And So It Begins…
We have a game! Recycle Rush….
A game that calls back to Stack Attack and…well, Overdriveish/Dyabolical Dynamicsish/We don’t need no stinkin’ defenseish. Upon close look at the rules, this game looks like a ton of fun to design and strategize for. There are some little cookies in the rules that if you really open your eyes you can take large advantage of. When I start to break down strategy later in the process, I will go over some of those things. As for what is in front of you? A massive wasteland of totes and recycle bins, and a litter full of pool noodles (presumably due to the massive inventory that stores will have with the “optional bumpers rule”).
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND
-There is one massive mess in the center of the field. Cow catcher anyone? I’m sure there will be some pretty designs that will find a way through that pile, but in general there is going to be one heck of a crash when a robot goes slamming into the wall of totes. Think about the setup and the orientation of each container on the field, including the ones that are free standing in the staging zones. This could be especially important during autonomous mode in various points of the competition.
-The containers can get heavy. Think about center of gravity at all times. In particular for this game CG will be something that will crush inexperienced teams if you are not careful. Get creative in ways to change your CG and protect yourself from ending in a heap in the middle of the field. Remember, you don’t need defense to tip over. You just need instability and just a little momentum to send you the wrong way.
-Speaking of heaps, don’t ignore the specifics of the scoring zones and the middle step. If you read the rules carefully, HDPE makes a lip on that step. That is a VERY important fact that you have to consider if you want to play the co-opertition game. Believe me, you’ll want to play the co-opertition game.
-Think of how you are going to move around the field with two other robots. Remember, this year you only have half a field to move around. The scoring zones are dangerous ramps that will put you on your back or de-score all of your hard work. Also, you will be bumping into other robots. If you aren’t using bumpers, you may want to see what kind of effect this has on your frame and other parts, in particular make sure it doesn’t kick out your control system!
-Remember your human player areas. The human player chutes can be useful because unlike a robot, a person has dexterity and control. As long as you don’t pass your hand into the chute, it may come in handy with “the litter”.
There is a ton of strategy to this game, but you have to think strongly about the basics, even without defense. The smoother your match, the more time you will have to put up points, and that could mean the difference between winning and losing come elimination time.
Good luck and enjoy your build!