Front or Back Dump Claw for Matches

A back dump is obviously better for skills. When it comes to matches it seems the two are very well matched. They both when built correctly can have a high capacity. A back dump can hang, but in a very competitive match teams will not be hanging. It is easier to knock the stars off the wall with a front dump. Also easier to block teams from scoring with a front dump. While it is easier to score in the far zone with a back dump, they have to either lift while driving or after you get to the fence. Front dumps can lift before driving or while driving. It seems that matches are decided by cycle time if the teams have the same capacity. Cycle time is decided by transitional driving. It seems that front dumps are more mobile when it comes to navigating a cluttered feild. What is your opinion on which is better, and why?

For a while I have been thinking that maybe we would be better off with a front dumper, because it seems like a good front dumper would have a faster cycle time, but in a past scrimmage I noticed something that has me worried about front dumpers. Front dumpers tend to leave scoring objects in piles while rear dumpers scatter the scoring objects. Even if a front dumper has a higher cycle time, I think that they won’t be able to score as many objects at a time because they will have to go searching for objects, while their opponent will be receiving nice large piles that can be easily scooped up and tossed over.

I think that when built right, any one can be good. My team has a front dumper, and our primary strategy is to fill the near zone with as much stuff as possible so the opposing alliance cant move

I have seen strategy used many times, it work really well to beat back dumps. One team I have seen on the internet that does this well is 1045A.

The back dumps would have to take the time to turn around, and in my experience lifting and turning does not work to well for a back dump

As I said, it seems like front dumps have a faster cycle time, but it also seems like back dumps score more per dump than front dumps because the back dumps scatter stars, which decreases the number of stars that the front dumper can efficiently score per dump.

If front dumps can scatter stars better than the ones I’ve seen so far, then I think they could be better, but from what I’ve seen, the lack of “scatter” negatively affects front dumps too much.

Very true.

Its all about balance. Firstly drivers make all the difference, really good drivers have the capacity to wreck any plan.

My theory is a good Alliance would have one really good back dumper, who is both fast and has medium capacity (ability to hang would be a bonus), one front dumper that is nimble and higher capacity, able to block reliably, and a version of either of them for the second pick. Front Dumpers drop stars and cubes (The very good ones both at the same time) in large capacities right on the fence which makes scoring difficult for back dumpers and while scattering is also an important strategy that, needs to come from a partner.

My general thoughts broken down simply are:

Front Dump + Back Dump: Very Good
Back Dump + Back Dump: Good
Front Dump + Front Dump: Not Good

Again Drivers are the very first factor, if either driver is weak it will not go well.

Full Disclosure: The Team I mentor is a front dump so I realize my analysis may be biased, but results for our theory has been successful 3 out of 4 times.

Edit: Also soundly winning autonomous is an absolute necessity.

Coming from someone in a region with really fast of both, a good front dumper will always beat an equally good (and equally well driven) back dumper.

Front dumpers are better at scoring from the near zone and, like it or not, the objects tend to end up in the near zone even if a back dumper is scoring them.

The fact is it is harder to grab objects from the near zone than is to grab them from the far. Clog up the near zone with stars then drop a cube on it and comebacks are not likely. I bet 62 could beat 1045A, but I think it would be close.

As for scattering stars: If you’re that worried about it, just build a mechanism that does it for you. It’s not that hard.

We are a Front Dumper and are doing very well in matches. Check out our channel

1045A is the best front dumper I’ve seen, some Chinese front dumpers might be as good but that robot is a world class robot, and while the back dumpers in your area are very good, I would not say they are as equally good yet. (especially when it comes to getting far zone in match play, causing them to be worse against front dumpers like 1045A)
My two cents is that front dumper feels like a win-more, in which if your winning, it’s better to keep winning, while the back dumper is a lose-less, in which if you are losing, it is better at coming back.

This year autonomous has been very important, as it is second to winning the match to decide rankings. Also, winning auto is an advantage in the math as you are already ahead. It seems from what I have seen of autons that a front dump has more options to score, because it is much easier to knock off stars on the fence, also easier to block other teams from scoring in auto.

Sometimes it works:

An issue I’ve seen with front dumpers is that they can become helpless if there are a lot of objects on their side in the near zone (because they can’t reach the fence to score). Sometimes you can just pick those objects up, but other times they get there right as you’re trying to score a big load in your claw. Annoying, right?

Also, most front dumpers I’ve seen have had lower capacity than back dumpers, and they also seem to have inherent instability issues. A back dumper can tip if it’s not built right, but it seems to me that even the best front dumpers live on the edge as far as tipping is concerned.

+1 to this. In my opinion Back Dumpers if built well and have a really good driver they can of beat front dumpers easily. I mean don’t get me wrong front dumpers can also be really good for example 1045A, but I feel like back dumpers have more advantages.

Both have advantages and disadvantages. We prefer and use front dumper.

I believe each design has it’s pros. The back dump can have a better hang, far zone scoring, and scatter stars but it has a weakness most claws can’t get huge clumps of stars. The front dumps though are way better at blocking, clumps of stars, but they score low in skills. What i would do is be able to change out subsystems. I plan to be a back dump for skills and a front dump for matches at u.s. open