A tipping point strategy and its legality

Ok folks, one of my new teams came up with this idea in a brainstorming session, and I kind of liked it for a mid level/good skills bot. I want you to evaluate 2 things, first is the bot type a good idea, and second will the rules protect them as they think they will.

The bot:
A bigger/better version of a clawbot, I believe NorCal revealed one recently. Basically one that can grab MOGO’s and set them on a balanced platform.

The why of this strategy:

  1. We discussed that as the season goes on, most competitive robots will be able to hold at least 2 MOGO’s so within the first 20 seconds of driver, all the MOGO’s will likely be possessed. This was important because a lot of teams were talking about trying to hoard 3 or 4 MOGO’s.

  2. If you can place MOGO’s on a balanced platform, you can score a very nice skills score with relative ease compared to bots that would have to push the mogos up and balance with them. It would also let you use both of the platforms in skills. And getting a good skills score is the most likely way for new teams to qualify for state.

  3. Placing Mogo’s on the platform early in a normal round would allow you to go play ringles or defense, or try to steal MOGO’s from other teams. BUT THE OPPONENT WILL JUST STEAL YOUR MOGO’s FROM YOUR PLATFORM IF IT ISN’T IN THE LAST 30 SECODS!! Well we have an idea about that.

The strategy:
Build an auton that is centered around getting the AWP efficiently and scoring your preloads in the base of the alliance goal. At the start of driver control place your alliance goal(s) loaded with ringles up on your balanced platform. The opponent cannot come tip the platform unless they want to risk spilling your ringles and getting DQ’ed. Then as you grab/steal neutral goals you can place them up top and they are relatively protected by your alliance goals. The other teams cannot tip your platform for fear of spilling ringles in alliance goals. In our tests, with 3 or 4 rings in a goal it is possible to tip without spilling, but it is a major risk.

Rings on the Alliance Mobile Goal are “safe”. Strategies intended to remove Rings which are scored on or in an opposing Alliance Mobile Goal are prohibited. Examples of “intentional strategies” could include, but are not limited to:

Rings on the Alliance Mobile Goal are “safe”. Strategies intended to remove Rings which are scored on or in an opposing Alliance Mobile Goal are prohibited. Examples of “intentional strategies "could include, but are not limited to:

“Knocking over” or otherwise forcefully manipulating an Alliance Mobile Goal such that Rings
become removed.

Minor violations of this rule that do not affect the Match will result in a warning. Match Affecting offenses will result in a Disqualification. Teams that receive multiple warnings may also receive a Disqualification at the Head Referee’s discretion.

Alright, discuss!


This is a perfectly valid, and fairly common strategy at the moment.

Many robots have been grabbing goals and placing them externally on the platform, and for good reason. This is the quickest way to score points, and it’s relatively easy to do it.

However, robots that can only grab one goal and lift it are quickly becoming not good enough, because robots that can grab more than one goal are depriving these robots from being able to place all 5 scorable goals on their platform, and outscoring them. Additionally, rings seem to be getting more important as well because while goals are worth the most points, there is plenty of time in a match to elevate all the goals you have access to and score rings on your alliance goals, and that’s going to be able to outscore robots that can’t score rings, assuming the goals are more or less evenly split.

This is a good strategy, it will certainly make your opponents more hesitant to mess with your platform for fear that they’ll accidentally descore your rings. Bolder teams might go for it anyways, and hope that no rings spill, and if any do that they won’t be match effective and they won’t be issued a DQ, but placing a fully loaded alliance goal on your platform is still the best way to protect it before the last 30 seconds.

For a robot that scores rings on alliance goals, and grabs and lifts goals onto the platform, I would recommend being able to:

  • score rings very quickly, using some form of conveyor system. Passive intakes are simply too slow.
  • hold at least 2 goals. You really only need to lift one goal at a time, but if you can only hold one goal total you’ll likely end up with most of the goals in your opponent’s possession, which is a serious disadvantage.
  • lift goals onto the platform externally. This has already been proven to be an effective alternative to parking on the platform, and being able to do this with your goals will just give you a much more reliable path to those huge elevated goal points than parking under pressure will. But being able to park if you want still seems very useful.

This is only the strategy side of things, as far as robot design goes, there are a plethora of options that seem viable for different applications, and I’m excited to see how these different designs progress.


I don’t think I would call the strategy intentional. If your opponent was trying to take a neutral mogo off your platform, I doubt they’re also thinking about how it will tip the alliance mogo over.

Its a good thought but I think its beatable. If I were in a match and saw this I would go tip the platform. Spilling a ring or 2 isn’t match affecting in most cases and it would be better for the other alliance to just tip the platform anyway. I like the thinking though. It might work if you had many more rings on the mogos to where it could be match affecting and so where the other team actually wouldn’t want to tip the platform.

If the other alliance also has a “clawbot” and could just life up the mogo and take it off that could also defeat this.

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true, but the manual include this as an example of a disallowed strategy:

“Knocking over” or otherwise forcefully manipulating an Alliance Mobile Goal such that Rings become removed.

I think tipping an opponents platform in a way that causes rings to spill or the goal to tip would fall under this definition, regardless if spilling rings was the intent of the team. The way I see that, an intentional strategy that results in rings spilling is illegal, regardless of whether the rings becoming descored was what the team had intended to do. The offending team in this situation is executing an intentional strategy, they are intending to tip their opponent’s platform. This strategy results in opponent rings becoming descored, therefore it was illegal. If not rings were descored however, it wouldn’t be illegal.

A bit fuzzy, but I expect most teams to steer clear of tipping a platform that has an opposing alliance goal full of rings. True, tipping this platform might not result in any illegal results if no rings spill, but I know I wouldn’t risk it unless it would be crucial to the outcome of the match.


Yes Ben, this was the main counter strategy that they came up with. I don’t see this as a Meta, but more of a balanced regular round/skills bot. A bot like this would pair nicely with a MOGO hoarding bot who could feed your clawbot to put them up there.


Yeah I haven’t seen much on this yet but I think robot synergy is gonna be huge. Not every bot will be super similar like in change up. I think a good alliance will have a balance of being able to lift mogos on the platform, score rings on the alliance goals, and carry lots of goals on the robots.

like 2145z + 1469a would be a great alliance ( at least I think.) 1469a scores the rings while 2145z hoards and lifts mogos


agreed. In the past, the ideal alliance has just been 2 identical meta bots, because the meta bot was able to do everything better than any other design.

This year however, I can totally see two completely different robots synergize extremely well. From your example, I think a 2145z and 1469a alliance would likely beat an alliance composed of two 2145z’s or an alliance composed of 2 1469a’s, and that’s not something we’ve really seen in recent games.


completely agreed. I think that’s what cool about this game, It will make alliance selection much more interesting and scouting a bigger part. Almost like nbn bots where one could lift and the other was a small and light as possible so they could get the elevation points. I think every robot will be able to move mogos, but then it gets interesting when one scores rings as a bonus and the other lifts mogos as a bonus.

Also Auton will be more interesting with the point reduction. Using the 1469a and 2145z example again it synergizes well together. If 2145z can get 2 yellow mogos from mid to help bring big points to win auton, while 1469a scores 9 rings on a alliance goal to not only add points to help win auton but help more with the match because they can’t be de scored.

I think this strategy would be more valid if the fruit loops actually fell off the mogos when the platform is tipped. I had this same idea earlier in the season so I tested what would happen if the fruit loops were stacked to the top of a mogo and the platform was tipped. From my results often times the mogos would slide down the platform leaving all fruit loops still scored. Even with decent force the fruitloops would stay on the platform without tipping.

I also believe if this strategy did become more commonplace the game rules may be changed to discourage it such as making it legal if the fruit loops fall off of the platform as a result of the platform being tipped. This is also not taking into account referees often showing bias towards how they see the game should be played even if the rules technically say otherwise.

I agree that ringles don’t seem to often fall off of the platforms when they tip.

I disagree that the gdc would change the rules though. It adds another layer to the game and the challenge of removing goals without without spilling the ringles.

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That is why I said the rules may be changed. It’s just something to look out for because this strategy relies heavily upon a rule that is not the most explicit in it’s meaning.