Proposed addition to rules

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

Moderators: petec, administrator, BeligerAnt

Forum rules
* Only one rule per thread. Any deviation will be moved by the moderators.
* Keep the discussions on-topic, relevant and polite. Anything else WILL be removed by the moderators.
* If you start a new thread (to discuss a different rule) quote the existing rule in the first post so everyone knows what you're talking about.
* The existing rules (version 4.2) can be found here: http://robotwars101.org/ants/rules.htm
User avatar
Remote-Controlled Dave
Posts: 3716
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:30 pm
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Contact:

Proposed addition to rules

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:16 pm

Hi.
I'd like to add something along the lines of "Any extra driver helping to drive another team's clusterbot must drive the lesser botlet."
In clusterbots such as Salt and Pepper or Warhorses, where both botlets are relatively equal, or even something like Lemmings, this isn't that important. However it struck me that a team could enter a cluster like Peter's Termite Cluster or the Mini Tinny Cluster, and then give the better unit to a better driver who already has 4 in competition. No one has done this yet (I know Peter uses Dan, but he always drives Alsoran) but I'd like to make it so no one could in the future.
Also, maybe something along the lines of "any person helping another team drive their clusterbot may only do so for one other team", to stop one person driving all extra cluster components.
Just food for thought really.
Die Gracefully Robotics
Winner - AWS 39

User avatar
Rhys
Posts: 992
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Caerphilly, South Wales

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by Rhys » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:26 pm

Good shout, I'm 100% behind that. Well spotted little loophole.
Image

Hogi
Posts: 948
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:47 pm
Location: basingstoke

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by Hogi » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:18 pm

me too. i drive the lesser part of Peter's clusterbot and the greater part of my cluster so i'd be within these rules if they were implemented and i can see how the addition of these proposals to the rules would give more people a chance to drive cluster botlets from outside their own team.
Featherweight under construction.

Antweight to build list: 4Wd lifter, new clusterbot, secret project, walker of some description.

Team Hectic.

AntRoboteer
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:01 pm

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by AntRoboteer » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:50 pm

What about two fleas combined in a cluster? It is usually the case (or is in my case anyway) that both botlets are just rubbish anyway and pose no real threat to an ant. However, some fleas are definitely more effective than others (such as pairing up robots like the awesome Fleabite and the original Class Act). Both weigh the same and could potentially be just as lethal in combat (or maybe not!) so how would you judge the 'lesser' and 'superior' botlets in that case?

Just wondering, that's all but I do think the implementation of this rule would benefit us all.

Furthermore, I think each team should have the main driver and a reserve/cluster driver who will drive ALL of the cluster botlets for that team. This would be a bit fairer and would help eliminate confusion as to who drives which half of the cluster on which day in which battle in which situation etc.

Great identification there; well done!

User avatar
Shakey
Posts: 1047
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: Reading

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by Shakey » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:59 pm

Well if we just say in clusters where one robot weighs equal to or less than 50% of the other. So 100g robot and 50g is an unbalanced cluster. But 95 55g is not. (Percentage can be adjusted).

Also I'm not keen on the dedicated cluster driver as you an be drawn against the cluster drivers robots.
Nuts And Bots - For all your components and ready built antweights!

Alex Shakespeare - Team Shakey / Nuts And Bots / Team Nuts:
AWS 44, 45, 49, 51 & 55 Winner - Far too many robots!

User avatar
EpicentrE
Posts: 1079
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Coventry
Contact:

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by EpicentrE » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:34 pm

Shakey wrote:Also I'm not keen on the dedicated cluster driver as you an be drawn against the cluster drivers robots.
I don't see a problem with this. We seem to be forgetting that we enter a team of robots that we are allowed to drive. Sometimes we're lucky and someone else will allow us to help drive one part of their cluster. This is becoming far more frequent due to the abundance of clusters, but it is still a privilege that goes above and beyond what you should expect to get out of an event. If it bothers you that your cluster may get drawn against part of the clusters driver, either don't enter a cluster, or bring a friend to drive the other part.

In general I would be all for measures that cut down on the number of clusters that are just 2 fleas belonging to different people thrown together. In my opinion it's uninteresting, and usually ineffective, only serving to drag the competition out in most cases (and as we've seen cutting down the number of entrants slightly would not at all be a bad thing). I'd rather all clusters were comprised of robots made by one team. They can still be fleas - like Salt & Pepper - but it would also inspire innovative specifically-designed clusterbots (like Warhorses) as well as meaning more walkers (which barely anyone does now since it's easier to put two fleas together in a cluster), rather than most of them just being random flea 1 + random flea 2. I'm sure that's an unpopular opinion, but there you have it.

Edit: I'd also rather do away with the clusters that are underweight ant + useless toy, but I feel that's a different conversation entirely.
Scott Fyfe-Jamieson, Captain of Epic Robotics. Champion of AWS38/41/42.
http://www.epicrobotics.co.uk

AntRoboteer
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:01 pm

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by AntRoboteer » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:24 pm

Some people do not have 2 transmitters and therefore it can prove to be difficult to cluster something two botlets which you have built for your one transmitter. Right now, I have to get the help of another team to aid me in my clustering who had a robot which just so happened to be the right size and weight AND bound to another transmitter which I used out of convenience rather than building a whole new robot and buying another transmitter which would only be used for the purpose of clustering. People should have the freedom of clustering with other robots from other teams but being a driver for several different teams at once is a bit over the top.

On the topic of 'fleaweight' clusters not being wanted or useful, one of the botlets in my cluster (Doktor Power 2) proved to be incredibly effective in the Power Cluster which was not a particularly unbalanced cluster (90g + 60g) This goes to show that 2 seemingly 'random' robots (a pig and a pushy thingy) can work very well together and can be effective contary to some people's opinions. They are not a waste of time or slots on a team - they can be competitive. It also allows people who don't get anywhere near the top 16 and onwards to get more time in combat and get more enjoyment form the event.. It can also prove difficult to immobilise or push off one botlet without the other getting you off as well which makes for an interesting battle.

Futhermore, clusters that are designed to be clusters (if you get what I mean) are not always as effective as 2 flea clusters such as the innovative specifically designed cluster, the Antivation Cluster, which was certainly innovative but its perfomance was not groundbreaking therefore making it prove to be less effective as 2 flea clusters. I think we could just discourage clusters of any kind if people dislike them or encourage clusters of any kind if we all (as I do) like them. We should not be selective about the clusters we do or do not want in competition. Warhorses for example is an excellent cluster but are we really saying that we would rather have two flipper robots that look alike in a cluster rather than two fleaweight flippers that might not but are still in a cluster together? Sounds a tad odd to me - both of the botlets in Warhorses are roughly 75g as far as I know, both fit in the 4" cube together - so what is the difference between them and 2 fleaweight flippers in a cluster?

User avatar
Shakey
Posts: 1047
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: Reading

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by Shakey » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:26 pm

EpicentrE wrote: I don't see a problem with this. We seem to be forgetting that we enter a team of robots that we are allowed to drive. Sometimes we're lucky and someone else will allow us to help drive one part of their cluster. This is becoming far more frequent due to the abundance of clusters, but it is still a privilege that goes above and beyond what you should expect to get out of an event. If it bothers you that your cluster may get drawn against part of the clusters driver, either don't enter a cluster, or bring a friend to drive the other part.
My sentence wasn't against the idea of fighting yourself. But against the fact that rule would mean that you wouldn't be able to have someone just step in to fight the now driverless cluster that match.

On the ant vs. useless toy, yeah it's not quite in the spirit of the rules but where do you draw the line? A Nano can be lighter than some useless toys but actually as proven a nano is still a good contender and can fight back.

Also now you are arguing for the exclusion of entries based on their effectiveness. That's a road I don't want to be going down.

Also finally, some teams are 1 man shows. The ability to draw in other drivers is vital if ever they wanted to cluster as otherwise they simply cannot.
Nuts And Bots - For all your components and ready built antweights!

Alex Shakespeare - Team Shakey / Nuts And Bots / Team Nuts:
AWS 44, 45, 49, 51 & 55 Winner - Far too many robots!

User avatar
BeligerAnt
Posts: 2460
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Brighton
Contact:

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by BeligerAnt » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:18 pm

Everyone seems to be ignoring the existing rules:
5h) All teams must be self-contained in terms of driver, transmitter, robots and battery packs, i.e. these cannot be shared with another team.
I know this rule is unpopular with people who want to enter 2 fleas as a cluster, but it's there for a reason.
Many years ago we had a rash of clusters (actually far fewer than now) and ran into exactly the problems that are now being discussed. We were waiting around for people to match transmitters with robots (changing crystals in those days!), people needing to fix one of their own robots when they are called to drive a cluster for another team, people unable to fight against their own robots, etc.

It's a fairly simple rule, and if you only have one person in your "team" you have 3 choices: bring a friend, build a walker or (heavens forbid!) only enter 3 robots.
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

User avatar
peterwaller
Posts: 3628
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Aylesbury Bucks
Contact:

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by peterwaller » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:38 pm

Or drive two robots at once.
I could put Alsoran on the left stick and Dominant on the right. :wink:

User avatar
Remote-Controlled Dave
Posts: 3716
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:30 pm
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Contact:

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:58 pm

I made my thoughts clear at the event when certain people were complaining about fights between two...shall we say "less effective" robots being "a waste of time". I totally agree with what Alex said, I do not want to be getting into a state where we are excluding an entry just because its not too effective. There were calls to count out robots just because they were slow at the AWS, or because a fight was " boring", which properly annoyed me to be blunt. You cannot lump your own personal opinion onto whether a robot should be counted out or not! If its still moving freely, it carries on fighting.
This is a slightly off piste comment but it ties into this "toy" debate. Sometime yes, these clusters bend rules, but they don't break them. If you wanted to exclude them, as Alex says, how do you word the rule and where do you draw the line? Someone said exclude anything that is pre-built or commercially available, but how do you police that? That wording would exclude any kind of kit being entered, such as Will's kits, as well as any robot that you buy off, or get made by someone else.
Although I would like to see more invention within clusters, I don't think there's a way to rule this, so everyone will just have to like it or lump it. However, I do quite like the idea of enforcing the rule where all parts of a cluster must be built (or at least self contained by) the team that enters them, though I do think you can draft in another driver to help. This would cut out random fleaweight pairings, but not really much else.
I also don't agree with the fact that we need to limit entries. The days just need much better organisation and a bit of a restructure. I believe the idea for the next one is to start the day going straight into the AWS, then running the extra comps (fleaweights and nanos included) at the end of the day. I think everyone would prefer a completed AWS and having to miss one of those out than running out of time on the main competition.
Die Gracefully Robotics
Winner - AWS 39

Hogi
Posts: 948
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:47 pm
Location: basingstoke

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by Hogi » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:55 pm

yeah, good shout Dave. i second the removal of entry limitations. i think we should at least be able to enter four rollers if we want to rather than three rollers and one that if either a walker or a clusterbot. that would probably cause two flea clusters and toy clusters to die out anyway but with the effectiveness of the nearly ant plus nano clusters, i doubt the clusterbot would die out entirely. even if it did, the only reason we have so many clusterbots is because we allow people to enter two fleaweights as a cluster. you don't see many clusters in beetles or feathers ( i would include heavys but i've heard that heavyweight clusters are banned in this country nowadays ) i just think we should bring the antweight catagory in line with the bigger ones, by this i mean allow clusterbots but don't include extra rules such as the two flea clusterbot rule to encourage more clusterbots.

my proposal: change the entry limit rule to: a team may enter up to 4 robots. and take away the two flea cluster rule.
Featherweight under construction.

Antweight to build list: 4Wd lifter, new clusterbot, secret project, walker of some description.

Team Hectic.

User avatar
Shakey
Posts: 1047
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: Reading

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by Shakey » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:19 pm

I like the idea in of all parts of a cluster having to be built by the same team but allowing additional drivers.
Nuts And Bots - For all your components and ready built antweights!

Alex Shakespeare - Team Shakey / Nuts And Bots / Team Nuts:
AWS 44, 45, 49, 51 & 55 Winner - Far too many robots!

User avatar
Remote-Controlled Dave
Posts: 3716
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:30 pm
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Contact:

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:14 am

Dan, as we said before, that won't happen. The point of the 4th robot has always been to encourage builders to take up the challenge of a more difficult type of robot. If we stop it being clusterbots or walkers, then it would simply be "a team can enter 3 robots", as the point of having the 4th would no longer exist. I don't want to change that rule, just tweek the fine details a little.
I think enforcing the "clusters must be contained within (built by) the team they're on" would even out some of the details (though it would mean no Lemmings).

I guess this debate can be summed up in a similar way to the one about spinners. Everyone loves a good spinner fight and people complain that spinners seem to be on the decrease, but then the same people don't want to enter spinners as they believe they stand less chance of winning with them (Peter and Andy Hib have both chosen to enter different robots over their spinners as they believe they stand more chance that way). My answer to that has always been simple - if you want more spinner fights, build spinners and enter them. If you chose to enter a different robot instead, then that's your choice.
So, I guess, if we all want more interesting clusterbots and walkers, then we should get out there and build them, rather than moaning about what other people are entering. My next AWS team is hopefully going to be three spinners and one purpose-built clusterbot, with Gemma taking on Dibby duties. I urge other people to start to build the same way, but again, its your choice. That is the point of the competition after all.
Die Gracefully Robotics
Winner - AWS 39

User avatar
Rapidrory
Posts: 1160
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:54 pm

Re: Proposed addition to rules

Post by Rapidrory » Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:30 am

Nooo! You can't ban Lemmings :( The comic value is just too great to lose! I mean, the rule makes sense.. but it would still be a sad end..

Also, Alex and I both now have 2 spinners in each of our teams, which should make matters a little more interesting :)
Rory Mangles - Team Nuts

Robots: Nuts 2 and many more...

NanoTwo Motor Controllers: https://nutsandbots.co.uk/product/nanotwodualesc

Post Reply