I wanted to make a list of the main problems I’ve experienced so far with Tower Takeover as a VRC game and also get other people’s opinions on it, as well as ideas on how VEX can solve them going forward.
- The insane ambiguity and unfair nature of some rules. The rulebook is extremely vague on what types of defense are legal, where defense can played, etc.
- Stacking in the unprotected zone, at exactly what point does defense that causes a stack being stacked to fall become illegal?
- Can defense be played on a robot that is touching the inner protected zone? Technically that robot then becomes an extension of your robot, which means that you’re indirectly touching the inner protected zone which would be illegal.
- You can defend the entirety of a robot whose four wheels are within the outer protected zone whose tray is sticking out of the outer protected zone volume. For robots with long trays, the protected zone is no longer meaningful.
- A cube that rolls over the autonomous line accidentally leads to the auton bonus being to the other team. Thus, if you have an 8 cube auton, and your opponents don’t move, they get the autonomous bonus.
- Some of these rules are so unexpected/unfair that I’m tempted to apply the “common sense always applies” rule to override them.
- Possible Solutions: Make protected areas more explicit. Maybe, if all wheels of a robot are touching the inner protected zone, make defense illegal. Allow accidental rolling over of cubes if they do not interfere with opposing autonomous periods, in line with what most teams would prefer. Make the unprotected area a protected one so that there isn’t much of a gray area regarding what’s legal and what’s not. Make fewer, but clearer restrictions on what’s allowed and not, leading to much less ambiguity in interpretation.
- The unfortunate lack of variety in designs. This game is extremely focused on one task: creating tall stacks of cubes. This singular focus has led to really only one type of design being viable, which eliminates the creativity required for VEX robotics games of the past. In the future I’d like to see games with more difficult tasks and multiple focuses, so teams can specialize and try out more innovative ideas.