With the season almost over, we’ve gone through 7 weeks of “competition”. We’ve seen stack after stack scored, and the heartbreak of a 42-point stack falling over. We blinked and missed robots steal center RCs right out from the competition. I would now like to start a discussion if future FRC games should eliminate defense. Here are my pro’s and con’s.
Pro’s of no defense
With no defense, FIRST could stop the W/L ranking system and try out the average score system. With this new ranking system, a 100-150 game would be more beneficial for both teams compared to a 10-15 game.
Teams can expand to any horizontal distance. In the past, teams have been limited to how far outside of their frame perimeter they could extend. This was to prevent robots from being damaged. With no defensive interaction going on, teams can now expand as far as they want. With the weight limit being the same, it provides that much more of a challenge for teams taking advantage of this. We can see awesome designs such as 148’s Batman and Robin, 3322’s giant wingspan, and even robots with no drivetrain!
With no defense, robot-robot penalties are very rare. 2014 week 1 was won by penalty points. Without defense, robots can’t smash others and win.
Con’s of no defense
Without robot-robot interaction, games were rather stale. If a teams could consistantly put out 2-42pt stacks, there wasn’t any difference in how they did it.
There are no jukes. No 360 no-scopes. There is very little outplay.
There were little-to-no upsets. In Michigan, 18/19 of the events the #1 alliance won, Including MSC. I still remember MSC 2011 when the #1 alliance lost to the #8 alliance from strategy alone. The #1 robot didn’t break, no big penalties, just strategy. You’ll never have such an upset like that without defense.
Recycle Rush does have a bit of defense, and that itself is causing controversy. The only defense you can play (outside of a really good noodle throw) is obtaining the center RCs in auto. That is it. The reason it’s controversal is because RCs are worth so much, if you lose the RC race, you lose the match. I’m really curious as to why the GDC added this to a game with no defense.
Those are my thoughts on the subject. If you have anything to add, please do so.