How to Compete Against V5 with V2

So with the advent of VEX delaying all new V5 orders indefinitely, a lot of teams are now faced with an unfortunate reality that the only thing they have to compete with are the old V2 stuff. Thus, I think a discussion on how to compete with V2 components against the much more power-packed V5 motors.

Here’s my thoughts:

V2 teams will for sure have to be able to play offense, as a 4 mtr V5 drive can basically beat any V2 drivetrain. V2 bots will also probably have to use things like locked omnis to fend off defensive V5 bots.

V2 teams who want to try to focus on their drives anyways will have to come up with innovative ways to do subsystems. For example, one might have to do a 1 mtr d catapult (it is possible if you torque it up enough, I can send pictures of one I built if wanted). V2 teams who want to focus more on subsystems will have to be more careful about getting in pushfights and will have to engineer their bots to be lightweight (btw four motor turbo drives are possible with this game too, I’ve used one a couple of times in prototyping).

Lastly, I would like to note that this is not a discussion on the virtues of VEX or about whether or not what they did yesterday was the right choice. It’s a discussion to help teams who are stuck with V2 come up with ideas to compete with V5 bots.



Critical is owning autonomous and center park at end of match.

V2 has a 4 motor advantage, which IMHO is more than adequate to make up the difference in power. The V5 was oversold in how much more powerful than it is than it’s predecessors.

Someone once told me a mediocre bot driven well will always beat a great bot that isn’t piloted well. I believe this is certainly true.

Simply put, V2 is not the giant disadvantage it’s made out to be and in some ways it is still superior.

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At the first VA event on Sunday, we had a number of Cortex bots perform well against V5 bots. In fact, the #2 ranked team was a Cortex bot, with a difference of about 7 SPs.

It was using 10 motors and pneumatics as well.

It had an incredibly outstanding and consistent autonomous that could hit flags and then park. Worked every single match.

They also were working on it for quite a while.

V5 is nice, but it’s not a substitute for great strategy, driving practice, and having a consistent scoring autonomous.


I’m running Cortex against V5 tomorrow for my first tournament. I’ve developed a few strategies, depending on the robot types I’m up against.
It’s pretty certain that I can’t win in a push fight, so I need to keep moving. I can’t high score caps, and if they can’t either, I can use them as blocks to try to protect myself while shooting. It takes a lot of thinking ahead while driving, which is pretty difficult.
They can’t interfere with your autonomous, so, if you can get those points, you’re ahead. That’s all in programming skills, not really raw power. (But V5 has more speed.)
It’s more effective, I think, to sit as a roadblock than to try to push V5 out of the way. If they have a fixed shooting position, I need to get over there and block their shot. If I can keep them moving around and not scoring, that’s a win.

Alternatively, if I’m up against an OP team of a V5 flag and cap bot, I’ll try to keep the cap play in the front of the field, making them interfere with each other. It would be hard to score points for myself, though.

As far as redesigning without V5 as a possibility, I’m would plan to increase my number of independent subsystems. While you may not be able to have a certain function becasue of motor limits in V5, you can add extra things with your extra couple of motors with Cortex.
An example of this would be parking. While V5 has automatic brakes, you can build yourself a better deployable brake with Cortex, the only limit being your robot size.

A lot of it is in strategy rather than raw power. It’s harder to come up with a good plan, but it’s more effective. V5 isn’t as overpowered as everyone is saying, despite the increase in motor torque and speed.

For my strategizing, the V5 bots I may encounter only make it more fun. Thinking about how to beat robots I shouldn’t be able to is very engaging.

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Not to mention, even with the upper ground, a Cortex bot won a pushing battle against V5 (being heavier and having leverage matters a lot too)

To echo what others already said, driving practice is going to be all the more important for those that can’t get v5 now. You need to be able to score efficiently since most v5 drives will be able to push you fairly easily; you also need to know the limits of your robot. If you’re going against robots that don’t burn out easy you have to know how much your bot can take so you can avoid burning out and keep scoring.

Technically, the second generation of VEX controllers (that is, “V2,” which was called “V.5”) would have been the 8-bit PIC controllers. The first generation would have been the IFI Edu-Robotics kit. The Cortex, which was never called V4, is the third generation, and V5 is the fourth generation. My personal guess is that V5 is called that because the next generation LEGO controller would be their fourth generation (after EV3), and 5 is better than 4, unless you can think of VEX IQ as the fourth generation (or V4) which still makes the Cortex generation 3 and the V5 generation 5. Clear? :slight_smile:

Clear as slightly watery sliudge. V5 and V.5 totally won’t confuse anyone!

Majority v5 robots have a two motor drive. Most Cortex robots have a 4 motor drive. The v5 drive operates at least as good as a four motor Cortex drive. So if you look at systems outside of the drive, v5 has six motors left and Cortex has eight motors left.

In reality, it’s a two motor advantage.

I would certainly argue that most V5 robots have a 4 motor drive, and most V2 robots have a 6 or 8 motor drive. This leaves us with 4 and 4 or 4 and 6, which clearly shows the superiority of V5.

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Please see this post for versioning.

Yes, V5 motor power is exaggerated but it does have longer time at its peak power. Its gearing is also far superior to 393. If your running 393 motors and planning to bash and dash, I would consider having a refurb kit for each motor on my drive.

This is a nice list (and I am not being sarcastic), but I was there. The “versions” are being back-described to make a messy list seem linear. Until Bob Mimlitch shows up to correct us all, I believe that all of this is speculation.

At several competitions I have seen, many robots with Cortex and 393 motors out perform some V5 robots. It really comes down to design/build/driver. If you really have to compare apple to apple (meaning same design, build and driver), V5 wins.

As @goofnrox said, a mediocre bot that is not driven well will always beat a great bot that isn’t piloted well. If a V5 robot and a cortex robot both can achieve all of the tasks of the game, whichever is driven better will win. At my last competition, my team and my sister team won, us both being cortex boys. Even a cortex bot can play defense on a V5 bot, as long as you drive well

I think you misphrased. :slight_smile:
Sure, everything comes down to driving. But my perception of this thread was to envoke strategies for similarly driven robots, one Cortex, and one V5.
Threads like this always boil down to driving skill. Any chance we can be divergent and talk strategically? Or, we can rehash the various driving practices that leads to great teams.

Your right i was not there nor did i create the list. But, i’m going to trust James Pearman, a post from 2008, and a pdf of the Vex 2.0 release also with 9/15/2008 time stamp.

on topic now.

a 6 motor 393 HS drive at our last/first tourney was the best bot there. it had a great flywheel and auton. It pushed the 2 motor V2 200 rpm bot our team had around so much that they decided to pull off the intake and launcher to add two more motors.

ermm… i am not saying we shouldn’t believe James Pearman… we should.

but… you know who is @Rick TYler right?

he meant it when he says he was there… from the beginning (and beyond)…

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Yeah @Rick TYler has been there from the start pretty much

I have a lot of respect for both of them but James Pearman linked to a posted with a PDF dated 9/15/2008 showing VEX 2.0 (V2) as Cortex w/ VEXnet. It looks like an official press release, no?

The point isn’t who is who, but what the product names are so we refer to them w/o getting confused. Maybe I took Ricky’s post the wrong. I initially read it as we should call cortex V3. But re-reading it sound more like a history lesson. I apologize if I’ve ruffled anyone feathers.