Rule wish list

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Simon Windisch
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Rule wish list

Post by Simon Windisch » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:27 am

Before I start, the current 4.1 rules are at http://www.antweight.co.uk/rules.htm

If I were to ask for some rule changes (and if I did it would be to make the rules clearer and fairer) I would

1. Change rule 4g "A Clusterbot will have lost when more than half of the botlets have been eliminated." because people are putting in a toy car as well an a nearly-antweight in the hope that if the nearly-antweight goes off at the same time as the opponent then the cluster wins. That seems to be more a way of winning by rule manipulation rather than through superior roboteering. Perhaps the rule should read "A Clusterbot will have lost when more than half of the weight of the botlets have been eliminated."

2. Remove rule 3d "The minimum distance between the edge of the unwalled part of the arena and the battle box (and therefore the width of the ditch) is 150mm." I don't think that we have a single arena that conforms to this rule, so drop it, or perhaps alter it in line with reality.

3. Insert a rule between 5i and 5j to explain how we decide which robot wins when both leave the arena at very nearly the same time, perhaps it should say (a) the first robot to leave the vertical plane described by the edge of the arena (b) the first robot to contact the floor of the ditch or (c) the first robot to contact the battlebox

4. Add rule 4h to make it clear what the situation should be when one robot leaves the arena after the start of the battle but before the robots have contacted each other. We have traditionally asked the roboteer running the remaining robot if they are OK to restart, this should either be incorporated in the rules or perhaps the rule should make this action manditory.

5. Add a rule 5k to tell the event organiser which rules are to be included in the tech check i.e (2a) weight (2b) & (2n) size (2e) switch or link (2k) failsafe (2r) name

So I don't have any answers, and I don't expect another revision of the rules anytime soon, but if it were to happen then I think that these are points that could be improved.

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Re: Rule wish list

Post by joey_picus » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:19 pm

My (uneducated) thoughts:

1) This seems like the most sensible way to do things, although it could be difficult to police with botlets that are almost but not quite equal in weight and look visually identical - which isn't a situation we have at the moment to my knowledge but could arise.

2 and 3) Options (3, b) and (3, c) in my opinion are quite subject to how wide the ditch is as described in 2, heh...(3, a) would be fairest but requires a wide ditch which a lot of arenas don't have, so it probably requires more debate. We do need an unambiguous, standard way of saying when a robot is out of the arena where it's not obvious and I can't think of a decent solution unfortunately :(

4) It should probably be written into the rules that the remaining roboteer is the one who makes the decision about a rematch if asked for - where there's no substantial contact it differs between different people and even different events so this is the only fair way to do things. I trust everyone in the antweight community to be sporting where it would be right :) (as opposed to, say, when some idiot has set his controls up backwards and driving out of the arena is his own fault!)

5) I can see the reasoning behind this but - and I might be talking total rubbish here - given the people who tend to organise events are normally veterans of this and willing to help people new to tech checking, could it remain unwritten, at least in the rules? It seems to me at least to be a bit superfluous somehow, and there is the faint implication of telling tech checkers to ignore some of the safety based rules, although I can't think of any roboteer who would flaunt those at the moment.
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bitternboy
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Re: Rule wish list

Post by bitternboy » Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:33 pm

A hopefully useful input...
A Clusterbot will have lost when more than half of the weight of the botlets have been eliminated
1) I think this may not be the best way forward. If a robot drives the heavier half of the cluster off and in the process goes off itself then it has won. If the same happens but the lighter half is involved then it is counted a loss. I think it is better to deal in more absolute situations i.e. "Both botlets off or no win / one of the botlets of and it's a win" rather than "If the botlet eliminated constitutes half of the cluster's weight (which is debatable in some cases) it is a win". I just think a more "all or nothing" approach to this rule is preferable. I do agree that it needs some tweaking to prevent situations like we had yesterday though. Perhaps the botlet left in the arena should only cause the cluster to win the battle if it is judged to have the ability to win the battle on it's own(because let's admit it, the little black car was in there just for fun). This is just waiting for someone to come up with a more elegant solution.
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Craig_Anto3
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Re: Rule wish list

Post by Craig_Anto3 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:51 pm

okay I was going to bring this topic up too

Anyone like to try a 50% enclosed arena with low walls on the drop off which you can be flipped over, maybe only 25mm tall? I think it'll give us some much more interesting fights.

just a little thing but it a huge bug bare of mine, can we please move the rules over to metric only and be rid of the imperial system used in our rules
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Re: Rule wish list

Post by Andrew_Hibberd » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:00 pm

My 2ps worth
1. Change rule 4g "A Clusterbot will have lost when more than half of the botlets have been eliminated." because people are putting in a toy car as well an a nearly-antweight in the hope that if the nearly-antweight goes off at the same time as the opponent then the cluster wins. That seems to be more a way of winning by rule manipulation rather than through superior roboteering. Perhaps the rule should read "A Clusterbot will have lost when more than half of the weight of the botlets have been eliminated."
This rule used to be 50% by weight, so we would be going back to the original rules. Using a tiny radio control car IMO is pushing the sporting nature of the rules. It would also be difficult to determine the rules with 2 almost equaly weighted botlets. What about 2/3rds of the weight of the robot clusters weight would be a loss?
2. Remove rule 3d "The minimum distance between the edge of the unwalled part of the arena and the battle box (and therefore the width of the ditch) is 150mm." I don't think that we have a single arena that conforms to this rule, so drop it, or perhaps alter it in line with reality.
The rule could be reworded to a reasonable distance, or 4"/100mm
3. Insert a rule between 5i and 5j to explain how we decide which robot wins when both leave the arena at very nearly the same time, perhaps it should say (a) the first robot to leave the vertical plane described by the edge of the arena (b) the first robot to contact the floor of the ditch or (c) the first robot to contact the battlebox
This is always a tough choice, but I would say floor of the ditch, or battlebox the other side of the pit. However there are casses where it could go to a judges dicision or joint roboteers agreement.
4. Add rule 4h to make it clear what the situation should be when one robot leaves the arena after the start of the battle but before the robots have contacted each other. We have traditionally asked the roboteer running the remaining robot if they are OK to restart, this should either be incorporated in the rules or perhaps the rule should make this action manditory.
Its a tough one, but I think the other roboteer should have the choice to allow the other robot to start again.
5. Add a rule 5k to tell the event organiser which rules are to be included in the tech check i.e (2a) weight (2b) & (2n) size (2e) switch or link (2k) failsafe (2r) name
I thought this was implied but should be enforced, names are slipping on robots again
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BeligerAnt
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Re: Rule wish list

Post by BeligerAnt » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:07 pm

OK here goes...

1. I think 2/3rds by weight might work, until someone builds a 3-way cluster of 49, 50 and 51g :roll:

2. The reason for specifying a 150mm ditch was precisely to avoid problems of robots not falling cleanly off the arena. Peter Waller's and PeteC's arenas meet this, I think Oliver's mostly does. Since the maximum length of a robot is about 140mm, a 150mm ditch really is the required minimum. IMO this is one of the most important requirements for a battlebox to avoid adding to the problems of deciding if/when a robot has left the arena.

3. Rule 4b is quite clear "A robot that falls off the arena has lost". A robot does not need to have hit the floor of the ditch or the wall of the battlebox to have left the arena. I'm not sure we really need "the first robot to leave the vertical plane described by the edge of the arena" - does this really make the rules simpler??? By having a 150mm wide ditch all robots can cleanly leave the arena and then the only criteria is whether the robot is on the arena or off of it.
Most importantly, we need to allocate judges to watch the fight carefully from different angles. If they cannot call the fight, it has to be restarted (existing rule 5j).

4. On the basis that the hobby is about fighting robots, we should really aim to have a proper fight wherever possible. So I think the fight should be restarted if one robot goes out before the pair have made contact. It should definitely *not* be decided by one of the participants.
The only difficult situation I can foresee is if a ram-bot rushes an opponent who manages to dodge out of the way, allowing the aggressor to drive off. So maybe it should always be a judges' decision?

5. I'm not sure we need to explicitly state in the rules what should (and by implication should not) be covered by tech checks.

Arena with no drop-off but low walls: No, I disagree. Even 25mm high walls would make for a lot of long and boring fights between pushers which would be almost impossible to satisfactorily judge. The 50% drop-off has been in the rules since the dawn of time and I think it is one of the "fundamental rules" of antweights. There is nothing to say that the 50% has to consist of two complete sides. However, a gap of less than about 150-200mm is very difficult to push an opponent through. Push-bots need to be able to win fights just like flippers and spinners; this is very important for encouraging beginners.

Metric-only Rules: This is difficult. Going to hard metric rules (i.e. 100mm cube) is very hard on current robots which have been designed to a 4" cube and suddenly become illegal. Going to soft metric rules (i.e. 101.6mm cube) seems pointless, and just very difficult to explain to newcomers. The rules already give the dimensions in imperial and metric units so I don't really see a problem. Besides we're British and therefore entitled to mix imperial and metric as we see fit! :wink:

More importantly, we need to pay more attention to implementing the rules we have before we go about introducing new ones. Specifically,
2r) Robots must be clearly labeled with their names. A clusterbot must display the name of the cluster on all botlets.
(At least 10 robots at AWS36 without names. Does any cluster meet this rule???)
3d) The minimum distance between the edge of the unwalled part of the arena and the battle box (and therefore the width of the ditch) is 150mm.
(See comments above)
5d) All sharp edges must have protective covers outside the arena. All protective covers are to be coloured red and made clearly visible.
(It was noticeable that some robots did not have covers, and with the cramped conditions at AWS36 this could easily have resulted in a nasty injury. Covers on in the pits and to & from the arena please chaps!)
5f) There shall be 3 neutral judges identified before each battle and all shall have an equal vote.
(This almost never happens, but it would make life a lot simpler if it did!)

If we are considering an update/rewrite of the rules, I would also suggest an update to the recommendations in rule 3a.
1mm polycarb really isn't enough to contain some of Mr Waller's monsters :o (or many other spinners). I think 3mm should be the absolute minimum for everything except maybe the roof, with 4mm much preferred for all the walls whether in direct contact with the robots or not.
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Re: Rule wish list

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:51 pm

Surely the easiest, fairest way to have the clusterbot rule is simply you have to knock out ALL the botlets to beat it, regardless of their individual weight? That's how I'd have it. I don't see why this isn't seen as fair. It doesn't give a cluster an advantage in any way and it removes all confusion that might arise as to when one has or has not been beaten.

I'd also like to point out that I did bring up my plans to use the small car in a clusterbot and my reasons for doing so on this forum WEEKS before the AWS, and asked if anyone would object. No-one did. So how come the objections now after the event? Seems to be another case of just cos I thought of it and no-one else did.

And, for the record, I don't intend to enter a cluster anymore, as I find them a little tiresome, so I am not suggesting these rules just for personal gain, which some seem to believe. As I said to Simon on Saturday, I don't think when I suggested the allowance of clusterbots in that fourth "walker" slot on a team that I realised quite how labrinthyne it would become with issues. It seemed simple at the time, haha.
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Re: Rule wish list

Post by Shakey » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:59 pm

To be honest I don't mind having to wipe out all the clusters.

Besides having a proper cluster of two 75g robots and wiping half is different to a antweight and a little RCcar and removing half. As in the first case the half left is much more capable so why should they be punished in the rules for trying to make a decent cluster bot?

I have no objections to little Rc cars it just adds to the fun of it all really. Also who doesn't want to fight the hexbugs?
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Re: Rule wish list

Post by razerdave » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:03 pm

My opinions:

1. Change rule 4g "A Clusterbot will have lost when more than half of the botlets have been eliminated." because people are putting in a toy car as well an a nearly-antweight in the hope that if the nearly-antweight goes off at the same time as the opponent then the cluster wins. That seems to be more a way of winning by rule manipulation rather than through superior roboteering. Perhaps the rule should read "A Clusterbot will have lost when more than half of the weight of the botlets have been eliminated."

I am in agreement with Andy, this should be 2/3rds by weight. If someone does enter the oddly weighted cluster, the weight off the botlets is written down at the event, so its obvious before the fight which parts must be eliminated to win.

2. Remove rule 3d "The minimum distance between the edge of the unwalled part of the arena and the battle box (and therefore the width of the ditch) is 150mm." I don't think that we have a single arena that conforms to this rule, so drop it, or perhaps alter it in line with reality.

This should be 150mm Minimum, because there are robots that can brace themselves over a 100mm gap and still drive back onto the platform (Baby Hell for example)

3. Insert a rule between 5i and 5j to explain how we decide which robot wins when both leave the arena at very nearly the same time, perhaps it should say (a) the first robot to leave the vertical plane described by the edge of the arena (b) the first robot to contact the floor of the ditch or (c) the first robot to contact the battlebox.

I say 'If the victor is indistiguishable by the judges, the robots shall fight again.'


4. Add rule 4h to make it clear what the situation should be when one robot leaves the arena after the start of the battle but before the robots have contacted each other. We have traditionally asked the roboteer running the remaining robot if they are OK to restart, this should either be incorporated in the rules or perhaps the rule should make this action manditory.

I would hope people are sportmen enough to let their opponent try again failing any contact, as has always been my policy, but if its got to be written, I would say 'In the event of a robot falling off the platform before any contact is made, the robot is replaced and the match will be restarted'

5. Add a rule 5k to tell the event organiser which rules are to be included in the tech check i.e (2a) weight (2b) & (2n) size (2e) switch or link (2k) failsafe (2r) name

I dunno about failsafeing, how many can say your robot failsafes ? Stewie, BH, LD and Divinity do, Bulletproof and Kill-a-chav do not. Both of them are on Sabretooths. Coincidence ?

I know none of the clusterbots had their name on both halves (imagen trying to fit Ever Since The Lake Caught Fire onto that tiny RC car, which is another thing regarding sizes of nametags somewhere in the rules), but a few are formed on the day, and quite often the botlets have their own names (Divinity and Little Devil have their own, but not a Good & Evil badge). Ants should have name badges, clusters I think should be exempt.

I will say: Sharp edge protection is a must

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Re: Rule wish list

Post by BeligerAnt » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:13 pm

Dave26 wrote:I'd also like to point out that I did bring up my plans to use the small car in a clusterbot and my reasons for doing so on this forum WEEKS before the AWS, and asked if anyone would object. No-one did. So how come the objections now after the event? Seems to be another case of just cos I thought of it and no-one else did.
I think you're wrong about this Dave. I don't think it has anything to do with "I didn't think of it, so I'll complain"
More likely, people either didn't read your post, or didn't appreciate the (possible) implications. Having seen the events that unfolded on Saturday it is much easier to form an opinion.

For quite some time the cluster-bot rules have not been called into question simply because there haven't been many cluster-bots! Now that they seem to be gaining in popularity we may have to refine the rules so that they achieve what we collectively believe to be fair and desirable.
Having said that, the cluster-bot rules seem to have given trouble for as long as I can remember :-?
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