Counter-Defensive Strategy

Hi all,
Recently I have seen a lot of threads discussing defensive robots and defensive strategies. While there seems to be mixed opinions about the “ethics” of defensive of play and so on. I thought it might would be interesting to start a discussion on strategies to take when put up against a a strong defensive opponent. I know a lot of teams myself included have not had much experience with strong defence and with states/nationals/worlds coming up soon for everyone I thought it might be interesting to find out from teams with experience how they dealt with the situation and any advice they might want to give.

For example, when in a situation where the opponent is blocking you from scoring in the 10 point zone should you try and force you way to score in the 10 point zone, score in the 5 and risk having it pushed out or ignore scoring the mogo all together and just try and stack as many cones as possible. And of course, how do people deal with cage bots?

I dealt with an actual wallbot in quarterfinals at my last competition. It would encompass mogos similar to cage bots. What I did was win auton and stack on the stationary goal and high stack in the 10 point zone from the mogo I scored in auton and we won.

One of the biggest challenges is when you have one team with limited offensive abilities and the your opponent only has one team to try to block. One option I have been thinking about is to have your partner sit with their rear wheels touching the starting bar and directly behind the stationary goal. With most robots this will leave less than 18" between them and the stationary goal. The blocking team is not allowed to touch this robot while it is touching the starting bar. This effectively makes two separated scoring zones on either side of the stationary goal which is much harder for a defensive team to block access to… We have not tried it. It seems to make sense on paper.

That’s an interesting strategy. If the robot that sits in the zone is sideways, so it can move along the bar, that would make it especially useful, because they can move out of the way when you are putting a mogo in.

True, though they should be able to move as you approach in either position. I think convincing another team to just sit there if necessary may be the hardest part.

I think it’d be tough to have one teammate that is basically inactive, leaving the other one to do all the scoring…unless I’m missing something.
What if they block/defend against your one scoring bot?

@Sporeray If they are sitting in front of your 10 point bar and have any scoring element…you drive into them and run them into the scoring bar. That will DQ them(SG10) also…they cannot block any zone of the field from you (SG7)

@Smurf There’s a rule that says that you cannot cause a team to violate a rule
That other rule says that two teams cannot work together to block a section of the field.

it shouldn’t be to hard to deal with mogo tippers, just stack a cone on each mogo, and they can no longer tip it legally, and if you have to play against cagebots, they can hardly cage all 4 mogos. because a cagebot isn’t gonna score many points, and if you can just get one mogo in the 20 with 10 or so cones, you can still win fairly easily.


it says including but not limited to…meaning that it’s at the referees discretion. One of the other teams from my school almost got Dq’d because they were in front of the opposing teams starting bar this past weekend and about a month ago one of our other teams got pushed into the opposing teams starting bar in the finals and got Dq’d

Like I said we have not tried it in competition. For teams that don’t play defense often they can stall or make mistakes trying defense. This might be a safer approach. They would not have to stay in the zone just between our opponents and the zone and be ready to if needed. Pushing opponents into the 10pt zone can be tough with 13-14 high cone stacks. COG becomes an issue.

Some points:

  1. The smaller bar is called the Starting Bar, and is defined as part of the 5 point zone.
  2. There is no scoring bar, so I assume you mistyped and meant the Starting Bar.
  3. Opposing alliance robots most definitely can touch your Starting Bar; there would be no violation, so no DQ.
  4. Blocking is legal. The opposing alliance can be in your 5 point zone (and even touching the Starting Bar) while blocking.

From Game Manual, “Game Definitions” on page 5, the last line of the 5 point zone definition reads:

And in the 10 point zone definition on the same page, Note 1 reads:

This has been covered in Q&A answers. I’m going to quote from this Q&A:

In it, the official answer says, in part:

So touching the Starting bar is most definitely not being in the 10 point zone, and you should be neither warned nor DQ’ed for it.

You misunderstand what SG7 says. Here’s a quote of the part you reference:

The second sentence is a subordinate clarification of the rule presented in the first. It does not weaken it, or remove any of its effect.

That would be unfortunate, and not in accordance with the rules. Blocking is legal. There are many Q&A clarifications about it.