Evening all. As well as (at some point) organising some standard antweight events at the Hackspace in Nottingham I’m toying with the idea of a parallel competition with a sand-filled arena, just to try something different out.
I’ve heard a few comments in podcasts and such of late on the subject of adding terrain to combat robotics; it has seemed to me like a good way to change the game without changing the rules (this is certainly my experience in tabletop wargames). Filling the arena uniformly with sand is a relatively clean, maintenance-free, fireproof and cheap way to add a completely novel playing surface, with the advantage of being inherently uniform (unlike adding discrete features, which is interesting in its own way but then creates a whole other game around where to put different bits of terrain).
Now I’d like to claim some lofty goals like diversifying in the current competitive metagame or whatever but ultimately I think I looked at the chunky 44mm Ant wheels and fancied building an equally chunky Mad Max war buggy to match. With a new weight class comes the old “you-can’t-run-the-event-if-no-one-has-a-robot-but-no-one-wants-to-build-a-robot-until-there’s-an-event” paradox, so initially I thought making this an alternative 150g class would work, but given that making a 150g robot is pretty challenging when you aren’t also faced with needing 4wd and IP65 rating, I’m wondering if an alternative might be a 300g limit (and maybe plastic weapons) - this would give a bit more weight for bespoke designs but would also allow clusters designed to regular Bants/Ants rules, making it less of a sunk cost.
A couple of folks at Nottinghack are also keen but I’d really like to see what the general consensus is on the idea before going too far down this road, so if you have any thoughts then please do drop them in here.