Will defense be the best offense?


Okay so according to an answer posted on the recently opened Q&A platform, it is entirely legal to park your robot in front of one of the opponent’s rocket (or cargo ship for that matter) and sit there for the duration of the match. Will doing that be a viable option for defense? Or is it worth the loss of the chance to score on your own side?




They have two rockets, you know. If you just park in front of one, I doubt you’ll impact their scoring very much. :slight_smile:


But if they have placed 12 hatches and 5 balls, you could sit in front and prevent that last ball and a RP.


It depends on the relative strengths of your robots. If you have a low scoring robot, and they have a high scoring robot, defense is a good option. In this game, many teams will have very little ability to deal with a robot parked in their path at a scoring station, or a robot who is constantly harassing them when trying to line up. Because most robots will require a precise alignment to score, just a little effort will be needed to knock them out of position. (The best teams will be more flexible about being able to score on an angle, and above a blocking robot.)

Of course, there are three robots on the other side, and you can only block part of one rocket ship. That still leaves them plenty of scoring opportunities, and you have none.

And be very, very, careful that you get out of the way before the end game penalties kick in. (I think T-20 at the rocket ship?) If you are between them and their scoring position during that period, they can slam you into the ship and get that ranking point for almost free.


The biggest issue, at least with parking in front of a rocket, is that you cant touch the rocket during the last 20 seconds. So if the opponent really wanted the ranking point the could just wait until you have to back off.


I do absolutely think defense will be a solid play if you find yourself on an alliance with three mid-to-low tier robots vs one or two top-tier. If I’m up against a top tier who’s obviously better than anyone on our alliance when unimpeded, absolutely I’m willing to send someone over to slow it and hopefully another bot down.


Yes I agree, though parking in front of another alliance’s rocket probably isn’t the most ideal form of defense.


The biggest thing that makes defense less effective in this game in comparison to recent games is the linear scoring. In past games single actions could have large point rewards. For example the 4th rotor in 2017 or tipping the scale in 2018. I still think that defense will be employed effectively in this game by savy alliances.


I think “Baiting the Rocket” which I describe more in this paper, is going to be a huge dynamic in DDS. Essentially the premise is that you bait the opponent into committing to one Rocket or the other, and then you play defense on that Rocket once they reach a certain threshold of game pieces such that they’re incentivized to keep going for the RP, even though you’re slowing them down. Knowing when to use this strategy and how to avoid being fooled by it is very important in my opinion.

I also go over other areas to play defense in that paper including the Human Player Station and Cargo Ship. Defense is going to be super effective this year for those that know how to do it.


Ya need to play defense how it was played in Steamworks attack the lanes coming from loading station your defense will be far more effective that way. If you have Omni bot use the heavy bumper material it really interacts well with the other bumpers causing a lot of problems with teams trying to get by.


If a partner (or both partners) are on the other side already, going to the other rocket is the worst possible thing a team could do to respond to defense. It gives the one defender an opportunity to play effective defense against multiple robots at once.


12 hatches and 12 balls required. Although there 6 ports, each port accesses 2 bays (each with a hatch requiring a cover).

You needn’t defend until they have a rocket mostly filled. Placing 3 or 4 cargo would probably eat up more than the 20+ seconds you have to leave it undefended.


If you have one robot playing defense and the other side continues to score with three robots, you might be preventing them from getting 1RP (rocket) and also preventing your side from getting 2RP(win)


If there are 3 robots of the same alliance in one quadrant of the field, as a defender I certainly would not stay parked at the rocket. In that scenario it’s so easy to slow down or stop the scoring that the rocket RP becomes irrelevant.