Teams breaking the game

By this same logic, one could say 71 did not break the game either. Similar to other ‘game breaking robots’, there were specific strategies that were capable of stopping them. I believe this strategy was best showcased at IRI that year, when instead of grabbing goals in (edit the start of the match), the opposing alliance stopped 71 from grabbing them.

Just an opinion though. It was a ground breaking robot that obviously has gone down in FRC history as it is still remembered more than a decade later.

except 65 at Midwest when they figured out how to flip your ramp back up.

I would say that the 469, 111, 65 strategy in the 2003 national championships almost broke the game. the strategy was in the first match to basically smash, 469 and 111 would score score score. then in the second 65 and whoever the partner was, either 469 or 111, they would just descore everyone. in doing that no one would get any points and even if they lost they would not have had enough points for their opponent to beat their first score.
Now I am not nessicarily saying that broke the game, because if you beat 469 and 111 in the first match, which is a big IF, then the opponent could win, because 65 was a descoring beast and could only be moved on the top of the ramp by a select few bots that year…292 being one of them (

But as for breaking the game, I would agree that 71 in 2002 was the only one to do it. Though 1114 in 2006 came dang close, except for the recycled game piece thing.

I am pretty sure that the first year for autonomous period was 2003. There was a point at the national championships that a few teams in 71s division found a way to beat them, they did not have a reverse once they lifted the goals and dropped the feet. if you could spin them, they couldn’t turn back around, but from what I understand they fixed that problem and smashed the competition the rest of the way. I mean it did help that 173 was a total ball scoring beast that year as well.

190 had a “breaking the game” strategy is 2008, where instead of driving around the track with the track balls, they would move to the side of one lane, pickup a ball, swing it around the center divider, then hurdle it again. (hurdle was the game term for a track ball passing over the overpass for those of you who are not familiar.). Their strategy was deemed partially illegal because track balls were required to touch the ground after a hurdle AND not be possessed by the robot. So they had to drop the ball, then pick it up again, which proved rather difficult.

Long story short, the strategy didn’t really work because of some subtle rule interpretations and changes, but it was one of the more extravagant attempts to break the game. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s also one of the more well designed robots I’ve seen from a mechanical standpoint.

(I’ll look for pictures).

*68’s original 2003 machine was without a doubt one of the best examples of a ‘true’ game breaker in FRC History. So much so that the rules were adjusted/tweaked/interpreted to make it’s strategy of preventing the movement of bins (and robots) from one side of the field to the other impossible. Essentially, 68’s machine was a mobile field barrier capable of segmenting the field into two halves trapping the game pieces in the zone that they were in.

This is a reminder to all kiddos not to let robot designs leak! :frowning:

I found a video

I couldn’t find a picture with the detached piece but from the picture you should be able to tell what it is. I believe it is the pyramid extender part with the 2 white tubes on it. The second picture shows the robot without said attachment.

Are you talking about how 179 is a ramp for other robots to go up, or how it was able to drive onto the polycarbonate underneath the bridge, which was later deemed illegal?

Do you have a video of 118’s original bridge lifter?

Why would a direct drive minibot be game breaking? Plenty of teams used those.

Here’s the video of 118’s bridge hang in 2012

None of the things he mentioned are game breaking, just very powerful strategies when used correctly.

Anyone have the game rules from this year, or perhaps would be able to enlighten me with a quick explanation of the game for that year and the significance of this particular strategy?

It’s the 1997 game; open the Game Rules folder and grab the PDF of the Game Rules. Essentially, once 71 capped the top, everybody else could forget about doing the same. This gave them a bunch of doublers as well as the first tiebreaker.

Huh. I wonder why there hasn’t been a rule stating “Whatever Team 71 designs, shall be deemed illegal and require a redesign to level the playing field” :rolleyes: (Hint: The above statement is dripping with sarcasm.)

Simple way to beat that strategy: steal the ball when their not looking! :cool:

Love this thread!

I think 71 holds the record for what I would consider “game breaks”

1997 - Capped goal in 6 seconds (we timed it), game over every time. Wildstang and Greenville were the only teams who really stood at shot at beating them, and they didn’t.

2001 - Beatty balances goals from off the bridge. Downright unstoppable.

2002 - 3 Goals: plop, walk, done.

The closest teams to breaking the game otherwise would be 469 in Breakaway…if they won championship, I would have said absolutely…but you could beat them.

You could also make a very good case for 1114 during overdrive. In a game where you couldn’t play defense it may have been the most dominating robot I have ever seen.

In my nine years of youth robotics I’ve never seen a robot break a game like 2W did Gateway. I know most of you are FIRSTies and don’t pay much attention to VRC, but go watch that video that Jason linked to. It’s not a dramatic robot, but when combined with a good scoring partner, it was amazing.


Have you ever noticed that some of the coolest robots in the history of FIRST have been some of the most controversial?

FIRST expends a ton of effort to plug up holes for breaking the game, but when a team figures out how to do it, its a stroke of brilliance. I remember how grumpy some people were in Breakaway when they saw 469’s robot. In my opinion, it was one of the coolest robots in the history of the game. I hope we have more opportunities to see amazing robots that just defy rules and take down competitions. I call it, creativity!

Edit: Defy rules isn’t the wording I was looking for. Legally work the rules, is better!

We ended up playing 2W in the division finals, they pushed our wall bot like it was nothing.

I’m going to stretch back as far as I can, at the risk of making some subjective judgments. It was a long time ago and I was young (in elementary school), so maybe some older folks with a better memory can fill in the gaps.

In 1994, the game involved collecting soccer balls and placing them up in a tower goal in the center of the field. One team stuffed all their balls into a box, and then dropped the entire box onto the goal, which effectively prevented any other teams from scoring.

I felt that the 1995 game was “broken”, in that the dominant strategy employed by many teams was probably not what the game designers had in mind. The manual reads, “Points are scored for balls which are thrown, tossed, pushed, passed, etc.” through a football goalpost at the top of a ramp. My guess is that the intent was for balls to be primarily thrown and tossed, but teams realized they could hold on to the ball and pull it back and forth through the goal to rack up lots of points. There was only one goal, so whoever got into the scoring position first was almost guaranteed to win the match unless others could quickly dislodge them.

I’ve heard that team 121’s 1997 robot was designed to intentionally tip other robots over, which was explicitly allowed at the time:

They didn’t win, but we did get a new rule in the rulebook next year:

Ah, the old days. :slight_smile: