Basic Strategy in Recycle Rush
Now you have had a night to read over the rules and think about what you want to do. Recycle Rush is a complicated game for many reasons. In many ways, design strategy is more important than match strategy based on the simple fact that you don’t have to deal with many “X factors”. Don’t get me wrong, there are problems in any game when you involve three robots on the side of a field, but there aren’t teams actively looking to smash your score up (in theory). Let us dissect the game a little bit and see what tricks and bumps Recycle Rush has to offer.
SCORE HIGH, SCORE FAST, SCORE TOGETHER
If you do a scoring grid of this game, you will see where the points are and what you need to do. To be honest, it is a little lopsided towards simple stacks and getting that recycle bin up high. Co-opertition is important in this game, but only really needs a little bit of attention considering you can only really do one stack on the step. As for the “litter”, it will depend heavily on experimentation and how much time you want to devote to it. If you take the three robots, split up tasks, and choreograph each maneuver, you should be able to maximize your output and gather up the most points. Remember, points are everything in Recycle Rush, not wins and losses.
DEALING WITH THE CENTER OF THE FIELD
So, have you seen the center of the field? Yikes! In case you haven’t, here is a picture…
So, what that all equates to is really two massive walls per side, pushed up against a wall with a small gap in the middle that you may or may not want to drive into. If a robot is particularly good at clearing out the field, or taking in totes from this setup, they may be a huge asset to your alliance. Considering how tight everything is together, it is easy to overlook. Also, don’t forget the scoring zones. They are raised areas that can cause some issues for robot movement. This is another reason why planning movements of robots and not just tasks is important to your goal for each match.
WHEN IN DOUBT, RECYCLE
Once again, look at the scoring matrix. Crunch the numbers. Those big green recycling cans are EVERYTHING in this game. Specializing in manipulating those bins will be a strategy for many teams. If you can get the bin, load it with a noodle, and score it fast, you could be carving yourself a path to the finals based on that alone. Remember though, the higher up you get the bin, the higher up your score goes.
POLITICS OF ALLIANCES
So, this game reminds me very much of Diabolical Dynamics. During that year, four robots worked together to score as high as possible. This game is essentially the same thing, with three robots instead of four and only half a field to work with. One of the biggest factors in that game was politics within your alliance. Everyone wanted to be the big dog and have control of the most important element. This caused for many arguments and difficult decisions. It is important to know your role and how good you really are. Fighting it out when there is someone who is more suited for a role in your alliance hurts everyone in the match. Also, the same could be said for the politics of working with the opposing alliance for co-opertition stacks. Once again, know your role.
THE TRANSITION TO ELIMINATIONS
Elimination strategy will turn its focus to the middle of the field. The better the robots are, the more those recycle bins on the step will make a difference in the game. Its easy to envision a mad dash for the four bins in order to grab potential points for yourself. In the end, that is also the only effect you can have on your opponents, but remember, just scoring higher than them in the match doesn’t mean they will be eliminated unless you are in the finals. For this reason, alliance selection strategy will be of the utmost importance. Maximizing each alliance robot and really working the numbers for your match strategy will make the difference if you want any chance of beating a good robot. However, in a game with no defense there is a 95% chance that the best robot at the competition will win. (I don’t have statistics to back that up, but history pretty much tells me that is the case.) Any advantage you can get…take.
Naturally strategy goes much deeper than the points here. There are all kinds of tricks to this game that might gain you an advantage. My best advice is to crunch the numbers. Look for THE magic number and aim for it. If you are consistent, work well with others, and reach your goal number as often as possible, you can do well. Don’t overdo it, don’t overthink it, just be smart.