin (inhibit the movement of another ROBOT while in contact with a field element or border) for more than 10 seconds. If a ROBOT has been pinned for 10 seconds, the TEAM with the pinning ROBOT will be told by a referee to release the pinned ROBOT and back away approximately 3 feet for a minimum of 3 seconds. Once the pinning ROBOT has backed off by at least 3 feet for 3 seconds, it may again attempt to pin its opponent, and if successful, the 10 second count will start over. If a referee determines that this rule has been violated, a 10-point penalty will be assessed for each violation. Note that a ROBOT attempting to HANG a GAME PIECE on the RACK will be immune from a “pinning” violation as long as it is clear that the ROBOT is continuing to attempt to HANG the GAME PIECE.

I think that the best defense this year will be a good offense, similar to 2005. Being able to quickly score on several positions on the rack will immediately and greatly reduce the opposing alliance’s highest possible score, while enlarging yours. A coordinated offensive should be able to overcome and overwhelm the other alliance, even if being defended.

I think it’s way too early to proclaim what is a good design and a bad design for the game, seeing as though the only matches played were the Kickoff game, some human-robot matches, and MiniFRC.

We’ll know this weekend, though!

I agree that a Defensive bot will play a key factor this year, but it will not win the game for the team. This year the best possible strategy would be 2 offensive bots and a Defensive bot (much like other years). And the Defensive bot will probably need to have a secret weapon or an edge compared to the other defensive bot, a ramp or something else, just to be picked by the good teams. I personally think that you should go sor a scorer if you can build it and make it work, and a defensive bot if you have no other alternative.

I think the major strategy that will evolve will come down “tube superiority”. That is, once an alliance gets a little as one tube ahead of the other, they will shut the other alliance down. Even the best scorers will find it next to impossible to score onto moving targets with determined defenders and panicking alliance partners always in the way.

A penalty free game, especially deep into eliminations, will boil down to the last 15 seconds when both alliances are capable of parking two robots. The first to have gained tube superiority will win 62-60. However, given the multitude of possible infractions, there won’t be many penalty free games. So, neither defense nor offense is the key to this game

The way I see it is this:

Good defense will shut down most weaker offensive strategies.
Great offensive strategies will shut down good defense.

The question then becomes who will have the great offensive strategies. Ask me around May 1.

When were at nationals I think we’ll see the game a lot differently. When both alliances are able to get 2 robots off the ground 12" fairly efficiently, tubes are what is going to win the match.

:yikes: HELLOooooo from TEAM 88
I will put in my 2 cents worth – score quickly, play very good defense, and pick up “2 BOTS” in the end. You must be able to play the whole game because you never know who you have as team partners. All teams must read the rule section, check out “G39”, and the rest of them. Over the past few years a good offense is very hard to beat, has be done but very hard to do. Good luck to all the great teams seeeee ya in GA. oh? yeah? OH !!!YEAH!!!:smiley:
MOE and TEAM 88 TJ2

I’m curious to see exactly how easy it will be to play defense. The rack is hard enough to see through without 5 other robots screaming around, lights reflecting off the diamond plate, ringers in place, and a frenzied coach screaming in the driver’s ear.
I agree with Billfred’s analysis completely.

that is exactly why i see auto so important, and during the match have the cpu take over for scoring. It can be done and has been done. :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

There is always the yearly question of “how much defense will the referee crews let the teams play?”.

In 2005, the answer to that was “not very much”.
In 2006, the answer was “quite a bit”.

In 2007, the answer will be “???”. We won’t know until we get out on the field and let the games commence.

A lot of the rules involving penalties are not absolute. In each situation where a penalty may be required, the refs will have to make a snap judgement call to interpret and apply the rules as they perceive them to be. When asked in the Q&A to clarify possible penalty-inducing situations, how many times have you seen the GDC post that “hypothetical game situations are highly context-dependent. It is not practical for us to provide definitive answers for all indivual situations that may be presented”?

It all boils down to how individual refs interpret and apply the rules at each event - the collective decisions these volunteers make will dictate whether the game is skewed toward offense, defense, or a balance of both. I always hope for the balanced game, where both defensive and offensive robots are allowed to shine, and neither style is “artificially f(l)avored” over the other.

I think defense is being underrated due to that fact that this scoring object is not big. 1 bot can block 3 legs just by going back and forth a couple feet, 2 could be blocked by never even moving. And if they choose to do this on the opponents side, they will be forced to come around and score on the opposite side of the field, which is being occupied by opposing scorers - and much harder to see what you’re doing. The dynamics of this scoring object should be experimented with using live bot defense. Which is what we did. its possible to overreach a defender on the lower 2 levels but the high reachers will need to get in close to score, and may be able to push thier way in. But defense can also be played in keeping the oposing team from picking up the ringers in the first place.
In 2005 we had a higly offensive bot, but we were shut down pretty easily by good defense. The difference there was that the field was spread out, we could go many directions and still score. This rack is right at the center of the field where “everyone” will be. Its going to be crowded and a defender need only play a zone defense and you’re going to have your hands full trying to score on it. I know people are thinking of coordinated attacks, but in reality these take time and only work out half the time.

You are not takin ginto the fact that if the robot is a low robot then they can score high on it. If the Robot is a tall robot, i will be getting pushed out of the way because of the weight rule. And if it has an arm, then it is technically not a defensive bot. Defense is good, but scoring is what will win the game.

defense will be key but very hard to keep with fast smart teams

I applaud, no, embrace with open arms people who pick on Adam (I need someone in ATL to throw him in the fountain btw, PM me if your interested) along with others on the FIRSTcast team. Push us.

Anyway, my thoughts are quite simple. Too many teams have ramp bots, too many teams can get two robots on their backs and score. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see ramp bots getting ontop of other ramp bots due to their proliferation. If you want to get picked for finals for a ramp (like in 2004 you would if you could hang like crazy), then I think you are mistaken. That’s part one (and really doesn’t answer your question at all, it’s a personal rant.)

As for defense, I can see your argument quite well, but how does this NOT apply to any other game? Last year teams would shoot, get hit, and totally miss, sending balls missing. Teams could to the same with the tetras, with the multipliers, with ramp blocking, with goal stealing and moving (think 71), etc. Maybe it’s the fact I’m not on a team and I don’t have access to the field and build, so I don’t see the writing on the wall, but I see defense and offense as being the same this year as any other. Heck, I think defense was more pronounced in last year’s game due to the forced defense/offense rounds compared to this year.

I’m impressed by your massive ramp, which could be used to blot out the sun, and I really like that your taking a different route with this game, but I don’t see how defense is more important or the key to this game. I think the key this year is torrid manipulation, just like in 2005 with the tetras.

My prediction is that the rack score will be the deciding factor in the majority of matches. If that is the case, defense of the rack will be a big factor and teams will have to hang ringers quickly to keep from being defended and scoring robots need to be very manuverable (or immoveable) to generate big scores.

“Why will the rack score be deciding?” you ask? Well, I believe that, except for a few “hero” machines, getting robots off the ground is not going to be a walk in the park, that’s why. Recall how many teams had a hard time getting up a big, fixed, ramp last year and how often teams wait until too late to try for it? Now look at the size of the ramp or lift that they’re going to be trying to get on in the last few seconds of the game. I expect to see some “interesting” piles of robots in the end zones this year.

Guess we’ll find out in 18 days.

Arms can be used defensively. They can be very effective that way.

In 2005, while the rest of the FIRST world was off in offensive land, Triple Play was played defensively in Manchester, New Hampshire. With 2 robots the seventh seed shut down the second seeded alliance, and this was before the serpentine draft. The defense occured on half of the field, so there were six goals spread out all along the perimeter. The second seed scored 2 points, both dropped tetras in autonomous. A loading zone penalty cost the seventh seed the match, but there isn’t an equivilent penalty in this game.

If you can get ahead early, and dedicate your two better drivetrains to pure defense, your opponent has limited options. They have to outscore you. Every robot they use to keep you from ramping, they can’t ramp. Every robot they send to block you, they can’t score with.

Could we be in for Stack Attack v2, where the name of the game is get ahead early, keep your opponent from scoring, and ramp?

1 more thing. A fairly obvious yogi-ism-like statement…If your playing defense your not scoring, you are most certainly attempting to keep them from scoring. I always look at the teams that are on einstein, year in and year out they approach the game with 1 basic approach: Score points. If you are forcing a team to play defense on you while you are trying to score youve already won the battle, now all your working on is the war.