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CUSTOM FANTASY LEAGUE - RULES AND REGULATIONS - 2014-01-27


Are you a fan of Battlebots? Maybe Robot Wars? Did you ever want to know what it's like? Well, here's your chance in our exclusive robot style RPGs! All you need to do is follow three simple steps to join up.

1. Create your own bots in some sort of computer-aided-design (CAD) program. It can be anything from Rhinoceros3D to Google SketchUp to MSPaint. Basically, you just need a picture of what your bot looks like. If you don't know how to draw or do CAD, you can always ask someone to do it for you on the CAD Request thread in our forums.

2. Enter stats for your bots (see below for stat system).

3. Role play with your bot on a weekly basis. All this means is you have to see who your opponent is for that week, and write up a strategy against them in the Role Playing Board section of the forum. Don't worry, your role play doesn't have to be very detailed. Short and simple works, too. However, detail doesn't hurt, so if you want to really go all out in your strategy, you go for it.


SIGN-UP INFORMATION

Everyone enters 4 bots, one from each weight class (LW, MW, HW, SHW) and assigns them stats using the point system.

- The battles will take place in a Round Robin style (as opposed to the traditional tournament style) in which each bot will face every other bot once with playoffs afterward to determine the champion of each weight class.

- No double entering the competition (that means no smurf accounts or anything like that).


STAFF RULES

- The founder(s) of the tournament and the writing staff for a tournament are obligated to check ALL entries in the competition before the season begins, to avoid stat and design discrepancies mid-way through the season.


ROLE PLAY RULES

In these leagues, we have always made it a priority to focus on both aspects of robotic combat: the design and the driver. It has been said before that a good driver with a poor robot can beat a bad driver with a great robot the majority of the time and I, personally agree with that notion. This is why it is important to know the proper way to strategize and win a battle against a formidable opponent. First let’s go over the ground rules and the basic etiquette, if you will:

1. ROLE PLAY ON TIME - New fight cards are posted every week. Check the fight card to see when the due date for the card is. As long as you get your role plays in before then, you'll be fine. Always role play in "Fantasy RP Room" in the forum. You can still roleplay after the deadline, but you run the risk of forfeiting. As long as you RP before the result is written, you are fine. However there is no way of knowing if the result is already written, and some writers are stricter than others. The only safe bet is to RP before the deadline.

2. Be polite – It’s usually common courtesy to extend a wish of good luck to your opponent at the end of an RP, although not necessary. The main idea here is that you do not talk down to your opponent, calling them an idiot, or that their robot is trash, or that there is NO WAY you could possible lose the fight. This rule essentially extends to the main forum, and while smacktalk is appreciated, keep it reasonable.

3. DO NOT REFERENCE YOUR OPPONENT'S RP – It is an automatic loss if you reference your opponents RP. Any reference at all. Do NOT reference your opponent's RP. Do not read your opponent's RP.

4. Be concise, but specific – You aren't going to win just because you wrote twenty thousand words. On the other hand, you are going to lose if you write one sentence. When you RP, you're trying to explain to the writer what your strategy is, and why it will work. Sometimes, you can't really talk about strategy because there isn't much to say (for example, you have a ring or a shell spinner). In these situations its worth going over the stats a little bit, and making some notes about where you want to position yourself, and what part of your opponent you want to target.

With that said let us look at a sample role-play (RP):

“For this fight, I'm gonna go for all out aggression, but maintain enough control to avoid hazards. I have a slight advantage in speed, equal torque, and a one point disadvantage in armor. Armor should not be a factor here, as if he reads this before posting I offer up a challenge of a ram bot duel. Nothing but slamming each other into the walls like a drunken hillbilly abusing his kids. Either way that will be my strategy. I'll come at him full speed with the plow and try to juke him. His narrow wedge should afford me a shot at getting under his wheels and turning him to the side for a big slam. My "fangs" should catch on his wheels and hopefully when we hit the wall the force will damage his wheels or drivetrain. If I can't juke him out after a few tries, I'll reverse and bring the wedges at him. they should have no problem sliding under him, and then I can to a maximus style "backslap" into the wall, let him drive off my other end, then use that end to slam him into the opposite wall. All the while I'll be careful to avoid the nail. If he gets under me I'll use my superior speed to escape and get back on the offensive. Let's face it, it's simple, but Copperhead doesn't require that much strategy, I'll just be aggressive and slam him into everything I can.

Good luck and may the best bot win.”

This is an example of a great RP. It’s concise, yet it hits all the important parts that the writer wanted to emphasize. He uses his robot’s statistic advantages (high speed, and torque) to the full extent, mentioning how exactly they work and how he uses them to defeat the other robot. He then uses the robot’s design advantages (the shape of the wedge, his ‘fangs,’ etc.) and how they will make a play to give him the upper-hand. Lastly he takes about specific strategic decisions that he will make, such as trying to juke-out the opponent, and to get under the opponent and slam them.

The important thing to remember is that an RP is an argument. You are trying to debate and convince the result writer why exactly you should win, through use of statistical, design, and strategic advantages. You'll have an easier time convincing someone if you don't bore them to death by forcing them to read a novel.


STAT SYSTEM

As previously stated, the point system will be the same as the past three tournaments with 28 points being divided up between Speed, Armor, Torque, Traction, and Weapon.

Speed: This stat affects how fast your bot moves around. For thwack bots, including Y-drives, however this acts as your actual spinning speed while thwacking.

Weapon: This stat affects how powerful your bots weapon is. If this stat is higher than your armor, then it is also reflective of your bots weapon armor. For thwack bots, including Y-drives, this stat indicates the bots actual floor maneuvering speed, while your bot is spinning.

Torque: This stat determines not only how pushy your bot is, but also the acceleration that you push another robot at.

Traction: This stat governs acceleration and a bot's ability to have control.

Armor: This stat is how durable your bot is. The higher it is, the more damage it will be able to withstand. As with Weapon, if it is higher than your weapon power, than this stat will be reflective of the weapon armor.


IN-DEPTH BOT DESIGNING DETAILS

Overview: This set of rules and regulations will govern all RPG's officially sanctioned by ARC. Drowning City will not officially support RPG's that do not use these rules. This document is meant to be as all encompassing as possible, but remember that we promote abstract thinking. If you have a design not covered under this document, present it to the moderators first. At that point a decision will be made and agreed on by no less than 3 members of the ARC RPG staff, as well as the person running the league (if it is an RPG sanctioned but not run by ARC). Remember though that we are busy, and you need to present your designs in a timely fashion if you want them considered.

Note: There have been formulas added to this list in order to get a more detailed look into each individual match and prevent certain designs from going out of control. On that note, these formulas are not hard and fast rules, they are “helpful guides” so to speak. Meaning, if a bot is calculated to have a 50% chance of KOing a certain bot, we’re not just going to flip a coin and decide his fate on that. That might be a factor if both design and role play factors are dead even, and we have to go on stats solely to determine the outcome. They are intended for you, as the RPer, to use the formulas to your advantage when necessary and for the writers to “keep in mind”. That doesn’t mean they are not important, just don’t take them religiously. Aside from that, though, here are the rules we have set in place.


I – Designs

1 – Legality: All designs must comply with the regulations of the RFL for legality. For example, no external combustion engines, liquid or gaseous weapons, electrical stun weapons, RF jamming, entanglement devices, etc. ARC does allow the use of flames as a weapon but not in the form of plasma or oxy-acetylene cutting torches. If you are unsure of your weapon’s compliance to the RFL rules, ask a moderator.

2 – Weight: Obviously we can’t weigh a picture of a robot but please try to make yours look like it belongs in the weight class it will compete in.

3 – Realism: This one is somewhat opinion based, and also limited to the designer’s artistic capabilities. However, we ask that you try your best to keep your designs realistic. For example: A picture of a LW with 5 Eteks stuffed into it is not only incredibly unrealistic, it’s also pointless due to the limit of the weapon stat. Similarly, a SHW with a 3:1 reduced mag motor for lifting will still lift, but will be highly unrealistic. Also, if you plan on using uncommon technology (i.e. Hydraulics, Omni-drive, Turbo and EFI engines) please have the decency to know how they actually work.


II – Stats

1 – Numbers and Limits

A – Wheeled robots: This will be any robot using tires, treads, saw blades, shuffling beams, parts of its own chassis and frame, semi-omni (mixture of omni and normal tires), giant track balls, or any other rotating mass touching the floor to propel itself. Wheeled robots will be allowed 28 stat points. They must have at a minimum 1 Speed, 1 Torque, 1 Traction, and 1 Armor. There are no maximum stats for wheeled bots, except for those limited by the total number of points available.

B – Zero Traction robots: This is any robot using exclusively omni-directional tires, or a hover craft (air or magnetic) system. These robots will have a maximum of 28 stat points available. They must have 0 Traction and a minimum of 1 Speed and 1 Armor. There are no maximum stats for ZT bots, except for those limited by the total number of points available.

C – Walking robots: This is any robot that moves by contact with the floor other than that outlined under section A. Also, the part moving the robot or contacting the floor may not be capable of moving 360 degrees total. These robots will be allowed a maximum of 31 stat points. Walking robots must have at a minimum 1 Speed, 1 Torque, 1 Traction and 1 Armor. Their total Speed and Traction however, must not exceed a combined 9. Any combination of Speed and Traction is acceptable, provided they add up to 9 or less. Bonuses that increase Speed and Traction do not apply to walking robots. Walking robots have also a maximum stat limit of 28. No single stat (weapon and armor) may exceed 28.

D – Multi-bots: Multi-bots or cluster-bots are covered under the same rules as stated in sections A, B, and C. Any combination of wheeled or ZT bots and Walking bots will be considered wheeled. Multi-robots will be given the number of stats for their type (the whole robot must qualify for the walker bonus) minus 3 points times the number of parts. For example, 2 wheeled robots together will each have 22 points (28-6), while 3 wheeled robots will only have 19 points (28-9).


2 – Speed: This stat will cover 3 separate but related functions. These are linear (straight line) speed, rotational (turning) speed, and acceleration.

A – Linear speed is how fast the robot can travel from point a to point b, and also includes a provision for deviation due to uncontrollable speed. Linear speed is defined as the robot’s speed stat, multiplied by 2, plus 2 for every 5 points. Also, the control element will be degrees of deviation (how far off line the robot becomes) in 20 feet. This equation will be the robot’s speed, multiplied by four, divided by the number of wheels the robot has (Tracked, shuffling, omni, and walking robots are considered to have 6 wheels).

B – Rotational speed is how fast the robot can move in a complete 360 degree circle, while sitting in place. This number will be measured in rotations per second (RPS). This number is determined by dividing the robot’s speed by its number of wheels (this one is simple, you don’t need a chart.) For example, a robot with 4 wheels and a speed of 2 will turn at 0.5RPS, or 180 degrees per second. A robot with 2 wheels and a speed of 10 will turn at 5RPS, or 1800 degrees per second (That equates to 300 RPM, thwack-bot anyone?)

C – Acceleration is how long it takes the robot to go from a stand still to its maximum linear or rotational speed. This number is measured in seconds and determined by inverting the scale (1-21) and dividing by 4. For example a speed of 1 gets you an embarrassing 5.25 second crawl to your top speed, while 15 speed takes you to your top speed in a 1.75 second sprint. This number is mainly important to thwacks and rammers.


3 – Torque: Torque will govern pushing power and the ability to accelerate across the arena while pushing a robot.

A – Pushing power is a fairly simple stat. If your torque is higher, you will win a shoving match. That’s it. Plain and simple. However there will be an additional provision for bots with spike type weapons. If you pin an opponent using a spike, you will be able to penetrate their armor 1 inch for every point your torque is higher than their armor, not to exceed 4 inches. Also, if you only have some of your wheels on the ground at a particular time, you will lose your torque depending on the % of wheels that are still on the ground. Here’s the formula:

Wheels on ground / wheels in total = % of wheels on ground X torque stat = new torque factor in this situation

Example - A 6 wheeled robot with a torque of 4 has his 2 front wheels lifted off the ground. What is his torque in this situation?

4/6 = .66 x 4 = 2.64 torque in this situation.

B – Acceleration while pushing another robot is determined by speed and torque. The lower your torque value is, the slower you will push an opposing robot. For example, a 6 speed robot with a one point advantage in torque while pushing a robot, would have its speed cut in half (3 speed in this case).


4 – Traction: Traction will govern traction, linear acceleration, and control.

A – Traction decides how much the robot is affected by being hit by spinners, hit by rammers, and even affected by its own spinning weapons. As a general rule, as long as the robot has higher traction than a spinner has weapon or a rammer has speed, it will NOT be moved when hit. If the traction on the robot being hit is lower than these stats, it will be displaced 1 foot for every point of difference, minus 3 inches for each wheel the robot has over 2. For example, a 12 Weapon spinner hits a 2 wheeled robot with 7 traction. The spinner knocks the opponent 5 feet away. The same spinner hits an 8 wheeled robot with 7 traction, and the opponent is only knocked 3.5 feet away. For weapon recoils, the robot recoiling will be knocked away by how much its weapon exceeds its own traction, divided by two. The robot will also spin opposite the direction of its weapon rotation 180 degrees, minus 45 degrees for every pair of wheels over two. Regardless of the number of wheels a robot has, this spin will be no less than 5 degrees.

B - The higher your traction stat, the more acceleration you gain and the less time it takes to achieve your maximum speed.

C – Control is mostly dependent on speed and traction. The greater the disparity between speed and traction, the more chance you have of losing control of your robot. This ties in with both deceleration and rotational speed.


5 – Armor: This stat has been rather loosely translated in the past, and hopefully these rules will keep armor under control. This rule will cover passive armor, active armor, weapon armor, and knockout probability (self and opponent inflicted). For any armor to be given any bonuses at all, (minus FBS shells) the total amount of armor receiving bonuses must not exceed 1/3 of the total armor on the robot as decided by the moderators and/or competition director.

A – Passive armor is the main chassis of the robot, to include all wedges, plows, and plates that are a part of the chassis or frame, and will have the base armor stat. Passive upgraded armor includes wheel guards, plows, wedges, bars, spikes, weapon shafts and heads(thwacks) and plates that are solidly attached but obviously not part of the main chassis. As a default, all passive armor counts as the armor stat with no additional bonuses. HOWEVER, you can give plows, wedges, rams, etc. additional bonuses as long as you offset that bonus with a subtraction from all other areas. Here's an examples:

Example:

Robot A

4 wheeled rammer with a plow at the front.

Speed: 7
Traction: 7
Torque: 2
Armor: 8 (+2 to the plow)
Weapon: 0

The plow now has 10 armor, while the chassis, wheels, and the rest of the robot has 6 armor.

B – Active armor is any armor that is not solidly attached to the frame, or uses a special attachment for some sort of advantage. The armor bonuses rule that is used for passive armor also applies for active armor, as well.

C – Weapon armor is the durability of parts of active weapons. For all active weapons, this will be the base armor stat +2. Spinners are a special case. Spinning discs will have a +4 bonus, ring spinners (invertible shell spinners) will have a +2 bonus, and shell spinners get no bonus.

Example:

Example:

Robot B

4 wheeled flipper.

Speed: 6
Traction: 5
Torque: 2
Armor: 6
Weapon: 9

The entire flipper has an armor of 8, while the rest of the robot has an armor of 6.

Robot C

4 wheeled robot with a spinning disc, and a rear plow.

Speed: 6
Traction: 5
Torque: 2
Armor: 6 (+2 to the plow)
Weapon: 9

The spinning disc has an armor of 10.
The plow has an armor of 8.
The rest of the robot has an armor of 4.

Robot B

4 wheeled plow lifter.

Speed: 6
Traction: 6
Torque: 4
Armor: 8 (+2 to the lifter)
Weapon: 4

Only the plow part of the lifter has an armor of 12.
The lifting arms have an armor of 10.
The rest of the robot has an armor of 6.

D – Knockout probability and Damage govern how much damage a robot might take from a specific weapon, and whether it would knock it out or not.

-Note: this guide only serves for general 'damage dealing weapons' such as spinning discs, bars, hammers, crushers, etc. Obviously a flipper isn't going to scratch anyone.

The damage a robot takes essentially is determined by two factors. The robots armor, and the weapon power of the robot attempting to damage it. However its hard to put this category to any hard and fast stats, given that there are many circumstances that could dictate how much more or less damage is taken. These can include at what angle the hit was taken, what type of weapon head was used (blunt object vs. sharp) whether the opponent's spinning weapon was at max RPM or not, etc.

A general rule of thumb is that a robot requires a weapon stat that is higher than the armor stat of the robot it is trying to damage in order to do noticable damage on that impact. Having a weapon stat less than the armor stat of the opponent would mean that damage would be relegated to minor scratches and nicks, accumulated throughout the match.

0-1 more points would be major scratches and nicks. No chance of knockout through weapon damage alone.
2-3 more points would be larger scratches, armor getting bent, and cosmetic damage that can accumulate through the match. Low chance of a knockout.
4-5 more points is more dangerous, more damage, larger scratches, bending and buckling of armor, and tearing. Panels and pieces of armor could come off after many repeated hits to the same area. Quite a bit of damage will accumulate through the match. Medium chance of a knockout.
6-7 more points is lots of damage. Panels and pieces of armor will come off after repeated hits to the same area. Tearing is more pronounced. Large chance of knockout.
8 points or more is one hit KO range.

E - Self knockout probability governs how much internal stress a robot is inflicting upon itself.

This rule general does not come into play, but there are extreme situations in which a robot is poorly built, while operating a massive force. This rule is also generally for robots that operate spinning weapons (though thwacks are unrelated).

Self knockout generally will not occur unless the weapon power of the robot is around 15. There is a fairly low risk of self knockout at this level, but as weapon power is increased, the probability of self knockout increases as well.


6 – Weapon: This stat in the past has been the vaguest, made even more vague by the wide range of weapon designs available. We hope to cover all common designs here. If you have a design for a weapon not listed here, the same policy applies as before. Just submit it to the moderators and/or competition director for approval and final decisions. All approved designs will be added to this rule set.

I - Multiple Weapons -

a - Any robot using multiple active weapons will be reduced in weapon power based on two conditions. If the weapons are operated by the same actuator, on the same axle i.e. twin spinning discs, no deduction will occur. If the weapons are powered by the same motor but on separate axels i.e. a motor powering spinning bars on opposite sides of the robot, each weapon will lose one point. If the weapons are acting totally independent of one another i.e. dual hammers (diesector style) each weapon will lose two points of power. These deductions occur after all power bonuses are applied.

b- Turrets, such as the one on Tazbot, allow certain weapons to have more utility. By putting a weapon on a turret, it allows that weapon to have 360 degrees of range; a large advantage over something like an axe, which can only hit whatever is directly in front of it. Because of this, turrets will lose 1 point of weapon power. The turret will be able to rotate at the speed of the weapon power minus 2.

A turret needs at least 3 weapon power to function.

II - Scrimechs vs. Active Weapons -

Scrimechs (self-righting mechanisms) for simplicity are not considered to be active weapons, because their only function is to re-invert the user and prevent them from being immobilized. Therefore they do not fall under the multi-weapon rule, and will not reduce the weapon stat. In additon they do not receive the weapon armor bonus. However this comes with some caveats:

1. Scrimechs require at least 2 weapon points to function. A scrimech will not work if a robot has a weapon stat of 1 or less.
2. Scrimechs are not used as a weapon. This is up to the discretion of the staff and must be defined for any robot using a scrimech at the start of a season. For example, a flipper is considered to be a weapon and therefore falls under the rules of other active weapons.

A – Passive weapons are any weapon that requires no weapon power to use. This includes but is not limited to rammers, static spikes, overhead thwacks, “dumb” thwacks, and any other static or non powered offensive device.

a – Rammers and robots using static spikes (provided they are on the ramming end of the robot) will hit with a theoretical weapon power equal to the midway point between their Speed and Torque, rounded down to the nearest whole number. Rammers have NO breakthrough factor, unless they have defined spikes or teeth. The theoretical weapon power applies to knockout probability. This rule also applies to robots with active weapons that can be used as ramming weapons, or that have secondary passive ramming weapons.

b – Overhead thwacks will have a similar system. The theoretical weapon power will be the midway point between the robot’s Speed and Torque, rounded down to the nearest whole number.

c – “Thwacks" are any robot that generates force by rotating the entire robot. Theoretical weapon power is approximately equal to the speed stat of the robot. The type of thwack head used will determine the type of damage done. Blunt weapon heads such as sledge hammers will dent and buckle armor with a higher KO factor, while sharp weapon heads will pierce and slice armor with more visible effects.

'Smart Thwacks' are those that can move around while thwacking using a 'melty brain' or similar system. For these, the speed stat still determines the theoretical power of the robot, but the speed the robot moves across the arena floor will be determined by either the weapon stat or the speed stat, whichever is lower.

B – Spinners are any robot using a rotating mass to inflict damage. This includes but is not limited to vertical bludgeoning devices, friction driven rings, overhead bars and cages, shells, discs, flywheels, saws, chainsaws, spiked belts, drums, “egg beaters”, and any other rotating mass designed for inflicting damage. An increase in weapon power will not only increase destructive capabilities, but also reduce spin up time.

C – Lifting weapons are any weapon designed to forcefully pick an opponent up off of the floor. These include but are not limited to lifting arms, lifting spikes, flipping arms, actuated jaws, lifting or flipping wedges, clamp systems, forklifts, and any other weapon used to pick an opponent up. This is another vague design that everyone has tried to claim their own theories on in the past. Many people have argued that at low weapon power, they simply won’t work. For this set of rules we will acknowledge that no one builds a lifting arm that won’t lift an opponent in that weight class. All lifting and flipping weapons, given a value of 1 weapon power, will be able to lift an opponent to the full height of the weapon’s capability. Weapon power will decide how effectively that will be accomplished.

a – Lifters will be any weapon designed to merely lift the opponent for control (includes clamps) and can be controlled to move to and stay at any point on their lifting stroke. Lifters are at all times capable of lifting an opponent in the same weight class. Weapon power will decide how fast that can be done.

For example:
1 weapon power will result in an excruciatingly slow lift, and will likely result in the opponent being able to escape before being lifted.
2-3 weapon power is a below average speed lift.
4-5 weapon power will result in the lifter rotating at a decent pace.
etc.

b – Flippers sacrifice control of the weapon to allow a high speed motion in one direction. Flippers will come back down shortly after lifting, and cannot be moved to anywhere but the final point in the stroke. Flippers are always capable of lifting the opponent at high speed, but the weapon power will determine the height of the flip. This height will be in feet and determined by the robot’s weapon power divided by two. At 1 a flipper will only move an opponent 6 inches higher than the top of the stroke, while at 10 weapon power the target will be tossed over 5 feet high. Also, this weapon power applies to a knockout probability upon landing.

D – Overhead striking weapons include but are not limited to hammers, axes, swords, impaled dead babies and any other weapon swung overhead to cause damage. Hammers are designed to do large amounts of damage in a single strike. The more weapon power that is invested, the higher degree of damage, and the faster the weapon hits and returns to position.

E – Piercing weapons are extremely powerful claws or spikes designed to use force to break through an opponent’s armor.

a – Claws will always be slow moving; about 15 degrees per second. Claw type weapons will only pierce the opponent when they are equal to or greater than the armor stat of that opponent. Weapon power will determine depth of penetration. This will simply be the weapon power in halves of inches. Horizontal claws working on two sides of an opponent will pierce half that deep on each side.

b - Certain robots will prefer a 'Complete Control' style of clamping, where the weapon does not pierce the armor, but rather takes control of it. These weapons will be faster but never pierce the opponents armor. The speed of the clamp depends on the weapon power invested, which fall along the same guidelines as the speed for lifters.

c – Pneumatic spikes are fired once, then take several seconds to retract and be fired again. Pneumatic spikes get half an inch of penetration per weapon point, but only have penetration properties when the weapon power exceeds armour.

d – Rotary piston spikes are rapid firing, and driven by cam/crank action from an electric motor or gas engine. Up to two spikes can be used from the same motor before incurring a multiple weapons deduction. These spikes will follow the normal rules of breakthrough and damage based on their power, and will hit at x times per second, where x is half of their weapon power.

F - Ramming Bars, used on designs like Force Feedback, Stingray, and Probot, are a weapon that consists of a mass that is fired horizontally without the purpose of piercing. These designs use a 'keep away' type stick for a variety of purposes: to push the opponent away, to dislodge themselves, to warp the opponent's wedges, or to slow down spinning weapons. Ramming Bars generally do not cause much damage, unless the opponent they are hitting are trapped against a wall, as ramming bars push opponents away. These are always fast moving, and operate mostly the same as overhead striking weapons where an increase in weapon power results in a faster striking force.