Defensive robot viability

So for my early season tower takeover bot I’m considering a bot that would feature a six motor drive a one motor lift and a simple one motor side roller. The idea would be to use the six motor drive to play heavy defense when in tournament, similar to what 62A did at vex itz worlds. But obviously with an autonomous line and a safe zone, tower takeover is very different as far as defense goes. I’ll probably end up trying it regardless of what the forum says, just cause it’s early season, but do you think this design is viable?

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I think it can be very viable, especially if you have a partner that can score stacks really quickly, you can focus on defense and towers. If you play the colors right you can score half the cubes your opponent does and still win, but it will require strong communication between you and your partner. Now I don’t think it will be as advantageous as it was in TP, or even ITZ. Most defensive strategies would be limited to claiming and defending towers.

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I mean, wallbots are a viable option imo. block off 2/3 of your opponents scoring ability, not bad. say your opponents can make 3 stacks of 10 and are decent at towers, and your partner can only make 3 stacks of 5 and are good with towers. then you could wall off your opponents protected zone during the first 1:30 so your opponents can only get 1 stack of 9 while your partner gets 3 stacks of 5. you already have more cubes stacked then your opponent, and now you leave your wall position to go score towers with your partner. you then are forcing your opponent to either fight for towers, which they can’t really do seeing as you have more cubes then they do and your good at towers, or go over and start stacking, which is also a bad choice as they have given you complete tower control.

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If you use a differential drivetrain, you can have a six motor drive and still have enough motors for a reverse stacker or defensive mechanisms. If you geared the drivetrain to 240 rpm (18:15, 200 rpm) you will end up with both more power and speed than your opponent (given they have the usual 1:1 200 rpm drive), similar to 62A had in ITZ.

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Right now I’ve got my drive geared up to 400 rpm but it’s on 2.75” wheels (which by my math is the equivalent of about 270 rpm on 4” wheels).

Just saying, there is nothingnstopping you from blocking off all their scoring abuility

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if people end up making stacks like in the zone, a hard nudge can knock those stacks over in a second. even some of the bottom stackers so far could have their stacks knocked if you hit them hard enough. i believe that the vortex ri3d has been the only build that is fairly immune to great defense thus far

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Well, you cannot cross during auton, and I think it is safe to assume that teams will be placing at least one stack in each goal zone during autonomous.

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I am aware of this. But one stack isn’t going to beat a sole robot left to its devices as long as the enemy team is either A. too busy trying to push the out of the way or B. trying to get out of the wallbot that has closed them in.

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Yeah i dont see why a wallbot blocking the big corner would be a bad idea. I was thinking just make a defensive robot which sits in the corner with tall walls that can’t be pushed in, with a thing kinda like a hinge that locks at 90 degrees (expect the robot is the hinge point) thus blocking the goal from outside the protected zone, and then having your partner go and score. I dont see a point of you leaving to score, because what you’re partner will score will be bigger than almost anything your opponents could score in autonomous (thinking around beginning to mid-season)

You forget that both of your opponents can play defense on your alliance partner, which would basically render them useless. The wall bot strategy requires you to score a lot in auton, your opponent to score in the unprotected goal zone during auton rather than the protected one, you to get to your opponent’s zone before one of their robots does (i.e. if they just made a stack in auton but didn’t have time score it), and it requires you to have a good alliance partner and opponents that are worse than your alliance partner. While this could be viable in early season, I don’t think many people will try this late season.

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Important thing to note here is that all of these requirements require a strong partner. With a defensive bot you will be bound to lose most qualification matches and probably not get picked.

It all depends…
But you are right that w a solely defensive robot, there is always a risk that the seeded teams in the division might not appreciate the usefulness of defensive robot or may not want to run the risk of pairing with one.
Eg will be what happened to 8059D during skyrise.

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That is a fair point. Thanks

While I’m skeptical of a wall bot really working, I think a more 62A style defensive bot might have a chance. With a six motor base you could easily go faster than 200 rpm for more effective offense and still have the pushing power for defense. And though you couldn’t do more than a one motor dr4b, you could still probably carry at least 3 cubes and play towers while your partner makes big stacks.

And let’s be honest, 6 motor drive would have been better on a early season turning point than a lot of the random things teams used it for. I think drive power might be a simple effective thing to use for the early season at least

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I don’t think even pushing will be that useful in this game. Especially since we can probably expect to see a lot of roller intakes early season, and you don’t need too much accuracy to grab cubes with those. All you have to do then is get to your protected zone, and your opponent can’t play defense anymore, and if they wait for you to finish making your stack then they are just wasting their time. I also don’t think towers are going to be useful at least for the first 1:15, so a defensive bot built to play towers probably would just hurt an alliance more than help it.

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Well, if they truly dominate towers, and don’t really let your opponent claim any, then it could work. Considering how many towers there are a person with twice the amount of cubes scored could lose if their opponent plays there cards right with colors in towers. I don’t think it’s the most viable strategy to base a design around, but it’s not the worst idea.

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I just want to add, you don’t necessarily need more motors to play good defense. In TP we had a 4m chassis on 257 RPM (600rpm motors, 7:3 external reduction) and were able to play effective defense. Our chassis never burnt out or slowed, and our opponents rarely got a shot off. You just need to play defense smartly. Always push people from the side, brake your motors when being pushed (rather than pushing back at full power), etc. Positional defense was big last year and massive during ITZ, I expect it to be very useful this season as well.

I’m not saying 6m is necessarily a bad idea; our sister team had a 6m drive most of last year and they used it very well. But if adding those two motors to your drive would severely limit your offensive gameplay you might want to consider sticking with 4 and practicing good defense with that.

EDIT: When comparing to 62, you need to remember that V5 changes a lot; a standard 4m drive has comparable pushing power to their 8m drive. While this obviously doesn’t matter in situations that are scaled the same way (e.g. head to head pushing), the force needed to do other tasks such as push from the side is more or less constant.

One other major factor in defensive ability is your bot’s weight. I know everybody wants to have a super light bot so they can go as fast as possible, but in reality a heavier bot is often better. Our TP bot was 24 lbs. Nothing insane, but I would comfortably place that in the “heavy bot” category. Because of our weight and speed, we had a lot more power with blunt impulses, which was useful when “corner tapping” opponents to throw off their shots. Our weight also helped us hold our position, as we were much harder to push. At worlds, we locked an opponent backfield while being sideways; they couldn’t push us from the side at all. Of course blunt impact will probably not be nearly as useful this game (unless you’re trying to topple held stacks), but being able to hold your position is extremely useful.

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The idea that the average (or above average) team will be able to keep up with all the cubes scored in corners and towers for both teams seems a little ridiculous. I think the main concern for most teams will be to stack cubes in corners and not much else, while worlds play styles will be more about wha color cubes are in the towers and the corners. If you just stack whatever cubes are closest and dont prioritize a color you save time, and if your opponent stacks cubes in towers they will benefit either alliance equally or benefit their opponents more then themselves.

I do not see much tower play happening early season.

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That strategy may work in early season, but eventually strategies and designs will get better and just going for random colors won’t cut it. So if you’re not prioritizing colors and your opponent is your still going to end up with a dominant color due to your opponent claiming most of certain colors. So at some point or another you will have to start playing with colors. Personally I like the idea of choosing two colors so if your opponent also chooses two you have a chance of having one color to use that your opponent won’t have as much of and you can select that color for towers. If your opponent does what you say and just picks the quickest ones then you can control what the majority of their colors will be because if you manage to claim most of the colors your going for they’re gonna naturally have less of the ones you’re going for. While they still may have a few more cubes than you do but if you dominate the colors of the towers it can turn the score for you very easily.
As for early season designs I see quite a few of both designs, tower claimed and stackers. You can already see a couple of tower designs from 383T and 26982E. I do believe stackers will be the design that is the most successful, but tower designs are a viable early season design.

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