Scoring Caps on Post OBSOLETE?

Concern about game rules and objectives related to CAPS and POLES.

Early videos online showed many teams working hard to develop a robot that can GRAB, LIFT, CONTROL, and PLACE CAPS on the POSTS. This appears to be a VERY CHALLENGING SKILL to accomplish and should be a FUN ELEMENT of the game.

However, watching later videos, it has become apparent that this pole skill/challenge has become OBSOLETE. Teams are ignoring this element completely in order to WIN.

Problem?: To SCORE a cap on top a post takes ENGINEERING, SKILL, and FINESSE

                 BUT to UNSCORE a cap only takes a "bar of metal" to knock the cap off the post! 
                 Plus,  the 'bar of metal robot'  get 50/50 chance of 'turning point' based on how the cap randomly lands on the ground!

Vex competitions should reward SKILL, INTELLIGENCE, and EFFORT to be able to “achieve a task”. Yes, I’m excited that this years game allows back-and-forth play. But I fear the ease of de-scoring POSTS has given the “Defensive” robot a HUGE advantage over the ‘Scoring’ robot in this case.

Instead of being able to simply knock a cap off a post to de-score, require the opposing team
to remove, flip, and replace the cap on the same post! Similar to the skill required to place the cap on the post!

This modification would keep to the SPIRIT of “Turning point”, letting you flip the score… but also encourages teams developed a robot that can successfully manipulate the caps in such a way as to place them on the posts. Rather than eliminate the entire cool skill/challenge with a simple “bar wack”.

As we get later in the season and all robots can score on posts, you will see a lot more flips and a lot less knocking it off. There is always something like this, like when robots would just auton “go forward” to thwart “WOW REALLY AWESOME CODE.” Defense is usually easier than offense, but defense gets you zero points, so the offense will come around.

There really is not much to do about it from a rule standpoint, I guess if you can’t beat them join them

This is what I’ve been arguing with teammates about. Sure, you can easily knock caps off posts, but that’s if nobody stops you. Once we start seeing higher level play, we will probably see robots scoring 2 or 3 caps on posts and then protecting them if possible. The way how the field is set up (especially with the parking tiles in the center) can make defense stronger when guarding caps that you’ve scored.

I agree with all of the above posts. Robots will come around to bring offensive sooner or later. They’ll have to to combat speedy teams.
Caps are worth a large chunk of points, and a “bar whack” takes time away from the defensive team to be scoring flags, which is likely what these robots were designed to do. I wouldn’t call cap scoring obsolete just yet, because we are constantly seeing new innovations on how the game is played, such as TVAConner’s cap bot, which is awesome.

I think that an increase of points in caps would then make flags “obsolete,” and we’d have the same problem once again. The way I see it, the caps offer a chance for newer ITZ teams to perform well, and to learn about shooters from older teams who have had more experience with them.

This has been discussed before in threads taking about a Caps vs. Flags, but the general consensus is that there will be a cycle this year. I just don’t know what stage we’ll be at by the time States and Worlds rolls around. I hope it’s somewhere in the middle. That would make things really interesting.

I think that the last stage of the cycle will be all of the best teams will be good at balls and caps, but no one will want to be the first robot to high score a cap. It is faster to drive up to an already high scored cap and flip it than it is to be the first person to high score a cap. So since no one will want to be the first person to high score a cap it will be pushed further back into the match, and fewer teams will want a descore arm because they would only be able to use it later in the match.

I think it will be the other way around. I think teams will get good enough at the autonomous period that being able to high score a cap or two may well be the difference in winning or losing the autonomous bonus. That’s why I think the best pairing will eventually be one ball-focused robot that cannot high score caps alongside a robot that can high score caps and shoot balls.

At this point we know the game isn’t changing. Having a one time cap pole score mechanism is going to be pretty good for auton then it just becomes a battle of who can score ground caps faster. I’ve yet to see a reason as to why teams will change their strategies to do something that takes longer to do and also attracts defense. Predictions are kind of pointless if you have nothing to base it off of.

I like Mark Finley and Callen’s ideas. Nobody will want to score a cap when there is more play going on, but in Auto, a high cap can really make the difference. The auto caps will probably be under protection, maybe adding one or two when play is on the other side of the field.

And if nobody on my alliance in quals can do high caps (Becasue I can’t… yet) I’m thinking about trying to keep the cap flay in the front of the field to make it harder for the other team’s shooters to keep fast ball cycle times going. It depends on who I’m playing. If they can score high caps, I’ll want to shoot from further back and try to keep as many caps towards the front of the box as possible. Hopefully to slow them down. But, I would need to keep access to balls to shoot.

High caps can make the far square of autonomous more potent.
It can also make a skills bot score a point or two higher if they can find the time to high score after getting all the flags and caps flipped.

And that’s about it.

Otherwise, fast bots, good strategy, accurate shooting, and center platform are the primary parameters of this game.

I have seen caps become more obsolete at the top. My team can knock down all 6 caps in about 20 seconds. We discriminate against teams who score caps. The cap lifts are often heavy and reduce the scoring capabilities of the team. I personally do not believe they will be relevant this whole season.

I forgot about caps during auton. I agree that high scored caps will be the difference between a good auton and a great auton.

Why not just have an auto that shoots 3 flags flips 2 caps and parks? 1 Cap is 1 extra point I don’t see how that can make an auton great.

Not that I disagree, but your caps lock usage reminds me of a Scott Elder commercial.

cuz what about the bot on the far tile? there’s no point in overlapping flags with your alliance partner

Some of those flags could come from the center column. Or even on the far column, if you’re risky enough.

I don’t think this rule should be changed. I think that it’s a perfectly valid strategy. I simply think you’re overestimating the bots based around descoring.

  1. They don’t gain anything. When descoring a cap, its fairly likely that it will land on the opposing teams side anyway. It’s just not a good usage of time.
  2. It just turns the game into 1v1 instead of a 2v2. Really no point
  3. Not too many bots that are heavily based on descoring will make it to worlds
  4. Unless they literally have nothing but a piece of metal on a motor and a drive train, they will probably be spending their time doing the other, more efficient scoring methods if they can.

Vex is a sport. All sports come with strategies, and it is our jobs to adapt and build a quality machine to function to those strategies. If you think about it, a real challenge could be figuring out a way to score the caps as fast as one can descore, this makes scoring the caps much more valuable and strategically worth it.

Let’s say you’re playing at a high level (the comment was from good to great). The front robot can shoot the middle flag, flip the lower flag by hitting it, low score both caps, and compete for the central three flags. Meanwhile the back robot shoots the high flag, low score both caps, and parks. The other team is doing the same. Both teams are expecting 5 (flags) + 4 (caps) + 3 (parking) + 0 to 5 (central flags) = 12 to 17. But if the back robot on one team can shoot the high flag, high score both caps, and park, then that team moves to 14 to 19 points. That would mean in the competition for the central flags, picking up the middle or high flag would guarantee a win; even without that, the other team would be required to pick up at least two of the competed-for central flags to win. When you’re competing for the last five points against a comparable robot, starting with a 2-point lead is pretty significant.

From comments sounds like caps are maybe interesting idea during autonomous (difficult), but that taking the time to place caps on poles during game play take far more time to score than to unscore and thus may not be effective use of time during match play.

Sad to think many teams are just rebuilding bots from ‘nothing-but-net’. Fast Ball shooters only. Again to my point. I’m not suggesting they change the “function” of the game, or change how its “scored”, just suggesting “clarification” of the pole rule to say caps on poles need be “reversed”, not simply knocked out. In order to encourage a different robot build than from 2 years ago… :slight_smile: