Where do you place Stronghold among other FRC games?

This includes not only high levels of play, but at the regional qualifying rounds as well. This is mostly a ranking on what games were most fun not only to participate in, but to watch as well.

My top 5 would have to be in this order:

  1. 2013 (Ultimate Ascent)
  2. 2012 (Rebound Rumble)
  3. 2016 (FIRST Stronghold)
  4. 2006 (Aim High)
  5. 2004 (FIRST Frenzy: Raising the Bar)

*Node: My active FRC years include 2004-2007 and 2012-Present

This is my favorite game ever. This being my final game as a senior it is my favorite game because of that and because it is such a great game.

My top 5

1.2016 (Best Game)
3.2013 (Good year and First year)
5.2015 (Best year for our team)

I know one thing – it’s definitely better than 2015.

I don’t think you missed too much from 2008 through 2011; Overdrive was fun but not GOAT status, Lunacy was a fun design challenge but imperfect as a game, Breakaway was a snoozer and every robot other than 469’s looked the same, and LogoMotion was an improvement over the two prior but still imbalanced.

Coming into this year, my personal #1 remained Aim High, because it had a fantastic autonomous period, no possession limits (which I think makes the design challenge more interesting) and while the game was skewed enough towards offense to let you just light up the goals it did it with relatively few rules to protect teams (mainly, the backbot rule and the usual no-damaging stuff). Sure, the endgame wasn’t much to phone home about compared to the other three on your list–but I was willing to overlook that one.

My #2 was FIRST Frenzy, because it packed perhaps the most diverse group of competitive robots on the field we’ve ever seen. The ball dumps added excitement, the scoring was balanced perfectly, and really the main knocks were that few played the straight autonomous game and it did rely heavily on human players.

#3? Rebound Rumble. It’s always a dogfight between it and Ultimate Ascent because they’re so similar, but I think this one had the better endgame (more risk-vs-reward) and the game piece recycling kept kept it lively (where the high levels of play saw lots of bounce-outs the following year.)

#4: Ultimate Ascent, for all the reasons above.

#5: Many old-timers (and I mean older-than-me-timers here) swear by 2000’s game, Coopertition FIRST. From the videos I’ve seen on YouTube, it also had that great balance across the board between balls and the central ramp/bar. It would be an interesting game to play with today’s hardware; remember that there was no autonomous mode until 2003.

So, where does Stronghold fall? I don’t want to judge until I see Einstein and IRI, but it’s got a great shot of being my new #2. The autonomous action is exciting (if not interactive, but I’ve resigned myself to FIRST not doing that anymore), the set of effective robots is diverse (maybe a touch less at the top than 2004, but 2004 also had a lot more BLTs as the last of the pre-Kitbot era), and there’s just constant action to be able to achieve the breach and capture. It’s easy to tell who’s ahead and behind in the game (generally, who has more lights on?), and I really think they nailed the look of the game as a kicker. I’m hoping the highest levels of play prove me right on this one.

I can rank them back to '05, partially colored by how whatever team I was on performed at the time–

  1. Ultimate Ascent – It will be hard to make a game as exciting and balanced as this one was
  2. Aim High
  3. Stronghold
  4. Rebound Rumble
  5. Aerial Assist – If we had the IRI/Chezy Champs rule changes all year, I’d put this at #2
  6. Rack n’ Roll
  7. Logomotion
  8. Triple Play
  9. Recycle Rush
  10. Overdrive
  11. Breakaway
  12. Lunacy

Way too early for this kind of thing. We need to at least see played at it’s ultimate level to really judge.

Stronghold is the best game FIRST has given us since 2004.

Amanda outlined (very well!) the reasons that many of us old-timers loved First Frenzy: Raising the Bar, in a pre-season thread. I am very glad that the GDC included many of our all time favorite game elements (projectiles, hanging, strategic auton, mixed terrain) in this year’s challenge. From a robot inspector’s point of view, this is much more interesting than a bunch of forklifts.

This is my fourth official year, and fifth year being involved in FRC. Stronghold is without a doubt the best game the GDC has given us in this time, followed by Ultimate Ascent and Rebound Rumble (both good games), Aerial Assist (fair), and Recycle Rush (*).

Having reviewed the rules of a number of previous games in building my team’s kickoff drills, and seen a handful of videos, I still think that Stronghold is in the top tier of FRC games; I can’t clearly judge it against some of the early favorites.

Edit: What do I consider as requirements for a “top game”?

  • Engineering tradeoffs: That is, rules that create situations where “doing everything” is very difficult because of conflicting requirements.
  • Mass Appeal: That is, how easy is it to explain the game, key items, and scoring to a family member.
  • Meta Game: That is, how much does the game develop through the weeks of competition?

To date, Stronghold has been very strong on the first two, and near average on the meta game. DCMPs, CMP, and Einstin are still hanging out there, and (BOLD PREDICTION) I would not be a bit surprised if the developments of the next few weeks blow us all away on the meta game.

I put it pretty high up there. Definitely top 5, and I think I can make a pretty good case for top 3.

If IRI doesn’t change a single rule, it’ll be an even better case for top 3.

In respect to design challenge, dynamics of game play and enjoy-ability to watch it’s in my top 3 - competing with 2012-2014.

I expect IRI will change the serpentine draft rule. Maybe nothing else.

Well in my three years its the best… I did not hate RR…and AA was pretty much stronghold without defense breaching and climbing

That’s not really a rule change… It’s just how they roll.

Tower strength?

You’re right. It’s a rule change, but IRI has always made it.

Probably. That’s not a rule change either, because it is anticipated in the Manual (3.1.4).

favorite game in 12 years.

The least I can say is that this game is ridiculously fun to watch as a spectator.

And really fun to be behind the controls… when you can see the robot through the defenses. :slight_smile:
Jokes aside, it’s pretty awesome.

Since I started following FRC in 2013, I’d rank them like this:

  1. 2014 / Aerial Assist (possibly biased since my team made it to Einstein that year)
  2. 2016 / FIRST Stronghold (fun to watch as a spectator, very well balanced)
  3. 2013 / Ultimate Ascent (didn’t get to see that many matches since I worked in the pits that season)
  4. 2015 / Recycle Rush (repetitive, boring game, with little variation on play styles)

I’m a sophomore with 2834 in Michigan, but I was on the team as an eighth grader for Aerial Assist. I also had been volunteering at MARC off-season in 2013. More or less, I know the most recent games well enough to rank them.

1: Stronghold (16)
2: Recycle Rush (15)
3: Aerial Assist (14)
4: Ultimate Ascent (13)
5: Rebound Rumble (12)

Stronghold has a unique balance of defensive robot contact and pure cycle obsession. Some matches are played with no defense, leading to scores upwards of 200 points in playoffs. Other matches have defense, which either is disastrous for the defending alliance (fouls) or an amazing way for “underdog” teams to win versus some veterans. My biggest complaint is that the human player (me) has very little to do. In weeks 1 and 2, people fought over the spy box, but now it’s basically useless. IRI would be interesting if HP could start with 1 boulder, which they could either throw in to a robot or attempt to score.

Recycle Rush might be a confusing second choice. I personally enjoyed it because our robot won 2 district competitions that year and made semifinals on Carver. I also think that it was both the most applicable game. Sure, building forklifts was a little generic, but I know for a fact that I’m not going to be designing basketball throwing robots as an engineer. The other interesting thing is the special solutions teams came up with. Some teams had two tethered robots, some teams had no drive train, and some teams, like 27, were complete specialists in container management. Of course, lots of teams had somewhat generic forklifts. This did allow tipped robots to re-correct with help though. It also acted as a break from the high contact Aerial Assist. No size restrictions, no bumpers, no contact. My biggest complaint, like anyone else, is that the can-burglar autonomous was the deciding factor (game over before tele-op). One last thing is that lots of teams used co-op to boost their average score, even with poorly scoring robots.

Aerial Assist seems fairly obvious. It had an interesting autonomous mode, high contact tele-op that made for great viewing (especially for non-robotics people), and interesting strategies. The human players were very involved, especially for autonomous (Kinect), and “perfect alliances” were difficult because your inbounding, trussing, and scoring robots all needed similar capabilities.

Ultimate Ascent was very interesting. The aesthetic of the game itself with the nets and wide corners made the field feel like some kind of fighting pit, especially in a dark basketball arena. An initial concern with a lot of teams was if spinning frisbees properly was effective enough. It turned out to be a non-issue, even for feeder shooters that had low accuracy but fast cycles. The pyramid was very valuable, both as a safe place to shoot from and for hanging points (almost called it scaling). The only problem I had with the game were field reset (when I was probably 13 years old) because the goals were annoying to empty and frisbees went in specific places. It’s also a shame nobody used the second climbing level, because anyone who could reach the second level went to the top.

Rebound Rumble I can’t say much about, but I do think that the low-scoring matches made it weird to watch. It seemed difficult for rookies, but it did have the best co-op event I have seen yet.