Unofficial: Please remove all defensive play

In the VRC In The Zone(17/18) Official Q&A channel, @mrljthomas asks:

It seems very clear that the GDC expected defensive play. There has been ample time and opportunity for them to clarify their intent in various Q&A responses. They have continued to allow defensive play.

Given that, I think it is extremely unlikely they will make all defensive play illegal at this late date.

I am a secret supporter of defensive play actually.
I always feel that defensive play adds a lot to the game itself, eg:

  1. More variety of robot designs
  2. More variety of gameplay / strategy
  3. More unpredictability to the outcome

In fact, for the past few seasons I thought GDC put too much restrictions on defensive play.


To me, defensive play in VEX is like playing defense in basketball. In any competitive game where there is scoring, there is almost always defense. As a STEM based program, VEX is all about finding different, effective ways to accomplish a task. This task, to me is not simply to score cones/mobile goals, but it is to win matches. Although there are rules in place to limit defensive play, allowing it allows different ideas to succeed much like in the real world. Additionally, no defense would make the game stale. While it may be satisfying watching teams stack exceptionally high and fast, it would get stale very quickly if there was nothing to mix it up. Adding a defensive component to this years game makes every match different and brings strategy to the game. Without defensive play only the mechanical quality of the robot, but when you add defensive play it adds a whole new element to the driving factor and decision making that comes into play during a match. I can see how it is frustrating watching teams hoard opposing mobile goals not even giving a chance to score, but to remove it completely would make the game even more boring to watch imo.

To be frank, I feel like defense vs offense is EXACTLY the spirit of In The Zone.
If the game creators didn’t want us pushing each other around and playing hard defense they would have put a fence down the middle of the field (lol)

i agree that defense is important to make an interesting and fun game, but I believe that it has gotten out of hand this season, particularly in certain regions of the world. I would welcome an update to the game that adds stricter rules, but I also recognize that the GDC is, maybe not encouraging, but definitely not penalizing teams for defense. I do enjoy the added dimension to the game, and I would not like defense totally eliminated, but I would also not be sad to see cage bots go. Ultimately, it depends on how teams play in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if robots began to go back to offensive builds and strategies by the time Worlds comes around (this is already starting to happen in South Florida) and I think that the game will naturally become more balanced over time.

I personally think that defensive play is a bit too strong in this years game. Although I do believe that defensive robots are boring and annoying to play against I don’t think that defense should be removed altogether. I don’t like how any robot can just go sit in the opponents 5 point zone and prevent them from scoring the mobile goals. I think a nerf would be a more appropriate approach rather then removing it altogether. I believe that removing 5 point play would create a good balance between good defensive robots and a robot that can just sit in the 5 point zone and prevent a lot of scoring.

Also just think about last year with no defensive play and every single robot looked the same


thats not true… there were back dumpers, front dumpers and some hoarders

Don’t you think the game would have been more interesting if it allowed for different kind of play? The robot designs were extremely narrow in my opinion.

IMO I liked the game the way it was, it was sufficiently hard that you had somewhat of a challenge to build your robot, but it was a fast paced ever changing game so it led to more entertainment, albeit less strategy. This lead to games being able to go either way which made an interesting tournament.

Hmm interesting point of view… I personally believe that more strategy leads to a more interesting game rather then just doing one thing like last years game… anyways this is getting really off topic

I can see that, but i also feel that starstruck was designed to simple a game to have very complex strategies. The game pieces and the fence severely limited it for me. But like you said we are getting off topic.

There honestly wasn’t much strategy involved in starstruck. It was almost entirely driving skill and robot cycle time/capacity

If you were looking for extreme defense restrictions then just do robot skills simple as that. Some places have refs that hate defense and others will be okay as long as you are following the rules. We went to a tournament Saturday in Troy New York and They absolutely hated defense. We got a warning because we blocked an opponent from scoring a mobile goal it wasn’t even on the wall . Their robot kept ramming us too trying to get to it but apparently the refs didn’t like defense so we got a warning and they threatened to dq us from the tourney if we kept arguing that it was in the rules. It depends on where you go determines the type of game play you can do.

It was great fun to watch, though.

Defensive play is one of the traits of VRC that makes it so exciting — if all defensive play were banned, then there’s no reason to have a 2-on-2 match, and we could just do a 2-on-0 “teamwork” match like VEXIQ.

This idea fundamentally breaks the “sports for the mind” (if you pardon my FIRST) analogy that is often drawn between robotics and normal sports — you can’t ban “defensive play” in basketball, soccer, or other sports where teams compete. If you did, you’d end up with golf, which no one watches or gets excited about. :wink:

Not sure you’re so secret about it. :slight_smile: I can tell from all of your posts.

This is nothing new to vex and in fact it is not nearly as effective as it has been in previous years, such as Gateway:

and of course the mother of all wallbots in Toss Up:
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The good old days when you just have no idea what might hit you when you went for a match in worlds… I missed those wild wild west days (and worlds were literally nearer to the west coast as well)…

In all seriousness… we are having it easy nowadays… so please don’t make it even more difficult for defensive play.