Team Update #6

Team Update 6 has been posted.

I don’t really like the exemption from <G61> for rules <G32> and <G33>. I see this increasing the burden on refs to determine if whether an offensive team is using “strategies aimed at taking advantage of this exception”. I also see it increasing the burden on the offense to show that they are not using such strategies.

I would have liked to see them leave <G61> in place for those rules, but add the Red Card for not leaving.

There are already plenty of places where defense is not allowed in this game, I don’t really see the need to limit it further like this.

Looks like the pole is illegal as well.

By pole, I mean a pole to bring the minibot down to a level that a person can reach.

Little worried that “pushing through” the defense into your own scoring penalty will be considered a “Strategey aimed at taking advantage of this exception” even though the goal was to get yourself into your own zone.

Wow, looks like they really want the mini-bots to come back down the pole by themselves…

<G59> TEAMS must retrieve MINIBOTS from the TOWER quickly and safely without special
equipment and while standing on the floor after each MATCH.
Violation: The FIELD crew will retrieve the MINIBOT if the TEAM does not. A
second violation may result in a YELLOW CARD.

Otherwise, I’m a fan of the additions to G32 and G33. It means that if your robot is in front of mine while I’m trying to score, and you think that you’re going to get pushed into my scoring zone by accident, then that means you better get out of my way.

I guess this is one of those changes to encourage offense over defense, or at least make defense a bit more difficult.

So much for opportunity cost / benefit analysis in strategy, eh.

I wish they didn’t make my idea to get the minibot back down illegal - I was hoping our driver could sit on our coach’s shoulders :stuck_out_tongue:

Also most important: Two robots cannot “lock” a robot in their Zone by driving in front of both exits and sitting there. Unlike previous years, two robots cannot pin a robot.

sounds like maybe the whole minibot concept is a joke… like robots hanging off each other in 2010.

sounds like the only way would be a limit switch on the the bot to somehow flip the motor polarity or turn off the motors.

Why not? While the word “pin” is not defined in the manual I would not consider trapping a robot in their Zone as pinning “an opponent ROBOT that is in contact with a field border or TOWER”

I misread “field border” as “tape line”, whoops.

Team update 6 pretty much brings my opinion on this game down to the level of Overdrive, a game I did not like at all for one simple reason. Penalties are going to decide every game now. Everyone is going to be so gun shy, that defense might as well be completely disregarded.

On the one hand it makes it great for robots capable of hanging tubes, you’ll be able to score with impunity. So the veteran and competent teams are going to be having a blast.

On the other hand, the poor rookies and those whose grand designs fail, that end up only with defense bots are going to be hosed. You’ll spend the whole game worried about crossing this line, or if your alliance is pinning that guy too long.

I guess we’ll see how the game plays but I am starting to be a little leery. With every mini-bot being the same after the other updates, and after the second week of Regionals all the minibots being pretty much identical due to following the best design, and now defense being curtailed even further than it was, I just don’t know if I will enjoy this game too much.

OR they really want us to use the NXT Controller. Possibly because it’s the most expensive item of the FTC kit? And so begins the political arguments.

I wasn’t going to say that, precisely because of the political arguments that were bound to ensue. However, I’d suggest simply getting a Mindstorms NXT kit instead, if you’re going that route and don’t have an NXT controller on the way. It’s really fun to monkey around with LEGOs for a while to relieve stress.

But what I will say is this: The Minibot race was a race up the pole. As I understood it, the goal was to trigger the target at the top as quickly as possible by going up the pole, then retrieve the robot by whatever means were designed in, pole or otherwise.

This changes the game to “Race up the pole, then activate your down-going mechanism”–which down-going mechanism I would anticipate most teams not having designed in yet. Why not have a race down the pole instead.

I see why they did it–4 retrieval poles on the field, each about 5’ long, could create a somewhat dangerous situation, and having people off the ground creates an even more dangerous situation–but not allowing a pole to remove your minibot? How else are you supposed to remove a minibot that gets stuck near the top while sliding down? Are you supposed to ask the field reset for whatever device they’re using?

GDC: For your next change, would you mind putting a second target in the base, and allowing points for hitting it after hitting the target on the top? Just to give us a reason to have the minibot come down besides the risk of a Yellow Card, and to extend the “race” to assist with minibot removal?

I agree. It looks like intentionally grabbing that tube in the opponents lane would conflict with making “immediate effort to leave.” :frowning:

Defensive pressure is now shifting areas. While they can no longer hug the Zone, they may have more influence as teams try to go around them against a lane border. What happens if a defender hits me into their lane as I try to go around them enroute to my scoring zone? Do I get a 3 point penalty, or do they get a yellow card for “taking advantage” of the exception? Still reading… ::rtm::

I really don’t think that this is game makes defense impossible, just difficult to play without a plan. While you can’t pin other robots, you can push them. There is a wide open area of the field where full contact is allowed. Now if your goal is to absolutely prevent another team from scoring, that may not be possible. But think about this, all of the scoring for an alliance is together on one side of the arena, in the middle, and the sides are off limits to the scoring teams. The scoring zone is more concentrated than a “typical” FRC game. I don’t think the good defense is going to be played right outside the opponents scoring zone. I think it will be played as robots try to transition from getting a tube in their lane to the middle of the field.

You can do a lot by making it really difficult for an opponent to make it into the scoring zone. Whenever they exit their own lane, they have to move back into the middle. If they try to go out the end, you just parallel their movement between the towers. They can’t go into your lane without getting a penalty, so if you drive well, they have to push out past you. So I am betting that teams without really beefy drive trains will try for the race out the side of their lane into the middle of the field. Again, just try to parallel their movement between the towers. If you lurk by the tower at the corner of your opponents’ lane you can move to block their movement to the scoring zone without risking entering their lane.

As I type this I am more firmly convinced that coordinated, planned movement is needed. This may be a year when “offensive blocking” is really important. If your alliance has a really good scoring robot, the other side has a strong incentive to have one of their robots do everything it can to slow that robot down. Some coordinated interference by a teammate might be needed to spring the good scoring bot free.

On the other hand now, getting your minibot down is going to be a challenge. I am thinking that our schools’ long armed, 6’ 10" center might make a good human player. :slight_smile:

Please correct my understanding of these rule changes. For ease of explanation, let’s assume a Red ROBOT pushes a Blue ROBOT into Red’s ZONE.

Violation: PENALTY. G61 does not apply to this rule,
So Blue gets a PENALTY.

however strategies aimed at taking advantage of this exception will result in a YELLOW CARD.
If it looks like Red has a strategy of pushing Blue into the zone, Red will get the YELLOW CARD.

If a ROBOT enters the opponent’s ZONE and does not make immediate effort to leave OR if it contacts another ROBOT (or GAME PIECE in its POSSESSION) also in the ZONE, then the intruding TEAM will receive a RED CARD.
So after Blue got pushed in, they have to make an effort to leave the ZONE. If Blue contacts a Red ROBOT or a GAME PIECE being carried by Red, Blue will get a RED CARD. It is not clear if this includes the Red ROBOT that was doing the pushing or not.

I have a dig deeper challenge.

Same situation, red pushes blue into the zone. Either way blue gets a penalty. Red might get a yellow card.

What if red keeps pushing until blue hits red2? Now does G61 apply? or does blue get the red card.

Gary might be talking about this but I am not sure if thats exactly what he is aiming for.

Alex only expanded on what I was talking about. My question on a RED CARD was whether there must be a Red2 that is contacted, or did the contact with Red1 cause the RED CARD?

Either way, this can lead to some distressing strategies.

Well there goes our “Ahead of Schedule” status. Back to the drawing board with our mini-bot. Too bad because it works perfectly and I just ordered $30 more of limit switches that might as well be thrown out because it seems we’re going to be forced into using the stupid heavy NXT brick.

:mad: <- Not happy FIRST, not happy at all.

OR, during the elimination rounds, you pin Blue to the wall for thirty seconds, thus incurring sixty penalties, while you wait for red2 to contact Blue and get blue a red card, thus causing the blue alliance’s disqualification and red to win the match by default.

Hmm, given the concern being raised about having to get a NXT brick to get the robot down, I hope the GDC will allow a small kite string like tether for your minibot. Pulling the robot down would be easy enough, and a string doesn’t add any advantage in the race portion.

Right now the rule is you can’t violate the 12"x12"x12" volume so a string would be in violation, but if they could make an exception for non-powered tethers it would make it relatively simple to get the robots back down.

I’m willing to bet there’s some kind of electrical solution that reverses the direction of the motors with the depressing of a limit switch that doesn’t “unreverse” them once it’s lost contact.

But I didn’t really think the GDC wanted people implementing flip flops on their robots…