Triple Offense vs 2 Offense 1 Defense

I know this has been a massive topic and it is kinda late to cover but Houston has raised some new questions. Quals both strategies have been seen and seem to me situational, but Elims it seems to that many teams are very successful with both, but several high caliper alliances have made both look terrible. Why is there so much variance? Is it highly situational, if so why does it vary so much.


It all depends on the defense/offense bot that is picked, a lot of teams that end up in the top 8 don’t know how to pick a second or third pick and that’s probably where the variance comes from. In my opinion defense is better because you have less robots on your side of the field making it possible for them to hit their max cycles and 4 robots on one side of the field makes it difficult for everyone, but if you are team 1678 You can run 4 robots on one side because of TONS of communication and pre match strategy. Which will outscore the other two full potential robots BUT you need that strategy and and communication between the drivers and driver coaches which is difficult to pull off.

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If you have two confident and competent scorers you can use that 3rd for defense and that can help increase your MoV.

But at the same time, if you have 3 confident scorers who can coordinate scoring cycles they can optimize your alliance’s scoring potential and not have to worry about the other alliance.


It all matters on numbers. At ryerson our 6th alliance managed to reach the finals. This was only capable because we understood that too beat the other teams we would need to slow them down as we did not have the scoring potential to outscore most of the higher up alliances ( they all had hab 3 climbs we did not). To this effect our 3rd pick was not a defender but rather what I would say one of the best cargo cyclers at the event ( bad schedule had them ranked low). In essence we had one robot scoring cargo all the time. One robot placing the hatches on the lower levels of the rocket. Once the 4 hatched were placed they would then play counter defence freeing up the field for the space invaders (3rd pick team) to score. In the meantime us (5719) played defence and only defence. We would end the sandstorm at the mid line waiting for tele op. With the elim rule changes we would stay on the opponents side till the 15 second mark and then rich back for our yeet to level 2. We were able to stop climbs in quarters and slow down the #2 alliance just enough for us to win. This 1 offence 2 defence is a strategy we employed at only one event and it Only works when the defence can really shut down the opponents.

Until I realized and read “Space Invaders” and 5719, I realized it was a Canadian team :smile:. Makes me happy (from 4946). I was there watching with my family and felt the urge to mention so.

I thought Ryerson was enough but #ontario teams here

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I think the biggest variable is the quality of the defense bot, specifically the driver’s skills. There are so many ways that the defense can hurt their own team that unless your defender is very savvy, it is easy for them to cost you more than you gain. Its also easy for them to waste their time chasing bots around and not being effective unless they know how to play defense. We (1481 the Riveters) won the Jackson District in Michigan with a 3 offense bot alliance. We won one of the finals matches because of the other team’s defense bot’s penalties. It does require coordination and planning to keep out of each others way, but we made it work.

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Watch 1678’s alliance in the quarterfinals on Carver and tell me what you think about the 3 offense strategy. It was an absolute traffic jam on their side of the field.

We tried the 2 offense and 1 “defense screener” bot strategy in our first match of semi’s, and it ultimately led us to lose our first semi-finals match because 330 had to get around two robots rather than just one.

In the playoffs, getting a really good defense bot for your second pick is going to get you higher net points than a 3rd robot that can score a few cargo. A really good defense bot can cut a really good offensive bot’s cycles in half - or even by a larger margin. Keeping your side of the field as open as possible seemed to be the strategy to go with at Houston Champs.

254 and 3310 talked about how they had their highest win margins and best matches while running triple offense and dominated Turing with it.

I’m not sure this is a fair conclusion. Based on the match videos on TBA, the 254/3310 alliance was 7-0 going 3 offense and 2-2 going 2 offense. The winning alliances in at Texas and Michigan state championships also played 3 offense most of the time. At a deeper championship at Detroit, I expect more alliances to play more 3 offense.

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Your points are valid. I’ll admit that I do have tunnel-vision here, as I didn’t get the chance to watch many of the matches on the other fields.

I do think that it all depends on how good the other alliances defense bot is if they’re going 2 offense - 1 defense.

For instance, 6443 was an absolute monster at defense and kept our alliance <= 80 points in 2 matches in semis.

What will the winning strategy be in the last match of the Detroit Einstein Finals? Please mark your guess below.

  • Two robots on offense, one robot on defense for the majority of teleop
  • Three robots on offense for the majority of teleop

0 voters

I think it depends on the alliance and the strength of the scoring capability of the third robot. I also think it depends on the scoring ability of the top two scorers on the alliance. If both top robots can score very well under defense, then I imagine a third scorer isn’t as valuable. I think the Houston champs alliance is a good example of this. Both 973 and 1323 were both still effective at scoring under defense in most matches whereas robots on other Einstein alliances could get almost completely shutdown by defense. That said, the Newton winners might have also felt there wasn’t a good enough scorer as the 24th pick to make triple offense make sense. I think both strats are valid.

People talk about one to two second traffic jams as if the main offense but would not have had to deal with one to two seconds of delay anyways. Coordinated 3-O Clarks really well and will easily outpass opponents who try 2+D. yeah if you go back and watch Houston elims, all of them, you realize what basic characteristics are needed on a 3-0 alliance for it to be effective.

There’s also the point that offensive robots have different skillsets - 2 rocket bots will move around on the field much differently than a hatch specialist and a cargo specialist.

The choice of what your 3rd bot should do would likely revolve around your opponent - from what I’ve seen, the hatch specialist + cargo specialist combo is easier to defend since they naturally have to work in closer contact compared to 2 rocket bots.

At the same, your own alliances skills also come into consideration - does your alliance have a hatch specialist + cargo specialist that need counterdefense to protect them?

My recommendation for Detroit (in elims, anyways) would be to pick a defensive bot and a scorer for your 3rd/4th bots (not necessarily in that order) in order to have the option to take either strategy.

Defending the triple offense is easier than one might first think.

All you have to do is limit the opposing alliance’s scoring (with 3 bots) to less than the output of your alliance’s two offense bots. In any given division, there are probably a few defense bots that can do this. Some good strategies include preventing the placement of hatch panels on the far side of a rocket (could be worth up to 6 hatch panel points and 18 cargo points) or even locking up an entire side of the field including the cargo ship as well.

Yesterday I did a quick audit of all of the DCMPs and concluded that every winning alliance had what I would call a dedicated defense bot except for the winners of the Texas District Championship. In the finals at that event, 148 played both offense and defense, but this is the closest DCMP winning alliance to the “triple offense” ideal.

My thinking is that they won because of a lack of offensive production on 1817’s alliance, not because the triple offense is better. The conclusion I drew from this is that the TX DCMP finals do not show that the triple offense can work against a well-played 2+D strategy. Rather, they show that scoring 8 cargo when you’re undefended for the most of the match is not enough to win a DCMP. 1817 did their job of reducing their opponents’ score to manageable levels (<95 points while running basically triple offense) which many alliances at Worlds would easily surpass while putting only two robots on offense – ESPECIALLY if they are undefended.

Team 910 says 4 offense is best


Yes, didn’t work as well in that match, but then on Einstein in our last 3 matches it worked quite well. However it definitely takes some working out the kinks.

The strategy used/developed for 3 offense at FiT was intended to be different than what we used on Einstein. What we were actually trying to do didn’t get to be seen at FiT because blue put 3847 on one rocket and had BBQ doing the full cargo ship. Had they split the field you would have seen something TOTALLY different that still hasn’t really been demonstrated in official match play.

In final1, 148 goes over HALFWAY through the match because blue hatches an entire rocket first, so its WAY more valuable for 148 to shut off all their ball options than to score for themselves. I would estimate that 148 could have easily scored 20 more points on offense during that time, but preventing 36 is net better. 148 and 3310 score ~112 under defense running triple O(Without the double climb in either match even)… would you say that that was manageable then?

We have played both throughout our season in eliminations and can comment a bit on both.

We played 3 offense throughout eliminations in South Florida and it worked really well for us, allowing each robot to focus on 1 scoring object (one on each rocket and one on the cargoship) and even when a defender did come over they were only able to successfully stop one scoring object from being completed (which was enough to win most regional’s). At the time us and 180 were at best scoring 1 rocket and couldn’t contribute to the cargo ship in a regular match, which left that area free for 5872 to go to whichever side was most open at the time since they had 3 scoring location on each side to choose from.

However at championship with 971 we played exclusively 2 offense 1 defense, this only worked in my opinion because we each were each able to complete a rocket plus half the cargo ship, with 971 (always the defenses target) having only 1 cargo to go at the start of each match on there side of the cargo ship. With the cargo-ship done in the first 20 seconds the 3rd robot would have been fighting to share a rocket and it would have been a waste, making there time better spent on the other side of the field.