Opponent’s Loading Station

Are you allowed to use your opponent’s loading station? I know by G10 and G11 your opponent has the right of way, but are you allowed to use their loading station when they aren’t there?

If you are not in the taped off zone

Yes, but proceed with caution. Any part of bumpers in the taped off zone of you or opposing alliance robot opens you up to risk of penalty. 2017 is another recent examples where picking up game pieces from the opponent’s loading zone could be used to cut cycle times to scoring locations.

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I might be missing something… use it how? I wouldn’t expect the opposing alliance to willfully give you their power cells. I don’t believe you can send your own human player to the other side.

If your opponents reach the cell limit of 15 then they have to start putting them back into play and you can grab them.

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Sure, fair point. I wasn’t sure if this was what was what OP implied by “use” - I’d imagined more of a “line up and load cells directly from the station” sort of thing.

If “use” just means “Pick up some cells that came out of it at some point”, my curiosity has been satisfied. Definitely yes, you can and should use it whenever possible. (though, don’t expect the other alliance to make that easy for you)

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I also would caution anyone considering being in or around a null zone to a change we found in the rules from last year regarding defense.

G11:

The initiator of the contact is not a factor when determining violations of this rule.

So, if you do this, and they push you across the line, you lose the point.

~Mr. R^2

Yes but this years zone is much smaller then the 2018 null zone and this change does make it riskier to do but still could be very beneficial to be done if done right. See Stage 3 Ranking Point Hack

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Good point, However, there are also more of them scattered around the field (target zone, trench run, and loading zone). Also, the consequences have the potential to be immense (cumulative tech fouls or even yellow/ red cards). However, you are correct in that the payoff is huge as well. It makes me wonder how successful a tall (44 1/2" per say) and adroit bot could be in this game. Especially if it is able to avoid contact, it could be incredibly successful.

~Mr. R^2

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while the initiator of the contact doesnt matter, they also have noted many times in previous years that if you’re forced into a foul by being pushed into such a situation, they wont call it as a foul. of course thats also not to say the ref wont see you being pushed there and may only see the contact. so still be careful

RedLeader342,
First off, props on the handle. Second, while you are right about the history, it seems as though this game is written differently. Our assessment thus far is that the intent of this rule is to warn people not to be near these zones. Time will tell if they change the rule or if the refs interpret it differently, but to us, at first perusal, the notable change in language implies this is a change from previous years. Again, time will tell.

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I’m going to have to agree with RedLeader on this one.

Historically, protected zones have been a pretty nasty but not necessarily crippling penalty (depending on the year) for violating. This year they’ve made it nastier than usual, and spelled out two different possible violations that combine to make going in there a major gamble.

The thing is, the rule he’s ACTUALLY referencing is C8–the “Thou shalt not force thine opponents into a penalty” rule. It’s plausible that intentionally forcing an opponent into one of your own protected zones isn’t a penalty–but if it’s too obvious, or repeated too much, there’s a distinct risk that it comes back to bite YOU instead, because if called it wipes out the TF on your opponent and gives you a Foul, and if you keep doing it after that then the TF is on you instead.

It’s a standard gameplay move to go for your loading zone, for instance. Going for your loading zone when there’s an opponent there, they need to get out of the way. But let’s say that you ONLY go for your loading zone when either there’s an opponent there or you’re trying to push your opponent there, and you don’t collect any Power Cells when you’re in the area. Are you trying to load up Power Cells, consistent with standard gameplay, or are you trying to force your opponent into fouls, consistent with C8 (specifically note example b in its blue box)? Obvious follow-up question, do you want to put the referees in position to make that determination?

There’s a limited number (48) cells in the game, and there’s a max of 15 cells that an alliance can hold within their walls at any time. (This is because you get the cells that your opponent scores.) So if I flood the opposing alliance, they’re forced to release cells back into the field. And therefore I can pick up the cells on that they drop.