Team 900's Secret Sauce

Having just competed in the North Carolina state champs and failed to qualify, I have received the go-ahead to post this strategy.

So without further ado, I present to you:
900’s secret sauce.

This is primarily focused on preventing opponents from having access to their scale pad, and it all relies on the wording of rule G16. To sum it up, if a robot is breaking the plane of their null zone, whenever an opposing bot touches it, they receive a technical foul.

Sounds good. You can’t mess with a bot in its null zone. However, G16 says nothing about if you are breaking the plane of the enemy null zone. This is the secret sauce.

With a robust drive train (mecanum, please find the exit in the top corner of your browser window), you can position your bot right where the opposing null zone meets the matching half of the field. From there, you can deny other bots access to their scale pad entirely.

We’ve spent some time as a team thinking about this, and there are definitely some consequences. Gauge the referees, as this strategy is easily misinterpreted.

Happy tech fouls!

I have been notified that we already had a secret sauce. Please consider this Secret Sauce Episode 5: Secret Sauce Strikes Back

Is this 2014 again?

Nope, 2015.

Nope, 2017 MSC

Y’all Zebracorns take lawyering the manual to a whole new level! It’s great that others get to see this loophole and possibly exploit it. We might see a Team Update on the horizon. ::rtm:: ::rtm:: ::rtm::

Don’t think there will be a rules update. That’s just judicious reading of the rules and good defense :slight_smile:

It’s a weak strategy that is situational at best. Any robot worth its salt can push a robot a few inches to give the defending robot luscious amounts of tech fouls.

Is there a video that better explains this strat?

Out of the loop on this one: what happened at 2017 MSC?

Bet there’s a video that shows the obvious problem.

Somebody sneaks around the back side and slams ya while they’re in the zone and you aren’t.

This. If you’re going to pull the above strategy, you need to make sure you know the opposing scale bots that could push you around, otherwise you could easily get 2 or more tech fouls.

We found it easier and safer to “trap” opponents near their portal, blocking them from quick access back to the scale.

Left and right pegs blocked by blue, center peg was broken, meaning no more gear scoring for red. Blue would have one but they missed a climb.

The blocking in the null zone reminded me of this

Just sayin’…


Tried it. Our drivetrain was pretty beefy and could push/withstand pushing from many. It worked okay in quals, but in playoffs having 2 scale bots meant you were either trapped out (can’t employ the strategy to begin with) or trapped in (tech foul city). Also I’m fairly certain some refs missed this.

You are correct. This is why we included speed and drive train in our scouting after the first event. We were gathering data to determine what alliances we could reasonably sauce. It especially helped that we are using swerve, as we can easily escape in a variety of directions.

TBH I don’t really feel like this is a new strategy. I think we just don’t see it very often because then you aren’t scoring points, combined with the possibility of an easy penalty. Just my thoughts on the matter. Maybe we will see it played more in the future, I don’t know.

Preventing the opposite alliance from scoring on a scale that you own seems like it does score points.

Notable that this defensive strategy would also require hitting a lot of a robots that have their elevators fully extended and are liable to tip over. The defensive advantages of tipping an opponent over are obvious, if you overlook the likelihood of getting red-carded and ruining your reputation with other teams.

I hope all of our opponents employ this strategy.