Expansion limit or no?

So from what I’ve seen in the past few years Vex has made a move to eliminate defensive play. In past games, pre-In The Zone(please correct me if im wrong), There was no horizontal expansion limit. I believe this change was to eliminate wall bots from the game (2W in gateway). While wall bots could play the ultimate defensive game against their opponent, they would also be sacrificing all their scoring potential by making a true wall bot and would most often hinder their alliance partner from scoring as well.

What do you guys think about this topic?

Have I just run completely off my rails or do you think I might have something here?

I believe Nothing But Net was actually the first game with an expansion limit – where anything beyond 18" × 18" × 18" was illegal (except for the measly 4 tiles forming the corners of the field).

Otherwise, as far as I am aware, many people agree with your interpretation.


Thanks for the response @Barin, is there really no one else who has a perspective on this?

The issue being that if you eliminate the expansion limit, you could also increase offensive capabilities. Imagine a DR4B with a puncher in the middle that changes heights and can stack caps. Having nightmares yet?

@gilmorkn472 are you speaking of the initial size limit, in which case I agree, but if you are talking about expansion limits after the match has started I do not. I dont see anything about a DR4B with a puncher in the middle being impossible with the current limitations.

@Gameoa I am talking about the expansion limit. The height-changing puncher attached to the DR4B could happen, but wouldn’t be as useful unless you could get closer to the flags.

It isn’t even so much about vertical expansion than it is about horizontal. I can see the reason Vex didn’t allow vertical expansion outside the expansion zone, but cap bots are already at a big disadvantage to shooter this game, so the ability for them to play defense on the cap bot easier doesn’t seem far fetched to me. It doesn’t even have to be a cap bot, just any bot able to play defense through vertical expansion.

I think that an expansion limit is necessary. It stops big wall-bots from dominating the field, and also stops robots from leaving something int the expansion zone, loosely attached, and using a lift to toggle flags. For future games, similar situations would occur. You’d have RELIC RECOVERY type extension arms for games like ITZ and massive arms like in FRC’s RECYCLE RUSH.

However, having the limit at 18” horizontally might be kind of cool, if difficult. But it would restrict robots in many design considerations, such as arms not being able to be utilized.

So, no. I like having the expansion rules as they normally stand. But It is kind of agressive in this game, though I understand why it exists.

I’d say that wallbots would only dominate the field if built well. 2W only dominated the field because they left scoring behind and decided that defense, while risky, could have been quite profitable. Unlike a lift bot or a shooter bot a good true wallbot would take many more pieces, much more time, and much more structural stability/durability(VCAT in skyrise) than either of the previous options while also having a much more risky strategy for winning matches.

The fact that building a wallbot isn’t op is clearly seen through the miniscule amount of teams that actually devoted their time to a wallbot in seasons where there was no vertical expansion limit. Even with the introduction of a wallbot to the competition 8 years ago in gateway, not many teams have decided to follow them in that endeavour. You might have seen 1-2 teams each year with a wallbot in the seasons following and those teams that did decide to do a wallbot spent most of their year tuning those fickle beasts to be ready for competitions.

being able to impede on another robot’s ability to do anything defeats the purpose of the game. defensive play itself doesn’t stop a robot from being able to do anything else.

while the defensive robot would impede another robot’s ability to do anything, it has also “impeded” its ability to score anything just by being a wallbot, and if it does have the ability to score it will be sacrificing its ability to efficiently score or to efficiently play defense.

You could make the case that it defeats the purpose of the game, but im not buying that a solely defensive bot, in and of itself, has an advantage over an actual scoring bot.