Tower Takeover or Battle Bots?

This season is moving closer to battle bots than ever before. If you though the fights for the yellow platform were bad last year, see the fights for the small scoring zone this year.

On Saturday, our undefeated team lost in the semifinals because all our opponents did, as soon as the match started, was drive straight to ram into our robot – they did this relentlessly until our intake broke. Other coaches also lamented that their rollers, and arms, had been broken as teams employed constant defensive ramming strategy.

Refereeing quality has also being sub-par.

Rule G12 is hard to honor – if your whole strategy is to constantly ram into your opponent, and that ramming causes your opponent robot to break, isn’t that a violation of rule G12?

Rule SG3 is rarely enforced. “Contacting robots that are fully contained by their protective zone” – this is repeated violated with not even a warning given. At another tournament on Saturday, our robot was rammed into while in the protective zone, our robot knocked our tower down - and no DQ, or warning, was given. Referee said that our robot was the one that knocked down the tower - and it didn’t matter than we had been pushed into it.

What has your experience been so far?


This might just be our trash build quality, but our anti-tip fell off.


<G12b> …Some incidental…damage may occur as a part of normal gameplay without violation. …


Referees will get better throughout the season as they gain more experience. Had this been my experience, I would ask for the ref’s opinion on rule interpretations, and politely correct (using sound and explicit quotations from the manual and/or QnA) them if they are wrong after the fact.

It’s hard to give my personal interpretation on the specific case (as we do have a biased party- no offense intended whatsoever), but my experience is that defense is pretty commonplace.

This isn’t a glorified 4-bot Skills Challenge like FTC. Vex is s contact sport. (Technically an esport.) Defense is a powerful tool. And it’s sometimes difficult to referee.

We do need to cut volunteers some slack, though it may be frustrating for us students (and sometimes mentors) who have been practically lived the game for months.

That being said, however, a certain level of competence is expected of these dedicated volunteers (who we so love for their time).


I can appreciate your experience but this is early season. Everyone is figuring out what they are doing still. My alliance got dq’ed in the finals of our first tournament this season after some heavy defense on the bot scoring in the unprotected zone. The ref’s said that we were pinning. While the reffing wasn’t fantastic, the refs were just students, the defense was heavy and everyone conceded that it was a dq. I can only imagine how the opposing alliance would have felt, especially because we would have won that match without getting dq’ed 15-14. I am sure that the reffing will be much more consistent as we move through the year.


I have had very heavy defense played on me at the beginning of the season but stuff should probably not be breaking too much when defense is played if you have good build quality. If you are good at driving, and have a decent chassis, it’s alsi not too hard to avoid defense.


I agree, we were able to score in the small zone while being rammed.
Well we would have been able to score, but the janky tilter and code…

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That’s why I don’t use chain for my intake :slight_smile:

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yeah i know this is a lil off topis but the intake rolers are beter than chain for stability

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“Intake rollers are specifically designed for ball intake systems. The flexible rubber fingers grip the ball. The fingers also deflect, allowing for ball size variation.” It would work but not as well for cubes

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but they are way more durable that is all I was saying

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Yeah, but I’m using chain and it has never fallen off at a competition

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your set up is probably different than that of @CrisPierry1 and the robot abuse he got is probably different

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Yes. That is probably true.

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We saw a team walk in with their robot looking like an actual battle bot. I don’t think they got the memo


In my opinion, defense is just a tool that not very good teams or pushbots just use as a “fallout” plan which can be very annoying as it’s just constant ramming and breaking/ damaging of parts; however defense could be an essential tool used for good teams that actually put some strategical thought into it, but as of right now, it is not that, but to make it an actual component in the game some more rules should be placed on defense.
However, i might be wrong :grinning:

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I try to strategically play defense but I cant drive really well so I just repeatedly ram opponents instead (by accident because my driving is garbage)

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I don’t use those tjo

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The best/most durable intake for this year’s game is two sprockets with flaps on them connected by chain. This way, the chain is unlikely to fall off, and the flaps certainly won’t.

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But chain can snap under pressure. While preventative steps can be taken, no system is foolproof.