How significant is Rule <T6>? (When each alliance can place their robots on the field)

I was staring to think about autonomous (my team hasn’t started meeting yet, this is just me thinking stuff through) and I was wondering what everyone thought about the significance of rule T6.
It states:

T6: The red Alliance, or the highest seed, places last. The red Alliance has the right to place its Robots on the field last in both Qualiication Matches and Elimination Matches. Once a Team has placed its Robot on the field, its position cannot be readjusted prior to the Match. If a Team violates this rule, the opposing Alliance will be given the opportunity to reposition their Robots promptly.

When I say ”significance” I mean how will it affect outcome of the match. In my opinion this rule gives the red alliance a very significant advantage if this rule is properly enforced. This is because of how the autonomous portion may become a race for goals. It feels like that between evenly matched alliances the red alliance should win autonomous because they would be able to counter the way in which blue sets up their robots, and therefore strategically grab goals. However, would it also be possible for blue to set up in a way that can’t be countered? I think autonomous strategy will be very interesting this year.

I am curious what everyone else’s thoughts are on this.


With the introduction of the autonomous line, it hasn’t mattered. It did matter back in the day when there was no autonomous line and teams could use autonomous to knock their opponent off target.

It might become important in TiP since interaction in the Neutral Zone is allowed during autonomous.


It was also very significant in elimination 3-team alliances as the red captain could wait and play the strongest tactical pairing for each match. Again, not relevant anymore.


This rule has been present for a long time (before I started), and in my opinion it will have much less effect on the autonomous period than previously (before the auton line). This is because of the ability to have multiple different programs loaded on the robot with V5 which can be selected without actually touching the robot. This allows which autonomous you have selected to be hidden from the opponent teams (as long as all of your autonomouses have the same starting position), and limits the viability of countering.


One thing that is slightly different is that the different auton programs are unlikely to have the same starting point. This is because if auton truly does turn into a race for mogos, it is the quickest to start facing the mogo you plan on “capturing.” Having to turn would be a significant time disadvantage.

Well, the alternative is having this happen before every elims match.


I fully agree, by no means was I trying to suggest that it would be wise to get rid of this rule. I was more thinking of its implications.

It came up in In The Zone a lot when some autonomous routes were just ramming other robots to stop them from getting to a mobile goal in the corner, but yeah, the auton line changed everything in the past three games.


Not if you have odom and motion profiling…

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I think the point is that different routes will have your robot start in different ideal locations. But it might be smart to have multiple routes with the same starting spot so your opponents don’t know what route you’re going to take. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were fakeout autons where you made it look like you were going for one goal and then you go for another.


From my experience (mind you, I started VEX in Tower Takeover, so my perspective may be flawed), this rule is not enforced by event partners or head referees often. Perhaps it is because the auton line has been a strict divider in previous games, but I think this rule will be thrown out the window entirely if the head referee/event partner is inexperienced or unfamiliar with the advanced rules of the game, which actually happens more often than you think (as unfortunate as it is to admit). Also, one other thing I noticed during my Change Up and Tower Takeover tournaments is that as teams set up their robots, the head referee has never stopped a team from moving their robot around the field as long as autonomous period isn’t about to start and as long as the robot meets the starting position criteria. If head referees continued to be lenient about this, what’s stopping the blue alliance from just making a last minute translational adjustment to their robot in order to counter the red alliance’s placement (while pretending that they are just finishing setting up their robot)? In theory, this rule gives the red alliance a lot of power, but from what I’ve seen, the rule isn’t enforced all that much. I’d wager that the most likely places head referees would be strict on this rule is at Signature Events, State Championships, and obviously at the World Championship. Other than that, you may not see this rule become important unless you have a head referee who really knows their stuff.


fair points, although with the strict auton lines in change up and especially TT, there was no point at all to <t6>. Positioning your robot last had no advantages. I think that will change this year, and teams will actually have a reason to inform referees of this rule if they aren’t enforcing it.


Like what @sazrocks and @calvc01 said… this rule existed because back in those days without auton line and with 3 teams alliance for elimination, this rule of placement of robots were a lot more significant.

For those interested, you can take a look at Sack Attack and also Toss Up.
Alliances changed the robots’ placement to counter the opponents’ choice of robots on the field.

It was a lot more strategic previously, eg, during sack attack, the choice of robots facing off each other was important.
Toss up - facing the robot to fire off the beach ball to the opponent corner to prevent them from hanging, etc.

It was a lot more fun and interesting back in those days.
But sadly, think if all these were done currently, these teams will be called out for unsportmanship behaviour or being too disruptive.


I remember during the US Open back in In the Zone, I had a team play a defensive autonomous during the tournament and they repeatedly had interactions with the ref saying it was unsportsmanlike and against the rules, though they could not cite a rule in the rulebook which stated it as such.

For that year and Turning Point in particular, my ethos with the teams was very much “defense is a valid strategy. Employ it if you must, but also expect to encounter it and respond to it.”


I prefer the old days of “rough it out” mentality and always expect the unexpected mindset.

While my teams are mostly offensive, but at the same time, what I always tell me teams is that they will never win if they neglect the defensive aspects of the game. Think 8059A in Turning Point will be a good example of how i believe a VRC game should be played.

All sports has a defensive aspect to it. In fact, in soccer, there is a saying that strong defence is the foundation for the team to move forward to attack.


It was a great game - and liked the center platform :slight_smile:

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@meng how cool would it be to have a yellow platform in the middle of the field in the neutral zone to battle out mega points :slight_smile: that would really have connected to Turning Point battles for highest platform …

alas, Tipping Point did not include that element…

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that’s so true…
or maybe GDC can just allow any robots to mount on either of the platforms. this will make the teams to decide should they send one robot to disrupt their opponents or should they just focus on doing balancing…