Potential Deep Space Offseason Rule Changes

Now that offseason events are starting, what are some potential rule changes you’d like to see to this game? Are there any rules changes your offseason event is already making?

Some initial thoughts

  • Swap the loading station sides, force teams to actually cross the field and interact if they want game pieces
  • Swap the HAB sides, you start on the HAB in front of your driver station but you have to go climb on the opposite side HAB
  • Rocket completion gets bonus points in elims
  • Higher levels of the rocket add a few points (2, 3, 4 for hatches and 3, 4, 5 for cargo in each level)
  • Sandstorm scoring bonus
  • Allow for double lvl 2 starts à la 5401 starting vertically on lvl 2

What other serious ideas do you have?


Double level 2 already was legal as bumper rules were not enforced in the hab.


Starting on hab lvl 3 allowed for bonus points. You want to yeet off there and risk your robot go for it


If your robots were small enough to fit 2 of them on the same level 2 hab platform in their starting configuration it was legal. At the start of the match, Starting Configuration rules were in effect making it so you couldn’t start with your bumpers perpendicular to the floor.



For competitive off seasons, you could increase the hab rp point requirement to 18, meaning you need an L3 bot and an L2 bot, an L3 bot and two L1 bots or 3 L2 bots


Has there ever been an instance of 3 lvl 2 ending bots in competition?

Since teams are trying out/teaching brand new drivers (and some events are trying to maximize scoring output), be lenient on the “break the plane” rule for 2 robots on the defensive side of the field, if they’re obviously just going to score on their side own side of the field and they just overshot a bit.

Give a 10 point bonus in playoffs for completing a rocket, to encourage more rocket scoring. It would make completing the rocket equivalent to completing a cargo ship with no null hatches. HAB 3 is already OP, so don’t give a point bonus for HAB climb.


“Fix-the-game” rules:

  • Inconsequential violations of G10 do not incur a penalty
  • G9 only applies to robots completely over their opponent’s Cargo Ship Line
  • Switch the G12 violation in the hab zone from a yellow card to a normal foul
  • Switch G6 violations to a foul instead of a red card unless thrown outside the field at the field staff, and remove R6

Slightly more game-changing/I-wish-the-game-had-this rules:

  • 8 balls in the Cargo Ship provides the Rocket RP
  • Change H7 to allow game piece entry over the alliance station wall, and add a blue box to H15 to explicitly allow dropping
  • 2018 compressor rules
  • Do not require the bumper zone to be parallel to the floor for robot starting configuration (i.e. legalize putting a robot sideways on level 2 to start and get those extra 3 points)

I don’t like giving out bonus points for things that didn’t have points before, but having an 8-ball cargo ship generate the Rocket RP will make qualifications & playoffs play a lot more the same. I generally like seeing RPs easier to get than harder, because it makes it less easy for the opposite alliance able to control the RP.


This would be difficult for the refs to score, but:

Increased points for putting a hatch panel on in sandstorm, with the number of increased points proportional to the time remaining in sandstorm. For example, if you score the hatch panel with 10 seconds remaining, then you get 10 points.

This would have encouraged better faster autonomous modes similar to the scale and switch battles last year, while still allowing teams to fall back to drive-by-camera if they preferred.

Whats the idea with H7? to allow cargo to be thrown closer to the cargo ship/rocket? To allow hatches to be thrown close to there for teams with a ground pickup?

I like the idea with the cargo ship RP but I feel like that just makes low bots even more valuable in quals (since they can get an RP) and makes it so all the teams that prioritized rocket scoring have no reason to. If that had been there from the beginning, there would be a lot more cargo only bots with a lvl 3 who can easily get to the top of rankings. Maybe you can get that RP only if you don’t start with all null hatches? Maybe no null hatches allowed? only half null hatches?

@scottgoering looks like the links you posted had 3 robots ending on level 2 but @Ben_Martin was talking about 3 robots starting on level 2

Doh! I misunderstood the request.
I don’t think I can query that from the scoring data provided by FIRST

Also I bet a majority of those (including the one MAR CMP link i clicked) were a lvl 2 + lvl 2 + failed lvl 3

Double lvl 2 start on one side was legal at Week 1 events (Hatboro-Horsham for 5401) and then ruled illegal because of bumper/starting config rules

Also I think you counted matches where three robots total (both alliances) ended on HAB2, when I believe @Tomithy meant three robots on the same alliance.

8 balls in the cargo ship is minimum 8 maximum 10 game pieces scored… If you want to award the RP for scoring on the cargo ship it’s got to be a bit harder than that.

Add the stipulation that the cargo ship cannot start with null hatch panels for the RP to be awarded might make more sense gameplay wise. That’s now a minimum of 11 and a maximum 16 game pieces that have to be moved. The maximum is 4 more than for a rocket but all scored low. The minimum is 1 less than a rocket but has to be done during auto. (A single team can realistically reduce it to 14 game pieces scored required. Which is 2 more than for a rocket but all scored low.

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I like that idea for the cargo ship RP more. But, in order to make quals and elims the same gamem I would much rather the change be to make high robots more valuable in elims rather than making high robots less valuable in quals

(high robots more valuable in elims by making the rocket have a point bonus for each level or a total completion point bonus)

Both hatches & balls for H7. Maybe even HPs scoring balls in the cargo ship. Would be fun I think. It breaks the game more, so I put it in the second set.

Rocket scoring is just as valuable with adding the cargo ship RP in playoff rounds while making the game piece cycling RP harder to defend, which should ultimately make the matches play more like they do in elims with teams having less split focus. I don’t like mandating null hatches, because you can make the task easier or harder for yourself depending on how you perform in your cargo ship sandstorm. It’s really hard to put a hatch on the side of the cargo ship against a good defender.

Allow shooting of game objects.

If the goal is to make the game more challenging:

  1. you could remove a few of the spare hatches and cargo pieces so that if you drop a hatch, it hurts your ability to achieve the max score.

  2. you could get rid of the null hatches or limit the number of null hatches to only 2 and force people to put hatches on the cargo ship in order to score cargo. (And if you fill the cargo ship using no null hatches, you get an RP).

  3. I like the idea of having bonus points in elims for completing the rocket (ala 2017 bonus, but not as big as that).

Rule changes that would make the game more fun to play:

  1. for the G18 pinning rule, instead of the defender just backing off 6 feet, they actually have to retreat onto their side of the centerline (think Hockey blueline). This would give the offence a bigger advantage and would force defenders to come up with more finesse styles of defense rather than just pushing into the wall/cargo ship/etc.

  2. Remove the bumper requirement from the climb rule. The only requirement is that you be supported only by the platform, the wall or another robot supported on that platform.

  3. Allow teams to add cargo to the field at the beginning of the match as long as it is touching the wall between the rocket and the centerline.

  4. Allow robots to cross the centerline to collect game pieces as long as they do not initiate contact with other robots (i.e. play defense).

  5. Allow robots to earn endgame points in the last 20 seconds by spinning on their side of the field - 1 pt per complete revolution (OK, this last one is a joke, but it would be fun to watch a bunch of pizza boxes spinning all over the field - whirling dervishes)


Instead of using sandstorm as auto, have one random sandstorm time for each alliance. ex. red side gets 15 sec sandstorm at 1:30 mark and blue side gets 15 sec sandstorm at 1:00 mark. Time set at random for all matches. Not during the last 30 seconds though.