Intro/Info: What is the best way to apply defense to a player without breaking the rules? (Going too far). I say this because if my bot breaks or just need to play defense I want to know the fine line between breaking it and not breaking it. (Yes I understand the rule book). Question: What are your ways of playing defense and successfully stop a player from scoring?
This is a very vague question. I will still attempt to answer it though.
I’ve found that I play my best defense when I had a good knowledge of the rules. This includes having read through the rule book multiple times, reading every Q&A, and analyzing match videos. The more exactly you know where the line between legal and illegal defense is, the closer you can get to it without going over. Remember that defense as a strategy is a fairly risky way to play any VRC game, so don’t be surprised when you get rightfully DQed for making a mistake, especially in this year’s game.
Hey thanks my bad on making the question vague I will attempt to fix it.
The best way to play defense is to first carefully study the rulebook and the Q&A. Then observe the capabilities and strategies of the robot you hope to play defense against. Some light perusal of Sun Tzu’s Art of War is never a bad idea when engaged in an adversarial zero sum game with imperfect knowledge. Finally, take what you have learned and synthesize a winning strategy for your particular circumstances. This will change with many conditions, to the point where there is no single answer.
Really, the problem I find with trying to answer a question like that is that… it totally depends. Clearly, if you break the rules you have gone too far. However, where that limit is depends on the context of the interaction. How far you can go depends so much on what you are doing, what the opponent is doing, what the ref sees, how the ref has interpreted the game manual and the often-vague Q&A, what the Region tends toward, etc.
Things I think you could relatively safely do include pushing a robot away from being able to place a cube in a tower or away from easily grabbing a cube from the ground. But even then you have to be aware that if a ref decides you are pushing / ramming in a way that is aimed towards damage / tipping you could get called on it (some Regions I think are more sensitive about this, as are some refs - personally, I think it would take an impressive attack to reach that level in my mind - but it depends on the scenario). You can also block an opponent from entering their protected zone… but if the robot is behaving offensively and ends up pushing you into their inner protected zone you could well get called on it.
While defense is allowed, Vex is an offensive game - defensive robots don’t have the same protections, and the refs are SUPPOSED to give the offensive robot benefit of the doubt, so you can’t fault them for doing so. That ends up with defense not really having any hard-and-fast “yes, you can go THIS far” rules, though.
So… while I hate to sound like a broken record… really the best thing for you to do is know the rules inside and out and watch a ton of games from various Regions to see how they get called.