Point of reserve gear?

So I have been reading and reading and trying to understand the point of the reserve gear. If you think about it it gives both teams a free gear. This means if each alliance places it in the first slot they are still equal. Why not just get rid of the gear and make one of the other spires require one less gear. The only reasons I can see are:
-FIRST wanted higher game scores so they are giving a free 40 points.
-An alliance knows they need an extra 35 points in auto to win the match and they are unable to place a gear on the peg in auto so they take the 25 point tech foul and take the 35 points for spinning up a spire.
-FIRST wants to see the competence of human players to place the gear for the free points.

To me it seems much more logical to make the spire that takes 6 gears only need 5 and get rid of the reserve gear. This would make the game more interesting because it would require teams to place 7 gears to spin 3 spires as opposed to 6 because of the free gear. Please inform me if I am missing something in game strategy. I appreciate any help understanding it.

I believe so that it offers some more ways they can balance things out for DCMPs and FIRST Championship.

Because it can’t be used in autonomous, it gives more incentive to be able to score at least 1 gear in auto, giving a 20 point edge.

Situation A (team takes foul to place reserve gear in autonomous):
60 points (autonomous rotor) - 25 points (tech foul) = 35 points

Situation B (team places reserve gear in tele-op):
40 points (tele-op rotor)

40 > 35

Pretty Much.

On the note of the removal of gears the rule book states

"The number of pre-populated GEARS may change for District Championships or the FIRST Championship.

                         ROTOR 1 ROTOR 2 ROTOR 3 ROTOR 4

Pre-populated GEARS 0 0 1 2
PILOT placed GEARS 1 2 4 6

One GEAR, the Reserve GEAR, is staged on the AIRSHIP at the start of the MATCH at the base of the STEAM TANK, as shown in Figure 3-12."

They actually can removal some of the pre-populated gears in the *FIRST *Championship, but it doesn’t mention removing the free gear. The free gear just acts as a place anywhere pre-populated gear:yikes:.

My guess would be to balance auto and teleop.

They want one robot to be able to activate the first rotor in auto, making sure that a single good robot in a quals match is not totally prevented from scoring an auto rotor. However, they want the teamwork of all 3 teams on an alliance to be able to score the second auto rotor.

However, I guess that they feel that the challenge should be easier in teleop. I guess it makes sense, as 13 gears in the 135 seconds of teleop means you only have approximately 10 seconds per gear. Removing one gear increases this time to about 11 seconds per gear. Also, it means that the score per second of the gears slows down sooner as it either completely removes the time to get the 1st rotor running or halves the time to get the 2nd rotor running. This is probably to encourage teams to try to score fuel, as the points per second of scoring fuel is (totally guesstimated) approximately equal to installing the gears for the 3rd rotor.

If I had to guess, this gear will probably be gone at the district champs and championship level (in addition to possibly removing some pre-installed gears)

In the past there is usually a rule that says disregarding rules strategically for a net point gain will escalate the penalty. However, I can’t find it in this year’s manual. Am I just blind or is it not there? I see that some rules (like G04) individually note that if abused for strategy the penalty will increase, but I don’t see a rule that applies it to all rules.

only the prepopulated gears are subject to change. the reserve gear is not.

I just went through the book looking for the same thing and also came up empty.

On page 110 it says “T03. Egregious or repeated violations of any rule or procedure is prohibited.
Violation: The Head REFEREE may assign a YELLOW CARD as a warning, or a RED CARD for DISQUALIFICATION in MATCH.”

Doing that action strategically, if repeated wouldn’t be allowed.

There will probably be a few (or many) matches where the pilot does nothing but place that gear. (And drop the rope)

1- the pilot is at least a little important in every match
2- it allows every pilot to practice with at least one gear each match.

True; however, this would still artificially inflate your match score (since fouls add to the other alliance’s score). If done strategically against alliances you’re confident you can beat by 6+ points, this could boost your team’s ranking (as the second order sort after ranking points is cumulative match score).

EDIT: I don’t condone this strategy (and personally hope the rules don’t allow it come competition season), but as the rules are currently written I don’t see much stopping it.

The 25 are awarded to your opponent, you are still padding your match, auto and rotor points which is useful for ranking or tiebreaking (although cleaner game does go first for tiebreaking).

T03 stops it as mentioned above. No additional clarification should be needed.

I suspect it is for looks when you have an alliance that can’t do gears. Having at least the main rotor spinning on each airship is more of an audience pleaser.

Somehow I still think we will see at least one alliance with a score of 0 this year, when their human player drops the reserve gear in their excitement :o

I’m confused- can a pilot get a gear from a bot and put it in the 1 gear slot to get the big rotor turning for auto points? I looked through the manual and didn’t find anything against it but it seems odd that it would be allowed

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I’m not quite sure why that seems odd to you. From a scoring point of view, the big rotor is no different from the three smaller rotors. Since the big rotor is “rotor 1,” it must be the first rotor started by an alliance, and if a robot delivers a gear in auto, the pilot should insert it there for auto points.

Yep. And they can’t use the Reserve gear to do that in auto, so it has to be a robot-delivered gear.

Not on that one. There’s no “strategy enhancement” on A05. There’s the “Repeated” part of T03, but that’s a straight yellow if employed.

Yes, it is allowed I’m pretty sure. This would encourage autonomous function for teams since a gear being placed in Rotor 1 would earn 60 match points instead of 40 from a pilot placing in the reserve gear as tele-op starts.

According to rule A05, a pilot cannot remove the reserve gear from it’s slot in autonomous. However, the reserve gear is a free 40 points in teleop mode.