Rule 3c - Arena Drop-off

A discussion forum for proposed changes to the AWS rules (2014)

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Hogi
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Re: Rule 3c - Arena Drop-off

Postby Hogi » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:57 pm

being a fond believer that antweight combat is more about precise driving, equal competition and most of all fun, i too believe that more variety and creativity is needed in the arena department, and the excellent designing and precision engineering we've all seen and competed against in the field of the robots themselves are proof that there are people capable of building a new arena that'll completely revolutionise antweight combat. the arena at ant freeze was something different. it had corner drop offs as well as an electronicly lowered pit activated using a button inside the arena. i am personally happy enough with any arena design so long as it is designed in a way that any of the popular weapons can win in ( pushers, flippers, axes, crushers and spinners ) that brings me back to my point that antweight combat is about “ equal competition and most of all fun ” i don't see how winning a fight when you know the arena the fight was held in put your opponent at an unfair disadvantage can be fun...
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Re: Rule 3c - Arena Drop-off

Postby EpicentrE » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:45 am

An excellent and well thought-out post, Gary. I want to respond with one of my normal essays but I'm recovering from spending 3 days in bed due to a nasty virus so I'll keep it short instead;

I do not dispute that "pure" pushers have not had significantly more success than any other kind of robot. I may have thought that previously, but it clearly is not the case. I would however suggest that the act of pushing an opponent out of the arena is still the most popular way to win by an enormous margin, and so I still support anything that would A. give robots which are not designed to push the other robot out (such as spinners) more of a fighting chance, and B. increases the driving skill and intelligence of design needed to push someone out.

Regarding your comments on arenas, I agree completely, however arenas are expensive and time consuming to build, and so most of us probably opted for the most simple solution, which is a full wall on two sides and a ditch on the two other sides. This is the most simple design to build and probably why it has remained so prominent. Especially as we push for larger arenas, the costs only increase, and thus I'm not sure of the feasibility of suggesting people build more complex designs. I would love to see more arena builders experiment with different shapes and designs, but given the above I'm not sure whether suggesting that is a feasible solution to the perceived problem.

Having a ditch all the way around the arena (with low walls or not) would give a bigger advantage to vertical spinners and pneumatic flippers than there is currently. However since neither of these types of robots have seen a particularly overwhelming amount of success (since Anticide's reign of terror), I'd be happy to try such an arena design to see whether it did in fact unfairly benefit them.

Also, I feel it worth re-iterating that we ran at AWS39 with a larger arena with less drop-off, and as far as I can remember everyone I have spoken to has said that they preferred it, and that the fights were much more interesting and tactical. Whatever your opinions on balance, fairness, equality etc. surely that's worth taking into account?
Scott Fyfe-Jamieson, Captain of Epic Robotics. Champion of AWS38/41/42.
http://www.epicrobotics.co.uk

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Re: Rule 3c - Arena Drop-off

Postby Hogi » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:12 pm

the arena used for aws 41 was pretty good. it had a central section of low wall on each of the drop off sides but still more than enough drop off room to push an opponent out provided that a certain degree of luck/control/skill is implemented. my arena ( currently being constructed ) will likely have a very similar dropoff setup with 2 separate drop off areas at each end, separated by a section of low wall, only my arena will only have low wall, that should mean anyone wielding a verticle spinner or flipper ( pneumatic or servo driven) should be able to flip an opponent out rather than pushing. also considering reducing drop off even further by walling two of the drop off zones with very low wall ( 2cm max ) so that pushers can still eliminate an opponent that way however it will take a good hard shove rather than a slow doddle towards the edge. that should make battles less “ sumo like ” while still allowing a means of winning by pushing. it just means engineering skill/driving skill comes into play more as a factor in deciding whether or not the pushing attack is successful. i think this will make battles a bit more interesting as it makes way for a wider variety of individual circumstances decided by the actions and designs of the robots fighting rather than battles that revolve around shoving the opposing robot far enough in the general direction of the drop off side. my arena is going to be a smallish one so it means pushers have a good opportunity to get their opponents off, spinners have increased chance of hitting and causing damage, and flippers have a good opportunity to throw their opponent out. all robot designs have some way to win, it therefore depends on the design quality and driving skill demonstrated by the individual robot as to how far it gets in competition. hopefully we'll be able to debute my arena at this year's open in november. if by then the commitee is still undecided as to whether or not the dropoff rule needs to be changed or removed, we can use the event as an experiment with low walls and less drop off. hopefully a good experiment with something a bit different may bring a conclusion one way or the other.
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Re: Rule 3c - Arena Drop-off

Postby Hogi » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:00 am

hi guys. i was talking to some american roboteers on the robotics community FB page a while ago about arenas. anyway, they said that some american ant arenas have dropoff sections that start the battle as walls and then open half way through the battle. it's just a suggestion but i think it might balance the effectiveness of actively damaging and pushing designs if we did that with some sections of our arena dropoff however i think it should only be some of the dropoff that starts the battle closed and opens half way through as if it was all of it, battles between pushers would be impossible to win until the dropoffs open. it's just an idea but it might be worth discussing. thanks for reading anyway :D
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Remote-Controlled Dave
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Re: Rule 3c - Arena Drop-off

Postby Remote-Controlled Dave » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:45 pm

Peter experiemented with this a while ago. So has Dave W with his lowering pit. The problem is in the enginneering and cost of it. The attempts at it so far have all been simple and work to a point, but were prown to fail sometimes. To have one like that for an official AWS, it would need to work 100% every fight to make it fair. Not impossible, but a bit of a challenge.
Die Gracefully Robotics
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Re: Rule 3c - Arena Drop-off

Postby Hogi » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:35 pm

yeah i suppose if you could get a consistently working and resetting one it would be good but it's a bit of a difficult task. oh well, just an idea from over seas.
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