Squishing the Spiders

The playoffs at BAE GSR turned out to be, by and large, decided by defense. In one match, our alliance (1073-1474-501) beat an opponent 2-0. In another, 1073 and 501 both scored in autonomous and then just battered the robots and the field structure for the rest of the match (I believe we won 6-4).

What quickly became evident was that scoring on the center structure became incredibly difficult if other robots were smashing into it. By the finals, the whole shebang was pretty much swinging wildly in all directions.

Some teams even fouled up our autonomous by just programing their robots to drive forward and smash into the spiders, just to throw everything off course for us.

To all teams at the next few regionals:

I’m telling you, squishing the spiders is key.

I don’t see why ramps weren’t a factor? Even if no one scored period, surely there should have been some ramp bots no? Those are definitely very low score.

If it really comes down to this i guess ramp bots have a huge advantage.

Yeah… I’m really surprised that some teams built bots so low that they couldnt climb ramps… I mean, OK, if you decide that you are not going to put ramps on your bot, why would you build your bot so that you can’t climb someone elses? That’s worth almost 5 tubes in a row…


Ramp bots have a TREMENDOUS advantage. The scores at BAE were lower than most people forecast. One of our team’s engineers created a matrix and discovered that something like 60% of all possible match scores would be decided by 15 points or less.

A lot of teams didn’t utilize ramps for reasons I still can’t figure out. Over 90% of the matches at BAE would have been won if the robots had just been on the defensive the entire match and then mounted the ramps at the end. It’s that simple.

If your team can block a robot from scoring and then climb a ramp of an alliance partner, you can win.

I don’t see ramps having that big of an advantage, I mean 80% of the teams I have seen so far will have trouble getting onto them (let alone staying on) all due to their clearance. The bots at a tremendous advantage are the ones that lift, where there is simply a 1 inch platform one climbs up and your lifted. (after seeing parts of VCU and New Jersey I am soo glad our team went that route)

Isn’t intentional assault of the rack without trying to score illegal according to the rules?

Could you quote a rule to support that? <G33> seems to say that it’s okay so long as you aren’t breaking things.

The important thing is efficiency and ease of use. You could argue, depending on the setup, that a one inch lip is significantly harder to negotiate than a shallow ramp. And if your lift fails, mechanically or time wise, it fails. No points. If a ramp is well constructed, its the skill of the driver decides the points earned.

But, I will agree with you that the webcasts suggested lifts often proved more effective than ramps- generally because of the lack of side guards. Week two and on may be a different story.

The mechanism makes a difference, yes. But at GSR, being able to score the bonus points was the deciding factor in the vast majority of games. And I don’t think that will change. It’s just too difficult to score points with the tubes alone. I didn’t attend the other regionals this weekend, but I’m sure it was the same.

Well it works both ways, I have seen teams with ramps that got caught as they lowered them rendering them useless. What I was referring to was between a well designed ramp and well designed lift (locks into place as to not fail after the match), then the lift will always be better, if only because a team with very little ground clearance can get on. Yes some like to drive up a gradual ramp rather then a 1 inch lip, which was the very reason we added a 8 inch gradual slop on our end of our platform. Time wise I would argue they are the same, the time it takes for a team to drive up a ramp successfully without falling of is about that of lifting two robots.

But as you said, only time will tell which are better and more reliable.

wow… its amazing to see that people think lifts are better. I remember at the beinging of the season people were all about the ramps, and that lifts were far to dagerous to be put to good use, but now they seem to have evened out on which is better. I still like the idea of the lift personally.

As for the topic of this thread, it does seem very smart to have an auto mode that rams the rack, ecspecially if your allies don’t have autos, keep that as a extra option for your auto seems like a good idea, and should be kept in the bank for use when you need it (ie. if the other team has two or three working autos where you have only yourself). Also it seems some bots can deal with swinging, and some bots can’t. I have watched a few matches and it seems some bots don’t care at all that someone just rammed the rack, and they score anyways, whereas some bots completely lose it and can’t score anything ever aain for the match (slight exaggration) it will really depend on how comfortable the drivers are I think.

I wasn’t just referring to autonomous mode either. Our alliances strategy in the finals (against the highest scoring alliance at BAE) was pretty much to disrupt their scoring capability by any means necessary, including slamming into the spider legs.

only thing you have to watch out for is disrupting your teammates. That and squishing spiders make it rain, and you don’t want your robot to rust up now do you?

What I find smarter is backing up a foot after the tube is on before letting go…I still can’t get over the sheer humour that would happen when team x caps nothing but air because team y held the legs a foot back with the tube and then let go and shaking away it went. I thought a lot of teams would catch on to this strategy for autonomous, as it almost eliminates the chance of any team after you scoring… as far as our counter to the fact that the spider may be turning, well we have three kicks at the can so to speak, our tube only comes off it brought to the floor or catches on something ie the spider leg… so start at the top drive the elevator down to the bottom, and chances are great that you will hit one of the legs… also any team that hold the ringer parallel to the floor seems to have a better chance when the spiders move like mad

thats true I did notice that dropping the ringer on top on the leg seemed much easier then I thought it would be. Our design doesn’t do that because we didn’t think it would work all that well, but we have been proven wrong lol. Our robot instead likes to slam dunk the rings onto the legs, palming the ringer so to say, but I did like the over the top now that I can see it.

The proper term is Whackdegoal.

“Some teams even fouled up our autonomous by just programing their robots to drive forward and smash into the spiders, just to throw everything off course for us.”

now that might seem smart at first, but I saw a video of one match out there where a bot tried that in autonomous and got caught on the spider. The bot ended up completely useless, off the ground, and hanging there for the whole game.

I remember some teams saying during build season that their bot would push the spider to the side of the rack, holding it immobile and allowing them to score easily. Does this counter the defense? Likewise, would a manipulator that surrounds the spider foot (without grabbing or gripping it) negate the whackdegoal defense?