Vex Spin Up Strategy

Just a little post to talk about strategy. It’s pretty late in the season now and the Meta in my area is simple. Overflow disks in the high goals and then focus on rollers and take the corners. Now there is one topic that I can’t grasp. Certain bots are better for the inside of the corner (to secure rollers) and other bots perform better outside of the corner (to launch string). Which strategy would be more beneficial? The inside or outside of the corners around the end of the match?

… usually people fire string from the corner, so idk what region you’re in…

Just have a good roller, and then make as good of an expansion as possible. Both of those would involve being in the corner. There isn’t really a bot design that’s “bad” at being in the corner, except maybe cata if you for whatever reason wanted to shoot from rollers (generally a bad idea, especially in endgame). Making a good roller is not hard at all, as long as you have either rubber banded omnis or flexwheels, plus a heavy duty axle and good bracing.

First of all, welcome to the forums.

Regarding strategy for endgame/roller fights, it’s not too complicated.
Lets look at this from an analytical perspective.
2 Rollers (the amount of rollers in one corner) are worth 20 points, but in reality, are worth an EFFECTIVE 40 points, because while you score 20 points, you also take away 20 points from the opposing alliance.
If you have an expansion mechanism that can get at least 20 tiles (most teams high level have something that can get 20 tiles or more)
20 tiles x 3 points per tile means 60 endgame points

Now on paper, it seems like expansion would be a better strategy, but let’s look at some actual matches. Most teams have endgame that covers most of the field, which means most of the tiles cancel out (if 2 robots from opposing alliances cover the same tile, they both get points for that tile, meaning the points cancel out). So in reality, endgame points usually equal out, with one team maybe getting a 9 point advantage at most (obviously this depends on the match up, how reliable endgame mechanisms are, etc). Rollers are lots of points, and they are almost always scored (what I mean by scored, is having one solid color up, not having both colors up, resulting in no points for either alliance). Rollers in total are an 80 point swing for either alliance, which can decide most matches. Rollers are easy to score, and are also able to be scored very quickly for high level teams (I’ve been able to score both rollers in ~ 5 seconds with a roller mech worse than the top global teams).

From analyzing high level matches from sig events, a really good strategy is to be able to fill up the high goal faster than your opponents, which allows you to score and defend rollers before your opponents even challenge you. Once both rollers are scored, defend them from your opponents. If you can stay on the inside of the corner, you can defend easily. If you have your expansion mechanism high enough, or angled upward, you can shoot over a max size robot. This means that you can have both rollers, and also get a lot of endgame points (your points will obviously be reduced by having to shoot over another robot, but you will still get a significant amount of tiles). HOWEVER, this entire strategy can be blocked (which is great for vex games, encourages creativity). There have been some recent posts online about endgame blocking mechanisms. Robots with this mechanism will deploy a massive wall that will stop string from being able to score points. This only works when you are on the outside of a corner, usually meaning that you will forfeit rollers, but you are also denying endgame points, with a very good possibility that if the robot that you are blocking shoots their string launchers, their string could go out of the field and get them disqualified.

As you can see, there are lots of different strategies for the end of a match, with some being better than others. My suggestion would be to build a robot that will work in as many scenarios as possible. This means having a reliable and fast roller mech, an endgame mech that covers most tiles, a drivebase that is able to defend rollers (can’t be pushed from the side), and maybe even an endgame blocker.

Looking back at the start of this post, strategies have gotten a complicated as the season has progressed. There is no best strategy, but having a strategy that will work in most matches will result in more matches won.


Thanks for the feedback! My team is building a wall mechanism to block string during endgame at the moment, so I’m glad the strategy is out there!

1 Like