The strong get stronger...

I want to explain why I think this new ruling gives strong team control of their destiny.

A strong team (let me use Wildstang #111 as an example), will very likely build an elevator machine in light of the new rules (those of you in FIRST long enough to remember Torroid Terror, Ladder Logic and Coopertiion FIRST will know that for a while Wildstang’s slogan was “it can go higher… …no really… …it can go higher” – I suppose that the Torroid Terror Machine could easily lift a crate 16 ft a.k.a. 13 SHU’s perhaps higher and this was with a 4ft limit on the robot hieght – YIKES!).

With such a robot and some indexing software, a team can essentially give an opponent any multiplier they choose. As long as an opponent has 16 or so containers on their side of the field (this boils down to 8 additional to the 8 from the human players), a strong team can pretty easily give or subtract 50 points from an opponent’s score very easily.

Need to boost your opponent’s score a bit? Easy. Raise a single box 8 high to give them a quick 64 points.

Would you rather only give them 30 points? That’s easy too, just raise the container 2 SHU’s?

How about just 15 points? Run out of the scoring zone.

Need to give 44 points? Raise it 4 SHU’s and race back into the scoring zone.

Need to reduce that 50 points for the two robots they’ve got sucked down to the HDPE surface? No sweat, push a few containers out of their scoring zone and lift one container 1 or 2 SHU’s higher than the number of remaining boxes.

Never has a single talented robot had their opponent’s score so firmly in their control and so easily adjusted.

Notice that it does not even really require much work by an alliance partner. For this reason, I think strong teams that play smart will end up on the top of the seeding charts very quickly.

To some extent, I think that is the way it should be, but I doubt many realized that this new rule interpretation would add to this outcome.

I think it will be a total disaster to watch this as my mom will be always asking me, “Why did they just do that?” But that is a message for another thread.

Joe J.

So, what happens when two strong alliances face off? If they both use the tactics detailed in the previous post, it becomes a game of chicken. Does it not? I’d like to hear some full-match scenarios that explore this line of tactics.

In any case a game of “my box is higher than your box” doesn’t sound very interesting to me.


yes i agree…

not interesting and not in the spirit of FIRST. i would just like to say to all teams who use this strategy, be warned that many teams will likely knock you over. so build robust because that arm that can raise a bin 17 shu’s might get shattered if it falls onto a player station/field railing.

i don’t see why so many people think that’s a good strategy…if a team has a pusher bot with some sort of arm for pushing boxes off stacks, they can easily knock you over. you probaby won’t be able to move easily, mostly because your center of gravity will be 8’ in the air (assuming you build one really really tall).

so while it seems clever, you need to assess every possible situation…


For the most part, robots that are able to lift high will be careful to not drive around or engage in battle with the arm raised way up high (they know about cg management, or will learn after tipping over once). There will be mechanisms that will lift high in a relatively short time period (say, 3 seconds). It possible and most probable.

It seems to me that this game has a plethora of defensive moves. There may be team’s that place boxes at 13+ SHUs, but with their bot that high in the air, Sir Issac Newton won’t be so kind to them in a collision.

I’m afraid that faced with a loss due to a single box raised high above the field, alliances will simply go all out ramming the lifting robot. Simply having a powerful drivetrain, and a well built “ramming bot” that possibly travels under the bar will allow you to play an effective defensive game.

*Pushing boxes out of the score zone.
*Knocking down stacks.
*Knocking other robots off the ramp (especially those that try to control the ramp with brute force).
*Pushing other robots out of the scoring zones.
*Knocking over other robots “GASP!”

These defensive moves can all be accomplished by a simple drivetrain, if done correctly.

I feel that this will result in more defensive robots. Successful defensive robots… I think they will come from all levels of the competition, not just the “strong” teams.

Wildstang (hypothetically) may have their amazing lift mechanism. But there will always be the ambitious rookie team trying to overpower them with some amazing drivetrain (like 810 last year).

So in conclusion…

The strong get stronger, but so do the weak. This game isn’t fair, but it keeps things in balance.

do you think that it is more "fair: than the original rules?

so, if i was to simply take last years robot, give it a lift job, cut a few pounds off, and add some sort of wedge to push crates, 810 would do good, or so you say… :stuck_out_tongue:

If you raise that tote 10 SHU in the air, unless you are really good, you could be shoved around and tip over, and chances are that the referee would let it go since they allow ramming and they are expecting it.

I highly reccomend not using this tote raise strategy. Too much to risk, by chance you aid them and then you accidently lose could be costly. Also if you fall over, you risk breaking expensive parts.

Not to mention that a robot with a massive arm could be tipped over, possibly causing someone near the field to get hurt.

I fear for bin raisers.

Personaly, if I were behind the controls and I saw a opposing bot trying to mess with my score like that, I’d try to stop him. That probably means ramming him, either to convince him to do something else or to tip him over if he doesn’t stop. A few ‘warning’ taps, then I’d start hitting hard.

I don’t want to see broken bots anymore then anyone else (possibly less then some), but if your pulling a strategy that puts your CG that high up your asking to get rammed. After all, you’re controling a lot of points, you’re probably immobile and very vulnerable. Who wouldn’t go after you?

The real strong bots will figure out a way to keep from being tipped. Thats what I’m eager to see.

-Andy A.

I would love to see a robot try to play with our score. With robots last year, I know of 3 robots on their backs. and they were only about 2’ in the air total. robots do go over in pushing matches. so if a robot thinks it is going to keep one of our points in their jaws there better think about it. It will be like you getting between a baby bear and it’s mother.

I think this game this year will come do to who wants to play together during the seeding rounds.

You can get a big score if you make a plan with the other team. One could be as not to touch your stack. by doing this you could have a 8 high stack to start. this way if you lose you would lose with a high score.

If you tied then even better. I figure you can get 324 point if you tied the game. 14 bins on each side all robots on top. this would be hard enough to do. but if you do not do your half then that give the other team twice your score which would be a good score.

so were in the past if someone told you that they could do something and didn’t do it, it was at your lost. this way if people don’t do what they say you make out better.

you don’t even have to tackle another robot, all you have to to is roll up to it and touch it… the box its holding insantly become void, useless.

their is no need to go ramming robots, just let them waste time by screwing with your points and then go and lighting tap them on the shoulder

the heavy lifting arm might mean it has less pushing power on its wheels, push the robot into a corner and watch it struggle to move as you laugh and laugh and laugh.

did i mention laughing at the stupid box lifters ('cause their stoopid)

I suppose that the Torroid Terror Machine could easily lift a crate 16 ft a.k.a. 13 SHU’s perhaps higher and this was with a 4ft limit on the robot hieght – YIKES!).

Yeah errrmmmm that would be very topheavy. We had a hard enough time last year trying to keep a robot 6ft high from falling on it’s own. Mmmmmm… topheavy robots. I love it. Makes it easier to win.

did i mention laughing at the stupid box lifters ('cause their stoopid)

Thats not a nice thing to say.:frowning: It is a good idea. 16ft stackers now that I would have to laugh at.

Okay So,

I was reading through this thread…and it occured to me that this conversation would be a mute point and this game much simpler if we didn’t have to worry about the 2X the looser’s score detail. I remember back in the days when QPs were QPs and FIRST was a compeition. The winer won, and the looser lost, as happens in the real world. I think that this analogy actually does represent the corporate world offten this is a very dominant player and there our other less dominant players. How offten however do you see Microsoft and AOL actually truly working to help each other, sure they might if it is profitable but I just don’t know. In addition I think that it is just much more fun to have a true competition some teams win some teams loose and that reflects LIFE. It would make this game much simpler I think.


Hey Joe, I just want to say that it’s good to hear from you again. It’s just not the same, y’know?

 Regards,  Sue K.

Since this is a variation of the other thread, I’m going to repost this because I still think teams may be wasting a lot of energy on this before seeing how FIRST clarifies the update on Monday or Tuesday.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t SC8 and SC9 say that:

A container is counted as “IN” if it is touching the carpet in the scoring the zone, touching a container which is supported by a container touching the carpet in the scoring zone, or is supported by an OPPONENT robot that is touching the scoring zone carpet.

“IN” means it counts as a POINT, NOT a stack. No where does it say this counts as a stack. I think an assumption was made that is never actually said by FIRST. Again - NO WHERE does FIRST actually state that a container being held in the air counts as a multiplier or a stack. It is too vague and up to interpretation - that is true - but lets see how they clarify the wording to see what their real intention is.

The STACK is determined by the highest SHU of the STACK, not of a container “IN” in the scoring the zone. Two different issues - I don’t think a robot holding a container 8 feet high in the air has anything to do with the “STACK” multiplier - all SC9 says is that container being held 8 feet high will count as “IN”, meaning it’s worth one point. But to count as part of a stack it must be touching containers which are touching containers which in some pile/stack/chain are touching the carpet of the scoring zone.

Dave, Joe, and others - what do you think? Do you think this could just be a case of reading something between the lines which isn’t actually there? I don’t think there is any scenario which allows for negative points - but I think SC9 just says that if a container is supported by (resting on top of, is being held by, etc…) an opponent robot which is in “YOUR” scoring zone that it will be counted as “IN” and count as a point. Nothing to do with the stack.

If I’m right, than at least there is no controversy and everything is exactly as we thought it was on Friday - just that we had a really interesting 48 hour hypothetical discussion. Any thoughts?


dave’s comments

basic point, they never said you couldn’t get negative points, and they don’t care if you want to try, because if you give negative points, you get 2x their negative points, so the idea of giving negatives is moot and just plain crazy

In going through the updates and adding them to HyperRules, I have to agree with Jason Morella on this one. The only rule which FIRST has changed regarding an opponent holding a container is [rule=sc8]SC8[/rule], which ONLY deals with which containers you get one point for. Nowhere in SC8 does it discuss the multiplier. Rather, the multiplier is discussed in [rule=sc9]SC9[/rule], which has not been updated regarding opponents holding containers.

Something to keep in mind that I just realized as writing this is nowhere in [rule=sc8]SC8[/rule], [rule=sc9]SC9[/rule], or [rule=sc10]SC10[/rule] (the rules regarding scoring) does it state that measuring will be done from the ground. Therefore, it may be the case(we’ll have to wait for clarification on this from FIRST) that in the event that the largest(I’m not using the word “tallest” here on purpose) stack is being held by an opponent robot, it may be measured from the bottom of the lowest container in the stack.

While what Jason and Nate said both are correct, you both did miss one important part. In update #3, first changed SC8 not only so that a robot holding the container would count, but they also changed what a stack is. Now they are simply looking for the highest point within the scoring zone. My interpretation of this would mean that an opponent robot in a scoring zone holding a bin that is above any other bin in the scoring zone would count as the multiplier measured in SHU.

*Originally posted by Jason Morrella *
**Please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t SC8 and SC9 say that:

“IN” means it counts as a POINT, NOT a stack. No where does it say this counts as a stack. I think an assumption was made that is never actually said by FIRST. Again - NO WHERE does FIRST actually state that a container being held in the air counts as a multiplier or a stack. It is too vague and up to interpretation - that is true - but lets see how they clarify the wording to see what their real intention is.

Count on the English teacher to be the one to actually understand the wording of the rules! :slight_smile:

Jason, I think you are right on. This whole hysteria is being caused by a massive “over-interpretation” of Update #3. The only thing that changed in that Update was a clarification of how they would determine if a container is “in” the scoring zone, as defined in SC8. The one preamble note concerning stack height that precedes the SC8 write-up, I interpret as a comment regarding “piles” of containers (i.e. piles can count as “stacks” and “stacks” do not have to be perfectly placed one atop the other). I don’t see anything anywhere discussing “virtual stacks” held by the opponents robot.

All in all, this has been fun thought exercise, but I don’t see anything to worry about here.


Y = AX^2 + B… ehhh, whatever