Defense Worth Time Taken Away from Scoring?

I know there has been other threads discussing defensive strategies, however well into the season I have seen very few teams employing any sort of defensive strategies even as simple as playing defense by pushing in between scoring. Approaching worlds with the field being cleared so fast I think that playing defense is during a match makes a lot of practical sense. Even if you are not collecting balls the entire time you can theoretically de-scoring 4 of their balls or however many they miss. I have watched a lot of completions where there is very little defense being played period and then they have 30 seconds plus where teams aren’t doing anything when they could have played defense in between cycles. Now this time can also understandably used for lifting but most teams aren’t doing this. So do you think playing defense is worth the time or do you think teams should focus on scoring?

Minnesota just had our state competition this past weekend and my team was fortunate enough to be tournament champions. We were the #1 seed alliance going against the #2 seed alliance and I am quite confident that we ONLY won because of defense. In a straight up shoot out between the two alliances we would lose (and did lose the first match). Then we changed strategy and played defense and were just barely able to get the win.

So in my opinion, yes defense is very important. I do not think we would state champs without it. I am working on getting videos to YouTube…when they are ready I will repost them here so you can see what I mean.

our last competition our third team on our alliance was only defense, we got to finals, but the lack of scoring from anyone but us in the match we played with them caused us to loose :frowning: .

Think most likely I am wrong… But I always have the perception that defense is much bigger in Asia than in US.

In Singapore or even during all the APAC that I had been to, there are always a strong emphasis on defense.
And in this season especially, we seldom have the opportunity to sit still to aim and shoot.

Defense is SO worth it. Definitely worth it. But only if done correctly.

The driver has to be strategic in how he defends. When you push, you don’t push them backwards or forwards–you rotate the robot so its aim is messed up. The problem with the defense a lot of teams play is that it isn’t strategic enough. But 1 robot defending well will easily be able to stop 2 opposing robots on the field (of course not base shooting though).

I agree that this year forward or backward pushing is useless this year, but last year It was a life saver.
P.S. Remember during Skyrise states, when your robot fell… @victory5776

Defense is a key, especially if the teams are evenly matched. I remember going up against a team that shot accurate driver loads from 10 inches off the ground. During driver, we just parked in front of their tile, and they would get blocked, push us off, and readjust. They could get off a shot before we blocked them again. Later on, we still lost the match, as our alliance wasn’t strong enough for a 1 v 1. That is why the teams must be evenly matched, because if the team being defended gets a single point, that is an advantage from the defender who has scored none. That’s why I believe that defense is key against evenly matched teams.

I think that it’s only worth it if you know that your opponent can score more field balls then you, and your alliance partner can score more points than your other opponent. Also, if your opponents can high lift and you can’t.

I think playing defensive is very important. Our robot is very well rounded in offense and defense. For example, a defensive strategy could be going out to the opposing alliances side of the field, and moving all those balls to your protected corner so they can not interfere with your protected stack. This is only one example. You really just have to be cognizant of the competition, see what they are and aren’t capable, and plan accordingly. If your team has the privilege of having scouts, make them look more into the strategy of other teams instead of just specs of the robot.

So yeah man, defense will determine your winner for the extremely heated matches between to really good robots.

I don’t think most teams really understand the rules involved in trying to block a lift. We have a lift and 4 teams have tried to block the other robot from returning. Every one has broken a DQable rule in the process. The only one that was successful, at stopping us entered the climbing zone, made contact with a robot contacting the climbing zone and did not leave the climbing zone immedeatly after being pushed in. Each alone would have been DQs if called correctly and it had been match affecting. This is magnified in the elimination rounds where it would DQ the entire alliance. Blocking is legal but extremely risky due to the lifts sucess/failure likelihood of being match affecting.

I have seen defensive evolve in my state, Georgia. It started in October when we were going up against a team who we knew could easily outscore us, but we built a bar to just sit in front of them so they couldn’t score since they could only score from the back corner and had a low angle, sadly we lost that tournament but since then defense has been a little more prominent in Georgia. I won my first tournament because we played defense but you cant just play defense 24/7 you have to be able to score but while your scoring if the team is lining up in front of you give them a little tap, because you want to be scoring as well because if you are solely playing defense you will achieve nothing if they can get a few of the shots in that you cant defend. I just cant wait to see how defense will play out in at my state competition because i know blocking load shots has dissipated due to the fact that it took away from scoring, but seeing how it plays with field shots would be good.


there is a good video of how we played defense in the tournament we won

Defense and match strategy will definitely be worthwhile in highly competitive matches. The alliances that win will have carefully thought out defensive strategies that can shut down the other alliance while still being able to score to their maximum potential. The key to wining will be avoiding that defense on the field and I think that the blocking of driver loads will not be common this late in the year because it would not be beneficial in the long run and you cannot block in the last 30 seconds so it would be giving up time that you could use to score. Another thing that I see very often and has not been worthwhile is blocking lifts. If you attempt to block a lift, it will take away 30 seconds of scoring time and in the end, the lift will most likely be successful from my experiences. Defense in the field will be most game changing but around the start tiles, not so much.

Autonomous Defense is also key in some matches

Tell that to the scar I have on my leg from driving the bot into myself at full speed… :slight_smile:

He’s running an 8-motor 4.8:1 drive. I haven’t seen it in person, but that thing could drive circles around most bots.

Alright, lemme know how that bot works out for you at competition.

Autonomous blocking has been pretty crazy at our matches. Collisions in the middle of the field and ball flying off the field is common. I know a lot of people says so what if you loose autonomous. Its only 2 green balls or 1 orange ball in value. But, I don’t agree with that philosophy. You may loose 4 balls out into the stands that could have been 20 points stashed. So push bots that can’t shoot can reak havic on a bot that has to move forward and shoot balls in autonoumous…

My team’s robot is designed to be defensive. We have an 8 motor, 8 wheel holonomic drive and our goal is to be able to push anyone out of the way. It’s not solely defensive because we also have a ramp and we are working on 2 linear punchers (for driver or skills loads, no intake) but those are secondary to defense. We find that if our partner can score just a few points our robot is defensive enough to keep the other team from scoring enough to win the game. One of our strategies is to not let the other team get back into the loading or climbing zone so that they can’t lift or shoot balls if they wait until the field is cleared to shoot driver loads. We are not sure how well blocking teams from the climbing/loading zone will work though, as we have not tested this strategy. The downside to our robot is that we are very dependent on our partner and it’s half luck and half defense to be a picker, but if we don’t get picked that’s ok, we are a very logical 3rd alliance pick and usually get in that way and do well in eliminations because we are working with robots that are compatible with our strategy.

It is actually a viable strategy.

But i am not sure if 8-motor holonomic drive will be fast enough to block other robots.

Many teams (esp outfielders) will be using a 6-motor drive… which i dont think they will lose the pushing match with yours.

8 motor speed x-drive has 85/81/sqrt(2) = 3.54 motors of torque (my units here are in motors geared for torque).
6 motor speed tank drive has 6*5/8 = 3.75 motors of torque.